IAB Canada Fall MIXX Conference

Charlene Li IAB Conference 2014

Speaker Charlene Li. Photo by me.

Last week we were invited to the Fall Conference organized by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB Canada). We had the chance to learn a bit more about different aspects of marketing and digital marketing in particular.

The first session by Charlene Li was one of my favourites: The Secret to Digital Strategy Success: Putting People First, Not Technology. I think  this is something brands (and people) tend to forget when  they are trying to deliver a message. We usually think: hey, let’s send this message on our social media channels… oh, there’s a new social network, let’s join and be super popular and have new millions of fans that will become our customers and we’ll be rich!… BUT it is far more complicated than that… because… *drumroll*… you need to connect with people!

And here is where everything gets a bit complicated because just as in real (old-school, 2D, face-to-face) life, you want to have lots of friends BUT they need to like you, right? So, it is exactly the same way in the digital world. Brands have to  connect with people and let them know why they’re the cool so they can become the popular guy, have lots of friends, likes, sales, etc.

All this analogy of marketing and high school is actually mine but I think it illustrates the point of why I liked Charlene’s presentation. When you put people first, technology becomes a media to connect with them. Then of course you have all the advantages of the new times and you can know who is following you, their age, where they live, what kind of content they prefer (like when you want to know everything about your crush) and in that way you can engage better and grow your community. In other words: you need to understand data!

It was surprising to hear Annette Warring, one of the speakers, talk about how this is the end of digital media. Especially when we were all tweeting during the conference and having our phones handy. I don’t know if I agree completely to this but I like the idea of being challenged to think out of my comfort zone. On the other hand Annette made a point when she said digital itself was not as groundbreaking as it was before and now the real media is creativity… any thoughts about this?

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