Social Media Week 2015 is currently taking place in seven different cities around the globe, and fortunately for me, New York happens to be one of them.  I was able to get my hands on a campus pass and carved out some time to check out a few events throughout the week.

The theme of this year’s events revolve around mobile and the “rise of the connected class.” Each event, while unique in its own way, touches on the topic of how we can achieve more, together, in a connected world.  Below, you’ll find my recap for the second event I attended on Day 1 of #SMWNYC.

The New Reality of the Changing Marketing Landscape

Jonathan Hall, the President of Consulting at Added Value, hosted this event and kicked it off with a 30 minute discussion on the current changes taking place in the marketing landscape. At the heart of these changes is human connectedness and our desire to form connections with the people and places around us, which falls right in line with the theme of Social Media Week 2015.  Jonathan said that our culture is moving away from “me-centric” and more towards “we-centric”, as evidence by all of the sharing we do, which is all enabled by technology.

To dive deeper into the subject, Jonathan and his team identify 7 shifts taking place in marketing that brands and businesses will need to be aware of in order to succeed in the future.

  1.  From products to experience ecosystems

    If you want your brand to get more, you need to give more. Modern marketing isn’t just about selling a product or service, but about providing things of value and relevance to your audience that can engage and educate them.

    Jonathan emphasized that people are willing to share data about themselves but expect to receive something of value in return for that information.  In the future, brands that create the most impact are the ones that take advantage of every opportunity to interact with customers.  A great example of a brand currently doing this, and setting the bar very high, is Red Bull.

  2. From saying to doing

    This can be summed up in three words.  “Talk is cheap.”

    Brands need to have an active purpose and take action to convert that purpose from something on paper to real life initiatives that their customers care about.  A great example of a brand currently doing this is Dove and their Real Beauty campaign.

  3. From linear to multiple

    As marketers, we can no longer dictate the way in which consumers interact with our content.  As customers, and consumers of content, we’ve become so skilled at scanning across a feed of information and only diving into the content that stands out.  With the attention of our audience so divided and fragmented among different social media channels, apps, and screens, brands must tell their story across multiple channels, using different mediums. By having multiple touch points across these channels, and creating content unique to each channel, the likelihood of someone engaging and interacting will increase.  Chipotle has an active social media presence, but they also create games and videos to reach their audience and spread their message in unexpected ways.

    “The linear customer journey is dead.” – Jonathan Hall

  4. From single to multiple

    In the long term, marketing departments are going to have to reinvent themselves to create the types of content needed to keep up with customers.  That means the team members of a marketing department will need to learn to wear different hats and evolve in their roles over time to keep up with customers and changing trends.

  5. From continuity to disruption

    Traditionally, brands have been dependable and consistent in their approach to marketing and their products. That isn’t necessarily the case anymore.  Brands must be aware of the changes in technology around them and understand the opportunities those changes create…before someone else does.  Jonathan described it as having an “entrepreneurial mindset” in order to evolve with the changes around them.

  6. From uniform and impersonal to personalized and targeted

    Big data can bring value to consumers, not just businesses, and the prevalence of this data should be used to create better experiences for consumers.  ESPN collects tons of data, which helps their business succeed and know what to highlight each day, but that data is also used to create custom experiences for users of their app and website, who can receive scores and updates specific to only the teams they care about as a result.

  7. From static to mobilized

    Our mobile devices are the first and last thing we look at each day, yet many brands still prioritize traditional digital marketing methods over mobile.  Jonathan stressed that in order for brands to succeed, they must develop a mobile first mindset, since that’s where people actually spend their time and devote their attention.

    The three keys to a quality mobile experience, according to the Added Value team, is one that is rich, relevant and real-time.

After that presentation was over, Jonathan was joined on stage for a panel discussion with Matt Bruhn, the Global Brand Director for Smirnoff and Pauline Malcolm, the VP of Strategy and Development for Maker Studios.  Jason Abbruzzese, a reporter from Mashable, served as a moderator for the discussion.  Here are some of the best quotes and points from that lively conversation.

Pauline Malcolm defined short form video as anything under 22 minutes long but mentioned the average video content they produce is 3-5 minutes long.  As marketers, we need to focus our attention and efforts on wherever millennials are consuming content and spending time.  An interesting point that she brought up was the rise of influencers on social channels.  When Maker asks their younger audiences what stars or personalities they look up, many of the responses are YouTube and Vine personalities and not your traditional movie and television stars.  The reason for this is because the people on YouTube, Vine and other social channels are more relatable and similar to the actual audience watching their content.  It’s empowering to watch a video on YouTube and think you can do that too and become famous.

Matt Bruhn feels that massive shifts are coming to marketing departments and where we are today will only speed up with mobile and technology becoming bigger parts of our lives.  He stressed the importance of marketing in the now and avoiding predictability and continuity.

 “The idea 10 years ago that people would openly share their home with strangers…are you kidding me!?”
-Matt Bruhn on using AirBNB.  

When it comes to creating content and putting things out there for people to consume, Matt and his team at Smirnoff always ask one question.

What is the utility we’re providing?

Thanks for reading our coverage of Social Media Week New York.  For more of our coverage from Social Media Week, read this or Follow us on Twitter for updates, pictures and quotes from different events throughout the week.