OTA Sessions: My Takeaways from OTA

I have to be honest—I didn’t know what to expect when I first signed up to attend the OTA Sessions. I was hoping to get some good pointers and hear a few fun stories along the way. Well, it blew away my expectations. I can honestly say this was one of the more powerful events I’ve attended in recent years.

I learned a lot at OTA but I wanted to bring up the points that have resonated with me over the past few days.

Create a movement not a campaign

As Spike Jones told us, movements continue for forever and campaigns have an end date. The movements should propel the brand forward while getting your strongest advocates to be influencers of the movement. We all want to feel like we have a voice—what is more powerful than being a brand champion for the companies you believe in? Or in terms of marketing a company or product—what is more powerful than having passionate influencers out there talking about how much they love your brand? I work as a media buyer so it is easy to think of things in terms of a beginning and end date for each campaign. One of my personal goals is to think of things in terms of a movement as I plan the media buying instead of just focusing on a message for a finite amount of time.

90% of Word of Mouth Marketing is offline

And just when we thought that divulging our every thought and opinion online was the answer. This was the one thing Spike Jones encouraged us to remember even if we forgot everything else he said. It is easy to get caught up in the hype of the latest and greatest
social media tool but we can’t forget the people continue to talk about a brand/company offline.

Feel the Burner

Julien Smith delivered some great advice—feel the burner. It was meant to encourage you to experience what might scare you. He challenged us to take a minute and feel the burner. Sure, you might get burned, but you also might discover something you would’ve missed out on if you just stuck to your safe and predictable path.

Change on a daily basis

As Mitch Joel mentioned in his presentation, 20% of Google searches each day are searches that have never been done before. This is a great illustration of how fast things are changing. It also reinforces how important it is for online content to continually evolve to embrace the constant changes.

Using photos to tell the story

I don’t know about you, but I’m filing away everything I’ve been taught about bullet pointing my presentations. The presentation styles were as captivating as the message each speaker delivered. I will remember the photos that helped tell the story much longer than I will ever remember a bullet point. I can tell you the identity of Spike Jones, see the burner image from Julien Smith, and recall the sculpture Tim Brunelle used to illustrate his journey message. The photos were a powerful reinforcement of what they wanted me to take away from their talk.

Thanks to everyone who put on OTA sessions! I enjoyed the day and am looking forward to seeing what OTA brings in the future.

– Heather Solberg

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