Advertising Week in New York provides a cornucopia of marketing insights from the leading players in a wide variety of forums. Having listened to a large number of panels and presentations from marketers and publishers, here are my top six insights. Every conference is chock full of buzzwords, but the real issue is how you implement tactics that can achieve measurable results.
- Power to consumers. Consumers are naturally programmed to be social. This tendency, combined with a desire for information and amplified by social media platforms that provide tools to share more broadly and quickly, has caused customer conversations to migrate online. According to NBC Universal’s Lauren Zalaznick, commenting at the Future of Media presentation, women make the lion’s share of consumer purchases. When these consumers decide they like a product, they want to tell others about it. In the absence of marketers, consumers talk to each other. On iVillage, there’re over 20,000 brand mentions per month.
- Mobile reaches a tipping point. Mobile usage is growing faster than that of personal computers, particularly outside of the U.S. With increased smart phone penetration, mobile is becoming a requisite element of every marketer’s plans. As the closest device to your wallet, mobile holds potential to significantly change media consumption and buying behavior. At a minimum, add location data to your messages.
- Social media grows up. Although not stated directly, the message was clear: social media needs to be an integral part of everyone’s marketing plans, not just tried out as a test. To this end, it’s critical to hire your own marketers to handle social media and to coordinate your social media efforts with the rest of your marketing. Based on Facebook and Twitter’s MIXX presentations, marketers have been successful combining social media with targeted advertising options without alienating users.
- Email matures gracefully. Don’t count email out of your marketing mix quite yet. At OMMA, Daily Candy, Thrillist, Gilte Group and Groupon all espoused the benefits of growing a strong email list combined with appealing content to drive engagement and revenues. Also discussed were ways to integrate email and social media to expand reach and effectiveness.
- Online marries offline media. Each channel has its benefits; offline is great for reaching mass audiences and online is adept at engaging consumers with a variety of social media formats. This year there was a meeting of online and offline marketers and media platforms. The subtext was about their symbiotic relationship. One powerful example was Subway’s cross media integration with MTV.
- Marketers must be publishers. Marketers need to create experiences that engage customers with content. They need to be publishers to ensure that their brands are active participants in those stories. At MIXX, Tyra Banks discussed her new media entity, Bankable Media developed with Demand Media to extend her personal brand and media entities. With over 2 million Twitter followers, Banks is known for communicating with her fans to share insights as well as gather information.
For marketers, the big take away was the acknowledgment that consumers are the driving force that needs to be at the center of your campaigns. To this end, develop your brand story across relevant media platforms targeted at both your audience and your featured product.
Photo credit: Left-Hand via Flickr