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Top Ten Takeaways from 360i’s Digital Marketing Summit

September 28, 2011

At 360i’s 2011 Digital Marketing Summit, we had the honor of hosting some of the best, most inspiring speakers from some of the biggest and most accomplished brands. While we can’t possibly do justice to all of the impactful keynotes and panels, we can at least curate and distill a handful of highlights.
Here are the top ten takeaways from the Digital Marketing Summit.

1) Facilitate the exchange of ideas by bringing marketers together for candid conversations. This was one of the goals expressed by 360i CEO Bryan Wiener at the start of the summit. Over the course of the day, you might find yourself in a conversation with marketers from an electronics brand, a financial services company, and a spirits producer. It’s invaluable to facilitate such an exchange, get inspired by their successes, and learn from their challenges. Such an event is the best kind of social networking there is, and the forum itself is thus greater than the sum of its individual presentations.

2) “People who are engaged with your brand buy your stuff.” – 360i CEO Bryan Wiener

3) The world’s going mobile. Wendy Clark, The Coca-Cola Company’s SVP of Integrated Marketing and Communications Capabilities, noted that by 2020, 90% of the world’s population is expected to have mobile phones. At the end of the day, 360i VP of Emerging Media David Berkowitz showed how mobile plays a role in every hour of consumers’ lives. Marketers can’t afford any further delays on creating compelling mobile experiences that tie in with their overarching programs.

4) Creativity is contagious. Wendy Clark’s talk included videos to some of Coca-Cola’s global campaigns to spread happiness, such as Argentina’s Friendship Machine and Brazil’s Happiness Truck. These creative examples combine the attitude of “What if…?” combined with the willingness to break rules.

5) Search remains a crucial starting point and nexus for marketing programs. Jessica Robinson, Associate Director of Consumer Engagement at Kraft Foods, says search is especially critical when launching new brands, and also for adapting to seasonal changes in purchase trends.

6) Consumers only want you to talk to them through social channels if you’re talking with them, not at them. – Ellen Stone, SVP of Brand Marketing, Bravo Media

7) Changes with video are upending so much of traditional media consumption patterns. This was a big theme when some of the largest online media companies shared their views on the media landscape in 2012 and beyond. Google’s David Bryant referred to YouTube as “the global campfire.” AOL’s Tim Castelli discussed bringing more multimedia into ad units. Yahoo’s Mark Ellis said Yahoo produces 9 of the top 10 original video programs online, and it’s making big bets on new series for the fall. Microsoft’s Rick Song was the most provocative, presenting a view of an Xbox-centric world where people will use their voices to interact with TV content and advertising, allowing media interactions to seamlessly transition across screens and devices.

8 ) “A lot of people are talking about storytelling. But you need to empower the storytellers in addition to providing the platform.” – 360i’s Matt Wurst, via Twitter

9) The speaker least directly focused on marketing was safely the most inspiring to marketers in the room. Harlem Children’s Zone founder Geoffrey Canada garnered the most tweets of the day from the audience, but there were also several stretches of his talk where everyone was silently leaning forward, too focused on listening to attempt to share his remarks. Perhaps the most universally applicable of his messages was, “You can’t keep doing what didn’t work and expect that it will work.” It’s a problem that he deals with in reforming America’s educational system, and it’s a problem most marketers have encountered as well. But let’s be honest here – he was there to connect with people, not just marketers. And as people, we need to be concerned with the future of the United States and make education reform both a local and national priority.

10) A tweet from 360i’s Katie Perry perfectly summed up the day: “Underlying lesson from both keynotes at #360iDMS today: Stop accepting mediocrity.”

While we can’t possibly list everyone by name, thanks to each and all of the speakers for all their effort and time spent on providing value at the event, the hundreds of attendees who took a day or more out of their frenetic schedules to participate, and the dozens of our colleagues here at 360i who spent months making this event particularly memorable and meaningful. So much more of what we learned and what we’re inspired to act on will be the subject of countless posts here in the months ahead.