The BCAMA sure knows how to throw a panel, inviting seven of the city’s brightest digital thinkers to share their thoughts on the thing to watch in digital during their annual Digital Agency Panel.
To kick off a casual evening, attendees mingled over appies and libations to the musical stylings of Zaac Pick. In an interesting twist, the panel was modeled after Pecha Kucha Night (where speakers present 20 images, each for 20 seconds). Strategists from Taxi, Burnkit, Graphically Speaking, Engine Digital, Invoke Media, Noise Digital and Domain7 were given exactly 7 minutes to leave the audience in digital awe – definitely not an easy task.
The first two speakers spoke towards the human capacity to innovate and use shared experiences in order to enhance life. For instance, the introduction of Google Glass to connect with modern technology or GE modifying medical equipment for developing countries, reengineering medical devices to increase accessibility and affordability for the five billion people who need it most.
Another theme that emerged from the evening was regarding the necessity of building digital DNA within the company. According to Dean Elissat of Engine Digital, “digital maturity is not category competency. It isn’t just using technology that is available or being as good as those who exist in the space.” Preventing complacency requires organizational intent and commitment to digital that is ingrained in the company’s DNA. In layman’s terms, digital strategists need to be at the front line driving the business strategy, alongside directors and CEOs.
Sean Tyson of Invoke Media stated that products will help us rethink digital, as products are everything advertising campaigns are not. For instance, campaigns have a finite start and end date whereas products last forever; this makes measuring ROI easy as the product either sells or no longer exists. Products accumulate communities & engagement, consumers like products and clients like products.
Providing a different perspective, Kevan Gilbert of Domain7 spoke to an accusation that technology use is killing our ability to focus because we need constant stimulation. After challenging himself to go without technology for months, Kevan shared his experience stating, “Without technology, we are still us.” We may gain some clarity about ourselves during the first month of going offline, but we will eventually find other ways to distract ourselves. Thus, technology exists to help us use technology appropriately, not kill our ability to be a deeper version of ourselves.
The thing that makes the digital world exciting is that there isn’t one clear path towards the future. The very nature of digital is innovative and ever changing, thus anything is possible.