As posted on Adobe Summit 2017: Bad habits in marketing that need to end immediately
It’s day two of the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas and it’s time to reflect upon everything we’ve learned in the past 24 hours. The opening song used to introduce John Mellor, Vice President of Strategy, Alliances & Marketing at Adobe, had some very fitting lyrics that fit the subject matter at hand: “the world won’t change if you stay the same.”
The theme of this session was less about product this time, less about tech and more focused on inspiration and reinvention. Mellor proved to have a few more tricks up his sleeve.
“I have spent the last two months mastering magic,” began Mellor. “I’m about to blow your minds and pull a rabbit out of my hat.”
In true Vegas fashion, Mellor decided to channel the magician inside of him with an admittedly silly trick — pulling a fake rabbit out of a hat. However, it wasn’t until Penn & Teller took the stage and proved to us how magic is actually done that the message came through: Give the audience what they want and never stop dazzling them.
The Adobe Summit is particularly interesting with the way they teach lessons — through highly specific market research, breathtaking visuals and celebrity speakers. Here’s what we learned about tech and marketing trends at day two of the summit.
Stop ignoring the little guys
The day’s first speaker was Pam El, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at the National Basketball Association. El took the stage and immediately made her love for the NBA clear by praising teams around the country and speaking about basketball superstars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
“These guys are popular,” started El. “Their kids are popular, their friends are popular and their friends’ kids are popular.”
Not only does El love the people she works with, but also those who live and die by the NBA. “One billion people tuned in last year to watch our games — that’s one out of every seventh person on earth.”
She went on the say that the NBA is the number one most followed league on social media, with 3.9 billion YouTube views and 32 million Facebook fans. Why? Because they love, love, love their fans and they constantly make sure the fans know it.
While some brands out there are too wrapped up in their own affairs to pay attention to the people who love them the most, the NBA never forgets who got them where they are.
“It’s through technology that we interact with our friends on a global level,” said El, who spoke of the numerous advertisements and TV spots NBA Replay Center, NBA InPlay and NBA League Pass are for people who want to watch basketball anytime and from anywhere.
That sentiment was shared during a breakout session with Bertrand de Coatpont, an author for Adobe’s Digital Marketing Blog, who spoke about three important points to always keep in mind when a niche audience is involved.
“Optimize for regions, niches and device segments, combine automatic and manual content curation techniques, and build learning into the fabric of the community,” he said.
He also stressed the importance of choosing the dedicated audience over a more vague crowd and how it’s better to “have a few, niche communities dedicated to certain topics.” Far too many brands are forgetting about – even alienating — their core fan base, in favor of trying to reach a broader market. It’s a trend we need to see go away in 2017.
Don’t ignore the numbers
Data played a huge part in some of the sessions during day two and the same sentiment was brought up again and again: You’d be crazy to ignore data in marketing. We spoke with Nitzan Tamari, VP Marketing and Strategy for SimilarWeb, a company that’s built on data.
“If you’re looking at your data and you’re not looking at it in context, it isn’t really helping.” Tamari continued by speaking of the pitfalls of siloed data which is when one department isolates vital pieces of data from the rest of an organization, hindering the use of said data to those who need it the most.
Stop making content that isn’t quality
Back on stage we met David Fischer, VP of Business and Marketing Partnerships at Facebook. Fischer brought up, perhaps, one of the most important points in the Adobe summit: make relevant content that speaks to the consumer.
He spoke about three specific companies that are absolutely killing it in the content world: Airbnb, Royal Caribbean and Inspiralizer.
Fischer explained that some of the best commercials this year have been the ones that speak to the current political environment – like Airbnb’s “We Accept” commercial, where a parade of multinational, multicultural faces graced the screen alongside inspiring words of acceptance and tolerance.
Not only did Airbnb’s spot respond to the air of intolerance sweeping the nation, but the way it was built and cut responded to the way people took ads in. It was edited for mobile and featured a barrage of quick cuts — perfect for the fast-paced mobile environment.
Royal Caribbean used Facebook Canvas to create an immersive experience packed with stats about their cruises – an initiative that inspired people to spend an average of 70 seconds on Royal Caribbean’s page. That’s a long time in the digital space.
“You’ve got to adapt to the times we’re living in. If you build great content, you can pull people in,” said Fischer. One of the most inspirational stories was Inspiralizer — a three-person company that created quality content on a micro scale.
Using a simple (and cheap) foam board with some marble paper, they created a backdrop for their product that made it look like it was in a super fancy kitchen. They gave their audience what they wanted: a great product that looked good, too.
That little DIY shoot tripled their click through rate, proving Penn & Teller’s point from earlier: It’s all about the illusion.