June 13, 2014

mumbrella360 – What did we learn?

by admin in News

Last week I went along to mumbrella360 – held at the Hilton Hotel Sydney, curator Tim Burrowes bought together over 200 local and international speakers from agencies, brands and media outlets with some of the big names including Keith Hernandez, Executive Director International Strategy BuzzFeed, Amir Kassaei Global Chief Creative Officer DDB Worldwide, Chris Mitchell, Editor in Chief of The Australian and Mark Scott, Managing Director ABC.

With four different streams, there was no shortage of great content and I attended sessions on a great range of topics including the state of the Australian economy, news consumption, mobile trends, data, branding, content marketing, blogging, startups, digital technologies, behavioral sciences and the collaborative economy. Over the two days I saw some fantastic work and heard from some talented speakers so I wanted share a few of my highlights and learnings….

Data data data

If you say something enough times it starts to lose meaning – this is how people in the media & marketing industry are now feeling about data. There was a strong focus throughout mumbrella360 on the impact of technology and how to leverage data to better target consumers. This came through in the session topics, speakers and the exhibitors with some of the world’s biggest tech companies Salesforce and SAP showcasing how their platforms unlock customer data to create more effective campaigns.

While generally the focus was on the opportunities surrounding data, there was also some discussion around the hype of Big Data. Amir Kassaei from DDB made an interesting call comparing Big Data to teenage sex –“Everybody talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it so everyone claims they are doing it”. It’s not that Amir discounts the opportunities data presents but like many he believes Big Data is another buzz word and the industry is actually not yet ready to embrace it effectively. His view is that we need to take a step back to first better understand how to leverage data to create meaning and make brands more relevant to consumers. He referenced a great example for Johnson & Johnson – DDB created a platform that allowed parents to search for baby names and aggregated information on names from various online sources. You can watch the video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtMiaUZkx-E

Looking specifically at mobile data, there was a great session on The Mobile Consumer of 2014 which revealed first insights into the size and consumption habits of the mobile and tablet audience in the Australian market from IAB and Nielsen. Industry leaders from Yahoo7, Facebook and Southern Cross Austereo discussed the opportunities that exist for brands with continued growth of mobile use. Some of the key takeaways include:

  • There are currently more than 18m users on mobiles and 11m users on tablets in Australia.
  • Mobile usage in Australia is still relatively nascent compared to other markets. A lot of growth is expected over the next 12 months.
  • Smartphone browsing usage is still dominated by social, gaming, news and search. The smartphone app category is more fragmented with use spread across social, gaming, email, maps.
  • Retail as a category is taking off (particularly for smartphones) and has the opportunity to reach consumers at all points of the purchase journey.

Let’s get together

Collaboration was another theme which came through in a number of sessions and was also closely linked to technology. Almost every agency touched on the need to now work with partners to get the best result for clients. Some of the best collaborative examples were presented in the session on Australia’s leading digital campaigns. It was nice to see a few familiar faces in the room including Jay Morgan from our sister agency Havas Worldwide, who presented on Durex Fundawear and the session was moderated by Steve Coll (ex ECD for Havas). Jay and Steve were joined by Ben Cooper, M&C Saatchi and Scott Nowell, The Monkeys, who presented amazing campaigns for Oak and Optus which used technology to create unique brand experiences with consumers. Would highly recommend checking out the campaign videos below:

  1. Durex, Fundawear – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb7DN3kpl2o
  2. Oak, Reverse Robbery – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u_C7ITmay0
  3. Optus Clever Buoy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv5b4jwABiw

Collaboration with IT and marketing continued right up to the C-Suite with a great session from Tourism Australia in which the CIO and CMO discussed the need for their teams to work together and the opportunities this presents for brands.

At a broader level, there was a fantastic session on the notion of the Collaborative Economy profiling successful companies that have led the trend of community-shared products including cars, taxis and spare rooms. Jordan Condo, Asia Pacific Head of Public Policy, Uber, Bruce Jeffreys, co-founder and director GoGet and Rachel Botsman, founder of the Collaborative lab discussed changing consumer attitudes to ownership and experiences.  Technology again was core to this trend as the convergence of social, mobile, location has enabled us to create the trust and efficiency needed for this shared economy. Botsman explained there are opportunities for established brands to be involved in the Collaborative Economy –largely through investments and partnerships (e.g Google’s investment in Uber) but also in reevaluating how consumers access their company benefits.

And the award goes to

While not a set session topic another interesting theme that came through was the debate on the validity of industry awards. In a number of sessions journalists questioned whether agency work was now created as scams to win awards and not at the best interest of the client. Amir Kassaei (DDB) also raised the issue that awards are often judged on the quality of case study videos not the ideas themselves and that many of the current award winning campaigns are based on prototypes and not solving real world issues.

Working at one of Australia’s most awarded PR agencies, this discussion certainly caught my attention. Sure sometimes we can get a little bit caught up with the biggest, fastest, world first, mantra of award entries, this video from mumbrella sums it up nicely – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD3W4x-R6OI

But all in all I would have to say the impact on the industry is positive – awards inspire creativity, new ways of thinking and problem solving, they are a bench mark for best practice and are a great way to acknowledge the contributions made by the individuals involved in campaigns.

For me, anything that inspires people to be better is a good thing – that’s how I feel about awards and also about mumbrella360. At the end of the two days, I left feeling informed, reenergised and inspired by the creativity and innovation in our industry and future opportunities ahead. I enjoyed the experience and would encourage anyone to attend who has the chance to do so. I’ll certainly be hoping for another ticket next year.

By Natasha Carroll