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Disruptors in a Disruptive World - Insights from Digital Marketing World Forum

On November 7th I returned to Digital Marketing World Forum in New York City for the 2nd year. This year, the venue was bigger and the insights were MASSIVE. Truth bombs were dropping everywhere!

The event was split into 2 tracks: Social, Influencer & Advertising and Content, Data & Disruption. I only attended Day 1 of the event and spent my day in the social/influencer/advertising track. This title was a bit deceiving, because I actually learned a lot about content and data too! Win, win for me.

Throughout the day I listened to experts in the digital marketing field and 3 areas and ideas within these areas stood out to me the most.

Here are my key takeaways from #DMWF!


Social Media Marketing

I wanted to yell PREACH when Chad Parizman from Pfizer said organic social is not dead - oh yeah, Chad! It is definitely NOT dead. And while sometimes it comes down to being in the right place at the right time, brands can still see success organically. How? Use content that will resonate with your audience. A great example Chad used was that it is easy for us to hate big brands, but it is not easy to hate a person and his/her story. Showcase how your products and solutions help people, that is an organic reach that will not die.

But what if the metrics aren't the most important to you right now & you are trying to re-shape your social strategy? Scott Jaworski from Intel dove into how his company reduced social handles by 46% and explained how re-shaping your social strategy impacts brand ownership. As a society, we are demanding more at a rapid pace - brands are closing their doors because they cannot innovate fast like startups. Scary, yes, but true, and we need to adapt. If digital strategies are aligned to user experience, this fast innovation is possible. Scott and his team were able to implement this, reduce by 46% and only lost 7% reach - that is definitely not scary...

While I love organic social - social media marketing isn't always free. Money comes into play most of the time, but we can't just think about our future expense report. Andrew Becks said it best:

"Marketing is an investment, not an expense."

If you invest time and money in your social platforms, you can measure success based on what you think is successful (not what the platforms say is successful) ultimately achieving the desired ROI.

Organic, paid and recently reshaped social strategies can only be successful with content...


A lot of speakers stated the fact that our attention spans continue to shorten. There is no way to fight the shortened attention span and force users to listen or watch more - we must follow the norm.

1 minute and 7 seconds was way too long for a video according to Didi Fraioli of Publicis. A Garnier ad her and her team created had engagement for only 15 seconds - so what does this tell us? Your content doesn't need to be perfect or long - authentic content is about connecting. And if it is out of touch or incorrect, people will call you out on your B.S.!

Social media needs to have the right content that connects because more and more we are turning to social for news updates and other major happenings in the world. Jareen Imam from CBS News knows this all too well and understands what good content is. For her, cheaply made social media videos do not show a story - content that is done well has people invested and interested beyond a tweet or Facebook post.

Measuring content is the next hill to climb after it is deemed great. Knowing what to measure and why can definitely be difficult when it comes to content, but Frank B. Esposito from Freshly had an excellent point. KPIs are fluid for each campaign - while engagements are important, tagging and shares can increase your reach. It really depends on what you are trying to achieve with each campaign.

How can you take your content performance to the next level? Influencer Marketing might be able to help...

Influencer Marketing

Kim Kardashian and Tom Brady do not need to be your brand's influencers in order for your influencer marketing program to be successful. It was great to hear the experts put power behind micro-influencers and showcase their worth.

People trust other people over your marketing tactics and that is just the honest truth. Marketers must emulate a lifestyle that prospects can relate to, this is where influencers can help. According to Melissa Davis of Shopstyle, "micro-influencers are the new window shopping." Want to buy a new t-shirt or dress? Your purchase decision may be easier if you see it on someone with the same style as you and is within the same demographic.

With user-generated content, potential prospects can see your offerings in a different form (just make sure to engage with UGC!) And hey, if you are having trouble finding influencers or ambassadors to create UGC, have artificial intelligence help! There are tools that can identify the influencers that your company can benefit from. Pretty cool, right?

Whether you start working with influencers on your own or need the assistance of artificial intelligence, remember it is about building relationships, not about the money.


I had a great time at Digital Marketing World Forum and everything above was maybe only half of what I learned. I look forward to attending again!


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