DataIQ Future has become a must-attend event for senior managers who need to understand the trends and influences shaping their business environment. Returning to the Royal Institution for the third year in a row on 15th October, this year sees a rich mix of technology, social and data issues under the microscope.
What will your business look like in five years’ time? Things are changing fast - emerging digital channels, shifting consumer behaviour, greater regulation, increasing visibility and access to data. Transforming your marketing and data practice to meet these challenges will be complex and demand agility.
Gaining an insight into projected trends will help to ensure those plans align more closely with the new realities. For that, you need to hear from futurologists who understand the digital consumer and the emerging technologies which are shaping this new business environment.
You need a good grasp on the channels through which consumers and brands will be interacting and how they alter the nature of the customer relationship. You also need a clear view of the part data will play across your business and at the heart of your marketing.
DataIQ Future provides all three strands in one unique, strategic event. Now in its third year, it has established itself as the “must attend” one-day conference for senior directors and department heads who are tasked with creating plans that are agile, intelligent, deliverable and profitable.
Opening the event will be Tom Chatfield, BBC columnist and author of “How to thrive in the digital age”. Chatfield will provide an insight into the culture, media and behaviours which are shaping the world we all live in, from the shifting language being used to express new technological developments to the way brands are trying to incorporate changes into their products.
As he explained in a blog posting earlier this year, “new things have always required new words - and new words have always aroused strong feelings.” This led to his most recent book on technology and language, “Netymology” , in which he looked at why so many people feel angry about the way the latest inventions get described.
“Controversies relate not so much to foreign infiltrations as to informality, abbreviation and self-indulgence. Hence the swelling legions of acronyms (LOL!), grunts of internet-inspired indifference (meh) and social-media-inspired techniques for dramatising the business of typing (#knowwhatImean),” he wrote. “In each case, the dividing line is largely generational - with a dash of snobbery and aesthetic appeal thrown in. Yet even the most seemingly obvious divisions between old and new can break down under closer examination.”
Some of his discoveries are surprising, such as the use of “OMG” in a letter by a British admir al in 1917. David Cameron’s recent embarrassment about the term “LOL” may have been avoided had he consulted the Oxford English Dictio nary, which included it in 2011 with the definition as “laughs out loud”, rather than “lots of love” which an earlier generation of technology-users preferred.
Chatfield has also noted the way Apple recently dropped “skeuomorphic design” for its iPhone. This was the continuation of features from much older technologies, such as a cameraphone making a “click” on taking a photo in imitation of the mechanical shutter in film-based cameras. Each of these small steps takes us further into the future and away from the past, as you can discover during his keynote in October.
Closing the event will be another speaker who takes a close look at the way technology is affecting our lives and the way we think. Author of the recently published book, “Business re-imagined” and chief envisioning officer at Microsoft UK, Dave Coplin argues that disruptive trends may look challenging, but they can also be harnessed to new methods of value creation.
In a recent column for The Telegraph, Coplin asked: “How many of us now feel slaves to our inboxes, whether it be on holiday or last thing at night? We constantly check for messages when we should be cognitively elsewhere. We end up treating our mobile devices with disdain, blaming the fact we get email rather than blaming ourselves for checking for messages every five minutes.”
“It’s a classic example of where technology becomes the prison rather than the release. I’m not calling for the end of email. It remains one of the foundations of our digital communication toolbox. But we have allowed it to become the only solution when so many other, often better, technology choices now exist,” he wrote.
Consumerisation of IT means most business executives think nothing of checking for messages around the clock, regardless of where they are or what they are doing. But Coplin argues that email is the wrong tool to move information around compared to social networks.
“With social tools, it is easier to organise quickly - find the people you need, organise them into a group, accomplish something and then move on, but leave a trail of what was accomplished so that, as people come and go, they can interact and use that information to affect real change,” he wrote. To hear more about his views on how business needs to re-organise itself for the digital and data age, make sure you book your ticket in time for his closing keynote.
Social networks are not just communications, they are also influencing how customers view brands. Understanding where, when and how this is happening is becoming one of the critical tasks in marketing. With the constant emergence of new forums for both B2C and B2B conversations, having a strategy to cope is essential.
Thomas Power, co-founder of Scredible Leadors and community director of Google+ Business Network, will explain the latest ideas about how to take business into the social world while still ensuring it retains its all-important credibility.
It is not just marketers who are having to adjust to the social world - broadcasters need to as well. TV audiences no longer just sit and passively watch output - they also tweet about it live, blog about their favourite shows and create fan pages about performers. Understanding how these social connections influence viewing habits has huge potential for broadcasters, enabling them to develop content that engages and excites.
Tasked with overseeing this transformation at Channel 4, Gill Whitehead will outline how the channel is using its viewer engagement strategy to reach 8 million registered viewers, building loyalty and stimulating viewing. In the process, she is helping the broadcaster to leverage a new relationship marketing channel and harness viewer data to deliver innovation to advertisers.
For many readers of DataIQ, changes in technology and the social world of the consumer are more background noise than front of mind. The rest of this year - and up to 2016 - are likely to be taken up with considerations about the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation.
Uncertainty about its final shape should not mask one fact - it will change how every organisation has to deal with personal information and the cost base and risk factors involved. Whether through the impact of new consent requirements or the need to employ a Data Protection Officer, the eventual legislation will impose new demands that must be planned for now.
In his session, Moritz Godel will explain what impact these might have, based on the London Economics report specifically commissioned by the Information Commissioner’s Office to provide an objective insight into what might be in store.
As well as these fascinating keynote presentations, delegates at DataIQ Future 2013 will benefit from the insights of headline sponsor Experian Marketing Services, as well as inspiring sessions by Callcredit Information Group, Neolane, Rapp, Royal Mail and Teradata.
It is one terrific day in your year that could help to shape the next five years for your business. To be sure of your place, go to http://www.dqmgroup.com/future2013