Digital East 2013: Rules for the Future of Marketing

Day 2 of Digital East 2013 wrapped up yesterday and although I’ve been busy catching up back in the office, I wanted to be sure to post a few thoughts from Day 2. First, I have to say the entire event was extremely well-run and well-organized. The topics covered were relevant and the speakers were very inspiring, I only wish I could have attended all of the sessions.

My favorite session was the lunch keynote speaker, Joe Lockhart, former White House Press Secretary during the Clinton Administration and VP of Global Communications for Facebook. As you can imagine, having worked with Bill Clinton, this guy has some great stories to tell:

“Working with Clinton there was never a dull moment, working with Zuckerburg there was never a wasted moment.”

Lockhart got his start in politics working on the Carter re-election campaign in 1980 and has had a series of notable opportunities in the political sphere since. In a slight detour from politics, Lockhart went on to Facebook and assisted with the acquisition of Instagram. For a guy that has immersed himself in the political sphere, Lockhart has an incredibly strong understanding of the importance of technology and communication and he offered six rules for how marketing is changing and how marketers need to change with it:

  1. The marketing funnel is giving way to the social graph. The challenge no longer becomes how to lead your audience through the marketing funnel, but how to impact the social graph with your message.
  2. Mad scientists have replaced Mad Men. Whiskey is being replaced by data. In one instance of Lockhart’s presentation he details examples as to why Obama won the 2012 reelection; one primary example is that Obama’s team made the number crunchers the deciders. Collecting data and being able to properly analyze it is going to be an even more essential skill moving forward.
  3. The 30 second TV ad is now the walking dead. We haven’t figured out what to replace it with, so it won’t go away completely, but the importance of TV ads is shrinking.
  4. We’re all journalists, pundits and publishers. My take on this is everyone has an opinion and everyone wants their voice to be heard. Most of the time the people that want to be heard the most are the ones with negative feedback. Finding your brand advocates and influencers is not easy but listening to your critics is just as important.
  5. Your customers are your best salespeople. People don’t trust media organizations or decisions that come from the top down, people trust their friends and their networks. Figuring out a way to harness word of mouth and the power of networks is key.
  6. The best story always wins. As much emphasis that has been placed on building consumer insights through data and marketing intelligence, there is still an emotive connection with the audience/consumer that needs to be preserved. Visual content is powerful so determine a way to deliver visual content faster.

Read more about my takeaways from Digital East 2013 Day 1

Learn more about Digital East 2013.

*Please note, the above list is merely a paraphrase of the speakers’ thoughts and ideas

Mad Men? More like Mad Scientists.

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