Why do you go to conferences?
For learning…networking or the chance to expand your mind and find some inspiration?
Maybe you want to escape the office cubicle for a couple of days or find some company after working from the home office for weeks on end.
These conferences can be large, medium or small.
We have all been to those big events. 10,000 people, booths where sales people are desperate to have that conversation with you about the features and benefits.
Others have the cubicle stocked with stunning models for hire that fake sincerity….usually very well.
Some events disappoint, others amaze and some are just worth attending because of the location. I don’t know if Las Vegas ticks that box. I went there recently…it reminded me of a shopping centre on steroids with slot machines as the main show.
For me it is the the people that you meet, and the ideas and insights that you share.
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Weak ties to strong connections
It takes those weak social media connections and turns them into strong ties. The ones that turn into lifetime friends. The others that become a major business opportunity.
Getting out of your comfort zone, being open to change and challenging your thinking can connect some exciting digital dots.
Events that gather creative thought leaders, influencers and the geeks into one time bubble are to be treasured. It’s like reading a good book except…. the good bits are amplified and explained. That was the experience at the Teradata Marketing Festival I had the pleasure to attend.
On Twitter it was known as #ONEfest
Oh…I forgot to mention.
Conferences should also be about fun. Disclaimer: Pam Moore, Kim Garst and I were involved as influencers to move the digital dial. Not for our sunglasses.
In digital the future is so bright you just have to wear shades and pout!
Insights on digital marketing
The digital discussion we have had for decades has become a raging global conversation that is touching every part of our personal lives and our business fabric. But it’s not about the technology. That is just the vehicle.
“Digital disruption is less about technology and more about transforming business models” – Ray Wang
Trends in digital cannot be ignored. If you do they will bite you. Maybe not this year or next year but they will.
Trends that are changing our marketing and business world include:
- Big data
- Marketing automation
- Paid digital advertising
The conference touched on the top trends in digital marketing. There were some great speakers.
In one blog post I am going to try and sum up and distill the conversations, the insights and the takeaways from some of the worlds top digital marketing experts.
Many conferences will chase that headline keynote speaker. For many it has become “that” Hollywood actor. You know the one that tries to be relevant but ends up looking like they don’t get it.
Ashton doesn’t fit into that embarrassing role.
His resume in tech is like a star role in Silicon Valley. He has invested in successful start-ups. These include Skype, Foursquare, AirBNB and Path. His own venture A Plus which has pivoted to become a social media content platform focused on publishing upbeat stories (positive journalism). This platform is ranked in the top 50 websites in the USA with 27.5 million unique views.
Oh yes…he has 16.9 million followers on Twitter. He is also very real, transparent and passionate.
Here are his insights as captured on Twitter under the hashtag #ONEfest and shared by the audience.
- The approach to the digital world. You can’t outperform or predict better than the data.
- Being real and transparent
- You have to go get dirty. You have to get down into the trenches. Passion for your work is the KEY!
- It’s not about what you own, it’s about what you share! @aplusk
- Take everything you know about marketing and assume it’s wrong!
- Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.
- We’re tumbling toward mass transparency.
- True innovation is scary as hell.
- If it feels dangerous, that’s interesting. Scary is disruptive
- “As a marketer you have to be the inspiration from inside the company”
- Transparency and vulnerability allow a collaborative achievement to success
- “Get busy being the best you”
- We’re living in an experiential world. It doesn’t matter what you have, it matters what you can share
- Build a culture that stands up and shouts “I WORK HERE!
- In marketing you have to be willing to fail, admit it and pivot quickly
- “Be ruthless with your curiosity & your willingness to learn every step of the way”
- Machines will never be able to replace #creativity.
- Your social media is an extension of you. Inspire, connect, entertain or educate.
Steve Vice President of Global Partnerships for Facebook had some insights on “Personalized Marketing at Scale” and other takeaways that were worth noting.
Here are some snippets from his presentation.
- When marketing via mobile, you are competing with family and friends. So be smart and targeted.
- Facebook is getting 4 BILLION video views per day!
- The average person checks Facebook on their phone 14 times a day.
- On Facebook you are competing with everything… babies, cats so targeting is key!
