Here is the final post on the Notes of the Future of Digital Marketing London 2011 event. If you’ve not read the previous posts, I suggest you start with the first post on the notes from the Future of Digital Marketing – Part 1.
Lightning Talks 7 talks. 7 minutes.
Stuart Handley from Dell was the Chief Listener. He opened up a number of listening command centers to monitor over 25,000 conversatins. With over 1000+ responses per week these centers need to be manned with subject matter experts. In order to listen effectively, you need to provide your employees with direct access to customer feedback. This improves marketing, enables product teams to innovate and improves communication throughout the organisation. Good listeners need to be trained on the best way to engage. Help your team connect in a meaningful way. Empower and support your employees by training them to be ambassadors for the brand and only then give them the permission to do that. If you're interested in this area, The Conversation Manager is a highly recommended read.
Emma Jenkins opened the box on Virtual Goods. The value lies in the eye of the beholder. The question is… Is there a market for virtual goods? Emma estimates that $2.1 billon real dollars will be spent on virtual goods in 2012. Skeptical? I was until you read that Jon bought a virtual nightclub for $100k by taking out a mortgage on his real-life house and sold it for $635k a few years later. Right there is your business case for virtual goods! Brands are selling virtual goods with various environments (e.g. Farmville) and gamers are exchanging weapons/players. Virtual goods are here, universal and affordable. A very interesting space to watch.
Andy Hobsbawn from Everything Andy presented The Internet of Things. A world where individual products have unique digital profiles that we can track, update, share and add to. All kinds of objects will have intelligence and the ability to communicate. Today, P&G ships 40 trillions of these objects every year. The Internet of Things is like Fantasia, where brooms and buckets come to life. This is certainly an exciting concept where you can not only talk to your fridge but your fridge can communicate with its contents, build real-time shopping lists, tell you about expiring goods, for shops to let you know when your preferred items on sale, and so on. If you think we have a lot of data on the Internet today, just wait until then and everything will start talking!
Stephen Dunn of The Guardian spoke about the future of online data. The Guardian has already opened up its content through Open APIs; But there is so much data. Big data is something McKinsey reports to be the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity.
At The Guardian, the approach is to instrument everything. The more data, the better. Then build better algorithms to personalise that data to provide best digital experiences for your customers. When data ages like wine, and applications like fish, invest in data storage today. The challenge has moved to what questions should we be asking our customers and the answers in somewhere in your data. According to Stephen, the future lies with the people that can turn data into products. Data is being used to predict the future and wherever possible, personal data will be controlled by individuals who have the power to decide which agencies can access/modify their information.
Nicola Stott, the media flow Folks, apologies. You had to be there for the Future of Search talk. Nicola put stepped through the case for serendipitous search. In the future of search, Google will be providing search results before we have even executed the search. How do you ask? Because Google knows more than you think about you. It does need to buy social platforms like Twitter. Search engines already have access to a lot of social data. With product developments in the area of Google Instant, Social Circle and +1 results, certain predictive, serendipitous searches are possible.
Finally, George Nimeh, an independent consultant, gave a great, ‘you had to be there’ run through on the future of online video.
Summary The Future of Digital Marketing was a great 1 day conference. The big takeaway point for me is that digital is creating a number of opportunities and dead ends within marketing. Sifting through the noise and finding the real revenue generating gems just got that little be harder.