Yesterday afternoon I attended the Knoxville American Marketing Association’s Progressive Marketing Summit located at The Foundry (side note: pretty sure that was the best “conference food” I’ve had in a while…it was delicious!).
The agenda was full of sessions dedicated to the theme: “Not Every Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”
The opening keynote was given by the dynamic Rick Elliott whose passion for storytelling was evident. There were a few things he said that stuck with me, but one in particular was this: numbers and statistics don’t sell products, it’s all about the brand telling a story that relates to its customers.
Next, attendees had a choice to participate in one of three concurrent sessions. I decided to sit in on “Telling Your Story with LinkedIn” presented by Cindy Hagemann, Director of Marketing at Pugh CPAs. She urged us to make the most of our LinkedIn profile, not only our individual account, but our company page as well. I wasn’t too surprised to learn that its estimated over 75% of LinkedIn users do not know how to effectively use the platform. Most profiles I come across are missing a picture, a bio, or they haven’t updated their change in employer. Ms. Hagemann was kind enough to share a document outlining how to optimize your page and I thought I’d reference a few tips:
- Write your sections in a Word document, use spell check, use bullets – then copy and paste in to LinkedIn. Have someone else, not in your industry, look at your profile – do they understand it?
- When you complete your profile 100% – you have optimized for searching.
- Use your customized URL on your resume.
- Under Privacy and Settings – be sure to uncheck broadcasts when you are making frequent updates to your profile (if you are just beefing up your profile, there is no need to have that pop up on the homepage news feed for all to see).
She reminded me of how important it is to ensure my LinkedIn page is up-to-date by highlighting examples of my work and making sure I have a solid list of recommendations.
The next session I attended was titled: “Using Storytelling to Market to Millenials” presented by David Jacobs, Senior Vice President and Director of Strategy at The Tombras Group. The work of that firm is expansive and it’s no wonder they have the solid, full-service reputation they do.
His presentation was fascinating. It was so interesting to hear the statistics on the Millenial generation (ages 16-34). Since I am a Millenial, I can say the description he offered was right on and consistent with not only how I am as a consumer, but what I observe from my Millenial friends around me.
Millenials make up 25% of the general population – brands can’t afford to leave them out of their marketing mix. That being said, it’s important for companies to know what makes them tick, how to talk to them, and what motivates them. Jacobs shared just that.
- There are 55 million pictures uploaded to Instagram per day. Wow.
- The way Millenials use Facebook is changing.
- Millienials vote with their dollars. When they buy something, they are endorsing it.
- When hiring a Millennial it’s important to note their focus is different than that of Gen Y. What they are looking for in a company is flexibility, passion, more vacation days, and maybe not having to work from the office every day. It’s not about the money.
I have to admit, I felt “old” or rather a bit out-of-date, when he said the up and coming phrase for Millenials is FOMO (fear of missing out). I had no clue. Note to self: use #fomo and try to keep up with the young kids.
Looking to learn more about the buying power of Millienials and how they operate? Jacobs referred us to an extension of the Viacom brand: Scratch. Scratch is dedicated to market research on a variety of consumer sets. As from their website: “We got our start bringing what we know about young consumers to the brands who want to reach them.” Check them out – it’s cool.
In addition, he mentioned the NBC Curve Report which is a “trends and consumer insights practice focused on what’s ahead in consumer culture. This site contains a curated synthesis of ongoing qualitative and quantitative research about 18-to-49-year-old adults.”
All this to say, it was a productive day for me and I enjoyed networking with peers and learning a little something too. Thank you to the Knoxville Chamber and the KAMA for making it a success! In addition, thank you to the sponsors who made the day possible: King University, Puleo’s Grille, and Nothing Too Fancy. I’m looking forward to the next one!