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Speed Summary: The Future of Digital Marketing – Econsultancy Conference

The future of digital marketing is…

Well, the good folks over at Econsultancy have posted presentations answering just that question from their “The Future of Digital Marketing” conference with a wondrous range of insightful speakers, held on 16th June 2010 in London, UK.

Social and mobile – including social and mobile commerce – figured prominently, as you might expect.

Econsultancy subscribers can download decks for free, non-members can purchase the decks – but for the time-pressed here’s a speed summary of the presentations (250+ slides) for you; we’ll be using it as creative stimulus in digital strategy workshops – hope you find it useful too.

(NB – the keynote deck from Gerd Leonhard has found its way onto slideshare – and is embedded below, along with several related decks).

The Future of Digital Marketing is… Social Commerce

Rowan Gormley (Naked Wines)

  • Naked Wines is a wine buying club launched 18 months ago (Dec 08) and has recruited 80,00 customers, 25,000 of whom are investing £20 a year to help Naked Wines help 22 independant winemakers set up/build businesses. Naked Wine ships 35,000 bottles per week
  • Naked Wines has a ‘sell before you source’ business model (customers commit to buying, before wine is produced) to secure better prices – no marketing costs needed – Naked Wine brand works as intermediary between wine lovers and wine producers – organizing group-buy deals
  • Customers (buying club members) get award winning wine at 50% cost of standard retail
  • Gets customers to buy not-yet-produced none-label wines by allowing them to select wines to be sourced, and decide the real selling price – a real buying club.  Business developed into customer angel investor model, investing in winemakers
  • Key to success is reviews and recommendations – expert reviews, user reviews (% who would buy this wine again), and personal shopping recommendations (based on customer profile/feedback)

The Future of Digital Marketing is… M-commerce

  • Mobile-assisted shopping integrates the physical and the digital (Personal, Proximity, Presence , Universal)
  • M-Commerce is a necessary part of multi-channel retailing and an important component of Point of Purchase Promotions
  • The rise of mobile comparison shopping, mobile coupons, mobile affiliates

The Future of Digital Marketing is… Mobile

Nick Gee (Autotrader)

  • THE high growth channel
  • The next phase is mobile integration – integrating web with overall digital strategy
  • The technical challenge is dealing with multiple mobile platforms – necessary to ensure distribtion and usage
  • Media sites can use mobile apps and sites to drive traffic to advertisers sites with short codes and promotions

The Future of Digital Marketing is… Open APIs

Angela Maurer (Tesco)

APIs offer

  1. More opportunities for collaboration with suppliers and 3rd parties – e.g. Kellogg’s Special K site -> Tesco ordering
  2. External developer community creating apps for customers -> Facebook/Mobile shopping assistants
  3. Easier & faster development of prototypes for testing with customers

Tesco, the leading UK supermarket, is seeking to 1) Enhance API functionality, 2) Create APIs for its other businesses, and 3) Support the developer community to deliver new and compelling applications for customers

The Future of Digital Marketing is… a Technology/Data Mashup

Matt Isaacs (Essence)

  • So much innovation in the space, so many possible futures (The Cloud, Semantics, Android, IE9, Statistics, Mashups, Mobile, Social sphere, Attribution, User targeting,  HTML5, Location-based Devices, Gaming consoles, Ad exchanges, Path to conversion, 3D Set top boxes, Dynamic ads, IPTV, Channel interaction, Optimisation, Mapping, APIs, HD video, Augmented reality, Test and learn, Data visualisation, Widgets, RSS Feeds, Apps
  • Don’t confuse the art of the possible with the art of the profitable.” David Tansley
  • Three trends will pattern the future of digital marketing
    1. Mobile Devices: Tired of hearing about the “Year of Mobile” But it is coming, coming soon and it’s not about phones: The Mobile Internet – Any service, Any time, Anywhere, On any screen.  Marketers challenge – platform fragementation
    2. New Experiences: Digital marketing will be about connecting information that’s otherwise not connected to create new possibilities (mashups)
    3. Advertising Shift: The major shift in advertising from being predominantly TV focussed to something new has yet to come, but the the economic drivers are compelling:
      • Imbalanced economics (CPM rates – Internet $2/3, cable TV $12, newspaper/magazine $16, broadcast TV $28).
      • The rise of Facebook Marketing (in UK Facebook has 30% of display advertising share), but privacy issues will have to be addressed
      • Rise of display exchanges (doubleclick, OpenX) means advertising media market will become more like financial exchanges
      • Twitter advertising is new and uncertain (promoted tweets, trends)
      • Digital advertising analytics tools are there already and will become more powerful – path to conversion/Attribution tools,

