Inspiration and Lessons Learned from the 2018 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference

By: Weber Shandwick St. Louis

Despite the dreariness of last week’s weather, some brightness shone as marketing students, industry professionals and marketing and communications leaders gathered for the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference in downtown St. Louis. Weber Shandwick’s Digital Account & Engagement Lead Obele Brown-West led an engaging discussion on how brands and organizations are leveraging AI on social media to create compelling new content that drives commerce.

Reflecting on Obele’s presentation, I wondered how much have I purchased through social media? How did these ads even target me as a consumer? This world of social commerce isn’t necessarily new, but it’s fascinating how easily it has crept into our daily lives and how rapidly it evolves. Obele mentioned that “this presentation will probably be antiquated by the time we leave this room.” As quickly as things change in the social commerce landscape, that’s definitely a possibility.

Combining the right tools and technology with social media means transforming the way we shop in our daily lives, and transforming how we convert consumers in our professional lives. Social platforms shake up the consumer experience and directly correlate to bottom of the funnel marketing objectives.

While my bias may tell me that my colleague’s presentation was the best of them all, there was still a lot to learn from many other experts attending the conference. From crisis management, to visual storytelling, read some of my colleagues’ thoughts and takeaways from the conference below!

– Rodney Pruitt, Associate, Client Experience Digital

Social Media Crisis Management Panel

Reputation takes years to build and minutes to dissolve in the wake of a crisis. Social media managers need to have the tools and know-how at the ready to manage an issue quickly and effectively, even if they are not crisis communications experts. While most PR professionals know just enough to be dangerous when it comes to managing a crisis, there’s still a lot to learn, much of which can only come from experience. A panel of local crisis powerhouses shared their insights on how to prepare before a crisis or issue, based on their many years in the trenches. Here’s what they said:


—Read More at the Weber Shandwick Blog—


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?

  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?
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!

Work On Your Game With Dre Baldwin

Dre Baldwin is the world’s only “Work On Your Game” expert, who speaks, coaches and consults business professionals on Mental Toughness, Self-Confidence, and Self-Discipline.
Dre was a professional basketball player for 9 years. He has been blogging since 2005 and started publishing his videos on YouTube in 2006 – he posted a new video every day for 7 years in a row! So far, he has published over 6,000 videos: with more than 125,000 subscribers, his videos have been viewed over 40 million times.
Dre has given 4 TED Talks, published 14 books and more than 150 basketball programs. His “Work On Your Game” podcast is ranked among Top 200 Education broadcasts on iTunes.
Dre is going to be a Keynote Speaker at the MDMC18. In his talk, he will share how to apply the tools, which he learned during his career as a professional athlete, to the business world.
As usual, before the conference, we sat down with Dre to talk about social media and digital marketing.
Q.1. What are some big mistakes a business could make when it comes to digital marketing?
– Not doing it!
– Being too generic
– No human voice behind their material
– Having nothing unique and interesting to say
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?
D.B.: Immediacy. With live streaming, stories and snaps, we can share more and more of our daily lives, and people will want more and more of it. Those who are best at it will have a following who is constantly awaiting the next update.
Q.3. What is your favorite marketing book you have read lately? Or, what are a few of your favorite marketing blogs?

  1. “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson
    1a. “Win Bigly” by Scott Adams

Q.4. What are some social media time management tips that help you stick to your campaign goals without losing a lot of time?
D.B.: I don’t try to manage my time! There are 24 hours; no amount of management will change that. I just get it done, period.
Q.5. Which are your three favorite digital marketing tools?

  1. Cameras
  2. . Stories/Snaps
  3. 3. Email/blog posts

Q.6. 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. Clearly understand my brand and message
    2. Have innovative ideas aside from my own
    3. Look for an edge, a way to be creative and new

Q.6. What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days and why?
D.B.: “Influencer.” Everyone is always aiming to influence. And, having a lot of followers is not the same as having a lot of buyers. Companies are finding that out.

Be a Sponsor at the Midwest's Largest Digital Marketing Conference

Get your brand in front of 2,000 marketing professionals at the largest digital marketing conference in the region!

At #MDMC16 we set many records. Highlights of this one day event included:

  • Trended on twitter both nationally and internationally for over 8 hours on day of conference.
  • Over 50 speakers including BuzzFeed Pandora, Refinery29, Pinterest, Under Armour, Johnson & Johnson, Eloqua, Ogilvy One, Google, Yahoo,Nielsen, eHarmony, LinkedIn and more.
  • Over 50 sponsors including Purina, Momentum WorldWide, Charter Cable/Spectrum Reach, Ricoh, Selligent, Redfin and more.  View more past exhibitors and sponsors!
  • Set attendance records with a remarkable 1,367 marketers and friends, not to mention 300 wait listed persons.

