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Mar 26 2018

What goes around, comes around: what we learned at Ad Summit 2018

This month, we drove up to Subic for the 2018 Ad Summit. While getting there was an adventure in itself, the talks and breakout sessions wound up becoming the most exciting thing about the conference. This year, the sessions explored the idea of DIY-ing your ROI, and featured speakers from Google, Facebook, Ogilvy and Mather HK, and DAVID Miami among many others.

The sessions largely revolved around the idea of returns in relation to some other form of non-monetary investment—things like influence, ideas, interest, inspiration, intuition, impact, and initiative among others. Basically, a lot of big “I”’s.

At the risk of sounding way too reductive with the convention’s many beautiful points, you could infer that the best way to get better results is by knowing what to look for, and how to make the clearest possible shot at an end goal.

Like all matters of skill, this level of perceptiveness is something you could learn if it doesn’t come naturally. What matters most, is you choose to develop the perspective needed to either break new ground or solve old, recurring problems.

What’s a regular Joe or Jane to do, though?

Easy. You listen, play to your strengths, and specialize.



Listening goes both ways, and people are typically excel in at least one of these things.

Are you the type to think of solutions to problems that don’t exist yet? There’s a use for that.

Do you immediately zero in on challenging details that demand to be corrected? You could use that too.

Figuring out how you process information makes it easier to direct that energy towards problem solving. Whether it’s through your random musings, or the use of laser focus on a single burning question, you’ll inevitably find something that makes you go, “Hey, I think I could actually do something about this.”

That’s the hook right there. Take that shot, because that’s where things REALLY get started.



Don’t beat yourself up over your blind spots or less-developed skills. Work around that.

To be frank, we aren’t good at everything. We do have natural or acquired skills that we could use to our advantage. Don’t mess with the other stuff if you can.Efficiency is crucial.In most situations, you will have access to an immediate peer group that could help you along the way. If you don’t have one, you either make one or make do.

Try to not let the minutia of a project keep you from moving closer to a goal.Whether it’s through task distribution (if you have friends) or selective prioritization (if you don’t), you could cover more ground by moving menial tasks out of the way so you could work on the important stuff—all in the name of a clearer shot at a problem.

If you’re a natural, you could probably nail that return in right away. If you’re not quite there yet, then keep realigning your sights until you have a clear shot. Think of what it would take to compensate for a tough situation. You could probably work the rest out from there.



Now that boot camp is over, the real fun begins. Soon enough the process becomes second nature to you, and you’re cycling through these concepts like a champ. The initial hump is figuring out how your own mental processes and skills work together, it gets much easier from there.

The feedback process gets fine-tuned, and it will reach the point where you’re faster and more accurate than everyone else. This is where your exponential returns begin. The best part about this is the fact that this framework is transferrable, and easily adaptable to a number of high-stakes situations.

It’s not going to be easy. It almost never is, but investing in your own perceptiveness is probably the most important thing you could to for your own ROI. Be strategic, and always strive for maximum value. That return is right in your sights.