Creative & Tech

360i Report: Summit Post-Conference Guide

September 27, 2014

Executive Summary

With another 360i Marketing Summit in the books, we’ve summarized the key themes and takeaways from this year’s conference–from building a winning culture, to keeping up with the frenetic growth of consumer technology.
Conference Sessions

Keynote: How to Build a Culture of Innovation

Renowned leadership expert Adam Bryant, Corner Office Columnist for The New York Times, kicked off the day with a presentation on how organizations can cultivate cultures of innovation.

WHAT WE LEARNED:

LEADERS ARE DEFINED BY THEIR ABILITY TO ARTICULATE AND ACT ON A SIMPLE PLAN. Per Bryant, if you have more than three priorities, then you don’t really have priorities at all. Team members will be most successful if they know the game they are playing–and how to keep score. One of the most important things a leader in any capacity–at any organization–can do is to clearly communicate the values for which the company stands.
A STRONG CORPORATE CULTURE IS BUILT ON A FOUNDATION OF RESPECT. Leaders should create an environment in which people bring “their best self” to work every day, or in other words, their “first-day-on-the-job” attitude. One way to evangelize a positive work setting is to encourage people to consider the “Most Respectful Interpretation” (MRI) of a conflict. Furthermore, maintaining a culture in which “do-to-say” ratio is valued will breed accountability.

BEWARE OF THE HAZARDS OF EMAIL. Email seems like a simple (and useful) tool, but Bryant pointed out that when used incorrectly, email can be corrosive to relationships. His advice: take arguments offline, send fewer emails and discourage the use of carbon copy (CC). As a general best practice, email is not the best mode of communication when anything is “at stake.”

Foundations of Brand Storytelling

This panel discussion was all about what makes a story talkable, what makes a brand sharable and how successful brands elevate their marketing to be about more than merely selling a product.

WHAT WE LEARNED:

STORYTELLING IS AN EVOLUTION. The discussion opened up with the various ways that panelists’–and the brands they represent–have evolved to become storytellers via digital content. More than just being content creators, ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell suggested that marketers should think of themselves as journalists in their quest for making great content. Further, he discussed the role social communities can play in the storytelling process–and how his 500K+ followers are evolving how he shares and breaks news online. Ellen Stone, EVP of Marketing for Bravo and Oxygen, added that the networks’ hyper-engaged communities have inspired an interactive content strategy that puts fans in the center of the action. An example of this evolution is Bravo’s “Top Chef,” a show which pioneered a transmedia angle in which online webisodes voted on by fans altered the course of on-air content.
GREAT STORYTELLING DOESN’T HAVE TO BE ALL ABOUT YOU. Self-made style expert Jessica Harlow began her career as a department store make-up artist, but today inspires a YouTube community of 500,000 people. Harlow emphasized the importance of paying close attention to her community and what is going on around her (outside of social, too) in order to stay relevant to those that watch and share her content. Harlow’s advice to marketers: “Be open to your community. Pay attention to what’s going on around you. And put your ego aside.”

SOME OF THE BEST STORIES ARE BORN OUT OF THE PASSIONS AND INTERESTS OF THE COMMUNITY. Rovell shared that when looking for a story he sends a call-to-action to his followers, and by casting such a wide net, he is able to acquire and act as a conduit to others’ stories. This has helped him quickly unearth sources around the stories he is investigating. Similarly, Stone remarked that Bravo and Oxygen use social insights to surface the unexpected details and storylines that people love. The key for brands is having the right lens through which to vet and elevate consumer inputs.

Summary By: Masha Murakhovsky, Community Manger, 360i

The Future of Media

For The Future of Media series, we invited representatives from four leading platforms to discuss the state of media today–and what their respective companies have up their sleeves for marketers in the future.

