If you're still dragging your feet on digital technologies, it's time to stop. As Newcastle Beer brand director Quinn Kilbury said yesterday, "Everything you do has to be about digital. In fact, 100 percent of our marketing budget goes to digital."
Kilbury was one of more than two dozen speakers who took the stage at the all day Westchester Digital Summit in metro New York City. Held at the Ritz-Carlton in White Plains, N.Y., the event brought several hundred senior marketing professionals together to brainstorm the best ways to create a strong social and digital presence.
From building your brand's online reputation to capitalizing on social media to connect with everyone from customers to competitors, marketers have more options than ever before. And while that may be intimidating, it's also a fact of life — and any company that fails to embrace it is doomed to fail, the speakers consistently warned.
Organized by social media consultancy Silverback Social, the conference included keynotes from Gary Vaynerchuk and David Kidder, author of the "The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups," from Their Founding Entrepreneurs.
It also included a steady stream of conversation with heavy hitters from companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Huffington Post, RebelMouse, Omnigon Communications, MasterCard, General Electric, ESPN, Fox Sports, IBM, TerraMar Project and Influence & Co.
Vaynerchuk, cofounder and CEO of a social media brand consulting agency VaynerMedia, told the crowd that it is essential to embrace innovation and recognize disruption, even in terms of the everyday ways business is conducted. "How many people in the room actually get mad when someone calls them?" he asked — to a quick rise of hands from about a third of the attendees.
Vaynerchuk said marketing used to be a game of width, measured by things like ad impressions. Now it's a game of depth, he explained. "Brands are in a battle for attention," he explained, so they need focus on depth rather than width to make their marketing count and engage prospective customers.
Remember 15 years ago when we all liked email? We live in a world where we interrupt people to tell them our value, he continued. But customers have less and less tolerance for irrelevant interruptions. You have to give them something of value to make yourself more than an annoyance.