Last week, I attended the Toronto Digital Marketing Summit as a guest, but I was also asked to join their roster of outstanding speakers. The best part of the summit for me really was the quality of the speakers. What a wonderful group of smart, thoughtful people with interesting ideas and content to share.
What was the downside? The event was poorly planned out, taking place on the Friday before the last long weekend in the summer. The organizers probably should have rescheduled based on the turnout. Since there were only a few people who attended the event and were able to benefit from the diverse knowledge of the speakers, I’m going to share the top 4 things that I learned at the Toronto Digital Marketing Summit.
- It’s okay to be reactive as well as proactive.
Alexandria Shannon, Director of Business to Government Products from Torstar Digital had some great insights into what it means to try things and fail. So often in business, we’re encouraged to be proactive instead of reactive. Planning carefully is great, but with the wealth of data analysis now available, it also pays to be reactive. However, our infrastructure needs to be such that we can adapt to changes supported by the data quickly. Failure is vital because it’s just as important to learn what doesn’t work as what does. What we need to do is fail quickly and cheaply, not be afraid to report on that failure, and take that critical feedback. It’s how we all learn and grow as marketers.
- Influencers are not always influential in the right way!
The insights from Tawnya Zwicker, formerly of BMO for Women and now Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Global Tax & Legal at KPMG were truly helpful. She spoke about the rise (and fall) of influencer marketing, starting with describing that Santa Claus was one of the first influencers and then giving some real life examples about a past influencer relationship she had with Tracy Moore through BMO for women (a positive experience) and then some examples of influencers gone wrong. Have you heard about this influencer who (may or may not have) staged a motorcycle accident to gain followers? Here was my main takeaway → consider who you’re working with if you’re going to work with influencers. Consider the other people they work with and make sure it aligns with your brand before you sign on the dotted line.
- More Marketers need to ask: Are we engaging contextually?
Asif R. Khan is the Founder and President of the Location Based Marketing Association. He spoke about how voice search is going to revolutionize e-commerce but one of the most interesting points he raised for me was that, as marketers, we need to think about engaging with our customers contextually.
Most young people and consumers today understand that they are being tracked and that their information is valuable. For the most part, consumers seem to be comfortable sharing that data as long as they get something in return. So the onus is on application and technology companies to articulate their value proposition to consumers. One way to do that is by engaging with people contextually. It’s about understanding where people are at in their day and delivering media that is relevant at that moment; the intersection of people, place, media. A great example of this is here – the Burger King Traffic Jam Whopper service, where Burger King used location data (and more cool tech) to deliver burgers to customers stuck in traffic (OMG amazing!)
Thank you again to all of the speakers who generously shared their knowledge and insights. I learned so much from each of you and it was a pleasure to be counted amongst you.
What Marketing events do you recommend? Let me know – I’ll attend and report back with learnings! Follow Schmooz Media on Facebook and tell us all about it!