Key Takeaways from the 2015 ANA Digital & Social Media Conference

July 31, 2015

By Victoria Lopez, director, member relations

This year’s ANA Digital & Social Media Conference saw industry leaders from the marketing world come together to discuss some of the hottest topics in the digital and social space. Below you’ll find some of the key takeaways from the sessions: 

Key Takeaway #1: Leverage Relevance

Vineet Mehra, president of global marketing services at J&J Consumer Group of Companies, provided insight into J&J’s formula for being “relentlessly relevant,” which can be expressed in the equation R² = P + MtM:

  • R² = authenticity to your brand and its true essence
  • P = staying true to purpose that allows brands to own their place in a consumers mind
  • MtM = right moment, right place, right channel to connect with consumer

Essentially, brands need to activate their purpose in those moments that matter most in the consumers mind. One way to pinpoint those moments is through social listening; however, Vineet cautions that the power of social listening isn’t in the individual comments but the aggregation of the knowledge. 

According to Andrew Markowitz, general manager of GE's Performance Marketing Labs, digital is a quest to connect people, ideas, and machines and to personalize and customize the experiences. The yield is micro relevance for macro impact. 

Key Takeaway #2: Create Moments that Matter      

Julie Fleischer, senior director of data, content, and media at Kraft Foods, provided a new perspective on “mobile moments.” During the luncheon panel, she urged the audience to rethink and simply consider these “moments.” Mobile usage is growing tremendously and is so engrained in our lives that it’s redundant to label these “mobile moments” — meaning create moments that people will want to share and that will be useful and relevant as they’ll likely be shared or consumed via mobile anyway. A powerful example of this came from Stan Pavlovsky, president at Allrecipes, who showed how they worked with Corbin de Rubertis, president at Grocery Server, to incorporate geotargeting (not a new concept) in a completely unique way — showing the shopping list with items that are on sale at nearby grocery stores.

Douglas Busk, global group director of digital communications and social media at Coca-Cola, shared how the brand leveraged the Mad Men finale to hit the “perfect moment” using their own formula for real time success: Quality Content + Coordinated Efforts + Current = Winning Stories. 

Key Takeaway #3: Adopt a “Digital First” Mindset

Scott Cottick, senior manager of social media marketing at Nissan, discussed how large media platforms such as The Voice and the Super Bowl have become social viewing events. In order to make an impact beyond the show and paid media, a “digital first” strategy helps create “buzz” and PR to leverage earned media. Beyond these large-scale tent-pole events, developing engaging, digital-only content can help bring the customer on the journey at the top of funnel to present your brand in a different way. Sarah Hofstetter, CEO at 360i, went on to say digital video is really just video and we need to stop looking at it through such a narrow lens. Until then, it won’t be scalable.     

Key Takeaway #4: Insights are still the most powerful tool

Chris Padgett, vice president and marketing head of digital at Nestle, and Sarah Hofstetter brought it all down to the basics. Despite the new technologies coming out each day, the timeless fundamentals still apply. Having a core insight is still necessary to inspire, ignite and impact.  Once you have that insight, the technology to execute will follow. Both Vineet Mehra and Scott Cottick took that a step further to speak about emotion and how, regardless of platform, campaigns that come from the heart will resonate.        

Key Takeaway #5: Realities of Digital Measurement

Randall Rothenberg, CEO at IAB, admits we have a long way to go on universally defined guiding principles for measurement, despite the fact that 2016 digital ad spend will exceed all TV in the U.S. Furthermore, despite growth in programmatic, uncertainties remain around viewability, fraudulent traffic, and transparency. Randall went on to emphatically declare that 100% viewability is NOT possible within the current infrastructure. In 2015, the standard rate remains at 70%. As technology develops and systems advance, the goal is for 100% viewability. Still, advertisers cite the digital supply chain’s open architecture as one of the biggest issues.  

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