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I produce an event called the Westchester Digital Summit. This year we were named by Forbes as one of the "Must-Attend Marketing Conferences For Leaders in 2014." Each year we curate the brightest minds in tech, media, and entertainment. This year's event, held on May 15th, lived up to that moniker.
The panel I moderated included speakers (L to R in the photo above) Brett Wein, Sales Director at Facebook; Andrew Goldman, Global Brand Marketing, Agency Partner Lead at LinkedIn; myself; Gregg Weiss, VP Social Media at MasterCard; and Linda Boff, Executive Director, Global Brand Marketing, GE. A true powerhouse lineup.
A highlight for me was the moment when Gregg Weiss was explaining to the audience how MasterCard keeps “Priceless” fresh – by offering their fans “priceless surprises.” The way he pulled this off in a room of 300 digital marketing executives was a thing of beauty.
Gregg turned to the crowd and posed the question:
"What are you passionate about?"
To which an audience member blurted out:
"Do you have a MasterCard?"
Gregg turned to the other side of the room:
"What are you passionate about?"
Another audience member shouted:
"Do YOU have a MasterCard?"
"Great," said Gregg, standing up and reaching into his pocket. "You just won a $50 MasterCard gift card."
The crowd erupted in applause.
Greg sat back down in his chair and explained why that exchange was important and a great real life representation of how MasterCard engages with their community via social media. He started by saying that MasterCard is interested in their community - so they ask questions and engage with them. He also created something he referred to as "card envy." The first audience member didn't have a MasterCard, and missed out on the "priceless surprise" of a $50 gift card. Envy ensues. Brilliant. I'm certain that some in the audience were upset that they hadn't chimed in as well. He trained them to always be on the lookout for "priceless surprises" guaranteeing future engagement.
The final maraschino cherry on top was that after Gregg sat back down at his seat and began explaining what he'd just done an audience member shouted:
"Can I get an application for a MasterCard?"
If that's not ROI, I'm not sure what is.
Photo Credit: Pinksy Studios
An award winning digital thinker, author, television & radio commentator, public speaker and educator, Chris Dessi is the CEO and Founder of Silverback Social. Silverback is the world's leading social media agency, enables top brands and advertisers, to connect with more than a billion customers through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, Youtube, and more.
Throughout his career in London and New York, Chris has worked with a wide array of businesses ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, as well as notable personalities, products and brands.
Chris’ savvy marketing acumen combined with his passion for psychology, sociology and cultural studies, all reside at the fulcrum of his unique manifesto; he believes that social media is much more of a spiritual awakening rather than a technological one. This revolutionary perspective has propelled his personality into the national media landscape. In addition to being a regular social media expert contributor on Fox Business' Shappard Smith Show, CNBC, Fox Evening News, Good Day New York, WPIX, and Fox Business’ Varney & Co., Chris has appeared on Inside Edition, The Steve Adubato Show, One to One, and has participated in radio segments on WOR’s The John Gambling Show in Manhattan, and WBAL’s Marybeth Marsden show in Baltimore.
Chris applied his fresh and innovative outlook on social media to the pages of his first book, “Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It,” which shot to #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in its first two weeks of publication.
As an educator, Chris recognizes that the manner in which we, as a culture, aggregate and disseminate information has changed, and he is devoted to sharing his effective techniques for mastering engagement in social media to the world. Chris has lectured on social media to sales executives of Fortune 200 companies and he consistently travels the country coaching college students how to leverage social media to benefit their personal brand message and their career.
In 2012, Chris was selected by the Business Council of Westchester’s 40 Under 40 for exemplifying leadership, foresight and a vision for the future of Westchester County, where he currently resides with his wife and two daughters.
Consistent with the passion he holds for his professional career is the devotion he has to his family. Having never been a runner, Chris trained to run the New York City Marathon last year to raise money for the ALS Association after his father was diagnosed with the disease. When the Marathon was cancelled after Sandy hit, Chris took it upon himself to run his own 26.2 mile marathon route in Westchester to honor his father.