Live from Los Angeles, It’s the DMAs!

You know the age-old saying, “practice what you preach.” Well, that’s exactly what we did by jumping in feet first and live streaming from the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) &THEN 2016 conference on behalf of our vendor partner, Japs-Olson. Because we’ve been experimenting with live streaming a lot lately, we identified this as a great opportunity to road test our skills while also helping our partner reach more viewers. This three-day innovative educational event celebrates experts in the direct marketing field and showcases how this stalwart communication channel continues to evolve.

As one of the largest sponsors of the DMAs, Japs-Olson wanted to leverage their increased visibility to share a wide range of valuable content with the marketing and advertising world. Live streaming afforded them the opportunity to communicate with their entire audience, including those who wouldn’t be able to attend. We initiated pre-event marketing by spreading the word on their social media networks with messages such as: “Can’t make it to &THEN? Don’t worry! We’ll bring the conference to you.” Then, we headed to L.A. and got to work.

img_8020Our first big session featured an interview with CNN commentator and motivational speaker Mel Robbins. Due to some challenges within the event space, we experienced some network hiccups and interferences, but Mel rolled with the punches and gave some very inspirational advice. With live streaming, it’s unrealistic to expect everything to go as smoothly as it would on a closed set. There’s always the potential for a glitch or two, but quality content that drives engagement supersedes the technical difficulties.

Next on the docket were two industry panels about the power of print and how to maximize your investment in direct mail. Always hot topics, these educational discussions were the perfect addition to our live-streaming lineup. And the popularity of expert advice was evidenced by our videos achieving double the number of views compared to other segments.

On the following day, we streamed two more interviews, this time with the DMA’s Senior Vice President of CRM and Member Engagement, Neil O’Keefe, and the Senior Director of Communications for the Digital Advertising Alliance, Chet Dalzell. Fresh off the recent announcement of the Direct Marketing Association’s brand evolution to the “Data and Marketing Association,” these experts provided valuable insight into how the importance of data—along with the emergence of new technologies and platforms—has changed the marketing landscape.

Finally, in a Shark Tank style battleground, a group of start-up companies competed for the chance to work with Facebook, Oracle Data Cloud, Involved Media, and LiveRamp. The competitors had five minutes to present their businesses to the judges and audience, all hoping for a shot at the big time. A small business’ push for greater success wasn’t only priceless to watch, but being able to live stream content with more entertainment value than other segments gave our audience another reason to continue tuning in.

Our experience at the DMA conference was hardly exhaustive of all the ways you can incorporate live streaming into your marketing mix. However, it should be something to consider if you have an interview, product launch, educational session, or entertainment to share with your audience. And with so many avenues for them to share content, live streaming is an invaluable tool for reaching an even larger audience than you thought possible. There may be a few bumps along the way, but this medium is much more forgiving than others, and most bugs are easy to work through. So give it a try! The results may surprise you. Check out our experience for yourself on Japs-Olson’s Facebook page.

Jamie Garcia
Art Director

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