WHAT WE LEARNED:

SOCIAL PLATFORMS ARE EVOLVING WITH THE SPEED OF CULTURE. As marketers react to the speed and change of a connected culture, social media platforms like Twitter and Pinterest are positioned to help brands connect with consumers in a whole new way. Per Joel Luenfeld, VP of Brand Strategy at Twitter, Twitter is key for real-time conversations and story-telling, while Pinterest helps brands get discovered by people who are looking to buy, plan or do things. Both platforms offer a range of opportunities for marketers (Twitter recently announced the beta launch of “Video Ads” while Pinterest recently debuted Promoted Pins).
STRONG CREATIVE IS AS MANDATORY AS SOCIAL CONTENT PROLIFERATES. Twitter’s Luenfeld stressed the need for creative to be good enough to grab attention and showcased examples of how tweets can live outside of the platform to drive discussion and innovative storytelling. With the goal of discoverability and inspiring users to get out and do things they love in real life, Pinterest’s Head of Partnerships, Joanne Bradford, underscored the impact of beautiful and compelling creative and the importance of brands enabling pinning on web properties and mobile apps. This creative can even expand beyond the digital world. For example, retailers like Target have developed product lines based on Pinterest activity and are using the platform for in-store merchandising.

CONSUMER INSIGHTS ARE NEEDED TO CAPTURE CONSUMER ATTENTION. Lauri Baker, VP of Brand Strategy & Sales at The Huffington Post, noted that the site is currently the No. 1 social publisher on Facebook and has carved out a unique place in market for content development and distribution. Citing that “attention is currency,” Baker urged marketers to seek alternative ways of capturing attention, for example via native and social content partnerships. Ivy Esquero, Senior Consumer Insights Manager at Microsoft, discussed the interesting consumer trend of being “intelligently on” (an evolution of “always on”) which means that people seek scheduled and strategic “breaks” from the onslaught of digital stimuli–but will almost always appreciate experiences that offer utility and allow for balance.

Summary By: David Mataranglo, Group Media Director, 360i

Liquid Content that Matters: Coca-Cola’s Global Real-Time Marketing Strategy

“What unites us is stronger than what divides us.” This powerful statement is from the recent Coca-Cola “Small World Machines,” campaign which emphasized consumers’ desire to experience moments of connection. Douglas Busk, Director of Global Social Media Platforms & Strategy at The Coca-Cola Company took us through his organization’s “hub” approach to global marketing and how it is bringing Coca-Cola fans together around the world.

WHAT WE LEARNED:

PEOPLE CRAVE TOGETHERNESS–AND SOCIAL MEDIA PROVIDES THE PERFECT PLATFORM FOR CONNECTING PEOPLE. The Coca-Cola Company has long positioned itself to move at the speed of pop culture–and is often at the center of key cultural moments. Recognizing that the media landscape was changing, Coca-Cola created a centralized hub within their corporate infrastructure that allowed them to not only listen to social conversation happening about their brands in real-time, but empowered their marketers all over the globe to act nimbly and do so at scale.
SOCIAL IS “EVERYONE’S JOB” AT AN ORGANIZATION. Gone are the days in which one team owned every facet of social media. Per Busk, Coca-Cola has ongoing efforts to adapt the communications model between brands and consumers. Though the model has changed for how the company creates social moments, the need for real, unfiltered conversations and opportunities to connect remain central to their business. Moments of Happiness are just the tip of the iceberg for how Coca-Cola is bringing people around the world closer together every day.

SOCIAL LISTENING ALLOWS BRANDS TO IDEATE AND OPTIMIZE BASED ON CONSUMERS’ RESPONSE TO MARKETING MESSAGING. Busk talked about Coca-Cola’s social listening strategy post-Super Bowl (“America is Beautiful”) and how the company used findings to inform and shape its World Cup Campaign later in the year. In both efforts, Coca- Cola found ways to use cultural conversation, common passion and the collective desire for connection to create relevant and authentic digital experiences for people all over the world.

Summary By: Katie Wall, Senior Account Manger, 360i

Impacts & Insights: Marketer Case Studies

We invited three innovative marketers to the stage to share the secrets behind their recent successes. In this session, 360i clients from Kraft Foods, HBC Digital and Toyota Motor North America imparted advice for marketers striving to develop digitally-centric marketing programs that leverage consumer behavior and technology to reach people in exciting and effective ways.

