Participants learnt from advertising industry veterans about the latest trends in the sector.
By Linda Lim
With new digital tools playing a bigger role in helping companies engage their audiences, marketing professionals will have to ensure that they keep up with the technology that is impacting their industry.
From artificial intelligence (AI) to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), marketers should be acquainted with the latest technology tools to more effectively target their consumers, or risk being left behind. These and other issues were discussed at a two-day seminar-cum-workshop held at PIXEL Studios from 25-26 April, organised by the Institute of Advertising Singapore (IAS) in collaboration with the Infocomm Media Development Authority.
“Technology is going to underpin everything we do in marketing. It’s imperative that marketers keep abreast of technology,” said Rika Sharma, Group Head of Social@Ogilvy, Ogilvy & Mather. On the use of AR in unlocking different pieces of content, she said, “You can’t do immersive content if you don’t understand technology.”
While marketers do not need to code and mine data, Ms Sharma commented that marketers have to know the data sources, glean audience insights, master the story behind data, and analyse industry trends to strategise and springboard for creative ideas. She summarised, “Data is a way of informing you how to do things better. Curiosity is the best attribute you can have.”
Building long-term relationships
Speakers also touched on the importance of content creation and distribution as well as consistency in building a long-term content platform.
For example, there was consensus that brands need to create content centred around interest groups and understand what drives users to follow different platforms. Marketers need to think more like publishers and storytellers, while being willing to experiment on different solutions and options.
Doreen Ong, VP, Special Projects, Moove Media, thoroughly enjoyed the seminar. “I always thought social media is spontaneous and impromptu. But Pat Law (Founder, GoodStuph)’s sharing surprised me and made me realise that a lot of thought process and work go into making it seem so spontaneous.”
AR's wow factor
Melissa Khoo, Regional Product Manager (Smart Glasses) of Epson Southeast Asia, said that AR is gaining recognition with the market forecast to hit US$100 billion by 2020. “There’s no better time to venture into AR than now,” she said.
Ms Khoo noted that AR creates a “wow factor” and attracts a significant amount of media attention. She also shared the various applications of AR today, such as for operations assistance systems, warehouse management, playing games, watching movies, live sports events, and experiential learning in museums.
Participants at the event also got to try out the Epson Moverio smart glasses with its hands-free information-overlaying capabilities.
Data as a creative starting point
Innovation Consultant, Jakob Widerberg, started Day 2 of the event by conducting a workshop on a data-driven approach to marketing. He said, “We used to see data as reporting output but it’s time to turn it around as a creative starting point.”
Participants learnt how to do this in a hands-on session to try out trend analysis tools such as Google Trends, FAQ Fox, SimilarWeb, LikeAlyzer, BuzzSumo and Simply Measured, and learnt to glean insights from data before a practical session on data visualisation and presentation using Tableau. Mr Widerberg urged participants, saying, “Properly visualised data builds credibility. It’s time to get your clients excited about data!”
Subhendu Mukherjee, Director, The Tenth Floor, echoed the same message. He reminded marketers that they can tell a good story with their data, and to find and understand patterns in data. “Data is a tool for capturing human behavior in a better way but the fundamental human behavior doesn’t change,” he said.
Praveen Amarasuriya, a copywriter at Blak Labs, found the workshop enlightening. “I was introduced to a lot of tools, which I wasn’t aware of previously. I appreciate the hands-on session, which taught me new ways to find insights. Now I can have hard evidence to share with my clients.”
Sharing similar sentiments, Mansi Maheshwari, Account Director, Rice Communications, found the insights useful. She said, “The content marketing best practices, framework and processes shared helped put things into context for me. Content marketing is a lot more strategic than we think and warrants investment by brands and agencies.”