We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
Nowadays, I find it’s rather easy to fall prey to the overwhelming number of conferences that promise engaging speakers from big-name companies who will attempt to transform your life and your business with a single stroke of insight. Instead, most leave you tired, uninspired, and uneducated.
Every year at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto, Dx3 digital marketing conference promises to inform and inspire their attendees with a highly interactive tradeshow and a jam-packed speaker lineup. This year, unlike many other conferences in its category, Dx3 went above and beyond my expectations of the typical conference experience.
Neil Stevenson from IDEO reframed the process of creativity as a breath of fresh air, and Doug Stephens from RetailProphet brought us into his world of a re-imagined retail experience. I met a service robot named Pepper, took a peek into the habit-forming features of Waze, and learned how to build an awesome brand from EpicMealTime.
To step onto the showfloor at Dx3 is to be greeted with a taste of the future. As we move further towards a world where trust, relationships, and experience drive the profitability between business and consumer, it’s both extremely cool and slightly unsettling to learn about the many tools that companies can use to collect information and influence the buyer’s decision.
The world of marketing is a fascinating place. It plays such an influential role in any organization that I personally believe anyone with a professional career should internalize simple marketing principles and strategies and implement them in their daily lives.
Dx3 has the ability to immerse you directly in the marketing world where you can experience the fundamentals of modern marketing in an interactive way. As a Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) student, if I had to choose one conference to help build my company or personal portfolio, I would choose Dx3.
Here is a list of my top 3 actionable takeaways from the conference:
1. Cut the stones, build the cathedral.
When you’re starting your company, or building out features for your product or service, you need to sell the vision. Bring the customer through the experience and buying journey with little actions along the way that will build into something bigger. Make sure they see the big picture through the entire process.
2. Scuba dive among the fish.
More often than not, you’ll be building features and products from the outside looking in. You are trying to get a sense of the world your customer lives in. Make sure you learn as much as possible about their lives, habits, and behaviours, and come as close as you can to where they live and breathe. Better yet, be the fish.
3. There are different audiences for different platforms.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are platforms where your social media following comes to engage with your company and your content. But you can’t treat them as the same entity. Facebook fans are different from Instagram followers who are different from Snapchat and Twitter audiences. Build something special for each platform, but also make sure to share content between platforms. The loyal fans will subscribe to everything, but don’t assume that everyone will.
Benny is a current MBET student and recent Kinesiology graduate from the University of Waterloo with a passion for helping others. He is working to blend the impact of Kinesiology and Applied Health Science with the world of business.