WHAT WE LEARNED:

MARKETING THAT MATTERS INVOLVES TAKING RISKS. Tom Bick, Senior Director of Marketing Communications & Advertising at Kraft Foods, said that “average is the enemy” of brands. He remarked that a few years ago, despite solid sales, Oscar Mayer was perceived as average by consumers. To break free from commoditization, the brand shifted its marketing from broadcast-based to content-driven with innovative efforts like “The Great American Bacon Barter” and “Say It With Bacon.” Earlier this year, “Wake Up and Smell the Bacon”–a mobile app and device designed to mimic the sound and scent of bacon–won a Silver Cannes Lion.
AN OMNICHANNEL APPROACH TO MARKETING IS ATTAINABLE VIA CURIOSITY AND COLLABORATION. Michael Burgess, President of HBC Digital, discussed how Saks Fifth Avenue partnered with 360i to conduct a sophisticated test to determine the role of search marketing on in-store sales. Based on the findings, Saks’ online and offline teams huddled up to determine the appropriate allocation of investment across search and store marketing. The resulting impact has been greater collaboration at Saks and the creation of a more holistically-informed marketing strategy.

REVAMPING THE WAY YOU TELL A MESSAGE–AND REVISING YOUR STRATEGY FOR COMMUNICATING IT–CAN BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO AN ESTABLISHED PROGRAM. Marjorie Schussel, Corporate Marketing Director at Toyota Motor North America, shared how TeenDrive365 is helping Toyota bring momentum to its decade-old teen driver safety initiative. By focusing on a powerful new insight (that teens get most of their bad driving habits from their parents) and entering new media partnerships, the brand has amassed more than 1 billion earned, owned and paid impressions for the campaign to date.

Summary By: Katie Wall, Senior Account Manger, 360i

Keynote: Disruptive Technology: The Unrecognizable New World of Youth And Culture

In his keynote presentation, David Pogue, Founder of Yahoo Tech, explained the world according to Twitter–why it’s good that 3D TVs never took off, and the reason he vows to never take a taxi again. Got your attention? He certainly had ours.

WHAT WE LEARNED:

TECHNOLOGY IS AN EVOLUTION, NOT A REVOLUTION. “People always ask me how I keep up when technology seems to be changing so fast,” Pogue said. The best way to “keep up” is to accept that you can’t. While many noteworthy products introduced each year, he believes about 20 percent of new technologies launched will be adopted. Not everything will re-invent travel or change how people watch television–after all, there’s a reason 3D TV never picked up. But don’t be quick to write these products off as a loss. We need 100% of innovations to inspire the few that will move the market. What’s more important than chasing the latest gadget is to continue innovating, learning, and evolving, to (ultimately) let the consumer decide what is worthy.
BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP INVOLVES UNDERSTANDING HOW GENERATIONS USE TECHNOLOGY. “There’s been a generation gap since the beginning of time,” said Pogue. “But the last five years is the biggest change–this change is due to Apple. Disruptive technology like the iPhone doesn’t just change behavior–it sets new expectations for the next generation to come. The impact of technology evolves with the expectations set by the next generation. We hear all the time “Millennials don’t watch TV.“ That’s just not true. They watch it, but in different ways.

MARKETERS SHOULD FOCUS ON THE INTERNET OF PEOPLE, NOT THINGS. “Her name was Heather. She was 40 years old and a stay at home mom. She offered me a bottle of water and a charging chord for my iPhone. That’s when I decided I would never take a cab again,” Pogue said about his first experience using UberX. According to Pogue, there are three models of innovation: The Old Model where people went to brands. The new model that connects people to things (e.g. eBay), and the Next Wave that provides on-demand access to real people like Heather. True innovation isn’t dependent on wearable technology or delivery drones, but the people powering the Internet, and offers on-demand service, real-time solutions, and makes people part of the product experience.

Summary By: Lauren Zeinfeld, Senior Strategist, 360i

Data’s Growing Role in Digital Media Strategy

Jared Belsky, President of 360i, along with Marina MacDonald, CMO of Red Roof Inn, discussed how data can be used to drive more informed and efficient investment in digital media.

