Convertising the connected customer

IAB – Belgium’s Think Digital at The Egg in Brussels today…After a great edition last year, I came with high expectations and in the end I got what I’ve paid for: Convertising the connected customer as the big challenge for every company, advertiser, …. the next 3 to 5 years. We’re entering great times where customers have a different media consumption, use different devices and connect through new applications. As a company, organisation (and advertiser for shure) you need to know how this will affect your business.  I’m going to quote a tweet a saw during the day to prove my point : “heard a lot about second screens today while many companies still struggle to use/optimize just one screen” . In this quote lays the challenge for everybody in us….society is changing, media consumption is changing, …. but companies keep doing business as usual…Time to act, time to change, time to start “convertising”

Great successes on engaging the connected customer opened the day. Coca Cola’s polar Bears, the real-time comics from Axe or the (hottest) club (around) from Perrier showed that connecting, engaging and interacting with your customer can realy drive attention and brand image. This connected customer however wasn’t touched trough traditional advertising but through second screens (which is free to be commercialized!), or online applications.
A lot of data during the day showed that mobile and connected are the main touch points to reach your customers. The Mediascope 2012 preview showed that online penetration is 81% Belgium (almost as high as television, while newspapers drop with 6%). Media consumption has gone up both for television and online, but internet has become the intermediair for gathering news, watching television, listening to radio …. (a staggering rise of 200%! in this case). So customers use time shifting, video and second screen (56% use different devices at the same time) to consume media when they want it (a-synchronised).
Companies just don’t see the opportunity in online… yet …the big problem seems to be data and measuring the effect of online. Compared to traditional advertising only 12% is spent in online, luckily online is very cost effective (only 1/3 of the traditional media cost) n reaching your targeted audience. F.i. pré-run advertising (of max. 15 sec) seems to be very effective regarding awareness and likability, even with a low-frequency (cfr. low-cost!). Online advertising is very complementary and gives exclusive reach to your campaign.
Digital is the channel to use!
But this is only the beginning, since mobile is taking a high-rise nowadays. In 1 to 2 years companies (and advertisers) need to shift  from digital to mobile, where consumers will be reached through ‘generic’ screens (television, tablet, mobile, lap top, desk top, virtual, … will all converse into screens, becoming generic with apps as touch points instead of browser). This means the disruptive era off advertising comes to an end! The customer takes control in the networked society…so reaching and engaging the 21st century customer is the challenge for every company, every marketer, every advertiser.
Our network society is building thanks to 4 leaps: SOcial, LOcal, MObile & Cloud (SOLOMOC).
SOLOMO(C) is destroying the disruption in advertising. Advertising, in the next years, will be about content, visualization and conversation.  This means you need to start a building your community through telling instead of selling, and talking instead of yelling and visualizing your brand, company or organisation. Our society is becoming a ‘screen’ society. Tablets will be a commodity (as prices will drop hard). Everybody will be connected through their digital devices (or even through their lenses – Michio Kaku). In this connected world meaning comes from conversation and not data…but this data will be the new oil, since everybody is paying (the free content) with data (and their privacy). In the future customers will (need to) pay for their privacy!
F.i. The Klout Klub in Las Vegas rewards you for your high Klout score.
So future companies must be convertising (which is all about CONversation, CONtent & adVERtisING) where interaction comes before transaction. So advertising needs to be about content (instead of selling) (like GagaVille f.i.). To ensure this you need to make your brand (and campaign) useful, relevant and entertaining.
Mobile Vikings is already trying to be a new company where content and conversation come first. They have given a new meaning to the word “free” …without any traditional marketing budget they have built a community of 100 000 ambassadors who build the conversation, attract new customers, build apps, …. Mobile Vikings puts the customer in the front seat and starts convertising with their audience to build an authentic and real brand (lies and fake statements just don’t work in this transparent convertising world).
Inspired and written with input from Gerd Leonhard (@gleonhard), Rudy De Waele (@mTrends), Frank Bekkers (@flatfrank), Noëlle Stevens, Alison Fennah and Tim Elkington (@timelkington).
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Posted in Flat Business

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