Kill the Fear: Day 1 Recap of #WhatsNextDC

So I just finished up with the first day of the What’s Next conference.  WOW.  I cannot remember the last time I felt so inspired/refreshed/motivated. As someone who is dedicated to such a particular market of architecture/engineering/construction, I tend to get bogged down in what everyone else (meaning my competitors) is doing that I forget to look to outside sources for inspiration.  Well this conference is just that – a close look into other marketers minds.

After countless tweets and about 10 pages of notes from today’s session, here are my top takeaways:

Form strategic partnerships with organizations that will naturally attract the minds of your audience.  

Jennifer Kim Field, Executive Director of Global Partnerships and Marketing: United Nations Foundation

A new approach to ROI of promotional videos – rather than the number of views, consider the video a success if it is shared by five of your influencers.

Tim Washer, Senior Marketing Manager: Cisco Systems

The user digital experience should look this and be a smooth transition from one to the next:  User’s Pain –> Solution –> Product/Service

Jordon DeVries: LookThink

Responsive design is becoming inevitable.  Content is viewed via mobile, but customers engage through an app.

Sami Hassanyeh, Chief Digital Officer: AARP

Own your own story, or others will.  You must engage in online conversations even if that person may never be a customer.

Lisa Shalett, Global Head of Brand Marketing & Digital Strategy: Goldman Sachs

Stop chasing meaningless data! What is the point of chasing data that has no point?

Katie Watts, Managing Director: HUGE

People don’t engage a sales team until 70% of the sales process is complete.  They are doing the research on their own, and validating with word of mouth.

Katrina Klier, Managing Director of Global Digital Marketing and Communications: Accenture

In marketing, be revolutionary (because you want to surprise) and incremental (because you don’t want to get fired.)

Jason Seiken, General Manager of Digital: PBS

Brands are the new media.  They create the content to entertain and educate.

Heidi Browning, Senior VP of Strategic Solutions: Pandora

Even in B2B, there is still a C.

Ira Gleser, Former VP of Industry Communications: CocaCola