Revisiting the Third Annual IU Southeast Digital Marketing Conference

The third annual conference brought together IU Southeast professors, alumni and students to discuss important areas of digital marketing


For the third year in a row, IU Southeast gathered together a community of passionate business-people to discuss the latest trends in digital marketing.

Presented by the Marketing Club with the help of Pilsik Choi, IU Southeast assistant director of marketing, 200 people attended the Third Annual IU Southeast Digital Marketing Conference (DMC).

Evan Longacre, Marketing Club president, and the rest of the Marketing Club hosted the conference that doesn’t just benefit marketing majors, but anyone who wishes to enhance their skill set in the ever-changing business world.

“Digital Marketing is the newest way that marketing has reinvented itself,” Longacre said. “We as a society are more connected than ever and gaining knowledge on digital marketing and how it can be applied can be a great tool to have in your bag of tricks.”

On March 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., four public speakers covered separate themes all relating to digital marketing.

The four-hour event offered free food and a networking opportunity to students, alumni and professionals.

“The Digital Marketing Conference is a great way to get up to speed on what is going on in digital marketing with a relatively small time investment,” Longacre said.

The Four Main Themes

The DMC offered a broad range of topics for its attendees, all of which have experienced recent advancements and allowed marketers to better understand their audiences.

“The four themes at the Digital Marketing Conference 2018 covered important areas in digital marketing: how to target in digital marketing, niche marketing in digital space, how to measure effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns and data analytics impact on digital marketing,” Choi said.

Beginning in August of 2017, Choi began his search for speakers that he knew could offer great insight on each of the four aforementioned areas.

Ashley Brumback of FSA Management group delivered a speech regarding targeting in digital marketing using various social media platforms.

“I knew Bentley McBentleson was a dynamic speaker and passionate about niche marketing,” Choi said. “So, I worked with him to develop a presentation about niche marketing in digital space.”

Amber Herndon, IU Southeast alum and director of marketing at Blackstone Media, also spoke at the DMC in 2017 where she was well-received by the audience.

“Given the importance of her topic [metrics], I invited her back for DMC 2018,” Choi said.

Choi wanted to include a theme related to data analytics, a theme which he said is “affecting  all marketing areas these days.”

Fortunately for Choi, another IU Southeast alum, Shawn Farris of Edj Analytics, was the perfect candidate.

The Digital Marketing Conference is a great way to get up to speed on what is going on in digital marketing with a relatively small time investment.”

— Evan Longacre, Marketing Club president

Marketing for a Marketing Conference

Choi and the Marketing Club increased their advertising and promotional efforts significantly in an attempt to expand on a successful DMC 2017.

“We used our Marketing Club Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram account much more actively than we did for DMC 2017,” Choi said.

The effort for a successful 2018 campaign saw digital marketing itself as a means to reach out to professionals in the local area.

“We also carried out an advertising campaign on Facebook using Facebook Ad Manager, which we did not do for DMC 2017,” Choi said. “I think the Facebook Ad Manager campaign drew more local professionals to DMC 2018.”

Through their efforts, both Longacre and Choi found their campaign proved to be a successful one.

“I think all of these efforts paid off and we are proud of what our efforts produced on the actual conference day,” Choi said.

Student Benefits

While the Digital Marketing Conference was beneficial to students and professionals in the field of marketing, any individual had the opportunity to learn how they can promote their own ideas.

“I think the first and third presentations were very useful for those student attendees who are new to digital marketing,” Choi said.

Speaking of Ashley Brumback and Amber Herndon, Choi saw digital marketing targeting and metrics as foundations of digital marketing itself.

“In those presentations, they learned what digital marketing professionals do in actual digital marketing campaigns,” Choi said.

To Longacre, marketing goes beyond the efforts of one department in an organization, but rather a collective work from all parties.

“Marketing in general is such an important aspect of doing business that it cannot only be left to the marketing department, it is up to everyone in the organization to represent the brand they work for,” Longacre said.

When Evan Longacre first arrived on campus at IU Southeast in 2014, the DMC did not exist.

“Since [2014] there have been three conferences and it has seen significant growth every year,” Longacre said.

Not only has the creation of the conference benefited the Marketing Club, but also other additions such as the Sanders Professional Sales Center located in Hillside Hall.

The additions to the experience for business students at IU Southeast has prominently improved their preparation for post-graduation.

“I think it is incredible how the curriculum has been updated along with new events like the Digital Marketing Conference to make sure students are as prepared as possible to take advantage of the opportunities presented today upon graduation,” Longacre said.