#MDMC18 Tips On How to Get the Most Out of a Conference


It doesn’t matter who you are right now: a student pursuing a business degree, a recent graduate making first steps in the professional world, an entrepreneur owning a business, or a high-level executive having a solid working experience – everyone will benefit from attending a conference. Conferences offer plenty of opportunities for both – professional and personal development, so get the most out of your experience as a conference attendee.
 
Do your homework
There is always plenty of things happening at a professional conference, so it is easy to get lost. Especially if this is your first time attending such an event. The key to success is being prepared and knowing your goals.
Before going to a conference, check the conference website. Know beforehand which sessions are offered and at what time. Read about the speakers and learn about their background. Check the ticket options and what they include. Is there anything else offered to attendees? Is there an exhibitor hall to take a look at? Are there any fun activities planned? What are the food options? So, be prepared.
 
Be strategic
Big conferences have many sessions running at the same time. Thus, MDMC18 offers about 100 concurrent sessions across such tracks as Data, Digital Strategy, Career, Entrepreneurship, Technology and Innovation. Check the schedule beforehand, mark the sessions that are most relevant for your career and make sure you attend them. You are going to the conference to learn something new, so know exactly what you are there for and be strategic about it.
 
Expand your network
The power of networking in the contemporary world cannot be overestimated. Not only can you meet your peers from other companies, who face the same challenges as you do in your daily work, but you can get some valuable advice from the industry experts. Building your social capital is important, both for your present and future, so set you goal to get as much as possible from your time spent at a conference.
 
Make specific plans
Yes, there will be a lot of speakers from all the big agencies and media talking about cutting-edge technologies and new apps, sharing insights about new industry trends, giving advice on how to deal with certain issues, and providing specific examples on how to achieve your business goals. There will be even more people attending the conference. It is going to be a few busy days, but make sure you get to know people you need. Approach speakers after the sessions to introduce yourself. Exchange business cards and invite for a coffee or lunch. See who else is attending the conference and get to know other attendees. Be proactive in many ways, and the time and money you spent on the conference will soon pay off.
 
Take notes
Do not rely on your memory. With so many things happening during a few days (attending sessions, meeting speakers, talking to other attendees, visiting the expo), it is too easy to forget everything that you have learned there. Always carry a note book, a pen, an organizer, a tablet or a phone (whichever you prefer) to write down your comments, key takeaways and contact details. You will thank yourself for doing that a few days after the conference.
In a nutshell, it is all in your hands. Attending a conference might be a bit overwhelming, but it is totally worth it. Just follow the tips and make sure you make the most out of your time at the conference.


We are looking forward to seeing you at the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, which is going to take place at St. Louis’ Union Station on March 27-28, 2018. Learn more about the conference.

*Photo VIA UMSL Daily

Join The Content Development Panel With Evangeline Schultz at #MDMC18

Evangeline Schultz is the COO and Co-Founder of Regenerative Marketing, LLC., which is an international digital marketing firm. Together with her brother Nathanael, she began the firm with a passion to build and connect communities globally.
Regenerative Marketing, LLC., has clients in the chemical, agricultural, energy, construction, petroleum, electrical, ministerial, education, entertainment, news, mass media, advertising, retail, food & beverage, financial services, insurance amenities, health care, auto, and transport industries in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ireland, and Italy.
Evangeline’s philosophy is “Never be satisfied; always be content.” She is a Facebook developer and is certified in Facebook marketing, hashtag research and development, LEAD generation principles, social media management and social media monitoring.
At MDMC18, Evangeline is going to be a speaker at the “Content Development Panel” together with Ellie Mirman, Tom Brauch, Ryan Brock, and Dan Curran.
Here are Evangeline’s answers from the pre-conference Q&A session.
Q1. What are some big mistakes a business could make when it comes to digital marketing?
E.S.:

  • Not being present / being passive
  • Not being social (posting isn’t all there is)
  • Boosting posts rather than running ads from business manager
  • Not creating clear CTA / monetizing
  • Selling rather than inspiring to buy, subscribe, etc.

