Insights of BOLO 2012

What better way to recap our conference than with the most potent lessons learned from it?

We’ve put together the best-of-the-best Tweets that came out of BOLO 2012. We hope to both remind those who attended what they learned, and share with those who could not make it this year the great thought-leadership that was present at the conference.

Soak in this wisdom, then apply it; knowledge without action is worthless. Here we go.

  • “Embracing uncertainty is trainable.” @jonathanfields

  • “Content is fire, social media is gasoline” @jaybaer

  • “SEO should be part of the whole process, not the last step of it” @nickroshon

  • “If there is not a business reason behind a social effort, you shouldn’t be doing it.” @DrewMcLellan

  • “Social is not a channel. It’s a layer.” @webby2001

And to finish on a powerful note, contemplate the wise words of Jay Baer:
  • “The difference between “helping” and “selling” is two letters. But those letters make all the difference.” @jaybaer

If you have other insights you’d like to share, please Tweet us at @boloaz or @agencyside

Thank you for co-creating a great conference this year. We hope to see you back at BOLO 2013!

State of the Agency 2012 — Infographic

How does your agency stack up in the digital realm? And how do you plan to meet future demands in this rapidly-changing field?

Our friends at The Agency Post decided to find out. In their words: “The Agency Post surveyed industry professionals attending the BOLO 2012 digital marketing conference to get a snapshot of the advertising industry. We wanted to know about today’s client demands, what agencies are doing in digital and what changes they are making internally to meet rising expectations.”

Their survey resulted in the beautiful and informative infographic below.

State of the Agency Infographic

As we come closer to BOLO 2012, we are excited to see what challenges and changes agencies are facing, because well, we know that our entourage of experts speaking at BOLO will share most of the answers with attendees. It’s like having a study session before an exam where the teacher works out 90% of the problems and just changes the numbers on the exam. Get your cheat sheets ready.

We hope this infographic gives you a good idea of what agencies today are facing in the digital realm, and what type of agencies you can expect to see at BOLO.

To check out The Agency Post’s original article on their infographic, go here.

Drum Roll, Please: BOLO 2012 Dates Announced

It’s baaaack! BOLO 2012 will officially be back in action in Scottsdale, AZ at the hip Hotel Valley Ho on October 7-9, 2012.

Want to stay ahead of the pack and avoid becoming an extinct ad agency during this challenging economy? BOLO will give you access to the best and brightest in digital with a conference geared to the mid-sized agency looking to take its digital services to the next level. Speakers at the 2011 conference included Scott Stratten, Lisa Bari, Hugh McGoran, and Jay Baer with timely topics including mobile, social media, analytics, content marketing, and more.

Wish you’d attended last year’s conference? Take a peek at our BOLO 2011 video above and slideshow below to get a feel for this Southwestern jewel of digital marketing.

BOLO champions the marketing stalwarts who are ready to rebel against tired norms. Interested? Ready to break through the status quo and switch up? Registration will open January 1, 2012, so watch this page for updates and email with any of your questions. Now, is it too early to start packing our bags?

BOLO 2011: Reflections in Real Time

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We thought we should write a blog post waxing poetic about the amazing and enlightening nature of BOLO last week.  We would sing the praises of our speakers, talk at length about the camaraderie and enthusiasm of our attendees, and go on and on about the professionalism, hard work, and generosity of our sponsors and staff. But of course, all of you said it better than we ever could. No surprises there!

Since we are a bit digital-marketing obsessed, we thought we’d share the tweets that best captured the essence de BOLO 2011:

Kim Brater, Ant Hill Marketing:  Kudos to @bretgiles @agencyside @BOLOAZ for a great conference and hospitality. Leaving with new friends and actionable takeaways #BOLO2011

Chad Lio, The Hoffman Group:  @BOLOAZ is what makes us truly passionate about what we do. Receiving and utilizing great insights to help others. Thanks again! #digilove

Susan Baier, Audience Audit: Even as a presenter I learn a TON at @BOLOAZ – and not just from the other presenters. Smart agencies there too. ;-)  #bolo2011

Brian Harris, smith&jones: Breakfast with @susanbaierget and @christieri, bumped into @cc_chapman, @TheTimHayden and @TomMartin. Talk about star power after#BOLO2011

J.C. Bradford, The Bradford Group: The power of #BOLO2011. My Klout score shot up from 27 to 38 from the kind mentions and retweets from social media power mongers at BOLO.

