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A report from the frontline: Spyglass takeaways from MIMA’s recent 2017 Marketing Trends event

Posted on 01.25.17 by Spyglass

Relevant insights and astute observations aren’t easy to come by, so the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) “Excited for Change: 2017 Trends for the Modern Marketer” event on January 18th was much appreciated. Spyglass was there, and from our purview, there were more than a few savvy revelations on the state-of-the-state of marketing and how to forge a nimble way forward. Like many observations, a few are simply smart reminders, while others are cool new ways to use what we know to see the world through a different lens.


  1. Pay close attention to patents, art and culture. As the world of advertising increasing blends with culture and the hip and the hot, every brand needs to use the tools available to them to tap into the now and spend more time understanding why the new is what’s next. Patents are a great example. While technology continues to play a larger role in our lives, (See also The Internet of Things), it’s important to understand the thinking behind the patents that go into new gadgets like the personal assistant Alexa or Amazon Echo. They offer interesting revelations about the process of discovery and what excites us.
  2. Black swan moments matter. Way back when, in a white-swan-only world, scientists declared that black swans did not exist. Low and behold, black swans were discovered soon after. The point? Anything is possible. Never say never. Many have spent precious time dismissing groundbreaking ideas in their infancy from Apple to Twitter, only to eat crow later. The lesson is simple. It’s OK to be late to the game—but you need to be a student of why these ideas worked and what you missed.
  3. New buzz word alert: Thumb stopping. We’re going beyond Facebook ‘likes’ to “thumb stopping”. As mobile takes pole position over laptops and desktops, it’s all about creating content you simply have to stop and look at. And that is precisely the content most of us share with our friends and colleagues. Thumb stopping involves creating more targeted and niched content that best relates to a visitor’s questions and interests. How to create that content is not necessarily your problem, but sharing it is. Being among the very first to share the best content matters.
  4. Call it spin control, but… The simple truth is you have to sell change as an opportunity, not a nuisance. Both internally and to your customers and prospects. Have a vision and communicate why change is good and how it opens up a whole new set of powerful potentialities.
  5. Surprise! OK, not really. Whoa, 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. Which is why, more than ever, you need to put customer needs above brand wants. Your brand is here to serve, protect, surprise and delight. Think of ways your technology can help your customer and not your marketing goals. Provide non-expected service, reject intrusiveness, be trusted. Then, segment, market and keep them loyal.
  6. Measure twice, cut once. Pay attention to what data can tell you and start looking at how your data scientist can be more involved with marketing goals. Make sure you know what’s working and what isn’t. Then work with your team to decide how to measure the success of any content, branding or marketing strategy. Proving that what you are spending is working is the best way to secure more marketing investment and grow your business.

As always, the devil is in the details, but the one unassailable fact is: To “be it” you’ve got to “see it”. It’s not about you, it’s about them. Good luck out there. Call us if you need a hand. We’re uncovering new ideas every day, and it’s a good bet they can help you break on through.


MIMA is an interactive marketing-based educational and networking organization in the Twin Cities. To learn more visit the MIMA website