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?
E.S.: We believe we will be seeing a lot of BIG changes in the roles each platform will be playing. Google and Youtube, where Google is more a search engine/data tool, and Youtube, perhaps, more the “consumer” front for search queries.
Facebook is becoming a TV center, not competing directly with Youtube, but rather more with Direct TV. We think the “Live” option will revolve into paid options, or if left open, we will still see the growth of organic and mainstream TV shift to where the millennials are.
LinkedIn’s future growth is in advertising mediums. I think we see that already picking up.
As platforms become more intelligent, more “user-friendly”, we are left with better experiences and more powerful business advertising platforms.
We are expecting big things from Amazon in retail, Facebook in Social, Google as they work with Youtube.
Q3. What is your favorite marketing book you have read lately? Or, what are a few of your favorite marketing blogs?
E.S.: My favorite marketing book I’ve read recently is Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger.  Excellent book.
Q4. What are some social media time management tips that help you stick to your campaign goals without losing a lot of time?
E.S.: We utilize an online project management system. This helps with organizing a virtual team, creating accountability while allowing freedom-seeking millennials to set their schedule in accordance to timely, effective teams that work cross-functionally.
Tips:
Keep a time log.
Stay focused on each task.
You can get on Facebook to post and “wake up” an hour later laughing at cute cat videos. Being task-oriented really helps with this.
Q5. Share your favorite digital marketing case study. What did you like most it?
E.S.: Jefferson Santos is a motivational speaker and author. It was amazing to see the impact just social currency had on his audiences. I believe we gained him over 10 million video views, 90,000 post engagements, and over 100K followers in just a months’ time.
I love to see the messages he has flowing in about how he is touching lives. As a digital marketer, we work through the hands of our clients to touch the world.  It is beautiful and SO worth it!
Q6. According to you, what are the top three mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging digital marketing?
E.S.:

  • We sell rather than inspiring, connecting, and then converting.
  • We simply remain in obscurity rather than utilizing social media and advertising platforms.
  • We pay too much for too little. Ad spend is where it is at.

Q7. Which are your three favorite digital marketing tools?
E.S.:
Hootsuite
Hashtagify.me
IFTTT
Q8. If you were looking to hire a digital marketer, what are the top 3-5 skills you would be looking for in a candidate?
E.S.: Hard question because digital marketing covers so much, but:
1) Strategic thinking
2) Adwords
3) Content Savvy
4) Platform In-depth Knowledge for LinkedIn, Twitter, and Snapchat
5) Content Virality
Q8. Who are three people you respect when it comes to digital marketing?
E.S.:
Gary Vee
Joe Soto
Grant Cardone
Josh Earp
Laura Papwell
Tara Ellis
Q9. What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days and why?
“Ping me.” Please don’t ping me!  Haha. Shoot me an email. Or Snap me!  Goodness…. haha

Meet Nichole Holzum – “An Energetic Superpower” and a Speaker at #MDMC18

“With a tendency to trail blaze, I am a seasoned, well-rounded, digital marketing pro with a varied background and an energetic superpower,” – this is how Nichole Holzum describes herself as a personality and a marketing professional. Nichole is a Digital Marketing Strategist at MarketPlace – the Food Marketing Agency located in St. Louis. And she is also the President of the Social Media Club.
Throughout her career, Nichole has worked with a variety of brands: from brands with no budgets to international brands with very large budgets. Her love and curiosity of social media budded into a career in understanding how brands optimize each platform through content marketing, ad buying and in-depth analytic reporting.
At MDMC18, Nichole is going to be a panelist at the “Facebook Advertising Panel” together with Brett Jackson, Clayton Clark, and Alex Cruz. Below are Nichole’s answers to the pre-conference Q&A sessions.
Q.1. What are some big mistakes a business could make when it comes to digital marketing?
N.H.: Probably the costliest mistake that businesses make is expecting (or at least hoping) for any one product or solution to serve indefinitely as a fix-all. Because user expectation and demands often outpace technology, and because the way that we use the digital environment is fluid, what worked last year—or even last month—isn’t going to work the same way now, if it works at all. For that reason, it’s all but imperative to believe the principle that the best business people are those who surround themselves with those who know more than they do. Which means, in this case, making sure you have good help, particularly from those who enjoy adapting to change and learning new things.
Q.2. 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?
N.H.: It’s tough to pick one, but I’m really interested in human recognition. I realize that that sounds like some huge sci-fi thing, but I’ll try to get at what I mean. We’re all getting more sophisticated—advertisers and consumers alike—and, to be honest, probably more self-entitled, so we’ve come to expect that businesses, brands, products, and even people will know what we want and deliver what we want. We feel very human and very personal, yet we’re living so much of our lives online, among the inhuman and impersonal, to the point that we’re literally battling bots for Taylor Swift tickets. Ticketmaster, for instance, implemented a #verifiedfan program, which Taylor Swift used to sell tickets. The primary stated goal of the program is to make sure that real fans get access to tickets before scripts eat them all up. But Swift also used her fans’ fan-ness to help with larger marketing efforts, tying increased ticket access to typical digital marketing efforts like album purchase, video watches, and social posts. It’s easy to be cynical about Swift’s motives, but that’s not the new thing; the idea that our genuine personal interests are competing with impersonal scripts and interacting with Twitterbots is fascinating, and big brands are already figuring out how to handle this game-changer.
Q.3. What is your favorite marketing book you have read lately? Or, what are a few of your favorite marketing blogs?
N.H.: If the book is about marketing, specifically digital tools or specific digital strategies (rather than principles), it’s likely somewhat irrelevant by the time it’s in book form. For that reason, I prefer to scan blogs daily as my primary form of marketing literature. Business to Community, Search Engine Journal, Social Media Examiner, and the familiar Adweek are where I get my updates mostly. I also follow Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., as updates are posted directly to their blogs. I also have several Google alerts set up, which I prefer on days when all I want to read is email.
Q.4. What are some social media time management tips that help you stick to your campaign goals without losing a lot of time?
N.H.: I like to remind myself that goals don’t always require 100% efficiency. We’re typically so concerned with time, with getting everything done in an efficient way, that we end up losing something important. Some of my best campaign ideas have come from wandering around, without knowing exactly what I’m looking for, to see what others are doing in my own feed.
Q.5. According to you, what are the top three mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging digital marketing?

