Diversity was the watchword at AToMiCon 2019 last week. Some of the biggest, most innovative brands in digital—PepsiCo, RBC, Ubisoft, KFC, and Canadian Tire to name a few—shared their strategies, breakthroughs, and predictions in content.
With so many different talents and perspectives, there was something for everyone. So, let’s get to it: here are our top takeaways from AToMiCon 2019:
Think outside the bucket
Who would imagine that a CPG like PepsiCo would be responsible for a fictional basketball character that would eventually have its own feature film? Or that KFC would ever have a strong association with video games? (Beyond refueling gamers after marathon Fortnite sessions.)
“Virality” has enabled ideas that we would have never thought to be feasible—or even desirable—to assume their place in our hearts as content we genuinely enjoy. It’s given rise to a a sentiment that we’re seeing now more than ever: “I never knew I needed this, but I love it.”
With PepsiCo’s Uncle Drew storming the basketball scene and Colonel Sanders fighting his way into video games, marketers are starting to realize that brands are no longer limited to catering content for one specific audience. When you’re willing to think outside the box and take the road less traveled, you might just find that the reward is worth the risk.
Content is king—and the king is a complex character
As Canadian Tire’s Greg Shelly summarized during his talk, “In a world of data and automation, great content will be your differentiator.” Great content is both relevant and personal, but not in the ways you might think. It’s not simply about targeting or recommending products to defined audiences—it’s about tailoring your content to every stage of the customer purchase journey, from Thinking to Planning to Doing.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your content to see what works best. The path to success suddenly becomes clearer when you step back, compare the outcomes against your business goals, and adjust accordingly. Fail fast (and cheap!), then iterate.
Understand your audience
Studies suggest that the average viewing time or “sweet spot” for content is approximately 2 minutes and 27 seconds. In that time, most users decide whether or not they’ll move onto the next step in the customer journey. You really don’t have long to capture attention and compel your prospects to convert.
As KFC’s Stephen Scarrow put it, “Understand why you’re seeking attention.” Delve into your data to not only understand how customers perceive your brand, but also how their values intersect with yours. Ultimately, you want your audience to go from simply knowing your brand exists to advocating for it.
Leverage the tech
L’Oreal Canada’s Robert Beredo and Modiface’s Berkly Foster took the stage to discuss the implications of technology, focusing on the ways in which AI is taking automation to another level. To our delight, the presentation included a live demonstration of Modiface technology utilizing augmented reality (AR) to change a user’s hair color in real time via the mobile app, showcasing the use of tech applications to creatively engage audiences.
Other tech topics included “hyperpersonalization”, which generates personalized and relevant content for mass audiences, driving higher ROI through automation. By mastering your data, you can begin to predict the behavior of your buyers, promote what they want, and potentially cross-sell things that they might not know they need yet.
We also noted an increasing shift in marketing teams reporting to CFOs as opposed to CMOs, creating a stronger focus on ROI as the only marketing metric that matters. As such, measurable performance has become more critical than ever before (and just so happens to be our specialty).
Content, audience research, embracing tech, and daring to be different. These are a few of our favorite things—and we’re ready to put them to work for your brand. Let’s talk.