This year the theme for the second annual [a] list summit is EVOLVE. Without elaboration this may seem a little nebulous. Let me see if I can help put this in context.
At last year’s summit we were honored to have Mister Jordan Weisman lead off the discussions with a talk about providing entertainment in our marketing communication. It was his opinion that in order to stand out marketers need to add value to their communication. He argued that for a game consumer there is no better value proposition than entertainment.
Our consumers are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of advertising directed to them. Everywhere they look some company is touting their product. Traditional approaches are falling flat. Just five years ago a flash banner ad was commanding near a one percent click through rate. Now that same flash ad is lucky to get a .1 percent. TV viewership is in steep decline, print is dead and no one is spending any time on our beautiful flash websites anymore. How do we get our consumers to pay attention?
We must EVOLVE our message. Jordan was on to something. With web 2.0 consumers define your brand whether you like it or not. There are a mass of niches on the web. So many people in so many places talking about your brand you can’t possibly reach them all directly. How can we have influence over these discussions so that more of them are positive than negative?
The assertion is that by providing value in your message your consumer will become more receptive to it. If you entertain your consumer with a hilarious two minute viral video then that little pre-order message at the end is a bit easier to accept. If you give a core fan five exclusive screenshots for sharing your new trailer with his friends you can empower his word of mouth.
This is the theme we will apply to each and every talk, panel and discussion topic at this year s [a] list summit. We have some of the most respected professionals in our business assembled together to discuss marketing executions (i.e. broadcast, online, viral etc) and how to add value to those executions.
EVOLVE to us is exciting because it opens up a whole new way to think about advertising. We can get much more creative in our approach. No longer does the formulaic approach of, do your print ad, shoot your TV spot build your banner campaign cut the mustard anymore. Today we are challenged to build compelling, entertaining campaigns that don’t simply tout the three core features of your new shooter, we tell stories, incentivize pass along, make people laugh or just amaze. I for one would have it no other way.
So I hope this year while you’re sipping that Zin or Cab at the event you re also inspired by our speakers. They re thinking about this EVOLUTION going on in our business and are willing to let you in on their successes and their failures. Together we can all share best practices and hopefully continue to fuel the tremendous growth this industry has enjoyed for many years to come.
Look forward to talking with you all.