With Digital Media 2014 the Financial Times delivered an unparalleled event on digital disruption and content monetization with some of the most respected Senior Executives from the Media world and a highly engaging format.
I was invited to attend the prestigious Digital Media 2014, the Financial Times’ flagship event, by the FT Live team. Being able to free up the whole day on Wednesday, the first day of the conference, proved to be an extremely good use of my time.
Over the last 7 years, I participated to over 140 events. Events organized by a broad range of organizers from small local companies in countries like Malaysia or Indonesia to the most well-known event organizers in the US, Europe and APAC.
Hats off to the FT Live Team. This event was one of the very best conferences I ever attended: the speaker line up was outstanding and most of the speakers were prepared to share their personal thoughts and answer specific questions from the audience, the format -mainly Q&As and panels- was spot on and perfect for gathering unique insights, and the moderators did an excellent job in keeping track of time and engaging with the delegates.
This organizational excellence made it uncommonly easy and smooth to sit for so long and digest what was a very dense programme. Hats off to the FT Team and in particular Richard Waters (@RichardWaters), Matt Garrahan (@MattGarrahan), John Gapper (@johngapper) and Chris Baker (@Chr1sBaker).
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Key topics and insights from the Financial Times Digital Media 2014
Day 1, which was divided into 3 main sections, was essentially focused on disruption and monetisation:
This day was a breath of fresh air for me. I’ve spent so many years delivering social media strategies and projects with content and data at their core, but mainly within the financial services industry: banks and insurance firms produce a high volume of content on daily basis, but they don’t necessarily have the capability or the skills required internally to drive storytelling nor the willingness to let their customers do the talking via a robust company-wide ‘voice of the customer’ programme.. .
With so much quality material, I left the event energized and inspired. I’ve already started rethinking and fine tuning some of my concept and ideas. Exciting times.
The volume of excellent insights and conversations with those thought leaders from the media industry would make it at best challenging to share in a comprehensive way here. Please find below a list of key topics discussed on day 1:
- Content – types and formats: ‘long form’ vs. ‘short form’ content / video (and the importance of distribution and seeding) / curation by content-led brands
- Experiences: immersive experiences with virtual reality tech like the Facebook Oculus Rift / extreme personalization via machines and artificial intelligence / mobile experience
- Channels and devices: second screen and home screen / hyper-fragmentation, importance for brands and advertisers to reach the consumer on every channel/device
- Data vs. insights: data is much more than inventory, it’s an incredibly important asset for any publishers / big data’s major challenge to crunch all the data to make sure the message went to the right person and they ideally acted on it
- Advertising: native advertising / targeted sponsored content / branded content / partnership with the likes of BuzzFeed / Yahoo’s ability to serve highly contextual and relevant ads based on machine learning / global to local aka ‘glocal’ models implemented by Viacom / storytelling services from the Washington Post
- Scaling, the biggest challenge of digital: digital altered the advertising and media pitch process which now can involve not only the CMO and the CEO, but also the CIO and CTO as well as the likes of Accenture and Deloitte.
- Personal branding: the ability for trusted, respected professional journalists now to leave their employer and setup their own trusted business/brand
- Value: shift from value of impression to value of audience
- Subscription-based models: how to price your service? How soon should you introduce a subscription? The positive impact of bundles / Distribution is easy now, the challenge is (social) discovery.
- Engagement vs. advocacy
- The Millennials
Please note that overall the social media industry, the paid/owned/earned model, and the importance of the insights offered by ‘big data’ haven’t been discussed much, not even the likes of twitter or instagram.
Most of the conversations about social media happened during the advertising panel. Pete Blackshaw – Global Head of Digital Marketing and Social Media at Nestle (@pblackshaw) -Nestle which sells globally over 1.2 billion products a day and has 200+ million fans on facebook- was the most passionate speaker about social media. Pete talked about the challenge of scaling ‘community management’ -this includes social customer care– and engage with your customers wherever they are.
My photo coverage of the FT Digital Media 2014 Conference
As usual I’ve been busy not only capturing as much content and insights as possible, but also taking dozens of photos. You will find a few photos from the event below, and a larger selection directly on my google+ page.
40 top tweets from the FT Digital Media 2014 – Day 1
The participants did a decent job covering the #FTMedia conference on twitter: about 700 twitter users -with a potential reach of close to 20 million followers (aggregated including duplicates, inactive and fake accounts)- ‘participated’ and produced collectively over 2,000 tweets, most of them on the first day.
Among respectively the most influential and the most active twitter users you will find the likes of Jancis Robinson (@JancisRobinson), Alice Antheaume (@alicanth), Jose Luis Orihuela (@jlori), Wilfrid Estève (@Wilfrid_Esteve), Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) and Peter Borner (@PeterBorner), Tom Peters (@tompeters1), Hugo Weber (@hugo_weber), Caspar Schlickum (@CasparSch), Matt Rhodes (@mattrhodes).
Getting a better grasp of the top digital marketing trends and innovations is of paramount importance to any brands, whatever the sector, including the highly regulated financial services industry.
On the next 3 pages, you will find my personal selection of best quotes and insights from the FT Digital Media 2014 (Day 1).
Please note that my methodology consisted of curating the most retweeted and the most favorited tweets, as well as a selection of my tweets and some insightful tweets which in my opinion deserved more visibility.