#MDMC Scholarship Recipient: Samuel Craig

Hear from one of two first-ever MDMC Scholarship Recipients!

My name is Sam Craig, I am a senior marketing major at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. I am honored to be a recipient of the MDMC Scholarship. I applied for this scholarship because out of all the available grants, the MDMC Scholarship aligned almost perfectly with my academic and professional aspirations. During my first semester at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, in my digital marketing class taught by Professor Perry Drake, I discovered the scholarship and the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference. Dr. Drake spoke frequently and highly about the conference and the strength of the MDMC network; this made me excited about the possibility of entering that network. Since I became an MDMC scholar, I have been exposed to numerous opportunities for my career and education; without this scholarship, I would not have had these opportunities. The scholarship gave me increased pride and confidence in myself as a marketing student and professional. I hope to carry this pride and confidence forward throughout my career. I would love to expand my creative skills, as I have experience working for a marketing agency as a video producer and editor. I also enjoy producing music in my spare time. I hope to advance to a creative director position at a company in the near future. I value company culture and significance in the community, so I hope to achieve that goal at a company that aligns with those values. The MDMC scholarship has greatly enhanced my time here at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and I am beyond thankful for the opportunities I have received and will continue to receive down the road.

I encourage any student who is interested in this scholarship to pursue more information on it by visiting the website or contacting Dr. Drake himself. Students can greatly benefit from this scholarship and many others like it!

314 Digital's 4th Annual Digital Marketing Showcase

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-12-07-32-pm314 Digital will be hosting the 4th Annual Digital Marketing Showcase on December 7th at the Palladium in St. Louis.  If you aren’t familiar with the Showcase event, you’ve been missing a great opportunity to see some of the most innovative digital marketing creative and executions being launched from right here in St. Louis.  Think art gallery opening meets digital marketing.  While so much emphasis in digital marketing is put on data and analytics, this is a unique and fun way to celebrate the amazing creative and how it all comes together for brands into campaigns.
But it’s not all business.  Once you’ve had a chance to visit with the 12+ agencies that will be displaying their work, there will be a DJ, open bar, and heavy appetizers to continue the celebration (until 9pm that is).  The best part of the evening is that thanks to our gracious and generous sponsors, Oracle, Adobe, Teads, YuMe, AdTheorent, and Amobee, the entire evening is FREE to attend.  You can register at eventbright or at 314Digital.com and make sure to share and bring some friends.
Each year we’ve seen exciting new work and been introduced to some of the leading designers and digital creative minds.  What will this year hold in store?  What ideas will become the next reality, or virtual reality?  We hope to see many new faces amongst the 300 plus digital and marketing professionals.

Why You Should Not Pass Over Email Marketing

email marketing

By: Frederick Eccher and Chris Dzurick
email marketingDespite email marketing being passed over as a relic by entrepreneurs chasing the next great technology, email marketing is still highly effective– and cost efficient to boot. Using your content as fuel to give users something of value and tying in some kind of social media integration, email marketing can serve as a type of glue to hold your other strategies together. Continue reading “Why You Should Not Pass Over Email Marketing”

2015 St. Louis Design Week Preview: September 19-25

11902468_882834898431459_8219912847161200264_nSt. Louis Design Week originated from a want to inspire and promote the practice of design in St. Louis. From September 19-25, you have 45 chances to “Learn something. Make something. Do Something.” With events all over town, every creative or non-creative can find something up their alley. Here is a small sampling of some of the events you can attend. For the full schedule, visit http://stldesignweek.com/.
St. Louis Design Week Opening Party | Converge with all of the creatives, designers, principals, entrepreneurs, and design fans to celebrate the unfolding of an entire week of all things design! Join us for music, interactive exhibits, installations in the space and schmooze with design luminaries from the community at World Chess Hall of Fame. More Info.
The Sunday Story | The Sunday Story breathes life into one person’s untold story, bringing to life the important lessons and meaningful impacts. The storyteller partners with a team to elevate their story through design, public speaking coaching, and experiential event planning. Think of it as a blend of a religious sermon (with all the lessons but without all the religion), TED (with the same emotional impact but less speakers and data), and an Apple keynote (without the sales pitch). Join us for the Sunday Story and connect with St. Louis’ untold stories. More Info.
The Business of Creativity Panel | We’ve assembled a panel of leaders from a spectrum of design-related businesses to discuss the joys and hangover-inducing challenges of running a creative company. Panelists will share stories of their successes and failures related to attracting new clients, defining expertise, growing a successful business, hiring disgruntled liberal arts majors and more. More Info.
Design’s Role in Social Innovation Panel | Although design’s role is so prevalent in society through day-to-day interactions and global innovations, it can be argued that design is one of the most invisible fields of innovation. Through design thinking and social entrepreneurism, design has the potential to improve global difficulties and challenge human rights and social justice issues. Hear local designers and entrepreneurs discuss how design entrepreneurship can change the social sector, redefine the notion of social entrepreneurship, and be a catalyst for social innovation. More Info.
Women in Design Panel | How does the female perspective help define design today? Join us in celebrating and discussing the many roles women take on in the world of design, from creators to consumers. This one hour panel will bring together several local women from a variety of fields, including fashion, interiors and digital strategy, who will share how their diverse backgrounds, experiences and disciplines have helped shape their careers, their local community and their creations. More Info.

