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The Conversation

Thursday 6 June saw the Future of Digital Marketing (FODM) event take place in London.

This annual affair, organised by Econsultancy, brings together hundreds of marketing professionals to hear a packed agenda of leading industry figures talking about what the future holds for them.

Established eight years ago they have developed a reputation for being thought provoking, inspiring, enlightening and good fun.
Curated by Ashley Friedlein and the team at Econsultancy, whose people have pioneered and operated in this space since the inception of digital marketing. The event covered everything from search to wearable technology, to big data and inevitably the future of mobile.

With the content of the day’s presentations affirming some of the more public and profound digital marketing trends which are now shaping the contours of the industry.

The speakers’ list was pretty stellar, including such luminaries as. James Carson of Carson Content who spoke at length about the real role of content. Will Critchlow of Distilled sharing an insider’s view of search. Gerd Leonhard of the Futures Agency and Bruce Daisley of Twitter UK evangelising on what Twitter is great for. As well as all of the ways in which businesses should act now, in order to future-proof their marketing strategies.

Topics & themes covered included things like the reset of marketing, branding and media industries. How the future of marketing is being affected in myriad ways. Such as the shift away from what is expected from new products. And how these should be complemented by ‘services’ and ‘experiences’.

The imminent arrival of the ‘digital default’ with the lines between what is, and isn’t, digital in our lives becoming ever further blurred.

The future of search is not dependent on users searching. Instead, relevant results will be presented without query entry. The result of a tech shift towards anticipation and prediction – posing the question is this the end of search as we currently know it? Algorithms will therefore evolve to be fluid, emotional and organic- just like humans.
The future of search was a major theme with Google changing to become more ‘human’ in terms of how it is indexes and understands the needs of people as opposed to keywords.

Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (or GAFA, as they’re affectionately referred to) dominate the digital landscape and between them, are determining its future.
Google founder Sergey Brin has been quoted as saying

The enhanced understanding of the user data GAFA are collecting is helping to turn Brin’s vision into a reality.
It’s difficult to comprehend the amount of data these organisations are amassing on their users, to the extent where they (eerily) know more about you than your family.

This isn’t just industry hyperbole either. Think about it: the ubiquity of these organisations means they’re constantly learning about you. And, the more time you spend signed in, the better they are going to get at joining the dots.
Formerly, the search engines would only look at the explicit query. You can see how much more can be predicted about the searcher’s intent by looking at the implicit query.

There were some interesting case study examples of how this enhanced understanding of the data they’re collecting can be utilised in new technology and media.

One hot example that is exciting a lot of tech executives was wearable computers: miniature electronic devices worn under, with or on top of clothing.

You’ve probably already seen Google Glass, a voice-activated computer-monitor combo worn on eyeglass frames. The consequences of giving these organisations and their technology such intimate access to our lives is another important debate, which we won’t discuss in detail here. And wearing this kind of a gizmo strapped to your face whilst out in public may make you feel like something of an antisocial ‘glass hole’.

Thoughts on a postcard?

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