Winter returned to Salk Lake City on Day 2 of Summit, The Digital Marketing Conference, but no one cared because the program inside was the hottest ticket in town. Robert Redford was in the building and 7,000 delegates were bubbling with excitement.
Waiting for Robert was made easy. Mike Rude, Managing Director of Customer Experience at FedEx, inspired the crowd with this energy and encouragement to embrace the technology we have invested in, and jump onboard before the ship departs. Mike urged marketers to take calculated risks and use technology to deliver better experiences for their customers – and enjoy the results.
Richard Sherman is Cornerback with the Seattle Seahawks, part of the National Football League in the US. Coming from Australia, I have no idea what a Cornerback is, so I was mildly confused about what Richard was doing on stage at the world’s premiere digital marketing event. I didn’t have to wait long. Two months ago, Richard caused a social media sensation with a crazed TV interview after a match. It turns out Richard is a Stanford graduate with a degree in communications. Richard had a plan for his own brand and his crazy interview turned out to be his launch pad to stardom. Richard leveraged his notoriety to grow his Twitter following by over 600,000 in just two months; he’s also launched his own fashion line. At the same time, he’s raising awareness of the importance of education and encouraging us to take advantage of moments that are own launch pads to achieve our goals. Richard’s advice: have a plan, stick to that plan, ride through the bumps in the road, and take advantage of opportunities that come your way. I still don’t know what a Cornerback is, but I’m now following Richard on Twitter (you can too – @Rsherman_25).
John Bollen is from MGM Resorts and was next to take the stage on Day 2. John is MGM Resort’s Chief Digital Office, overseeing the company’s digital strategy across 19 resorts and a customer database of over 65 million. John explained the reinvention MGM is about to undertake. The business has been built on acquisitions and that means customer experience has been disjointed, with silos delivering the marketing campaign. MGM is embarking on a reinvention that will shift its strategy to a continuous, engaging experience for customers. John also introduced a new role – Chief Experience Manager, who is bringing the team together to execute the reinvention.
And finally, it was time for Robert Redford… Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; The Candidate; The Way We Were; The Great Gatsby… the Sundance Film Festival…environmentalist, artist, entrepreneur, activist: a true Hollywood legend in our midst and he didn’t disappoint. At Summit, we hear a lot about the importance of data – what information do we have and how can we use it to deliver better experiences for customers. Robert reminded us that at the heart of everything we do is art and in turn, content. Without a beautiful, rich and exciting experience, our customers will never be engaged. The combination of art and science is key and exactly what sets Adobe apart.
Robert inspired us to take risks and not to be afraid of failure. He said failure can propel us forward and that not taking a risk was actually a risk. Robert shared a story from his school days where a teacher encouraged him to tell stories through drawing and he said this inspired him to have the courage to be an artist. We all agreed his risk to become an artist has paid off.
Robert talked about the role of technology in film and said that art has a major role to play in new innovations. Art is at the centre of everything Robert has done over his decades as a leading actor, director, producer and film festival founder. His reinvention – or evolution as he prefers – was inspiring and it was a great thrill to have a true Hollywood star at Summit 2014.
Feeling inspired and looking to find out more? Stay tuned to this channel.
Also you could join us at the Adobe Symposium taking place in Sydney on 22 July and Singapore on 24 July – save the date now and follow us for more updates!