A whirlwind week of panels, classroom discussions, and events is the only way to describe Internet Week NY. Bringing together masterminds behind the digital space, Internet Week NY covered how companies from startups to non-profits to corporations like MLB are harnessing the power of online personalities to market their brand and really integrate customers into their brand experience. Much like the internet itself (and was discussed by several panels), there was much “noise” or information to sift through. While valuable, it can be overwhelming. Thus, I wanted to provide a general guide with the most helpful info. While I’m tempted to talk about famous celebrities, Joan Rivers and Erica Oyama, I’ll save those and my favorite classes for later discussions. For now, I’ll attempt to boil down the overarching themes that wove the conference together and overlapped all of the different industries (from fashion to food to sports) taking over the digital arena. For all of the entrepreneurs, advertisers, and marketers out there, these are the key takeaways of which to make note.
Key Takeaways from Internet Week NY:
- Humanize your brand – Social media and the internet in general allow for a more personalized customer experience. Not only that, they allow for customers to have an active involvement with your brand. People buy from people.
- Encourage customer involvement with your brand – In other words, create experiences that involve people with your brand, such as holding contests, recognizing fans, and providing people the ability to vote on different elements of your brand. (Fun fact: People like their name and their voice. A representative from USA Mini Cooper and a panel speaker for a crowdfunding class both touched on this. USA Mini Cooper found out people liked to name their cars, so they had a contest where people could name the next Mini Cooper. The crowdfunding class found that rewards on Kickstarter projects that used those two elements, did well. For instance, if you’re trying to raise money on Kickstarter, offer donors an incentive that involves their name or voice, such as having their name in the credits of your film.) Active involvement with your brand gives customers a sense of ownership in your brand.
- Be customer-centric – Bob Bowman from MLB said you need to be product-centric as well as customer-centric in your marketing approaches. One moment that really stuck out in my mind was when Bob Bowman emphasized that you need to be mindful and respectful of people’s time. I completely agree. In this day and age people are busy. They’re multi-tasking; they’re using multiple devices; they can choose when and if they want to listen to and interact with you; they have many activities crammed into their everyday lives. Be respectful of that, and give them quick, high-quality ways to engage with you and come back at a later time. Don’t insult your audience with low-quality, long-winded content, because that conveys to them that you don’t care about their time. Which brings me to my next point of…
- Focus on quality over quantity – The mantra, “Content is king,” still stands. Providing valuable, quality content to your audience is still an important asset to any company. That is how you attract and keep an audience. That is how you get people to pay for your content (Andrew Sorkin). That is how you get people to find your company and interact with your brand.
- Understand there isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution – Technology is constantly changing. The ways in which people are using technology are constantly changing. Therefore, the ways in which people interact with your brand are constantly changing. As a marketer/advertiser/entrepreneur, you need to be flexible and adapt to those changes. In order to reach your audience, you must be adept at moving along with them, at altering your content to fit with the different platforms and your different audiences’ needs.