Didn’t have time/money/resources to get to Social Media Marketing World this year? Never fear, I’ve summarised my Day 1 learnings for you and consolidated my 5 hours of learnings, down to a 3-minute read of the most valuable takeaways! The first day at SMMW involved attending three workshops. There were seven (yes seven) concurrent sessions for each of these. The three I attended and my notes + actions are listed here.

Session 1: How to innovate by Thinking Differently: The Disney Way by Duncan Wardle

Key Takeaways
  • We all need to spend more time with our customers. Spend a day in their shoes (literally). Understand their motivations, desires and needs. It will allow you to create more meaningful value.
  • Make sure you regularly do things differently to encourage fresh thinking. Drive home a different way, change your routine, use your imagination.
  • Ask why over and over until you understand the true value. Why do people go to Disneyland? (to go on the rides), why do they like that particular ride (because it reminds them of their childhood), why is that important (because they want to relive nostalgia and create new memories with their children). If they’d stopped asking at the first why – they would have built more rides, instead Disney created more ways to foster those feelings.
  • To generate innovative ideas we need to create an environment where everyone contributes to ideas and doesn’t reduce them. Don’t present an idea to someone across a desk, instead ask them to help you build on the idea and go for a walk while you do it (side by side). It will result in it being “our idea”.
  • When an idea is presented our instinctive reaction is to say it won’t work and explain why. Rather than this approach of “No because..” (reductive) try expanding on the idea with the words “yes and…” it will bring more energy, creativity and won’t shut anyone down.
  • Our best ideas don’t come at work. They come on a walk, in the shower and in situations where we have time to think. Give yourself time and space to think.
  • One way of generating ideas is to challenge the established rules that make something the way it is. Draw 3 columns, one with “rules”, one with “what if” and one for “imagine if”. Take a topic (innovating around a movie experience), list the rules (must be watched in a cinema, run at certain times, watched in the dark, shown on a screen etc.). Then pick one rule and run with some “what if” and “imagine if” scenarios.
  • Ask someone who is not native in your industry or area to participate in your brainstorming session. They will bring a different perspective that might lead to something brilliant. Innovation comes from outside of your industry.

Session 2: Augmented Reality and the Future of Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know by Cathy Hackl

Key takeaways:
  • XR stands for Extended Reality which includes AR, mixed reality and VR
  • AR is Augmented Reality – it places a digital element in my reality. Transparent and not reactive e.g. Snapchat filters, Pokemon Go
  • VR is Virtual Reality – separates you from the real world and takes you to a new world or universe
  • MR is Mixed Reality – includes spatially aware elements e.g. If a character is on a table, it will know the table is there and be able to react
  • Volumetric 3D scanning and video – a world that is not flat and cameras capture the image from all angles.
  • Interesting uses of this technology include: Try-ons (try sunglasses on your face in a messenger communication, change the colour of your hair to see what it looks like etc.) Bose have released new sunglasses with augmented audio so you can listen to music, take phone calls or receive audio info from beacons.
  • Free AR tools include: Spark AR (Insta + FB), Snapchat Lens Studio, Amazon Sumerian, Omnivore 3D photo creator, Torch AR app
  • The world is obsessed with data, but we can’t see the digital element which is the true merging of our physical and digital lives. It’s called the “AR Cloud” or “mirror world” and its how technology and data will be combined so machines can “see the world”.
  • Now there are CGI (Computer Generated Images) influencers, actors and more. Take a look at this site – these “people” are all generated images by computers!

Session 3: How to discover your next business idea, Pat Flynn

Key takeaways:
  • We only see the successes, but there are more failures than successes.
  • Ideas that are 100% money motivated won’t work. To be successful they must have a purpose of serving others first so build it for your audience
  • Focus on one new idea at a time. You can’t do everything at once. “Follow one course until success” (quote by John Lee Dumas).
  • Test and validate the idea before your build anything. Don’t be scared to share ideas, get it out there and get feedback from your potential customers.
  • 3P’s of target market: Places - where are they right now? People - who are the influences in that space who have already earned the trust of that audience? Products - what products are already being offered to this audience?
  • Use iTunes as a tool to research your industry. What are the most popular podcasts in your industry, what are the related podcasts? Also look at new and noteworthy.
  • Spend the time to call customers on a regular basis and ask them how you can better serve them, what they are struggling with right now and what their current needs are.
  • If you’re trying to build something for everybody, you’re building something worthless. Start with a minimal viable product.
  • Make sure once you have defined a new product that you can explain it to a potential customer (before you build it) to get feedback and ensure it’s something they want.
Did you find this summary valuable? Take a look at the Social Media Marketing World Day 2 and Day 3 Summaries.