By Robert Aguilar
Let us introduce you to Nick Szabo and his startup company, Swizzle. Nick is a University of Missouri-St. Louis graduate and Chief Operating Officer & co-founder of Swizzle. Swizzle is a tech startup that does everything from influencer marketing research to app development. They have just developed Swizzle Labs. The goal of Swizzle Labs is to connect brands and marketers to influencers. Influencers are similar to celebrities in that they have a large following and have an impact, but they are much more cost effective and approachable. If you are not familiar with influencer marketing, get to know it, because Google searcher on the subject have grown over 5000 percent in the past year making it a “breakout” key word. I got the chance to sit down with Nick and pick his brain about the future of marketing and where exactly he thinks that it is headed. Check out some of the highlights from the interview below.
What is the future of wearable tech?
I think that wearable tech is only going to get bulkier before being better integrated. It is going to get more and more popular but it is a platform that could easily lose steam if not continuously improved.
What does content mean to you?
To me, content is any form of media that conveys information. Videos, pictures, text, sound, etc.,. Too many people these days think of content as just Facebook posts or blogs, but video is a massive untapped market when it comes to marketing content.
What is the most valuable digital tactic for small business owners?
To not buy your users. Make the conversation organic. You want quality engagement not just a large quantity of vanity metrics. You should make your brand interesting, make your brand into a person that your customer will like. We have had blog posts that have gotten tons of reads and comments but there was no conversion and no quality engagement, but we have also had posts that had just a small amount of traffic to it and it reached that one specific person that it needed to.
What is the digital “word of the year” for 2016?
It is a tie between influencer marketing and data. Both are going to be changing continuously and changing the way we market continuously. It has been a big buzzword for a couple of years but by the end of the year it should be commonplace in marketing departments.
What are your top 3 digital metrics?
To be blunt, none of them. We at Swizzle do not believe in vanity metrics like clicks, likes, or shares. They should be taken into account, but only in a supportive manner because they are one of the only measurable metrics that we have. They do not tell you much information that truly matters.
As everything moves to mobile and social, it seems like the web is dying, should we still care about the web?
ABSOLUTELY! Not quite everything is moving to mobile and social. Still only about half of the web traffic is on a tablet or phone. There is still a large segment of consumers that go through the web especially those who work in front of a computer all day. You can also potentially alienate some consumers who are not active on mobile and social by not using the web.
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?
Social media should be a fundamental course for any marketing major. You should not be able to graduate with a marketing degree without an in depth social media marketing class. Especially because we all think that we know all about social media because we use it as individuals, but that is maybe 15 percent of what it actually is. Digital landscapes, SEO, how you are rewarded on search engines, web design, A/B testing are also really important for modern marketers to understand.
What do you see as the next big disruption in the world of marketing and communications?
The continuous changing of how we interpret data. Changing the way that we measure our impact on marketers. But also, artificial intelligence and automated content creation. Eventually we will get to the point where a computer can write blog posts and post to social media and its not as far out as it may seem.
For more from Nick and Swizzle check them out at the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference on April 21st! They are raising an investment round soon, if you would like to get in touch with Nick to get involved or to ask questions you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also check out their blog at simplyswizzle.com! See you in April!