Amanda & Heather from Brew City Marketing travel to the WP Engine Summit 2019 in Austin

When Brew City Marketing president, Amanda Dalnodar, and SEO manager, Heather Dorsey, headed to Austin, Texas this past summer to attend the WP Engine Summit 2019, there were a few things they knew for sure:

Amanda Dalnodar & Heather Dorsey Brew City Marketing

  1. It was going to be hot. Like really hot. And humid.
  2. The 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats that live under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge were less than a half-mile away from the Fairmont Hotel, the venue hosting WP Engine’s 4th annual summit. Since bats eat mosquitos, this was very reassuring for evening outdoor events.
  3. They were going to learn some really cool things from industry visionaries, by attending sessions on new trends, technologies, inspiring brand campaigns, and new WP Engine features.

WP Engine knows what businesses need

Monica Cravotta, vice president of product marketing, wasted no time in jumping right in to announce why WP Engine is the partner of choice for 4500+ agencies worldwide.

With a strong belief that customer service is everything, they build their products to help people “win at their jobs.” From technical developers to administrators, brand marketers and media publishers, WP Engine’s goal is to “be the most relied upon the platform for powering digital experiences built on WordPress.”

With that in mind, WP Engine has four pillars in its platform:

  1. Creative Agility – because our most valued commodity is time. Customers want a convenient, efficient experience. WP Engine has developed tools and customizable page-building blocks to help design and manage a site that makes the most sense for how users navigate your site.
  2. Ecosystem Integration – Monica and her team believe that developers need the flexibility of open source and curated solutions.
  3. Enterprise Performance – Three seconds. That’s all you have for your website page to load before 53% of your mobile customers leave your site and search elsewhere. And once you’ve got someone on your site, you better protect their data. Cloud and security solutions drive WP Engine, which as blocked over 10 billion cyber attacks so far in 2019.
  4. Actionable Intelligence – From page speed and content diagnostics to application performance monitoring, WP Engine is always seeking continuous improvement.

Developers say they want to iterate faster and experiment safely. Marketers want a platform they can navigate independently. WP Engine wants to simplify, allowing its customers to work smarter not harder. WP Engine is redesigning their user portal to make it easier for users to manage multiple accounts and sites. This is all good news for us—and our clients—here at Brew City Marketing!

WP Engine Summit 2019 main speakers

After Monica kicked things off, a powerhouse of brainpower took the main stage to educate, enlighten and entertain the packed house. Here’s a breakdown of some of the speakers and what they had to say:

Dr. Chris Brauer, director of innovation – Goldsmiths, University of London, discussed the value of AI in digital experiences. Through extensive research, Dr. Brauer and his team determined that 84.5%  of enterprises surveyed indicated they used AI to create emotionally evocative experiences for their users.

Many people use AI and fail. How come? Dr. Brauer says developers are so busy using sophisticated techniques that they neglect keeping people front and center. Companies need to keep in mind how humans work.

Consumers what informative and meaningful interactions. Put information first and provide emotional interaction to obtain optimal results.

Chris Broomall, SVP & group head, development technology, Edelman, spoke about the importance of trust and reputation and how technology has to support those values. When a company such as Volkswagen was said to have cheated on diesel emissions—prompting a huge recall of over 83,000 3-liter diesel vehicles—that’s a lot of users heading to their site, overnight. That’s huge. You need a secure site with the infrastructure to support good user experience.

Jason Cohen, Founder, and CTO, WP Engine. Did you know that 34% of the web is now powered by WordPress? There’s a reason it’s our go-to platform here at BCM. This past April online shopping overtook brick and mortar retail for the first time ever. Hello Amazon Prime! Almost 46% of global traffic is from smartphones. Trying to keep up? If you don’t create a personalized experience, you don’t stand a chance.

Andrew Lindsay, VP corporate & business dev., HubSpot, shared “How to develop and spin an Integrated Customer Growth Cycle.” The old sales funnel of doing traditional marketing to get customers doesn’t work anymore.

According to Andres, to get and retain customers today you need to attract, delight and engage. And you need to do this via the customer’s choice of communication mode whether that be through your website, email, Facebook Messenger, contact us form, live chat, or any of the other eight-way of communicating (including Twitter, phone, a blog and more)!

Mary Ellen Dugan, WP Engine, CMO, hosted one of the most entertaining sessions of WP Engine Summit 2019 when she hosted several Generation Zs (born 1996 or later) on stage to discuss how they use the Internet.

Some interesting statistics WP Engine’s research uncovered about their digital experiences and expectations.

  • WP Engine Summit 2019 Millennial Panel.66% of Gen Z believe websites will know what you are looking for before you tell them.
  • 50% of Gen Z say they would stop visiting a website if it did not anticipate what they need, liked, or wanted.
  • 55% of Gen Z can’t last more than 5 hours without the Internet.
  • 84% of actual customers in their ads.
  • 44% of Gen Z will provide data to prioritize a personalized experience over privacy, compared to 22% of Boomers.

That last statistic is huge. If you provide them with the experience they are looking for, they will give you private information. As a one-panel participant said, though, you need to be authentic. It bothers them when companies act hip by using what they consider to be cool phrases kids use. Be your own brand, don’t pretend, she said.

How we use WordPress at Brew City Marketing to create results-driven websites

WP Engine 2019 was all about sharing knowledge and tools to create meaningful digital experiences. We understand. At Brew City Marketing, we’re all about determining what your brand message is and developing a website that presents you in your best light to grow your business.

We use WordPress to create websites that are easy to navigate, compelling and built for conversions. We utilize the strongest keywords to maximize SEO and support your site with quality social media posts, Facebook ads and Google ads. Call us today to start building your effective digital marketing strategy