Image via CatDancing on FlickrThe digital fogPart rant, part plea, part waxing lyrical about what we do with “digital”.
Five years ago,   these didn’t  publicly exist
nt       e    gem          Two-way  gaEn             conversation       Buzz!
nt        e     gem          Two-way   ga En             conversation        Blah!Blah!             Blah!        Buzz!
Image via danstorey14 on FlickrWe’re trying to applyold processes andmethods where they don’tfit
We’re lost
howthe what and    why
Image via WIDNR on Flickr.                         Phrase via MadeByManyIt’s digital landfill
da                an              ag             p          pro      on        ll cipa ti      ti rti     s a  ’s t pIt o n
Mythbusters graphic by Mattson Creative
Mythbusters graphic by Mattson Creative
It is, andshould be,reallysimple!(Or there’s no way they’d let me do it)
The problems arisewhen we forgetsomething...
The problems arisewhen we forgetsomething...          Hello!                   *That’s my mum, by the way. Hello mum!
Consumers          Brands            GULF
Objects    *Hat tip to Helge Tenno for the analogy, which I have proudly stolen
When is akettle not akettle?               Image viaJenny - BlinkClick on Flickr
Know the user.  Know the   magic. Connect the
Know the user.  Know the   magic.                e) Connect the           (m             ayb
Consumer           Technology           Brand
We need to kill                  the status quo*the band, I just used them for humour, y’see
Consumer                 Brands    s       G U L F
Someone else will bridge the gap       and take your consumers with them.Consumer                                         ...
F*ck WWDDD!
The only way we’ll get  out of the fog is by    remembering the            consumer
The only way we’ll get  out of the fog is by    remembering the            consumer            I’m        @venaW b        ...
Image viaJenosaur on Flickr  Image via@NO7
The Digital Fog
The Digital Fog
The Digital Fog
The Digital Fog
The Digital Fog
The Digital Fog
The Digital Fog
The Digital Fog
The Digital Fog
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The Digital Fog

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My mildly provocative presentation to DotConf at the National College of Ireland, Friday 15th June 2012.

Partly a look at why marketing is stuck in a digital fog and the poor quality work that it leads us to create. Partly a look at how we might be able to get out of it. Partly a plea from me for the industry to stop pretending that we're doing great work and to actually start doing great work.

For more information about DotConf visit http://thedotconf.wordpress.com/

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  • Found out that we could have a bit of fun with our DotConf talks so I decided to talk about what frustrates me most about digital marketing.\nI believe we are a bit lost - in a digital fog\n
  • Not surprising that there is a struggle to get things right\nA lot has changed in a very short space of time.\nFive years ago there were no smart phones and none of us had heard about Facebook. \nNow they’re so ubiquitous that most of us can't imagine our lives without them. They're by no means the only things that have changed in this time either. \n
  • Impacts of these changes have been well documented, analysed and discussed and presented at conferences ad nauseum.\nWe've all heard the buzzwords of the last few years too - engagement, two-way conversation, democratisation of the web, always on, transmedia storytelling… blah blah blah.\nTrite and ubiquitous as they may be, there is meaning behind them. \nWe've spent years trying to interrupt, disrupt and attention grab our way to our consumers and it's getting less and less effective\nSo yes, we need to find other ways to reach them. We all get it now. We understand the principles of it. Or at least we should do. We certainly claim to.\n
  • Impacts of these changes have been well documented, analysed and discussed and presented at conferences ad nauseum.\nWe've all heard the buzzwords of the last few years too - engagement, two-way conversation, democratisation of the web, always on, transmedia storytelling… blah blah blah.\nTrite and ubiquitous as they may be, there is meaning behind them. \nWe've spent years trying to interrupt, disrupt and attention grab our way to our consumers and it's getting less and less effective\nSo yes, we need to find other ways to reach them. We all get it now. We understand the principles of it. Or at least we should do. We certainly claim to.\n
  • Impacts of these changes have been well documented, analysed and discussed and presented at conferences ad nauseum.\nWe've all heard the buzzwords of the last few years too - engagement, two-way conversation, democratisation of the web, always on, transmedia storytelling… blah blah blah.\nTrite and ubiquitous as they may be, there is meaning behind them. \nWe've spent years trying to interrupt, disrupt and attention grab our way to our consumers and it's getting less and less effective\nSo yes, we need to find other ways to reach them. We all get it now. We understand the principles of it. Or at least we should do. We certainly claim to.\n