WHAT WE LEARNED:

VETTING DATA SOLUTIONS ISN’T ABOUT “PERFECTING” A STRATEGY–INSTEAD, IT’S ABOUT IDENTIFYING HOW YOU CAN BE SMARTER WITH THE DATA ON-HAND. As Belsky noted, trade headlines about marketers who have gotten it right can create unrealistic expectations for the industry. He advised marketers that enterprise-level solutions are not the only options, and that brands can creatively leverage available data to help drive business objectives.
SMART DATA IS TESTABLE, ACCESSIBLE AND PURPOSEFUL (TAP). Testable means that you can easily try it out without a substantial monetary commitment. An example of this is a recent Universal Pictures search campaign in which 360i tapped into the Facebook API to dynamically update ad creative with the current fan count of a page. Accessible means that you can easily get to the data, and understand what it means without a PhD in computer science. As an example, a marketer might create a feed of its media plan to sync offline buys with digital ad creative in real-time. Finally, purposeful data means it is relevant to your business–it’s not data for the sake of data.

NIMBLE MARKETERS CAN INCORPORATE API DATA TO OUTFLANK COMPETITORS. MacDonald shared a recent case study in which Red Roof Inn tapped into flight cancellation data to power its mobile search efforts. When a certain volume of flights were grounded, bids were automatically boosted in the region and ad creative was updated to reflect the traveler’s distance to the nearest Red Roof Inn. Watch the case study video to learn more.

Summary By: David Mataranglo, Group Media Director, 360i

Using Global Insights to Reach Audiences Across Markets

Beauty advertising has traditionally focused on the performance of products–but given that these products can have an emotional impact on women’s lives, Clinique launched a global brand equity campaign designed to more closely connect the brand to its customers. SVP of Global Marketing, Agnes Landau, explained how the brand’s global #StartBetter campaign began.

WHAT WE LEARNED:

USING GLOBAL INSIGHTS, MARKETERS CAN ELEVATE A TRUISM AMONGST CUSTOMERS AROUND THE GLOBE. The #StartBetter initiative was born from the insight that women desire to have control of their own lives, and that each day is a new opportunity to “start better.” After launching a manifesto video on YouTube, the campaign soon expanded to become a broader movement for the brand, which included a new social tone of voice, in-store activations and more. Clinique even partnered with 360i to develop a Global Content Management Tool, ensuring that all 100+ countries and 40 affiliates had clear guidelines for creating content and the ease of sharing it with one another.
SURPRISE AND DELIGHT CONTENT RESONATES WITH SOCIAL COMMUNITIES. Following the release of the manifesto video, Clinique created real-time “surprise-and-delight” postcards to share with consumers who were engaging with the campaign. The postcards encouraged women to #StartBetter in their own way. Consumers then shared the postcards with their own social networks.

DIGITAL INSIGHTS CAN GENERATE IMPACT FAR BEYOND THE ONLINE WORLD. To date, the #StartBetter campaign has received over 10 million impressions and the video has over 1.5 million views, resulting in a 33 percent increase in brand engagement. In more recent phases of the campaign, Clinique has selected artists, such as painters and singers, to share what starting better means to them and will soon roll out the campaign in stores. Clinique also plans to partner with Glamour to share authentic tips for #StartBetter moments, such as a job interview.

Summary By: Evann Clingan, Senior Insights Analyst, 360i

Fireside Chat With Pete Cashmore, Founder & CEO, Mashable

Bryan Wiener, Chairman of 360i, sat down with Mashable Founder & CEO Pete Cashmore for a fireside chat. The two discussed how Mashable started, how the publication gets ahead of the next big story, and how brands steal pages from the Mashable playbook to tell more relevant stories.

