The end of October also marked the end of the latest iMedia Breakthrough Summit discussing “The Next Wave in Marketing.” As always the content of the summit was spectacular with presenters hailing from all over the US to talk about innovative uses of media and how their brands have capitalized on new and emerging technology. The summit kicked off with a mobile bootcamp hosted by David Hallerman from eMarketer, who gave some staggering stats on consumers mobile usage – for instance “Mobile’s share of total digital ad spend is expected to jump from 37% to 71% in 2018.”
One key takeaway that came across loud and clear: mobile should not be thought of as a particular device, but rather as a platform on which marketers can provide timely, relevant information with which consumers can interact. Two examples that stood out were InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) interactive marketing team’s use of mobile strategy to build loyalty, and YellaWood’s well-executed branded content campaign that perfectly tied in with social media – since we know that platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest get at much as 78% of their traffic from mobile devices. Next up, Universal Orlando & AKQA presented learnings from the launch of The Official Universal Orlando Resort app and placed particular emphasis on creating apps that are “experience enhancers” rather than something you try to cram every functionality into. They also discussed some learnings on best-practice uses for beacons having experienced some consumer backlash who felt that the technology was too intrusive.
Following the mobile bootcamp, Lina Yang, “Futurist” from The Hershey Company, talked about how brands can build an internal team to focus on creating innovative ways to connect with consumers. We also heard from Coca-Cola on “driving innovation from the inside” and their willingness to double-down on innovation because you can’t cost-cut your way to success as a brand anymore. Mattel discussed “turning social listening into innovation” by utilizing mom-bloggers.
The last day of the summit was spent learning about the convergence of the physical world with digital through great presentations by both Westfield Labs and Walgreens. Kevin McKenxie with Westfield Labs discussed how they’re working towards making the physical act of shopping digitally enhanced through the use of guided directions to shops and pre-ordered food in mall restaurants. Adam Kmiec chatted about Walgreen’s use of beacons only in areas of the store where customers are lingering I.e. the pharmacy and providing those customers with relevant content pertaining to their surroundings. All of the media partners in attendance did a great job of showing off their capabilities (as you’d expect) but it was really the statistics that they presented that I found to be the most profound proof that, as a marketer, if you are not thinking about the holistic experience of your brand for your customer (which obviously includes ‘mobile’), you’re fighting a loosing battle.
You can catch some of my favorite stats and chats on my twitter @courtchanson under the #imediasummit