4 Key Digital Trends for 2014 Learned on #Trendsnight

By: Tess Van Den Eeckhout

February 5, 2014

Tags:
bart de waele
hakim zemni
norm johnston
stima belgium
support ninja
tom de baere
trend report wijs

As a support ninja working at Engagor, I have front-row experience with how companies invest in social media and adapt their strategies to recent trends. Everyday, we absorb customer feedback and integrate it into our Engagor tool, while always keeping the door open for improvement requests.

We notice the importance of being a customer-centric business first hand and remain aware of it every day. Last night’s #trendsnight, organized by Stima Belgium, provided some very useful background to what we encounter on a daily basis and confirmed my membership as a young twenty-something to the Gen Y generation.

#Trendsnight’s 4 Keynotes

The night kicked off with Bart De Waele, Wijs CEO, spreading his love for gadgets and urging us to find our inner LEGO-enthusiast to “stop broadcasting stuff and start building stuff“. That’s his mysterious way of saying that the only way to make marketing cool again, is to provide a context for content.

Hakim Zemni, Managing Director of Insites Consulting, further wooed us with results from recent research amongst 15 to 25 year olds and basically described, well, me. He sketched how our generation’s drive and perception affect today’s and tomorrow’s marketing strategy.

A break gave us an opportunity to do some networking and fuel ourselves with drinks and snacks before revving up our brains with Mindshare’s Norm Johnston. He taught us that databases upload about 3,254 pieces of personal info every week. The only way to survive this “data tsunami”, containing both threats and opportunities, is to arm ourselves and introduce an adaptive approach.

Tom De Baere, Marketing Director at Newtec Satcom, ended by putting spot- and laser lights on smart content and gave us some life rafts to keep ourselves floating atop the ever-growing stream of information.

The 4 Key Digital Trends For 2014

The examples mentioned by the speakers were infinite. I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot more about these trends later on this blog, or in the online trend report from Wijs. However, a lot came down to Hakim’s slide that summarized what will be the key with your customers the next few months:

  • Forget About The Big Data Magic And Focus on Big Insights

Big data has been a buzzword for a while now, and it’s time we start doing something with all that collected information. The only thing deciding whether something is useful information or garbage-awaiting advertising is the customer’s context. Create, don’t broadcast.

  • Startups Are The New Rock Bands

Everybody wants to be in one and preferably even found one. The maker movement idea of kickstarting concepts rather than products is feeding ‘youngster entrepreneurship’. In the end, this results in existing products becoming no more than a feature on a new platform.

  • Help Consumers Help You

Make yourself available to your customers at all times and on all subjects. Simple as that. Make sure they continuously feel engaged and don’t disappear from sight. Learn from what your customers are saying even about subjects you didn’t really ask their opinion about. If they offer it up, you might as well use it.

  • Rethink Your Online Strategy

Are you on Facebook? Sorry to say but this will no longer be enough! After having explored social media, set-up, and followed a first strategy, you were given even more social media, more picky users, and higher expectations.

Time for a new strategy! Choose your social media cocktail according to your targeted audience and communicate purposefully. If you wonder why, see the first point. There’s a lot out there, and you wouldn’t want your content to end up lost in the mass streaming toward digital black holes.