WHAT WE LEARNED:

MASHABLE WAS BORN OUT OF CURIOSITY–AND CONTINUES TO PLAY INTO THE CURIOSITY OF ITS READERS. When Cashmore founded Mashable, he was looking for a way to educate himself and others about the tech industry from a more human perspective. He discovered that people wanted answers to two questions about new technologies –“What does it mean, and what can I do with it?” From the beginning of social media, Mashable has used platforms to identify what people are talking about online and mimic the passions and interests of readers. These topics, which range from Grumpy Cat to Ukraine, drive Mashable’s ap-proach to content.
MASHABLE VELOCITY IS ALLOWING EDITORS (AND NOW BRANDS) TO IDENTIFY EMERGING STORIES AS THEY REACH THE CUSP OF VIRALITY. Mashable’s proprietary technology is able to predict and track the viral life cycle of digital media content. This content is then broken down into topics to reach niche audiences. At Cannes 2014, Mashable announced an exclusive beta partnership with 360i to explore what Velocity can do for advertisers.

THE KEYS TO GOOD STORYTELLING ARE RELEVANCE AND EMPATHY. When choosing the medium, a brand must identify the essence of a story. Mashable is particular about the type of content posted on each of its owned platforms– breaking news on Twitter vs. cultural pieces on Facebook. Cashmore also urges brands to be empathetic to the world’s mood on any given day. For instance, it’s inappropriate to tell a humorous story on the anniversary of a tragic event. Additionally, day of week and time of day are important factors for posting content. People prefer visuals and text snippets during the week but have time to reflect and read longer pieces on Sundays. Finally, he urges brands to build in a tolerance for failure when it comes to trying new digital platforms. It’s important to experiment and keep up with consumers but to also have a feedback loop for what works for your brand. Wiener agreed and closed by impressing the importance of optimism when it comes to innovation–it’s unpredictable how a brand’s next great story will be told.

Summary By: Evann Clingan, Senior Insights Analyst, 360i

360iU Technology Lab
As part of a long tradition of offering innovative solutions and valuable partnerships for our clients, 360i was excited to showcase a curated selection of technologies that present advanced possibilities for marketers looking to engage with consumers in new, innovative ways.

Blippar (Augmented Reality)

Blippar is the first mobile image-recognition platform and app that bridges real physical world objects, brands and media, and converts them into digital world interactive experiences. Utilizing augmented reality and instantaneous content, Blippar facilitates deeper consumer engagement while building valuable shopper intelli-gence data for brands.
WHY THIS TECHNOLOGY IS RELEVANT TO MARKETERS: Augmented reality products help bridge the gap between digital and reality, since engagement with the physical world is required for the experience. These types of technology are the perfect fit for brands looking for a strong mobile or in-store program.

iBeacon (Mobile Proximity System)

Beacon technology (and similar products) are low-energy Bluetooth-based proximity detection devices that when paired with a software program, such as an app on a smart phone, can help determine various degrees of distance. These detected distances can trigger events on the smart phone such as notifications, software within the app itself or asking the app to report back to a cloud service which can then activate a billboard or other out-of-home products.
WHY THIS TECHNOLOGY IS RELEVANT TO MARKETERS: Proximity-based activations are the perfect solution for brands looking to engage with consumers in-store, where purchase decisions are happening. These low-cost, low-energy beacons enable brands to deliver purchase incentives such as coupons and rewards programs in real-time to consumers’ smartphones.

Formlabs (3D Printing)

Formlabs is reinventing 3D printing with the Form 1+, a high-resolution stereolithographic desktop 3D printer for engineers, designers and artists. The Form 1+ uses a precision laser to cure liquid resin, offering resolution and print-quality unprecedented in its class.
WHY THIS TECHNOLOGY IS RELEVANT TO MARKETERS: 3D Printing offers brands and consumers alike new and exciting opportunities to engage with one another. Consumers now have the ability to easily invent, create and distribute their own takes on products, which elevates the consumer voice within communities, builds brand advocacy and provides marketers with compelling content to promote themselves.

Microsoft (Lightweight Tablet)

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a 12 inch, lightweight tablet with powerful sensors, cameras, and an input stylus that provide functionality not available on most laptops, further bridging the gap between desktop and mobile use.
WHY THIS TECHNOLOGY IS RELEVANT TO MARKETERS: Microsoft has upped the ante on what a tablet can and should be. Marketers should consider that devices such as the Surface, are gradually expanding the landscape on how consumers are going to be able to interact with their brands. Features like handwriting, precision sensors and geolocation data, can all be powerful tools for creating new and innovative marketing engagements.

