ClickZ Live New York kicked off with a keynote from Randi Zuckerberg on the top trends in tech and new media that are influencing the minds and behaviors of modern consumers and gave insights on how to engage, convert, and delight consumers.
The new ClickZ Live conference series kicked off in New York this morning with a keynote from Randi Zuckerberg, chief executive of Zuckerberg Media and former director of market development for Facebook. The best way to reach an audience is through a good, quick laugh and Zuckerberg didn't disappoint during her introduction.
"I graduated from Harvard," she mused. "The only reason I say that is I have another sibling who didn't graduate."
Before diving into her 10 new media trends that are shaping the modern consumer, Zuckerberg took some time to reflect on her past days at Facebook. She explained that part of Facebook's success was from their strategy to take a slow, selective user base, instead of rolling out to the world at large. Facebook chose to wait until a community asked for it, so they knew it would be a success with that target group.
Before it was a buzzword, Facebook was crowdsourcing, getting input from their users in an effort to know what was needed. And by tapping into the talents of their user base, they translated Facebook into Spanish and French within 48 hours. During the Arab spring, it was translated into Farsi in 24 hours.
Zuckerberg also stressed Facebook's compulsion to put company culture in place immediately. Monthly Hackathons helped Facebook keep a cool, hacking culture in place so people would stay, even when the company grew to thousands of people. The all-night-long coding sessions helped change Zuckerberg's life through the creation of products like live comments during CNN election coverage and Facebook TV.
We all need to think like our company is a media company. Zuckerberg took the example of Red Bull, as the consumer packaged goods company competes with ESPN and other broadcast brands via live action sports and other live events like the Stratos jump.
Wearables are growing more and more; our technology now has the ability to collect data on every aspect of our lives. Zuckerberg mentioned the Nest thermostat and other smart devices for alarms, door locks, etc. that collect information and keep you up to date. She also predicts that automobiles will be the new developer platform over the next few years.
"The most valuable thing you have is your connections, your network," Zuckerberg said. A lot of brands are starting to take notice of how influential people are. For example, American Airlines offers access to the Admirals Club lounge for free if your Klout score is high enough, and Caesars Palace will give "points" for tweeting and posting to Facebook.
The age of testimonials and endorsements is changing. Sites like LiketoKnow.it provide hashtags so when you share a photo on Instagram, people can buy directly and give you a commission. And, Ellen's selfie at the Oscars was nothing more than a giant product placement for Samsung.
The Fear of Missing Out, especially with today's teens, is overwhelming. Zuckerberg suggests JOMO – the Joy of Missing Out - instead. Embrace it. Don't worry about what everyone is doing. Live in the moment.
New opportunities abound from 3-D printing. Be an inventor; be a maker, said Zuckerberg. Invent and create your own goods. But with all amazing opportunities in tech, we need to be careful to be prudent, she continued. Zuckerberg also discussed how designers are the new rock stars in the Valley, as they're so valuable to encourage better designs for technology.
"Everything you do should be visual," Zuckerberg posited. "Every time you post everything, there should be an image because photos need no translation."
It used to be that we had mobile apps just for the sake of it. Then it was mobile for engagement. Now it's let's use mobile to get in and get out as fast as possible. A lot of the tech we're seeing is to make us get back out into our lives easily. For example, Starbucks, along will other restaurants, will soon let you pre-order, in order to make the in-store experience faster. And then there's the Zpritz app, which says it will help you read faster - at speeds of 1,000 words per minute.
Gamification is everywhere. Zuckerberg likes the Nike+ app, which updates her status on Facebook before a run. Then, when people like her "I'm going running" status, she gets a little cheer in her headphones while she's running. But doesn't just have to be applause; it can be simply the sound of zombies in your ears that motivates you to run faster.
With all of this tech, we need to be mindful of the impact it has on our lives and real-life relationships. The prevalence of technology has spawned "Digital Detox" trends in hotels and vacations and retreats.
Zuckerberg has implemented what she referred to as "Digital Shabbat" on Saturday mornings for her family. While it was hard to get started, everyone now appreciates the "just family" time for a few hours every morning. She also created Dotcomplicated.co – an online community and newsletter to help families keep digital at bay and has also authored a book (Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives) on the topic.
Thom is a seasoned techincal SEO and digital analytics veteran. His current role as VP of Development and IT at Internet Marketing Ninjas includes the improvement of internal processes, leading the creation and refinement of industry-leading tools across multiple brands.
Previously he was a premier independent consultant, held a a senior search position at nationally renown TopRank Online Marketing and led all digital web-related technology's at Rochester Institute of Technology's Saunders College of Business. He also led analytics strategy efforts for the university's mobile initiative.
Part of the ClickZ Academy faculty, Thom has also taught for several well-respected colleges and universities. He is a regular speaker at ClickZ Live events and is a veteran of TEDx as well.
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