4 Online Tools for Digital Marketers

By: Kathryn Todd

In a world where digital marketing is so prominent, it’s hard to decide which tools will produce the best results for your product & customer. Digital presence is now necessary for companies, and it is a huge part of the overall brand experience. It’s easy to let digital and social take over your schedule, so here are some helpful tools to streamline some of your digital marketing efforts.
Managing Multiple Social Communities
With the presence of so many social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and more, it is hard to manage all of the 512px-owly-grad-hsuposts and presences. The CMO Council states that 46% of global users go to social media to help make purchase decisions, and 71% of customers purchase from brands they are following on social media. These statistics show the huge impact social media makes on a brand and its success. Websites such as Hootsuite help manage different social media websites. This website allows users to schedule and post to up to 35 different social media platforms.
Inbound Marketing Automation
The CMO Council also states that content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing at 62% less of a cost. Hubspot was founded in 2006 and aims to help businesses to “attract, engage, and delight customers by delivering inbound experiences that are relevant, helpful, and personalized.” This company has over 15,000 customers in over 90 companies to whom it provides blogging, social, SEO, analytics, CRM, and more.HubSpotLogo_Dark_Web_Flat
Online Creative Services
Ever wonder how brands create beautiful images for social, email or print deliverables? With companies like Canva emerging in the online graphic design space, even the novice designer can create simple and ultra-professional branding for your firm in a matter of minutes. Canva is free, with premium elements available for purchase. Start creating your visual content by using Canva’s templates or highly customize starting from a blank page. Digital options include blog graphics, cover photos, social media images and much more. Print templates include presentations, flyers, posters and invitations.
Scoring Marketing Tools
Does your inbox feel overpowered by great companies reaching out, but you don’t know where to start or who you really need? G2, a business software review platform, allows users to learn more about marketing products, compare them side by side and access full reports. Products are assigned a G2 score, a market presence score, and a satisfaction score. Viewers can see how many ratings each product has – ranging from 10 to over 800.
From start-ups to legacy companies, there are many different tools available to develop and evolve your digital brand. What are your favorite tools?

4 Steps to Effectively Measure Your Marketing Impact

Commercial Planning Marketing

by: Maria De Los Angeles Lopez De Lacalle, with Danni Eickenhorst 
Commercial Planning MarketingOnce a company decides to put focus on social media, one critical step they must take is determining its goals for this medium, and how it will measure those goals. The goals should be based on Key Performance Indicators (KPI), which are measurements that inform their strategic decisions in the future.

1. Set the goals

We cannot determine which measurements are our KPI without first having decided our objectives. While many entrepreneurs sometimes operate without a clean business plan, most know the goals they want to achieve in order to be successful. Most business objectives have a corresponding marketing measurement.
Let’s suppose we are marketing and managing a hotel. Our objective for successful marketing would be to increase the number of sales. In order to measure how successful we are at the marketing we perform, we would need to measure and monitor the conversion rate of visitors to our website who book a hotel room.

2. Set goals and measure progress

Once we have determined the marketing measurements that best reflect our business goals, we need to establish what goals we will measure to ensure that we are making strategic decisions that achieve our business goals. We will need to establish the goals and measure our progress to make better marketing decisions.
Is very important not to measure just to measure. It does not worth it know my conversion rate if I don’t compare it with my goal.

3. Analyze the data

Once we have our measurements and goals, we must measure and analyze. While measuring our progress is important, it cannot be truly useful without further analysis. Some things we might consider include:

  • How did those who visited our website and booked a hotel room arrive at our site?
  • Of all of the sources of traffic, which ones were most likely to convert into booked rooms?
  • Do we have any benchmark data we should compare against? What’s changed? Is it a positive or negative change?
  • Do we have competitor data to compare our data to? While not all competitor metrics are comparable, since we have reduced access to their data, there is almost always something you can find through social networks or online research to benchmark your successes against those of your competitors.

4. Interpreting & Representation of data

With all the indicators collected, measured and contextualized, you have now arrived at the moment to represent that data. Consider the audience who will be reviewing your data.
If your audience is executives in a board room (professionals who don’t specialize in marketing, but who are more concerned with bottom line business goals), you may wish to display and convey this data in a way that avoids marketing jargon and showcases your actual impact on the bottom line. One way you may present this data is, “We launched a campaign to drive our Facebook and Twitter followers to our website in February. In February, we received 5,000 new website visitors from these channels, which was 75% higher than previous months. We analyzed the data, and in the end, found that Facebook visitors were 33% more likely to convert to sales once they arrived on our site. We plan to repeat and analyze this approach and data going forward, but preliminarily feel that our efforts might be best adjusted going forward by spending a proportionally higher amount of our marketing time and dollars on Facebook over Twitter.”
If your audience is a group of marketing professionals, you may wish to pair this data with more technical marketing measurements, such as engagement, followers, time on site, etc.
If you choose to utilize graphic representations of your data, carefully consider whether graphics or charts will be better received by your audience. Always tailor the information delivered to that audience.
In the interpretation of your data, results and insights in this way, with analysis and strategic direction recommendations, you are providing value, and helping your company make stronger strategic decisions.