On a typical September morning, the city of New York welcomed the advertising world’s most exciting week - Advertising Week. Industry executives, creatives, clients, students and the media flocked to seven different venues throughout the city, including the New York Times Center, in order to jumpstart the first of a five-day celebration that honors the best in the business.
Throughout the day, we partook on seminars and panels that dealt with the hottest topics shaping the scope of brands and advertising. Here are the panels that More Than Branding hit during Day 1 of Advertising Week:
HOW MOBILE IS TURNING MARKETING ON ITS HEAD
Amanda Zaky Manager of Interactive / Mars Chocolate US | Ashley Schwartz CEO / Furious Minds | David Cohen Global Chief Media Officer / Universal McCann | Naveen Tewari CEO & Founder / InMobi | Scott Marsden SVP of Media / DigitasLBi
When it comes to connecting with consumers, what is working and what is not? In a quest to find out how exactly brands are embracing mediums that allow personalization, Inmobi put together a panel with executives from Mars Chocolate, Furious Minds, Universal McCann and DigitalsLBi to discuss how marketing is changing the way we engage consumers through smartphones and tablets.
In a world in which big data is essential for the creation of insights, good creative and analytics become fundamental for engagement. Why? Consider the amount of time users spend on tablets and mobiles versus print or television.
Mobile, still an infant when it comes to advertising, requires more data to track conversion and acquisition. Business models are very mature and mobile is still “immature”, so there is still a learning curve the world needs to surpass.
Brands need to focus on how we want consumers to engage with them, and then drive them there. The day of pushing an ad has its days numbered. Brands need to think on how they get messages through in a different way - they need to become much more relevant and real-time to people.
THE VISUAL REVOLUTION
Ari Lewine Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer / TripleLift | Doug Scott President / Ogilvy Entertainment | John Cantarella President, Digital, News & Sports Group / Time Inc. | Steve Spurgat Managing Director / Big Human | Vivian Rosenthal Founder and CEO / Snaps!
The universe of images knows no boundaries. With social networks such as Instagram, Pinterest and Vine taking the world by storm, marketers have new opportunities to engage users using photography, video and infographics as a means to create content.
This so-called “visual revolution” now means two things: user generated content and a higher engagement on social media. But for brands that are not exactly “visual”, how exactly should they tell their story? Easy – they let consumers tell the story for them.
There is a universal truth that has stood the test of time - people have an undeniable need to express themselves. Images bring people together across the globe, regardless of language, race or age, and mobile has been a key catalyst for this transformation. Anyone can now become and brand and create content.
We are witnessing a shift from traditional advertising – one under which brands used to tell someone what to read - to social advertising, in which they influence consumers with content that is relevant to them. Content always finds a way to find users - and through images the impact is greater and more efficient than ever. Pictures give us a glimpse of a person’s life. And that’s exactly why it’s so authentic; it’s personalized storytelling through visuals.
It all boils down to a brand creating content that embodies a lifestyle and shares it with the right audience, at the right time and through the right medium.
THE ART OF BUILDING YOUR BRAND ONLINE
Allison Arden VP & Publisher / Advertising Age | Aman Govil Team Lead, Advertising Arts / Google Inc. | Babs Rangaiah VP Global Media Innovation & Ventures / Unilever | Daving Shing Digital Prophet / AOL | Peggy Conlon President & CEO / Ad Council | Priscilla Natkins EVP, Dir. of Client Services / Ad Council
When sharing their story online, successful brands use engaging tools and compelling content strategies that boost and reinforce their brand essence. According to this panel, marketers should embrace new marketing platforms for these purposes.
Technology allows for the massification as well as personalization in order to sustain conversations directly where clients are. Nowadays, brands are not bound to a 30 or 60 second spot – with digital storytelling is endless. Conversation knows no boundaries.
When building brand online, focus on:
- Capitalizing on visual opportunities; get closer by being on social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram.
- Videos; they’re a great way to get closer to people and tell stories.
- Not being afraid to fail.
- Being transparent and authentic.
- Having an interesting idea.
- Defining your audience
- Determining how your message resonates on every channel.
