Where Brand Marketers Come to Learn, Share and Connect

By Ben Plomion, SVP, GumGum

Did you catch the wave? Promotional materials for the recent Brand Innovators Mega-Trends summit held during Brand Marketing Week in New York showed a drawing of a surfer riding an illustrated wave made up of all kinds of digital stuff (the Facebook logo, WiFi and @ symbols, line drawings of computers and mobile devices, etc.). The surfer is obviously meant to be you: a master marketer with perfect balance, timing and agility.

Or did you miss the wave—meaning, did you miss the event? No worries. We were there and we took notes for you. Here, some of the key insights imparted during the summit’s lively presentations and panels:

Mobile and Social Have Converged

Remember when “digital” used to be its own silo within the marketing departments of big organizations? For the most part, as every aspect of marketing has gone digital, the walls have come down—but ironically the silo system still exists somewhat within digital strategy, as organizations have designated “social media managers” and “mobile experts” and so on.

But as speaker Ted Rubin, Acting CMO of Brand Innovators, pointed out, mobile and social are converging big-time.

Not only is every corner of media—and the overall digital consumer experience—being “socialized,” but social (particularly Facebook for older users, Snapchat for younger users) has become a dominant activity on mobile. So it no longer makes sense to think of social media and mobile strategy as separate things.

You Need to Tell Your Brand’s Story Far and Wide

In her talk titled “Creating Content at the Speed of Culture,” Maria Sipka, Co-Founder & President of influencer marketing platform Linqia, pointed out how easy it is for consumers to access information about brands in an instant—and a lot of that information definitely isn’t brand-generated (e.g., peer review sites). All of that readily available information has radically transformed the consumer purchase journey.

Sipka says that marketers need to go where their specific consumers are across the web and social media, and advocates for the creation of “evergreen, easily discoverable content” — everything from user reviews to useful content marketing — that speaks to consumers’ insatiable hunger for information. After all, if you’re not putting out your own information about your brand, someone else probably already is.

Here’s Why Visual Culture Is Exploding Across the Web

In his talk, GumGum SVP of Sales John Weisgerber presented some stark statistics about how consumers are affected by the non-stop information overload that’s part of our culture now. For instance, the average attention span of an adult these days is about 9 seconds (vs. 8 second for a goldfish).

One way that many consumers are coping with that information overload (and their rapidly shrinking attention spans) is by fundamentally changing the way they take in information—which explains the explosion of visually-centric social sharing platforms, including Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat.

Why? Quite simply because humans process images roughly 60 times faster than words; it can take as little as 10 milliseconds for someone to process a simple image (by way of comparison, it takes 100 milliseconds to blink).

More and More Marketers Are Paying Close Attention to Social ROI

The days of brands gloating about the number of social followers and fans they have are basically over. Sure, it’s still a feel-good moment when a brand hits a new big round number—whether it’s 100,000 or 1 million or 10 million fans—but as Ryan Saghir, Director of Digital Marketing at Sabra Dipping Company, pointed out on a panel, there can be zero correlation between social engagement and sales.

Saghir advocates that going forward marketers become very strategic about social media efforts—making sure that social media activations are carefully crafted to produce sales lift.

All in all, the conference covered most of the trends that brands need to master today in mobile, social, and content creation, but as with all things technology, it’s a never-ending and everchanging wave that savvy marketers will need to keep on riding to stay ahead of the pack.

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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