- 1.44B people have been on @facebook in the past 30 days.
- Smartphones have more computing power than the computer that sent a man to the moon
- Smartphones aren’t merely phones – where we previously needed 15 devices, now we need only one
- Mobile is the driver of digital today
It was great to catch up again with Jay who is a good friend of mine. He is known for those great suits (which apparently are especially custom made for him by his tailor), but even greater marketing insights.
Love this tweet which emerged during his keynote “I think he buys golf clubs”. Jay knows how to stand out in the online clutter.
Wear loud suits offline!
One tweet also mentioned “Fashion courage”, which just highlighted his capability to stand out from the rest of the presentations.
He also knows how to create memorable” tweetable” quotes and here are some of his best.
- Be the best solution not just a solution
- Relationships are created with information first, people second.
- You sell more by selling less
- Youtility is the fire. Social media is the gasoline
- Ask yourself this ONE question every morning… “How can I help?
- All marketers tell themselves the same lie….our customers are too busy. If they say that, you’re not being relevant enough
- Don’t change the message. Change the messenger
- The difference between HELP and HYPE is just one letter. Stop being amazing, start being useful
- The second screen is now our first screen
Brian has been in the digital game for a while and it was great to hear his keynote
Here is the stream of consciousness that is Brian’s brain on Twitter during the presentation.
- What if you could act like a start-up? Starting from scratch gives you the ability to see new possibilities
- The true source of innovation is passion
- 67% of customer journey is now digital
- Surprise and delight is the new wave of innovation. How can you cater to the digital and physical customer today?
- @Starbucks has merged marketing and IT to connect with the digital customer
- What the spirit of failure means is that you’re trying something new”
- The biggest mistake business is making today is thinking we’re profitable and doing great
- Today’s businesses must compete for the customer of the future but they move too slow”
- Digital Darwinism isn’t a myth; it’s result of missed opportunity
- Digital transformation and the change it requires of organizations turns analysts into therapists.
The Braun brothers Scooter and Adam were interviewed together during the conference.
Scott Samuel “Scooter” Braun is an American talent manager and businessman. He owns two record labels: School Boy Records and Raymond-Braun Media Group.
His big claim to fame is identifying Justin Biebers talent and the rest is history.
Adam Braun is an American businessman, author, and philanthropist. He is the Founder & CEO of Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases access to education for children in the developing world.
It was great to hear there take on digital marketing across entertainment and philanthropy.
- Data is the backbone of your organisation in a digital world
- AUTHENTICITY – it has to be real. This is the critical path to building a successful and profitable brand.
- In creating a brand today you have to be truly authentic.
- Let fans create your marketing campaign with their content. Embrace the new digital world.
- “It’s so much harder to write 1 great sentence than 5 beautiful paragraphs”
- If you don’t match data with gut, nothing unreasonable or great ever happens.
- If your guts suck and you keep being wrong, go to the data!
- “You’re not selling you are serving”
- A 6 second piece of content can make you famous.
- Any great speaker knows the audience has to be the hero in the story
- You have to be an A+ player. Hold your team accountable to an incredible work and CARE ethic
Ray is the analyst and CEO at Constellation Research. His blog “A software insiders point of view” has millions of views every year. Known for covering “enterprise strategy and disruptive technology”
His slide on the 5 steps to disrupting digital business is worth sharing.
His tweetable thoughts are below.
- Digital disruption is less about technology and more about transforming business models
- Winning in a digital world means being great at the Art and the Science. So…Become a digital artisan
- AirBnB is more about a trust network than the total number of bed nights
- Digital delivers mass personalization at scale
- Transformational innovation is breakthrough & disrupts markets
- Tech convergence powers digital disruption
- 5 steps to disrupting digital business
Some last minute snippets
“Loyalty comes down to relevance”
Mastering #mobile as a marketer will give you access to anybody, anything, anytime and anywhere- Stephen Brobst
Benefits of automated process are fewer review cycles, streamlined approvals and content consistency – Kathy Greene
Over to you
What do you think are the big trends in digital marketing. What is your focus this year?
Look forward to reading your insights and stories in the comments below.
Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Teradata for this post in support of the ONE: Teradata Marketing Festival. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.