  1. Businesses often come to the table saying that they want a social media program, and when asked why, the only reason they can is to boost sales. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the goal of boosting sales, but if sale data is the only KPI attached to social programs, well—social platforms are a place to be social, not only a place to make sales. Being social—in our lives and in our businesses—often means being unplanned, inefficient, and unconcerned with the results. When brands tackle social with only sales in mind, they’re going to get frustrated quickly. Brand building on social media will pay off, contributing fiscal value when done well, but it’s not a last click ROI setup.
  2. Or, what a colleague of mine refers to as “overstepping.” How many times have you seen brands chiming in on cultural issues or memorial occasions (9/11, anyone) in ways that have nothing to do with who they are as a brand? It’s a bad look.
  3. Unpaid promotion. It’s great to create the most beautiful, thought-provoking content, but if you don’t pay to promote it, you’re wasting beautiful, thought-provoking content.

Q.6. Which are your three favorite digital marketing tools?

  1. Sprout Social. All in all, I find it the best dashboard for the price for most small to mid-sized businesses.
  2. Google Analytics. Get certified. Google has set up an Academy to make things easier and more digestible. There’s no excuse for any social media manager not to know how to navigate and apply Analytics.
  3. Power Editor. People, put down the boosted post, leave your Business Manager, and operate in Power Editor. You’ll thank me later. Power Editor allows for quick and easy edits to campaigns. It’s great for saving time, editing large sets of data quickly, and is incredibly user-friendly.

Q.7. If you were looking to hire a digital marketer, what are the top 3-5 skills you would be looking for in a candidate?

  1. Passion. Passion is what keeps you (an employee) going. It’s what drives the desire to do more, learn more, create more, etc.
    2. Flexibility. Being agile comes with the territory now. If you can’t adapt, or change directions on a dime, digital marketing is going to be frustrating, at best.
    3. Personality. It’s not so much a skill as it is an asset. Culture is very important in keeping good vibes. Hiring someone that might disrupt the mojo can be toxic in work (and creative) environments.

 

Importance of Taking Business Courses for Students Of Other Majors

In Your Business”, a podcasting series by UMSL Business, continues to feature people, who are experts in their fields, discussing issues the audiences can relate to. In a recent podcast, UMSL Business Interviewed Dr. Carl Hoagland and Mr. Tyler Beffa.
Dr. Hoagland is a former Emerson Electric Company Endowed Professor in Technology and Learning, Director of Technology for the UMSL College of Education and Co-Director of the Bachelor of Educational Studies (BES) program. As for Tyler, he is a BES student at UMSL, who is taking a business course at the College of Business as part of his program.
At the beginning of the interview, Dr. Hoagland explained that the Bachelor of Educational Studies program was originally developed in 2007, but was renewed in 2013 with some modifications. The program is basically aimed at students who want to pursue a career in education, but do not want to work in a traditional classroom setting. The program offers four emphasis areas, such as Youth and Adult Development, Park & Museum Programs, Exercise Sciences and Wellness, and, finally, Early Childhood. The fifth track, Social Entrepreneurship, is currently being developed in collaboration with UMSL’s College of Business Administration.
Being a current BES student, Tyler stated that his choice of UMSL, in general, was based on the affordability of the programs offered at the university. As for the BES degree, Tyler has always wanted to pursue a career in informal education, and the BES program turned out to be a perfect fit for him. Other education programs are traditionally focused on formal teaching, whereas BES helps students to obtain a broader understanding of education and prepares them to work in various agencies: Students acquire different skills applicable in many educational settings, from educating and working with kids, youth and adults, to management and marketing skills and writing grants.
During the interview, Dr. Hoagland stressed the importance of taking business courses for the BES students. He explained that understanding how businesses operate and having some business skills, such as creating a marketing or social media strategy, putting together a small budget, and managing others is essential in the informal ed agency setting, where the majority of the BES graduates work. A business background is beneficial for many graduates, even for those who do not intend to work in the for-profit organizations.
Tyler is currently taking a Social Media Marketing course with professor Dr. Perry Drake. He stressed that even in education all stakeholders such as parents and special education teachers should understand and support the significance of social media in the contemporary society and be able to keep pace with the new technology to embrace its benefits. Tyler stated that the course he is taking aided him in understanding how to build social media strategies as well as how to develop a social media presence for an organization. He further explained that utilizing such platforms as Hootsuite in class helped him to learn how to manage and schedule created and curated content on various social media profiles. Dr. Hoagland, in his turn, justified the benefit of taking a social media marketing course for non-business majors by giving an example of Edison Research that estimated that 81% of the American population has social media platforms, which stresses the need to understand social media.
The interview, in general, was very informative in terms of explaining and justifying the need for various non-business majors to take business courses. Possessing business skills and understanding business processes gives an edge to students of non-business majors while looking for jobs after graduation. Go here to listen to the complete interview.

