Ngage Media Event – Cutting Through the Digital Landscape

Bringing together existing technologies in a way that creates explosive and penetrating marketing campaigns is where the world is headed – this was the focus of Ngage’s event Cutting Through the Digital Landscape. More than 200 people were drawn to The Cloud on Queen’s Wharf, browsing the latest technology in digital signage on display (including Samsung’s super cool transparent screen) and listening to the panel of industry speakers. 

Ngage Media has positioned itself as an industry leader in the digital signage market, becoming a portal for the interaction of digital signage, social networking and mobile phones. This combination creates more effective marketing tools – and this integration of technology is allowing a sort of creativity that hasn’t been possible before.

Sanjay Manandhar, the keynote speaker, is founder of Boston-based software platform Aerva. Ngage Media has the exclusive license for the New Zealand, Australian and Pacific markets.

Manandhar has so far pulled off some huge campaigns, like Taco Bell’s Doritos Tacos Locos product launch. Recruiting hometown “tweet-offs,” they posted people’s tweets and avatars on a digital billboard promoting the product. That campaign boosted the new item to become the company’s #1 product in just three weeks – an item that sells for only US$1.49. The secret was using the right tool for the right demographics – Twitter – and the key result was people sharing allowing\ exponential growth.

Manandhar said everything will be connected to everything, digitally, so innovation is key. “You’ve got to keep innovating; if you don’t, you’re dead,” he said. A point that Vodafone’s Jeff Hazell also touched on, saying that very soon, there will be more machines connected to the internet than people. Machine 2 Machine or M2M is one of the fastest growth categories for the telco.

Manandhar believes that looking forward is important, but a big shift can come fast and ruthlessly, and you’ve got to be astute in keeping an eye on what consumers are doing. In stark contrast to a decade ago, consumers are driving change, and end user experience will drive the dollars. And finally, he said the rules are now different – only the most nimble players will set the stage – he cited Obama’s success in the US presidential campaigns down to his relentless use of social media compared with Romney’s primarily TV-based campaign.

Other speakers last night Mike Hutcheson, executive director of the Image Centre Group, Steve Simms, co-founder of Tomizone and Jeff Hazell, business propositions manager at Vodafone, all proclaiming the imminent move of society to a completely mobile world and the necessarily creative advertising opportunities that this will bring.

Co-founder of Tomizone Steve Simms spoke about the smarter ways marketers are interacting with consumers. Vending machines can be interconnected with advertising systems, through display screens offering downloadable content. Airports are using free wi-fi to create personalised ads for users. And in the future, everything will be done in a mobile world.

Jeff Hazell, business propositions manager at Vodafone, said communication is changing beyond recognition. Today’s consumer, ensconced in a mobile world, is more impatient, more informal and more aware of choice. The impact on business is that it has turned it upside down – forget bookstores and CD stores, the new imperative is to go mobile with web-based content.

Ngage’s brand new app, BOXT, was also launched at the event. The app is both a powerful tool for marketers and consumers – location-based technology connects users to the retailers they see around them, in the moment.