This year’s MMA Impact NY offered snapshots of marketing trends brands can leverage, from solving lingering issues surrounding brand safety and ad fraud to embracing new technologies such as virtual reality and voice to better connect with customers. Here are ten highlights you can incorporate into your marketing so you can #ShapeTheFuture.
- The industry needs to solve ad fraud and create well-lit, brand-safe environments.
Kevin Frisch, Head of Driver and Ride Acquisition at Uber, said the problem is pervasive: “It’s not just 15-year- olds in their basements. It’s established networks and their agencies.” Uber’s fraud detection team uses tools to detect fraud in real-time, but Frisch emphasized that people are just as important as technology for staying on top of it.
- A big opportunity for marketers is creating seamless, personalized experiences for consumers.
Macy’s Jill Ramsey said the retailer is introducing mobile checkout in its stores; Rue La La executives said the company leverages features such as persistent shopping carts across platforms..
- There’s more than just promise in the three R’s: Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality.
“Even though they are new, they are not entirely experimental. Macy’s uses VR to help consumers “see” furniture in their living rooms, and Jaunt has produced an experience for Kia so consumers “drive” through Big Sur, Cannes, or the U.K.
- Voice is here, but marketers haven’t nailed it.
“A lot of great will happen with artificial intelligence and voice,” predicted Jeff Malmad, Head of Life+ for Mindshare North America during his presentation, but others, including The New York Times, haven’t found the right use case yet.
Experimenting with technology can give start-ups a leg up on competitors.
Jackson Jeyanayagam, CMO of Boxed, advised being an alpha partner with tech partners including Google, Apple Play and Venmo.
- Brands should look toward leveraging their abilities to provide societal solutions.
Seventy-five percent of consumers expect brands to take actions to make the world better, but brands can’t fake it, Verizon’s Chris Paul told the audience. “ … it can’t make your brand something it isn’t, it can only reveal what kind of brand you are.”
- Sellers: Beware of incidental loyalty.
Technology is leading to a rise in incidental loyalty, where AI-based services replenish products for consumers, short-circuiting the chance for them to pick different brands. Being no. 2 may be as good as dead.
- Visual search will change marketing, and shopping.
The future is visual, because consumers are increasingly searching with pictures rather than words. Pinterest exec Amy Verner noted that it has big ramifications not just for what people buy but how much.
- Marketing organizations need to be better organized.
One piece of advice from presenter Dr. Omar Rodriguez Vila, marketing professor at Georgia Tech: marketers who struggle from tensions between old and new ways of doing business should organize around outcomes, not the online/offline divide.
- Always stay inspired.
The session “How Mobile Apps Are Changing the World” showed how it’s done. Komal Ahmad of Copia is using mobile to reduce food waste, Gail Schenbaum-Lawton of Umergency is using it to connect young adults and their parents during a crisis, and Beam’s Viveka Hulyalkar, is using mobile to turn retail experiences into opportunities for doing social good.
This year, Impact NY lived up to its #shapethefuture hashtag, articulating that the future is made up of diverse factors with no single focus. As the New York Time’s’ Sebastian Tomich told the audience, “We know from past experiences that when you try to boil the future down to one headline, it won’t cut it.”