  • In my opinion though, for the most part we're paying lip service.\nWhen a culture changes so fast that it starts to feel foreign to your own, you go into culture shock. It's moved so quickly that we're struggling to cope - We're in Future Shock. \nWhile we all know that it's changed and we know the theory about how we need to adapt - and yet we don't adapt. \nSo buzzwords lose their meaning. Trendy words with no associated action. And so they become hollow, empty buzzwords. \nWhile we continue to try and apply our old methods and processes to the new post-digital world.\nPush our messages out to consumers and hope that they'll work - under the misapprehension that we're "starting a conversation" or "creating engagement" or "facilitating this, that or the other".\n
  • So, yes. I believe that we are lost in a fog. \nWe’re too busy obsessing about the technology. \nWe're thinking about platforms and channels and shiny new things ahead of everything else.\nWe’re obsessed with ticking off tech like a ticklist - Facebook, blogs, mobile apps, augmented reality and so on and so on.\nAnd we’re not concentrating on what it really is that we need to do to get us to where we want to be.\n
  • The preoccupation means we let the HOW dictate the WHAT and the WHY.\nWe’re so busy keeping up with the Joneses that we’re not looking at WHAT it is what we should be doing to connect with our consumers effectively or WHY it is right or wrong for us to be there at all. \n
  • This means that (to coin a phrase I really like from the guys at Made By Many) we're creating loads of Digital Landfill \nWe're trying to start movements that nobody wants to join. \nRequesting a shit load of User Generated Content that nobody can be arsed to produce and we're never going to do anything with.\nWe're churning out work that more often than not doesn't have any value to the consumer, doesn't have any effect upon brand affinity, costs us money and doesn't see us get much in return. \n\n
  • Kingsmill ran a TV commercial that showed someone making a confession about choosing Kingsmill over something else in their life. Needless to say, when they decided to ask consumers to share their Kingsmill confessions they were rightly derided.\nFine idea for a TV ad, but hyper-reality doesn't translate to reality.\n
  • Early last year, to celebrate Chinese New Year, or rather Spring Festival, Amoy decided that the narcissism that is innate in all of us meant that we'd like nothing more than to "Asianate" ourselves.\nI'm not the most PC person on Earth, far from it, but this is like something that Prince Phillip came up with in a brainstorm.\nHow offensive!\n\n\n
  • All in all it’s just really “meh”. \nWhy do I want to "like" my toothbrush manufacturer? Why would I want to share my photos with a loaf of bread? Why do I have to give a thousand different pieces of personal information to log into the free wifi on a train? Why should I scan a QR code that takes me to a website that's not mobile optimised to download your 50mb app that I can’t download because I’m using my MOBILE data and not on wifi?\nIt's depressingly underwhelming. Unsurprisingly it's mostly very forgettable. And it mostly lacks impact, action and effectiveness. It’s a waste of money.\n
  • Without wanting to talk myself out of a job, I think that we're not being honest with ourselves about how we're using digital. \nWe're all talking about communities, conversation and connection. \nWe're liars.\nWe're just using digital as a selection of new places through which we can spew our brand propaganda, disguising it as collaboration and participation.\n
  • All of this just perpetuates the myth that digital is really complicated. \nThis makes it easier to just not bother doing it. \n\n
  • I'm going to get all Myth Buster on you now and let you into a little secret. \nTo pretend it's too costly, too hard to measure, too frightening to take a chance on. Well that's, frankly, a load of old shite. \n
  • Just as with all marketing, “digital” is, and always should be, really simple. \nOr there's no way anybody would let me do it, for a start. \nI have neither the interest in nor aptitude for complicated stuff. I want a simple life. And I'm not alone. Nobody wants their life to be made more complicated. Especially not by brands!\n
  • Problems originate when we forget something. I think that's the consumer.\nI'm not talking about the demographics that are determined by our data analysis, but the people that we actually want to buy our products or services.\nWe need to really get to know them to figure out how we can become more present in their lives. Genuinely create a reason for them to give us some of their time.\nYes - that’s my mum. Say hi to Vena.\n
