Last week I attended the annual Econsultancy: Future of Digital Marketing conference  in London and wanted to share with you my takeaways from the event.

*Be warned* – this may come across as the ramblings of a confused man as I will endeavour to convey a mixture of soundbites, ideas and visions in no particular order. You’ll need to pick your way through it to earn your £500. Ready? Here I go:

Marketing as a whole is moving from targeting audiences to individuals. Interestingly, these ‘individuals’ no longer observe – they participate.

Pope

So marketers – Your/our target audience as a group is diminishing – they are instead becoming personalities.

Marketing used to be the mouse trap. We interrupted people and sold them stuff they didn’t know or consider they needed. Marketing now needs to be the magnet, not the mouse trap. This is critical – as the age of interruption within marketing practices is dwindling.  The strategy of marketing “at” now has to be adapted into a method of marketing “with”. Your brand or product is now an experience – it needs content and a cause to have a successful future.

We are swimming in data but lacking knowledge. “Big data” has been discussed with a lack of clarity and understanding.  This will play a significant role in our future and the main message I interpreted was this.  Successful marketers of the future will turn this data into relevant wisdom and use it to inform activity. Our role is to make sense of this rather confusing future for our audiences (oops, I should say individuals).

Search engines are moving towards predicting what you want. They are moving away from indexing and veering towards understanding. They are moving away from web pages and towards people. In short Google will know what you want before you want it – sooner than you think. Facebook may know what you say but Google know what you think (despite Facebook’s vaster databank).

Taking the aforementioned into account, Google+ should be a priority. You may think there aren’t many active users however, it is time to revise how you think about it.  Don’t consider it a social network but rather a social layer around your web activity. Remember – if Google is looking at people and if search marketing (in other words, SEO) is an essential, then catering for Google+ needs to be high on the agenda.

And of course, mobile activity was voiced; mobile traffic is growing exponentially and will overtake desktop traffic here by 2015. That and other aspects e.g. using responsive web design technology – are things we already know. The point which called out to me was centred around user behaviour on mobiles. We “snack” content i.e. make sure your ‘snacks’ are tasty.

Dogging

To truly utilize Twitter we need to seize moments. These ‘moment’s present themselves throughout the year and we marketers need to participate in them. We need to plan for them (the old trusted editorial calender would help), and we need to prepare for the best and worst case scenarios when we do take part. I will let you investigate what happened when Les in “Dogging Tales” on Channel 4 talked up Lynx.

Also on the social front it was illustrated how 25% of all videos shares happen within 3 days and branded Vine videos are four times more likely to be shared than branded video. Even more so, Vine videos are now more widely shared than Instagram photos on Twitter. So plough in energy at the outset of a viral campaign and plan for Vine.

 

That will hopefully stir some creative thought and kick start your future digital domination!