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What We Learned at Ektron Synergy 2014

What We Learned at Ektron Synergy 2014

Diagram's team recently returned from Ektron's Synergy conference. Find out what they took away from the experience.

Ektron’s 2014 Synergy conference was held on May 4-6 in Boston, and Diagram’s team was there to present our work, connect with people, and immerse themselves in the world of Ektron. They returned full of excitement about the possibilities that Ektron can provide for its users, so we collected their thoughts on what they learned and what to expect with Ektron going forward:

Bill Casey, CEO

This year, the message at Synergy was very clear… Content Marketing. For those that aren't aware of what this is, according to the Content Marketing Institute, "Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action."

With this message as the backdrop, it’s clear that Ektron is shifting focus from the CMS technology as the driving force behind your online strategy to the content itself, and developing a broad marketing strategy needed in today's omnichannel world. The CMS is just one of the tools a marketing professional needs in their toolbox. In order to be successful, there is a much broader content strategy that needs to be in place that goes well beyond the platform used to enter and maintain the content. Ektron appears to understand this and is moving in the right direction to ride this current wave.

Chris Osterhout, Director of Enterprise Solutions

It is apparent from the Ektron Synergy conference that Ektron is once again creating new products such as the Content Marketing Platform (CMP) to address the ever changing digital landscape. The message this year was clear, from both the questions we received from clients and from the session presentations, that creating a customer journey that offers relevant content and calls to action will drive conversions on your website. It is apparent that Ektron is making large strides to control every facet of the website conversation process while still allowing connections to external CRMs and MAPs via the Digital Experience Hub (DxH).

Allison Casey, Digital Marketing Director

Marketing Wins! For the first time, marketers outnumbered developers at Ektron Synergy this year. The educational opportunities reflected that especially in the Marketing track. Content is still King, but what are you offering your site visitor once they are on your site, and how can you use Ektron to leverage the best user experience and ultimately get that conversion so you can start to have more meaningful digital conversations? Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Ektron's Content Marketing Platform – so many key messages at Synergy this year.

Joe Mayberry, Web Developer

I learned that you can have an impact at Ektron Synergy, even if you are not there in person. I learned that technical issues are par for the course, and it’s more important to be patient and understanding than to be disappointed because things didn’t work as well as you would like them to. And finally, I learned what it was like to have seven versions of my face on stage at the same time. (As an addendum, I also learned to be careful what you tell Diagram Marketing, because they WILL use it)

Face of Joe

Rob Schall, Development Operations Manager

With this being my first opportunity to join the Diagram team at the Ektron Synergy Conference, I was excited to see how Ektron interacted with their customers as well as how they presented their new offerings. They are shifting some of the focus from mobile and directing their attention more towards the marketing requirements of sites these days. This includes their new Content Marketing Platform (CMP), which allows users to set up more customized landing pages and integrates with common marketing platforms to make the end user experience as seamless as possible. Time will tell if this focus on marketing will be the optimal method of handling these requirements from customers, and if it will result in a great ROI, but seeing the focus change in that direction does show Ektron is acknowledging the change in the marketplace and is moving with the wind rather than against it.

This was also an opportunity as an elite partner to interact with the support team which we utilize on a daily basis. As the Development Operations Manager, one of my group’s responsibilities is to act as an advocate with Ektron support when things aren’t going as planned for them. In addition to just putting faces to the names and voices I regularly interact with, I had an opportunity to sit down in a few one on ones to go over processes and any other concerns I had with our relationship, which historically has been very strong. This doesn’t mean we have a lot of negative issues, but rather that we can work to find places to strengthen ties, reduce response times, and increase client satisfaction. Because in the end, both teams’ end goals are identical.

Finally, getting to meet both current and future clients is always rewarding. We pride ourselves on the relationships we build with each client and do our best to build a strong partnership. In many cases, this leads to lasting friendships and great memories as our personal and professional lives interact and cross paths. Seeing these clients in person only strengthens that relationship and allows us to ensure they are as happy as possible.

In summary, there were many things to learn at the conference from new functionality, new methods and new strategies. But for me, the most important part was enhancing the relationships we have with Ektron and our clients. Because in the end, they are who allow us to keep the lights on and continue to thrive in the years to come.

What’s Next?

Obviously, this year’s Synergy was a great experience for everyone, allowing us to learn more about Ektron’s plans for the future, meet with people from all facets of the Ektron experience, and gain insight on how we can utilize Ektron to best meet all our clients’ needs. We’re excited about how we can continue to use Ektron to develop the ideal websites for our clients and implement successful marketing strategies that will meet their business goals. Did you attend Synergy? What did you learn? If you weren’t able to make it, do you want to know more about Ektron’s latest products and how you can use them to get the most out of your website? Please leave a comment below, or contact us for more information.

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