  • Problems originate when we forget something. I think that's the consumer.\nI'm not talking about the demographics that are determined by our data analysis, but the people that we actually want to buy our products or services.\nWe need to really get to know them to figure out how we can become more present in their lives. Genuinely create a reason for them to give us some of their time.\nYes - that’s my mum. Say hi to Vena.\n
  • Problems originate when we forget something. I think that's the consumer.\nI'm not talking about the demographics that are determined by our data analysis, but the people that we actually want to buy our products or services.\nWe need to really get to know them to figure out how we can become more present in their lives. Genuinely create a reason for them to give us some of their time.\nYes - that’s my mum. Say hi to Vena.\n
  • What exists at the moment is a gulf \nWe don't see the world in the same way that they do. \nAnd it's making it harder and harder for us to connect with them. There's a gulf that we need to bridge.\n
  • Part of the problem is how we see "digital". \nGuy from Denmark called Helge Tenno. Blogs at **www.180360720.no**\nHe made the point, and I agree, that we see digital as objects. Things.\nWe see platforms, channels, code, websites, apps, HTML5 etc. We see it as composite parts. Not as a whole. We're obsessed with the tech.\n
  • Consumers don't really see it at all. Let's look at a different kind of tech.\nThey see a kettle - something that boils their water, so they can cook pasta or make a cup of tea.\nWe see a metallic case, filaments, spouts, handles, electrical wire etc. The component parts.\nConsumers see what does technology enables them to do. Or what it does for them. Not how it does it.\n
  • Knowing the user doesn't just mean knowing what digital media they use though - which this is often mistaken for. \nMeans knowing what their state of mind is at any one time, what their motivations and needs are, what they are striving to do, trying to avoid and so on. Knowing them as people, not data.\nKnowing the technology means knowing where tech has a role to play in their lives. \nGet those and you get digital.\nWell, maybe. \n
  • But I believe is often missing from that quote. \nThe brand. \nHave to remember what it is you wanted to achieve too - what your brand's objectives are.\nSo often, because we’re focussed on the wrong things, we forget what it is that is going to achieve our goals. How many times have we answered a brief with a f***ing facebook app that nobody ever visited, because that’s what we were forced into by our distraction, instead of doing the right thing - whether that thing is on- or offline!?!\nTo my mind, it’s only when you strike the right balance of all three elements can create some really great, meaningful and transformative work.\n\n
  • Tesco Virtual Stores - http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2011/homeplus-virtual-subway-store/\n
  • Skype Classroom http://madebymany.com/blog/tags/Skype\n
  • In 2005, Aaron Patzer was catching up on his personal finances.\nAfter a couple of hours, bored off his tits, he began thinking about building what would become Mint.com.\nHe created something that most banks today still haven't been able to do: create a tool that's useful, intuitive and unique:\nMint's technology does everything automatically, in a way that other online banking applications and personal finance management software don't. It provides useful information and smart, specific recommendations for saving or making more money based on each user's individual purchase history.\nhttps://www.mint.com/company/\n
  • A controversial example and one that I feel somewhat conflicted by. \nAt SXSW there's an influx of massive tech geeks. Pretty precious tech geeks that can't handle not having wifi access for a few minutes.\nBBH Labs is a great department of BBH - dedicated to pushing digital and doing all of the things that I've waxed lyrical about doing today. \nThey teamed up with local homeless charity, Front Steps Shelter and equipped people from their case management system with 4G MiFi devices to serve as pay-per-use hotspots for attendees at SXSWi. People in the program wear T-shirts giving instructions about how to connect and how to pay.\nIt wasn't without its detractors though. A lot of people questioned the ethics of turning homeless people into commodities and using them to gain fame for BBH Labs without a plan for their futures. \nSo yes, a controversial example, but an interesting solution to the target audience’s problem nonetheless.\nhttp://www.wired.com/business/2012/03/the-damning-backstory-behind-homeless-hotspots-at-sxswi/\n
  • Frustratingly, examples of digital integration being done really well are few and far between. For the most part we are stuck in the status quo. \nOperating in structures that restrict our ability to do anything different. With siloed departments, red-tape, bureaucracy \n
