Big ideas at Toronto’s Digital Media Summit
Normally, The GATE is not the kind of space I would use to talk about social media conferences, but as much as the site is about entertainment, my blog is also about anything that I find interesting, and the Digital Media Summit–which leads into Canadian Music Week–has already offered a lot of interesting ideas worth talking about.
The overall message today has been about being innovative and compelling, and about creating a social media presence for your business that is honest and conversational, but Cindy Gallop talked about advertising, rather than social media, and it was a session that more businesses should have heard.
Her big ideas, which I hate to try to sum up, were that businesses need to use the bottom-up model, rather than the age-old top-down model, and she also believes that businesses need to reinvent themselves to be lean, and creative. On top of that, Gallop talked about the fact that the new creativity that will drive modern businesses needs to combine the MadMen with the MathMen for a data-informed model, rather than a data-driven model.
Gallop also said that, like any good relationship, data gathering should be transparent. “Share yourself,” she said. “Show them the benefit of sharing with you.”
There were two other big things that she mentioned that I really appreciated, and this was really why I wanted to talk about Gallop’s session.
For one thing, she said that “The future of business is doing good and making money by doing so.” In other words, businesses will benefit from doing more than just donating to charities–they’ll benefit from making their business about doing good in all their business strategies.
Gallop’s other big message though was that the new creativity needs to be female-informed. I’m deeply paraphrasing here, but she suggested that businesses that aren’t diverse are stumbling along the easiest road possible, and it’s not necessarily a path that will do the business any good.
The idea that business can be effective, and appeal to customers, without actually representing both women and men within the business is actually a laughable concept, when you think of it. As Gallop said, men and women do think differently, and that’s a strength, not a weakness.
Working in media here in Toronto, I think the industry is actually a very diverse group, and I think that’s why we have such a strong media voice–not just here, but across the country. The problem is that the diversity in the media industry seems to be skin-deep–there appears to be a healthy mix of men and women reporting, writing, and working on the frontlines, but I’m not really sure that diversity goes up the chain of command. That needs to change, and hopefully talking about it can help inspire more people to do more about it.