Dx3: Where business gets digital

I heard the buzz of excitement before I saw the people. Thousands gathered together in Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre where professionals in marketing, advertising, and retail showcased their wares in a tradeshow and talked technology in a symposium called Dx3.

If you did not arrive early, chances are you had to stand at Matt Di Paola, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Mediacom’s talk on Media Innovation.

“Digital is the tension between marketing and technology,” said Di Paola. “Our job as advertisers is to give people what they want without getting in the way of their online experience.”

He discussed the rise of social currency, and gave an example of a man on an airplane tweeting that he would like a steak. When the tweeter arrived at his airport destination, a Morton’s steak was waiting for him.

Matt pointed out that the new challenge of retail is when consumers media multitask by comparing prices on their smartphones. Technology is commoditizing and putting power into the hands of the consumer.

Advertisers need to move away from the interrupt and repeat mentality of traditional advertising and move towards engagement. We can do this by tuning into what consumers want. Pay attention to product reviews, Google insights, and trending on foursquare and twitter.

Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image and Frank Falcone, Executive Director at the Centre for CRM Excellence at Rotman School of Management took this idea a step further in their discussion, Your Relationships are Unmanageable. Welcome to Social CRM.

In business, it’s not enough to have someone’s name anymore. With technology, we can gather information on people via Google alerts, twitter and other free internet tools to enrich our relationships with our customers. Mitch says these tools can make us better business people. When we see a customer who has posted about an ill son on twitter, we can say, “How is your son feeling?” and make a connection.

The Location Based Marketing Success – Mobile Lead Generation Campaign, Jaguar seminar highlighted strategies Matthew Ames, Director of Performance Marketing at CX Interactive and Steven Majewski, National Marketing at Jaguar Canada employed while working on their new vehicle campaign aimed at a younger demographic.

Matthew discovered that with his Jaguar mobile search campaign, he received twice the number of conversions than a banner ad.

The trend in mobile technology use was emphasized in Carrie Lysenko, Director of Application Services at the Weather Network’s seminar, So, You Want to Go Mobile? Establishing a Mobile Presence. She said that 1 in 3 Canadians actively use their mobile phones for advanced activities (phone apps, retail), so capturing their attention with the right design is key to mobile campaign success. Here’s how:

  1. Design for the right device.
  2. Design for usability.
  3. Design for consistency, but customize across devices.
  4. Design for user personalization.

In the Content Marketing and the Age of Creating Value seminar, Arjun Basu, Director of Content at Spafax had a similar sentiment, “Content is platform agnostic. While digital is powerful, it isn’t everything. Without strategy, content is just stuff and the world doesn’t need more stuff.” Stories are the connection for the content and we modify stories to suit the technology.

Good content marketing builds value. This is also true when we market ourselves.

LinkedIn is my social media platform of choice. I use it more than facebook. I talked strategy with LinkedIn sales representative, Brad.

“Think of LinkedIn as a cocktail party,” said Brad. “You invite individual people to your party to create conversation and interact with on a personable level. You don’t invite a company. You don’t invite IBM to your party.”

Companies wanting to increase their presence online can create a company page and get customer recommendations. Tell others what you do. Follow competitors, clients and companies that are similar to yours and that you admire. If your product or service is engaging, you will increase visibility and through effective marketing strategies, potentially run a successful campaign.

Almost every speaker discussed that making human connections – moving beyond technology is where true success lies. That’s the opportunity Dx3 gave to all who attended the conference. Schmoozing with industry thought leaders, exchanging business cards and swapping stories, the digital advertising industry was electrified for two insightful days.