In early May, the Digitas Health LifeBrands new business team headed up to NYC to attend Mirren’s 2015 new business conference.
Walking out of the elevators into the main gathering area, you could hear the murmur of conversation building with every step. Hands were shaken. Business cards exchanged. You could hear snippets of conversations amid the buzz. “Where are you guys located?” “What do you specialize in?” I’ve heard it said many times that this business is all about connecting with people. Nowhere was this more apparent than at MirrenLive 2015.
“Digital is oxygen,” said Nike CMO Davide Grasso, as in all around us and vital for survival. Gone are the days when brands could make a splash with a big media buy during the Super Bowl to reach 120M people; digitally they’re connecting with billions globally every day. We attended sessions with names like Excelling as a New Business Lead or New Tools and Approaches for Proactive Prospecting, and heard quotes like “Clients rarely buy your idea, they buy your pitch team.” “Chemistry counts.” “The person who does the most talking usually has the best impression of the meeting, so be the best listener in the room.” One of the best ways to win (aside from doing great work) was to be someone with whom people would want to work. The best way to find prospects is to have them come to you.
R/GA’s Barry Wacksman talked about how we are now living in the connected age and how the “internet of things” (or #IoT) is exponentially increasing these connections. Now companies like Apple are eschewing traditional horizontal models and creating ecosystems of interconnected products he calls “functional integration.” Brands are moving at the speed of culture, marrying top-down big creative ideas with bottom up social listening, ensuring that their messages fit with the conversations that are happening now.
With the world at our fingertips via the smartphone in our pockets, people’s time and attention are in short supply. The democratization of digital content means the power is in the hands of the people. Now more than ever you need to be relevant and fit meaningfully into people’s lives. So ask a question. Listen. Have a conversation. Make a connection. It’s what this business is all about.
-Lee Meccia, Senior New Business Manager