Context is king at Digital Innovators’ Summit

The opening speeches at the FIPP/VDZ/emediaSF Digital Innovators’ Summit today in Berlin, Germany, reinforced the idea that although content is key, the context in which it is placed is more important than anything.

Ben Huh (pictured), founder and CEO, Cheezburger, USA,  addressed more than 500 people and spoke about his business using “humour as a social media lubricant. It lubricates our social experience and tells the truth without the truth.”

However funny it may be, this is a serious business. Cheezburger is analysing data from its sites to deliver niche targeting to advertisers – and there’s plenty of it. “When you look at the data, you start to see patterns between shares, likes, videos, humour and advertising”, said Huh, “and we are starting to promise this to our advertisers. It’s not about ads, but ads but about having a relationship with your audience and being data driven about that audience. You might not capture people who buy your product, but they may tell others who will. It’s not just a one-to-one relationship, and you will create fans who are willing to market for you on your behalf. We’re talking about communities here, not markets.” Huh encouraged brands not to treat their audiences like markets, but to create conversations and fans, who will build communities to share messages. “They are more willing than ever before to promote your product or service for free”, said Huh.

The next speech came from Justin Gibbons, creative director and Mark Holden, head of futures at UK-based agency, Arena Media who noted the obvious importance and opportunity of mobile for publishers and advertisers. “Mobile is going to be the primary access point for the internet, and the remote control for our lives. Now that we can more intelligently match content with context, we need to package this and bring it together with our advertising”, said Holden.

Holden pointed out how it is more difficult than ever today to get an audience’s attention, and that publishers and advertisers must work harder to earn it, and the smartest brands will “give fluid access to content and create connected, seamless experiences.”

So how do we achieve this? “Data is not the enemy of creativity”, said Holden. “What is exciting is that we are sitting on behavioural data – a wealth of it. This sort of data uncovers fantastic insights that we can use to drive ideas about content and refine and improve it.”

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