Tech for Tomorrow: Lessons From This Year’s DigiCon, from Unlearning Habits to Creating Meaningful Relationships - The Scene

More than 2,000 people from 250 companies attended this year’s virtual conference.

Digital is the status quo. Whether it’s shopping, dining, entertainment, finances, or services, there’s hardly any function in daily life that does not involve a few taps on a screen.

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This year’s DigiCon POP, organized by the Internet & Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) explored how different global brands leveraged on digital innovations. With more than 2,000 attendees from over 350 companies, this year’s virtual conference turned out bigger than last year’s edition. 

Here are a few insights:

Unlearn to evolve

Established business models have their merits. But with markets changing overnight, it’s also important to know when to adapt and let go.

 “Our game plan is simple: to tell the most meaningful stories, to tell it to as many people as possible, hence our renewed focus on digital,” Eugenio Lopez IV, who spearheaded ABS-CBN’s swift transition to digital over the past couple of years, said.

Brands should invest in unlearning just as much as they do in learning. As the keynote speaker Adam Grant put it, “Revisit your past work and reach out to your challenge network, to keep evolving as the world around us evolves.”

Show who you are

Few can make an impression better than DigiCon’s “baddest” speaker to date—social media sensation Bretman Rock—who shared how authenticity works for branding. 

“So amazing seeing people who look like me using their creativity as power and tools not to be famous, but to show the world who they are,” he said.

Being always on extends to all channels and mediums. Even traditional media can help with brand presence. “Radio is a very resilient medium. When new technologies come along, radio will find a way to adapt to it,” shared Vince Jaen of TMG Manila Broadcasting Company.

Finding the human factor

Growth comes to those who use tech to improve the lives of their community. As Chandan Deep of Twitter pointed out, “If you’re going to make real lasting change, it’s time to move from more reactive to proactive. Keeping people safe keeps brands safer.”

An equal appeal to the heart also plays a part. This is explained by Ogilvy UK’s Rory Sutherland, who emphasizes finding the balance between innovation and the human factor. 

“We’ve fallen too much in love with automation. [But] a great brand knows how to balance the automatic with a human,” he shared. 

What story will you tell?

A lot of companies will have already determined their marketing messages, only to forget the heart of the brand’s story. Hyper Island’s Peachy Pacquing pondered the true purpose of awareness: “Education isn’t about filling buckets, it’s about lighting fires,” which begs the question: what do you want your audience to care about and what can your brand do to help them do that?

With the market already saturated with thousands of competing brands, standing out with story-telling makes a difference. Take it from the co-creator of comic phenomenon Trese, Budjette Tan, who reminded marketers: “Know what’s at the core of your story. That’s the story you’re going to tell.”

Create meaningful connections

As the best-selling author and NYU Stern marketing professor Scott Galloway pointed out, “the meaningful opportunity is to work the competition, but the profound opportunity is to repair and cement meaningful relationships.”

Connections are established when brands use technology to help others. This is what McDonald’s Philippines’ Margot Torres highlighted when tackling issues bigger than any brand. She elaborated that “digital can magnify purposeful and meaningful campaigns during this time of crisis.”

The week-long virtual festivity concluded on October 15 with the much anticipated comeback of the Boomerang Awards, this year with the theme Unmute. The prestigious awards show was streamed live on IMMAP’s Facebook page.

6For more information about what went down at IMMAP DigiCon POP 2021, visit the official website at Follow on DigiCon PH on Facebook or Instagram for more updates.

Banner Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

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