Recap of the 2019 Online Summit

Recap of the 2019 Online Summit

Oct 1, 2019 | By Kevin Oakley

It Keeps Getting Better…

The 5th annual Online Sales & Marketing Summit was held September 17-18th at the gorgeous LondonHouse hotel in downtown Chicago. Nearly 200 people attended, making it our largest Summit to date. This year we also had three keynote speakers, 30+ sessions, a morning photo walk, and a cocktail reception with dazzling views of the Chicago River. Most of all, the attendees brought energy and enthusiasm that carried the Summit from beginning to end.

This year’s event may have been grander in both scope and scale, but some things – the really important ones – remained the same: the opportunity to network with fellow online sales and marketing specialists from all over North America, content developed exclusively for selling and marketing new homes online, access to the DYC team, and the sense of fellowship (Dennis O’Neil hit the nail on the head when he said attendees were “his people”).

The theme of this year’s Summit was “Leveraging Technology for a Better Human Experience.” Technology is all around us – our careers are built on it. We were reminded; however, that without human translation, connection and judgement, technology can be meaningless. Technology gives us the data, but how we apply it should be uniquely human. This year’s content was packed with strategy and detail to do just that.

Top Takeaways from the DYC Team

Our theme this year was all about leveraging technology to create a better human experience. As I looked out across our audience, I was reminded that we are in the people business. People make all the difference. I love that technology can make our jobs easier and help us communicate better; but we should never forget to focus on the connections we make. It’s an exciting time to be in this business and builders can keep leveraging their #1 app, their people.

– Mike Lyon

Mike Lyon at the 2019 Online Summit

Good Vibes Only! For me this year’s Summit was two days spent with some of the most positive-minded people in our industry doing what they love and are passionate about. It was amazing to witness the group discussions and best practices shared and the aha moments that circulated the room. Some of the discussions brought to light the real challenges an online sales specialist faces and that we’re all in this together. The connections that were made and the friendships formed are priceless.

– Jen Barkan

Jen Barkan at the 2019 Online Summit

The top 5 things we know you’ll get ROI from changed – and changed pretty dramatically.

Despite not really getting any new players in the advertising and marketing world – things still have shifted a lot. There still is not a single builder who has displayed the full scope of content that is necessary at scale to meet the demand of today’s consumer.

The other surprise continues to be how smart Facebook’s A.I. actually is. It’s the first example in advertising of machines consistently doing a better job than human marketers would – even if they used all the known best practices. Paid search historically provided the highest quality traffic (albeit the most expensive). That is no longer the case when builders expand their keyword lists beyond the word “new” plus their geography or branded terms. Now paid search is about getting what you can easily or smartly get – and then shifting to other platforms to expand your reach.

– Kevin Oakley

Kevin Oakley at the 2019 Online Summit

Embrace temporary discomfort. A significant part of success in making change is recognizing that whatever change there will be, will be uncomfortable. For marketers, embracing your weaknesses and stepping out your comfort zone will help you drive better results and help you become a better marketer. For the technical marketer, that means challenging yourself on the creative side. For the creative marketer, that means challenging yourself with analytics and data.

Know what’s important. While there are countless metrics available to us within Analytics, Facebook & Google Ads – knowing what is important to pay attention to can and will make a huge difference in your results. Is CTR, Time on Site, Bounce Rate or just conversions important? The answer is not yes or no; the context and application of metrics will determine when and if a certain metric is important. Understanding the context of when and what matters to not only drive better marketing success but also to simplify your marketing life.

– Andrew Peek

Andrew Peek at the 2019 Online Summit

Thank You!

Many thanks to our keynote speakers Alaina Money-Garman, Steve Pacinelli and Jeff Turner; to our guest presenters Dennis O’Neil, Andy Garberson, John Lee and Tim Bailey; and to our Summit Partners ONeil Interactive, Clear Evaluations, Avid Ratings, Zillow Group, BombBomb, Lasso CRM and Rendering House.  Most of all, thank you to everyone who attended!

We are already working on the 2020 Summit with the goal of bringing you even more of what you want. For now, let’s take what we learned and make the next year meaningful, profitable and FULL of human experience powered by technology.

For more photos, check out the 2019 Online Summit album on Facebook.


LondonHouse Chicago

View of the Chicago River from the Summit cocktail reception at LondonHouse


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Kevin Oakley
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