Future of Digital Marketing 2013: Highlights

Written by David Somerville - 07 Jun 2013
Future of Digital Marketing 2013 Fresh Egg
FODM : The packed venue at the start of the day.

Thursday 6 June 2013 saw the Future of Digital Marketing (FODM) event take place in London. This annual affair, organised by Econsultancy, brings together hundreds of marketing professionals to hear a packed agenda of leading industry figures talking about what the future holds for them. From search to wearable technology, to big data and mobile, the content of the day’s presentations provided the audience affirmations of some of the more public digital marketing trends. The ways in which businesses should act now in order to future-proof their strategies was also discussed. I found the event to be very thought-provoking and I made more than a few notes. Here is a selection of FODM 2013 highlights, taken from three presentations that stood out for me.

Gerd Leonhard (@gleonhard), Futures Agency

The Total Reset of Marketing, Branding and Media

In this presentation Gerd talked about how the future of marketing is being affected in near-countless ways. He proposed that eventually, Kindles may be provided to all free of charge and that a Wikipedia brain implant could well be introduced. The main concepts Gerd raised were:



  • There has been a shift in what is expected from new products; ideally, they should now comprise ‘services’ and ‘experiences’



  • The digital default is imminent – the lines between what is, and isn’t, digital in our lives will become further blurred



  • The future of search is not dependent on users searching. Instead, relevant results will presented without query entry



  • This is the result of a global shift towards anticipation and prediction – is this the end of search as we currently know it?



  • The level of ‘interruption marketing’ will decrease – ‘marketing-with’ is a key future notion which should see relevant marketing exposure happening in a ‘natural’ way



  • ‘Humanriths’ will emerge out of algorithms. These will be fluid, emotional and organic - just like humans



  • Brands are becoming ‘sense-makers’ and silos in marketing will be left behind i.e. multi-disciplinary digital marketing teams using an integrated approach will be in high demand.



The first panel Future of Digital Marketing
The first Panel Q&A (left-right: James Carson, Will Critchlow, Neil Perkin, Ashley Friedlein and Jill Brittlebank).,

Will Critchlow (@willcritchlow), Distilled

The Future of Search

Will’s presentation struck a chord, as it echoed many of the trends that we have been seeing and discussing at Fresh Egg recently. Search is most definitely changing, as was also noted by other speakers throughout the day. Here are some of the key points Will made:



  • Google is changing to become more ‘human’ in terms of how it is indexes and understands the needs of people as opposed to keywords



  • Information is starting to be presented in different ways, such as Knowledge Base cards and the customisation of search results (e.g. in Voice Search)



  • Sign-in is everywhere and many people are signed in to accounts (such as Google+ and Facebook) without realising, or even considering it



  • Implicit search is taking over from explicit search



  • However, the search query format we are used to is expected to be here for another 3-5 years



  • Desktop search is still growing. Mobile search is growing too – and perhaps more importantly; converting



  • More than half of smartphone users are performing searches on them every day



  • There is still a need to feed search robots, with things like structured data



  • The perfect marketer needs to have technical skills, data and the ability to connect with and build audiences



Bruce Daisley Director of Twitter UK
Bruce Daisley, director of Twitter UK, discussing real time Twitter marketing.


Bruce Daisley (@brucedaisley), Twitter UK

How Brands Can Prepare for the Moment and Adapt in Real Time

Bruce Daisley, director of Twitter UK, provided an entertaining and media-rich presentation showing how brands are taking advantage of real-time events to capitalise their marketing efforts. He included tweet search volume graphs for some live TV events, including Ant and Dec’s recent rendition of Let’s Get Ready to Rumble, as well as Lynx’s response to being featured in the Channel 4 documentary Dogging Tales. Some interesting stats Bruce shared about Twitter included:



  • There are currently 10 million Twitter users in the UK



  • 80% of Twitter users in this country access the social network via their mobile phones



  • Just 1% of all tweets are engaged with in some way (RT, favourited, or replied to)



Bruce also shared five key rules for brands looking to take advantage of real-time events on Twitter: 1) Plan for everyday marketing moments 2) Create a winning content calendar 3) Plan for the best scenarios… 4) …but expect the worst scenarios 5) Speed can be a key differentiator

More highlights

Here are a few more one-liner nuggets or quotes that also worth including:

Digital marketing is becoming more and more personal.

Judd Marcello, Exact Target

Content is not an immediate conversion channel, it’s part of the funnel.

James Carson, Carson Content

Google+ is not a social network, but a social layer across all of Google’s systems.

Neil Perkin, Only Dead Fish

We ‘snack’ on mobiles. Messages stop this snacking.

Paul Putman, Dynmark

You need to make people love your product – give it desirability.

Toby Barnes, AKQA

Big data is about connecting your data. You must focus on the customer decision.

Anthony Mayfield, Brilliant Noise

To find out more about each of the speaker’s presentations and tweets, you can subscribe to the Twittter list we created for the event. You can also follow @Econsultancy and search the hashtag '#FOD13' on Twitter.