Seven hot takeaways from "What's Hot in Media"

Recently, I had the chance to attend AWNY’s “What’s Hot in Media” event in New York City. The room included a veritable “who’s who” of women at the forefront of advertising in the city that's the capital of our industry. As impressive as the attendees were, the speakers were even more so — a mix of men and women who are paving the way in all things media.

The morning kicked off with a funny, engaging and informative presentation by David Pogue, the founder of Yahoo Tech. He was a hard act to follow, but with Adam Shlachter, chief investment officer at Digitas, leading a lively panel of influentials (Elyssa Gray, head of creative and media for Citibank; Ron Amram, Heineken’s senior media director; and Natalie Monbiot, SVP and managing partner at UM Worldwide), the content didn’t disappoint, with a few key themes emerging regarding the future of media and technology (and the intersection of the two):

1. The phone is anything but. Okay, you can still make a call with it, but for most of us, that little mobile device we carry in our pocket is so much more. Today’s “phone” is a barometer, TV, wallet, musical instrument, map — almost anything you want it to be. With new apps launching daily and new technology allowing everything from augmented reality to live translation, you can expect mobile to continue to be a focus for marketers — and consumers.

2. Today’s consumers are creators. That may not be new news, but it’s a trend that continues to grow. From Craigslist to Facebook (now boasting over 1.6 billion members worldwide!) to Wikipedia and YouTube, consumers are savvy content creators and influential distribution channels.

3. The sharing economy is here to stay. Now, instead of only doing business with brands, consumers are increasingly doing business with each other. They are equally comfortable sharing their car (Uber), their time (TaskRabbit) or their homes (Airbnb, where users rented over 13 million nights last year). And that number is only going up.

4. Wearable technology is here to stay, too. Okay, maybe not Google Glass — but the market is flooded with fitness trackers, and today’s performance flaws (was I doing a bicep curl or eating a Dorito?!) will be replaced by tomorrow’s more sophisticated devices that will do everything from alerting you if you’ve been out in the sun too long to reminding you to take your insulin.

So what does this all mean for marketers?

1. Add value. New technology won’t be adopted unless it offers a compelling experience or improves customers' lives. Crafting memorable brand experiences is ever more essential to breaking through the clutter.

2. Know your audience. And know where to reach them. As media and technology continue to merge, the plethora of data is making it easier to reach not just any consumer, but your consumer. Be sure to connect with your consumer in her preferred medium and talk to her in her language. Hyper-targeting is the wave of the future, and one-size-fits-all is a thing of the past.

3. Insist on measurement. Can you measure the impact of a brand experience? Yes, you can. Can you validate that you are reaching the right consumer with the right message in the right place? Yes, you can. Be sure to work with media partners who will dig through the data honestly to deliver the results you signed up for.

Image courtesy of Advertising Women of New York (AWNY)