Wow! It was another huge year for the Dx3 Canada conference this past Wednesday and Thursday in Toronto as thousands of digital marketing, eCommerce and retail professionals learned how to make big ideas happen. (Being part of the Ambassador Program that was created by Dx3 and Boost Agents has allowed me to attend the conference at no cost. Thank you!)
ComScore provided a wealth of digital insights at the beginning of most presentations. Here are the main points they made right before the first keynote:
- A 2013 ComScore USA study showed that the time spent on mobile (55%) has overtaken the time spent on desktop computers.
- In Canada, mobile subscribers grew by 5% YoY and smartphone penetration increased by 13% (2013 vs. 2012).
Below, we break down the key takeaways from four of the presentations, including the two keynotes.
Keynote: The Case for Innovation
- There’s been a shift from portals to search to social for people to get their information.
- Publishing is a now Paris Café. Embrace the individual in their complete state – i.e. cover a broad array of topics they’re interested in.
- EQ matters more than IQ. Emotional resonance and connectivity is more important than your intellectual power.
- The art of social content:
a. people are more likely to share inspiring content
b. content is about identity – develop content that speaks to niche audiences (when it resonates with people they share it with their community)
c. Humour is inherently social (e.g. poster saying “this printer is now called Bob Marley ‘cause it’s always jammin’”)
d. Nostalgia is social too – people like to be brought to an earlier time (e.g. images of 7th Heaven show)
e. People share things that make them look smart (e.g. an article from Harvard U)
f. Don’t ignore mobile (57% of their traffic is mobile; if your content doesn’t look well in mobile it won’t spread as well as it would if it’s mobile-friendly)
g. Social users are mobile (75% Twitter, 78% Facebook – 48% on mobile only)
h. Content behaves differently on different platforms (e.g. Twitter status updates get retweeted within first two hours, then shares drop significantly)
- WatsApp share button addition resulted in more WatsApp than Twitter shares.
- BuzzFeed video team of over 50 people.
- The business of social content: Social/native advertising is content that consumers actually want. Social can make ads great again. They create short, branded videos that incorporate brand messages. Clients include Purina and GE.
- Quizzes are popular if you do them right. They work for brands too – “which Barbie doll are you?”
- Key take-aways:
a. Social content is both art and science
b. Strike the balance between content and distribution
c. If it’s not on mobile, you shouldn’t be producing it.
Session: The Case for Digital Media
- Their premise is “ideas that get a reaction”
- We should be talking about problems that we’re trying to solve and where to connect best with users. Don’t get lost in talking about the digital channel.
- Why the hard sell for digital? This business is about persuasion by connecting through emotions.
- Digital isn’t a thing. It’s the thing.
- Digital is a return to marketing basics. Digital is a place where we can connect and influence people.
- Data as creative fuel. The data we don’t need is the buying of social media likes.
- Add wonder to people’s lives.
- Digital is a driving force of culture.
- Digital is an inspiration for creative & business disruption (ZipCar, AirbNb)
- Digital is a magical box of creative tools.
- Does it make an impression if it doesn’t make one?
- Provoke a reaction.
- Give people enhanced experiences with digital.
- Make real world experiences extraordinary.
Session: The 5 Things You Need to Know About Community Management
- Community management:
1. Have a brand belief (e.g. RedBull, Whole Foods Market);
3. Work the plan;
4. Be consistent;
5. Be timely (have a crisis plan, be responsive, be relevant)
- Firms of endearment are not defined by shareholder value. They have performed S&P 500 companies.
- The community manager needs to be empowered to solve customer problems.
- Listening tools: Google, boardreader, socialmention. Platform specific tools: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr. Paid tools: Brandwatch, Trendrr, meltwater buzz.
- Storing cool online content in Evernote before sharing it.
- Develop a content calendar that takes into consideration important cultural happenings (e.g. the Oscars), template Tweets, etc. Plan out content calendar quarterly and in more detail monthly.
Keynote: The Case for Integration
- They started asking ‘why?’ for everything they’re doing in digital.
- “Whatever you do next in digital make sure it’s world class”
- Define the problem. Figure out how to navigate digital disruption and stay relevant to the customer.
- Issues we’re facing:
1. Speed of innovation and speed of obsolescence;
2. Rapidly evolving expectations;
3. Availability and ‘curse’ of consumer data;
4. Availability and ‘curse’ of content;
5. Fragmentation of expertise;
6. Escalating capital costs & expenses related to ‘staying current’; and
7. Generation gap in C-suite.
- Solve the issues:
1. Invest in open platforms;
2. Centralize and consolidate data & content; and
3. Build digital expertise in-house
- Don’t relegate an understanding of digital to a ‘digital ghetto’ that does not have a seat at the C-suite level and can impact business decisions, not just digital decisions.
- Their vision: world leader in digitizing retail. Their Canadian Tire Yonge Street store and Sportcheck West Edmonton mall are good examples of this.
- Digital is disruption: merchandising, finance, supply chain, real estate, HR, communications, marketing, operations, legal, IT, and franchisee operations.
A large number of digital marketing, eCommerce and retail companies set up booths at the Dx3 conference:
- Art & Science: a bright, creative agency making a splash in the retail space
- Boost Agents: an agency recruiting marketing, creative and communication professionals. Their President, Trina Boos, spoke at our last #InboundTO event.
- Kijiji: the guys behind the most visited free classifieds site in Canada provided free coffee throughout the conference. You can be sure that virtually everyone passed by their booth and provided their contact details in order to get their free coffee! We’ve provided SEO training to them and love their marketing smarts!
- Conversion: a digital agency that loves to play with and analyze big data
- Demac Media: a young and right team of eCommerce specialists. We like their eCommerce Toronto meetup.
- Dialog Insight: hailing from Montreal, their firm develops customer acquisition, data analysis and personalized communication solutions
- Fora: they offer Nigerians online courses from established university
- Insurance Portfolio: a third generation family owned and operated insurance brokerage
- IQmetrix: provides end-to-end retail solutions
- MasterCard: a financial services company
- Moveable Online: an agency focused on web strategy and development
- myApollo: a “private peer-to-peer social network”
- Next Issue: provides access to top magazines for tablets
- Numero Uno Web: a small digital marketing agency providing SEO & PPC services
- Olive Media: an advertising agency specializing in premium content
- Preo: their app lets you place orders using your phone without waiting in line
- Ryerson U Digital Media Zone: startup community and incubator in the heart of downtown Toronto
- Sitecore: a global customer experience management platform
- Spently: provides eReceipts & transactional emails for well timed, targeted consumer messaging
- Sticker You: Toronto shop selling die-cut vinyl custom stickers and labels online
- TubeMogul: an enterprise software platform for digital branding
- Twoople: an “online engagement tool that makes it easy for others to chat with you”
- UberFlip: a platform that helps you centralize your content
- uIntuition: Waterloo-based firm connecting brands with young talent in our creative, academic, and event sectors
- unilytics: a digital analytics, data visualization and business intelligence provider
- Vigorate Digital Solutions: a digital marketing agency with significant expertise in email marketing
- Wisdek: an online marketing firm that’s also a Google business photos trusted agency
- Yahoo Canada: a multinational internet company
- yconic: helps brands build relationships with youth through their Student Awards and UThink market research panels
- Yummy Mummy Club: an online platform that connects brands with Canadian mothers
Here are four additional resources relating to the Dx3 conference:
- All the Dx3 2014 speaker presentations
- WhatRunsWhere’s Dx3 Canada recap, with 10 key takeaways
- More conference photos on the Dx3 Facebook page
- Virtual Logistics’ Dx3 conferenc recap
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