DAC Group attended DX3 in Toronto in March and asked some of the smartest digital experts in the country the same 5 questions. DX3 2016 was two days of fantastic speakers, great booths and fascinating technology hosted in downtown Toronto in early March. With speakers from IBM, eBay, Sysomos and more, conversations ranged from the analytical to the virtual and everything in between. We were lucky enough to be able to sit down for a quick interview with eight leading marketers and ask each of them the same five questions.
Ron Tite: CEO @ The Tite Group
Reid Savein: Partner @ Digital Diner
David Jones: Principal @ Social Lab Inc.
Jed Schneiderman: CEO & Co-Founder @ Tapped Mobile
Anthony Lipkin: Founding Partner @ DX3
Qasim Virjee: Manager – IBM Global Entrepreneur Program
Michael Seaton: Principal @ Level C Digital
Question 1: What Do You Think About The Growth of Online Video?
Video is the name of the game – explosive growth across desktop and mobile has pushed video to the forefront of content consumption. When you consider that the average person now engages more with video than on social media, it’s easy to see why ad spend on video has kept pace. As video becomes easier to create, distribute and consume on a variety of platforms, those numbers will continue to rise. So what do our experts think of that growth?
‘Video is easy to make. Good video is really hard to make. You have, you know, just this influx of content that is not great. Sifting through stuff, actually making things people want to see, is the trickiest part’ – David Jones, Social Lab Inc.
Question 2: What is the impact of a mobile-first world?
Mobile is no longer a buzzword, or something to adapt for – it’s now the standard that most people use to get online. Mobile has surpassed desktop for how Canadians view online content, and Canadian market penetration of smartphones is at 68% (a jump of 24%). With that in mind, what impact have our experts seen with this mobile-first world?
‘…it’s not about even in my mind about just replicating and being responsive, there’s a whole model now of mobile-first and what we can do differently.’ – Michael Seaton, Level C Digital
Question 3: What do you think about the growth of content marketing?
Intertwined with the explosive growth of mobile and video is the expansion of content marketing by brands into all facets of online life. From massive video buys by Nike through to custom email campaigns showcasing your favorite artist by Spotify, the curation and creation of content by marketers has never been bigger. So what exactly do our experts think about this growth?
‘I think like a lot of things that it’s been bastardized along the way, and suddenly content approaches are just a Facebook post. And well sure, they can be, but that’s not a content strategy. And we have to get back to the basics of what is the strategy of why are you doing this? where are you doing it? how are you doing it? and we’re not just creating ads and calling it content.’ Ron Tite, The Tite Group
Question 4: What are some changes you’ve seen in paid media and the rise of programmatic?
With annual spending in excess of $10 billion and huge growth in mobile, programmatic ad buying is a hot topic these days. Along with the heights though, there are always downsides and our interviewees explored a number of angles with this relatively new method of buying only advertising.
“I think some people have found that taking programmatic inventory and then layering in their own data has become quite interesting. Programmatic in absolute or in isolation of other elements of the marketing mix is just another vehicle to connect with consumers.’ Jed Schneiderman, Tapped Mobile
Question 5: What emerging platform are you excited about?
Probably my favorite question to ask, our digital influencers spoke about mobile apps, emergent AI and everything in between. I wish I could have spent more time interviewing each person as their answers were all extremely interesting. Maybe next year!
‘There are people that are trying to humanize the digital experience and a lot of that has to do with creating bots. Now whether these bots are built on simple logic like stimuli and prompting people and then offering them multiple options to choose…it’s sort of like the Dungeons and Dragons-ification that’s really interesting. We’re seeing that with a lot of chat programs.’ Qasim Virjee, IBM GLobal Entrepreneur Program