“Technology is changing the way we do business.”
Said everyone, ever.
Marketers know technology is changing how we interact with our audience. But knowing it’s happening and doing something about it are two very different things.
Randi Zuckerberg is no stranger to technology and its effects on business, daily life, and social structures. As the founder and CEO of her own media company, Zuckerberg Media, and a former marketing leader at Facebook, Randi has a unique vision for the future of marketing and how today’s marketers can adapt.
Explore that future with her insights below from the floor of Digital Summit Minneapolis.
We’re Afraid to Fail
We’ve been talking about the evolving state of marketing for years. But maybe we as marketers haven’t changed all that much. Why?
Well, as Randi pointed out in her keynote, we’re afraid to fail. It’s only human to be fearful of putting your whacky, ground-breaking, oddball ideas out there for everyone to see—and critique.
To overcome this fear and encourage unbridled creativity, Facebook sponsored a “hackathon” event where every employee was empowered to stay up all night and come up with crazy inventions and ideas. One of Randi’s out-of-the-box ideas was that at some point in the future, each person was going to have their own television network. So, she started a show and streamed it in real-time. It’s that idea and premise that became Facebook Live, which recently rolled out to 2 billion users.
“I believe every person in here is sitting on that 2-billion-person idea. You just have to get over your fear of failure,” Randi told the audience.
The trick will be to give yourself and your employees the freedom to come up with and present them. Don’t kill projects and ideas that are different from yours, push them to the next step.
Everything Is Media
There’s been a dramatic shift in how audiences consume content. An example Randi used was Red Bull and Felix Baumgartner’s stratosphere jump. That jump was streamed on Facebook and broke records.
“It begged the question: are they an energy drink? Or an extreme sports network?”
Randi also shared that Coca-Cola has 100 million fans and followers across social media, which is more than every broadcast television network combined.
This could have wild implications. As Randi put it: “Will there be a day when brands go to Coca-Cola to advertise their products?”
For brands to be successful in the future of marketing, they need to think like a media company. Treat your marketing like television programming. How are you going to entertain your audience today? How are you going to teach them important lessons? What makes your channel unique?
A Collection of Personal Brands
TLC. Lifetime. Bravo. CNN. These channels have a brand. A personality. A niche in the marketplace. But so does their cast of talent, news anchors, and late-night hosts.
Every person, every employee in your company is an expert—including yourself. So, why not create your own personal brand? And encourage others at your company to do the same.
“The advice I give to entrepreneurs hoping to start a brand is to be nice to yourself. Be authentic. And remember that this is hard.”
With a collection of personal brands behind your company, you’re expanding the audiences you can reach. You’re also going to see better engagement. Would you rather talk to a person or a company? And finally, strong, personal branding helps you get noticed and stand out in the crowd.
Randi Zuckerberg had a lot of great advice to share (and one killer song).
But the lesson that stood out to me the most was that the future of marketing is really the future of media. They’re intertwined and becoming increasingly more connected as technology changes how we interact with the world. We might be marketers, but we’re also producers. Network executives. Actors. Showrunners. So, let’s give our audience a great show.
For the latest and greatest digital marketing knowledge, keep your eyes peeled here for updates from Digital Summit Minneapolis (#DSMPLS). For real-time insights, follow @annieleuman, @azeckman, @dfriez, and @ElizabethW1057 on Twitter.
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