Last week, gShift had the immense pleasure of hosting our friend and renowned marketing consultant, Mark Schaefer, while he was in town as a keynote for the City of Barrie Small Business Week.
For the past year, we have been proud to be one of the sponsors for The Marketing Companion Podcast, hosted by Mark and Tom Webster, as well as the co-sponsor of Mark’s latest book, The Content Code.
With this relationship in place, I have had the opportunity to chat with Mark on the phone many times, but had never actually met him. I will openly admit this marketer was on the verge of star-struck when I met him at our front door. I have personally listened to Mark’s podcast for quite some time and look up to him as a leader in my field. Over the following hours, I quickly realized he completely lives up the to high regard I have held for him!
While it would have been easy to keep Mark all to ourselves at the gShift office, we instead decided to plan a small evening event with some of our local digital agency clients. As our CEO Krista referred to it, “a romantic dinner with Mark, us and some friends.”
So this is exactly what we did. with great food and drinks flowing, we spent several hours deeply wrapped in some of the most insightful and satisfying marketing dialogue I have ever had the opportunity to be involved in.
Mark shared his thoughts on where the digital marketing industry is heading, what some of the emerging trends and the challenges that marketers face today. We discussed the importance of brand identity for individuals, audience development and the next stage of content marketing.
In order to properly sum up the evening, I invited our guests to weigh in with their thoughts.
“Mark was able to look beyond the current trends and provide us some insight into the future of content marketing. Barrie needs more of this!” – Jimmy Furlano, Business Development, Tyger Shark Inc.
“Mark had a missle-lock on where we are at in the social age and where it’s going. His perspective on creating a personal brand caught seems to be echoing deep in the next generation.” – Tyler Murray, Co-Founder, Tyger Shark Inc.
“Mark is above all else an incredible person who balances the technical and human elements of social media and digital marketing. His curiosity about the future helps us stay on top of coming trends.” – Marc Hill, Founder & CEO, Digital Giants
“Mark’s point on identifying and truly connecting with your strongest advocates, who may only represent 2% of your total audience (the social longtail) resonated with me. The message was don’t simply focus on just one big influencer, but many small devoted advocates to spread your message.” – Jeff Riddall, Director of Product Strategy, gShift
“Mark Schaefer wasn’t just sharing information…,he was sharing his passion. Between his compelling insights into the next phase of digital marketing evolution, and the thought-provoking discussion coming from the dinner crowd, it was an evening I was very pleased to have attended.” – Zvi Lifshiz, Executive Director, Invest Barrie
“Mark provided a clear picture into the future of content marketing. With 500% growth in the amount of content over the next five years, it should bring content strategy into the spotlight for all marketers. How does your audience discover your brand when the amount of content is doubling each year? It really comes down to quality over quantity. Marketers are going to have to be very creative and use content marketing software to support their strategies.” – Chris Adams, Co-Founder, gShift
The following morning, Mark delivered a very motivating keynote to a room full of small business owners and entrepreneurs from the Barrie area. It was my first time seeing him speak live and deliver the level of insight he has in a way fully actionable for a business of any size.
We welcome Mark to come back and share his unequalled marketing thought leadership anytime. I believe my colleagues will agree, we are all richer for the experience.