Don't Suck, Buy the Umbrella: 5 Takeaways from The Art of Marketing 2016

June 15, 2016 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai, Content Editor

We came, we saw, we listened. We laughed and even shed a few tears. Most of all, we learned to be better marketers.

Yesterday’s The Art of Marketing was an intelligently produced event that challenged us all. For every clever quip and witty remark, there were hard realities that we marketers tend to overlook amidst the craziness of all the ‘latest trends’ and ‘newest tips and tricks’ that we’re promised will ensure our longevity.

Basically, Avinash Kaushik, Stephen Shapiro, Bethany Mota, Adam Garone and Morgan Spurlock told us all how not to suck. 

Here are The Tite Report’s top 5 learning lessons from Tuesday’s event, hosted by Ron Tite:

1. STOP WITH THE FUNNEL.
 
Anyone who was present when Avinash was on stage (kinda hard not to be) knows why we had to say this with the addition of caps lock.

But he’s right: it is time to stop with the push, push, shove, shove. We can’t continue to shove our audiences down the funnel.

All it does is make us think far too much about demographics and psychographics when really there’s much more to be said about understanding people’s behaviour. After all, behaviour gives marketers an understanding of intent.

Whether or not the person is looking to buy, sign up, click through, etc. there’s more to be said about content that offers options and targets every tier of the largest addressable qualified audience.

2. Consider purposeful tangents.

There’s no easy way to innovate. Stephen reminded us that there is no “most important process” and that the answer is always “it depends.”

But answer this: what could make your business irrelevant? Unfortunately, we marketers don’t get to decide what makes us different. Audiences do.

In that case, it’s worth covering all our bases. Keep reading on thought leadership in your industry, but consider what else is in there that isn’t directly related but still has a valid link.

Think about this: Stephen likes to think creatively so he reads about both magic and psychology and human motivation.

3. Don’t let the positive get to your head.

She may be young, but Bethany knows a thing or two about handling expansive communities.

Sometimes people are pretty ruthless. But sometimes they’re also positive. While you’ve heard people say “don’t let the negative get to you” you should also probably think about not getting inflated over the positive either.

We’re not saying to ignore the good feedback; it helps you realize what’s working and what should probably continue to be a part of your strategy and content. But at the same time, there’s something to be said about becoming complacent.

Ron said it: a brand gets one positive comment and suddenly it’s a $3 million ad campaign.

Don’t ride on the compliments. Always strive to do better.

4. Being significant is more important than being successful.

In creating the Movember movement, Adam reminded us that there will always be a reason why something might now work. Still, that definitely does not mean one shouldn’t try to do something big.

Success will always be defined differently depending on who you’re talking to. However developing too narrow of a definition of success (such as shares or unique visitors), starts to remove fulfillment from the equation. It becomes a tireless race to survive instead of also thriving.

Making an impact with content (which marketers can do since they are in the storyteller seat) has value and is long-lasting. People will continue to remember the content even after it’s already been sliced, diced and distributed. 

Brands can be happy and feel fulfilled too. In fact, they should. That means they’re actually doing something with the space they have.

5. Own your derivative space.

Now that you’ve started something, keep it going. But how you ask? Don’t be repetitive. Think about how else your content can be effectively reincarnated as something with the same essence, but that offers a new experience.

Morgan’s success with Super Size Me created a visceral reaction in audiences. The next step was to replicate that.

The answer was 30 Days. Super Size Me put Morgan in an unfamiliar position that he had to stay dedicated to in order to find the end results. So, the TV series makes ordinary people step out of their comfort zone and live a differently life for, you guessed it, thirty days.

There’s a difference between owning and renting space. If you’re able to create something that carves a path, keep carving. 

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So go forth marketers: be awesome. If you want more The Art of Marketing highlights, read Ron Tite's closing comments as this year's host. 

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