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Face-to-Face With Mobile’s Future

Mobile World Congress 2016

Day One has closed on the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the largest conference in the world dedicated to the art and science of mobile technology. It’s a gathering of the greats who believe passionately in unlocking mobile’s untapped potential.

Mobile video was a headline theme of the day and the topic of a colorful debate in the “Mobile Video Explosion” panel discussion. It was an all-star line-up of the industry’s best mobile players – from Facebook to YouTube to Viacom to Netflix – each sharing their unique points of view.

Facebook’s Head of Global Tech & Telco Strategy, Jane Schachtel shared her views on how video is pushing the boundaries of innovation by creating immersive experiences for people and businesses. Facebook is seeing numerous brands seizing upon this opportunity and firmly believes that video is, “the” global medium that transcends language barriers and sparks great creativity. image1.jpeg

“We’re building a canvas for businesses,” said Schachtel. “If the content is relevant, people will create it and continue to discover it. The richness and relevance on your newsfeed is what’s helped drive such explosive video growth at Facebook.”

Alex Wellen, CNN’s chief product officer, explained how the app, CNNgo, is tracking every story in real time, each minute of the year, annotating real frames with every piece of live content that augments the story.

But there are challenges at the 24 hour news network. CNN “needs to be a technology and storytelling company at the same time, and it’s really tough to be famous for both,” mused Wellen.

There’s good news, though: “People are now binging on [Anthony] Bordain, when no one had consumed news programming like this in the past.”

David Benson, Director, Brand Strategy EMEA for YouTube, agreed about binge watching mobile video content, which he said is driving deep change in the market. Benson added that 400 hours of content are uploaded via YouTube every minute.

“The way in which we consume and connect has been rewritten by mobile,” Benson added. He posited there’s no more water cooler chatter and comparing notes about, “what you watched last night.” In its place, we have become a culture of spoiler alerts and binge-watching.
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“We’re having less sex as a result,” said Benson, who cordially invited us to chat with him after the panel for more info on the “sex” stat.

The consensus among all the panelists: Mobile is exploding and there’s an obligation to continue to make great content — via stellar storytelling — so that people will to want to engage.

In his day-one closing keynote, the one-and-only Mark Zuckerberg took the video discussion to the next level saying that video will have to get increasingly better for virtual reality; in particular, resolution will have to be very high.

Zuckerberg closed with something important to consider, “Video is just as big in 2016 as mobile was in 2012. Bandwidth opens up desire to make and consume videos, which makes the developers want more, which ultimately perpetuates demand.”

 A great finish to a great opening day.

 I am looking forward to a week of seeing and hearing about the technology and creativity that is going to reshape our world.

 More soon.  #MWC16 #MWCVID

 

 

SXSW 2012: Brands, Buzz and Breakfast

DGC is still recovering from a great week at South By Southwest. Now that we’ve fully digested the panel sessions, brand activations and many fried carbs, we want to share some of our highlights:

Favorite Brand Activation:  Tie between Amex and Chevy

Why?  Both provided true value to even the most grizzled SXSW veterans. In Chevy’s case, its “Catch a Chevy” program gave those of us with barking dogs and a waning patience for expensive shuttle service a comfy ride to off-campus panels. Amex’s promotion showed us that simply having an Amex and a willingness to Tweet on behalf of brands spells big rewards for cardholders – like exclusive tickets to a Jay-Z show. While two lucky DGC-ers were in line to see Jay in a 2,000-person venue, we heard more than one person say, “I’m so glad I have an Amex.”  Now that’s brand loyalty.

Favorite Panel Takeaways:  Curation and tech start-up culture

With Pinterest’s skyrocketing popularity, it’s not surprising that curation was one of the week’s “buzziest” terms. In the publishing world, the debate was about how to give credit where it’s due, to both authors and the curators themselves.  For brands, the question is how to either become curators, or integrate seamlessly into a user’s curating experience. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in the future.

Also big this year was talk of how advertising should embrace a tech start-up culture – the Mark Zuckerberg “move fast and break things” philosophy. This means less and less of “the big idea” and many more small, nimble ideas. As ad exec Tim Leake put it: advertising in these times is no longer about telling a story, but inspiring one, listening to the conversation about your brands and saying – to borrow terms from Leake’s improv background – “yes…and” to that idea.

Favorite Food Truck: Tie between Whole Foods and Today Show

With all the foot traffic in downtown Austin,  the restaurants were almost as hard to get into as the packed early morning marketing sessions (and they were packed this year – most had a one-in, one-out policy). Branded Today Show trucks were serving up delicious breakfast from renowned chef Danny Meyer throughout the day and night.  And Whole Foods was in the right place, at the right time, with the right vegan chickpea sandwich when one DGC-er almost had a hunger meltdown.

It’s a Mad Mobile World

NewMediaMetrics co-founder Gary Reisman had an unusual start to his moderating duties at the Digital Hollywood Media Summit on March 8 in New York. Just as he introduced the panelists to a packed room concerned with the issues around Advertising Accountability: Metrics and Analytics around Video, Social Media, Broadband and Mobile, an attendee wandered in talking loudly on his mobile phone, completely oblivious to proceedings. After a few moments of stunned silence during which the phone conversation was the only sound in the room, the caller looked around sheepishly, apologized and exited. Hilarity ensued among the panelists followed by what turned out to be a lively, sometimes combative, hour-long debate: Eugene Becker, VP, Analytics, Xaxis; Bob Ivins, VP of Data & Research, Comcast Spotlight; Scott McKinley, EVP Advertising Effectiveness, Nielsen; Debbie Solomon, Managing Director, Business Planning, MindShare; Mark Pascarella, CEO, uberVU; Jeff Plaisted, Senior Director, U.S. Sales and Strategy, Mobile & Skype Advertising, Microsoft; and Dr. Raymond Pettit, VP of Market Research, PRN.  Click the video to get Reisman’s take on one of the more compelling insights.

