LONDON, September 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
As well as shedding a spotlight on all the latest innovation in digital tools, this year's ad:tech 2011 has a special focus on choosing the ones most suited to your marketing strategy
Gamification, touchpoint attribution, app optimisation… these are just some of the buzzwords in digital marketing today, with hardly a day going by without some reference to the medium's next big thing.
So how are brands making sense of the increasingly crowded digital space and how are they choosing the tools and techniques to reach out to their customers in the best possible way?
Means to an end
The real lesson for those brands keen to make sense of the digital space is not to adopt something just because it's the latest buzzword of the marketing world. Rather, brands should think about the people they are trying to engage.
Now in its seventh year, ad:tech London, taking place on the 21-22 September at Olympia, aims to help those in the digital marketing industry navigate the ever-changing world of digital. The show will host peer-to-peer exchanges and provide numerous opportunities to challenge and debate existing and new trends, enabling brands to come away with the necessary skills to clarify what does matter in their business, both now and in the future.
The event includes more than 100 free seminars alongside an exhibition and conference programme, which this year focuses on 'what really matters in digital'. The show will reveal the latest trends and figures from the digital marketing sector, enabling visitors to share best practice and address industry challenges. According to Christophe Asselin, head of ad:tech UK, the digital marketing industry needs clarity, truthfulness and humility.
Many in the industry believe that social media and mobile have been some of the most hyped areas of digital marketing in recent years, but 2011 could be the year when these technologies start to deliver.
'The two biggest draws at this year's ad:tech are likely to be social media and mobile,' says Tim Cross, display advertising manager at agency Guava. 'Facebook and Twitter are still a growing focus for brands and many are interested in how they can best leverage these platforms to build brand awareness and increase sales. Google+ and the opportunities it offers are also likely to be front of people's minds.'
He adds that as far as mobile is concerned, the industry appears to have reached tipping point, with mobile search gaining momentum. The challenge for brands is to ensure a seamless experience across different devices.
And with the digital marketing landscape growing at a rate of knots, deciding which channels to use and when is a task that is only likely to get harder. So despite the white noise, what should brands be focusing on?
'Put simply, brands should focus on the areas that are most useful to the business,' says Amanda Davie, managing director of digital consultancy Reform. 'It's about being strategic and only using digital where it fits the brand's overall business objectives. For example, growing the customer base or building awareness will often involve using different digital channels to boost sales.'
She adds that measurement - or the lack of it - has been a big issue when it comes to making the most of social media and mobile.
'These channels are currently led, certainly in terms of service revenues, by the creative - the content and the apps, respectively - and creatives often don't know how to measure success in terms of return on investment,' she says. 'The overall brand experience may be exciting and sexy, but you also need to know how your investment is yielding returns.'
According to Gavin Sinden, digital strategy director at agency Equi=Media, the biggest problem facing digital marketers today is not so much digital technology failing to live up to the hype but more a combination of suppliers and brands desperately wanting to use technology that is new or cool rather than relevant for the objectives their business needs to hit.
'Classic examples of this are people confusing the kind of social media engagement they should be doing on customer service issues with viral marketing, which is often irrelevant for their audience,' he says. 'Rather than digital marketing failing to live up to hype or promises, it is more often people trying to apply the wrong tools to the wrong job.'
Chris Pearce, chief client officer at agency Tullo Marshall Warren, suggests that brands need to focus on doing one thing and doing it really well.
'You might evolve that to fix one thing every 90 days, but of course it will be different for every brand,' he says. 'Brands should be focusing on making digital channels more human, open, transparent and social, because consumers increasingly expect it, and are engaging and trusting more fully with brands that deliver a more natural experience.'
Examples include real (live chat) or at least the illusion of real (virtual) customer service people and enhanced touch and motion-sensitive technologies, all combined with deep personalisation. Rachel Clarke, head of engagement intelligence at marketing agency Momentum London, says that in the digital space, consumers use many different channels and there is rarely a single way of reaching them.
'Effectiveness is the challenge - what are the best platforms to be active on for your audience, to provide reach without stretching your resources and budget too thinly?' she asks. 'Be clear about what you are trying to do, be clear where your audience are and what they want and assess what are the best places to be. A further challenge is measurement; it's digital, so there can be a surfeit of data, but not a lot of information. Upfront consideration of what is success is key, but there is also managing expectations in what is achievable.'
