There were a few things that stuck out to me during the course of the event. One in particular was the heavy emphasis put on data analysis and its effect on marketing campaigns. It seems that in our digital world every click is being tracked, aggregated and compiled. The results are being turned towards understanding consumers at a level we have never known before. Combine this with data factories like Google and Facebook that are gathering personal information on an unprecedented level and you have a perfect storm for knowing anything and everything you ever wanted to know about anyone.
Of course Social media was ever present. I think the take-away was two fold:
1. The antiquated approach to telling your market what they want and how they need to think is going away, and going fast. Social media has allowed participation on a whole new level and rather than fend off the masses, a race for inclusion is at hand. Invite your fans and target market directly into the mix, have them participate (if not downright lead) the next campaign, ask them what they think and allow them to build a brand experience. There is nothing that creates advocacy quite like participation and ownership.
2. I often describe social media as the wild wild west, and I was stoked to hear others are using the same terminology. We are all new to this game and marketing within these platforms is in its infancy…in utero may be a better way of putting it. Companies are ditching traditional advertising and throwing large amounts of money and resources into social media. I heard numbers like, 40- 60% of traditional marketing and advertising budgets are being reallocated to social medial. How do you divide the advertising budget at your company?
In summary, I feel we are not using all of this new information to understand the public in the traditional marketing and advertising sense. Instead we are using the various social media connections, insurmountable amounts of data and immediate consumer accessibility to locate trends, concerns and the inner-thoughts of our market. Companies are working hard to build direct, personal relationships with customers, to experience life with them, to humanize our brands and to connect as an equal. This seems to be the new marketing paradigm. The race is on to see who gets there first.
Check out my notes from the event in the PDF below.