Tuesday, April 2, 2013

UMSL Digital Conference

Perry Drake was determined to stage a remarkable event. And so he has. Today, at the J.C. Penny Conference Center on the campus of the University of Missouri, St. Louis he managed to assemble a line-up that sent a message, loud and clear to marketers everywhere, especially those about to launch their careers in this elusive field.

Starting with representatives from ForeSee and IBM we learned that big data is puzzling marketers. Research among Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) by IBM confirms that the digital age cannot be ignored and yet the ability to harness and measure the data gathered from social media can be difficult to interpret.   

Recruiter and author, Jerry Bernhart, joins in with the observation (via Google Hangout) that a plethora of jobs are emerging for digital savvy marketers. The CEO of Bonfyre, a St. Louis start-up, makes a compelling case for a platform that engages groups (such as this UMSL digital conference). The platform suggests that participating in an event (such as this) sometimes makes more sense to engage the group members instead of  900+ people you may have accumulated via facebook.

Nielsen’s Todd Budin talks about advertising effectiveness and reinforces the idea that in spite of all the data, marketers should really think about what they actually hope to accomplish up front. TV is still king but we are all keenly aware that digital devices are changing the advertiser’s challenge of breaking through. Reach/Resonance/Reaction is how Nielsen looks at advertising effectiveness and considers the impact on the purchase funnel.

Scott Meyer, CEO of Evidon and Ghostery teases the crowd with the notion that the websites we visit are being monitored.  Back to Google Hangout and we meet Rachel who introduces us to Canary, a social media start-up. (Rachel is in the New York area and a former Pepsico employee.)

Andrew Grinch of Mizzou was a refreshing break from the heady conversation about technology and the future of digital media. His case study about marketing the University of Missouri as it joined the Southeastern Conference (SEC) with a mix of media that included TV, billboards and social media is delivered well. He gives insight into the strategy to address two audiences with Excite and Invite. He should not have felt compelled to apologize for his real world application.    

Kevin from Google is on the big screen (courtesy Google Hangout again). He’s in Las Vegas at a global event for thousands of Google representatives. He reminds us of just how huge the digital business is.

Katy is our next Google Hangout guest. She shares a Nickleodeon case study about the Kids’ Choice Awards and some astounding figures about the social media engagement of this young demographic. Katy will be moving on and taking her skills to Marriott as a director of digital strategy.  

Marshall Sponder offers observations that are indeed insightful. He’s an author and well traveled spokesperson for social media analytics. Marshall might have been the most credible on the topic of big data and digital trends. He is a professor at Rutgers in New Jersey. He pointed out the evolution of skills that will be in demand. “Graphic Artists and Writers are typically different in many ways but if those individuals can find ways to prepare with cross training they will be very much in demand.”

The crowd thinned considerably as the 5:00 hour approached, but those who stayed got to see a pretty impressive panel with representatives from Falk Harrison Creative, Fleishman-Hillard, Switch, Twist, Evolve, and Momentum. All comments were abbreviated but hinted at the reality of applying the digital realities of the day for their clients.  
ST. LOUIS University of Missouri, St. Louis - Perry Drake, the unassuming host and maestro of UMSL's Digital Conference at J. C. Penny Conference Center on April 2, 2013

1 comment:

  1. Nice overview of the event. I thought the content was awesome. You did a good job capturing it.