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Top Digital Tips for 2024

Stacie Porter Bilger

Stacie Porter Bilger is the Founder and President of Proof Digital, a business growth-marketing agency that blends modern marketing tools with traditional sales funnel processes. She spent the first 20 years of her career working with businesses to strategize development and connect them to investors. Before founding Proof Digital, Stacie worked for several Chambers of Commerce and startups like the Indiana Venture Center.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Stacie Porter Bilger shares what led her to launch Proof Digital
  • How companies can adapt their digital strategies for 2024
  • AI’s disruption to the digital marketing space in 2024
  • Stacie discusses alterations in email deliverability
  • The future of digital security

In this episode…

As 2023 comes to a close, the new year will bring revolutionary innovation and growth that will impact how we work and live. So what digital trends are in store for 2024, and how can businesses adapt their marketing strategies accordingly?

Passionate performance marketer Stacie Porter Bilger projects AI as having the most transformative impact on businesses in 2024. Software like ChatGPT and Google’s recently released product Gemini will simplify data analytics and elevate content creation. To address the rising issues of digital blackmail, identity theft, and social engineering, Google and Yahoo will require companies to secure and verify their domains when using email campaign tools. Stacie recommends leveraging new innovations to position your products and services in front of customers effectively.

Tune in to the first episode of the Proof Point podcast as Chad Franzen of Rise25 interviews host Stacie Porter Bilger, the Founder and President of Proof Digital, about the leading digital marketing trends of 2024. Stacie addresses the future of digital security, critical changes to email deliverability, and how to adapt your digital strategy in 2024.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Proof Digital.

We are a strategic and creative performance marketing agency partnering with organizations to create data-fueled marketing engines that drive growth and deliver a tangible ROI.

Founded by Stacie Porter Bilger in 2012, Proof Digital employs a strategic marketing approach by blending today’s marketing tools like SEO, PPC, and paid social ads with traditional sales funnel processes.

Ready to get results? Visit https://proofdigital.com/ to learn more.

Interview Transcription – Top Digital Tips for 2024

(0:02 – 0:16)

Welcome to the Proofpoint Podcast where we decode digital success, one click at a time. We share key takeaways fueled by data and insights that your team can implement today to drive growth. Now, let’s get started.

(0:20 – 0:42)

Hi, it’s Stacie Porter-Bilger, your host for this podcast, where I feature today’s top leaders in performance marketing, sharing strategies to kickstart your growth. This episode is brought to you by Proof Digital. We are a strategic and creative performance marketing agency, partnering with organizations to create data-fueled marketing engines that drive growth and deliver a tangible ROI.

(0:42 – 1:10)

Ever since I founded the company in 2012, Proof Digital has employed strategic marketing approaches by blending today’s marketing tools like AI, competitive intelligence, SEO, PPC, and paid social ads with traditional sales funnels. Ready to get some new results? Visit proofdigital.com to learn more. I have Chad Franzen here of Rise25, who has done thousands of interviews with successful entrepreneurs and CEOs.

(1:11 – 1:18)

We’ve flipped the script and he’s interviewing me. So Chad, welcome to the show. Hey, thanks so much, Stacie.

(1:18 – 1:21)

Great to be here. How are you? I’m doing great. Thank you.

(1:21 – 1:31)

Good. Hey, I’m looking forward to talking to you today, learning more about Proof Digital and kind of what we can expect as we head into the new year. You mentioned that you founded the company Proof Digital in 2012.

(1:31 – 2:13)

What led up to that? You know, I’ve worked with companies most of all my career and one of the biggest challenges companies have is how to be found and how to get their product or service in front of those potential buyers. And I just love working with small to medium-sized companies to bring clarity to their marketing efforts so they grow. And it’s just a great fun to work with these companies to see them go from zero to millions when they’re just trying to figure out how best to perform in the marketing space.

(2:14 – 2:25)

Yeah, that’s great. So it’s been over a decade now that you’ve been in business. What are you most proud of regarding that time? Well, you know, there’s a couple specific.

(2:25 – 2:45)

I mean, there’s a company, just really the company successes and the team that we have here, both. I mean, if you look at a manufacturing firm and company in Nebraska, they’ve gone from not selling zero online to selling millions online. Just seeing the growth of these companies.

(2:46 – 3:04)

Startup companies that didn’t have any sales and now they’re selling their products across the world. And so just seeing these individuals have their dreams come true and grow and impact both the community and economic growth. So it’s all fun.

(3:05 – 3:15)

Great, so you founded the company in 2012. Now we’re heading into 2024. I’m sure a lot of things have changed over the past 12 years.

(3:15 – 3:42)

As we head into the new year though, what should businesses be prepared for, especially when it comes to their digital strategy? That’s a great thought there. 2024 is gonna be unlike anything in the last decade plus. AI is obviously the talk of the town, but it will have an impact more the way we live and work.