Neurosky (Biosensor Technology)

NeuroSky is breaking the boundaries of body and mind monitoring and analysis for consumer-facing, wearable technology products. Their innovative biosensors are used in hundreds of products, brought to market by their partners, for body and mind health. These solutions capture, quantify and reveal unique health and wellness insights and give millions of people the ability to monitor and improve the performance body and mind.
WHY THIS TECHNOLOGY IS RELEVANT TO MARKETERS: As consumers continue to integrate wearable devices into their daily routines, marketers have a unique opportunity to create branded activations with unique personal biometric data not previously available to them. Neurosky devices provide mental calmness and focus data, which can be useful for developing unique creative marketing promotions in the gaming, lifestyle and entertainment sectors in particular.

Oculus VR (Augmented Reality)

The Oculus Rift is a new virtual reality headset that lets players step inside their favorite games and virtual worlds. The Rift uses custom tracking technology to provide ultra-low latency 360° head tracking, allowing you to seamlessly look around the virtual world just as you would in real life. Every subtle movement of your head is tracked in real-time creating a natural and intuitive experience.
WHY THIS TECHNOLOGY IS RELEVANT TO MARKETERS: Virtual reality, through devices such as the Oculus Rift, provide brands an exciting opportunity to engage with consumers in a fully immersive 360° environment. With the technology, marketing activations such as interactive product demonstrations, entertainment, education and incentive programs are amplified, bringing to the experience a level of realism and personal connection not previously available through typical digital programs.

Nod (Wearables)

Nod Labs develops hardware and software that push the boundaries of what is possible with computers. The first product, Nod, is the world’s first and only pixel accurate, 3D gesture control ring. Enabling beautiful, touchless interaction, Nod allows users to engage with objects in the digital and physical world–from hand tracking in virtual reality to changing channels on TVs and adjusting temperatures on smart thermostats.
WHY THIS TECHNOLOGY IS RELEVANT TO MARKETERS: Alternative input devices, such as Nod, offer new ways for consumers to engage with digital content. From mobile to billboards, wireless gesture-based input devices can amplify consumer experiences by providing them natural extensions of themselves.

Songza (Music)

Songza is a lifestyle enhancement platform that serves perfectly curated playlists to
users based on their mood or activity. Users tell Songza what they are doing or how they feel and with two quick choices, are served three playlists to choose from to make that moment of their day better.
WHY THIS TECHNOLOGY IS RELEVANT TO MARKETERS: Music is an essential compo-nent to any traditional media program such as TV or radio, providing tone and theme to a brand’s persona. Songza brings these same benefits to digital marketing programs by offering premium, brand-curated musical playlists for consumers to share and enjoy.
NOTE: 360i takes a technology agnostic approach and only makes specific technology recommendations for clients after close evaluation of the unique needs of the individual brand or program. The technologies here are not exclusive providers of these technologies, and are meant to be representative of their respective areas.

Breakout Sessions

Breaking Through The Clutter With Native Advertising

KEY TAKEAWAY:
Native advertising is not a new concept, but–thanks to digital– marketers can now re-evaluate the “advertorial.” The keys to creating effective native placements today are to focus on storytelling and scalability (either via tapping into large publishers or entering into content distribution partnerships).
Maximizing Reach Via Paid Social

KEY TAKEAWAY:
The social media landscape has matured to a point in which organic reach is no longer a guarantee across most major platforms. By leveraging expanding targeting capabilities, marketers can reach relevant audiences–and do so at tremendous scale.
Getting to Great Content

KEY TAKEAWAY:
Getting to great content is not just about having strong creative. Marketers should consider establishing a process that clearly defines roles and responsibilities across an integrated team of Insights analysts, strategists, creatives, community managers and media buyers.
Storytelling Via Influencer Marketing

KEY TAKEAWAY:
The changing face of influence spells exciting times for marketers, who now have the ability to partner with a new guard of talented and charismatic personalities that can help tell a brand’s story in ways never before possible.