The Guardian Changing Media Summit 2014 | Hello Starling

The Guardian
Changing Media Summit 2014

The Guardian
Changing Media Summit 2014

Reflecting on our time at The Guardian Changing Media Summit 2014, our team distil the event and pick out a few highlights.

Posted - 1 April, 2014

A couple of us went to the Changing Media Summit 2014 recently. We had a great time and thoroughly recommend the event if you ever get the chance to go. In the few days we spent there we saw lots of robust arguments from genuine leaders in the media and advertising industries, leaving us with plenty to think about on the train home.

Back safely at HS, we asked our team to distil the event for us and to pick out a few highlights. What stood out for them and what were the issues that were most relevant to us?

  • Quality of data (and how you use it) is more important than quantity.
  • Native advertising is rebranded advertorial.
  • Believe the hype – video really is the next big thing.

Personal data is the future of media research.

99.5% of newly collected digital data is never analysed.

Whilst the rest of the world wants big data, Global MD Havas Media Group, Dominique Delport, spoke of the importance of targeting customers on a (very) personal level. It’s no longer about the volume of data, but the way the data is analysed, producing personal data. He says brands need to be more pragmatic with their data and consider how they can use research to connect with their customers by asking 3 fundamental questions;

  • What do we need?
  • Why do we need it?
  • How do we get it?

Tesco CEO Philip Clarke discussed how they put personal data to use, acquired through Club Card, making Tesco the second-largest retailer in the world. He talked about effectively using research to target customers through bespoke emails, tailored offers and personalised services.

Native advertising is a buzzword for advertorial.

The controversial subject of ‘native advertising’ was also addressed in a question and answer session between Ryan Skinner (senior analyst at Forrester Asset), Abby Carvosso (group managing director, London Lifestyle, Bauer Media) and Stephanie Himoff (UK managing director, Outbrain). Whilst Carvosso and Himoff did their utmost to defend native advertising as a authentic, valuable and content-driven communication tool, the audience were far from convinced.

The overarching issue was identified as the blurring line between journalism content and advertising, that could lead an audience to lose faith in their favourite publications. Camouflaging sponsored content as editorial. Words such as “deceptive” and “misleading” were thrown around readily.

Our (sceptical) MD came away with the following view; people read newspapers because they trust them. There is a place for advertorials, when used in a fully integrated media plan, however we need to stay cautious of what we are pushing on the audience – the moment that trust is lost the value of the paper (and any genuine content or advertorial within) is gone for ever. Tread carefully we say.

Video is the next big thing.

A continuous theme throughout the event was the ever growing power of video content. Not only does video content keep audiences engaged for the longest dwell time (especially in the UK where we are used to sitting and watching television for extended periods), it is also the most shared form of online media. Luke Gaydon, of Brightcove, correctly forecasted in 2013 that “video content is rapidly taking over the internet”. With Twitter and Facebook constantly setting the standard of video advertising in social media, the future certainly looks bright.

Go to the Guardian website for coverage of all the (non-copyrighted) presentations. Befitting the digital nature of the event, everything but everything was filmed so if you want to take a closer look at any of the issues we’ve mentioned above, it’s the place to start.

By Angharad Edwards 


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