#ThinkIaB – Interesting digital scoops

Brussels, 26th of May

I attended IaB Think Digital at “The Egg” in Brussels. 8 speakers on the digital topic. Since this was an Interactive Marketing Event, the scope was always selling the product (=goal of marketing) but I got some good insights on the digital space (and how companies are branding through the digital environment.)

Mother‘s Alex West (@alexdwest) kicked off with the holy trinity of the Mother Agency.
I was less interested by the holy trinity, but he got my attention with some cool examples on how they created an emotional engagement. Most of the campaigns ran through classical channels, but got additional digital content. Mother rather sees digital as part of instead of a goal. A nice example of  this emotional engagement was the 574clips.Com campaign from New Balance.  With this campaign 574 unique pair of shoes were manufactured, and added with some unique filmed and photographed content.  Each customer buying one of those 574 pair could claim and own his unique clip through the website 574clips.com
Things get “phygital” when the online world is taken a physical form in the real world! – I couldn’t agree more, when digital has to be real and physical aspect, otherwise emotional engagement is difficult.

Ogilvy‘s Rohit Bhargava (@rohitbhargava)  was next with the future of brand evangelism.
With is soon to be released book “Likeonomics” he brought an interesting story on how everything is “share-able” nowadays. In this “share-able” society the accidental spokesman plays an important role, while marketeers don’t like it to be ‘accidental’.  This is way the digital (r)evolution isn’t a marketing (r)evolution…it’s a fundamental shift in corporate strategy (shamelessly claimed by marketeers….wrong!)
He presented a great case of Heineken (where 2 advertising students from Germany) invented Heineken Invite.

The relationship with others (Phygital – you know) plays a central role in how we communicate nowadays.  Social media play an important role in this….when you create great content, social media will set it free. To prove his case, he showed the following Coke campaign (Coke Friendship Machine).

After a short break Ciaran Norris (@ciaranj), Mindshare, took the stage, straight out of Dublin, on the topic “Money can’t buy you love”.
He gave a nice (and to the point) historical overview on how people are using social media, from only producing content (through cell phones, f.i. in 2006) to distributing this content (2009). The everyday person has the means of production and distribution in his hand. This makes everybody a potential content sharing ‘object’. Everybody is generating content, User Generated Content (USG), but what we see is a technological evolution because people don’t change…they still search user shared content! (80% of Tweets posted are sharing of other ‘professional’ content).
UGC has created engagement opportunities. Instead of using paid (traditional) channels, you engage through owned and earned channels to finally reach the paid channel.
Ciaran showcased the Heineken App (Uefa Champions League 2010 – you engage to play the final through your app) and the Axe Fallen Angels (augmented reality). Both examples gave nice ideas on how to use earned and owned media to create a buzz for your paid media.

Before lunch Kevin Slavin (@slavin_fpo), cofounder of area/code, took the stage on how he sees TV and digital.
A nice insight was the fact that there is a difference between users an viewers! During the Super Bowl Finale the New York Times captured all Tweets nationwide…this animation show how viewers can become users.  It’s the television that connects them, and it’s the viewer who releases the storytelling excitement (that’s why fewer and fewer TV shows are using laughing tapes).  If you make the digital connection, you understand that presence is something different then engagement. Television will work hand in hand with the digital world, but we need to understand that the attention can only be at one of those screens. So second screen activity (as added value to generate engagement f.i.) is something different from first screen attention!
This was a different approach from what I see in Belgium….Kevin truly believes that both screen can work side by side, but second screens are taking the primary to another level (in an a-synchronical way).

After the meal Eric Phu (@ericphu), Tribal DDB,  talked about the Great Firewall of China.
He left with the staggering thought: wow this is going to get huge!
He talked the freaking big Chinese Numbers and how China is in fact a huge mobile and connected world. Since it doesn’t show much relevance to my story, I’m keeping this short.

Peter Van Rompuy…was misplaced!

Jef Vandecruys of AB INbev, talked about the value Social Media brought to the company.
As a good warm-up for Olivier Blanchard, he spoke about good KPI’s to measure social media ROI.
But then again he was an advertising guy, when he said social media filled the gaps between campaigns….and then he lost me…since in my opinion digital and especially Social Media is part of the corporate strategy instead of “in-between”.

As a final speaker Olivier Blanchard (@thebrandbuilder) did what he does best showing of Social media ROI.
He was the first speaker up on stage who came to the point where social media is not just marketing, but a company strategy! (Yes, finally!)
As a dedicated speaker he convinced all of us on we should set measurable goals regarding the company purposes (within a time frame and in numbers). Then you fit in the social media to reach those goals (not the other way around!).
And YES, social media can create financial ROI (but not all objectives have a direct financial ROI), but in the end you always are in need of new customers instead of new followers.  Which means you shouldn’t use social media only for customer acquisition (=marketing strategy),  but also for customer development and retention (=company strategy).

A bright day, with nice insights…already looking forward to the social media day, June 30th in Antwerp.

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