Author: Mauricio Escobar Mármol
Adtech Sydney 2013 - KEY INSIGHTS AND TAKE AWAYS - eDigital
Mauricio: What captured mostly your attention at Adtech Sydney 2013?
Eugenia: Content was one of the main topic discussed at Adtech Sydney last month. The common impression was that a “Content War” (as Derek Laney, Director Product Marketing at Salesforce defined it) is going to happen in the digital world. Social media landscape is changing really fast. Brands must differentiate themselves to connect with consumers. Every channel is converging and moving away from old marketing silos is the path to break the heart of people.
Brands are understanding that they have to deserve the right to speak with people. How? By creating compelling, valuable and sharable OR co-created content. Content is the new social currency. Content is still king. Probably, it is king like never before.
Mauricio: Brands have been telling stories for hundred years - from the successful Jell-O Recipe book in 1904 to a very committed, decisive approach to content such as Procter & Gamble Content Production division (P&G Entertainment). The difference today is that the barriers to entry (engaging content by talented creators and curators, media reach and technology) no longer exist. Why do you think the talk continues to be about content marketing as if it is a new trend when it is not?
Eugenia: Because media are changed. Sometimes there are brands with good content created for their traditional marketing channels. They can’t pretend that the same content is great also on social media. Social media marketing is not marketing on social media. Approaches are completely different and, above all, everything on the web runs fast, every day more and more. That’s the reason why “the new kind of content” must be relevant and sharable, like something that takes on life of its own, making a brand campaign endless. And realized in real time. Probably real time is the most important challenge for people working in the digital advertising industry.
Mauricio: So, could we say that 2013 is the year of Content Marketing?
Eugenia: Joe Pulizzi’s definition of content marketing is: “the art of understanding what your customers need to know and delivering it them in a relevant and compelling way.” So, according to this definition 2013 is definitely the year of content marketing, with a strong focus on branded content. Or better still, on real time branded content.
Branded content is something far from talking about selling a product, or magnifying your brand. It is a kind of content created to build an added value in the form of entertainment or information.
It is through branded content that brands can reach the right consumer with the right message in the right moment.
Alex Bodman, Creative Director at Razorfish New York, showed us about how branded content can be so related and integrated with co-creation of content in real time. He told about the Axe Anarchy campaign, the first graphic novel created in real time, inspired and “starred” by readers. That’s a new format where co-creation is incorporated into the storyline, allowing multiple levels of engagement: from watching the trailer, reading the novel, voting (through banners, youtube and Xbox), sharing, up to a deeper engagement by participating at the story idea. Figures of the Anarchy campaign well prove the incredible success of the idea: 2 billion impressions, 7 million views, 650k pages views, 55k votes from enthusiast Axe fan lovers. Source: Razorfish New York.
How has Axe become new school? Through conversation. In a sentence, they have sewed together conversations of their fans, creating in this way an interactive story.
Mauricio: For companies who are looking to start content marketing, do you have any framework you could share that guides and help prioritize the process of creating compelling content to the right consumer segments?
Eugenia: Well, first of all whoever is going to start with content marketing has to ask himself “Why will anyone want to listen and engage with me?”.
Then, there is a good online resource for getting inspiration and brand new suggestions about how creating great content for the social web and how content is changing. That’s the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), a daily source for innovative content marketing. Here there is a great and useful slideshare presentation about the 7 steps in the content marketing framework.
Mauricio: Successful content strategies offer new possibilities for brands to create content beyond advertising, including movies, documentaries, apps, real life experiences and even books (might sound old fashion) dedicated to their history, values, remarkable products and services that can either educate, entertain, optimize peoples’ time or make customers’ life easier. Do you believe that brands which invest a great proportion of time and resources into Content, they might loose sight on what they actually do best? How brands can deal with this challenge?
Eugenia: I really don’t think that brands might loose sight on their core business because of investing resources on creating compelling content. Branded content is not a new kind of activity for brands. It is just the way to unlock their authenticity, to talk with people with a human voice, to communicate what they do best in a way that people want to listen and talk together. When a brand becomes a true publisher of content means that firstly it understands in a deep way consumers and their specific needs. This brings the content to become much more human. It is just through valuable content that brands can keep themselves relevant. The challenge of constant evolution we are living cab be won just by brands who will be able to keep themselves in the “frontier line” of innovation of their own products or services and above all of their way to listen and talk with people.
Mauricio: How was perceived on Adtech the role of brands changing in the evolving digital panorama?
Eugenia: A new paradigm shift is happening right now. Consuming Brands are becoming publishers or, even better, storytellers. Not just storytellers of their own stories, but of the ones created with and through conversation of people. In the next future brands will start asking journalists to collaborate with them in order to create great content and to become a trusted source of information. There is not anymore reason to buy something that can be created by brands – in a creative way - adding value to consumers.
Mauricio: Any advice to our readers who have never attended an Adtech conference? do you believe it worth the dollar investment for the learning gains at Adtech speakers or is it better or more cost effective to attend or learn from other digital marketing courses?
Eugenia: Absolutely, I think that attending digital events like Adtech is a worthy investment because you have the possibility to listen and learn by great professionals that tell you about the most innovative ideas, experiences and experiments on digital marketing. The reason I love Adtech is because people discuss about the future of the industry. They don’t just tell about cases already happened, but they conceive and visualize the future. There is a printed ad that I recently saw on the last issue of the Harward Business Review where is written “The future of advertising is Advertising that learns”. Well, I think that’s the best quote to explain why, if you want to keep yourself an innovative thinker in your job, you should never stop learning.
Adtech Sydney is a digital marketing conference in Australia. It took place the past March 12th and 13th 2013 at Hilton Hotel Sydney.
- Email Eugenia Morato (Social Media Strategist @ Very Creative People) or follow Eugenia on Twitter or follow Very Creative People on Facebook, Twitter.
- Call Mauricio on +61481 367 711 or via Skype, email Mauricio Escobar (Senior Consultant @ eDigital) or Follow eDigital on Twitter - LinkedIn - Facebook.