A dream of Awesomeness in Portland plus 8 Top Takeaways of Explore.
8 Takeaways From Portland Explore
8 Takeaways From Portland Explore

Learning curves as steep as a wall. The impact of technology, especially the social tools, are changing the landscape of our lives, communities and commerce.  There is no doubt that the digital era is significantly shifting the marketplace across multiple functions forcing change to happen before success and sustainability can be experienced for any profession. As digital marketers who have an early adoption mindset to new technologies, we are not only faced with our own learning curve, but we are tasked to help usher others to climb.

Climbing steep learning curves while helping others tread uphill vertically is a challenge. Doing this in today’s world where the rate of information darts at us faster than our Twitter feed scroll can be overwhelming.

Although, with all of the data – from blog posts, slide decks, ebooks, webinars and podcasts available online, one would assume learning would be easy-peasy. However, as Jason Falls would say, “That’s bullshit.”  

And, from a recent post on today’s online content from Tom Webster, there is a dark side to the information highway. In other words, the enormous mass of online content has its limits. As connected as we are in today’s social world, the terabytes of free content, readily available and conveniently accessible – as far as our smartphone is close – can leave us more disconnected and overwhelmed, leading us to more confusion and anxiety than ever.

Best tool to help us as digital marketers and professional social experts? Face-to-face, social media events, like Explore.

I had the privilege to be an event correspondent, or corporate brand journalist for the past four conferences on Jason’s nationwide Explore tour. The purpose of my role was to capture the rich content and report it live through social tools. The final event wrapped up in Portland and as I reflect on the expert sessions and conversations that followed from the networking opportunities, I have discovered 8 top takeaways I’d like to share.

The quality of content from the Explore speakers and their presentations throughout the two day conference could certainly exceed eight takeaways worthy of sharing, however, these are the takeaways that left an impression on me.  With that, I’ll kick off the first takeaway:


The market is talking. Don’t interrupt with your brand blah blah. Listen first.   tweet this >

Malcolm De Leo, NetBase, @InnovationMuse



Want to compete in today’s multi-screened, real-time marketplace? Brands must “be the media.”  tweet this >

Michael Brito, Edelman, @britian



The 24/7 real time demand and response of social, called the Immediacy Era will be a game changer for brands.   tweet this >

“57% expect a response instantly when using social tech, according to the Social Habit.” Tom Webster, Edison Research, @webby2001



Truth still matters. Quantity still matters.  For the sake of credibility, learn how to balance the two to succeed in today’s media. Please, no bullshit.    tweet this >

– Fireside Chat with B.J. Mendelson, Social Media is Bullshit and Jason Falls, No Bullshit Social Media




Communicate to your audience. Know what motivates them and speak in that language. Want to be taken serious in the boardroom? Stop trying to speak in tweets and retweets with your CEO.     tweet this >

Nichole Kelly, Social Media Explorer, @Nichole_Kelly



Being mediocre is unawesome. Scott Stratten is awesome.  tweet this >



Loyalty used to be about relationships. Today, loyalty is about useful information. Be a YOUtility.  tweet this >

Jay Baer, Convince and Convert, @jaybaer



Humor, aesthetics and tech adoption can be a powerful differentiator for your brand. When in doubt, add an image of sharks.  tweet this >

Tim Washer, Cisco, @timwasher



Ask anyone who attended the two day event in Portland, or any of the other event locations throughout the nationwide tour and they will confirm that Explore is chocked full of rich, cutting edge content from top tier digital experts representing some of the most successful brands. In addition to the content that edified our minds, the most valuable piece that I found from Explore was found in the true social networking and face to face community building opportunities.

Want to take a glance of the year in review? Check out Explore on Pinterest. Good times.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this event a rich exploration of social and digital marketing of 2012. Rock on with your awesomeness. tweet this >

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About the Author

Andrea Cook
Andrea Cook is a live media expert who provides key services that grow brands + buzz. With an eye for visual integrity, heart for truth and love for market growth, Andrea blends her role as an art director, editor and publisher in today’s digital, social and mobile media era. Founder and owner of The Midas Center, a consultancy and cowork space and publisher of iHEART Green Media, Andrea is a pioneer, community builder, coach and consultant for hire. Services vary, Live Event Coverage preferred. She can be reached via Twitter @andreacook.

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