Digital Marketing Trends and Practices that Will Shape Your 2018 – Conference Recap

The 2nd “Leaders in Tech” Digital Marketing Innovation Forum (中美互联网营销创新论坛) was hosted in New York City on January 20th. Dedicated to bringing marketing professionals from all ends of the U.S and China, the conference hosted a diverse collective of creative discussions and aided in building meaningful network growth.

The conference started off by a speech from education entrepreneur John Katzman, the founder of Princeton Review and 2U, who spoke on the education industry and marketing innovations in education technology.

Digital Marketing Conference

John thinks:

  • The education industry has seen massive movements towards online with technology making access to education resources much easier.
  • Life learning is really starting to take off as a result of online education.
  • Online education is a global trend and companies in the industry often spend fair amount of money on marketing.
  • ‘Fit startup’ model is better for education companies because the space is relatively slow-moving. Aware for that and get funded for that.
  • When you walk into the education space, there’s an obligation to make things better.

Wang Liao, an investor who manages $10 billion hedge fund, shared his flywheel approach to investing in e-commerce companies using Priceline, GoDaddy and as examples to show marketers which metrics to optimize.

Digital Marketing Conference

Liao Wang believes:

  • Companies that follow the ‘flywheel’ approach thrive and scale in their businesses.
  • Scale, operating momentum, reinvestments/compounding at higher returns are the three deeper metrics to look at under the flywheel concept.
  • Characteristics of successful flywheel companies: ride a big wave of opportunity; superior product – speed, breadth, quality consistency; focus majority of resources on one big opportunity set; build direct relationships with the customer for retention and profitability.

Ruiwan Xu, the conference chair and co-founder of Teel Yes, discussed how marketing technology is swiftly shaping the future of the trillion-dollar fashion industry.

Ruiwan - LeadersInTech - Digital Marketing Conference

Rui made three key points and shared how she does digital marketing in fashion:

  • Social media is replacing the runways.
  • Influencers have gained a seat at the table in the fashion space.
  • Speed matters at fashion startups: In every segment of fashion, fast fashion will be faster and nimbler, just like the tech companies.
  • Fashion marketing funnel:
    • Brand awareness & impressions: Data driven influencer marketing; Content driven organic social
    • Performance Acquisition: Paid Media Ads; Sponsored content
    • On-boarding & retention: Email on-boarding.

Liwei Yu ended our morning speeches sharing his unique perspectives from a UX designer’s point of view, revolving around the topic – ‘The brand, the design, and the scenario’:

Digital Marketing Innovation Forum

  • Misunderstandings on UX designers as artists and only ‘design logos’: designers are user-oriented and business goal driven, design process involves numbers of factors including brand consistency, user journey, scenario, prototyping, testing and much more.
  • There are many touch points for consumers and each touch point has its unique user experience.
  • Scenario matters when design to achieve optimal experience – driving, jogging etc.
  • Design could help the brand shine when user experience is optimized.
  • Design rules to bear in mind: convey the goal, convey the brand value, convey the feature value, set the tone and the mode and capture attention.

Our audience enjoyed the morning talks, questions were thrown and our attendees learned a lot from our speakers’ insightful answers.

Our afternoon began with the topic of ‘How big data can improve your marketing’. At the panel, three speakers Jill, Sissi, and Qianyun expressed their thoughts about how big data could be used to improve marketing.


  • Qianyun described her thoughts about how to implement efficient and cost-saving advertising testings. Qianyun believed that the key to execute a successful testing is to make different KPI for different advertisements. Through observing data, marketers would be able to summarize the performance of different advertisement for optimization and to evaluate if the ads can make revenue for the company.


  • Jill talked about how to integrate data from multiple platforms to form a holistic user profile. “Although ideally, we would want to collect the user’s data through user’s universal ID, many users will not log in using their ID (for example, when using a search engine, watching online videos, etc.).” Therefore, we have to collect user’s information from other channels. “For example, we can collect Cookie information. This includes the user’s IP addresses, email addresses, names, and so on. This part of the data is very large, but today’s technology can help us to integrate this information to select useful information for marketers”.


  • Sissi talked about where to drew the fine line between personalization and being creepy. She said marketers should not just push the information that they want the customers know, marketers should have a deeper understanding of customers’ real thoughts based on big data to be able to serve them with real personalized ads.

Our second panel speakers, Clara, Shan, Amy and Danny have a lot of experiences in digital marketing. They expressed their own thoughts of the trend of digital marketing combined with their practices in the field.


  • Clara expressed her point of views on how to maximize the impact of marketing channels from an SEO perspective. She believed that the most important thing is to understand searcher’s’ intent. Searchers who are in the different funnel level always have different search intents and search habits.


  • Shan shared her B2B selling strategy. Shan shared how she develops potential customers and transforms them step by step. Shan suggested to use retargeting to improve conversion rate after obtaining information of potential customers.


  • Danny analyzed retargeting strategy from another perspective – personalized retargeting. For example, when customers add products to the shopping cart without checking out, brands can serve ads of the products they just looked at or even other relevant products to capture customers based on their interests.


  • Amy also shared her experience in retargeting.  Her team would always like to spend more money to target potential customers that are in the lower part of the marketing  funnel. Because this kind of people have already shown interests of the products or services, that makes them more easily to be converted than new customers.

The conference ended with our last panel talk by the product design crew – panelists talked about ‘Why Product Design Matters for Marketers’ and gave marketers useful recommendations from a user experience perspective.


  • When discussing what role do designers play in business and marketing, Liwei provoked us into thinking what businesses would be like without designers. Liwei thinks design should be conveying the business goals at the basic level and as a designer, the most important thing is to think about ‘now and future’, to think about the product life cycle.


  • When talking about how designers collaborate with marketers, Wenting thinks it’s very important that designers bring value to users targeted in marketing campaigns. Successful design and marketing campaigns incorporate true values and deliver to customers.


  • When debating about design metrics, Bin Wu thinks design and marketing should unite around the performance of the campaigns while engaging users to provide value.

Our speech and panel talks got great feedbacks from our attendees. Attendees discussed with speakers and asked insightful questions about all aspects on marketing and digital media. The conference ended with CareerTu Gala, the Marquee sponsor of the event.

Come join us next year, it is a great opportunity where practitioners in the space come together and exchange real stories of what’s working, what’s not working, and what they are discovering along the way. Looking forward to seeing you next year in 2019 !