We don’t want to brag, but there’s this pretty cool thing we do every year called the Digital Summit where we partner with Marquette University to bring together industry leaders from across the nation to talk about what’s trending in digital marketing communications. It’s kind of like SXSW – if you shrunk SXSW down to two days, 22 speakers, 580 professional and student attendees and then moved the whole thing to Milwaukee. Ok, so maybe that’s not the right analogy.
But for those interested in digital marketing (raises hand), the Digital Summit is a valuable and fun event that can teach us a lot about how some of the best in the industry are using digital strategies that work for them and their customers.
This year, presenters from Instagram, Southwest Airlines, the Milwaukee Bucks, Laughlin Constable and many more came together to share digital insights, case studies, trends and experiences. Here’s a look at what it was all about:
Of course, our favorite session of the day (we might be biased) was from our very own Sean Barry, Digital Senior Vice President, and Brady Pierzchalski, Digital UX Vice President, and was focused on how to stay relevant and innovative using design thinking. These are the highlights:
Relevancy and Hard Truths
- Technology is changing so quickly, we are all becoming irrelevant. But relevancy is possible if you approach consumers and technology the right way.
- Technology has confirmed that we are all accidental narcissists. That is, the world revolves around us. This changes the way a brand must communicate with consumers.
- You don’t get to tell people who you are. Brands are no longer defined by the products and information they push out, but by the consumers who experience the brand. The key is to acknowledge you’ve lost control, and go from there.
- Data needs context. Brands love data, but data only tells us what’s happening, not why it’s happening. Why consumers behave a certain way is lost in raw numbers.
- Your customers aren’t one single group of people. People are not defined by a set of demographics. However, technology now allows tailoring messages to incredibly niche markets.
- Understanding new technology is your job. In order to solve problems and come up with innovative ideas, you need to know the technology landscape and what’s available to you.
Daunting, right? The good news is that there is a way to stay relevant.
How Design Thinking Can Keep You Relevant
Design Thinking is a creative, or design-led way of solving business issues. Instead of focusing on a problem, Design Thinking focuses on understanding your consumer and providing solutions for them.
So, how does it work?
- Design Thinking brings together diverse minds, diverse backgrounds and diverse areas of expertise, and solves problems with new ideas, new thinking and new perspectives.
- Empathy is the foundation of the design process. You need to understand your consumer and what they are feeling in order to make the experience better for that person.
- Design Thinking uncovers the why. It’s not just about what the consumer wants, but why they want it.
- Design Thinking works from the outside in. You can’t go into problem-solving thinking you know the problem. The idea is to find a solution to a problem you didn’t even know existed.
- In Design Thinking, failure is key to success. Because when you fail, you learn, you modifyand you repeat the process until you get something that works.
The world of technology and how consumers interact with brands is changing rapidly. But you can keep up with it by using Design Thinking, approaching problem-solving with empathy, and digging into the tech landscape. And, as always, have some fun along the way.
For more tips and insights on how to take your marketing from now to next, subscribe to our newsletter or contact Nicole Stone – Senior Vice President, Business Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414.270.7235.