MIMA – 2008 Summit

As usually, MIMA Summit was fantastic!

The main point in my opinion was communicated by Matt Wilson, MIMA president, in the beginning of the event: interactive marketing is graduating from its “geeky” niche and becomes part of business strategy. The increasing number of older (and more likely higher ranking) conference attendees also seems to support this point.

A few ideas from the conference:
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Once upon a time, advertising was an exchange of content for the time spent and exposure to advertiser’s message. Now consumers can create content too and advertisers should join the conversation.

Don’t compete with the content, become the content.

Several businesses provide the content to consumer first to provide content that the consumer would want and second to promote the brand. The branding is not as obvious on the sites created by brands. The examples are the site for pet lovers by Purina, the site devoted to baby-related information by Johnson and Johnson, and baby-related video channel on YouTube, also provided by Johnson and Johnson.

Johnson and Johnson - YouTube Baby Channel

Johnson and Johnson - YouTube Baby Channel

Johnson and Johnson - Baby.com

Johnson and Johnson - Baby.com

Purina

Purina

Brands no longer use media to promote themselves; brands are creating their own media.
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Interesting note about optimization: pure approach to optimization without usability can lead to optimizing concepts that happen to be popular, but totally unrelated to the business (such as kittens for Amazon web site). Optimization must be approached holistically with usability and business objectives.

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Interesting approach: digital is not a medium, but a way of thinking. (Still, I think it is just a medium….  Otherwise, DM and other channels also can be considered a way of thinking… 🙂 ).

However, the questions posed by the presenters were so fundamental; and they were answered in the most inspiring (from my perspective) manner.
– What is the role of strategy?
– What is the creative product?
– How business and client relationships should be structures?

Strategy: brand behavior rather than brand messaging. What is the brand and how it can be defined or redefined rather than simply “announced” by the advertisement? The “great idea” disappears from promotion and becomes embedded into the fundamental business questions.

Example: Polaroid – provide service to encourage printing rather than advertising the product.

Digital thinking goes beyond online and can be used to enhance physical products.

Users change the way they consume media every 6 months.

Sometimes, just building the application and trying it is cheaper than researching if the application will be accepted by the consumer.
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Mobile:
– your competition is dong it already
– plan…  and specify a budget for the effort (still, I think it is a little early for some industries… but time to start trying… 🙂  )

Challenge: in the mobile space an experienced partner is necessary because of technology complexity (many different carriers and devices with different standards and applications).
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Caring Bridge

Caring Bridge

Caring Bridge

Interesting: started accidentally… grew over 11 years into a very well known site. Does not use corporate sponsorship – only user donations. Very “soft sell” for donation solicitation.

Very interesting (and very smart) – does not use “bleeding edge” technology; uses only what is absolutely necessary for the user need. Centered on the user need (what I am afraid many other marketers forget in the attempt to equip their marketing efforts with the latest “bells and whistles.”

Great business (even if non-profit). Great mission.
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I also must express total satisfaction with the food!  The best summit lunch ever was accompanied with wonderful snacks.  Healthy food was available during the entire day; unfortunately, I was so tempted by smooth and decadent chocolate cake that my apple had to ride home in my bag. Great food, wonderful choice, and spectacular dessert!

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