The Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA), is the longest-standing digital marketing association in the country. Every year MIMA brings in speakers from all over the country, and sometimes the world, who are experts in their field of study to discuss the different aspects of the marketing industry. It’s no wonder the MIMA Summit is one of the most highly attended marketing conferences in the nation.
MIMA has always prided itself on expanding attendees’ knowledge base while bringing together some of the world’s greatest marketing minds for collaboration and deliberation. This year was no different. From high energy keynote speakers like Cindy Gallop and Scott Belsky, to interactive breakout sessions to remind us why we are all here, this year’s MIMA had topics and presentations to relate to all aspects of today’s marketing channels.
As a digital analyst, I tried to stick to those tracks that would really give me some insight into my portion of the industry. That being said, I did find time to attend a couple of sessions that would open up my mind to the interests of my colleagues, so I could get a better understanding of some of the projects they get their hands dirty with. Here are the sessions I attended, and some of the takeaways and discussion points.
- Finding the Best Use of Big Data and AI – Presenters Angel and Todd discussed the way that they used AI with their databases as part of a campaign for Sketchers. They shared how they were able to find patterns in purchasing behavior to better market to their customer base. The main take-a-way from this session was that if you have too much disconnected data, it’s almost impossible to make meaningful business decisions. Their project consisted of connecting dozens of databases, with millions of data points to start creating meaningful marketing strategies to help increase revenue.
- Centering the Margins in Digital Space – The presenter Marchaé opened her session by asking a though provoking question: “Who’s company supports White Supremacy”. Next, she began to analyze today’s marketing trends, zeroing in on who these ads are targeting, and showing how most of today’s advertisers and are not speaking to those on the margins of society. The vast majority of today’s visual marketing ads are focused on white, middle-aged males. She explained why that is a mistake and why equity matters in digital environments. She also discussed ways to avoid bias when creating content and why brands can’t ignore entire segments of the population in their marketing.
- Stop & Think: Content Strategy for Smart Decision Making – Meghan gave a great refresher on content strategy. She explained the first step is to go back to your roots and ask, “Why are we doing this?” Asking the right questions to your clients and narrowing down what your brand signifies is the most effective way to design a focused content strategy. Meghan’s advice? Cut the fluff and engage your audience when and how they should be engaging with your brand.
- State of Digital Media: 2018 – This interactive panel discussed what is working, what isn’t working, and a few ways to help push your organization in that direction. The No. 1 item in discussion was building trust with your clients. Agencies need to be 100 percent honest and transparent with their clients. In turn, the same trust needs to be reciprocated. If there isn’t trust and transparency, agencies can only build one half of the story which isn’t going to get you to the end of the book.
The MIMA Summit is a great place for those marketing-minded individuals and agencies to collaborate, build relationships, and look at the state of the digital marketing landscape. I am looking forward to MIMA Summit 2019.