Having so many tools and techniques to hand is increasingly leading digital marketers to explore the integrated route. Phil Storey, email consultant at email marketing provider eCircle, advises brands to think about all of the potential channels and touchpoints they use, and how they can effectively manage these to create a joined-up customer experience through their marketing. Getting this right, he says, is the real key to successful marketing in 2011.
Put simply, brands should not do anything until they have a clear idea of what they want to achieve now and in the future.
'If brands enter social media expecting to immediately boost their online sales, they will probably be disappointed,' says Tim Giles, head of search at agency Positive Digital. 'But other objectives might be just as important to the bottom line, such as reducing customer churn, increasing re-orders by existing customers, reducing production costs through user-generated content or fostering advocates to build and repair reputation.'
Keeping content fresh and relevant is also key. Giles adds that brands should not do anything until they have resources available to maintain the update commitment. Once you raise expectations, you need to continue to meet them, he says, as there is nothing so lame as a stale Twitter account, for example.
At this year's ad:tech, visitors will get the chance to put their questions to some of the most successful experts in digital marketing. Google, O2 and Navteq will be updating delegates with the very latest market figures and innovation within the mobile space.
Facebook will reveal how consumer behaviour is changing around social media. Plus, Nike and Virgin will discuss how the medium has transformed their marketing and their organisation.
London Olympics 2012 head of new media will explain how the organisation is preparing for its website to play host to more than a billion page visits.
The Guardian, meanwhile, will be offering insights into display advertising, while YouTube will be showing how you can help build your business with video and Orange will reveal the new innovations to enhance media buying across both online and traditional TV. There will also be case studies from Fiat, Disney, Shazam, appssavvy and Mindshare, for those keen to hear the latest from the entertainment industry.
Making sense of the digital space is set to be a continuing challenge for all marketers. And while many businesses appear unsure as to which online channels are really useful for their business, there is no better place to start than this year's ad:tech.
For more information visit http://www.ad-techlondon.co.uk
ad:tech London is part of the Daily Mail Group. And, as it is now in its seventh year in the UK, is firmly established as the premier UK Exhibition and Conference exclusively dedicated to the online advertising and marketing sector. ad:tech comprises of a conference, exhibition and educational seminars.
This year, speakers include: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Ebay, Virgin, Forbes, Orange, Disney, Amazon, London Olympics 2012, Nike, AOL, Euro RSCG, G2, LBi and the Guardian.
ad:tech aims to address the dynamic digital marketplace and the issues facing advertising and marketing functions to make sure they stand out from the crowd and discover the next generation of opportunities.
The show originates from the USA, where for 16 years it has been showcasing. Underpinned by the support of industry leaders, key associations, governmental organisations and academic experts, ad:tech London's reach extends to every marketing decision maker throughout Europe.
ad:tech conferences currently take place in New York, San Francisco, London, Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and New Dehli. ad:tech will continue to expand globally in order to provide online marketing communities with great opportunities to network, share best practices and ideas everywhere in the world.
About dmg :: events
dmg :: events is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT http://www.dmgt.co.uk), one of the largest media companies in the United Kingdom. dmg :: events was founded in 1989 and in 20+ years has managed Exhibitions, Conferences and online platforms for many industries in 25 countries. dmg :: events produces more than 300 market-leading trade exhibitions, consumer shows and fairs each year and publishes 45 related magazines, newspapers, directories and market reports. dmg :: events employs more than 700 people and maintains a worldwide presence through more than 30 offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, the United Arab Emirates, India, China and Australia. dmg :: events is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT), one of the largest and most successful media companies in the UK. For more information on dmg events please visit http://www.dmgevents.com.
Notes to Editors:
ad:tech London 2011 is taking place at Kensington Olympia National, London, 21-22 September 2011.
Laura Paterson, ad:tech, t +44(0)20-3180-6591
Catherine Thurtle , ad:tech, t. +44(0)20-3180-6594
Christophe Asselin, ad:tech, t. +44(0)20-3180-6678
Head of ad:tech UK
SOURCE the Daily Mail Group