Here it is in a nutshell: Digital marketing is changing at the speed of light. If you don’t adapt, your business will be upended by competitors who enable how consumers behave right now.
THE FOCUS IS STILL ON THE CUSTOMER.
As it should have been, the focus was all about the customer – that is to say, your customer. And what can be done to improve the ways that your brand interacts with both existing and potential product purchasers.
Brian Solis was the keynote speaker the first day, and his presentation was excellent. If you’re in marketing and you haven’t picked up his new book yet, you need to read it. Here’s the 1st sentence on the inside jacket cover: ‘Today’s biggest trends – the mobile web, social media, gamification, real-time – have forced us to rewire the way we think about and run our business.’
THE INCREASING IMPORTANCE OF MOBILE.
There was a huge emphasis on mobile. Today it’s imperative to create a seamless experience between your website, your social pages, your stores (if you have them) and your mobile applications. Here’s just one example of a high-end brand (Neiman Marcus) that’s making possible for customers to connect with their favorite sales associates.
What we sometimes forget is that nearly everyone carries around a computer with them now, in the form of a smartphone. And when they walk into your store, you have an opportunity to engage with them that simply didn’t exist just a few years back. As Brian states, the Golden Triangle of technology (mobile, social and real-time) isn’t just for geeks; it’s now part of our lifestyle. How is your brand capitalizing on this new behavior?
MAKE BRAND ENGAGEMENT FUN!
My other favorite speaker was Brandon Berger, the Chief Digital Officer at Ogilvy & Mather. (Just FYI, VP of Digital Innovation was his old title.) Brandon emphasized the importance of gaming in your marketing program today. His advice is to ‘gamify’ as many aspects of your business as you can. Make it fun. Make it memorable. Make it entertaining and people will reward you with near-constant activity.
One example he gave was how they ‘gamified’ Facebook Timeline for Fanta – with a series of characters you could ‘bring back to life’ by liking them. Brandon emphasized that it’s imperative to be disruptive – to constantly be thinking of new ways to increase engagement with your target audience.
JUST THE FACTS.
Here are a few other factoids: Generation Y will be 75% of the workforce in just thirteen years. This is Generation C – the connected generation. They are three times more likely to follow a brand than a family member. 66% will look up a store to see if they have a friend check-in. 73% have used digital currency.
The largest (and of course, most successful) brands all have entire departments based around emerging technologies. Smaller brands need to heed the lesson here. It really is time to innovate, or perish. No matter what your job title is.