I decided to go to the ‘Digital Trends’ Impacting Real Time Web session being put on by Christopher Barcelona at research. The major trends that Christopher pointed out were the rise and continued permeation of real time mobile web interface, Integration to your social nexus (Facebook or other core social network), and influence marketing through friends. What Christopher focused in on was a building approach where the mobile access and increased computing capacity enabled other trends. The concentration of social capital in my opinion is going to lead to an echo-chamber effect where we begin to buy only what our 1st circle buys because of latent peer pressure. Barcelona admitted that when you log onto do e-shopping, and it imports your friends shoping experiences so you can see what they like and they can see what you like things can get a bit muddled.
The next session I sat in on was done by Pete Blackshaw. Already I a ma fan before the conference and hearing him in a small setting solidified the respect. Pete asked the really big question –“Do You Still Need A Website”. This was the article he wrote for Ad Age and re reiterated the findings and points of view. The website has changed. The purpose. The content,. The design. The website has to be flexible and deliver to the consumer an experience that informs and delivers value – not fluff and sales pitch. The site should be dynamic, interactive and serve as a feedback loop for consumer – both positive and negative. The website should integrate social content from outside sources as well as serve service not sales. Inform, educate, and help not hard sell. Most important be flexible and be able to change with the environment.
The third breakout of the afternoon was about the value of the online advertising and the measurable impacts that it had. The presenter was good but I think his message got a bit lost in the details. What I really latched onto was that there were a few key points that really hit home for me. That looking at the body of work that he had research on 68% of the online campaigns had positive returns. There was also a distinction between market penetration and traffic volume building. 33% of the campaigns drove market penetration (new customers) and 66% drove traffic increases from existing customer bases. Another neat point was that there were disparities in effectiveness when slicing campaigns by new vs. existing products. His presented research shows that existing brands yielded 164% return while line extensions yielded 135% return. In addition promotional campaigns drove 2X the returns over equity building campaigns. To boil it all down do promotions on exiting well established brands to your existing core customer base. Nice.
The final presentation was from the DEO of Get Satisfaction Wendy Lea. I loved her speech. Because of the business that get Satisfaction is in, Wend took the time to really challenge us to concentrate on getting things right. That the quality of the relationships are more important than the quantity of the relationships. She urged us as brand people to get involved in conversations that impact out brand and especially take the opportunities to learn from the dissatisfaction of our consumers. She pushed us to look at how social our brand is and how we can leverage the conversations from all over the web to just get it right. Use an outside in flow and bring the conversation to our front door and pay attention to them.