The Future of Digital Marketing is… Community

Maz Nadjm (Sky)

  • Onsite community features allow for legal compliant, safe and moderated user contributions
  • Onsite communities have an important insight function – allow site owners to better understand their users
  • The rise on online community features (chat, blog, forums) integrated into media players on PC and mobile

The Future of Digital Marketing is… The Cluetrain Manifesto

Jesse Engle (CoTweet Social Inbox for Teams)

  • 10 years old, and on trend – markets are indeed conversations (on the social web) – Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice. Social Media is conversational media
  • There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone (BP)
  • The Rise of Social Social CRM – for Marketing insights, campaign response, tracking, social event management) Sales (Sales insights, sales response, lead generation), service and Support (insights, response, p2p self-support), Innovation (insights, ope R&D), Collaboration (insights, enterprise collaboration, extended collaboration),  Customer Experience (seamless customer experience, VIP experience)
  • Four emerging trends will define the future of digital marketing
    1. Social Integration: Integrating social to email, sites, and mobile
    2. Blurring of earned and paid media (promoted tweets (Starbucks), trends (ToyStory)
    3. Geo-targeting
    4. Leveraging social influence (Prospects, Customers (Advocates/Others), Employees (Approved/Field), Brand Team (MKTG, PR, CORPCOM, execs)

The Future of Digital Marketing is… Distributed & Decentralized

Gerd Leonhard (The Futures Agency)

  • Mainstream broadband adoption (mobile and fixed) means 30% of all advertising will shift to digital (interactive, social, mobile and video) in next 2/3 years
  • Connectivity + Mobile + Social is changing the very definition of Marketing and Commerce: Social Commerce is Distributed Commerce (e.g. Disney selling ToyStory tickets on Facebook)
  • In a networked world, brands will learn to become networked brands – Distributed & De-centralized Production, Creation, R&D, Marketing, Distribution, Selling and Public Relations.
  • Non-networked brands will become invisible: Links are the new currency of marketing.
  • Social media, virtual events and mobile channels are emerging as new channels for lead generation and customer acquistion
    • North American companies using these channels for marketing who have acquired customer by a blog (B2C 57%, B2B 43%), Facebook (B2C, 68%, B2B 33%), Twitter (B2C 51%, B2B 38%), LinkedIn (B2C 26%, B2B 45%) (Source Hubspot State of Inbound Marketing 2010)
  • The Future of Selling will include: Involving the Users (Fiat Mio), Giving Something (Pepsi Refresh the World), Personal Selling (Etsy Marketplace)
  • We will see a complete Online Convergence with Meatspace
  • Filters will become ever more important

The Future of Digital Marketing is… Game-Based Marketing (& ‘Kindness Marketing’)

Vincent Sider (BT)

