I don't have a time machine, 'The Future of Digital Marketing' happens to be the name of one of Econsultancy's conferences.

I went along and took some notes. Here are some quotes from the day, on AI, bots, VR, mobile, video and what it means to be human.

Bots

1. Ashley Freidlein, Econsultancy:

"Why are bots/AI so relevant for digital marketing? For anticipatory intelligence - prompting customer actions to deliver oustanding customer experiences, and personalisation at scale - intimate but automated."

2. Ashley Freidlein, Econsultancy:

"Conversational commerce is already happening with simple, low-complexity products."

3. Ashley Freidlein, Econsultancy:

"Would you trust a computer over a human? I think people would, particularly over a call centre agent."

AI

4. Gerd Leonhard, The Future Agency:

"Tinder or TripAdvisor, they're both simulations. We have no idea what these people are like.

"The information could be fantastic or it could be useless. But the average Google user has 25m data points, add that to Facebook etc and you reach 250m data points.

"Deep learning can analyse these data points and determine things about you that you don't know yourself."

5. Gerd Leonhard, The Future Agency:

"Ask Watson about the future of Europe, it will answer eloquently. Ask it about the United States of Europe (a concept) and it won’t understand."

IBM's Personality Insights' analysis of my Twitter handle (@herrhuld)

ibm personality insight

Virtual reality

6. Dominic Collins, Jaunt VR:

"VR allows consumers to 'be there and be them' - it's the ultimate storytelling tool."

7. Dominic Collins, Jaunt VR:

"VR is the first new medium made for mobile. There are 2bn VR-enabled smartphones today."

The marketing department

8. Gerd Leonhard, The Future Agency:

"Marketers will have huge power, with less people and less money probably."

9. Gerd Leonhard, The Future Agency:

"We are seeing increasingly powerful combinations of man and machine. Automated language translation is finally here in real time."

10. Gerd Leonhard, The Future Agency:

"We’re at the take-off point of automation. The data industry was worth $7.6tn last year, more than the $6.4tn of the fuel industry. Data is finally is the new oil."

11. Gerd Leonhard, The Future Agency:

"From mobile to AI (or IA, intelligent assistance). From typing to thinking. From real to virtu-real (AR). From products to experiences. (Wo)man on top of machine."

Advertising

12. John Roberts, iAdBox:

"Non-lineal advertising - time-filling and habit are big drivers for user action. Advertising should work with consumer intent."

Growth hacking 

13. Matthew Lerner, 500Startups:

"A lot of charlatans call themselves growth hackers. But a lot of companies have grown very quickly with no method of distribution."

14. Matthew Lerner, 500Startups:

"It took the telephone 78 years to get to 100m users. It took Candy Crush one year."

15. Matthew Lerner, 500Startups:

"Amex, founded in 1850, has 109m customers. Paypal, founded in 1998, has 185m customers."

16. Matthew Lerner, 500Startups:

"Can big companies growth hack? Yes, if they organise correctly, choose and monitor KPIs, maintain customer focus, rapidly test and iterate, hire and reinforce the mindset and be patient."

Humanity

17. Gerd Leonhard, The Future Agency:

"Computers are more efficient than humans. But the goal of life is not efficiency."

18. Lisa WoodAtom Bank:

"Our website allows staff to connect with customers, who can leave their address and get a handwritten postcard. It is deliberately not digital."

19. Gerd Leonhard, The Future Agency:

"Things that cannot be measured will become even more valuable - e.g. culture and ethics."

Mobile

20. Lisa Wood, Atom Bank:

"We learn what the user does in-app, then present this functionality on entry."

21. Ben Carter, JustEat:

"Mobile and app usage accounts for 60-70% of orders."

22. Mark Brill, senior lecturer in future media:

"Messaging is at the heart of mobile. And it's increasingly a visual conversation."

Video

23. Nic Newman, Reuters Institute:

"Video style is changing to short, texted videos that grab attention quickly and have an emotional angle."

24. Nic Newman, Reuters Institute:

"Cutting with some text and music gets rid of the artifice and pomposity of television. Video content doesn't have to be slick, but it does need to connect."

Social

25. Ben Carter, JustEat:

"Social drives our current campaign. What’s next:

  • Deeper and richer content platforms.
  • Social as a reactivation channel - to drive frequency.
  • Utilise social to drive event and experiential marketing.
  • Hyperlocal social targeting.
  • Tap into social mobility with Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger.
  • Right time, right place."
Ben Davis

Published 10 June, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

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

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