Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 Event Recap

Over 80 local marketers and business owners gathered together on Tuesday, July 18 for our Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 event at Google’s Chicago office. Lever Interactive and Google each shared insights into a few of the practical trends we will see in digital marketing in the next year that companies can start putting to use today – focusing primarily on audience and attribution.

The day began with breakfast provided by Google and networking time for attendees as they got checked in and settled.

Digital Trends for 2018 event breakfast

Digital Trends for 2018 event networking

The presentations began with Lever Interactive Founder Chris Gilmartin welcoming everyone to the event, followed by a brief introduction to Lever Interactive and our services.

Digital Trends for 2018 event - Chris Welcome

Next, Laura O’Connell, Agency Development Manager at Google, presented on Getting Smarter with Data, highlighting what Google is doing to shape the future of digital marketing.

Digital Trends for 2018 event - Laura on Data

Laura discussed how first party audience data and machine learning will increasingly help you expand and reach your audiences, and how marketers need to move from a channel-first to a customer-first approach.

Laura challenged the audience with the question, “Are you using customer insights to deliver better outcomes for your business?” She wrapped up by challenging the audience to use data to re-think the customer journey.


Brian Yaro, Lever’s Manager, Digital-Paid Media, then spoke about audience. He pointed out that people-based marketing isn’t new, but our ability to identify & connect with them is evolving quickly.

Digital Trends for 2018 event - Brian on Audience

Marketers must ask, “Do our KPIs match our business goals?” Brian discussed how micro-moments are really just chances to strengthen customer relationships.

Brian then walked the audience through currently available methods of collecting and utilizing first party customer data from paid search, social and Google Analytics, and how you should build your marketing around this data.

Next, Jen Davis, Lever’s Senior VP of Operations, spoke about attribution. She discussed how marketers will continue to move away from using simple last-click attribution models.

Digital Trends for 2018 event - Jen on Attribution

Jen dispelled some of the common myths regarding attribution, and emphasized that companies need to choose their attribution model based on their unique business goals.

Jen closed by saying that marketers’ goals for 2018 should be to 1) Measure, 2) Attribute and 3) Act.

Finally, Chris wrapped the presentation up with an invitation for attendees who are interested in learning more about industry-specific topics to attend our upcoming Google Partners Connect events held at the Lever offices. Our next one coming up is focused on Retail on August 16. Register here.

Digital Trends for 2018 event - Chris on Google Partners Connect

We hope everyone who attended had a great time, and that our insights help as you’re planning for 2018!

See more photos from the event on our Facebook page.

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