Build A Digital Dream Team with Kevin Farr At #MDMC18

Kevin Farr is a Consultant at CNTRD. He is also currently pursuing his Executive MBA at Washington University’s Olin Business School.
Throughout his career, Kevin has worked with such companies as Apple (Beats by Dre), Microsoft, Logitech, FDA, American Red Cross, ChildFund International, FOX Networks, HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, History Channel, Cox Communications, Abbott Nutrition, Schreiber Foods, Procter & Gamble, Workday, as well as several small and midsize start-ups.
Kevin has held leadership roles in flat, matrix, hierarchal and performance-based systems, and has managed programs and teams across vastly different organizations and cultures. His academic background includes art, human behavior, social sciences, and organizational behavior. All these helped Kevin develop an art-form for building business systems that shift culture and impact profitability.
At MDMC18 Kevin is going to be part of “Building A Digital Dream Team” Panel, together with Steve Bauer, Kate Garofalini, and Jeremy Nulik. In his other session called “Avoiding The Trappings That Lead Digital Teams Toward Failure Or Mediocrity”, Kevin will share how leaders can cut through the noise and build teams that effectively navigate an ever-changing business landscape.
Here are Kevin’s answers from the pre-conference Q&A session.
Q.1. What are some big mistakes a business could make when it comes to digital marketing?
K.F.: Generally speaking, probably awareness; or lack thereof. Awareness helps us imagine solutions to macro and micro problems. It also helps us understand constraints. Knowing these things helps us manage uncertainty and steer digital activities toward desirable outcomes, which helps us operate digital marketing in support of our broader business objectives.
Business is fast-paced. Combine that with hefty workloads and changing demands, and you have a recipe for reacting off ill-informed conclusions. In many instances, a company will start doing things or continue to perform specific activities without clearly defining what they’re doing, why they are doing and if it makes sense. That’s why we see so much noise in the market. People are busy doing “stuff” versus really pausing to think through the problem they are trying to solve using digital marketing. There’s a difference between “doing things right” and “doing the right things.”
Digital marketing is a tool. If we fail to operate it effectively, we limit possible solutions, options, and outcomes. It starts to constrain the creative/critical thinking process, the very process that helps teams succeed by creating actual value. It also tends to lead teams toward really mediocre work which eats company resources and drains culture.
Q.2. 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?
K.F.: Effective problem solving for sure. It seems like a “duh” thing, but it’s scary and pretty rare. Companies seek it out; they try to retain it; while the best cultivate it. Consider how more and more leaders are integrating Design Thinking, UCD, HCD, and other creative and critical thinking processes and teams. It’s a signal about their needs. Many mature organizations are stuck; they can’t grow as much. Conversely, young firms chase growth through disruption and scale. Yet, both need thinkers and doers that can combine quantitative with qualitative. Art and analysis. Business with creativity. That’s how innovation and change happen. That’s how sustainable solutions are designed.
Q.3. What is your favorite marketing book you have read lately? Or, what are a few of your favorite marketing blogs?
K.F.:
The Goal (The Theory of Constraints)
The Lean Anthology
…I’m exploring how integrated supply chain management can be used to improve digital marketing operations.
Q.4. According to you, what are the top three mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging digital marketing?
K.F.:

  • They haven’t defined the problem they’re solving by leveraging digital or the value they create through its activities.
  • They start forming digital teams, changing teams and doing stuff without really understanding how to align resources, team structure, infrastructure, measurement, and strategy to help them create and capture value.
  • They fail to see how their assumptions about digital marketing practices, shape team behavior, performance, and outcomes. Start unpacking those assumptions and you’ll see how mistakes are made and where to improve.

