For every marketer, one of the biggest challenges is what will ultimately click with the ‘young’ generation. For the consumer who is born in the digital age, who defies every basic fundamental preached in the marketing book, what are the new rules? Perhaps the first in the list is that all marketers must understand the changing role of content. According to René Rechtman, Head, AOL Advertising International and CEO Goviral, today ads are content and content are ads.
In a session on ‘Engaging Generation Social’, Rechtman said, “Advertisers are media, media are things such as apps and ultimately all conversation, especially on social platforms is media.” Rechtman pointed out that Generation Y wants content on-demand, is connected more to peers than to any other social segment and for whom interactivity is the new media. “This generation is moving from static to device experience,” he said.
This is also the generation that is challenging any new jargon marketers are throwing these days – contextual advertising, one-on-one advertising and various such terms. “When we say that after executing our advertising exercise, the conversion rate is 0.0 per cent better, we are really just referring to a fraud model because this generation is acting in groups – there is a shift from individual to group influence,” Rechtman observed.
His advice to marketers was to first build a group and then play social content, as that content can create a brand amplifier in the group. He cited the example of Nike that today has various media channels, across platforms. Does Nike even need to advertise when it can speak to its TG directly through its apps made for running and other sport? “Establish a relationship and you don’t have to advertise again,” replied Rechtman.
Where Rechtman spoke of the paradigm shift where rules were changing and everyone was competing on the same terms, another conversation of the day focussed on data and the role that it was playing in the various facets of communication – from advertising and marketing to journalism.
In the world of ‘big’ data, broadcasters, publishers and marketers alike are using tools such as ‘infographics’ and other forms of data visualisation to make sense of the noise. Both, consumers and marketers can extract meaning and insight much more easily when the visualisation becomes almost art forms.
Simon Rogers of the Guardian’s Datablog spoke on how data was changing journalism. Visualising data is the new normal, he said and explained that today data-led articles are common play for most journalists.
Data entrepreneur Stephen Messer, Co-Founder of Collectivei and a member of the Council for Accountable Advertising added that visualising big data can improve marketing performance. He cautioned at the same time, “The biggest challenge for data, however, is the way it is presented, as it is very easy to be misinterpreted by the consumer given a consumer’s natural bias on the subject. While data can give various insights, the presentation of data should be as simple as possible.”
Big data becomes useful when you think of the number of sources that lead up to this data and that gives a first-hand view on changing habits of the consumer.