I attended eConsultancys The Future of Digital Marketing Conference last week in London. The crowd was very British and so were all the speakers with the exception of Kyle Lacy who is American. The day was organised into presentations on what is currently going on in the digital space, with both client case studies and agency best practices, as well as an outlook on trends and opportunities.
Here comes a summary of some of the most interesting aspects and ideas I took back with me:
Facebook versus Twitter
It appears that Twitter followers are 40 percent likely to purchase from the brand they follow as opposed to only 20 percent of Facebook (FB) fans of the same brand. That can be explained by the fact that according to research, on FB, people become fans mainly to receive discounts or special offers but quickly feel bombarded with irrelevant content, whereas on Twitter, if they follow a brand, its out of personal interest. So it seems worthwhile investing in a good Twitter channel and great content rather than on hunting down your customers on FB.
Multi-channel and On-Offline integration
Some client data that was presented to us at the conference showed that customers who got in touch with a brand through three different channels were three to four times more valuable to that brand and 10 times more likely to purchase than customers contacted through one single medium.
A very nice example of a true on-offline integration and a personalized experience is the shoe section of Macys flagship store in New York: upon showing your customer card, you will not only be presented with the shoes you came in for, but also three pairs of shoes you have recently been browsing on their website. Thats intelligent up-selling!
Clearly mobile is the area of many (r)evolutions, the problem is that an incredible 80 percent of websites dont work well on mobile and look terrible, and many dont offer the same content or services. Also, a majority of emails are now read via mobile but again they are not optimized for that platform, so there is a lot of room for improvement with new standards such as HTML5, hopefully leading the way in getting across old-school barriers.
Other interesting evolutions
NFC is expected to kick-off as soon as NFC chips become a standard on mobile devices (rumors say the iPhone5 will have one). This will not only allow replacing the QRCode with the much more powerful NFC possibilities but also pave the way for mobile payment.
Contextual services and advertising
Based on a customers position in your real-world store, you can bring up contextual ads or specific content on his or her mobile device depending on what the customer is actually doing or looking at.
Voice & gesture recognition
The ever-changing user interface will soon be ready to deal with voice and gestures. It is already possible to search on Google using voice recognition, and Siri is gaining momentum through the iPhone. However, some interactions may still be a bit tricky, even if on purpose, like the navigation of a German singing school's website that will only open if you hit the right pitch for each section
For those of you who still think youll be able to switch-off while just going for a walk, well, the future may bring something slightly different. Have a look at Googles Project Glass.
Even more surprising is the idea of digital contact lenses that are currently being developed by the University of Washington: they will allow for facial recognition, and links to webpages such as Facebook and Linked-In to find out more about the person you are looking at, as well as reading emails directly through your eye, getting real-time translations and all that with the blink of your eye!
While all this may still seem some ages ahead, lets look at something very real: if you are ready to throw everything you have ever believed in regarding usability and web design overboard, then have a look at the UKs number one car-leasing site (but do serve yourself a double-whiskey before, just in case ;-) ) www.lingscars.com.