(3:42 – 4:04)

And it also will drive more innovation than probably any technology has in decades. Along with AI, and I can go into more detail about that, but Google has new patent releases and new AI tools as well as they’re gonna release their whole new search. So Google search was gonna totally change from the consumer standpoint too.

(4:05 – 4:15)

And it’s gonna be good changes from the consumer standpoint of how we find information. Email delivery is gonna change too. We’re all tired of a lot of those bad guys coming through our inbox.

(4:17 – 4:40)

And Google, Yahoo, all the delivery email services are gonna be cracking down a lot more on trying to block those bad guys. Speaking of that, security, you’re still gonna see more and more issues around security. And so there’ll be some things businesses need to put some things in place.

(4:40 – 4:48)

And you also need to be thinking about local. I mean, where you are, and there’s a lot of changes from a local SEO standpoint as well. So that’s a mouthful.

(4:48 – 4:55)

Yeah, that’s a lot of changes all in one year. So let’s get into some of those more in depth. You mentioned AI.

(4:56 – 5:20)

I’ve just been starting to learn how to incorporate chat GPT into my daily routine. How is AI going to be more of a factor or more disruptive in the coming year? Yeah, well, a couple of things. It’s going to change the way we actually look at data, even from our standpoint, from a marketing standpoint.

(5:21 – 5:44)

It’s going to simplify the way we look at data. It’s going to bring some innovation on also how we produce content. We’ll see businesses across the board, not only in the marketing space, those are some pieces, but you’re gonna see innovation across multiple industries, healthcare, air traffic, all kinds of different innovations that you’re gonna see it disrupt.

(5:45 – 6:07)

From a marketing standpoint, it’s going to drive how we produce content. It’s gonna drive how we understand consumer behavior. So what would you say would be like a specific thing this time next year that we might be used to that we’re not used to now? Oh, used to.

(6:08 – 6:23)

Well, so simple things. I mean, I’ll just kind of even give you some fun things. The way we name and we’re releasing a new podcast, the way we actually brainstorm an idea.

(6:24 – 6:50)

We use chatGPT, and I’m sure we’ll be using Google Gemini in the coming weeks to basically brainstorm about what would resonate with, and that we spent maybe 15 minutes and we came up with the total marketing strategy around the podcast. Whereas in the old days, you would have a focus group and spend hours of people’s time to get there. So that’s a change.

(6:51 – 7:06)

I can also put in chatGPT. If I have what I have in my cabinet, it’ll give me recipes right out of the gate. So there’s lots of things that you can leverage, chat and AI to help your everyday life as well as marketing.

(7:06 – 7:15)

So you’ll also minimize human error as well. And so you’ll see a lot of the minimizing human error across multiple industries. And that’s how it will be used.

(7:16 – 7:23)

Yeah, that should be very interesting, very nice. So you mentioned Gemini. Tell me a little bit more about Google’s new release, Gemini.

(7:24 – 7:48)

Well, it just came out. And from a standpoint of what we recognized, it probably will be the leader, at least for this week, as far as the technology goes, it’s pretty impressive. And then the other player in the marketplace is chatGPT, which is more tied to Microsoft.

(7:49 – 8:23)

Those two are the leading kind of leaders, both Google and Microsoft in the AI space. Others you’ll see, Facebook, as well as kind of as lagging in there, but you’re gonna see a lot of innovations there. I don’t know if anybody, I’ll put it in the, maybe in the notes, there’s a video with Mark Zuckerberg and another individual where they’re doing AI virtual meeting, and it’s quite crazy.

(8:24 – 8:48)

And so it’s something that you can feel like you’re in the same room with somebody and the facial expressions are there and you’re having a conversation. And so you’re gonna see more and more of that kind of thing. Wow, so Gemini is similar to chatGPT or is it completely different? It’s very similar, but it’s, again, it’s further along in its accuracy.

(8:49 – 9:03)

That’s my first out of the tank, but they’re both moving pretty quickly. So I found it a little bit more superior over chat, but again, it could be just the latest release. They’re both very, they’re both moving pretty quickly.

(9:04 – 9:25)

You mentioned that we can expect changes in email deliverability. That’s a tough word to say. What can you tell me about that? Well, one is, you know, both Google and Yahoo are doing some more requirements.

(9:26 – 10:03)

So if you’re doing any mass emailing, or if you are, you know, even using MailChimp or any of those other marketing tools, they’re going to start requiring certain things within securing that your domain is actually who you say you are. And so there are some setups to make sure that they prove that it’s actually you. There also be about how you address things from, it needs to be from a person and those types of things.

(10:04 – 10:21)

So, and also unsubscribing is going to be a bigger requirement in the ability of the consumer to unsubscribe. So there are certain setups. And so I would encourage the, you know, anybody listening to connect with their IT or your client of ours, we will take care of all those things for you.

