How To Thrive Amidst The New Consumer Realities

Tips from our 2015 NXMW VIP Marketer Summit

Olson’s third annual NXMW VIP Marketer Summit proved that this event, like fine wine, gets better each passing year. More than 200 marketers packed Olson’s Minneapolis office to hear many of today’s marketing movers and shakers talk about the new consumer realities confronting marketers and brands each day. Didn’t get a chance to attend? No worries—we’ve got you covered with a recap of the day.

Jay Baer

New York Times best-selling author and digital media entrepreneur
Hug Your Haters

New Reality for Marketers: Haters are the canary in the coal mine. Harness complaints as opportunities to engage with your customers who don’t expect you to. Haters are not your problem, ignoring them is.

How to Succeed Amidst this New Reality:
1) Have empathy;
2) Fast is important, but be fast off-stage; and
3) Follow Jay’s Rule of Two: only two public responses

Want more? Check out Jay’s article on how to use complaints to strengthen your business.


Joe Ripp

Chairman and CEO, Time, Inc.
The Power of Branding and Premium Content

New Reality for Marketers: The cluttering of content makes it difficult for brands to break through the noise. Attention spans are shorter—by a lot. Humans have attention spans shorter than those of goldfish. Your content needs to be premium. Targeting premium content around cultural moments breaks through the marketing clutter.

How to Succeed Amidst this New Reality:
1) When consumers are scanning at break-neck speeds, trusted brands and premium content help them make order of chaos.
2) Ads should feel intimate and familiar.
3) Events that affect peoples’ lives are the next great frontier for marketers.
4) TV and Video are being democratized by over-the-top technology and Millennial viewing patterns.
5) Data analytics will elevate the experience.


Jess Cagle

Editorial Director, People and Entertainment Weekly
Premium Content and the Content Evolution

New Reality for Marketers: People magazine was able to grow once it integrated both print and digital.

How to Succeed Amidst this New Reality:
1) Give people a reason to purchase your exclusive content. Want to know if Ben Affleck had an affair with his nanny? Me too, but you will have to buy a copy of People.
2) “The most valuable asset we have gained is the trust of our audience.”
3) Everything we know about managing content is over.
4) Maintain a clarity of voice—People has one editor assigned to a theme, such as a celebrity. There is one editor assigned to Angeline Jolie and Caitlyn Jenner to maintain continuity.
5) Holding true to the values of the brand dictates business behavior.


Bob Lord

President of AOL
Unleashing the Future of Media and Technology

New Reality for Marketers: Data has grown tremendously in the past 10 years and is powering the economy. The convergence of technology, media and creativity allows us to imagine, create, and enable customer experiences like never before.

How to Succeed Amidst this New Reality:
1) Data is the new currency. Consumers are demanding better experiences through open data and open creativity.
2) Openness powers the future of marketing. Open Ecosystems like Amazon, Netflix, and Delta are leading the consumer economy.

Want more? Bob expanded on his notion of the future of media in his recent book. Want the Spark notes version? Check out his SlideShare presentation.


Dr. Moira Gunn

Host of Technation and BioTech Nation on NPR Talk
Don’t Let Your Infographics Bite You

New Reality for Marketers: We live in the age of big data, but how can we make sense of big data and analytics? Through Infographics. Infographics and data visualization are powerful communicators, susceptible to misinformation and mischaracterization, and cross the bounds of language, culture, and literacy.

How to Succeed Amidst this New Reality:

1) Size matters in how you portray your data.
2) Be careful that your tools don’t betray you.
3) Always do your math because everyone can and will check your data.
4) Beware of pretty pictures that don’t tell your accurate story.
5) Always make sure to identify partial or missing data.
6) Always make sure to label your data as part of the graphic.


Roselinde Torres

Senior Partner and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group
Adaptive Leadership: Are You a 21st Century Leader?

New Reality for Marketers: In a global, fast and connected world, the 21st century leader must amplify influence to drive success. The best leaders will demonstrate leadership for an uncertain, ambiguous world.

How to Succeed Amidst this New Reality:
1) Leaders who are ready to lead in the 21 century are able to navigate uncertainty.
2) Empathize to achieve influence and authority through their networks.
3) Success means something different every day: self-correct to unlearn outmoded success models.
4) Aim to deliver sustainable success to the company and stakeholders.

Want more? Check out Roselinde’s Ted Talk on what it takes to be a great leader.

Feeling like you have a bad case of FOMO? Check out a snapshot of the Twitter conversation during the conference. It may not be the same, but it will tide you over until next year’s NXMW.

By Rachel DiCaro Metscher | Senior Director of Brand and Marketing Communications | ICF International