The Connected Consumer Conference June 2016

This year a few of us attended the Connected Consumer conference. Across a day of panel sessions and short presentations, the aim of the conference was to cover all things “Connected”: connected consumers; connected brands; connected screens; connected data; connected technologies; connected planning and trading.

Reassuringly, we all came away with the same conclusion. Whilst we learnt nothing new and ground-breaking, everyone is facing the same challenges as we are. The CEO of Aviva, Jan Gooding, sums up todays environment:

‘People have changed their behaviour, their expectations have changed but the fundamentals of marketing have not changed.’

The key themes that emerged were:

Brands need to find ways to deliver great experiences

Most importantly, in a way that is non-creepy. Consumers do not want to feel like they are being followed around. Brands need to show consumers that they will use their data to personalise the experience but not share it, in order to gain consumers trust. A great case study is the Share a Coke campaign which gave something back to the consumer for sharing their details.

Partnerships are growing massively, no-one will be able to deliver the scale of the experience required on their own.

Technology is enabling new things

Technology is now a given, its become second nature. There is an average of 2.7 devices per individual. We’re all used to it in our personal lives, however businesses have been left behind. The fragmentation of digital with hundreds of channels and platforms has resulted in consumers with very small attention spans. In 2000, consumers visited on average 25 websites per month. Now consumers access 150 digital touchpoints per day across apps such as Facebook, email twitter and so on.

However there are opportunities for Brands within this environment. Battersea Dogs Home used OOH to target consumers who had picked up leaflets with a radio frequency tag in a shopping centre, by serving their ads on the OOH screens as the consumers walked round, reinforcing their message.

We’re too focused on measuring every touchpoint

We need to avoid over measurement and concentrate on measuring the right thing, not the clicks. Its about how the business is performing and how you are contributing to that. It’s a business challenge, not a marketing challenge. Everything is marketing. Everyone should be empowered to do what is needed to make the team/business successful.

Digital needs redefining, its not digital marketing but marketing in a digital age

Digital is about all data. Consumers create the data and Brands already have all the data they need. We need to focus on ‘data positive marketing’. Agencies, social and brands need to move away from silos and work together as a system. The digital transformation/reinvention will mean a move away from ‘media’ for agencies and the role of the agency will be to have the big idea and to encourage the co-creation of the brand.

Adtech is disruptive

There isn’t a process around the adtech companies, who are working in big data with no standardisation. Technology companies have become media companies yet don’t have the consumer experience. We need currencies to plan against, trade against, measure against and provide ROI. We need to be able to prove the value of engagement.

There is a rise in the ‘unconnected’ consumer

Consumers are overdosed and overwhelmed. The rise of ad blocking has proven that consumers have growing concerns over trust, transparency, brand safety and fraud. People are actively disconnecting. At all times we have to think of the person behind the data.

Consumers are device agnostic

However they expect to have the same experience across all devices. While we have a continual challenge to measure across devices, the creative needs to be consistent. Content and experiences need to be device appropriate.

Data needs to tell stories

It allows is to understand the consumer journey and reduce wastage. We need to create the human link with data and be contextually relevant. Be in the moment.

Emotional data is key, more important than behavioural data

Purchase choices are made emotionally, not rationally. Brands need to use mood and emotions as signals and serve the right message at the right time with the right feeling. For example, if its sunny, send a message suitable to being sunny and happy. While people are enjoying their 6pm glass of wine, they are more likely to shop, the creative needs to evolve to be contextually relevant. 

And finally, its always about selling more stuff!