On September 26th and 27th, Omeda sponsored The Chicago Digital Summit that was held at McCormick Place. The Client Success and Marketing Team divided and conquered the sessions in order to take notes and refresh on an array of digital marketing topics. The team enjoyed the diversity of content from sessions such as “Data From The Heart: Creating Marketing Content That Matters” to “Using Storytelling to Magnify Content Strategy.”

Here are 5 key takeaways:

  1. Expectations of brands are increasing: Consumers are looking to brands that share their values, offer meaning and provide an emotional connection. According to a new report from Havas Media Group, Meaningful Brands, 75% of consumers expected brands to tangibly improve their lives and the role they play in society. Examples of campaigns from AmEx to REI highlight how a brand can provide for a deeper sense of purpose. It is beneficial to look at all parts of your organization and make certain that all groups are aligned and able to message and work to not only deliver product, but to serve the principles of your target audience. We were reminded of this as the quote on the screen read “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.” – Simon Sinik
  2. Getting people to care is often in the details. Whether we are working towards a pitch to upper management or on a piece of new content, it’s extremely important that we take on the role of a storyteller and consider the question that anyone may ask of us: “Why would we care?” In answering this question, we can cultivate a better story and reason to embrace the ideas that we are presenting. The details come into play when considering how to write down our ideas. We were shown a slide with the following sentences for comparison:

A. “The king died and then the queen died.”

B. “The king died, and then the queen died of grief.”
–E.M. Forster

The speaker drove home the point that it was the addition of the extra words “of grief” in example B. that makes us care more. It was the expanding upon the data from the sentence in a, that creates a new experience for the reader. In this strong example, we are reminded to add the details to achieve stronger content and move people to action.

  1. Personalized Marketing Doesn’t Start with “Hello [First Name]. Rather, it begins with data integrity as a keystone to personalization. Content and Data need to work hand in hand. Once this is happening, the possibilities are endless. For example, we can find out where someone wants to be engaged and then personalize that experience for them. Some parts of our audience wish to be engaged on social media while others prefer email, etc. The advancement of personalization is so far beyond “Hello, [First Name].
  2. You Are What You Signal. Advertising functions as a signal to the consumer. The example given during this session was a beautiful tech display by Apple at an airport concourse. There wasn’t much to the ad. In fact, their entire media strategy was the signaling to their consumer that they are able to purchase this expensive placement and display further that they are a premium brand. Meanwhile, in digital, people often ask: “How can I reach my audience but get the cheapest impression?” We need to be thinking differently across all platforms and realize that in placing ourselves on the more low end spots, one is signaling that their brand may in fact be cheaper. This ultimately can send a negative message to the end user.
  3. Data alone does not move people to action. Rather it is the feelings and experiences that drive people to action. We must cultivate what we can from the data and go forth to make content for our audiences that has emotional resonance. If the data alone moved people, we wouldn’t be looking at Apple’s beautiful ads complete with colorful visuals and background music. Rather, we might be viewing a portfolio. The data is key to pulling out what motivates our customers. Then, we must humanize it through gathering insights and moving it forward.