Conference draws experts in digital marketing

Now in its third year in Springfield, the Interact15 conference took over the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts & Conference Center in downtown Springfield Thursday, drawing marketing experts from across the state.

The event has grown each year, and drew more than 200 visitors, a roughly 20 percent increase over last year, said John Fimiani, a partner at Upward Brand Interactions, one of the firms sponsoring the event. The Columbus-based firm provides services like content marketing, brand design and research.

The conference also featured the Ohio Interactive Awards to recognize the state’s top digital businesses for the first time this year. Experts also highlighted trends in the industry, including how businesses can use data they collect from their marketing efforts to make decisions on how to change their business strategies.

Increasingly, data companies can collect through their marketing efforts will allow them to customize advertisements and websites to individual consumers, said Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute in Cleveland and a keynote speaker at the event.

“It’s growing much faster than I ever anticipated,” Pulizzi said. “Now content is central to business decisions that are being made.”

Other speakers, including Garry Golden, president of Forward Elements, Inc., also discussed topics like how companies can use marketing data to change the way they do business.

Pulizzi noted there is still a divide between customer service and marketing departments for most companies. But he added that a small number of firms are breaking down that barrier to provide a better interaction for customers.

Pulizzi predicted that trend will increase in the future.

The Chamber of Greater Springfield has made a push in recent years to draw conferences and conventions like Interact15 to downtown Springfield.

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