Our Key Takeaways from Philly Tech Week’s Media Day

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Philly Tech Week’s Media Day proved to be quite a hit. The event, appropriately themed The Future of Digital Marketing, brought in professionals from all walks of the tech and marketing industry, filling NoLibs’ Impact Hub to capacity. The day was jam-packed with case studies and Q&As from leading thought leaders. Check out some of our takeaways:

Jen Spofford, The Archer Group

“Content is king. It’s cliche, but true.”

Jen kicked off the day with a talk about our favorite convenience store, Wawa, and how they drive marketing success. Wawa’s 2014 Hoagiefest campaign was heavily fueled by user-generated content, which they drove by giving away free swag to influential bloggers and enthusiastic Wawa fans on the Jersey shore boardwalk.

Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics

“Honesty and self-deprecation when telling the story created amazing residual effects for the brand.”

Robert spoke about RJMetrics’ evolution of digital identity, sharing wisdom he gleaned firsthand. When RJMetrics debuted a new logo, a 12-sided shape called a “dodecahedron”, they saw a lot of buzz in the UK–but it wasn’t good. Users were comparing the logo to “y-fronts”, the English slang for men’s briefs. The company took the opportunity to triumph as a thought leader, publishing a case study that garnered press from Hacker News, Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.


Mark Mountain, CapTech

Mark Mountain of CapTech emphasized the importance of hyper-targeted 1:1 marketing. While personalization isn’t anything new, effective marketing moves beyond audience-based targeting and, instead, leverages behavioral data to create more individualized digital experiences. Mountain also noted that purely digital companies are huge disrupters, as they’re setting the bar for what users expect. Yet, becoming more personalized is essential to the customer experience, and while getting to the level of segmentation where you can target 1:1 doesn’t happen overnight, once mastered, it can highly impact ROI.

Kristin Hodgson, Meetup

“When you really care about something, and are really passionate, you don’t just post on social media. You talk about it face to face!”

Meetup’s Communication Director Kristin Hodgson spoke out about face-to-face being the future of digital. Currently there are 2,000 Meetup groups in Philadelphia, with 500,000 members and 2.3 million RSVPs. Meetup focuses on using technology to get away from technology, as a means to build real communities sharing similar interests in person.

Mario Armstrong, Today Show, Digital Lifestyle Expert™

“We don’t do anything without understanding exactly what the intent is.”

After lunch, Today Show contributor Mario Armstrong  was in the hotseat for the Keynote Q&A where he highlighted the importance of knowing your expectations, intents, and goals for every single thing your company does. He also continued with the trend earlier brought up by Moore of authenticity, honesty, and transparency, noting that transparency is ten times better than hiding, as well as re-defining “engagement” as referring to actions, rather than the time spent blindly scrolling on a webpage.

Wil Reynolds, Seer

“When you work on outputs, you will think you’re winning when you’re losing.”

The charismatic Seer founder Wil Reynolds took the spotlight to discuss the importance of the user experience after the first step, and shifting the focus from outputs to outcomes. In his experiences, companies should care first and foremost about solving customer problems, rather than trying to accumulate metrics on a report.


Marc Oppenheimer, Parx Casino

“What we need to look at is the actual behavior that customers show us.”

Parx casino, owned and operated by Greenwood Gaming, has a unique strategy to retain customer loyalty. Marc Oppenheimer, Greenwood Gaming’s Chief Marketing Officer, spoke about using players’ cards to track customer behavior, segment their customers, and test the incentives that were most influential. Marc discovered that there was no specific incentive that worked best in each segment. Instead, customers wanted a variety of incentives.

Michael Hartman, OrderUp

“Are you trying too hard? Don’t be that kid who invited himself to the lunch table.”

Michael Hartman of OrderUp talked about engaging millennials on social media. OrderUp is a food delivery service similar to Seamless or Eat24, but with their own delivery drivers. Because they cater mostly to college towns, their audience is largely millennials. Posting about timely, trending, and local topics keeps OrderUp top-of-mind. Contests and incentivized surveys also work well for OrderUp. By offering prizes to users who rank their favorite restaurants, they were able to collect valuable information about those restaurants in their markets.


Philly Tech Week is an annual event organized by Technical.ly Philly each April. If you’re a local tech enthusiast, be sure to keep an eye out for next year!