  • Refusing to evolve is just another symptom of the future shock that I referred to earlier. \nWe can't carry on being satisfied with churning out digital landfill. This means pushing the boundaries of what we produce and focussing on doing the right thing, not just doing the easy thing.\n
  • Refusing to evolve is just another symptom of the future shock that I referred to earlier. \nWe can't carry on being satisfied with churning out digital landfill. This means pushing the boundaries of what we produce and focussing on doing the right thing, not just doing the easy thing.\n
  • Refusing to evolve is just another symptom of the future shock that I referred to earlier. \nWe can't carry on being satisfied with churning out digital landfill. This means pushing the boundaries of what we produce and focussing on doing the right thing, not just doing the easy thing.\n
  • The risks if we don't are great. We will see our brands become further and further removed.\nNot only will we become irrelevant; someone else will bridge that gap instead. And our consumers will go with them. \nAnd we all know it costs a hell of a lot more to win them back or recruit them than it does to keep them.\n
  • The risks if we don't are great. We will see our brands become further and further removed.\nNot only will we become irrelevant; someone else will bridge that gap instead. And our consumers will go with them. \nAnd we all know it costs a hell of a lot more to win them back or recruit them than it does to keep them.\n
  • So, we have to stop thinking in the arrogant way that adland is prone to doing - that people are desperate to hear what we have to say. That they’ll suck up whatever they hear.\nSo fuck the "What would Don Draper Do?" mentality. The world's a different place than that. \n
  • We need to get over ourselves and stop taking this stuff in at just a surface level. \nWe need to turn this stuff into action. Change the way we do things.\nAnd really get to know our consumers again. REALLY, genuinely get to know them. \nThey're the only ones that can bring us success - after all, it's their money that we want.\nThat and maybe strap on a pair of balls!\n
  • We need to get over ourselves and stop taking this stuff in at just a surface level. \nWe need to turn this stuff into action. Change the way we do things.\nAnd really get to know our consumers again. REALLY, genuinely get to know them. \nThey're the only ones that can bring us success - after all, it's their money that we want.\nThat and maybe strap on a pair of balls!\n
  • We need to get over ourselves and stop taking this stuff in at just a surface level. \nWe need to turn this stuff into action. Change the way we do things.\nAnd really get to know our consumers again. REALLY, genuinely get to know them. \nThey're the only ones that can bring us success - after all, it's their money that we want.\nThat and maybe strap on a pair of balls!\n
  • Thanks. I’m not normally such a contrary old cow by the way... well, only a little bit.\n
  • The Digital Fog

    1. 1. Image via CatDancing on FlickrThe digital fogPart rant, part plea, part waxing lyrical about what we do with “digital”.
    2. 2. Five years ago, these didn’t publicly exist
    3. 3. nt e gem Two-way gaEn conversation Buzz!
    4. 4. nt e gem Two-way ga En conversation Blah!Blah! Blah! Buzz!
    5. 5. Image via danstorey14 on FlickrWe’re trying to applyold processes andmethods where they don’tfit
    6. 6. We’re lost
    7. 7. howthe what and why
    8. 8. Image via WIDNR on Flickr. Phrase via MadeByManyIt’s digital landfill
    9. 9. da an ag p pro on ll cipa ti ti rti s a ’s t pIt o n
    10. 10. Mythbusters graphic by Mattson Creative
    11. 11. Mythbusters graphic by Mattson Creative
    12. 12. It is, andshould be,reallysimple!(Or there’s no way they’d let me do it)
    13. 13. The problems arisewhen we forgetsomething...
    14. 14. The problems arisewhen we forgetsomething... Hello! *That’s my mum, by the way. Hello mum!
    15. 15. Consumers Brands GULF
    16. 16. Objects *Hat tip to Helge Tenno for the analogy, which I have proudly stolen
    17. 17. When is akettle not akettle? Image viaJenny - BlinkClick on Flickr
    18. 18. Know the user. Know the magic. Connect the
    19. 19. Know the user. Know the magic. e) Connect the (m ayb
    20. 20. Consumer Technology Brand
    21. 21. We need to kill the status quo*the band, I just used them for humour, y’see
    22. 22. Consumer Brands s G U L F
    23. 23. Someone else will bridge the gap and take your consumers with them.Consumer Brands s G U L F
    24. 24. F*ck WWDDD!
    25. 25. The only way we’ll get out of the fog is by remembering the consumer
    26. 26. The only way we’ll get out of the fog is by remembering the consumer I’m @venaW b tw ...and by strapping on a pair!
    27. 27. Image viaJenosaur on Flickr Image via@NO7
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