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September 11th, 2014

Digital East 2014: 3 Biggest Takeaways & Trends

Over the past two days, DMI sponsored Digital East 2014, a digital marketing conference in Tysons Corner, VA. We were honored to be among the talented group of presenters at the event, participating in the roundtable conversation on User Experience Trends.

The event was jam-packed with content, expert advice, recommendations, trends, and predictions in the digital marketing space. Some of it was expected, but there were a few thought-provoking themes that we picked up on throughout the course of the event. And we think they’re worth pointing out.

Here they are…

1. Predictive Analytics

Right now, “real-time” social media is all the rage. Brands like Denny’s and Oreos are engaging and responding to events as they happen in real-time and they do it seamlessly. Brands strive to emulate their speedy, relevant and clever responses as a way to communicate with fans and gain public notoriety. Technology today gives us the ability to capture more data than ever before, but we’re only scratching the surface when it comes to understanding how to use the data to our advantage.

Predictive analytics will be the next big thing. Multi-screen experiences will be designed in a way that anticipates events. What’s more, content will be created ahead of time that corresponds to these events so brands can be prepared to interact with users and participate in conversations that might not have started yet. So rather than being armed and ready to jump into a trending conversation over social media channels, brands will predict what they will be and have clever content waiting in the wings.

2. Structured Data

Search engines and operating systems are rapidly evolving just like everything else. They want to help the user make the best decision in the shortest amount of time. Structured data is a way that data is arranged and shared with search engines so they can read it and incorporate it into what the user sees. While right now, search engines admit that taking all of your existing data and putting it into a readable and structured format is time consuming (it won’t even help your SEO rank!), they believe it will be cost-effective to get in the habit of building structured data now, so that brands aren’t playing catch-up later.

Today, it is estimated that only around 100,000 websites out of 7 trillion publish their data. But if it’s incorporated into your business plan sooner rather than later, your information online will better serve consumers and ultimately save you a headache later on. In order for search engines to evolve the way that they want to (to better serve the user), they need structured data from websites. It will take time for this symbiotic relationship to pick up speed, but this was a strong theme that was weaved throughout several presentations at the event.

3. Mobile Experience You Can Plan For (As a Marketer)

DMI understand that mobile does not simply mean your mobile phone. The world we live in becomes more mobile every day, and with it come opportunities for advertising. A speaker at Digital East did some research on what Tesla drivers search for on the browser in their cars. It provides some really interesting insight into how these drivers are using their connected cars, and gives us an idea of what the future might hold as marketers.

One notable piece of research that was highlighted was that music videos were the most-searched for item on the Tesla browser. On people’s evening commutes, the search terms spiked. Understanding when people are using certain features (i.e. their car browser rather than their phone or desktop) and what they are searching for – is information that can be harnessed by marketers to deliver relevant messages to consumers.

Tags: analytics big data events ux/ui

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