One of the cool things about giving a presentation about marketing or advertising or social media in the age of instant feedback is you know pretty quickly how you did. Did people respond? Agree? Find anything compelling in what you had to say? It’s all there within minutes, if not seconds via Twitter. After all, the audience isn’t simply listening, it’s tweeting, posting, commenting.
On Monday, I had the privilege of speaking in Minneapolis as part of MIMA’s ongoing series Conversations About the Future of Advertising. The program has featured a number of impressive folks: David Armano (formerly of Dachis Group, now Edelman), Michael Lebowitz, (Big Spaceship), Bob Thacker (Office Max), to name but a few. Hosted by Tim Brunelle, MIMA’s president and the CEO of Hello Viking, held at pretty cool venue called the Fine Line Music Cafe, the event always draws a crowd, attracting ad agency types, local digerati, social media enthusiasts along with marketers from local companies like Target, General Mills and Cargill, all of them equipped with a mobile Twitter app.
On this particular night, with no signs of a day-long snow storm letting up, a good size crowd still showed. And with iPhones in hand the tweeting began. I supposed one could find this terrifying. Think how almost all advertising creative types dread showing their work to focus groups for fear of rejection. But I find this new form of instant reaction liberating. Right away, you know if you sucked or if you rocked. Perhaps more importantly you know specifically what resonated. If you told five stories and all the chatter echoed two of them, that’s good information to have. Next time you can lose the other three. If the majority of tweets captured one or two of the same points, maybe they’re worth building on.
My presentation – A Conversation About the Future of Advertising: Inspiration, Exploration, Transformation – covered the changes in media that I’ve experienced in my lifetime; an overview of the trends characterizing the new-found influence and role of the individual; and the new practices agencies need to embrace if they are to survive and prosper in the years to come. There were lots of stories, and a number of examples. But I now know what mattered most. What people took away. What they chose to share. And repeat. And pass on. And that’s pretty cool. Thank you MIMA, @catfoa, Tim Brunelle and everyone else who joined in the presentation. No, make that conversation.
Photo by: Andy Santamaria