The Midwest Digital Marketing Conference offers proven ROI for top brands wanting to connect with the best of regional digital communities. To learn more about available exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities please download the official sponsorship packet!
Interested in becoming a sponsor or exhibitor? Sign up now!
unnamed“MDMC16 was one of the best events we attended this year. We made excellent contacts and long term business relationships along with learning a ton!”
– Elizabeth Ledbetter, The Creative Group

MDMC 16 Speaker Named Brand Innovators 40 Under 40

We would like to extend a congratulations to our MCMC 16 speaker, Veena Ramesh who was named a Brand Innovators 40 Under 40. Veena is the Digital Lead of Global Digital Strategy and Beauty at Johnson & Johnson.
VeenaVeena has a deep understanding of global consumer behavior as she has lived and worked across Asia, the Middle East and the US. Prior to moving into the global role – She increased the Digital IQ, set processes and implemented a hub and spoke model of managing Digital, across the six ASEAN countries, within J&J. Veena also co-created the Advanced Web Analytics program at NYU. Veena graduated from the National University of Singapore with a B.B.A (Finance) and NYU with a M.S. in Integrated Marketing.
Veena’s 4 Trends to Watch For:
1. Attracting Digital Talent – You cannot escape the topic of how to hire and retain digital talent in any forum. This will continue to be a hot topic. Companies should stop hiring based on the same yard stick that they use to hire a traditional marketer. You need to woo and have strategies to retain “t-shape” leaders with vertical digital depth but ability to navigate across the organization. You might need to search for this talent in unconventional ways.
2. Every marketer needs to be a Digital Marketer – Companies are now starting to put traditional marketers through Digital Bootcamps- Rutgers and GA run some good corporate programs. But that is not enough. The only way to learn is by doing. Marketers need to get their training wheels off and be able to plan and execute campaigns that include digital.
3. Role of a Digital Agency – We are seeing an explosion of content providers and low cost production houses flood the market. In this landscape the digital agencies have to step up and play a more elevated role in stewardship of the brand, creating multi-dimensional ideas and providing measurable ROI.
4. Social at the Core organizations – You will attract digital talent only if your employees know how to navigate the social space. Do you have 30s-1min video that outlines the day in a life? Do all your employees engage in the campaigns that you launch? Every company needs to honestly ask themselves how they are perceived by potential candidates.
This article was originally posted on Brand Innovators 40 Under 40

Using Twitter for Customer Service

By: Megan Hamilton
When most people think of how they use Twitter I’m sure it’s just an app to get out your aggression over the traffic you’ve been stuck in for hours or vigorously using every single character you have for celebrating a team’s win, or maybe even for shouting out a happy birthday to your best friend? I’ll tell you how I use Twitter; it’s a way to pass time. Continue reading “Using Twitter for Customer Service”

Connected Fitness with Under Armour's Katie Krum

katie-krumm-250x270Katie Krum is currently the Director of Digital Marketing at Under Armour and manages the content and engagement for Under Armour’s Connected Fitness ecosystem. This includes MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness, and Under Armour Record.
Katie graduated with a B.A. in History from Princeton and a M.S. in Integrated Marketing from NYU. Before she worked for Under Armour, she worked in digital marketing at Nickelodeon and Mariott International. Katie’s background comes from start-ups, which is also where she discovered her passion for digital technologies.
Katie also made Brand Innovators “40 under 40” List. A list consisting of young marketing professionals who “have proven they have the ingenuity, leadership, and strategic foresight necessary to perform at the highest levels possible in the in the constantly evolving media and marketing environment.” – David Teicher, editor and chief content officer at Brand Innovators.
In anticipation of her discussion on Social Media we asked her to answer some questions on the future of digital marketing, see her opinions and insights below!
What’s the future of wearable tech? Will it ever become a marketing platform?
Clothing! Shirts and shoes will provide us with the information (and so much more) that bands, glasses, watches and heart rate monitors provide us today… the marketing platform will be in the data we collect.
What does “content” mean to you?
I used to have a much more narrow view of content — related to premium content: long-form content (tv series), blog articles, visual/story-telling slideshows, etc. But in the broadest of terms: commercials are content, images on a retail site might be considered content, instagram posts are content…its so many things. So broad that we probably need to create more precise terms for the future.
What are your top 3 digital metrics?
Related to engagement, I am trying to turn the organization towards quality time spent, which can be measured by:  time spent reading, scroll depth, engagement, recirculation, shares, and percentage of article completed.
Come hear Katie talk about why she feels this way and all the other insights she has about digital marketing at the MDMC! Register today, April will be here before you know it!