California dreaming

Written by: Simon Antonis

Four years ago we went to Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual DMA conference. Despite it being in Sin City, we learnt a lot and brought back to the agency some key learnings around the trend towards collaboration with both clients and other agencies, amongst other things.

But the thing on everyone’s lips was ‘Big Data’. The idea that there are heaps of data out there on all of us and if it can be harnessed, it can lead to great customer insights and better, more relevant communications to our customers.

But no-one was doing anything meaningful with it. Other than saying the words and weaving it into conversation, there was no real evidence of anyone having done something useful with data that has enhanced the customer experience. Apart from Amazon, perhaps.

4 years later we thought we would go back and see where things were at. This time, the event was held in Los Angeles. City of Angels. La la Land.

And besides the location, we discovered things have changed. We saw some great work that started with data and ended up with a brilliant customer experience.

Simon and Josh go to Vegas
A few key observations:

1) Facebook are taking over the world.

They have the data and are using it for good, to make the customer experience better. To serve customers more tailored, relevant advertising that people are less likely to ignore. They are working collaboratively with agencies to ensure optimal results.

2) Content needs to be good to be engaged with.

19 out of 20 pieces of content and basically a waste of the clients’ money. And that assumes this poor-quality content is not actually damaging to the brand that delivers it.

3) Technology and Data can lead to better creative work.

It should not be seen an inhibiting creative thinking, rather enabling it. The more relevant you can be, the more powerful the creative.

4) Direct marketing has been reborn.

It’s just in a different form.

With this in mind, here are a few of our favourites from the trip:

The Sun Dream Team example: taking a deep dive into behavioural data and finding an insight you otherwise wouldn’t have – resulting in an extremely powerful and relevant campaign.

Coke Zero campaign: using technology to help deliver on the brief to create product trial

Abraxas: using technology to stand out in print.