  • How do you get people to do stuff they don’t want to do (like learn about new products, buy new products)?  Turn it into a game (cf. Game-Based Marketing).
  • Humans are reward-based creatures – and games are designed to be rewarding. Applying game mechanics to the customer journey, particularly product/site/brand discovery – with levels, engaging fun challenges, and rewards can be very effective.
  • Farmville as creative stimulus for next generation digital marketing – Users earn currencies by doing actions – logging in, staying longer, recruiting friends, completing missions – users can purchase ‘currency’ without leaving game, redeem for (virtual goods – decorative (to express identity) or functional (for better experience) (90% of Zynga’s $200m revenue is from virtual goods)
  • Example: BRAVO (CBS), has partnered with cosmetics retailer Sephora to reward Foursquare users who unlock the Bravo Real Housewives badge, with $100 Sephora gift cards at select stores in New Jersey and New York over the next four weeks
  • Example: NBC “Fan It’ leverages the presence of show fans on social networks and incentivizes them with points for engaging with content — i.e. watching videos on, Liking shows, chatting and recruiting friends. Points can be redeemed for goodies like NBC merchandise, show previews, virtual goods, badges and sweepstakes entries.
  • Marketers will learn to use engagement game mechanics and attention triggers: Engagement: Collecting, Points, Feedback, Exchange, Customization. Attention: Allowing people to feel important, to get better stuff, to achieve things (small steps for levels), build relationships and reciprocity, feel good about themselves, express themselves, feel superior, get instant gratification.
  • Marketers, like game designers, will learn to ask two key questions: Is it fun? Can it be monitized?
  • The shape of tomorrow’s digital marketing team
    • Actions: Marketers define desirable actions
    • Story: Story designers in collaboration with marketers define the story according to the targeted behaviours
    • Mechanics: Designers setup the business rules for achieving the desirable actions
    • Sink/Source Marketers design business rules for sinks and rewards, badges & prizes
    • Assets Design Designers create assets for trophies, virtual goods, widget skins, and notifications
    • Service Design Developers instrument your site and embed widgets and other data.
    • Conversation: Marketers talk about the offering, focus on long-term, social results
  • Expect a future where you can experience points from a toothpaste company for brushing your teeth. Earn points from health insurance companies for walking to work instead of driving. And even trade brand points – ’30 toothpaste points for 25 of your cereal points’.
  • Expect a massive adoption of game mechanics for web design and engagement marketing as well as explosion of sensors and tracking mechanisms make casual games a little less casual, and reality augmented.
  • This future will be dependent on marketers promoting actions that are kind – the social web creates a visible correlation between customers behaviours and actions suggested by the company. People will judge the business to the actions that they incentivize.
  • To this end, Kindness will be the new ultimate killer app.
Written by
Dr Paul Marsden
Join the discussion

  • I have been playing facebook farmville for a some weeks now. In fact, the only reason i create a worthless FB account was to try few of the games my gf kept playing.

    I can thoroughly say that the game is completely nonsense. Everything takes FAR too long to do. The rewards are not even really rewards , those are just bait to put more hours with the game. All the new items like animals and enhancement that have been releasing out charge farmville cash. I will never EVER spend bucks for one of the poor designed games ever so they are bringing down any chance of me continue with the game since everything is now requiring bucks. The only other way to get FV is to level. They reward you one FV for a level. But here is the thing the experience need to earn at higher levels to level, will make you have to consume weeks to get one level and your reward for every level is the ability to now plant one or two new plants and do it again for another level. Many of the plants you get have poor pay outs and in many cases, they are so bad, that you will never ever plant them. Not even once. Other alternative. give real dollars on the game to play, a pretty trash concept. really not fun at all.

    What indeed pissed me off was how they enforce you to have neighbours to be able to expand your farm. None of my mate play this trash, so I had to invite person I do not know and let these people friend me to facebook, giving them my personal information just to spread a farm… it literally does not make sense. I was really not going to add strangers just for neighbours, so I made fake facebook accounts and fake farms just to add neighbours. I can also log in to these friends and send myself gifts whenever I want to. This is probably why you see so a lot of monthly players of the program all the dummy accounts cause I can not be the only one that said to themselves I am not adding person I do not know for this game.

    There are a lot more faults with he game too like gifts vanishing, out of sync issues, farms not saving properly, animals disappearing and the list goes on.

    My best opinion stay far far away from this game. I can not even call this a game any more. It is a chore. Maybe that is what they were aiming for, making it tough work like running a real farm who knows…

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Digital wellbeing covers the latest scientific research on the impact of digital technology on human wellbeing. Curated by psychologist Dr. Paul Marsden (@marsattacks). Sponsored by WPP agency SYZYGY.