Digital Marketing has been abuzz with the focus on the DX3 conference in Toronto, 11-12 March 2015. Of specific interest was the great roster of local industry speakers discussing real world solution to digital marketing challenges. Highlights include observations that Canada had a big lead in the web space in the early years mid 90’s even 2000’s … but that lead has not been sustained in the Digital Marketing space these past few years. Playing catch up to the US and UK markets (often noted as leaders in Digital Marketing), might be a great jolt to bring back Canada’s web marketing magic.
This year’s conference covered topics like how digital is changing major purchase decisions (Wolfgang Hoffmann, Audi Canada President) to topics on the programmatic and analytics revolutions in marketing, to targeting the right customer groups with the right digital assets.A personal favourite was the opening keynote by Mike Serbinis, former founder of Kobo, and current CEO and founder of League. Serbinis touched on the evolution of the digital realm with a walk through his career in various successful startups, and the ups and downs of the digital markets through to his vision of the future. He had many great tips for the entrepreneurs amongst us – perseverance, commit to excellence, focus on community and solve the hard problems – among them. Although not directly tied to the event, he also shared his thoughts on his latest venture, in which League will focus on the huge $10 Trillion dollar healthcare market. His excitement for the healthcare space stems from his observation that “50% of healthcare costs are preventable.” He followed that up with observations that today only 1-2% of healthcare costs for funneled into prevention, and that there is currently no dominant consumer brand in this space. Although diverging from the marketing topic, an interesting view of exciting things to come.
DX3’s tradeshow included many vendors with many varied themes. As expected there were several Digital Marketing agencies present offering, several email focused competitors including a key sponsor Canada Post, various web advertising / publisher aggregators (AMAC, AffiliateTraction), several video focused marketing research firms (nLogic), e-Commerce options (Etsy, Bargain Moose, Shopify), content marketing services (the Content company) and many analytics offerings. Analytics being a major paradigm shifter in the marketing industry had a strong showing. Examples include firms focused on cloud based macro analytics engines solutions (Analytic Canvas, IBM), in app analytics tools (Gallop Labs), and brain sensor focused video analytics (Brainsights, Mediative) – just to name a few.
A fascinating part to the tradeshow was to also see events management services bringing out creative new solutions like 3D Printing – offering the marketing community a cool new source of branded momentos – impossible to create with traditional manufacturing (callout to 3DMakeables).
All told DX3 2015 in Toronto was a great experience, with an excellent opportunity to learn, discuss trends in the market, and network with thought leaders. After hearing several presentations, and discussing the key themes with various attendees – it was interesting to note that Marketing Authenticity resonated strongly as the underlying theme in many of the messages at DX3. Another interesting insight into the future of marketing.