Networking. Should I Network or Should I Not?June 15, 2015
The Future of Advertising in the Digital AgeJuly 13, 2015
Meet Bryan Vincent – MIMA board member, early-stage MIMA member, recent MBA graduate, and all-around awesome guy. Learn about his experience through the evolution of MIMA and his insight in working in the digital space for one of the biggest companies in Minnesota.
You’ve been a MIMA member almost from the beginning. You were at some of those first MIMA meetings at Nye’s way back when. How has MIMA changed over the years to better meet the needs of today’s interactive marketer?
It’s been fun to watch MIMA evolve. Early on, it was a great way to network and learn about new technology and how people were using tech to push the boundaries of what was possible online. Today, the organization continues to bring value to the Twin Cities interactive/digital community by bringing in experts on key topics related to digital, marketing, social media, technology—you name it—through monthly events and the annual Summit. While the organization’s offerings have matured, there is one common thing that hasn’t changed—MIMA connects and brings smart people together. And I hope we continue to see brilliant people become members, get involved and share their ideas.
You recently joined the MIMA board of directors. Can you talk a little about why you decided to take that on–especially with all you have going on professionally and personally?
The last two years of my life have been extremely busy and now that life has slowed down (a bit), I wanted to find a new opportunity to give back. We have an amazing interactive/digital community, which needs a strong organization like MIMA to help it flourish. My goal for joining the board is to help MIMA advance. Hopefully, in some way, my efforts benefit the larger community.
Part of what’s been keeping you so busy is pursuing and completing your MBA. Congratulations! What is the value of an MBA to today’s interactive marketer? Do you think it’s worth it?
I believe the value specific to the interactive marketer (or any marketer) is a shift in mindset. The education gives you capabilities and new skills—it increases your potential. Personally, I wanted the degree in order to take things to the next level professionally. I’ve found that my perspective has changed. I approach my work with greater focus, view things with many different lenses, ask deeper questions to see the bigger picture and execute and innovate concurrently.
Do I think it’s worth it? Yes—absolutely. Is it for everyone? I can’t answer that. The MBA is a significant investment of time and money. It’s a ton of work. If you’re going to make the investment, you need to be willing to put in the effort—it is a very big commitment.
You work for one of the biggest companies in Minnesota (UnitedHealth Group). What are some of the challenges of working in the digital space for an uber-large organization?
I think the biggest challenge in the digital space is finding great talent. I’ve been really fortunate to find some very smart people and bring them over to UnitedHealth Group. We’re also able to pull in great subject matter experts across the enterprise that specialize in development, design, social media, analytics, SEO…you name it.
During my time with the company, there has never been any question about the importance of digital (leadership is very supportive). While there can be challenges, such as technology hurdles, prioritization of work and occasional bureaucracy, there are a lot of great opportunities. For instance, a challenge we face on a daily basis is understanding what people are saying about the company, our brands, in different languages, etc. in the social media/digital space. Gaining insight into the drivers of those conversations allow us to proactively tell our story about how we add value to the health care system. Digital gives us many different options to tell that story.
As part of your work with MIMA, you’re helping Holly Spaeth in producing this year’s MIMA Summit. Why should people plunk down $500-750 to attend this year’s Summit? And, what can people expect at this year’s event?
The 2015 MIMA Summit is going to be spectacular. The theme of this year’s event is “the Disruptors.” This theme is the driving force for the event and we are currently lining up some amazing speakers who are going to push our attendees to be bolder, do better, and think bigger. The Summit has become a must attend, top-tier digital event and it happens to be in our backyard. For those who have not attended the Summit, it offers three excellent keynotes, six different tracks with 30 expert speakers and a day full of networking opportunities to make new connections. Registration is open now and I’d encourage people to sign up and take advantage of early-bird pricing.
Finally, it’s well known you’re a loyal Green & Gold fan (that’s the entire state of Minnesota shouting, “Boo!!!!”, Bryan!). Any chance you change jerseys and wear the purple in the near future? I mean, Aaron Rodgers ain’t gonna play forever, you know.
With all due respect to the faithful Vikings fans—no chance. I grew up in Green Bay and lived three blocks from Lambeau Field. Never going to happen.