I HAVE seen the future and it is digital, says Iain Valentine.
On the eve of my chairmanship of the Marketing Society’s Digital Day tomorrow, I’m compelled to consider some of the topics and questions that will be raised at this gathering of minds.
We will be bringing together some of the leading Scottish and global digital companies to share best practice and the latest trends, topics and thinking.
These are my prediction of some of subjects that will be filling up my in-box over the next few months.
1 Digital outdoor
The potential of digitally enabling outdoor media is just starting to be explored. Recent examples that show the joy that can be had include: BA’s live outdoor adverts triggered by planes in the sky over London; Apotek’s underground digital six-sheet selling shampoo, where the model’s silky soft hair is ruffled every time a train sweeps by; and the Social Swipe poster for charity, where credit cards could be swiped on the billboard itself and the positive result of the donation shown immediately on the poster. And, with outdoor going fully digital right now we should be seeing more good stuff soon.
2 Digital customer experience
The vast majority of major brand’s digital customer experience are still highly fragmented. Even transactional businesses like banks rarely deliver the level of functionality customers expect across all their devices. The organisations that are transforming their businesses now though and offering a digital-first product or service are often disrupting their market and getting great returns for their efforts. One brilliant example is the US startup Pill Pack, providing an innovative yet beautifully simple alternative in the pharmacy space.
3 Wearables and the internet of things
Much hype, little traction. That sums up wearables and the internet of things, over the last decade. Where are our web enabled fridges that order our shopping for us as we go? One area where innovation is being embraced is health and fitness wearables such as the Nike Fuelband and Fitbit. Here consumers are starting to see (and hopefully feel) the benefit of engaging with devices. And, the great thing is it’s just a short hop to “proper” medical applications that will cut healthcare costs and save lives – Alvio, the ipad breathing training “game” for children with asthma for instance. However, whatever the sector, wearables need to be integrated within the best digital customer experiences.
4 Social-first businesses
The success for many internet-digital businesses over the last 20 years has been in killing or vastly reducing the size of middle men. Good examples are record labels or book shops. And this will continue – beware middle men of the world. But, what about going a step further and using social media to find “products” that aren’t currently in the market to shake up an industry? This is exactly what Air B’n’B have done. Not only that, they’ve also used social media (platforms and principles) to create an excellent global travel brand.
5 The new integrated
Integration has come a long way. I see a lot of campaigns that are joining the dots together better than ever. But there’s still work to do. Truly integrated campaigns, working in every space; that is the work I want to do. And, this isn’t just a strategic and creative challenge, but also a technical one – real time dynamic adverts, marketing automation, personalisation – whatever you want to call it offers us a ton of potential to deliver more effective, more joined up, socially sharable campaigns. Exciting times aren’t they?
I’m sure each of the speakers tomorrow will bring a different take on the key themes of digital right now. The line up is;
• Gareth Williams, CEO of Skyscanner; Paul Kemp, co-founder of Contagious; Gregor McAlinden, creative director of Odd London; Andrew Moody, industry head of Google UK; and Anneli Ritari Stewart , client partner at DigitasLBi
• Iain Valentine is creative director of Whitespace and a member of The Marketing Society