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Carlos Gil Social Media Marketing Keynote

I had the honor of kicking off the 54th Annual American Marketing Association – St. Louis Conference.

My opening keynote aimed to educate marketers on emerging trends in digital and social media as well as help brand marketers see the value of developing marketing strategies with the customer in mind.

Today, marketing is not defined by how many people you reach but by how many people you influence.

During my presentation, I referred to 2015 as “The year of the customer”.

Often time’s marketers are faced by pressure internally to support key stakeholders, and their objectives, whether it’s trying to launch a new product or promote a campaign.

While in translation, the customer and their path-to-purchase – which today begins digitally – are left out of the conversation.

Instead, traditional marketing tactics such as: print ads, direct mail campaigns, TV/radio, and outdoor media are put ahead of digital, mobile, and social.

Let me be the first to say that tradition no longer works.

Today’s customer has evolved and they have more accessibility than ever before.

What does this mean to marketers?

Your customer is evolving quicker than you are.

Digital, social, and mobile media is no longer an option – it’s the primary form of communication between you and your customers and those of your competitors.

However, 2015 is NOT about your customers changing – it’s about your brand changing its marketing strategies to meet the needs of your customers.

I don’t want to come off as self-centered but one of my pet peeves is when I tweet to a brand and never get a reply back as a simple courtesy.

Let me ask you this, if you were to walk into a restaurant on a busy Friday night would you expect to seat yourself and cook your own food?


Customers are connected, influential, and they expect that you engage with them – it’s not an option anymore.

After all, what’s the point of being on Twitter if you aren’t going to engage back?

Social media is NOT about advertising; it’s about relationship building.


Customers don’t want to be sold to, they want to be engaged.

An example is Coca-Cola and their #ShareACoke campaign from last year which drove an over 2% sales increase in a category which has seen decline over the last decade.

When you replace your brand’s iconic logo with the name of your customers and ask them to share it online – that’s engagement. That is putting your customers first.

The challenge for brand marketers today isn’t just how-to keep up with the evolution of the customer but being a storyteller within a media company.

Think of it like this: Brands are media companies, marketers are the producers.

So how do you tell a story that leads customers to buy?

Marketers need to be brand storytellers and content curators – sales is driven by informed, and engaged, loyal consumers

Read: “5 Ways to Evolve Digital Marketing in 2015” by @CarlosGil83 on @LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-ways-evolve-digital-marketing-2015-carlos-gil


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