When in Austin…

A group of DGCers is heading to Austin, TX, for SXSW Interactive again this year (March 9-13), and since they are now “experienced” attendees, we asked them what people should know to get the most they can from the experience, which seems to get more overwhelming each year.

Tips for attending: 

  • Don’t be afraid to approach speakers after attending their sessions. It’s all about networking—go shake hands!
  • Pace yourself. There is a LOT to see and do.  Study the schedules (panels as well as parties) and prioritize to make the most of your experience.
  • Missed the daily keynote because you were busy networking? Check it out online at http://sxsw.com/interactive/live.
  • Attend parties. There are many that are free and open to anyone with a badge (for a guide click here: http://austin.sanfranfreesco.com/event/filter?tagFilter=26). Try to attend:
    • The Mix at Six presented by Can We Network (3/9, 6pm)
    • The Interactive Opening Party presented by frog design and Microsoft (3/10, 8pm)
    • Mashable SXSWi House 2012 (3/11, 9pm)

Despite the high-tech atmosphere, it’s a good idea to take lots of business cards with you. Yes, the print kind. Maybe  Freshbooks and Shoeboxed will collaborate again as they did last year. This article tells how their brilliant promotion helped attendees organize all those wonderful new contacts people made at SXSW.

And check back here at The Hit Board which will be updated regularly by the on-site DGC team with trends, attendee insights and more.

On the Go: TalkPoint’s Mobile Webcasts Soar

TalkPoint webcast tech mobile DGC DiGennaro CommunicationsThere’s no denying that 2011 was a wild year for mobile technology, and if this year’s CES is any indication it looks like we are in for even more advancements in the space in 2012. As tablets and smartphones become faster, lighter, and incredibly intuitive, our ability to stay connected in this always-on world of ours becomes increasingly reliant on mobile technology.

This rings true for our business-related digital communications. For proof, just ask TalkPoint, the leader in global communications technology. When their clients came to them looking for the ability to take their webcasts on the go, TalkPoint advanced their software to run seamlessly on mobile devices. To say that this technology has been widely adopted would be an understatement–just last week TalkPoint announced that mobile viewership of TalkPoint-produced webcasts increased a whopping 74 percent between Q1 and Q4 of 2011, with 33 percent of all mobile views taking place during the busy summer months of June and July.

If you’re ready to take your webcasts on the go, you can check out more about TalkPoint’s mobile solutions here. In the meantime, we asked Nick Balletta, TalkPoint’s CEO, to share his best practices for mobile webcasting. Here’s what he suggests:

  • Create mobile-friendly content – Consider the mobile device screen size when developing webcast content. Mobile viewers may only be watching the video or have trouble viewing details.
  • Simplify registration – Mobile registrants are typing on a small keyboard, so limiting the data that needs to be entered to join an online event will make it faster and easier for viewers.
  • Master social media –The use of interactive social media “sharing” buttons are particularly effective for promoting mobile webcasts, but too many active social media elements can lead to multitasking by the viewer.
  • Don’t forget about post-event viewing – Provide mobile webcasting viewers with a link to watch/review the webcast at a later date, providing webcast attendees with another opportunity to access the material from the event.

To hear more straight from Nick, check him out in The Point:

Tech-Talk: Pinterest and PR

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet, you need to get up to speed fast. The social network, termed “scrapbooking on the web” is sweeping the Internet and recently broke into the top 10 most popular social networks right behind Yelp, according to an Experian Hitwise report.

Pinterest is an online pinboard that allows users to cluster things they find on the web, be it pictures, articles, videos, websites, etc., into various categories and share them with others. You’re ultimately becoming a curator of information. The site says “you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.”

The site had over 11 million visits in December, illustrating that consumers are clearly taking to it. With so many consumers flocking to one place, Pinterest has created a new, innovative outlet for brands and companies to get involved in social media.

As PR professionals, it’s our job to be on top of what’s next in tech so that we can pass info on to our clients and, of course, consider it for planning purposes.  Pinterest opens up a whole new world of possibilities for PR and marketing.  Here’s DGC’s list of the top 4 ways to use Pinterest in PR.

  • Pinterest is the perfect avenue to illustrate a company’s culture by making a profile that highlights your brand’s personality. Maybe your CEO has a passion for knitting, he/she can pin interesting articles, tools, books and even post pictures of things they’re creating, to ultimately connect deeper with consumers.
  • High site traffic makes a Pinterest page great for product launches and announcements. And since it allows you to post and share images easily with real time comments, it’s the perfect place to showcase news. But, be creative in how you share. Pinterest has a rule against being too self-promotional.
  • Trying to get more interaction with consumers? Create contests. Whether you’re a beverage company asking clients to pin their favorite drink or a fashion designer asking followers to pin their own designs, Pinterest creates an easy, visually intriguing way for you to hold contests and learn more about your followers.
  • Why not provide a pin for your thoughts? Use your page to publicize your thought leadership initiatives, by pinning images that showcase links to your articles, coverage or video content.

For more information on how to get started on Pinterest, check out this how to guide on Mashable. Or for a more in-depth look at how other brands are using Pinterest, check out this great list on American Express Open Forum.

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