By: Dan Klevorn
We continue to introduce the speakers of the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference (MDMC17), who UMSL Business students were able to interview for the podcast series “In Your Business With UMSL Business”.
NOTE: Please select the speaker you want to listen to: here.
At the conference, UMSL student Sean Gabris took over the “In Your Business with UMSL Business” podcast with educational technology entrepreneur and author Sylvester Chisom. Sylvester is connected to UMSL through a technology incubator that takes ideas from people and companies and uses them to help students connect with education through technology. His role is to find and help these company’s ideas become a reality.
During the interview, Sylvester was asked about starting a company and how to connect with consumers. He described understanding the target audience and having a “caring conciseness”. He also pointed out that an entrepreneur should “manifest greatness” by taking ownership of the business aspects and apply them to life.
As the interview came to a close, Sylvester encouraged future entrepreneurs to not be lazy and make sacrifices to make the business grow. “Who executes on that level and is willing to take those sacrifices will be successful. You don’t have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great,” he stated.
Monsanto collaborative, social media and content strategist, Nick Weber was also interviewed at MDMC17 by Curtis Hoffman. During their interview, Nick described how Monsanto deals with challenges or issues the company faces. It takes a team effort and the right process to deal with something when it “hits the fan”. Nick described how important it is in his team to know who makes the call, as they should have a very quick response time before it fully unfolds on social media. Companies are forced to pick their battles on social media daily when people post about their brands. Nick described how they try to take a bad comment or post and turn it around into something positive or something which can shed a better light on Monsanto.
Curtis asked Nick to give some advice for students and future marketers. Nick answered that young people need to continue to learn and test what they already know about social media. The hottest aspect of social media is analytics which helps brands find their audience to help them adapt to the fast-paced reality.
The CEO of Stirista, Ajay Gupta also joined the UMSL Business podcast at MDMC17. Chanty, an UMSL student, talked to Ajay about Stirista and the concept of predictive modeling. Ajay double majored in economics and creative writing where he worked on political campaigns that finally led him to Stirista. When asked what Stirista does, Ajay stated that they are a “data driven marketing agency” that works with clients to find the specific audience that works for the brand. They target the audience with a specific marketing strategy using email or social media channels.
At Stirsta, each client has a team that understands the needs and wants of the brand, so that they can start building the project from the ground up. Ajay described how each brand is different and could only use help in specific areas while other brands need help across the board. When putting together the models, they can find specific people and see who they follow on social media channels to see if they should be targeted for their client. These statistic based models produce percentages showing how likely someone is to make a decision or switch to a client’s program.
Ajay also mentioned that everyone attending the conference had a chance to learn about the different data available and how companies find it and use it to their advantage.