The Hands Movement On Social Media

By: Isela Sanchez
The hands-focused social media movement is on the rise! Hands have always been a big part of films and other on-screen productions, but recently they have started to play a huge role in social media. Hands are the symbol of artisanal craftsmanship and entrepreneurial zeal. What exactly is zeal you may ask? Zeal is a strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone eager or determined to do something.
The number of videos using hands as the “stars of the show” is increasing at large rates. Thus, the trend of using hands as the focus in many cooking videos took off in 2014 with the rise of video sharing on Facebook. “A quarter of video views on Facebook pages of media companies go to these sorts of instructional videos. No faces. No bodies. Just hands,” writes Amanda Hess in her article for New York Times.
One of the most successful social media channels using hands-focused cooking are Buzzfeed’s Tasty and Proper Tasty, which feature short, fast motion videos that suck the viewer in. The hands which are in the focus of the attention, take the viewer on a journey through the cooking process. It makes you feel as if you are cooking the food yourself, which contributes to the high popularity of such videos with the audience. In August, Tasty reached more than 800 million viewers on Facebook, as well as 58 million more on YouTube. Buzzfeed’s DYI channel Nifty is another popular channel for those who are into various home lifehacks.
Hands go viral on YouTube as well. Honda released a hands-focused commercial called “Hands”, which was a tribute to the company’s automotive and technology innovation. By taking the viewer on an adventure and keeping in suspense for 2 minutes, the video shows the company’s innovations over the past 7 decades.
So, what is all the hype about? The hand is the most demonstrably human part of the body after the face. By using hands (which should be presentable and well-groomed) it is possible to capture the attention of large audiences and express the message in a convenient way. Hand are the drivers of modern communication: it is a new opening to social media, and its possibilities are endless.

How To Make Elephants Dance With Agile Marketing

 Meet Yuval Yeret – the Agile Marketing Practice Lead at AgileSparks. The aim of Agile Marketing is to help marketing organizations become faster, as well as more flexible and responsive to the business environment they operate in, and Yuval’s role is to help such organizations improve their agility and performance in the digital age using Agile principles and practices.
Yuval joined AgileSparks as the Enterprise Lean / Agile Transformations Consultant in 2009, when he was living in Israel. Six years later he moved to the US to manage all the company’s growth and operations in the country. His list of clients includes companies such as CA Technologies, Siemens, HP, Amdocs, Informatica, Intel, CyberArk, Nice Actimize, Mimecast, and many others.
Yuval Yeret is the recipient of the Brickell Key Award for Lean Kanban Community Excellence, and the author of “Holy Land Kanban” – a book created out of the collection of his blog posts.
Yuval is going to be a speaker at the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference 2018, talking about core aspects and effects of Agile Marketing. In his presentation called “Can elephants dance? Agile Marketing at Scale – CA’s story”, Yuval will explain how large, traditional marketing organizations can adjust and quickly sense and respond to customer needs and market changes.
Q1. What are some big mistakes a business could make when it comes to digital marketing?
YY: Digital marketing enables you to move faster, learn faster. Applying old-style static marketing thinking to digital marketing leaves a lot of competitive advantage on the table. A business moving to digital marketing should also learn to move faster and be more agile – try things and iterate until you nail a win. Take advantage of the ease of experimentation and abundance of data that the digital ecosystem provides you.
Q2. What do you think is the next game changer in digital marketing, such as a new, modern tactic, tool, or aspect of marketing? How will it evolve in the coming years?
YY: I think the big changer in digital marketing will be the ability to harness the power of digital marketing to hone in on what an awesome marketing experience or even more generally an awesome customer experience looks like. Call it agile, call it growth hacking, call it whatever you want. Businesses that develop this capability and learn when best to unleash it will win more customers and achieve more customer success.
Q3. What is your favorite marketing book you have read lately? Or, what are a few of your favorite marketing blogs?
YY: Hacking Marketing by Scott Brinker tells a good story of how marketing can change in the digital age. I also found “The end of marketing as we know it” by Sergio Zyman a useful background to the disruption currently going on in the marketing space.
Q4. What are some social media time management tips that help you stick to your campaign goals without losing a lot of time?
YY: I love to use the “Pomodoro” technique. This is sort of a personal agile approach where you prioritize your backlog of activities – e.g. campaigns to monitor/create/tune, then you set a timer for 25 minutes, and for that time you focus solely on the activity at hand, disabling notifications, muting phones and any sort of communication, so that you can achieve flow. After that timebox expires you take a short break and then consider next steps – whether to go back to the same activity or move on. I combine this with a personal Kanban board that helps me prioritize and manage the flow of work I’m doing. (I’m using either Trello or a new tool called flow-e which actually extends my google inbox with a Kanban board )
Q5. According to you, what are the top three mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging digital marketing?

