Thought Leaders in association withPartners in Crime
firstborn's Top 5 Takeaways from AD:TECH NY
Advertising Agency
New York, United States
Director of Business Planning Gully Flowers on emerging topics mixed with classic marketing challenges reframed for the tech-obsessed world

AD:TECH is billed as the place where the worlds of marketing, tech and media converge to discuss key industry challenges and opportunities. During the conference we heard from a myriad of brands like American Express, Dunkin' Donuts, the NFL and Nissan. The most interesting conversations were focused on a handful of emerging topics as well as the classic marketing challenges reframed for the new tech-obsessed world. Here are firstborn's top five key takeaways from this year’s conference:

1. TV watching behaviour has fundamentally changed, but it isn't going anywhere, anytime soon.

During the “Storytelling with Second Screen Syncing” session, we heard that because today's consumers watch television with their smartphone or tablet within arm's reach, brands must actively engage the audience and let them become a part of the story. For example, when Audi wanted to introduce their A3 entry-level luxury vehicle to millennials, they had to effectively infiltrate their target audience’s multi-tasking, multi-screening lives. By teaming up with the producers of “Pretty Little Liars” — one of the most tweeted-about shows on TV, they created original content specifically for Audi’s Snapchat account, which they promoted exclusively through TV-targeted tweets to fans of the show. The resulting campaign performed better than 98% of all Twitter campaigns, to date.  

2. Who is my ideal customer and how do I reach them?

To really know your audience these days, and to actually reach and convert your ideal customer, you need more information about them than just demographics and location. There were two key points here that mirror fundamental human behavior—we want to belong and we want to be better: 

  1. Audiences want to see a reflection of themselves, a commonality or shared experience they can relate to. Brands should seek a clear understanding of the role that they play in their customers' lives and leverage it to connect with greater relevance and effectiveness. 
  2. Consumers want to be inspired and they want to aspire to better things. Brands need to understand the goals and dreams of their customers in relation to the value the brand provides in order to reach and convert.

3. What metrics really matter?

During this session we heard that all too often we get stuck trying to boost numbers for metrics such as “likes” and “comments.” The truth is that these are primarily vanity metrics that provide pieces of information about an audience, but are only the starting points and part of the story. The key here is establishing clear KPIs for your specific business and then measuring your marketing efforts and attribution against those KPIs. A couple of useful metrics mentioned include how long the consumer was watching a video and whether there was a click-thru or action taken as these are much more useful in informing how consumers are responding to content and marketing. 

4. Five key points on mobile innovation from Dunkin’ Donuts.

John Costello, Dunkin’ Donut’s President of Global Marketing and Innovation laid out a five-point strategy for mobile innovation and creating deeper connections with customers: 

  1. Confront reality: Truly understand your brand and most valuable customers.
  2. Differentiate or die: What can you do that no other company can? This is coming from a donut and coffee maker!
  3. Be agile: Adapt to changes in tech and consumers behavior (there are more smartphones in the world than people on Earth).
  4. Innovate: Take risks and look for unconventional ideas for your conventional marketing initiatives such as new product launches.
  5. Leverage big data: Data is a double-edged sword, be very cautious of privacy, make sure you know your goals and ask the right questions before wading into the information. 

5. The real reason people share content.

During this session, the key takeaway was that we need to think less about what the content says about the audience, and think more about what it says about the person who shares the content. This is an old truism that a lot of brands have blown over. All too often this fundamental notion is forgotten when developing content.

Gully Flowers is the Director of Business Planning at Firstborn