Takeaways from #FargoConnect16

By Kayla Koehmstedt, Marketing Intern

We understand there is more to a business besides the numbers stuff, so we try to cover lots of aspects of your business on this blog. We’re nice like that.

Recently, we were able to attend FargoConnect and now we’re able to bring some fresh new marketing ideas back.

Not sure what FargoConnect is? Well, it’s Fargo’s digital marketing communications and technology event that’s all about learning, collaborating and of course, having fun! (If you want to know more, check this out.)

The theme for this year’s event was “Tech Up Your Marketing Game.”

Here are a few of our key takeaways from FargoConnect!

Takeaway #1: Technology is changing the way we market

This one shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise, but there is more than meets the eye. Scott Stratten, President of UnMarketing, kicked the day off by giving a presentation on how to market your brand while using technology. Not only was Scott hilarious (seriously, we had tears from laughing so hard), but he was full of amazing thoughts and ideas.

Social media is a huge player in the marketing world, but it is also a handy tool for the three C’s: Community, Conversation, and Customer Service. According to Jay Baer, another one of the day’s keynotes, “Social media marketing and social media customer service are two sides of the same coin.” So how do we see this with the three C’s?

  • Community – Social media is an excellent tool for reaching out to customers and making them feel involved, whether it be in the business community, physical community or even just a sense of belonging to something.
  • Conversation – Social media gets people talking. It is a great tool to interact with your customers, get feedback, answer questions and even offer product support.
  • Customer Service – People are taking to social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to air complaints about companies. With this becoming a growing trend, it is now more important than ever to keep up on social media, have a presence, and give your market the attention they crave.

Social media provides a great outlook to connect with people and provide them excellent customer service to keep them satisfied. However, if you’re going to be on social media, Stratten warns to not “be there just to be there.” If you are going to use social media to engage with your market, make sure your presence has something to offer.

“Don’t try to have a presence without being present” – Scott Stratten

Takeaway #2: People are changing the way we market

Just like technology, people are always changing; usually, where technology goes, they go. It’s clear to see that many people have developed a “want/need it now” demeanor when it comes to many things, and communication is at the top of this list.

People are changing the way we market because they want to be noticed, heard and taken care of. Baer reminded us of BEET: Be Empathetic Every Time. Relate to your customers, give them awesome customer service and let them know they are valued.

How do you practice BEET? Well, according to Stratten, what’s important is finding your market’s preferred way of communicating, and acting on it. In fact, Baer says, “Your customers will tell you what content they want if you just listen to them.”

It is important to note how consumers choose to get information about a product or service. Some will look online, some will go to the store and some will seek information from their peers. However, the preferred method comes from online reviews, ratings and discussions. In fact, 87% of American’s trust ratings and reviews just as much as recommendations from peers. This brings us to a topic that is often overlooked, but can actually be extremely important to how we interact with our customers: customer service. There will always be customers who are upset about something or not satisfied. How you react to this situation is what can bring success to your business.

Many people are now opting to air their dirty laundry about a company online, for all to see, or as Baer calls it, “onstage haters.” These “onstage haters” are posting online because they want an audience. However, the best way to react to this is to offer amazing customer service that addresses their needs and leaves them feeling satisfied.

“People who complain about your business are not the problem – ignoring them is” – Jay Baer

Lou D’Angeli, director of marketing and PR for Cirque du Soleil, reminded us that we should show our audience, not tell them. How then should we do this? By offering great customer service that will keep them coming back and satisfied. It is important to remember that no response is a response in itself.

 Takeaway #3: The (not so distant) future will change the way we market

When we think to the future, we picture George Jetson riding in his flying car, or his robot maid cleaning the house for him. We may not have these things, but the future is here, and we are seeing trends of some pretty cool tools that will change how we market.

Jon Pederson, Chief Technology Officer of Midco, spoke on the topic of augmented reality and how this will affect not only our professional life, but our home life as well. Augmented reality could provide new platforms to reach consumers, whether it be in marketing or just to hold conversations with them.

Garrett Moon, co-founder of CoSchedule, talked about the importance of embracing the process, which will be important in embracing the changes of the future.

“A culture that is willing to think big and learn is a culture that is willing to win.” – Garrett Moon


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