23 Apr 2015

Recently I went to the first Mumbrella Perth and it was a great day, with many interesting talks to take in.

The keynote speaker of the day was Jon Steel, the WPP group planning director, who talked a lot about research, saying it’s time to hit the reset button, go back to basics and do meaningful research to find real insights. He mentioned that he spent most of his time outside of the agency, taking the research to people in their natural habitats.

He spoke of the time when he judged the integrated category at an awards show, saying he spent hours listening to “this many twitter followers, hashtags, etc” but what should have been shown is more genuine research, not meaningless numbers. “If somebody believes that excited bloggers represent return on investment then I think the apocalypse is well and truly upon us. And if the answer is always Twitter, it must have been a really stupid question”, he said.

He told us all to remember the fundamentals that stay the same even though things like Snapchat, Twitter and phone sizes change.
1) Be clear of the problem we are trying to solve. We have to push back and identify the right issue.
2) Always look at the problem in the context of life. He gave an example of an empty jar sitting in a cafĂ© with a note that says ‘tip’, but another jar that’s full says ‘Mexico 2014’.
3) Resist the accountability mindset that affects so many companies today.
4) Keep things as simple as possible. Just because you can do things, doesn’t mean you should. Simple works when complicated doesn’t.
5) Keep it personal.
6) And never forget that you are talking to people.

“I’m not saying just go back to the old ways and don’t embrace the new, I’m saying embrace the new, but do so while remembering some of these fundamentals.” Jon Steel.

And another speaker I really enjoyed was Travis Johnson, who talked about the future of technology and how cities like Barcelona are now connecting everything that can be connected. They are one of many cities creating new experiences with sensors and he asked us to think of new experiences we could create.

We heard some interesting facts about ibeacon, a wireless technology that sends you messages/information as you walk past a transmitter. Currently 1 in 5 people who receive one of these signals interacts with it. There are still a couple of problems with them though, in that you need an app to receive the signal and it doesn’t work through crowds.

An amazing fact I took away from his talk was that ‘each household currently has 8 connected devices on average (include Xbox, TV, laptop etc) but by 2017 it will be 20’.

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