Q.5. If you were looking to hire a digital marketer, what are the top 3-5 skills you would be looking for in a candidate?
K.F.:

  • Kindness
  • Open and curious mind
  • Ability to work with ill-structured, ambiguous problems
  • Passion for something in life
  • A sense of life balance

Q.6. What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days and why?
K.F.: I tend to focus on how we apply buzzwords and their impact on marketing activities. Like innovation, transformation, and change. These are great ideas. They can change an organization aligned to live out what those words mean. But when a system is not set up for that… it doesn’t do much to force those words in. It merely stirs the pot without cooking a dish.
In many instances, people and organizations latch on to a concept without fully understanding it, which creates a lot of dysfunction and waste. People need a process and support to implement those concepts as activities.
Take innovation. Innovation is a way of being. You don’t just turn an organization into that. It takes time. Change is natural and healthy for organizations, but the growth process has to be nurtured and tailored. If your culture has been trained to be conservative, to think similarly, then it can’t change just because some new buzzwords have made their way into the system.

Learn How To Avoid Costly Mistakes In Email Marketing With Jessica Pupillo

Jessica Pupillo is a Client Services Manager at Katey Charles Communications, where she started working as a copywriter in 2005.
Jessica holds a Bachelor degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and lives with her family in Ballwin, MO. She has more than 15 years of experience as a freelance writer, journalist, editorial director, and digital communications consultant, which helps her see each client’s big picture and ensure that their business strategy enhances it.
At Katey Charles Communications, Jessica delivers expert insight on email metrics, subscriber engagement and deliverability. She is the person to turn to when it comes to email strategy, automation and customer email journeys.
During her session at MDMC18, called “Inbox Bloopers: 10 Big Mistakes in Email Marketing”, Jessica will show how common email marketing mistakes can cause big problems for subscriber engagement and deliverability. She will explain how to avoid these costly inbox oversights using quality assurance checklists and automation reviews, and how to put review and audit processes into play at any company.
Here are Jessica’s answers to the pre-conference Q&A session.
Q.1. What are some big mistakes a business could make when it comes to digital marketing?
J.P.: When it comes to email marketing specifically, I see many businesses settle for “good enough.” Most email programs – even bad ones – turn a profit, so it’s tempting to become complacent. Don’t fall into this trap! The opportunity cost of complacency is high. Always work to improve. What new automation can you layer into your email marketing program? What can you work on optimizing through testing? If you’re not always asking what you can do better, you’re leaving revenue on the table.
Q.2. What is your favorite marketing book you have read lately? Or, what are a few of your favorite marketing blogs?
J.P.: I rarely miss a blog post from Litmus. It’s tough to beat their practical, evidence-based advice on email design and strategy. The Sherpa Blog from Marketing Sherpa is also on my short list as I appreciate their commitment to customer-first marketing and case studies. For email deliverability tips and news, I read Laura Atkin’s blog.
Q.3. Share your favorite digital marketing case study. What did you like most it?
J.P.: We recently helped a retail client transform their poorly performing welcome email series into one that achieves revenue at levels above industry benchmarks. We made a few key changes to the email campaign:
• We recoded their template to be mobile responsive, even in the Gmail app.
• We determined the client had deliverability trouble caused by poor bounce handling. As a result, we migrated them to an email service provider with exceptional deliverability tools and scrubbed their existing list to remove invalid email addresses.
• We revised the welcome strategy to place focus on the discount code, which is the incentive provided for signing up for marketing emails.
• We refreshed the creative to focus on the company’s unique value proposition and their most popular shopping categories.
After just a month running the new welcome series, revenue per email was up 567% over the previous year’s average. I particularly like this case study because it highlights how important the marriage between technology and creative skills is in email marketing. One without the other is a missed opportunity.
Q.4. According to you, what are the top three mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging digital marketing?
J.P.:

  1. Many companies look to digital marketing campaigns to overcome operational problems. That’s a giant task for a marketer and one that’s nearly impossible to overcome. If IT doesn’t have data plumbed correctly or customers aren’t delighted with the products they’ve purchased, for example, marketers face an uphill battle. When organizations have cross-functional teams that collaborate and improve together, that’s when we see great success.
  2. Focusing on cool technology instead of customer relationships. People can tell when you’re not authentic. You have to get the customer relationships correct first, then use digital marketing technology to amplify your voice and deepen the relationship.
  3. Some email service providers, especially those catering to small and mid-sized businesses, would have you believe anyone can do email marketing. And while most people can get a bulk email distributed, they often get stuck with poor results when their engagement is low or they land in the spam folder. Companies are much better off hiring an employee or an agency with email expertise to help them maximize results.