STORYTELLING IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL, MOBILE & VIDEO
B. Bonin Bough VP Global Media & Consumer Engagement / Mondelez International | Jonah Peretti Co-Founder & CEO / BuzzFeed | Ron Faris Co-Founder / CEO / Virgin Special Projects | Scott Donaton Global Chief Content Officer / Universal McCann
In an age in which social media has radically shifted the way we absorb news and entertainment, brands and marketers must look for methods to create opportunities in which users would want to consume and share its content.
A few years ago, when Twitter and Facebook weren’t around, people still had a inclination to want to share things. When people found things they liked on the Internet, they relied on emails in order to forward experiences that changed their life. The same principle applies today. Brands need to focus on creating content that people will find worth sharing, such as stories, which, in turn could become advertising.
Media consumption for millennials is becoming more and more exciting with the passing of time. When discussing this topic, this question rose up: if 85% of advertising is consumed on mobile devices, why are we investing so little on it?
A WHOLE NEW TAKE ON HOW CONSUMERS MAKE DECISIONS
Damien Thompson Global Head of Consumer Insight / Analytics and Insight / MEC | Pele Cortizo-Burgess Global Director, Integrated Planning / MEC
As human beings and consumers, we are always ‘on ‘ and forming perceptions or opinions regarding brands. This internal process that often leads to acquisition goes through a course that involving triggers and momentum that drive us from a passive to an active stage.
A passive stage is propelled by what we call “distinctiveness” - the creation of a meaningful statement on a person. As brands, we need to carve a territory in the mind of the client and provide triggers to move someone to an active stage.
Different categories have different triggers. Some brands are better than others in associating themselves with specific triggers. Triggers are an opportunity for brands to gain or lose momentum. We get to these triggers by asking questions pertinent to the usage and desire of our product and category. What is important for the person? Is it what we offer?
Touch points are a key element during the purchase decision and play different roles during each of the stages. Social media has become essential when it comes to risk management. People use it to see what others have to say about products they are considering.
In the business world, nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity. As brands, we must identify what our clients choose over us in order to identify new opportunities for growth.
Three things brands need to know about the purchase journey:
- How consumers really make decisions
- How to perform against competitors
- Which strategies ignite momentum
FROM CAMPAIGNS TO CONTENT PLATFORMS: BRAND STORYTELLING FOR AN ALWAYS ONLINE WORLD
Alan Schulman VP, Global Digital Marketing & Brand Content / SapientNitro | Beth Mulhern Executive Director, Digital Experience / Verizon | Debbie Weinstein Global Director of Media / Unilever | Laurie J. Koehler Consumer Campaigns Activation Manager / Intel Corporation
What is changing - the way we tell stories or technology? As the world shifts from campaigns to content through the use of digital, social is providing brands a place to tell their story with credibility and authenticity.
This evolution has allowed for them to tell stories that matter through different channels. There is a social behavior that brands are trying to align themselves with: marketers are shifting from campaign orientation to content continuity. The key is to produce the content and make others do our speaking for us.
In order for a brand to have this orientation, it should rely on:
- An editorial calendar with content organized in a way that is meaningful to people
- Content divided by type: entertainment, forums, social media and product content
- An understanding and knowing what you are going to say and when
- Being on real-time, all the time.
- Producing high quality content
- Think of the ways people can contribute
- Determine the business metric that will be applied.
In the end, brands that embrace storytelling must become newsrooms and understand that when it comes to content platforms, everybody plays a role. No one owns it but the market, the customer. It is they who determine the conservation.
WHAT’S YOUR BRAND STORY?
Seraj Bharwani Chief Analytics Officer / Visible Measures Corp. | Stephen DiMarco CCO, CMO / Millward Brown Digital
When it comes to having a story, a brand must create a valuable human experience. One way to approach brand stories is through the premise of having something interesting and creative to say. The news needs to be interesting enough to want to be shared.
It all starts with the user experience. Think of what the person will take away from your brand and what this experience is translating into. Would people be compelled enough to want to share that information?
Things we can do:
- Understand best practices
- Don’t let the numbers get into the way of thinking out of the box
- Forget about TV, it’s about the content.
- Start by determining what you want people to think, feel, and then think about platform.
- You need to work with people that understand how different each medium and each platform are.
- You need to make sure people understand the story. What exactly are we talking about?
- Study the consumer
- Check if your story adapts to the medium