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Recapping Modern Marketing Summit

The Modern Marketing Summit (#MMS18) featured exciting speakers and panels that looked into the future to discuss the next steps in the industry. Topics ranged from current and future trends, content marketing and how to make meaningful connections with your advertising, the future of programmatic, and women in the industry. In particular, two standout sessions opened the conference: 9 Topics in 20 Minutes with Geoff Ramsey from eMarketer, and an Audacious Approach to Content Marketing with Andy Goldberg of GE.

Geoff energetically and succinctly traveling between 9 relevant, on-trend topics to weave a tapestry of how everything will be working together to take Marketing into the next stages; leveraging eMarketer research on current, past, and up-and-coming trends and opportunities, he walked everyone through the high level points that we need to be looking out for in order to stay ahead of the game.

Following Geoff, Andy Goldberg inspired the crowd with his lively discussion of what he calls GE’s “Audacious Approach” to content marketing, stressing the need to reach consumers on a deep, very human level. He walked everyone through 3 separate campaigns that GE has launched over the past couple of years, culminating in one that was in no way meant to sell anything – rather, for 3 days they turned Grand Central Terminal’s iconic constellation ceiling into an elaborate display that highlighted female engineers from history and their contributions. This installation, called “Unseen Stars,” was simply meant to reach women, children, and men at a very human level, celebrating the accomplishments of women and, hopefully, encouraging young girls to ultimately look into studying engineering. Through no overt marketing, the installation became a massive success as word of mouth and the amazement of locals and tourists alike drove people to the terminal solely to look up at the ceiling.

At its core, the message of this particular session seemed to highlight the importance of looking past CTAs, benefits, risks, etc., and to focus on how to make your message matter and mean something, on a deeply human level.

Instead of simply focusing on the fact that 1/3 of the world’s electricity goes through GE, give this a face through images of a young boy in India that needs light to do his homework – this makes the message tangible, emotional, and real in a way that simple benefit- or value-driven marketing simply cannot do.

Subsequent panels tackled everything from women in the workplace, to how retail brands can compete in a direct-to-consumer marketplace, to the ethics involved in programmatic. The day was full of new ideas, inspiring words, and insightful data points; all in all, it showed just how far we’ve come in the industry while also highlighting the exciting opportunities that lie ahead for those that want to push themselves.

Author: Meredith Hughes is the Search Director at Silverlight Digital.