“Be Prepared to Be Spontaneous”

Last week I attended BtoB Magazine’s Digital Edge Live conference in NYC.  One of the quotes which really resonated with me was from the Executive Director of Global Brand Marketing, Linda Boff who urged attendees to “be prepared to be spontaneous,” and try real-time marketing.   We live in a society now where people can consume media as they want.   What does that mean in the world of content marketing? That in order to succeed your brand must cut through the noise to reach your audience.  You must be spontaneous, cutting edge, and doing something different to capture their attention. One of the creator’s of the now famous Oreo super-bowl campaign was on the B2B’s Edgy Side: Top Trends in Digital Marketing panel with Linda.  He discussed the importance of always being ready as a brand, and leveraging the unknown for spontaneity, and the success that his client Oreo had from doing so.

From this Event I had four takeaways I’d like to share:

1) Journey:  It’s important to figure out the meaning of any campaign, before embarking on it.  Before doing anything, it’s important to set clear expectations from what you want while understanding the true DNA of your company, or your clients.  Deciding what to do, is just as important as deciding what not to do.

2) Online Video:  The discussion of online video and leveraging visual social media marketing was a hot topic throughout the day.  Panelists urged that the ideal time for a video is two minutes, and that whatever is produced should offer tips and trends or solve a problem.  Leveraging people and quotes are another quick way to make your video stand out.  Online video was picked as a 2014 top digital marketing trends by several of the speakers, so make sure your brand is ready!

3) Three C’s of Content Marketing: (Content, Conversation, and Commerce).  These three simple C’s are so simple; it all starts with good content before embarking on any campaign.  Good content should start the conversation and be shareable.  Leveraging that content into commerce comes last.  Think about how you can utilize that content whether it be in a lead generation campaign to drive downloads, or around an email campaign spelling out a customer journey.  So basic, yet so very effective if you can get this right!

4) Don’t Sell in Social: This to me was one of the strongest points of the day, and something I wish I could tell ALL of those vendors who send me LinkedIn messages! Don’t sell in social, ENGAGE in social media. Social media is a place to share content, and add and exchange value.

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As an old BtoB employee this conference was somewhat bittersweet as Crain Communications announced that BtoB will merge into Advertising Age effective 1/1/14.   Rance Crain, president of Crain Communications and editor-in-chief of Advertising Age said: “B2B and consumer marketers are increasingly using similar tools and wrestling with the same challenges, so it just made sense to have a single marketing publication. We think we can do a better job if we coordinate coverage of all marketing under one brand, with one strategy.”  It was fun to get together with a group of old & current BtoB staffers at the event… I’m wishing all of my old co-worker’s and colleagues the best as they embark onto the next part of this journey…