Lessons from Class

One of the things that I enjoy most about teaching the CMA Digital Marketing Course is having the opportunity to bring in amazing guest speakers.  Since digital marketing is such a broad and evolving subject, it is hugely valuable to have experts with different focus areas and perspectives come in and share their thoughts.  This past term, I was extremely fortunate to have a number of industry leaders visit the class and share their stories, opinions, and advice.  Here are a few highlights:

Dave Lougheed (@DLoTO)

To start off, Dave gave an epic talk on his long and successful career (so far) in digital.  He shared a number of candid, personal and inspiring anecdotes including the lessons that he has learned along the way.  His talk also included one of the most critical lessons for someone pursuing a career in digital: “stay calm when the shit goes down”.

Richard Fofana (@richardfofana)

Rich delivered an amazing talk about how media, advertising, content, and digital are converging to create a unique set of opportunities and challenges for brands.  He stressed that content can no longer be mediocre, as we "need to make stuff that people will value and invite into their lives". 

Kim Rellinger (@KimVsTheWorld)

In addition to bringing in Google Glasses for the class to play with, Kim shared some amazing data points from Google.  Specifically, that 15% of searches each month are essentially ‘brand new searches’ for Google and that 50% of Google searches worldwide will be through mobile by the end of the year.

Jean George (@jean_george17)

Jean delivered a great presentation on how to effectively manage your own personal brand through social media.  She reinforced that marketing professionals should apply the same level of rigor in defining personal target audiences and key messages that are typically used for our organizations and client brands.

Scot Riches (@scotriches)

If there was any impression that email is dead, Scott killed that misconception with his presentation on email marketing.  He shared recent Canadian data that 50% of marketers in Canada plan to increase their spending on email next year.  This is powered in many ways by continued growth in mobile and targeting capabilities.

Sandy Fleisher (@pescatore) & Penny Norman (@Penelope_Fay)

"It’s not how you sell, but how customers want to buy.”  This was one of a number of great lessons shared by the fine folks from Pound & Grain.  Penny shared a user experience framework used by the agency to help understand context, identify points of friction, and find opportunities where mobile can provide value for consumers.

Hilton Barbour (@ZimHilton)

My favourite Marketing Provocateur Hilton arrived to provide the class with his point of view on how powerful human insight is the basis for all great advertising (digital included).  As someone who always asks great questions, Mr. Barbour ignited great discussions around the topics of “who owns digital?” and “what is a digital problem?”

Andrew Bergstrom (@a_bergstrom)

And to close out the term, Andrew delivered a brilliant keynote that spoke to the power of digital when part of a focused and integrated marketing program.  He also shared some inspiring closing remarks for the class and (I think) anyone passionate about marketing: “Be curious. Be brave. Be about the idea.”

So to all of these amazing presenters, I am so grateful that you donated an evening to share your perspective with my class.  I know they appreciated it very much, and I now have a notebook full of scribbles from your tips, examples, and thoughts.  Thanks, friends.