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What does the future hold for digital marketing, ecommerce and retail?

That's the question the speakers at Econsultancy's Future of Digital Marketing conference try to answer every year.

Here are 48 quotes from 2014's event, ranging from wearables to China, digital transformation to user interfaces, retail to the smart home.

My daughter knew that the big orange button somehow committed this Hello Kitty umbrella to her, but she was perplexed that it did not arrive immediately.

Sarah Bentley of Accenture Interactive remands us there may be a disconnect between brand promise and customer experience (through the lens of her young and indefatigable daughter).

hello kitty in the rain

Only 1% of companies in the middle of a digital transformation programme have CMOs in charge of this change.

Sarah again, revealing one finding from the Accenture CMO Insights study.

Antony Mayfield, Founder and CEO of Brilliant Noise:

Chartbeat says there is no correlation between article shares and reads.

The opportunity is to serve, not just to provide more content.

Brands need to stop thinking they can ‘frack’ the social web.

Operational excellence is needed. Look at content end-to-end. Cost of creation, distribution, return.

Retail now includes the virtual continuum between brick and click.

Minter Dial on digital technology in-store. 

Wendy Tan White, CEO at Moonfruit:

Moonfruit has had “better results from digital video than above the line TV. Awareness obviously increases from TV but capturing it is the most important thing.

Sebastian Gutierrez, Marketing Manager at eBay Enterprise:

PayPal makes 60% of eBay Enterprise’s revenue.

Jason Mesut, Head of User Experience at Plan:

We are still struggling with touchscreens and it’s seven years since the iPhone launch.

Here Jason cited iOS8’s forthcoming SwiftKey-like function.

ios8 predictive text 

Skeuomorphism prevents against the shock of the new. It happened with the Ford Model T [which looked like a carriage] and the TV [which initially looked like a radio].

  model t  tv

Zune and Windows 8. Designers loved them, but they were too different for users, so they didn’t succeed.

Gestural interfaces are fading. Gesture is tiring, coarse control, and leads to confusion with natural gestures.

The Tesla cars are controlled with 17 inch touchscreens on their dashboards. That’s just dangerous.

Jason Mesut on the fact that learning is ok:

Even breastfeeding isn’t intuitive.

breastfeeding 

Let’s stop saying intuitive and say what we mean. Invisible computing. Supportive computing. Adaptive computing.

No user interface might make for less clutter, less learning (in theory) and a less conscious experience, but it pushes complexity elsewhere.

Monument Valley is a great example of motion and emotion in design. Sound is very important to the game.

monument valley 

Will Critchlow on changing demands of search: 

Don’t overlook permanent fixes. To quote Quartz’s Kevin Delaney ‘I’d rather have a Snowfall builder than a Snowfall.’

Doug Kessler on ‘the content juggernaut’.

There is a blurring of ads and content, friends’ and brands’ Facebook posts, the motivation behind celebrity tweets…Are publishers selling trust? And too cheaply? If you’re a brand, jump on board now, while the getting’s good.

Jonathan Gabbai, Head of International Mobile Product, eBay.

Mobile is the entry to commerce full stop. Not just ecommerce.

Andrew Warren-Payne, Senior Research Analyst, Econsultancy.

0.9bn connected devices today (excluding smartphones) will become 26bn in 2020.

Marcus Mustafa, Head of Global User Experience at LBi:

A diversity of products exist that use the same technology. Why don’t they interact?

On the early and uninspiring work with wearables in the sport and performance market: 

The smartwatch is the 21st century beeper. It has no greater functionality than your phone. Let’s wait for the iWatch.

smartwatch

Electroceuticals could be the future. I call it chip and pill.

Barney Loehnis, Head of Digital, APAC, at Ogilvy & Mather:

(see also the full write-up of Barney's talk)

12m people migrate from the country to Chinese cities every year. 28.3% of children are left behind.

Technology is helping families stay in touch.

In 1990 China had 100,000 private cars, in 2014 it has more than 70m.

beijing traffic jam

To understand digital, you must understand what’s driving consumers.

The counter culture movement of the Diaosi has been borne out of the relentless pressure amongst peers. The Diaosi are staying inside, playing computer games and downloading video, defining their own success.

In relentless Chinese cities, who can you trust?

Barney cited counterfeit medicines, thousands of dead pigs mysteriously dumped in the Yangtze and the 2008 melamine scandal affecting milk in China (which has led to more people buying milk powder on online) as examples of typical events eroding trust in communities. 

People are trusting the internet over state media and social media has become a way of making friendships, that in this relentless society, can be very valuable indeed.

You can buy anything produced in China on Taobao. 

taobao logo

Chinese consumers engage with ecommerce as a way of contributing to the economic revolution.

The demographic making heaviest use of the internet in China thinks of it as the most trustworthy information source.

In Chinese cities, the internet is the dominant medium.

With 500m entering the Chinese middle classes, engagement strategies are targeted at micro generations.

Gross merchant value across Alibaba and Taobao was 1.63tn in 2013. That would be the tenth largest economy.

Singles Day in China in 2013 saw 20% sales from mobile.

tmall singles day

Because commuting is so tough, some people buy everything on Taobao and have it delivered. They don’t care about customer experience, they want to make their life easier.

WeChat is where all the buzz is.” "It's now being used as a service channel.

Consumers are taking pictures of two items in store, say handbags, and asking their ‘devil group’ on WeChat which they should buy. It’s becoming the last hurdle to purchase.

Taobao sends more packages in a year than UPS does globally.

Xiaomi sells 100,000 phones in 83 seconds.

The company uses limited runs to appeal to consumers who have to register interest on social media in order to buy. The model’s features are crowdsourced, too.

xiaomi mi3

Key opinion leaders are a fundamental part of the marketing mix in China.

Ben Davis

Published 23 June, 2014 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (3)

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Sarah

Nice read. Very interesting topic for a blog post. I did enjoy some of these quotes though and can relate to them. The digital age is more like the lazy age, lol. Everyone now and days like to keep things as simple and easy as possible.

almost 2 years ago

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AZ

Can't agree more with your opinion on Taobao, WeChat and KOL. But don't miss Tmall, the B2C e-commerce platform that is also owned by Alibaba, the Single's Day shopping spree is largely fuelled by it.

almost 2 years ago

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Web Techno Experts

Nice Thought And Information for Net Users, Beautiful Location Wise Idea/Information.......

I Like this Site for information......

almost 2 years ago

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