(10:21 – 10:40)

It’s basically just making sure that your DMARC is set up correctly. And that’s an IT kind of term and that you have those things set up correctly so that actually gets in people’s inbox. If you don’t have it set up correctly, you’re going to have your business emails might not go through.

(10:40 – 10:50)

And so that’s the cost of doing business. So it’s important that they focus on that. So it’s a pretty easy, it’s a pretty easy fix though.

(10:50 – 11:13)

It is a pretty easy fix. It’s dotting I’s and crossing T’s. Okay, would you say that businesses will notice more or it will have more of an effect on them because of how they send messages or will it be a big relief, a bigger relief in terms of the messages they receive? Well, one is, I think it’s the first one is how they send messages and how they are communicating what their customer base.

(11:14 – 11:35)

It’s always finding the bad guys on the email intake. And we’re always working to block those bad actors. Those email delivery systems next step and okay, making it harder for them to send bad stuff to you.

(11:35 – 12:07)

Because if they’re not validating who they are, it’s gonna be blocked within your email system too. Just like your email will be blocked if you’re sending it to a potential customer and you don’t have that, those dots and I’s and T’s crossed is saying you are who you say you are. What about the last thing you mentioned was digital security, how will that change? Will it get safer, more dangerous? What are some of the- I would say, I mean, we’re always fighting bad guys and it’s not getting any easier.

(12:07 – 12:34)

I mean, you’re gonna see more mobile apps with spy or extortion capability. That’s not fun. You’re gonna see digital blackmail where people are talking, we just had a client whose identity got stolen and having really secure passwords and not using the same passwords across multiple platforms using tools like 1Password or LastPass are critical.

(12:34 – 12:43)

Don’t email passwords across the board but you’re gonna have people blackmail. It still is an issue. There’s also writing threat in cryptocurrency.

(12:44 – 13:14)

So just if those who are that advanced in using that type of process to make payment, there’s more and more threats in there. And then we talked about AI a little bit earlier but social engineering will be more prominent, right? People are, you’re already seeing it. People are using people’s voice, they’re using people’s words.

(13:14 – 13:35)

And so social engineering with AI will be the bad part of AI. I mentioned all the innovations on the great side but there’s also the downside. Do you think that that’s something people are just going to have to guard against or that can be like eliminated? I wouldn’t bet on eliminated.

(13:35 – 14:14)

I mean, with all innovations, I mean, even look at the history of innovations we’ve had so rapidly in technology the last couple of decades. Social media at one point in time was about working together. Now there’s a lot of ugliness to it, right? So when we have in phones, I mean, we live on our phones and with it, it’s changed our lives and it’s changed the way we work but there’s a lot of bad things when I need to get my son off of it, right? So we’re gonna have to have, with technology and innovation comes a lot of innovative and creative things but also there’s always those bad things too.

(14:14 – 14:32)

So we’ll just have to work through those types of things but AI is probably one that will have to be the most disruptive technologies we’ve had in decades. Wow, wow, that’ll be a very exciting yet something that we probably should, I guess, be a little bit cautious about in terms of some of those threats. Yeah.

(14:32 – 15:06)

Any other thoughts on 2024? I think it’ll be a really good year. I mean, I am a marketing firm but it’s gonna be a really good year for companies to really look at how they can up their game on their marketing efforts over the next few years. It’s really gonna be important for growth and making sure that you’re leveraging these new innovations that are coming down and making sure that you are really working on getting in front of your potential customers.

(15:07 – 15:19)

So I think 2024 will be a great year to spend and look into your marketing efforts. I’m looking forward to it. Gonna be a rollercoaster in the tech space though.

(15:20 – 15:29)

Yeah, I bet, I bet. So speaking of upping their game, you are upping your game with this new podcast. As we’ve talked about, there’s all kinds of things that you’re gonna be discussing.

(15:30 – 16:02)

It should be very interesting. What are you most looking forward to about having the new podcast? You know, my team and myself is just really addicted to helping small to medium-sized companies grow. And we work with manufacturing, we work with construction, we work with nonprofits and getting clarity and making sure that they are focusing on the most important thing of the day to move the needle to grow.

(16:02 – 16:40)

That just excites me. And if we can put together a resource for those companies so that they know what I to dot and T to cross, a lot of what we do is about that. So what is the most important thing that a company needs to focus on and giving some tangible tools for companies to take back immediately? I’m excited about that because we know what those are and not everybody can leverage our services, by the way.

(16:40 – 16:51)

And so if they can just take something away to move the needle and bring some clarity to their marketing efforts so their company grows or their nonprofits grows, that’s just a good day. Sounds great. Should be very interesting, very informative.

(16:52 – 16:58)

Hey, Stacie, congratulations on the new podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing future episodes. Thanks so much for talking to me today.

(16:58 – 17:04)

Thank you. So long, everybody. Thanks for listening to the Proof Point Podcast.

(17:05 – 17:09)

We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.

 
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