Q.4. Which are your three favorite digital marketing tools?
J.P.: Being in email, I love a great email services platform. My favorites are Adestra and Cordial, though we’ve used many others. Adestra for its user-friendliness and easy automation, and Cordial for marketers who want to make the most of their data with triggered campaigns. I also rely on email testing and rendering tools, and Litmus is my current go-to. Finally, before reporting on split test results, I always hit up the statistical significance tester at AB Test Guide.
Q.5. If you were looking to hire a digital marketer, what are the top 3-5 skills you would be looking for in a candidate?
J.P.: When it comes to soft skills, I’m always on the lookout for smart, flexible, humble, creative problem-solvers. HTML and data management skills are important hard skills in this niche, too.

Join Facebook Advertising Panel With Brett Jackson at #MDMC18

Brett Jackson, the CEO of Systemax, has been advising organizations on strategic brand and growth initiatives for more than 10 years. His company was ranked one of the Best Places to Work in Illinois in 2017.
When working with his clients, Brett always tries to understand customer’s current challenges, and then provide ways to dynamically change their processes to generate extraordinary results. Throughout his career he has constructed marketing campaigns with ROI’s reaching more than 13,000 percent.
Brett is a graduate of the ABA School of Marketing and a Certified Financial Marketing Professional. He utilizes his knowledge and experience to help various organizations across the country tackle their branding, marketing and advertising challenges. Brett spends his free time with his wife and their three daughters.
At the MDMC18, Brett is going to be one of the panelists at the Facebook Advertising Panel, sharing his insights together with Clayton Clark and Nichole Holzum.
Here are the some of Brett’s answers from the pre-conference Q&A session.
Q.1. What are some big mistakes a business could make when it comes to digital marketing?
B.J.: One thing that we see frequently is that a business picks the youngest person in the company, or a niece of the owner to run their page because “they are young and are always on social media”. Once it flops and they don’t see any results, they give up and say Social Media doesn’t work for our business.
Q.2. What are some social media time management tips that help you stick to your campaign goals without losing a lot of time?
B.J.: One of the simplest things we do is create a content calendar.  It helps us organize our thoughts and know exactly what we need to do and when.
Q.3. Share your favorite digital marketing case study. What did you like most it?
B.J.: A local non-profit came to us to help them with a campaign. Their goal was to raise $20,000 in 4 weeks.  We built out a more targeted audience than what they originally wanted to use, and had to beg and plead for them to let us use the targeted audience vs. their audience that was too broad.  We started the campaign on a Friday, by Monday morning we raised $50,000. That was a lot of fun!
Q.4. According to you, what are the top three mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging digital marketing?
B.J.:

  1. Not using it
  2. Not being consistent
  3. Trying to sell instead of being social

Q.5. If you were looking to hire a digital marketer, what are the top 3-5 skills you would be looking for in a candidate?
B.J.:
Curiosity – to figure out what is working.
Analytical – to break down the data.
Experimental – to be willing to try and fail
Q.6. What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days and why?
B.J.: All buzz words annoy me, and don’t get me started on shortening words like Tote’s, Adorbs, quant, just say the whole word!

