Insights from ad:tech Opening Keynote

I’m at the ad:tech conference this week (note – ad:tech is a client) which kicked off with an awesome keynote by Jamie Cohen Szulc, the CMO of Levi Strauss.  The keynote was great – Jamie had a very engaging and entertaining presentation – if you ever get a chance to hear him speak DO IT!

There were a few key insights that I took away that I want to share.

  • Play Your Position – Brands approach digitl like 5 year olds playing soccer.  They see the ball and they run towards it.  Play your position and be strategic.  Stay the course.
  • Lose Control to Gain Advantages – Brands have to get comfortable losing some control online in order to win in the digital space.  Encourage and inspire conversation and go with the flow to be successful.
  • Quality and Consumer Relevance – Are the core of digital marketing.  Provide a great experience that is relevant  to your consumers through your marketing and your product.
  • Control over Brand Identity is a Thing of the Past – Brands are being defined through social media and through what people chose to share.  Brand identity is increasingly based on the consumer experiences and articulation of these experiences.
  • Strategy and Execution should be Separate – Keep strategy and execution separate to be successful in the space.  This helps you stay strategic vs. reactive.

SXSW Recap: Why it is THE place to be.

First, for those of you who are not familiar with South by Southwest (sxsw) – dubbed “Spring Break for Geeks” sxsw is one of the must attend events for those in the digital space.  While sxsw may be best known for music and film, the interactive component brings together all the best geeks to converge, network and make great ideas happen.  What makes the conference great is that it brings together marketing people, entrepreneurs, social media peeps, VCs, tech geeks, programmers, and all sorts of other people interested in technology and digital marketing.

As my good friend Steve Hall at AdRants points out:

But where else can you physically hang with so many people in the marketing/interactive/advertising/social/geek space all at once. Evan Williams. Kevin Rose. Bob Garfield (yes, I include him), Justine Ezarik, David Armano, Brian Solis, Henry Copeland, Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Brogan, Violet Blue, Rick Webb, Ze Frank, Jason Fried, Guy Kawasaki, Pete Cashmore, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Jeremiah Owyang, Benjamin Palmer, Adam Pash, Jeff Pulver, Ian Schafer, Ariel Waldman, Adam Wallace. And, yea, Ashton Kutcher.

It is true.  SXSW has one of the best collections of people, and countless opportunities for networking, sharing ideas or just making friends.

SXSW is probably best known for the party scene, and while it may seem that partying isn’t work, the party scene is where some of the best connections are made.  My friend Lewis Howes (who I sadly hardly saw this year) points out that some of the best business is done at 2am (although I suppose that depends on how many drinks you have had).

During SXSW I had the opportunity to connect with many new and old friends.  For me, SXSW has resulted in 2 direct business opportunities and 2 opportunities to collaborate on projects with people I really respect.  I was also on the front page of the Thoora sxsw newsletter (above).  Next year, if you get the opportunity plan on joining us.

Rob May and Krista Neher at sxsw

Saul Colt from Rogers Ventures and Krista Neher at sxsw

Chris Heuer, Kristie Wells and Krista Neher at the TechSet Party at SXSW

Rick Calvert from Blog World Expo and Darren Rowse of ProBlogger in the Blogger Lounge at sxsw

@CoachDeb @KristaNeher and @Wesley83 at the SOBCON party at sxsw

Lee Odden and Krista Neher at the Hats Party at sxsw

Boot Camp Digital CEO Krista Neher Interviewed at Search Engine Strategies Toronto

Boot Camp Digital CEO, Krista Neher, presented on a panel at Search Engine Strategies Toronto on a panel called “Social Media, Do Big Companies Get It?”.

You can view the social media presentation and notes on her blog.

In this interview Byron Gordon of SEO-PR interviews Krista Neher about some of the challenges that companies face when engaging in social media.

At bootcampdigital we work with large companies like Procter & Gamble as well as small businesses and start-ups.  Large companies face a number of unique challenges due to their organizational structure and risk factors.


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