Saturday, March 26, 2016

Fish out of Water

At the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference

Perhaps it is appropriate to situate this progressive gathering of digital savvy business leaders and individuals interested in staying ahead of the wave of disruption at an historic landmark, the St. Louis Union Station (built in 1894). History is being made. Just four years in the making, the University of Missouri, St. Louis College of Business has seized the leadership position in presenting this discussion at the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference 2016. And they mean business. Held on April 21, 2016 Experts in the marketing communications industry address the cutting edge of digital, social, tech and innovation.

It is an information overload, packed into six unique tracks and dozens of sessions and breakouts. Travis Sheridan, Director of Venture CafĂ© reminds us that with innovation comes disruption in his opening remarks but UMSL’s Professor Perry Drake has been feeding this frenzy since he launched this series of conferences in April 2013. The interest and attendance has grown steadily each year. This year’s event promises to propel the discussion further into the mainstream for not only those in their comfort zone but also for all of those fish out of water who can no longer be in denial. Change is here and it is profound. (The MDMC2016 graphics and TV commercial were developed by a crew lead by Evan Miguel, a graduate student at UMSL who was recognized this year with an ADDY award for excellence from the American Advertising Federation. Nice work.)

The truth is in the details and this is a place where you can to start (or continue) your discovery of impact of digital marketing from hundreds of vantage points. The formal presentations include using LinkedIn, Pinterest, 3D printing, digital/social media, media measurement, mobile, marketing automation, data mining and so on. But maybe the real information is woven into the fabric of learning from each other.

Congratulations to the organizers of this wonderful event from a boomer who wonders if anyone remembers Marketing Myopia by Theodore Levitt --- and understands why a 19th Century railroad station might be a perfect place to ponder the future of marketing.