  1. Spreading too thin, trying to tackle too many channels and techniques at the same time.
    2. Relying on a few “digital marketing experts” that become bottlenecks rather than enabling everyone in marketing to do most digital marketing activities and letting the experts focus on both enablement work as well as really innovative, digital activities and breaking new ground.
    3. Forgetting that digital doesn’t replace the need for awesome creative. You can A/B test to death, but without awesome marketers that come up with good ideas to experiment with, you won’t get anywhere. The key to success in digital marketing is to mix the art and science.

Q6. Which are your three favorite digital marketing tools?
YY: MailChimp, Google Analytics, Buffer
Q7. If you were looking to hire a digital marketer, what are the top 3-5 skills you would be looking for in a candidate?
Flexibility/Versatility – the ability to work across a wide variety of tools/channels/activities – even beyond digital marketing. I believe in the concept of T-shaped marketers.
Wide perspective – I love to work with digital marketers that think like mini-CMOs. Analytic/Empiric thinking – Acknowledge they don’t necessarily know and naturally gravitate towards experimentation and trial and error.
Collaborative – they know how to work effectively with their peers in Product Marketing, Field, Digital Sales/SDRs.
Curious – always looking to learn or try some new approach/technique/tool

Learn About Data Science with James Campbell at #MDMC18

 James Campbell is Principal and Experience Design Practice Lead at Slalom. “I help brands create things that humans love,” says James about himself. He is an award-winning Creative Director and Marketing Strategist, who approaches design through a broad lens, and brings together graphic design, copywriting, product design and brand strategy.
Throughout his career, James has helped companies connect with audiences, employees and investors by creating products and interactions that range from mobile apps to physical and experiential programs. He grew up on the North side of Chicago in 1980, and then moved to St. Louis, where he has worked as an art director, guest lecturer, and creative director.
James Campbell will be a speaker at the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference 2018 where he will share his insights about Brand Science. In his session titled “Your Brand is a Hypothesis: Data Science and Creativity”, James will introduce a framework that melds Human Centered Design, Agile and Data Science practices to give brands unprecedented access to real-time insights about brand communication, product development, employee communication, and media management.
MDMC team sat down with James to talk about contemporary digital marketing realia. Here are some of his answers.
Q1. What are some big mistakes a business could make when it comes to digital marketing?
JC: I think the most significant mistake a business can make in the digital space is to think of anything as permanent, or even temporary. Because the medium allows marketers and communicators to access real-time behavioral information, there’s no reason to hold onto the illusion that people aren’t dynamic, and human. Annual cycles, brand guides that aren’t updated regularly, atomic libraries that fail to adapt to changing viewports and use cases – these things should be zeroed in on.
Q2. What do you think is the next game changer in digital marketing, such as a new, modern tactic, tool, or aspect of marketing? How will it evolve in the coming years?
JC: While many people will point to automation, personalization or AR/VR/Blahblah – I think the next real shift will come in content, likely through dynamic content and scientific content development. We can now use targeted deployments to test ideas, multivariate measure, and validate hypotheses about product design and consumer behavior.
Q3: What is your favorite marketing book you have read lately? Or, what are a few of your favorite marketing blogs?
JC: I always recommend finding communities before you find reference material, so once you’ve found others like you that you can bounce ideas off of, these two books should keep you busy for a while: “UX Research: Practical Techniques for Designing Better Products” by Brand Nunnally – a local boy done good, and a great reference to have on hand when planning a project or getting out of a rut; “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut – it explains everyday things in terms that give light and wonder to what it means to be human.
Q4: According to you, what are the top three mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging digital marketing?

  1. Buying a tool and expecting change to happen through computer magic.
  2. Annualized media buys pushing lazy, old-school content.
  3. Building a new capability or launching a new brand without also changing the internal culture around it.

Q5: Which are your three favorite digital marketing tools?

