First Western Mass Digital Media Summit: Lots Of Surprises

Participants agree that change is in the works, but many eyes were opened to new marketing opportunities.

View photos from the Digital Media Summit on Flickr.

James and Mary

James Garvey and Mary Shea discuss their takeaways from the Digital Media Summit.

From the very start, attendees knew that the Digital Media Summit was not going to be just another marketing seminar. GCAi’s John Garvey set the tone during his opening remarks with one Prezi slide that showed a weather forecast of change. “Your five day forecast is calling for change,” noted John. “So is your 10 day forecast, and if there was one, your 365 day forecast as well. However, whether you regard that forecast as rainy or sunny depends on your attitude toward change.”

Mary Shea and James Garvey also suggested that change was a theme in their presentation “Social Media Marketing – Using Paid Promotion to Achieve Real Results.”

“Bedazzled would be one way to describe audience members at times,” suggested Mary in an interview with #GCAiPlanet. “For instance, when we started describing the depth of data used to support Facebook targeting, people were blown away.”

“The assumption was that Facebook just uses the data generated by profiles, likes, and posts,” James revealed in the same interview. “When we described the third-party data sources that back up Facebook’s advertising platform, a lot of marketing professionals in the audience were really surprised.”

And then there was the next surprise. “People thought promotion on Social Media meant spending big bucks,” explained James. “Then we introduced GCAi’s micro-financing model. With organic reach of brand posts reaching near zero on Facebook and the power of Social Media Marketing revealed, promotion in small dollars was beginning to make sense to the audience.”

“Our micro-financing model is pretty simple,” Mary stated. “Essentially, we suggest you put small dollars – James likes the $5 dollar level – behind every post. That said, we also suggest that you post with a purpose. If posts have to answer to a strategic marketing objective, your volume of posts is going to go down. You also get to tap into the targeting ability of the advertising platform – which increases results.”

The last surprise was for the presenters.  “Mary and I see profound change on the horizon in the form of Social Commerce,” predicted James. “The ability to purchase or sign up will be right in your news feed. This is right around the corner and will change e-commerce forever.”

“But after we presented this prediction and the evidence to back it, we basically heard crickets,” observed Mary with a smile. “There were some people who seemed interested, but most greeted our earthshaking social commerce predictions with a yawn.”

“I think they will come around though,” predicted James. “It’s one of those things that you have to see to believe. We will be discussing it quite a bit next year.”