Debi Kleiman is the President of the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (“MITX”), a community that serves the Internet business & marketing industry, and boasts 250 member companies and 7,500 professionals.
Question 1: How do you define ‘digital strategy’?
“Digital strategy is about creating an approach to engage and delight your customers via online methods. It’s not about campaigns, but instead a long term view that consistently brings value, connection and experiences that build the brand and revenue. It also includes taking an integrated view – for example, looking at how digital tools can enhance and impact the offline experience and vice versa.”
Question 2: As the president of a non-profit association dedicated to supporting the digital industry in New England, what keeps you up at night?
“I’m constantly thinking about how to do more to help the Mass innovation ecosystem – it’s an exciting time but it’s also a challenging time. We need resources and talent to be here in Massachusetts and in Boston to ensure the long-term success of our companies. How can we harness the power of our amazing community to help our companies grow? There are lots of moving parts and lots of stakeholders, it’s hard to coordinate, but by collaborating I think we can accomplish a lot. That’s why events like our annual FutureM conference are an important part of the ecosystem – it opens up dialogue and provides a new platform for that much-needed collaboration and discovery.”
Question 3: What kind of mobile device(s) do you have, and what are your three favorite apps?
“I have an iPhone 5 and an iPad mini which are both with me at all times. Apps I use most include Yelp, Evernote and Amazon. I am so crazy busy, I love finding ways to use digital tools to make my life easier and better at the same time.”
Question 4: Why should people care about MITX?
“MITX lives at the intersection of marketing and technology. Our goal is to educate, promote and connect companies that are using digital approaches to grow and transform their business. These days that’s every company across many industries. People need to learn about what the next big trends, tools and strategies are going to be. They have to keep up with this incredibly fast-changing market in order to be competitive. Connecting is also an important component of what we do — meeting other people working in this realm is essential because they can be so inspiring, and there’s so much we can learn from each other. We believe inspiration drives innovation; we try to bring that belief to our community in everything we do.”
Question 5: What advice do you have for aspiring digital professionals?
“Always be open to experimenting and be flexible. The sector moves fast, so it’s relatively easy to try something new. Be ready to take advantage (in a positive way) of something random or unexpected. Craft your storylines so that you can easily adapt to where the consumer wants to go with it. I call that creating ‘bendable storylines’. It’s key to make the most of how consumers interact with your brand.”