  1. Crimson Hexagon
  2. R
  3. GoPro Hero5

Q6: If you were looking to hire a digital marketer, what are the top 3-5 skills you would be looking for in a candidate?
JC: One obsessive area of expertise and the curiosity and desire to learn about everything else.
Q7: What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days and why?
JC: Solutioning – because it’s not a word at all, and it’s dreadfully ironic that the user hasn’t found a better solve.

Entrepreneurial Program at UMSL: Preparing Students for Success

By: Isela Sanchez

UMSL Business’s podcasting series “In Your Business” always wants to expand knowledge to students by providing guest speakers with an amazing teaching capacity and insightful ideas. For the latest podcast we interviewed Dan Lauer, Chris Miller and Alex Zwibleman, who are all part of the UMSL Business Entrepreneurial program. They talked about the basics, history, future, and what the Entrepreneurial program can do for business students alike.
Dan Lauer is the Founding Executive Director of UMSL Accelerate and Founder of his company, Lauer Toys, Inc., which produces Waterbabies®. Chris Miller is the Founder and CEO of The Mission Center L3C, who serves as Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship at UMSL. Finally, the last guest speaker is a student from UMSL, Alex Zwibleman, who is majoring in Business Management and who is taking part in the UMSL Accelerate Entrepreneurial Program.
Dan Lauer began the interview by explaining what UMSL Accelerate is and what it does. First, he talked about the vision of the program, about its potential to be an entrepreneurial center that will become award-winning and nationally recognized, and in what way it will foster innovation. He also explained what UMSL Accelerate 3 pillars, namely, “Educate, Innovate, and Engage”, stand for. Business Entrepreneurial program at UMSL is part of the “Educate” pillar.
Chris Miller provided some insight on how the courses of the Business Entrepreneurial program are developed. He mentioned that the courses are developed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs: They are designed to teach things that he and other entrepreneurs wish had been taught earlier to save their time, money and energy. These courses are designed to help entrepreneurs make an impact a lot quicker in their businesses.
The last guest was one of the students from the program, Alex Zwibleman. Alex talked about why he was interested in taking part in the Business Entrepreneurial program at UMSL, and which valuable knowledge and skills he acquired by being part of it. Alex was excited about the opportunity he was given by the program, and he shared his plans about how he is going to use the skills he learned there in future.
Dan and Chris finished the interview by explaining what they think will happen to the future of UMSL Accelerate in general and the Business Entrepreneurial program in particular. Dan explained that he sees big things happening in the future, and hopes UMSL to be in the top 10 ranked universities of Entrepreneurship in the country. “With the leadership and support, we have a “white board” to explore and be successful, … it is a wonderful opportunity and a blue ocean to explore,” says Dan. Chris finished the interview by saying that it’s a program for everyone: nurses, musicians, anthropologist – for people of diverse backgrounds, who plan to start their own businesses and need the relevant skill set to be successful.
Go here to listen to the complete interview.

Why Marketing Is The Right Career Path For You

By: Afnan Tahir
Many people question whether marketing is a right career path for them to choose as they consider a degree in marketing.
Studying marketing presents various career opportunities that include advertising, public relations, brand management, and market research. A degree in marketing has proved to be essential as it equips students with knowledge that will enable them to contribute excellently to the business world and the development of the community. The marketing department is one of the most critical elements of every company, and students who pursue a marketing degree have career opportunities in corporations from varied fields. Therefore, career choices in marketing are limitless.
To succeed in a marketing sphere, a person requires a combination of various personality traits, such as creativity, self-motivation, optimism, being goal-oriented, and the ability to work in a team among others. Moreover, studying marketing equips students with communication skills, the ability to solve problems, and enhances their capacity to strategize. The market and the consumer needs are ever-changing, and good marketers should learn to respond timely to these changes and the associated problems.
UMSL College of Business Administration is committed to delivering exceptional marketing programs that prepare students for fruitful careers and responsibilities in the corporate world. The University of Missouri – St. Louis offers different marketing classes for students to choose, namely, international marketing, digital marketing, marketing analysis and many others. The faculty includes competent scholars that are committed to ensuring that the institution produces graduates who will contribute to the improvement of the society, and who will be successful in the business world.
A career in marketing is an excellent choice for those looking for creativity and dynamics as it offers exciting experiences with boundless opportunities. Marketing is vital to businesses, and all sectors need it.