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article imageLook, listen, leap: Social Media World Forum North America 2014 Special

By Stephanie Grayson     Jun 2, 2014 in Internet
New York - Look, listen, leap for the marketing win: Social Media World Forum North America 2014 (#SMWF) conference highlighted the importance of listening, data gathering and analysis to enable business opportunities.
If Iast month's Internet Week NY was like the big, blowout block party with everyone you know in attendance, then let's compare the recently held Social Media World Forum- North America 2014 (#SMWF) as a smaller, more upscale, swanky VIP party. The party isn't as loud or long, and not as many people are invited, but that's very much by design. Unlike Internet Week NY which is broad in scope, the #SMWF conference purposefully focuses on social and digital marketing, and is geared towards marketers from brand manager level to CMO, emphasizing actionable business outcomes.
Social Media World Forum Day 1:
Panelists at Social Media World Forum  N. America (Day 1- 5/28/14)
Panelists at Social Media World Forum, N. America (Day 1- 5/28/14)
Social Media World Forum Day 2:
Panelists at Social Media World Forum  N. America (Day 2- 5/29/14)
Panelists at Social Media World Forum, N. America (Day 2- 5/29/14)
According to Ian Johnson, director of Six Degrees, producer and organizer of the Social Media World Forum conferences: "#SMWF focuses on social media business decisionmakers....Social has a big impact on the way business is done, how [companies and organizations] are perceived and how they engage with various stakeholders."
Ian Johnson  Director of Six Degrees (Six Degrees is the conference producer/organizer for the Socia...
Ian Johnson, Director of Six Degrees (Six Degrees is the conference producer/organizer for the Social Media World Forum North America)
So, with this increased importance social and digital is enjoying in today's business landscape, what did marketers learn this year at Social Media World Forum? To look and listen before they leap. Over the two-day conference, a theme often repeated was the amount of opportunities that exist- many of which are being missed- that are able to be accessed just by listening and looking at the social media data being generated online.
Will McInnes  CMO of Brandwatch during his keynote speech at #SMWF
Will McInnes, CMO of Brandwatch during his keynote speech at #SMWF
As pointed out by Brandwatch CMO Will McInnes during his keynote, there are opportunities that exist in this space that go beyond simple brand mentions online. We are now living in times where entire social conversations are going on, accessible to any marketer who will put the time and energy into analyzing them, and therefore, many opportunities for business insights, if utilized correctly with a human touch. But as we know, in business -- time is money. Cue the entrance for the "social media management agency."
Asher Wren  Business Development for Tempero North America
Asher Wren, Business Development for Tempero North America
Several such agencies were onsite at the Social Media World Forum. One example of this type of organization is Tempero, which bills itself as "world's largest full-service social media management agency." According to Asher Wren, head of business development for Tempero North America, "The best tidbit I took away [from this year's #SMWF] corroborated Tempero's own standpoint around social listening – and that is that you should appropriate the right tool for the right job....You should use a combination of tools to answer different social questions [but] all tools are pointless without the right human capital."
David Rush  CEO and Co-Founder of Earshot
David Rush, CEO and Co-Founder of Earshot
A choice of new tools and software options was not in short supply at #SMWF either. Marketers at the conference were surrounded by an array of vendors offering the latest in innovative software. One of the themes that continued to get a lot of buzz throughout the conference were the types of tools that could identify smaller yet powerful data sets, in real-time.
David Rush is the CEO and Co-Founder of Earshot, which describes iself as "a proximity-based social media software platform that provides brands with a new way to discover and acquire new customers... at the ‘right place, right time’." Rush explained how social media presents opportunity as a new customer acquisition channel and that by Earshot offering real-time location of the consumer in the moment, this facilitates actionable insights just as consumers are primed to make purchase decisions.
Rush explained, "location-verified insight gleaned from consumers who are freely sharing experiences is invaluable. Not only does it become instantly actionable, but the inputs are more authentic and unaided unlike most focus groups, surveys, and other data collection techniques."
Social Media World Forum- North America clearly emphasized the business opportunites to be had if marketers would only slow down and take the time to look and listen to the social media data so readily available today. If only they'd just listen about the listening.
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