Non-Digital Takeaways from The Digital Marker Conference
"Instead of using technology to automate processes, think about using technology to enhance human interaction." -Tony Zambito
Last week I was lucky enough to go to the Digital Marker Traffic & Conversion Summit in San Diego (and stay with my awesome cousin).
This nerd ended up with almost an entire notebook filled with notes. I’ve been mulling over the takeaways and realized there were a few biggies that, believe it or not, aren’t digital. In a digital world, at a digital conference, there are still some fundamental business truths that apply, and they came up more than once.
The digital marketing aspect was mindblowing, but underneath it all were some non-digital lessons that I think we can all apply to our work.
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1. Connect More and Start Conversations.
I mentioned this on social media last week, but it’s worth repeating.
There was a lot of talk about messenger bots and automation, but at the core of the message was the importance of creating human to human connection and starting conversations.
I’m a big believer that marketing is really building relationships, and for us to grow and nurture real relationships it requires us to connect and have conversations.
While there are bots that can do some of this, I think the questions we should be asking ourselves are, “How can I start a conversation?” and “How can I make it more human?”.
Because we can’t automate or hire out real, human connection. Connection is a basic human need, in fact, when we don’t get enough of it, it can mess with the chemicals in our brain and is even linked to depression.
Taking this all a step further, there is massive power in starting conversations and allowing the other person to speak and share their thoughts. Not only is this nice and part of being a great listener, but it’s smart marketing. Have you ever noticed how much we all love to talk about ourselves?
There’s a reason for this, when we talk about ourselves, we tap into the reward system of our brain and release dopamine, which makes us feel good, motivates us, and makes us want more of what caused the trigger in the first place.
Studies show people will give up a portion of a monetary reward in order to feel the benefits of talking about themselves. Talking about ourselves triggers the same chemicals that thinking about food, money, and sex does.
Keep connecting, keep making human connections, and start more conversations, specifically by asking questions and listening.
2. Do the things other people aren’t willing to do.
So many of the success stories I heard were in part due to people being willing to just do the things other people weren’t willing to do.
Jasmine Star said, and I love this, “Excuses are the reasons people are not successful. Successful people find reasons.”
She talked about showing up and showing up again. She was talking about Instagram, but this goes for any endeavor we have whether it’s in business or in our personal life.
It’s easy to have a dream and want something. It’s easy to try for a week or three months. But being consistent, taking action when others won’t, and staying in the game even when you aren’t getting responses, that’s where the magic lives.
Find ways to show up where other people won’t. If you want to have a different life, if you want to live out a big dream, you also have to be willing to do something different.
3. You need to know your business basics and build a solid foundation.
In every workshop, whether it was about building your business through YouTube, podcasting, Instagram, public speaking, using bots, creating a smarter funnel, Facebook groups, or creating better Facebook Ads, there was a common thread. None of the strategies or tools worked without first having a clear and strong business foundation in place.
Being clear on your messaging, what problem you solve, what makes you unique, and who your audience were key ingredients in every talk. The platforms may change. The tools we use may change. How we share our work may change, but the core foundation of what drives business forward remains the same.
As Daymond John (CEO of FUBU, and founder of Shark Tank) said in his keynote speech (and I’m paraphrasing because I take damn good notes, but I’m not a recorder), “It is just a new technique. Digital Marketing is just another platform."
This realization hit me hard. I closed the conference out by spending a day drilling down and creating even more clarity around my business foundation. Because all the tips and tricks in the world are only lipstick on a hog if we don’t have our foundation in place.
Don’t let this post fool you, there was a ton of valuable digital marketing information that I scribbled pages of notes on! Lots I’m excited to dig into and test.
But, you know, I love to read between the lines, and these were some of the deeper messages I heard. I hope these takeaways will inspire (or remind) you to remember that while platforms may change, the core of what drives us forward in business remains the same.
Getting clear and building our foundation is what will allow us to make the most out of the amazing opportunities, digital and otherwise, there are in our current marketing world.
Wishing you your version of success,