May 28, 2014
Recently, I had the pleasure of moderating the Navigating the Evolving Digital Landscape Panel at the Westchester Digital Summit. I facilitated a conversation with Gabe Goodwin, senior director, social production at ESPN, Lisa Stockmon, EVP & CMO of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Quinn Kilbury, brand director, Newcastle at Heineken USA and Jocelyn Cripps, EVP global B2C marketing, The Financial Times. While the takeaways were plentiful, here are four key highlights.
1. Marketing is marketing, regardless of the industry.
Lisa eloquently pointed out that at the end of the day, no matter what industry you work in, marketing is, well, marketing! It’s about reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time. Social media is just another means marketers can use to better achieve this goal.
2. Facebook’s algorithm change is nothing to worry about.
It makes sense that Facebook made changes to its algorithm. It’s a business that needs to make money. It has been transparent about its decision, and wants to help you, the brand, use its technology in the most effective way possible. Quinn explained that he sees Newcastle’s relationship with Facebook as a partnership. Their collaboration was crucial to the success of the genius Almost Super Bowl campaign with Anna Kendrick (one of my favorites of the year so far!) Keynote speaker Gary Vaynerchuck raved about Facebook in his presentation. For the first time, he’s accepting CPA-based clients. He’s that confident in the results he’s getting with Facebook. (Gary was one of the best speakers I have ever seen! I can’t stop thinking about his talk.)
Also of note, publishers like The Financial Times are seeing LinkedIn as competition, not just a partner! Its strides to become a publisher of original content do not go unnoticed. Brands are getting results with Vine and SnapChat, too, and most panelists, including Linda Boff from GE who spoke later in the day, agree that brands should be innovative and nimble enough to try out new platforms. I couldn’t find a marketer who felt comfortable in his or her use of Google+, though!
3. There’s a place for bite-sized content and long-form journalism. It’s that messy middle that might be in trouble.
Gabe doesn’t have to worry so much about finding a captive audience. If my husband’s viewing habits are representative of the typical male (and many females, too–I know!), ESPN is doing A-ok. It was fascinating to hear how they’ve incorporated social and UGC into their programs, working to add interest and engagement factors without compromising the quality or turning off more traditional viewers. They’ve had a lot of success with social “snacks”–content that’s easy to read and digest quickly, and begs to be shared. We all agree that quality, long-form content isn’t going anywhere either, but those stories that lie somewhere in the middle might have trouble finding a captive audience. (On a personal note, I loved discussing the future of publishing with Jocelyn, and how brands with paywalls use social to drive subscriptions.)
4. The key to effective social marketing is emotional content.
The panelists confirmed, on and off the stage, that emotional content is key to effective marketing. Certain brands have a built-in emotional factor, but others have to work to create an emotional element. I believe the right journalist can find something interesting in the seemingly dullest of topics. If you’re not creating content of emotional resonance, you’re not doing it right!
The Westchester Digital team is already gearing up for next year, so click here to buy your tickets.
Missed the conference? Check out the Navigating the Digital Landscape Panel here:
By Jacqueline Lisk