The Next Big Thing: Social@Scale St. Louis

SocialAtScaleSTLTwitter activity was high last Thursday at UMSL’s J.C. Penney Conference Center where the Social@Scale Summit, hosted by Nestlé Purina, was underway. With Purina’s partnership with the University of Missouri – St. Louis’s digital marketing team, the two industries were able to hold an event that started a trending hashtag.
The #UMSLDigital and #SocialAtScale hashtags could be seen on the list of top trending hashtags in the St. Louis region. The event, that lasted from 1pm-6pm, included many guest speakers from various industries. The full list speakers can be in the image on the right. Along with receiving some great swag from Sprinklr, the audience also gained valuable information about the ever changing world of marketing, including updates as to where society is heading in regards to social media and fun facts, such as that a humans’ attention span has “reduced down to 7 seconds, officially less than that of a goldfish,” @kateonline.

Michael Crawford, the VP of Marketing at Purina, kicked of the day’s events as the opening speaker. Crawford touched base on the 5 C’s of social media:

  1. Conversation
  2. Communication
  3. Collaboration
  4. Campaign
  5. Content

From there, the stage was open to all the guest speakers. There were many important key takeaways made throughout the night from all the guest speakers. Sprinklr’s spokesperson for the event stated that “everything that can be connected, will be connect.” Many people in the audience took this to heart posting tweets like:

Some of the current issues concerning resistance to change were discussed by David Gray. Quoting Edgar Schein, Gray explained that culture was the “primary source of resistance to change.” According to his presentation, many people are afraid of changing the digital culture that they were used to while growing up. People still have not adapted to the fact that the marketing world is evolving quickly, especially in the digital world. “Social media is not advertising, it is relationship building” – @carlosgil83, Save-A-lot Marketing Executive.
google-adwords SocialAtScale STLMany customers are looking for recognition and companies like Purina have caught on. They are continuously listening to their customers and even including personal touches, such as directly messaging or posting to them. This type of communication builds relationships that help build a company’s professional brand image. “You can get to a really great place when people feel like they have been heard’ – Todd Masinelli, Ameren. Customers are more likely to be loyal to brands in which they feel personally connected to. Michael Kotick of Nestle Purina stated that “winning customers trust is the ultimate goal of community management connecting with people”
Throughout the entire summit, many guest speakers continued to support the newest marketing trends. As the day progressed, the audience began to understand that the power dynamic has shifted from “brand to customer” @Sprinklr. Along with this, more and more advertisements are being shown on social media sites more then on the television screen. Perry Drake @pddrake, Academic Director and Assistant Teaching Professor at UMSL and Social and Digital Marketing Strategist, presented a list of facts that supported these new marketing trends, such as that by 2018 digital ad spending will surpass T.V. advertisements and that teens today are more concerned with brand of device then the brand of clothing. Many of these facts had the audience in awe as they saw they began to truly understand how the marketing culture is rapidly changing right before their eyes.
Even without going to the Social@Scale Summit, people with no marketing experience can see that the world of marketing is dramatically shifting into the digital realm. Who knows what the next big thing is, we just have to be ready to adapt.


This article was written by University of Missouri – St. Louis Social Media Marketing Undergraduate students Shawn Glispie, Marian Lopez, Rebecca Mills, Julia Njau, Robert Nowak, and Jordan Weinstien.