Win At SEO With Dave Rohrer At #MDMC18

Dave Rohrer is the founder of the Chicago-based digital agency NorthSide Metrics, where he helps various businesses improve their digital marketing to drive more quality traffic, leads, and sales. He is also a co-host of The Business of Digital Podcast, where he together with Mat Siltala discuss such topics as Paid Social, SEO, Content Marketing, CRO, PPC, Email Marketing and many others.
Dave has spent more than 10 years as a web developer, SEO manager, and online marketing manager, and more than 5 years at agencies where he worked directly with Internet Retailer 100 and Fortune 500 clients. He says about himself, “I am a proven online marketer that is able to see how all of the pieces work together to achieve success for a business. While I have a technical background, I prefer to utilize metrics, KPIs and data to drive winning client strategies.”
Dave’s session at MDMC18 titled “How to Win At and With SEO” will focus on the current changes taking place in SEO, namely, Mobile First, Local SEO and the growing number of ads. Dave will dig into how to win at SEO in 2018, which KPIs matter to SEO and other teams, and how to make them all work together.
Here are Dave’s answers from the pre-conference Q&A session.
Q.1. What are some big mistakes a business could make when it comes to digital marketing?
D.R.: Not having a plan. This goes from not having an overall marketing plan to not having a fully thought out plan on how to implement some new project or campaign. Digital allows you to move fast (content pushed to a blog in hours, social posts out in minutes, paid search campaign same day), so often there is no plan on what to do AFTER or even how to properly do it.
Q.2. What is your favorite marketing book you have read lately? Or, what are a few of your favorite marketing blogs?
D.R.: Twitter for daily reading and marketing updates. The Power of Habit book from earlier this year and the most recent book I have been reading that I like is UnBranding.
i. Twitter – yes, I still use and like Twitter (mostly). For a quick way to dig into not one website but a large number I still prefer it over any other source.
ii. UnBranding: 100 Branding Lessons for the Age of Disruption by Alison Stratten & Scott Stratten – it is 100 chapters and quick case studies in branding.
iii. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg – a great read into why people do what they do and how to make/break habits.
Q.3. According to you, what are the top three mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging digital marketing?
D.R.: The common mistakes will likely change a bit depending on where you are in a company, but I think these three are likely ones that almost any team will come across.
i. Team Silos – From Marketing to IT to CS to Sales – teams working together more and across more projects should be more common than not, but sadly it is so often the other way.
ii. Lack of QA – Whether you are rolling out a full product or the MVP version you still need to QA. If you are launching a new website or a new AdWords campaign you still need to check URLs and make sure that the robots.txt doesn’t tell Google/Bing to not index the site.
iii. Lack of Planning – SEO is often brought in very late to a project and often is brought in after the launch. I also often see IT, Social, or any other group not given proper heads up around deadlines and deliverables so that 36 hours before a campaign or project goes live those teams are emailed with a “WE NEED YOU TO DROP EVERYTHING AND DO THIS NOW” type email, Slack, Skype, text message and call.
Q.4.: Which are your three favorite digital marketing tools?
D.R.: In the realm of SEO there are 100s of tools with new paid and free tools coming out all the time. If I was hard pressed to only choose a handful these are three that I would highly consider worth it.
i. Sales Team/Customer Service – from a content ideation standpoint and understanding the problems your clients/prospects are facing these two groups have a ton of insight. What the marketing team or industry calls something is often now how a prospect thinks. So, when it comes to talking to them or hearing the WHY they are considering your product or service you can gather great insights into how to mold your marketing copy or perhaps an idea on a great blog post.
ii. Crawlers – There is a number out there – Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, Deepcrawl, Xenu, Page Modified, and others that vary in price from free to very expensive. What these tools do is crawl your site much like a search engine does. The insights into things you can do to help your SEO are often huge.
iii. Google Analytics (GA) or Google Search Console (GSC) – I personally use both on almost every project I work on and the data there while taken with a grain of salt is really one of the best tools to help with SEO (or any digital marketing project).
Q.5. If you were looking to hire a digital marketer, what are the top 3-5 skills you would be looking for in a candidate?
D.R.: For me, this may change a bit depending on the position or their experience but at the core, these are things I look at:
i. Drive and curiosity – no matter which specific area you go there is constant change. You must keep up.
ii. Data & Excel – From reporting to understanding trends in PPC/SEO the ability to dig into data is a big one for me.
iii. Writing or Coding – either one (or both) are often required to have a job in digital. And you don’t have to write a book or an application/website from scratch, but you do need to understand beyond the basics.
iv. Problem solver – often there is no right or wrong solution but simply a goal. Being able to use available tools and resources to solve a problem will win almost any boss over.
Q.6. What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days and why?
Synergy or Synergize – take your pick I simply don’t like any version of the phrase (and never have). I don’t hear it daily anymore, but when I do I cringe.
 

#MDMC18 Twitter Chats

The Midwest Digital Marketing Conference (MDMC18) offers various activities for the audience to get to know the speakers. One of those – twitter chats – take place every week. During the chat anyone can ask the speaker a question regarding their area of expertise as well as their session at MDMC18.
The first twitter chat was held on December 12, 2017 with Yuval Yeret, the Agile Marketing Practice Lead at AgileSparks. Yuval’s MDMC18 session called “Can elephants dance? Agile Marketing at Scale – CA’s story”, explains how large, traditional marketing organizations can adjust and quickly sense and respond to customer needs and market changes.
In the twitter chat with the MDMC18 audience, Yuval Yeret spoke about the benefits of agile marketing for organizations, among which are working in a more sustainable and meaningful way. He explained that when a company’s marketing department switches to agile marketing, they find time to be creative; they transform the way they are working and leading, and then end up contributing more revenue to the business. Yuval also provided the examples of software used by agile marketing teams, such as Scrum and Kanban, and discussed the benefits of both.
MDMC18 will hold many more twitter chats for you to learn more about the speakers and their sessions:

 Jan 9 @ 10 AM CST Chris Brewer, Online Marketing Giant
Jan 16 @ 2 PM CST Steph Nissen, Atomic Revenue
Jan 23 @ 12 PM CST Tom Harness, Harness Digital Marketing
Jan 30 @ 10 AM CST Mitch Canter, Vanderbilt University
Feb 6 @ 12 PM CST Mike Alton, The Social Media Hat
Feb 13 @ 12 PM CST Keisha Mabry, The Connection Curator
Feb 20 @ 12 PM CST Aleshia Patterson, Nonprofit Marketing Magazine
Feb 22 @ 2 PM CST Evangeline Schultz, Regenerate Marketing, LLC
Feb 27 @ 10 AM CST Ryan Brock, Metonymy Media
Mar 6 @ 2 PM CST Dre Baldwin, Work On Your Game, Inc.
Mar 13 @ 12 PM CST Kasim Aslam, Solutions 8

 
When taking part in a twitter chat with the MDMC18 speaker make sure to include #mdmc18 in your tweet to send your question.

Learn How To Befriend Google With Chris Brewer At MDMC18

The co-founder of Online Marketing Giant & OMG Commerce, Chris Brewer is known to others as “The Idea Machine”. A superior problem solver and a highly creative business thinker, Chris has been a successful entrepreneur for over 15 years working with seven-figure companies in the digital, publishing and outdoor advertising industries.
Brewer’s company Online Marketing Giant & OMG Commerce is a Google Premier Partner agency based in Springfield, MO, which delivers online and offline marketing expertise, advice and education to businesses, franchise groups and e-Commerce brands worldwide.
Chris is the author of the book “Does Your Marketing Make You Money: 7 Quick & Easy Secrets to Create A Booming Business Now”. Brewer regularly coaches and speaks to entrepreneurs and small business leaders on business growth and marketing. He resides in Springfield, MO, with his wife of 22 years and two children.
During his MDMC18 session called “How To Befriend Google and Win”, Chris is going to share how a business can benefit from recent Google changes. Together with Brett Curry, Kasim Aslam, Michael Bartholow, and David Kidd, Chris is going to be a speaker at the SEO Panel.
Here are Chris’s answers from the pre-conference Q&A session.
Q.1. What are some big mistakes a business could make when it comes to digital marketing?
C.B. Failure to become educated about the basics of digital marketing is the number one mistake I see. Those that are educated don’t fall prey as easily to the wannabe’s and robo-callers so prevalent in digital marketing today.
Also, missing the basics of what Google gives you for free. I recently published a new playlist on our YouTube Channel that covers the 7 Ways To Optimize Your Google My Business Listing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cjarl_N4Wzo&list=PLyhZzeaFTzwPRokVTnSJ7JSEs1dWxq5Bg
Q.2. 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?
C.B. Voice-driven search has been a big one and SEO’s and businesses are still adapting to that. In 2018 Google is going to take more and more of the search traffic away from websites, so you have to be on your game in how Google wants to index your information. Over the coming years, audiences will continue to be fragmented and customized. Content tailoring to audiences will create some definite winners and losers.
Q.3. What is your favorite marketing book you have read lately? Or, what are a few of your favorite marketing blogs?
C.B. Purple Cow by Seth Godin.  It’s not new, but it is still very relevant.  Love Neil Patel…of course!
Q.4. What are some social media time management tips that help you stick to your campaign goals without losing a lot of time?
C.B. Plan, plan, plan. Failure to plan your social media strategy and reassess it regularly is the key. When you don’t plan, you will fire without a target and miss every time.
Q.5. Share your favorite digital marketing case study. What did you like most it?
C.B. It’s a recent one. It’s not a huge client, but it was very fun. We took a musical group in Branson, MO, that has regional and some national recognition and completely overhauled their digital presence. We started with their database and their YouTube Channel. We created custom audiences from their database of nearly 1,000,000 customer/fan emails. It helped them skyrocket their iTunes & Spotify downloads without any help from a label. We accomplished their goal of selling out a venue outside their main performing area in a matter of days using Facebook Ads to the custom audiences we created.
Q.6. According to you, what are the top three mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging digital marketing?
C.B.:

  1. Failure to map a sales funnel for what you want to accomplish.
  2. Failure to test smaller batches before launching a full-scale campaign.
  3. Failure to educate themselves enough to know that what a third-party or in-house marketing team is telling them is true/accurate.

Q.7. Which are your three favorite digital marketing tools?
C.B.:

  1. SEM Rush
  2. Bright Local
  3. Google Analytics

Q.8. If you were looking to hire a digital marketer, what are the top 3-5 skills you would be looking for in a candidate?
C.B.:

  1. Google Adwords Experience/Skills
  2. Google Analytics Experience/Competency
  3. Ability to think strategically within an open mindset

Q.9. Who are three people you respect when it comes to digital marketing?
C.B.:

  1. Ezra Firestone
  2. Brett Curry
  3. Roland Frasier

Q.10. What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days and why?
C.B. Anything related to bitcoins!