Advertising Week 2018 Recap – Harnessing the Power of Human Connection

This year Catalyst joined thousands of eager and knowledge hungry marketing and media professionals as they descended into Advertising Week’s new location, the AMC Lincoln Square, for four days of panels, networking, and events.

Advertising professionals and industry thought-leaders discussed a wide range of topics, including artificial intelligence, data driven storytelling, and the recent women’s movement. Although the seminars presented different perspectives and learnings, there was one common theme — the power of human connection.

Many brands have noticed that consumers are developing emotional attachments to brands that are stronger than ever before. This has shifted the mindset of many advertisers as they think about brand positioning in such a competitive marketplace. Rather than thinking about how broad audiences can be and how ubiquitous channels are, the main question has become how can we deeply engage our audiences?

So, roll up your sleeves and get comfortable as Catalyst dives into the themes that dominated many conversations during Advertising Week this year:

Consumer Behavior is Changing

During the seminar, “The Changing Face of Data & Advertising,” the VP of Forrester Research, Joanna O’Connell, spoke about how consumers are generating more demand signals than ever before. “We are in the age of the consumer,” she stated. “We are in a day and age where consumers feel more empowered and have more purchase decisions, which is giving marketers and advertisers more opportunities to interact with them in a new way.”

Given the advancement of digital and mobile, the shopping journey has completely transformed, making consumer purchase behavior more unpredictable and complicated.  How can this be combated? Change your view of the traditional marketing funnel. Rather than creating broad audience advertising strategies, hone into your consumers individually and understand who they are and how you can intertwine your brand vision with their’s. Making your customer the center point of your brand strategy is the ultimate key to success.

Your Data is More Powerful than You Think…

The industry has become oversaturated with data. While advertisers understand what the data means, many continue to struggle with what to do with it to make an impact. The question that is front and center for many advertisers is how can we bridge the gap between media and creative using data?  The answer is simple: “Use your data to look at the high-level journey to find opportunities and understand if your business is moving the needle,” Laurel Rossi, Co-Founder of Creative Spirit, mentioned in the session “Engaging & Converting the Audiences You Never Knew Existed.”

It’s important to realize that our audiences are changing in real time based on a multitude of factors, which means so is our data. Consistently refreshing and reanalyzing data should become a priority for advertisers to keep up with the ever-changing nature and demands of consumers.

Attention is the New Currency

Many can agree that capturing the attention of your consumer has turned into a tedious task.  With so many distractions, newsfeeds bursting with ads and information, it’s a given that your ads need be enticing enough to be noticed within a millisecond. Stacy Minero, Head of Content Creation at Twitter, took the Twitter Stage to explain that we need to work smarter, not harder. She explained that humans can process an image in 13 milliseconds, which means brands need to cultivate content that is visually intriguing.  A few ways brands can achieve this is by:

  • Maintaining a consistent identity when designing content. Brand recall spikes within the first three seconds, so it is critical that your content has a central theme and a key message.
  • Leverage creators and ambassadors that fit your brand image. Utilizing influencers has proven to fuel fan bases because it is relatable and creates and impactful connection
  • Design for the feed by keeping it short and simple. Studies have found that memory encoding increases by 18% for ads under 15 seconds.

TV is Not Going Anywhere

Advertising Week 2018

Despite the rumors, TV isn’t dead. Studies are showing that consumers are watching more TV than ever AND in their living room. The only difference is that they are migrating away from traditional cable television to direct-to-consumer services that provide more user control. This has created a massive opportunity for advertisers to generate more interactive ways to connect with their audiences.  There is no shortage of options from unique ad integrations to intelligent ad loads, this new era of TV allows a more personalized ad experience for viewers thus providing new ways to leverage data.

Stay Current

Advertising Week 2018 may be over, but there are still plenty of ways that advertisers can stay up to speed on new opportunities to better reach their consumer. For starters, you can check out the Catalyst webinar program. We’re regularly hosting new digital marketing webinars to help advertisers maximize business results through innovative search and social marketing. Check out our latest webinars here.  And, don’t miss our latest whitepaper, The Era of Ecommerce. In this new report, we dive into consumer shopping behavior across the ecommerce ecosystem and provide strategic recommendations for how advertisers can better align their marketing initiatives wit today’s consumer journey.

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