David Fabbri, LoSasso Advertising: Back from #BOLO2011 - fantastic conference. Great social media, mobile and ideas for running a dynamic and successful digital agency.

Carey Ransom, RealPractice: Still reflecting on a couple great days in Scottsdale with everyone at #bolo2011. Enlightening, high-energy event and great folks!

So, thank you again to everyone for making #BOLO2011 better than we could have imagined; now who’s ready for BOLO 2012?

Charlie Wollborg: Chief Trouble Maker

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We can’t wait to meet some of these BOLO 2011 speakers next week! They are an interesting bunch and Charlie Wollborg is no exception.  It’s no wonder his title is Chief Troublemaker at Curve Detroit! Charlie will be joining C.C. Chapman and presenting in the Content Super Forum.

BOLO: What do you like to discuss with close friends?
Charlie: There’s nothing I love more than throwing a few sacred cows on the barbie: politics, sex, religion – if you’re not supposed to talk about it in polite company, I can’t wait to discuss. I also can lose a few hours debating the virtue of social tools and/or new business models. I’m a business and tech info junkie.

BOLO: What do you love about the marketing industry?
Charlie: Applied creativity. I love seeing a creative concept launch a new idea or a new industry.

BOLO: What do you hate about it?
Charlie: We seem to be a petty, thin-skinned bunch at times.

BOLO: Why do you think your BOLO topic is important in today’s marketing climate?
Charlie: Social media is not going to be a specialty for much longer – do you see many telephone or email gurus making the rounds? Social tools will continue to come and go, but corporate storytelling and content marketing are the big opportunities for agencies to master long term.

BOLO: List 5 things about you that only your (best friend/spouse/dog) knows about you?

  1. Loves bacon and loves chocolate but not chocolate covered bacon.

  2. Hates people who flick cigarette butts out the window, poorly designed billboards and speed limits.

  3. Produced the TEDxDetroit conference, now in its third year.

  4. Thinks Leelanau Peninsula is among the most beautiful spots on the planet


BOLO: If you’ve attended BOLO before, what was your favorite memory? If you haven’t attended, what are you looking forward to the most?
Charlie: I love smaller conferences. More opportunities for meaningful conversations. You look at the roster of not just speakers – but the attendees. There are plenty of thought leaders and people making it happen in the real world at BOLO.

BOLO: What other BOLO speaker(s) are YOU excited to hear/see/drink under the table?
Charlie: Scott Stratten makes me giggle like a schoolgirl. I learn something from Jay Baer every time he opens his mouth. CC Chapman is like the grand poobah of new marketing.

Charlie Wollborg is Chief Troublemaker and Founding Partner at Curve Detroit Marketing Strategy & Creative Design. As a marketing strategist and creative director, he has delivered blue sky ideas and bottom line results for blue chip national clients and budding challenger brands. He is the Curator of TEDxDetroit  and a Community Builder at Motor City Connect.

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Dan Katz: Games, Games, Games

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Another in our series of ‘getting to know you’ posts: interviews with our BOLO 2011 speakers, who were gracious enough to share their innermost selves with us. Meet Dan Katz of Bunchball who will be speaking on gamification in our Digital Disruption series on Tuesday afternoon.

BOLO: What do you like to discuss with close friends?
Dan: Politics, religion, and evolution of mankind. It always makes for a lively discussion.

BOLO: What do you love about the marketing industry?
Dan: I love the creativity – it is always great to hear innovative thinking that is unlike any other industry. It is inspiring, and always gives me a different vantage point for the same problem.

BOLO: What do you hate about it?
Dan: The same thing I love about it, the creativity. Being a technologist and product manager, creativity is awesome, but I am always thinking about time and budget constraints, which often puts a damper on the overly creative concepts.

