Live from #SMX East 2014 – Afternoon Summit

By Tad Miller | Sep 30, 2014
More Articles by Tad

The first afternoon session of the Summit track at SMX East features some pretty well-known speakers on some pretty diverse topics.  The Summit sessions give you the speakers for a longer amount of speaking time than a typical session and don’t come with a podium.

Kevin Ryan, CEO of Motivity Marketing

Kevin Ryan (@KevinMRyan) is the CEO of Motivity Marketing and has a million war stories on everything digital (whatever it is, he’s likely seen it before).  Kevin’s session is called: “Automation Does Not Equal Strategy (Or, A Tool Box Does Not A Cabinet Make).”

Kevin starts with the pragmatist, William Hazlitt.  Listen to the people actually doing the work, rather than the talking heads without the ability to execute.  His new book is called Taking Down Goliath, and it’s about small brands taking down the big brands and the role of digital in that.

Taking Down Goliath

Kevin says that Marketing Automation is the best thing since sliced banana bread – but it doesn’t do everything.

In keeping with the theme of his book:

  • Goliath is jealous. I don’t know what his point was, but it was a great rant.
  • Goliath is clumsy. Big Brands are really screwing it up (with tools). Maple-Bacon-Cappuccino is a big mistake to combine, but they are all good on their own.
  • Goliath is dimwitted. Example: marketing that wants to post to your friends what you did.  Conversations with brands are one way.
  • Goliath is inadequate. Big companies think we are robots and can understand.

Essentially, Kevin didn’t really give bullet points (he talks about concepts – similar to the failures of marketing automation), but his points really are that automation screws a lot of things up in digital marketing and there isn’t enough strategy and human common sense in it.  Essentially, buy the book.

Kevin’s best practice points:

  • Do what you say and say what you mean. Keep it simple.
  • Advice:  Don’t be a tool, no flip flops on planes and use your indoor voice.
  • Data isn’t people.
  • Automation isn’t a strategy.
  • Technology is not a replacement for strategy.
  • Tech is cheap, intelligence isn’t.
  • Don’t build tech to avoid people.
  • Build technology around people.

Scott Brinker, Co-Founder of ion Interactive

Scott Brinker (@chiefmartec) is the co-founder of ion Interactive and the founder of the Marketing Tech conference known as MarTech.  Scott’s session is called: “The 4th Wave Of Content Marketing.”  

Scott Brinker

Content Marketing is a constant battle for domination (like Game of Thrones).  On top one and beheaded the next.

There seems to be a race to create a greater volume of content.  It’s a vicious cycle.  It doesn’t work mathematically.  The state of content marketing is like a box in the warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones.

67% of the buyer’s journey is done digitally.  What’s lost as marketing replaces interactions?

Sales talked to prospects, Marketing talks “with” prospects.

People see the form fill completion as a trap.

The 4 waves of content marketing:

  • Web pages – foundation of digital content marketing. Everyone has already done this
  • Rich Content – PDF Ebooks, Infographics, Webinars, etc.
  • Personalization – dynamically-substituted content based on visitor profile (it’s a guess)
    • All of these are Passive Content Marketing
  • Marketing Apps are the futureInteractive Experiences with programmatic flow and logic (like quizzes on BuzzFeed)
    • Native Mobile Apps are interactive
    • Need the intersection of media, message and mechanisms
    • Get people interactively to figure out what works best for them
    • Content needs to be good at educating buyers
    • It differentiates buyers

Getting people to compare and predict your content gets better retention of the message.

Joanna Lord, VP of Marketing for

Joanna Lord (@JoannaLord) just might be one of the most “liked” digital marketers I’ve ever seen.  People absolutely love her (they’re both fan-boys and fan-girls).  She’s currently the Vice President of Marketing for, but she’s also spent some significant time working for Moz.  Joanna’s session is called “The Future of A Brand.”



Joanna’s speaking about best practices of Brands.

There are many definitions of a brand.  In the 21st century it’s what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand names.

Brands are really sexy bright things.  Best practices of brands today are:

  • Present a value exchange beyond the product.
  • Create intelligent personalization and do it at scale. Both what we do and don’t do.
  • Agility – set up experiences as a company quickly.  Be faster than ever before.  LinkedIn is doing this well right now.
  • Empower consumers and build a brand with them.  This is taking the Seth Godin Permission Marketing mantra to another level.
  • Understanding Loyalty and Reciprocity.  Get a relationship with the customer and give back more than brands ever have before.

The biggest brands of today are “getting these best practices.”  They are set up to succeed with infrastructure. They are set up to stand out.  They don’t promise, they deliver.

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