Elevate Trilogy blasted off last week, bringing with it insights and actionable takeaways from a stellar roundup of speakers.
Elevate Trilogy blasted off to a roaring start last week with Part One: Marketing, bringing insights and actionable takeaways from a stellar roundup.
Launching with a keynote address, Bonin Bough, an award-winning executive and author who's shaped the brands of Oreo, Pepsi, Gatorade and more, the industry Un-conference continued the half-day event with brainstorming lunches and cutting-edge workshops—and finished it all off with a drink-crafting session hosted by bartender Neil Ratliff from the virtual host state of Oregon.
Hack Your Mindset
Keynote speaker Bonin Bough, chief growth officer at Triller and previously chief media & ecommerce officer at Mondelēz International (formerly Kraft Foods), took the stage for Hackonomy 2.0: Combatting Crisis: Growth in a Post-COVID-19 World.
Attendees learned the only way to combat the economic impact of the recent COVID-19 crisis is to create value by breaking things, whether it's breaking from traditional digital marketing, fully recreating it or simply changing “the way we've always done things."
Bough provided examples of how he upended stale, fearful advertising approaches and how small companies such as independent agencies can learn how to “create value by breaking things."
“Everything from a yoga studio to a beverage company—just because you're a small business doesn't mean that you need to think small," Bonin says, highlighting that success in advertising comes from a change in mindset.
He set the scene with an advertising mindset-hacking story from the 1950s when pioneers forged into television marketing, back when it was an upstart alternative to the safer option of radio.
“If I walked into your office in the 1950s and said 'Guess what? I want you to use this thing called television!' You'd say, 'Guess what? Get out of my office!'" Bough said. “'I don't need your stinkin' television, because radio works really good for me.'"
But three brands—P&G, Unilever and Kraft—jumped in anyway.
“What they saw was that consumer consumption…was shifting beyond where investment was, and it's in these deltas that those that move to those deltas fast can create competitive advantage," Bough said. “They created a competitive advantage that lasted 60+ years."
“I would argue that the same exact thing is happening today," he continued. “In fact, when you look at the landscape, the most amount of human attention today is actually spent in messaging. So, one of the tactics I'm going to talk about is how do you build a text-message-based business and how do you connect with consumers in the place that they're spending the most amount of time.
“If you look at it, less than 1% of spending actually goes into messaging today," he pointed out.
Bough's session highlighted how small businesses can hack both their mindset and specific marketing channels.
The session ended with a Q&A hosted by Toni Jones, vice president of transportation marketing at Palomar Insurance Corp and member of the Big “I" National Young Agents Committee.
Want to know more? Registrants can check out the recording on demand. And stay tuned to Agency Nation's YouTube page. Session replays are landing there soon!
Lunch and Leaders
Participants broke into smaller groups for focused discussions during lunch.
Bob Rusbuldt, President & CEO of the Big “I," and Heather Day, general manager of agency sales and distribution at Progressive Insurance, hosted the leadership luncheon, Leaders in the Hot Seat. This exclusive session focused on digital marketing, with Rusbuldt and Day fielding questions from attendees on topics like an agency's presence in the digital world, the importance of search engine optimization and appealing to tech-minded consumers and customers.
Meanwhile, the Brown Bag Lunch with Content Creators workshop honed in on the necessity of creating meaningful, consistent and purposeful content to increase website traffic, social media engagement and brand resonance. The experts fielded questions such as “If you had a limited budget for content marketing, what would you spend your money on?" and “How do you create content people actually want to engage with in this type of industry?"
In the Brown Bag Lunch with SEO Gurus workshop, search engine optimization wizards answered questions regarding the length of blog post content, interacting with SEO vendors and software solutions for SEO.
On the edge of your seat wanting to know the answers to all these questions? Registrants can watch the lunch sessions on demand.
How to Not Suck at Video, Superfans, and Stepping Up SEO
In the session, How to Not Suck at Doing Video, influential video marketers provided the down and dirty details on how, why, and where to create and post your marketing videos. The discussion centered around creating videos that convert and generate leads and how to corner a niche market by partnering with influencers in your community. The experts also fielded questions on editing software, picking the right content and what equipment to not bother with.
Marketing guru Brittany Hodak hosted Social Media Marketing: Creating Superfans to help agencies generate raving fans of their brand. With a portfolio of clients including Dolly Parton, Katy Perry, Disney, and Amazon, Hodak provided strategies to zap apathy and dig into social media.
Search Influence's Paula French rounded out the fast-paced workshops with a concentrated approach on SEO in Stepping Up Your SEO Game for 2021. Attendees took away the concrete checklist for SEO trends to look for in 2021 to push rankings and stay ahead of competitors.
Keep checking the event site as recordings become available.
Finally, the highlight of the event. Virtual host state Oregon showed off some regional alcoholic beverages with bartender Neil Ratliff, owner of Rose City Cocktails and Emerald City Cocktails. Ratliff chatted with Hodak and Tyler Ross, personal lines producer at PayneWest Insurance, while teaching participants how to make a bourbon cold brew buzzer, a space odyssey cocktail, and a purple basil gin fizz. Participants shared their go-to beers and the drink traditions and preferences from their own local communities.
Registrants can grab the recipes and shopping list by going to the documents area of the Elevate event app.
Feeling left out? Didn't get the chance to register? Don't worry—the Elevate Trilogy continues with Part Two: Data in July and Part Three: Culture and Leadership in November. Stay tuned for your chance to sign up.
AnneMarie McPherson is IA news editor.