My Experience at CIMC 2018
The Canadian Internet Marketing Conference 2018 was held a few weeks ago in Squamish, BC, and I was fortunate to deliver a talk at this incredible conference along with forty-five different speakers from Slack, Airbnb, Twitter, Linkedin, Uber, Bench, VaynerSmart, Shopify and many more. When they said that they’ll pick me up, little did I know that I’ll end up flying through the unparalleled bird’s-eye views of British Columbia straight to the conference. You really can’t top that, what an experience!
I introduced the platform business model - a new foundation for value creation. The platform multi-sided market is one of the most important economic and social developments of our time. The platform business model is changing the way that we structure businesses today, and it’s also the primary reason why giants such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have been dominating our market. This business model introduces a new phenomenon for both building and running businesses today. It redefines the role of Marketing, moving from push messaging to pull servicing. Introducing virality and social influencers. Let’s not confuse virality with word of mouth. For example, Instagram grew viral because new users discovered it every time someone shared it on Facebook. Virality means that by virtue of using Instagram (the service), consumers help expand and grow Instagram’s business. HR, Sales, community management and other fundamental aspects of the business also change when running a platform based business and ultimately redefining the way that businesses create value and scale.
And while platform companies create enormous value, the big question remains - how can we govern these tech monopolies in order to protect consumers, workers and communities without standing in the way of innovation?
The conference was packed with inspiring presentations, examining brand strategy, creativity and ultimately innovation through various lenses. Key highlights include:
Unlocking the Creative Genius
Allen Gannett, founder and CEO of TrackMaven spoke about the clear science behind what becomes a hit and that “today’s neuroscience gives us an unprecedented ability to decode and engineer the necessary moments of 'inspiration' to create mainstream and popular work."
He explores the mythology and processes behind achieving breakout commercial success in any field in his upcoming book The Creative Curve, which will be published this June.
Voice: the New Frontier of Interaction Design
Patrick Givens from VaynerSmart, part of Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerMedia agency talked about the first iterations of what it means to market brands through voice, so through platforms such as Google's Assistant or Amazon's Alexa. “What does your brand actually sound like? And how can you build equity for your brand when the main interaction with your brand might not be visual but rather through voice?” Companies may be familiar with producing guidelines for how their brand should look on paper, but thinking about what it should sound like is new, Givens said. "For many of our brand clients, if you were to say, what does your brand identity consist of, they might send you a PDF and that doesn't sound like much of anything. At best, you might have some tonal guidelines, but it's still just a series of adjectives on a page."
VaynerSmart built Amazon Alexa skills for brands like Diageo, GE and JP Morgan Chase, and more. If you don't have a strategy for how your brand works on Google's Assistant or Amazon's Alexa, you'll likely need one by 2020. Patrick was running through some exciting experiences that VaynerSmart designed for interaction and engagement with brands. Primarily starting at looking at all the touch points that a brand has and then selecting those who can lead to a specific use case where customers can engage further with the brand, ultimately creating a much richer experience. Anything from building an NFC tag that can lead to a mobile interaction to a voice experience where you add a prompt for customers to connect with Alexa or Google in order to get more information and augment your user experience.
A New Business Landscape
And lastly, Daniel Dubouis from Airbnb, focused his talk about the changing business landscape. “In 2025 Millennials and Gen X will control 76% of spending power.” How well do you know what this generation of buyers value and how well can you tap into that?
While each generation has its own distinct preferences and expectations, customers change and so do the businesses that serve and delight them. It’s no longer enough for hospitality companies to simply offer a great experience. Millennials embrace businesses with a mission. In fact, 86% of millennials believe the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just financial performance. They value brands that attempt to make the world a better place.