Highlights from FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week: Day Four

Natasha Hritzuk, Senior Director of Global Consumer Insights at Microsoft, started off the day exploring current user behaviours and desires around data, privacy, creativity and the ways tech can enhance our lives. She examined three key digital trends and how they are manifesting in Canada: Value me, intelligently on, and age of serendipity. In Value me, she highlighted the fact that consumers are smart – we’re not giving out our data without expecting something in return. Brands should leverage data to enhance consumers’ lives and offer personalized experiences. The Intelligently on trend acknowledges that we are feeling information overload and that it’s difficult to pause – there is a need for our devices to get smarter in the age of connectivity by adjusting to the context of our lives. Lastly, age of serendipity zeroed in on our desire to have experiences tailored to us, and we appreciate being surprised and delighted in scenarios that are highly relevant to our lifestyle. We’ve already seen many manifestations of these trends, and look forward to seeing how marketers will continue to step outside the box – with us, the consumer, in mind. 

CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi sat down with Pierre-Elliott Levasseur, the VP of Digital Publishing at La Presse to discuss the journey of bringing La Presse into the digital world. Young professionals rarely, if not never, pay for news. Generating engaging content was the vision for LaPresse+ while monetization happened through advertising. Ghomeshi brought up a valid point about the loss of discovery with the shift from reading a paper in the physical world to the online world. Levasseur argued that they have produced a more in-depth experience that is free from the cost and physical restrictions of a newspaper; one that was able to capitalize on advertising opportunities created with the reader in mind. No pop-ups? Ads that work with the narrative? That’s a successful strategy that seems to be garnering attention. 

Rocket Fuel’s session led by Eric Porres, CMO at Rocket Fuel, covered Artificial Intelligence’s (AI)’s leg up on big data, outlining the sheer volume of marketers we have access to yet the challenge marketers face in sifting through it to find that one true insight. Using AI, Rocket Fuel reduces big data’s complexity and teaches advertising to self-optimize. You’ve seen it working already, from Watson winning Jeopardy! to robotic systems that can perform human tasks. Brands can also utilize this algorithmic process to determine what their consumers want and who they are, often doubling reach and optimizing their audiences by simply paying attention to what matters. 

At Google’s session with Owen Charlebois on The Future of Brand Measurement, many young professionals in the audience realized they are a Gen C’er, Google’s cohort that is always on and curates, contributes, connects and has over 350 relationships in their online community. In fact, 80% of Canadians under 35 are Gen C. They also check their phones 110 times a day! Are you one of them?

The Fifth Annual Ad Ball was a roaring good time for young professionals in the industry to come out and celebrate a busy week. From a transparent, digital DJ table to models painted to look like robots of the future, the Galaxy Gala certainly didn’t disappoint. Revelers were even treated to a fashion show where JWT’s very own David Gibb took to the runway! 

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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