Mindshare’s Joseph Maceda shares four principles for brands to stand out on digital map
At TechManch 2022 conference, Mindshare’s Global Chief Innovation Officer delivered a keynote address on ‘Mapping The New Digital Marketing Shifts'
Brands need to focus on four key principles as they traverse the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, says Mindshare Global Chief Innovation Officer Joseph Maceda. According to him, these four principles are “digital saves the real world, data disruption, shift from consumption to participation, and commerce that transforms.”
Maceda expanded on each of the four principles while giving a keynote address at the e4m TechManch 2022 conference. The subject of his keynote session was 'Mapping The New Digital Marketing Shifts'. Maceda noted that marketers today face multiple challenges like crumbling of cookies, brand safety, and misattribution, among others.
While noting that the metaverse is the biggest talking point in the industry today, Maceda added that the rhetoric around it is a red herring. "In fact, it's the part of a fantasy map where the heroes get caught on unnecessary side quests and what seems like a kind of offshoot that's not really a part of the core story," he stated.
Metaverse, he said, is driving a massive amount of investment into the necessary digital technologies and infrastructures that will power the next version of the web. "Things like crypto, VR/AR, 5G, and even quantum computing are what's going to make up the magic system or whatever of whatever future we wind up in," he added.
The Mindshare executive said brands need to take the best parts of the digital world and bring them into the real world. "I think there are four new principles that brands need to embrace - digital saves the real world, data disrupted, shift from consumption to participation, and lastly commerce that transforms. These are the four new fundamental realities that brands will have to grapple with in order to be successful and stand out on this new digital map," he stated.
Digital saves the real world
Maceda said metaverse is going to be the deepest layer of multiple layers of reality that consumers will engage with. He added that those layers of reality will range from the completely real like hiking through the woods to the completely virtual like hiking through virtual woods on the phone. "Brands will have to find which of all of these layers they can bring the most value to consumers and most likely it's going to be at the layers in between where the real world and the digital world are merging," he said.
Maceda said Sick Beats innovation by sound company Woojer is a great example of taking digital technology and pairing it with a physical need to create a better future. Woojer created the world’s first music-powered airway clearance vest for cystic fibrosis (CF).
According to Maceda, the second new reality that brands need to accept is data disruption, as growing consumer activism over privacy is forcing marketers to think out of the box. "We've seen a significant increase in consumer interest in data privacy over the years as consumers themselves are becoming more and more conversant and adept at understanding marketing techniques that are using their data to target them," he stated.
He also stated that many consumers in partnership with brands are taking data disruption into their own hands. A case in point is the #UnsilenceTheConversation campaign by Canada's Sunnybrook Hospital which allowed women recovering from lost pregnancy to opt out of baby ads.
"Through this program called #UnsilenceTheConversation, they simply created an extension to web browsers that enabled people to opt out of anything that was related to baby ads to ease the person's individual grief by not having to be exposed to ads that were targeting them after their loss," he explained.
From consumption to participation
Even as content platforms are pouring billions of dollars into creating original content for digital native audiences, there is a transition from viewers becoming part of the show rather than passively bingeing it.
Maceda noted that the Korean show 'Squid Game' was the biggest hit of 2021 on Netflix as the show had three times as many hours of viewership as the next biggest hit on the streaming platform. In order to engage deeply with the fans, the video streaming giant came up with a slew of consumer connect initiatives.
"What was fascinating was Netflix spawned an entire kind of creator economy of their own between memes and filters. Squid Game-inspired TikTok spread like wildfire with people dressing up like Squid Game characters for Halloween. There was so much fun content but all for a very dark very violent metaphor for the repressive power that the rich can have over society," he noted.
He said that the Squid Game is the perfect representation of the new reality where professionally produced content is married to creator-led content. "Now this has major implications for brands as they are marketing themselves but has even more implications for how they engage consumers and what they are about."
Commerce that transforms
Maceda stated that media and commerce are rapidly coming together. "Commerce was the fastest growing part of the media ecosystem in 2021 as consumers have newer opportunities to buy things in different ways whether it is click & collect or with one click through Instagram or buy now pay later or the biggest shopping type of the moment live streaming," he added.
In an era where media is driving commerce, Maceda said the question is how can brands use commerce to not only find a potential audience but also to transform their businesses. "We're starting to see brands who are embracing new commerce models not simply as a way to drive a few incremental purchases but instead to transform how they do business," Maceda said.
Maceda said brands can find utopia by identifying their audience's most important needs and what impact they can make by incorporating the wonders of the digital world and applying them specifically to the real world. Secondly, brands need to establish their own data ethics approach. Third, as consumption shifts to participation, brands need to ideate ways for consumers to join them. Fourth, brands ought to operationalise a commerce approach based on the fundamentals of their business.
"So that's four ways to find brand utopia but the truth is there are probably hundreds or even thousands of different ways towards utopia. But the most important thing to do is think about all of the magic that is happening around us in the form of emerging trends and new technology at consumers fingertips and always remember that those who don't believe in magic will never find it. Embracing that is the surefire way to make sure that you will find your very own media utopia," he said in his concluding remarks.
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