5 Brilliant Takeaways for Marketers from Gartner's Digital Marketing Conference

We love talking to industry experts.  In our industry, competition is being phased out by coopetition, and it’s fantastic. Why? Because we can ALL learn from each other. We are in the trenches everyday and the more we see and share, the more we all grow.

We wrote a blog post recently, highlighting advice from some of the best in the biz and it was so great to see all of the different perspectives come together on one topic. A true melding of the minds.

So, we decided to start a series where we continue to tap the brilliant marketers who surround us, and share some of their best quotes, tips and other gems of wisdom around industry topics.


Let’s kick off the series with 5 really smart things said by Superstars at the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference that took place in San Diego earlier this month (which was awesome btw).

1)   Analyst, Richard Fouts, gave a session titled, “Tell Marketing Stories That Soar.” There was a short list of tips to fulfill this achievement, And my favorites were the first and the last tip. Respectively they were: “The best stories put people in the starring role.” and “Marketing is not about you and it never will be.” And it’s true. As marketers, we have a responsibility to think first about those we are marketing to, don’t we?

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2)   Analysts Jake Sorofman and Kirsten Newbold-Knipp had a session on building a content supply chain, and one of the things they said, really resonated since there is so much noise in content marketing. Paraphrasing…they said: Competition for audience attention is not our competition. It’s content. Earn the right to their attention by serving what’s right for them. Content should be about them, not us.

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3)   Fara Howard, Global VP of Marketing from Vans talked about the 70:20:10 rule. She said, that 10 percent at the end should be the spend that makes you uncomfortable and you should encourage your team to bring stuff to you that sounds ludicrous and then ask a million questions about it. She said, “Get comfortable being uncomfortable. That’s where the beauty happens.”     

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4)   During another session, Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke, said, “What we say is not what we do, so we need to understand real behavior.”

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5) There was another sentiment that piggybacked nicely off Fara’s words, and it was a comment from the final day’s keynote given by graffiti artist (yep! That’s right) and best-selling author, Erik Wahl. He said, “Fear often represents False Evidence Appearing Real (how’s that for an acronym?!)

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So if you haven’t noticed, there’s a little bit of a theme here. And the way I see it, it’s two-fold: remember why and whom you are marketing to and stay true to that, and don’t be afraid to take risks!

What were some of your favorite nuggets from Gartner’s Digital Marketing Conference?