Published on March 10, 2017 by Rasmus Skjoldan
If you want to know what happened at OMR17, there are plenty of other blog posts to read. Instead, here’s the story of what makes the German conference, Online Marketing Rockstars, come across as such a memorable event.
Hint: It’s all about how to let a stable brand voice guide your content choices.
Why do millions cheer when YouTuber, Casey says, “Do what you can’t”?
If you feel the pain of seeing a brand shift back and forth between different positions, you are experiencing an unstable brand personality. The brand’s stories, one by one, may be great. But if they’re not governed by an unwavering backbone brand personality, the stories will eventually come across as too random and superficial.
If you want a great example of a robust brand personality, let’s take a look at what there is to learn from the Online Marketing Rockstars conference.
OMR is not centered around online or marketing. It is all about evoking the rockstar within you.
When you look at brands in general – be it OMR, technology, cars, dairy plants, haute couture or popcorn—here’s the challenge: To evoke a longing. Via the brand promise.
It’s an exceptionally desirable, very-hard-to-reach place. And the OMR conference got there. The event promises that you will feel like a marketing rockstar for two days (and hopefully you can carry that aura with you back to work).
Here's how they did it.
“My friends, we're living through this incredible era of massive opportunity, yet everybody’s talking and reading and nobody’s f***ing doing. Start f***ing executing.” @garyvee roared.
That’s an angel investor and advisor to Uber, Birchbox, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr speaking.
Here’s the full inspiration keynote from OMR17:
“I want someone who looks at me the way Francine looks at this giant ice cream cone.”
At OMR, Casey not only showcased how he had burned a Nike budget on a risky idea that turned into the smash hit, Make It Count, but also took the time to call out a conference attendee who had tweeted he was overvalued. From an OMR brand perspective, it couldn’t be better.
You see the pattern? It’s not only about OMR helping you to evoke your inner marketing insurgent, but also about realizing how a stable brand guides and forms your communications.
CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, gave a compelling presentation on advanced psychographic targeting and how the company had given the US presidential campaign itself marketing star quality and turned it into a classic case in profiling. His talk sparked some mud-slinging in the Q&A, to the delight of the marketing rockstars present.
Here’s what is really interesting from an OMR branding perspective:
Putting Nix on stage fortified the rockstar brand and attitude because his position is, deliberately or not, the complete opposite to the rockstars.
His talk, called From Mad Men to Math Men, showcased state-of-the-art marketing techniques. All quite similar to much else of the OMR content. But Nix came with a distinctly different voice, wearing suit and tie. Enter Casey Neistat with sunglasses and devil-may-care attitude. On stage right after Nix and quick to voice his views on Nix.
By playing up contrasts and staging opposites, your brand is strengthened.
Here's what I’ve often witnessed to be an untold secret to setting up a brand for success:
Constantly renew the storytelling—yet keep the brand personality steady as a rock.
When OMR designs its logo, chooses its speakers, selects its images for its digital experiences and writes it blog posts—this all brings to mind that desire for rockstar fame.
No matter how effective a content marketing process you have and no matter how great you are at building digital experiences, the effects all diminish if you fail to communicate your brand personality consistently across your touchpoints. That’s not news to anyone working in marketing. It’s just incredibly hard to get to that point of brand stability. And OMR manages that exceptionally well.
Software cannot do much to help you maintain a brand’s core personality. But a trend we’re seeing at Magnolia is a desire to feed brand briefings to digital creatives and content authors while they work at the computer. One of the cool ways some customers are doing that is by taking brand guidelines out of PDFs, cutting them up into pieces and putting them right into the software. Right there, when marketers are piecing together an experience—that’s a good point in time to re-focus on the nature of your brand, regardless of it being rebel or hero.
Hats off to OMR17 for putting on a strong rockstar event!
Rasmus Skjoldan is Lead Product Manager at Magnolia. He brings a wealth of experience in the area of content hubs and omnichannel content management to the table. A former brand manager of TYPO3, Rasmus was user experience lead of the TYPO3 Neos open source project before running Cope, a Copenhagen-based content strategy consultancy.
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