7 hot fire quotes from our Future of Digital Marketing conference - Technical.ly Philly

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May 3, 2017 11:17 am

7 hot fire quotes from our Future of Digital Marketing conference

Discussed: Designers as agents of change, audience stalking and “the shiny-object syndrome.”
Nicole Nixon speaks about design thinking at #PTW17.

Nicole Nixon speaks about design thinking at #PTW17.

(Photo by Roberto Torres)

If there was one event media geeks shouldn’t have missed during Philly Tech Week 2017 presented by Comcast, it was our annual Future of Digital Marketing conference, held on Tuesday.

The lineup itself was promising from the get-go: A-list companies like Google, Facebook and the Wall Street Journal were in the house showing off their flashiest of projects (like the WSJ’s approach to Snapchat and Facebook’s live streaming tool).

However, some of the lines that slayed the audience and made us reach for our notepad came from home-brewed speakers like design consultant Natalie Nixon and SEER Interactive founder Wil Reynolds.

Here are some of the memorable quotes from the conference:

WeWork’s Roee Adler on personable marketing:

  • “Marketing is also having a personality. It’s about being someone. It’s about standing for something.”

Adler, the coworking company’s head of digital, also dropped an interesting stat: there are 1,066 screens at WeWorks around the world that are “dedicated to promote our members’ businesses.” Drop by any of the company’s Philly locations and you’ll see what he means.

A pretty legit panel devoted to spotting trends on the marketing front followed Adler’s keynote talk, moderated by our very own editor-in-chief Zack Seward.

Greenfish’s Sovanna Mam on virtual reality for marketing:

  • “VR is the drug and I’m the drug-pusher.”

The CEO of the Lancaster, Pa.-based immediately clarified: “But I’m like Pfizer, not like the guy in the corner.” He was referring to clients’ thirst for engaging technologies like virtual reality.


At Media’s Antoniette Johnson on over-eager customers:

  • “A lot of clients suffer from ‘shiny-object syndrome.”

The sentiment was echoed by both audience and panel members. “I try very hard to avoid it,” Johnson added. “Flashy tech needs to make sense with the brand experience being created.”

Digitas Health LifeBrandsAnnie Heckenberger on audience stalking:

  • “Know your audience by clicking through their social media. What else do they talk about? What’s important to them?”

The technique, Heckenberger said, has allowed the firm to develop profiles and “personas” but, most importantly, create content and experiences that fits with the audience’s interest.

Figure 8 Thinking’s Natalie Nixon on design:

  • “Designers are change agents. Design is a method of inquiry.”

Sure, Nixon had the audience get creative with a hands-on workshop on design thinking, but before that she had more than a few designheads reach for their notepads to jot down this lil nugget of inspiration.

Seer Interactive founder Wil Reynolds on judging success:

  • “I’d rather get thanks over ranks.”

As is tradition, Reynolds captivated the audience with his customary pitch of reverse-engineering search engine optimization and focusing on results rather than just ranking for specific search terms.

Wall Street Journal’s Dave Cole on translating for Snapchat:

  • “We’re not ‘dumbing down’ our content [on Snapchat,] we’re making it relatable.”

Bringing a staple of print journalism like the WSJ to the uncharted waters of Snapchat can mean a double-edged sword. For Cole, the trick has been leveraging on the platform to add valuable context and reaching out to an untapped demographic.


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