BOLO: Why do you think your BOLO topic is important in today’s marketing climate?
Dan: From a recent interview with Rajat Paharia, Bunchball’s Founder & CPO:

“Once just amusing pastimes for children, games have now become the equivalent of behavior modification ray guns aimed directly at our brains.”

Marketing is all about persuasion and perception, and gamification has been, and continues to be an extremely effective tactic when done right.

BOLO: List 5 things about you that only your (best friend/spouse/dog) knows about you?
1.      I was a Bunchball customer before joining the team; it has given me a unique understanding of how a gamification program can be implemented successfully and result in behavior modification.

2.      I think most clearly when I am by myself, flying my airplane a mile above the Bay Area.

3.      I loathe egg salad, cheesecake, and tomatoes. I barfed on separate occasions from eating these items as a child, and have been scarred ever since.

4.      Martha’s Vineyard is my favorite destination. I have not found a destination that matches its beauty and serenity. (Lake Tahoe comes in second place.)

5.      My dog knows that I will eventually pick him up and let him into my bed when he whines. (Advice to new dog owners: don’t ever let your dog sleep with you; you will regret it.)

BOLO: If you’ve attended BOLO before, what was your favorite memory? If you haven’t attended, what are you looking forward to the most?
Dan: I am a BOLO virgin; absolutely looking forward to hearing all of the thought leaders at this conference.

Dan Katz is the Director of Product Management at Bunchball, where he is responsible for Bunchball’s product strategy and roadmap. He works closely with customers to help define and deploy world-class gamification applications. Prior to Bunchball, Dan has held roles as CTO, Technical Project Manager, and Technical Advisor for financial brokerage, e-commerce, and consulting firms.

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Josh Yeager: The Shrinemeister!

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We’re intent on introducing you to as many of our fine BOLO speakers as we can before we hit the conference. So here’s Josh Yeager of Double Dutch Co. who will be presenting on the topic of Curation in the Digital Disruption series at BOLO. And for all you non-Pennsy Dutch speakers out there, don’t worry – we’re pretty sure Josh’ll be speaking in the Queen’s English during the conference. But after a few beers, we can’t make any promises!

Take it away, Josh!

BOLO: What do you like to discuss with close friends?
Josh: Take a look at me and what do you think? I talk food a lot. Why? Because I love it! Food is life. It connects people, increases blood sugar levels and facilitates conversation. Everyone has to eat every day. Everyone has an opinion based on their own personal tastes and it’s all subjective — so we’re all foodies in some way, shape or form. I especially love food shopping as it combines shopping AND food. I plan meals, food stack and enjoy the preparation, planning, execution and post mortems of meals. Burp.

BOLO: What do you love about the marketing industry?
Josh: I love that with digital marketing in particular we’re constantly challenged to keep abreast of the latest and greatest technology shifts that drive changes in the way people connect, share and communicate. No resting on your laurels! Every day is a new adventure and digital marketing by its nature forces “continuing education.”

BOLO: What do you hate about it?
Josh: Digital is a double-edged sword! Keeping on top of ALL of the changes can be downright daunting. Some days I just need to sit down with a book and a cup of coffee and “go old school” to recoup.

BOLO: Why do you think your BOLO topic is important in today’s marketing climate?
Josh: There’s so much noise and change going on digitally that it’s like listening to plate tectonics with headphones. Shifting continental plates crashing, gnashing and grinding at full volume in your ears can be a mind-scramble! We must learn to cut through the noise, rely on our networks and those with different passions and past times to curate the best of the best for us, so we can better understand our audiences and focus our efforts accordingly.

BOLO: List 5 things about you that only your (best friend/spouse/dog) knows about you?
1. My favorite band is Black Box Recorder.
2. I love scrabble.
3. I don’t have TV and I spend inordinate hours consuming Wikipedia in the Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch language. If you speak Pennsy Dutch and attend BOLO, I must meet you!
4. On formal occasions, I wear old timey (non-elasticated) socks with men’s sock garters.
5. I have an alter ego called The Shrinemeister who makes and sells junk art shrines that will touch you … in a biblical sense.

BOLO: If you’ve attended BOLO before, what was your favorite memory? If you haven’t attended, what are you looking forward to the most?
Josh: Last year’s Vaudeville segment had me rolling on the floor!