The proof isn’t in the pudding, it’s in the M&Ms
Microsoft’s Matt Wallaert electrified the crowd at DFWSEM’s April meeting, leaving members with not only concrete suggestions for business clients, but a glimpse into the future. And there were more members than ever, with a record 137 guests registered for the evening at NOAH’s Event Venue in Richardson.
PPC Lunch & Learn
There were some big announcements on tap along with the networking. First, an exciting new project from DFWSEM, a brand new PPC Lunch & Learn series spearheaded by the new treasurer, Susan Wenograd.
The inaugural event will be April 21st at the Addison Treehouse and feature RankHammer’s own Steve Hammer. He’ll be sharing his expertise on customizing scripts for Google Adwords, so this is a can’t miss, especially at only $10 for members or $20 for guests. Lunch is included, so tell your boss you have a midday meeting and put it on your calendar.
Marketing Legends and Award Banquet
Another new event on the DFW digital marketing scene was unveiled by Alexander Edsel, Director of Marketing at UT Dallas Masters Degree Program. In the interest of promoting and keeping home-town talent, the Naveen Jindal School of Management is announcing the first Marketing Legends and Award Banquet Series, which will be an annual event to recognize leaders who have transformed marketing.
The first recipient will be Hal Brierley, creator of the innovative AAdvantage® Loyalty Program and co-founder of global marketing powerhouse Epsilon. The free lecture will be at 5:30 on April 20th in the Davidson Auditorium at the Jindal School of Business on the UT campus, followed by a banquet at 7:00. Tickets are $55 through April 10th, with only 60 remaining.
And of course, event sponsor Microsoft was on hand with lots of devices to show off, including ThinkPads from their partner Lenovo and a sneak peak at the new Windows 10 with its one-swipe task switcher.
Their high tech met old school in the theme for the night — since Matt is a big fan of cowboy boots, and Dallas is deep in the heart of Texas, attendees were encouraged to wear their most battered and beloved boots to make him feel welcome.
It must have worked, because the freewheeling presentation, Beyond Marketing: Data, Decision Making, and the Future of Search, was a huge hit. Like a jazz soloist, Matt riffed back and forth across the topic, encouraging audience questions throughout instead of only at the end. The resulting conversation coalesced around three central themes: competing pressures on decision making, competing for cognitive attention, and the value of open data.
As Twitter lit up with the #DFWSEM tag, this is where the M&Ms came in.
— Douglas Kwong (@douglaskwong) April 9, 2015
— Damon Gochneaur (@DamonGochneaur) April 9, 2015
— matt wallaert (@mattwallaert) April 9, 2015
— Ken Tippens (@KenTippens) April 9, 2015
— Stephanie Studer (@Editrix_Steph) April 9, 2015
— Chris Desrochers (@ChrisDesrochers) April 9, 2015
— Sara Aisenberg (@SaraAisenberg) April 9, 2015
Tapping into his academic background as a behavioral scientist, Matt explained that there are two types of competing pressures at work when people online and off make decisions. Promoting pressures are desires: for example, M&Ms are beautifully colored, delicious, and have caloric value. Inhibiting pressures compete with desire: M&Ms aren’t free, and are not necessarily healthy. All aspects of search engine marketing are increasingly about these two pressures. How do marketers increase the power of the promoting pressures and decrease the power of inhibiting pressures? By making it as easy as possible for consumers.
This means that in a crowded marketplace, marketers must compete for cognitive attention. Paradoxically, that means products should require less attention, not more. Striving to make things as easy as possible, to remove steps from the process, makes a product more desirable. This is the basis of Uber’s success. Unless someone is in a taxi-dense area like Manhattan at a time of day in which it is effortless to hail a cab, it’s simply easier to use an app than to look up a phone number, call a cab, give an address, wait for service, etc.
To pull these concepts together, Matt explained that for services like this to develop, and for creatives to build the future of service, data must be open. Task Rabbit, for example, is fantastically useful, but it still requires initial cognitive effort and attention to set up. But if data is openly available, an AI could automate many of the tasks that now require attention. If an AI had access to structured data from a person’s calendar and their dry cleaner, if would know when to schedule a laundry pick up. If clothing measurement data wasn’t jealously guarded, online shopping could be even easier. Tell an AI which channels a family wants, and an AI could analyze competing packages and prices to present a busy, relocating professional with fewer choices, simplifying their decision making process and cutting off inhibiting desires at the knees.
Unfortunately, none of this predictive ease is possible until data is useable and available. Matt’s argument is that in the absence of a compelling reason for privacy, information should be free. In that world, hailing a cab will be as foreign to the next generation as milking a cow is to most of this one!
There are gaps in our data as well. Since groups have a tendency only to talk to members of their groups, marketers and businesses only have information from people already in their network. So Matt concluded by challenging the audience to ask, “What can I do to disrupt my business?” Because there’s already someone out there casting the net wider, gathering data from underserved populations, who is seeking to do just that.
Energized by the presentation, the meeting ended with a networking session, an opportunity to meet and mingle with Matt, and connect employers with potential employees.
Next month’s meeting, on May 13th, should be another great one. Casey Henry, SEM/Growth Manager at video marketing powerhouse Wistia, will present Harnessing the Power of Video to Improve Your Marketing Performance. Register today to join DFWSEM at NOAH’s Event Center for more information and networking!