Around the Bend: A Look at What’s Ahead in Digital Media

MH3 —  June 10, 2011

Sponsorship marketing has experienced a dramatic shift in the way that properties and brands can engage audiences online. Those on the leading edge of this change can see the potential on the road ahead, but are also keenly aware of the traps and speed bumps that can slow down their progress. Today, TrojanOne‘s Director of Digital Media, Mark Stewart shined a light on what’s ahead for sponsorship marketing within the digital landscape and gave delegates actionable strategies and tools that brands, properties or events can use to drive better relationships and measurable results.

Consumers are now in a “digital first” world. The days of cracking open the dusty encyclopedias are over; the days of Google searches are the norm. The big question Mark tackled today was not “What,” but “Why” this shift only continues to grow, and what you can do to really “hit the gas.” Below are some of Mark’s key lessons that will help inform and inspire you to be the innovators:

Apps vs. Mobile Web: Apps are quickly over-taking the mobile web in terms of usage, but are expected to peak in 2013. With pros and cons to each, the golden rule for mobile apps is simplicity, usability and accessibility. Arguably as important, there are all kinds of devices out there today that consumers are using and your apps need to be optimized across the board — there is no one size fits all. Have you checked out how your website performs on your BlackBerry, iPad, or iPhone? Ensure your website performs on these devices as the world moves deeper into the “digital first” world.

Localization: A.k.a. Location-based technology. “Checking in” on your mobile is a great way to build community and loyalty with your customers by offering discounts, coupons and engagement.  Tip: Combine “checking in” with a QR code — this is an innovative strategy that is slowly replacing your old rewards cards and building your digital wallet. State your claim. Give value. Reward participation. Be local. Be social. Be mobile. Combine real-world and digital engagement.

Social Commerce: The trend is really about decision making and finding the best value. “The key is harnessing the power of world of mouth,” said Mark. (Example: Levis has added “like” buttons across their whole website, allowing consumers to share their finds with their networks). Do Groupon, Living Social or Team Buy sound familiar? Yes, these daily deal providers are social commerce at its best. Take advantage.

Gamification: You are going to see a lot of gaming aspects brought into the newest technologies. Humans are pre-dispositioned to psychological variables — points, levels and challenges are all psychological motivators that keep people engaged. Mark recommends being mindful of visual clues, rapid feedback, multiple goals, status rewards, outreach (prompt to return and re-engage), adding uncertainty/mystery, and fostering collaboration and engagement with other game users.

Real Time: With the “digital first” nature of today’s society, real time is an obvious technology. Considering the following touch points will allow you to “hit the gas” and turn real time into brand enhancement and innovation: Find your targeted prospects now. Track industry trends. Seek instant feedback. Provide best-in-class customer service. Track, analyze and adjust.

Faster and Smarter: This is really about changing old business models and is a fundamental shift in the way consumers are operating. Think digital stores and tweeting your food order.

Fair and Balanced: This is about brands taking a journalistic approach and creating stories.  Identify, organize and share these stories. Check out The RED BULLETIN, Canadian Tire Hockey School or the Hot Wheels Live website for some great examples.

Mark left his audience with five things to do today:

  1. Test your mobile site
  2. Claim your location (check in!)
  3. Focus on the goals not the tools you’re using
  4. RSS @mechastewfeed
  5. Play, explore, laugh

And after you do those… Follow Mark on Twitter @mechastewart for his daily insights on “What’s Around the Bend in Digital Media” in 140 characters or less!

2 responses to Around the Bend: A Look at What’s Ahead in Digital Media

  1. Great summary Christine!

  2. Christine Hogg June 14, 2011 at 2:58 am

    Thanks Mark — pleasure listening to you speak! Learned a lot.