New York is big, busy and a hive of activity on the ground, so as I flew into New York last week for the NAB Show (National Association of Broadcasters), the view from my window reminded me of the value of seeing things from a higher perspective. A ‘see the forest not the trees’ kind of thing.
I came to the event because innovative technology is flooding every corner of our existence, bringing the future at breakneck speed. This means the ability to evaluate opportunity to discern a great strategy has never been more highly prized, but it demands constant vigilance on market intel across many fronts.
My strategies begin with a bird’s eye view of the landscape and are implemented through tactics based on a detailed understanding of the customer and the competitive environment on the ground. To keep my knowledge current and broad enough to derive great strategies, I attend a variety of selected industry events, where the seminars and education sessions presented provide an unrivaled and unofficial ‘University Of Innovation’.
The NAB Show is a biannual event (held at the Javits Centre, waters edge, bottom right of photo) where the focus is on all things pertaining to technology in entertainment. The exhibition floor is devoted to showcasing the latest in broadcast and production technology, but the dozens of supporting seminars and education sessions presented at these events, provide unrivalled insights into an exhaustive array of disparate, but ironically inter-connected subject matter.
As marketing, advertising and media are inescapably entwined in technology, opportunity is a chameleon that can present initially in the form of a ground breaking app or technology initiative, that quickly turns into an albatross or the next big thing that nobody wanted. The skill is in discerning one from the other and that requires we have a broad current knowledge .
Here are just a few of the strategic insights I gleaned from my time at the NAB:
Strategic insight 1: Simultaneous Competitive Innovation Is In Everything. When contemplating investing in, committing to or building innovative technology, research well and be prepared to move fast, because all of humanity is very busy on every front devising ways we can use, fix or improve on what the Internet provides us.
Commercial endeavours abound powering the IOE in minute detail to create ways we can use the Internet, from content we make, curate and share or receive, to tracking flights, interacting with sport, games or porn, to getting a shopping list from our fridge.
Before you commit to your new product or innovation, know that it’s very likely others are already doing some form of it. You have to move fast, survive and compete in a market where competition is fierce and swift, and your customers are being bombarded with information and alternative ways to spend their limited time and money.
You must be able to honestly identify and validate your compelling value proposition in the face of often global competition and be able to sustain your strategic advantage to survive and thrive.
Strategic Insight 2: Your Products Are Affected By The Internet’s Ability To Transfer Data Efficiently. The IOE demands a LOT of data be transferred from origin to the user and in most cases it’s traveling across out-dated or inadequate infrastructure, creating lagging and packet loss (depleted quality).
Until every telco overcomes their reluctance to undertake the mammoth task of replacing or upgrading their facilities, products and services are compromised by the users ability to receive them. This is especially important in time critical applications, such as competitive multiplayer gaming, betting applications and lives sports.
The Edge ie. the practice of processing data closer to the user, closed delivery networks, hyper-scaler clouds and various purpose software are being worked on to resolve the difficulties of data transfer.
You need to understand what your product demands, or more importantly what your customer demands from the Internet in terms of data transfer capability, to deliver a satisfying experience and you need to know what your options are in this regard, because your idea of the future might be about 12 months behind.
Strategic Insight 3: Advertisers Own The Future Of Content. As consumers use their devices more, the most expensive real estate is an icon on the home screen. As content continues to proliferate, the battle to reach specified eyeballs intensifies.
Technology is empowering advertisers to reach, engage and reward their customers, from virtual product interaction, content with pre-packaged features that smart TV’s open automatically, automated content editing, to personalised advertising delivered via OTT/CTV, AVOD or FAST models.
Marketing is now predominantly implemented through content and the ways in which advertisers/entities can reach consumers is infinite, but commercial and personal budgets are not.
The challenge for advertisers who are spoiled for choice, is to really know their target market well enough to know what will best serve them and be embraced by them.
As a marketer data transfer, the proliferation of innovative products and services on offer to advertisers and their customers are “disparate, but ironically connected”.
In coming days and weeks, I’ll expand on these insights and share more of the information I absorbed at the show.