By: Amy Cabanas
Have you ever walked into a place and just knew something amazing was happening there? Ever felt the “buzz” was palatable? Well then you’ve been to Venture Café on a Thursday evening @ CIC in the Central West End neighborhood. Travis Sheridan is the founding Executive Director of Venture Café Foundation – St. Louis. This place is where unexpected innovation happen between bright young minds and ground-breaking liveliness. Always looking for a new and exciting ways to engage clever people, Travis hosts a monthly think-tank session that encourages people to hand out and hope to be on the up side of the newest idea, all while sharing in what they like to call a Boozestorming evening. Drinks, music, marketing and cool speakers always makes for a great experience! Travis’ goals over the last 10 years have been to use innovation and entrepreneurship to drive community and economic development. Travis is also the co-founder of both 59DaysOfCode and GlobalHack. These competitions are creators of community and help identify talent. His keynote at MDMC16 should lean more on the side of “learning is fun” especially since Travis honed his skills while doing standup for more than three years. How cool is that? This is precisely why we are super excited about Travis being one of our keynote speakers in April.
Travis was kind enough to give us a sneak peek as to how he sees a few digital marketing trends, as well as, the future of marketing and where we are headed.
What’s the future of wearable tech? Will it ever become a marketing platform?
It is already a marketing platform. In the future we will see more and more connected parts of our wardrobe. The data consumers throw off will allow for customized and real-time engagement.
What does “content” mean to you?
I view content as information that adds value without being the heavy hand of a call-to-action that slaps you in the face. From videos, to podcasts, to blog posts…these are ways to establish thought-leadership and move from awareness to preference.
What is the most valuable digital tactic for small business owners?
This might sound silly, but I still lean on email marketing. When a person opts in for messaging and content, they are primed for greater engagement.
What are your top 3 digital metrics?
Email list (growth and engagement) Specific web traffic to the site Podcast subscribers.
As everything moves to mobile and social, it seems like the web is dying. Should we still care about the web?
The web is a platform. Mobile and social exist in the web. It’s not dying; it’s stronger than ever. More and more connected than ever before.
Marketing as a discipline seems challenged as organizations move away from silos. What kind of coursework should one pursue for a career in marketing? Do you believe the discipline of marketing will be blended into other academic pursuits (i.e. entrepreneurship, business, leadership?)
Psychology and anthropology.
What do you see as the next big disruption in the world of marketing and communications?
1) Products sent to a consumer in advance of ordering and then giving them the option to return if no interested.
2) Marketers being paid for successes and actual behaviors…but paid more than the norm.
Travis has a lengthy list of roles he is involved with in the St. Louis community and I’m sure he plans on bringing some of that amazing knowledge with him on the day of the conference. Academically Travis holds such a diverse set of degrees I can only assume his talk will be well worth the time of any student, whether it be literally or figuratively. This is going to be awe-inspiring and I can’t wait to hear more about Travis and how he sees the future of digital marketing in St. Louis. I don’t know about you but I’m already intrigued.
Follow Travis Sheridan: @TravisSheridan
Follow Venture Cafe St. Louis: @ventureCafeSTL