Last week, Brandify debuted its new series of regional Brandify Meetups with an inaugural event in Chicago, the city where the company was founded some 22 years ago. At the event, brand marketers based in Chicago and surrounding areas met with Brandify staff to discuss local search fundamentals in a series of collaborative sessions designed to showcase best practices, recent developments, and shared experiences.
Gathered in a conference center adjacent to historic Wrigley Field, the attendees were greeted by company CEO and founder Manish Patel and marketing director Dustin Hayes, who described the rationale behind the new Meetup series. As Patel and Hayes explained, Brandify was well known for its series of annual client summits in the Los Angeles area, but felt there was an opportunity to reach out to brand marketers in their own regions and host a different kind of event focused on problem solving, education, and collaboration with peers.
The first session, "Critical Success Factors for Local Page SEO," was led by Mike Floyd, an SEO veteran and Brandify's director of client success. Floyd led the attendees through a broad range of tactics that can help local landing pages compete in organic search and convert more traffic. In spirited small group sessions, brand marketers shared their challenges and SEO goals, ranging from describing the value of SEO to non-marketing stakeholders to keeping pace with competitors.
Next was "Local Listings: Winning the Last Mile in the Purchase Journey," where I previewed some of the topics to be discussed in an upcoming webinar, primarily the question of what listing management activities are most important in a changing era when some local search experts are beginning to question the value of traditional practices like citation building.
Following the listings session, Google's Josh Pizarro joined via video-conference for an informative Q&A session on topics related to Google My Business, a session rated later by attendees as one of the most valuable of the day.
Next, Dustin Hayes was joined by Amanda Bury from Brandify partner Kyruus, a company specializing in digital solutions for healthcare providers, to converse about opportunities and challenges around reputation management. The conversation focused primarily on how to deploy reputation management strategies at the scale required by large and complex enterprises, and was concluded by a lively group discussion involving multiple attendees.
In the final session of the day, Brandify's senior director of client strategy, Chris Stout, interviewed Brad Piggott from Cuebiq, another Brandify partner. Piggott explained Cuebiq's powerful location analytics and audience targeting platform and its ability to help brand marketers customize messaging to narrowly specific demographics as well as precisely measuring the effectiveness of local campaigns.
Brandify staff and attendees then enjoyed dinner and drinks, followed by a nail-biter of a game at Wrigley Field, where the legendary Cubs triumphed 12-11 over the San Francisco Giants, scoring a game-winning two-run homer in the eighth inning to end the evening on a high note.
In all, the first Brandify Meetup was a great success. Be on the lookout for upcoming announcements about the next events in our Meetup series!