Three speakers at the closing general session of yesterday’s Adobe Summit -- Bill Briggs, Global Head of Deloitte Digital, John Battelle, Founder of Federated Media, and Adam Bain, President of Revenue for Twitter -- all discussed different aspects of how digital is becoming the primary, and possibly even sole, channel for marketers to engage consumers.

Digital is Not a Channel

Briggs kicked things off by stating digital is “not a channel or a one-off, but has the potential to reshape the business.” For this digital shift to occur, Briggs said marketers must embrace a different mindset, approach and talent pool -- as well as “embrace the art of it.”


We are living in a “post-digital” world, said Briggs. He clarified this does not mean digital is no longer important, but that it has become a standard everything is based on and is no longer that exceptional by itself. Briggs said five technology areas -– mobile, analytics, cloud, social and cyber -- will have the biggest impact on the future of digital marketing. He said marketers will have to move beyond “mobile first” and instead think “mobile only,” will need to find new questions to ask for analytics, leverage the potential of the cloud to make “everything as a service” while recognizing the hybrid platform model will remain, actively engage consumers via social media rather than passively “listen,” and realize that nothing is “hacker-proof: but set levels of acceptable risk.

Today’s Artifacts Include Google Glasses, 3-D Printing

Battelle spoke briefly about what technologies of today will be considered crucial “artifacts” that provided disruptive change when we look back on them in 30 years. Looking back to 1982, Battelle cited the first IBM home PC and Samsung mobile phone, as well as the early Internet service Compuserve reaching 100,000 members, as three critical artifacts.

Thirty years from now, Battelle said we will likely look the same way upon Google Glasses, 3-D printing and the Programmatic Adtech Ecosystem. “There is so much information we can’t manage it all and need to bring it to heel,” he said. Google Glasses brings digital information to the physical world and the Programmatic Ad Tech Ecosystem allows users to leverage rules-based algorithms for decisions in almost any area. And by potentially allowing consumers to make virtual data real by printing it into virtually any form factor, he said 3-D printing may “eliminate supply chains and cause empty container ships.”

Twitter Eyes Mobile, TV

The session concluded with Battelle interviewing Bain about Twitter’s impressive growth -- the social media network has doubled from 100 million to 200 million active users in the past year -- and future plans to expand its unique compatibility with TV. Bain credited much of Twitter’s popularity to its suitability for mobile use.

Mobile is our only business,” said Bain, explaining the company decided on a 140-character limit with the assumption it would primarily attract mobile users. “We make more revenue daily on mobile than on PC and get better engagement. All our marketing tools are available on mobile. Sixty percent of our US users are mobile, and 80% of our users in the UK and Japan are mobile.”

Bain also discussed how Twitter has become a replacement for the next-morning “watercooler discussion” about notable TV events. He said a TV ad for the movie “Prometheus” in the UK featuring a hashtag “#areyouseeingthis” created a huge swell of tweets that allowed production company Fox to run another ad 15 minutes later highlighting real-time Twitter response. He also noted the many real-time marketing tweets in response to the infamous blackout during this year’s Super Bowl.

This fall, Twitter is partnering with Nielsen to create a Nielsen-Twitter TV rating that measures public conversations about TV shows on Twitter, where 95% of all online commentary about TV occurs, according to Bain.

Bain also gave some advice to marketers seeking to maximize the return on Twitter activities.

Ad units need to look and feel like organic content,” he said. “It must be good content organically – consumers won’t keep showing up if it doesn't engage them. When people retweet, it means your content is so engaging people will spread it at their own personal risk.”

 Image Courtesy Dusit (Shutterstock)