Web Summit Highlights; Day Two

I headed to the marketing stage this morning, and ended up spending most of the day there.

Content is King

contentA discussion with Adam Singolda (Taboola) Ian White (Sailthru) Sean Moriarty (Demand Media) Michael Learmonth (IBT)

Brands are more important in digital; as the due to noise:signal ratio grows, branded content helps viewers/customers find quality.

Brands need a content strategy, it’s not enough to just push content out there. Need a strategy behind it, and to measure the value to readers. Keep the ROI high, this allows you to keep building quality content.

In conversation with Clara Shih

This was the most relevant to me today, and I found myself agreeing with everything Clara Shih said.

Social is normal for people in their personal lives, it will become the standard operating procedure for companies. It always takes a decade or more to operationalise these things for enterprise, it seems to take a while for the change management to kick in.

Must understand social throughout the company – it can’t just be a team sitting in marketing – but through the company including the C-suite.

Shih sees 3 trends for social;

  • social becomes a service layer on top of everything; IoT, wearables
  • more data, meta data = shift towards hyper targetted “segment of one”
  • customer will expect exchange of data to give them something in return

Connected World

Raced over to the Machine Summit to hear a colleague talk about the Connected World. There was a queue to enter to prevent overcrowding, I was about the last person they let in.

There was some discussion on the opportunities of a future connected world. More features on devices came up as one option, for example adding a camera to a Roomba so that you can document what happens if your house floods – all I could think of was put a camera on it and film your pets. I guess that’s why I’m not working in connected devices.

One of the biggest challenges in this area was data standards and privacy questions. If you extract data from a device how do you protect that?

  • Explain what you do with the data in a way people can understand
  • Do a better job of always making it “opt in”
  • Define and share best practices around privacy and security on collection, anonymising, use and re-use of data
  • Privacy and security seen as a base layer – beyond that let people choose what to share

The future of connected – in the next five years?

Move from thinking about discrete devices to infrastructure and embedding connection into our homes and workplaces.Move to network of devices, and move to connected services. Move to configuration of homes for different purposes, eg; your home office disappears when guests visits.

Joanne Bradford from Pinterest

Introduces Pinterest as “inspiration plus action”, people use it to design their homes, think about their wardrobe, get inspired about exercise, collect recipes. The engagement is high because people use their boards. (OK, I’m the exception).

It was a platform created as a series of communities, starting with mum bloggers, and that meant it was under the radar in Silicon valley to start with.

They still see that community matters and arrange events for pinners, and invite them to press events.

Some stats;

  • 750M boards
  • 300B items
  • best pins have great image + useful link + good description
  • #1 category = comedy

Future of Media with John Ridding (Financial Times)

Always believed in the value of quality journalism, even when others saw a crisis of print media and declared that no-one wanted to pay for content. The mantra was “internet wants to be free”, but the internet is a channel so has no desires of it’s own.

More than half of their revenue now comes from Digital, and it’s the subscription model, not the ad revenue that’s winning it for them.

Innovation Divide

The challenge of getting some “start up” innovation fire into large enterprises, and an inside peek into the fantastic Unilever Foundry, which is great way of bringing fresh ideas and working them into something practical.

Pointing out the dangers of perfection mindset this presentation gave me the quote of the day

every day that a good idea sits in a powerpoint presentation is another day that the idea dies.

Keith Weed, CMO, Unilever

They’re one of the world’s big spenders when it comes to marketing, and they continued spending through the crisis although the breakdown of where that spend goes is shifting.

Marketing spend winners in general are social, search and increasingly mobile. But in terms of social media spend there isn’t a “winner takes all” platform as it makes sense to use multiple platforms depending on your purpose.

For consumers in social there are ongoing privacy and trust issues, right now technology is ahead of regulation, there are things being developed in technology that legislators don’t understand. I’d add that customers understanding is also often behind – even as their expectations grow.

As the Dutch saying goes “trust arrives on foot and leaves on a horse”

Brands have an opportunity to solve this ahead of regulation, and build trust with customers.

It was another packed day – lots of great speakers. The agenda on the marketing stage was rather random, as adjustments had to be made for speaker availability. So it was a bit of a surprising day, the other – less happy – surprise was the wifi. It wasn’t keeping up with demand, so my “life tweeting” was all over the place. OK, for an attendance of 20,000 people I guess it’s a challenge.

I’d still like an answer to my sheep tweet though.
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