Top 5 Takeaways From FutureM Boston
(From A Small-Agency Creative)
Over 3 days last week, hundreds of marketers, innovators, technologists, and even a “futurist” came together in Boston to talk about the future of marketing. It was fascinating to hear the perspective of people from different professions, companies and industries so different, and as I go through my notes, 5 themes came up over and over:
1. The End Of The “Marketer”
Just as today’s agencies do much more than the standard print ad, today’s marketers do so much more than marketing. Their roles span the gamut of creative, data, experience and technology. Ram Krisnan from PepsiCo talked about this during his Innovation in Marketing keynote, and Optum’s Edward Boudrout even said the title of “Product Marketer” is shifting to be “Marketing Technologist”.
What do we always have with us? Our phones. How do we communicate via email, text message or social media? Our phones. Jeffrey Hayzlett, Prime Time TV/ Radio Host with C-Suite Network and CBS Radio said, “We know where our phone is more than we know where our children are.” And he’s right. Mobile is the dominant consumer platform for brand engagement, so brands (and agencies) should think mobile-first.
3. Tailor To The Individual (Not The Demographic)
This came up in nearly every session, and it’s not something we tend to do now. During his keynote, Ram Krishnan, CMO & SVP of Fritolay, PepsiCo, said “Marketing Technologists” must create personalized experiences for consumers, as understood through data. He talked about how Doritos tailored emoticons on Facebook based on individuals’ interests because “nothing as powerful as experience”. In her session, “Everything You’re Doing Wrong With Your Pitch & How To Fix It,” Tamsen Webster of TedX talked about a term called “Sender Orientation.” When pitching or presenting, she said, we should think about what makes sense not for us, but for our individual investors/ clients. And GenZ-ers confirmed it, repeating over and over again during their panel, “We don’t want to be classified…put in boxes.”
4. Commit, Then Figure It Out
Innovation thrives once you’ve taken the initial leap of faith. In one of the most inspiring keynotes from FutureM 2015, Mick Ebeling shared his inspirational story of Not Impossible Labs and their mission to solve the impossible by bettering humanity through accessible assistive technology with their motto, “commit first then figure it out.” The technology is out there, and so when we have the courage to go for it, we embrace the fallacy of the impossible.
5. Innovate or Die
Ram Kirshnan said it, and everyone else spoke it: Innovate or die. Technology is changing so much, so as a brand or marketer, you want to be one step ahead. Jeffrey Hayzlett presented with passion and energy about the marketing world and the need to think big. “Rewards to come to those who are relentless,” he said. And Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson said it best: “Crazy ideas are only crazy until someone figures out they’re genius.”
Innovate to tailor to the individual for mobile devices, and work to achieve the impossible. As a copywriter at a small agency, these are the themes that stuck out to me. If you were at FutureM 2015, what stood out to you?