Highlights from Creative Xpo

    In January I was fortunate to be asked to speak on a panel at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta, on Digital Networking & Careers for the Future. Here were questions and my thoughts for the panel:

    • What are some digital media platforms that you use to help you manage your day to day operations?
    • GoogleDrive, GoogleAnalytics & SearchConsole, SEMrush, HootSuite (all for my search engine marketing and social media marketing services to clients).
    • How has the Creative or Gig Economy changed thanks to on-going development in digital media?
    • Outsourcing is easy: From online time sheets, to online project management software, to online portfolios, to LinkedIn groups & talent searches, etc. Freelancing &/or hiring freelancers has never been easier.

    • How are new technologies, big data, and the growth of virtual content reshaping the creative economy landscape?
    • For good or for bad, there is more marketing and customer data (about promotions, etc., via digital measurement) than ever before. And digital marketers use these analytics (e.g., A/B testing) to drive decisions about promotions that used to be the role of the creative director or the brand strategist. I’m not sure how we can easily put more trust back in the AD’s recommendations when marketers say the data says the opposite.  
    • Are the changes and growth in digital media affecting the future of communication in a positive or negative way?
    • Both. Digital provides more channels for communications and creativity. Who knew that mashups could be an artform? Who knew that Autotune the News and OK Go could invent new artforms? Vines 360 video, VR/AR, live video/animation/sticker social media works; and the future is still wide open for creative discovery. But these hurt attention span, focus and traditional media channels’ quality and roles.
    • What are some digital media platforms that have shaped or affected the growth and development of your business (or the business you work for)?
    • Project management software, social dashboards, digital analytics (to show results to clients).
    • The traditional lines between content creators and content consumers are blurring. What role are consumers playing in collaborative content creation?
    • There’s a (old) term: The Prosumer. That describes it well. The prosumer can do anything…


    Thanks for reading, Jake Aull, Zen Fires Digital Marketing




    • Technology and digital media is making it easier to modify and redistribute content.  The resulting complex chains of “derivative works” provide increased opportunities to capture creativity, but it also create challenges in managing copyright and content ownership. How can creatives and artists combat these challenges?
      Jake’s answer: I think you have to throw out that question. Instead you have to ask: “what is the goal artists want to achieve?” Because the traditional music industry doesn’t work anymore. The traditional pro photographer model doesn’t work anymore. If you don’t want copyright infringement, don’t share your work. But if your goal is to make money off of creativity, you have to approach the question that way. Look at OK Go. And Rhett and Link. And Autotune the News. And Trale Lewous. And Pewty Pie. And imgur.   




    • Within your industry, where do you see technology going? Will this increase jobs opportunities or take them away?  What jobs or contracted work is in-demand? Jake’s answer: Digital analytics. It will grow, proliferate across channels, and jobs will grow. I don’t really see it taking away other jobs, because it’s still new, growing and there’s never been anything of it’s power in business before. Maybe it takes away some traditional marketing research jobs.




    • What are some tactics you use to increase audience attention and engagement? Jake’s answer: For clients, we do keyword research to drive content strategy; both content creation strategy (for SEO) and content curation/content share strategy (for social media).


    Additional Questions if time permits:


    • Most people associate the term Digital Media with Social Media. What are some other apps, platforms, programs, or software outside of Social Media that you think are shaping the future?
    • Can you talk about the differences and considerations in digital media for personal use versus professional/business use?
    • How has new social media and digital media content sites changed how we tell and distribute stories? (Examples: 360 Video, Periscope, VR Storytelling)