At AntiConLX, a unique conference for marketing technology enthusiasts to gather, share, and learn, it was time to pull out the crystal ball and data insights on emerging trends.
If you want to know about martech and the metaverse, what Steven Bartlett sees as THE next thing, and a throwback to what the internet looked like in 1995, then this is for you.
1. The question marketers need to ask themselves.
While many of us keep this front of mind, it’s always good to have a little reminder. At the end of the day, our primary job is to deliver something— a product, an experience— that is of value. So when starting a new project or initiative, ask yourself, “Who do you serve?”. Then the follow up question is, “Does this <insert new initiative> deliver what our ideal customer and audience wants?”.
At AntiConLx, speakers also talked about in times of change — something we are all currently living through — we need to know our customers and audience well. We need to understand what motivates and inspires them, what drives their behavior. When you have this information and connect it to what you do, you’re certain to deliver experiences and initiatives that your customer want and will be meaningful to them.
2. 100% certainty exists only in hindsight.
When entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den alum Steven Bartlett spoke, he shared an anecdote from when he shared the stage with former President Barack Obama. Bartlett spoke about what an imperative innovation is for businesses. He shared that President Obama shared that when making a decision, he operated on having 51% certainty. He did the best he could with the information he had available.
Bartlett explained that 100% certainty only exists in hindsight and that procrastination is a massive cost to waiting for too much information. In fact, Bartlett shared the biggest cost to innovation isn’t mistakes, but taking too long to make a decision. In the fast-moving world that marketers operate in, you can’t wait too long to make decisions and to keep driving forward.
3. Ask yourself, what incentives do we, as a business, have in place to experiment?”
Bartlett explained that in his agency, Social Chain, he wanted his teams to experiment and explore. But after they didn’t take action, he realized that it was because they were totally disincentivized to experiment. In reality they were totally incentivized to do their jobs as they currently existed.
So Bartlett announced a change. On Mondays, Bartlett receives a report of how many experiments the team did that day. “It doesn’t matter what we did, but it matters that the team knows there’s something here to care about.” This is one of the ways Bartlett shifted Social Chain’s culture to incentivize experimentation, and eventually spur on innovation.
4. What’s the experience you’re providing?
Experiences matter. As marketers, we’re in the business of providing meaningful experiences, and one way to measure that is how much time your customers are willing to spend with you.
Libby Jackson, Enterprise Sales Manager at Leadfamly, explained that one way marketers can embed experiences that your audience wants is with playable marketing.
She shared data that showed a 40x increase in time spent, which links to how memorable a brand is. When you break the data down, playable marketing results in an average of 65 seconds of time spent with a brand per session.
Compare this to 1.5 seconds, which is the average digital ad engagement, and you can see that audience are willing to spend more time with a brand when they provide a meaningful experience.
5. How do you look through the mist?
We all know that the pace of change is unprecedented, that our lives have drastically changed over the last two+ years, and that technology is, in many ways, leapfrogging. So, how can you see through and get some clarity?
Bartlett says the way to do this is “enabling humans to do what they want to do and to do it better [than your competitors].” One example of this from what Bartlett’s currently working on, Web3.0. He explained that there’s huge amounts of skepticism around Web3.0.
But we need to think back to key moments of history and remember how we thought of emerging technology. Bartlett acknowledges that there’s plenty of noise around technological shifts, but that when new ‘waves’ like blockchain make things more useable and accessible, that it’s sticky. And it will stick because in the end, it benefits us, what we want to do, and makes it easier.
6. What’s the metaverse’s purpose?
One significant question that stuck out to us was, how has the pandemic made steps towards technology adaptation more viable?
From Netflix’s Teleparty app to Zoom meetings, the two+ years that we spent at home has changed the way we use technology and connect. In a panel discussion on the metaverse, panelists discussed the why and the how.
One expert, Nora Zukauskaite, Global Marketing Director at Brand Agency London, said that we’re currently in phase two, or the test and learn, phase of the metaverse. First movers experimented with the metaverse and NFTs to understand, and now there’s an opportunity for brands to attract interactions, test how to include product messaging in the metaverse, and how to track metaverse experiences into sales and revenue.
7. Right now, we’re early.
But that advantage won’t last. When you’re early in a technology, like using dial-up to connect to AOL or the evolving infrastructure of electric car charging, there are bumps. But if the technology makes lives easier or improves lives, it’ll stick.
Bartlett stressed the importance of building a culture where you can move fast. If you’re working in a cutting-edge industry, having to wait six to nine months to make a decision can mean that you are too late once you make the decision.
Bartlett likened this to seeing the wave and choosing your surfboard, which represents your team and strategy. You can choose different types but by making an assessment with the information you have access to and betting on your surfboard, you’ll have the best possible chance at riding the wave.
Ready to pick your surfboard?