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Authenticity and Technology: Making it Happen at MIMA Summit

What does it say about me if I usually take more away from the opening and closing sessions of conferences? Instead of the tangible tips that people usually go to conferences for, I get the most out of the abstract, big-picture questions.

This year’s MIMA Summit really got me thinking. Amy Webb’s keynote got me thinking about how we all interact with technology and what it means for our future. How do you see trends on the fringe, and how do you bring them mainstream? As marketers, we actually have to be immersed in the software, technology, and channels we’re using in our marketing. We have to know it, and it has to know us.

Sara Critchfield and Nora McInerny’s closing session got me thinking about why I do the work I do, what I get out of it, and what authenticity and emotions have to do with it all. And this may have been the most exciting part: it reaffirmed everything I’m doing. I have the privilege to work with amazing clients who are doing amazing things for our community. I get to work for and with people who are my friends first, and colleagues second. It’s authentic, meaningful and really fulfilling.

I did find other tangible takeaways, too. Here are a few:

Meaningful content is gold.

  • The demand to create content is growing, and we’re forced to be more efficient then ever. But efficiency is tricky. Good, fast and cheap doesn’t exist. You have to pick two.
  • And in a world that’s moving a mile a minute, it’s crucial for markets to be flexible and comfortable with ambiguity.
  • Instead of the traditional Ready / Aim / Fire method of marketing, an Agile approach of Ready / Fire / Aim / Aim better / Aim better / Aim may actually produce better content.

Budgets are skewed too far towards ads.

  • We spend so much money getting people to our website, but then don’t spend money on the content that’s on our website, after the action occurs.
  • We spend $92 to get people to our sites and only spend $1 once they get there.
  • So let’s focus on the content that exists at the place where we’re trying to get people to go. Otherwise, what’s the point? Also, just care about your content, ok?

We have to work to make content and digital experiences better for users.

  • Put individuals and interactions over process and tools
  • Focus on working deliverables over comprehensive documentation
  • Value customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Believe in responding to change over following a plan

Content production can be easy and simple and still be effective

  • Adults spend most of their time watching TV than any other media.
  • People are watching TV on smaller devices with a smaller screen, so the ads/content we’re producing don’t always have to be super high quality/professionally shot

Between design, content, data, and digital mix sessions, I merely scrapped the surface here. But one thing’s for sure: I left feeling inspired and connected. Thanks to MIMA for 15 great years of insight and innovation—we’re looking forward to next year’s summit!

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