The Digital Media & Exhibition Conference is a very sassy annual digital & media symposium drawing brand managers, marketing managers, digital strategists, public relations consultants, advertising consultants, content managers, reputation managers, broadband specialist’s production consultants & social managers. Each year the platform hosts various industries thought leaders & digital specialists to share their views on the various related topics.
Corporate brands are constantly looking for ways to remain relevant to their target audience in a fast paced & ever changing micro & macro corporate environment. It’s primarily the buzz around this new social media phenomenon that has gotten a lot of marketers gleaming with excitement because of the opportunities it has opened up within the digital space in relation to customer interactions & market research. Search engines like Google & Yahoo are said to be the first generation of companies who’ve managed to effectively leverage from the dotcom bubble because of an ability to create search engines that have been able to easily filter information needed by the end user in a very user friendly & crude manner during an age where searching the net was a complex process for early users to get to what they needed. We are now in the 2nd generation which has taken the use of the internet a step further to not just being an information search tool but rather a tool to socialize & here we’ve seen the emergence of platforms like Facebook, Linkedin’s & Twitters. The next generation is said to be mobile because of the boom in smartphones which is what discussions at this year’s conference were centered around.
The emphasis was that for brands to stay competitive there’s a need for a paradigm shift in the way in which marketers sell & promote products & services on social media platforms. The shifts needs to be away from using what works offline & assume that online media is just another platform in which content published on print & other platforms is just duplicated & shoved there. On social media brands need to engage with their consumers & not just directly sell benefits of their service & product offerings flooding consumers with links that can tend to irritate them as today’s consumers are very smart & know exactly what they want. To effectively reach & engage consumes, brands are urged to adopt an integrated marketing approach encompassing traditional & social media working together in synergy & not have these mediums treated separately.
The outcome of the discussions was that moving forward it’s more vital now more than ever for brands to adopt a very soft subliminal selling approach through telling engaging stories that resonate with consumers while providing them with content that offers them real value. ‘Social media has opened up an opportunity for brand & marketing managers to listen to what consumers are saying about their brands and are now able to some extent be able to manage these conversations’ Said Cherylann Smith a digital innovator & digital specialist at Global Mouse. Delegates were taught how to & where to begin creating these interactions with their consumers & ways to leverage on the consumer insights & data provided by social mediums. Delegates were also given insights into the much anticipated digital migration & discussions around this topic show that the future is looking very exciting. If you missed the conference this year you missed out on a whole lot, be sure not to miss the opportunity next year!