TGB15 conference

A digital looking glass on the future of marketing

Pete MartinA fascinating glimpse into how digital industries are changing the worlds of advertising and branding was presented to an audience in Edinburgh by six experts from the new media.

They explained how the traditional advertising model is giving way to new consumer experiences through a combination of search engines, social media and smartphone technology.

It is faster, more closely scrutinised and tailored, so that it is individually targeted and produces the instant feedback that makes it more effective.

The panel of speakers at TGB15 – the ‘true, the good and the beautiful ‘ – were from Google, Pinterest, the search engine optimisation firm Linkdex , advertising strategists The Comms Lab and the creative agency, The Gate Interactive.

They took the audience through a series of stories – from the rise and fall of footballer George Best to the works of the painter Rembrandt and the philosophies of Plato – to test their theories on cultural and demographic change, and the way in which advertising draws on the emotions in the same way as music and art.

There were some stark statistics to stress the impact of technology on today’s consumer and on how marketing needs to adapt. In a session on ‘micro-moments’ Joe McEntee, a strategist at Google, broke down the experiences of mobile users. For instance, the average user spends 177 minutes a day on their device and undertakes 150 transactions.; 40% of users will abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to open; 20% will never return to a website if they have had a bad experience.

Such data is proving valuable in the new ways of targeting and monitoring how people interact with brands and services.

Jono Alderson, head of insight at Linkdex, said there was a never-ending change in definitions and methods and that it was important to manage the whole ecosystem of information.

Julian French TGBJulian French (right), strategy planner at the Gate Interactive, took the pursuit of happiness as his theme and how advertising campaigns have been built around the same tensions, anticipation and fulfilment as songs and art. He highlighted campaigns such as the Cadbury’s gorilla playing drums to a Phil Collins song, and actor Gregor Fisher’s satisfaction in smoking a Hamlet cigar after his failed attempts at having his photo taken in a photo-booth.

A new book written by Pete Martin (pictured top), entitled The True, The Good, The Beautiful, is available to download on iTunes ( and outlines the responsibility agencies and organisations have, to take an honest, ethical and responsible approach when promoting brands.

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