Web Summit 2014 – key takeaways for digital marketers

We’d a great time at the Summit.  Learnt new things, struck up digital conversations with amazing people from the industry, discussed ideas, walked a lot, drank countless cups of coffee, attended the Google workshop, and not to forget checked out the new Audi A3 e-tron. All in all, they were  3 days of learning + fun.

10 Key Quotes from Web Summit 2014 – 

  • The shift of web is dramatic from an architectural point of view. Earlier a webpage used to get linked with another webpage. Now people are linked with webpages and with other people. It’s the new curated web – Mike McCue (Click to Tweet)
  • If you think about your competitors and then plan your product, you will do all wrong things. Focus on making something great that other companies feel small – Phil Libin (Click to Tweet)
  • Social selling is the future of eCommerce. If your customers can buy directly on their favorite social network, they will save time and energy as against 5 to 6 steps, and more and more people will opt for this option – John Collison  (Click to Tweet)
  • Social media is the newest weapon in war – an era of information and misinformation. So authenticity verification needs to be there before circulating further – Anne-Marie Tomchak (Click to Tweet)
  • Advertisement, big data, and eCommerce – these are the revenue model of Twitter. And the advantage of monetization model of Twitter is that the ads look, like and feel like the organic content – Adam Bain (Click to Tweet)
  • Internet is the biggest publication. Digital media is the future. It’s cost-effective when it comes to publication. And the credit goes to the new digital demography – Henry Blodget  (Click to Tweet)
  • User experience is like fairy dust, sprinkle it on everything – Cillian Kieran (Click to Tweet)
  • We find anything written above an 8th grade level doesn’t go very far in social – Elite Daily CEO (Click to Tweet)
  • Authenticity has replaced authority as currency on social media – Mark Little (Click to Tweet)
  • The five mobile metrics no company should be without: Acquistion -Engagement -Retention -Conversion -Quality – Jeff Haynie (Click to Tweet)

Key Learnings 

  • Storytelling, Branded Content – The most talked about words

No one can’t deny the growing focus on storytelling. It’s the new black. According to Google’s Lorraine Twohill “every marketer’s job is to tell stories” and that’s what she’s trying to do with Google’s online and offline ads.

But how do you tell stories that your audience wants to listen to? And how do you monetize your audience?  Jimmy Maymann talks how HuffPost Partner Studio (a team of editors and strategists) is helping brands & advertisers create quality and relevant content on the Huffington Post. The team works together with the brands on stories and strategies that reflect the brand’s goals & are relevant to the readers of the HuffPost. The idea is to help brands engage with the HuffPost readers.

One of the powerful examples of branded content is Amex Open Forum that helps small and medium -sized businesses make smart business decisions. It includes content by experts on topics ranging from money, customers, leadership to technology.

As brands continue to look for different ways to engage customers and capture their imagination, there’s a lot of talk about the importance of relevant and compelling stories published at the right platform. This brings us to the next question “how do you define the right platform?” John Hayes, CMO of American Express, nailed it; in his words “engaging with customers & prospects where they want to be.”

  • Programmatic is going to play a big role

Google’s Lorraine Twohill predicted that almost all advertising will eventually become programmatic. She revealed that Google is aiming to spend 60% of digital marketing budget in programmatic. Norm Johnston of Mindshare gave an amazing presentation on programmatic entitled Adaptive Creativity: Why Programmatic is powering a new form of Advertising. He talked about hypertargeting, creative use of data and privacy concerns of programmatic.

As the ad space is increasingly turning more data-oriented, and traditional media channels + processes getting disrupted agencies must accept the challenge of leveraging the creative opportunities provided by programmatic. Sophie Kelly, The Barbarian Group CEO said programmatic allows you to have real time insights into how people are behaving. Which isn’t a hindrance but an inspiration for marketers to think creative. 

Why is everyone talking about programmatic?

Because the numbers are talking. Global media inventory transacted through programmatic methods will see a 52% increase this year, according to a report by MAGNA GLOBAL.The number will reach $21 billion globally in 2014; of which $9.3bn will be transacted through Real-Time Bidding (RTB). This year according to the new predictions by emarketer, programmatic display ad spending in the U.S. will grow 137.1%; implying the number to go beyond $10 billion. By 2016 it’s expected to double; over $20 billion ads will be purchased through programmatic.  Mobile will account for 44.1% of programmatic display ad spending in the US. 

  • Digital Marketing is Dead. Or is it? 

Stop thinking in silos. Forget about consumers, think about real people. Plus more. Flip through the slides.