Earlier this week, the REX team attended the DigiMarCon Canada West 2023 Conference – the Premier Digital Marketing, Media and Advertising Conference & Exhibition in Western Canada at the Paradox Hotel in Vancouver. The conference served as a vibrant hub of boundless knowledge, innovation, and networking opportunities, all complemented by delicious food and a never-ending flow of coffee and tea.
The event drew business owners and marketers from around the globe (Middle East, Australia, Colorado, Toronto and Winnipeg), providing a melting pot of experiences that added richness to the conversations, questions, and networking opportunities throughout the day.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key takeaways from the conference and noteworthy speakers – including our very own Agency Director, Allison Bran!
Founder of 92Social set the stage with an engaging presentation on the benefits of utilizing YouTube, specifically YouTube shorts, in your social media marketing plan.
His insights into optimal posting times for these short-form videos left the audience eager to explore this social channel and experiment with it in their own digital marketing efforts.
Self-proclaimed “Social Media Futurist” provoked thought with his talk on the concept of the ‘metaverse’ and its impending impact on our world.
His experience and insights on how the metaverse will infiltrate our world bent our minds a little. We don’t anticipate this is something the small and medium-sized business needs to be concerned about for quite some time, but it was interesting!
Our Colorado twin flame and owner of Hackett Brand Consulting captivated the audience as the third speaker. Her presentation shed light on the connection between humans and data points when building a strong brand.
Meg’s expertise in bridging data-driven strategies with authentic human connections left a lasting impression on the audience, encouraging us all to explore new ways of establishing meaningful relationships with our target audiences.
Advisory Board Member and former Director of Global Marketing at Japan Airlines presented a thorough knowledge share on programmatic advertising. Jonathan basically condensed a six-month course into a compelling 55-minute session!
The depth of his understanding in this field left the audience in awe of his acronyms for various frameworks and sparked lively discussions. Let’s just say our notebooks were full by the end of his talk. When we need a heavy-hitter in the world of programmatic advertising, Jonathan will be our first call.
Our Agency Director Shines
Last but not least, our Agency Director, Allison Bran, took the stage and left us in awe!
With her very relevant and captivating talk on “AI vs. Human Touch: Finding the Right Balance for Your Marketing Strategy,” Allison shed light on the indispensable role of the marketer while emphasizing how marketers will need to level up certain skills to stay relevant. She shared her Human Connection Model, the one that she used to map her career from web designer to strategist and agency owner. She reminded us that while artificial intelligence has undeniably transformed the marketing landscape and will continue to, its true impact on our jobs depends on how we embrace it. The human touch is the key factor that distinguishes us as marketers!
Allison’s insights challenged us to rethink our role; she suggested that by reframing our role from “marketer” to “Human Connection Engineer”, our focus will be on the right elements of discovery and research, leading to better strategies and providing the tools to discern when a marketing strategy should and shouldn’t employ AI.
“Asking the right questions is often more valuable than knowing all the answers.” ~ Allison J. Bran
Another crucial point she addressed is the continuing evolution of technology in marketing. She made the point that “technology has been taking my job since 1999”, encouraging marketers that AI is another advancement that we will adapt to with the right focus.
Since the development of the WYSIWYG editor (website builders that require no code), technology has devalued the technical skills of human marketers. So, to remain resilient in the age of generative AI, marketers must focus on developing appreciating assets – our soft skills that AI (so far) can’t bring to the table, like connected communication, empathy, and leadership. In addition, Allison said it will be essential for marketers to become more knowledgeable about their client’s or employer’s broader business goals and ecosystem in order to have the contextual understanding to make transformative recommendations. This has been the REX approach since inception, and Allison suggested it should be the approach of EVERY marketer.
“Our ability to engineer human connections and nurture relationships is what will truly set us apart.”
The resounding takeaway from Allison’s talk was the continuous development of our human connection skills. It’s the unique qualities that only humans possess that will enable us to thrive in the age of AI.
Allison’s insights brought a fresh perspective on the integration of generative AI into marketing practices. If you want to view her entire talk, visit our Instagram account for the low-fi LIVE recording!
Beyond the speakers and their presentations, DigiMarCon Canada West 2023 provided a remarkable opportunity for the REX team to learn, challenge our ways of thinking, and connect with business owners and fellow marketers in different industries from around the world.
The event left our team eager to experiment and implement our newfound knowledge, and are looking forward to continuing the conversations sparked at the conference!
Our biggest highlight, though, was absorbing our Agency Director’s impactful presentation. Chat GPT has been at the forefront of our team’s minds, and it’s so important, now more than ever, to have conversations about how we can differentiate ourselves as marketers, or a better term, “human connection engineers” 😉 in the evolving world of generative AI.
Allison J Bran with DigiMarCon attendees
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