Festival of Media: Five Big Things—day one

The Festival of Media Global is in its eighth year and APN NZ Media is the first New Zealand sponsor. This year sees topics such as content marketing, big data usage, wearable tech and mobile, to name a few. So, what happened on day one? Lots. It was full on, rushing from session to session, and, importantly, the lunch was great, ranking a solid 7.5/10 for hotel conference food.

Here are a few key things that stood out:

1) Mobile

It’s becoming more and more obvious from being here that mobile is the main driver of global ad growth. Steve King, global chief executive of ZenithOptimedia, outlined that mobile advertising is now growing at more than six times the rate of the good-old-fashioned desktop. That trend, combined with a marketers’ growing confidence in digital, will see more and more exciting campaigns across digital platforms.

He also said that the industry in 2014 will benefit from three key events that only happen once every four years – the Winter Olympics, the FIFA World Cup, and the mid term elections in the US. So expect a bumper year for creativity (and media spend) around the world.

2) Native

Lewis D’Vorkin, chief product officer at Forbes, spoke about native advertising and how content is king. At the core of this was ensuring that no matter what the topic, the content is genuinely interesting for the audience. If you want to build an authentic content voice and style that consumers will want to read and share, it can’t be a sales pitch (here’s what he wrote about the current native ad scene in the US media a few weeks ago). 

3) Worlds colliding

Net-a-porter is connecting print and digital. As a leading online retailer, its customers still want to read printed products as well as use their devices, so it has launched a new printed magazine called Porter, which features augmented reality tech so customers can still shop online. It means it is connecting with its customers however they choose to interact with the brand. It was interesting to see an online retailer do this, and shows they are truly trying to create an experience with the customer at its heart.

4) Keeping it simple 

Dr. Markus Nordberg, from CERN, kicked off the festival with a fascinating talk about the Hadron Collider. Their organisation is so big, and their research so in depth, yet he spoke about three simple principles that they focus on internally, which I thought was very refreshing for such a complex business.

  • Vision – they ensure everyone truly understands their vision and wants to be part of it.
  • Commitment – ‘we’ community. They work on things because they want to, not because they are told to and all take ownership of this.
  • Tolerence – allowing people to be different and think differently in order to bring the vision to life.

And like all great speakers, he borrowed something from someone who said it best,  Leonardo da Vinci (and someone who was pretty familiar with Rome): “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

5) Niche power

Who knew that the secret society of AFOL (Adult Fans of Lego) is a real thing.

  • Sheryl Dunlop is marketing manager for new product development at APN NZ Media.

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