Our CEO, Tim Pointer, hosted the annual Digital Day Out this year, held at Sky City on May 8th. The day ran bang on schedule, a big win for Tim (he kept shamelessly telling the crowd how he was nailing the timekeeping business!). Aside from his ability to get people off the stage without using a hook, Tim had the difficult role of curating the audience’s questions to get the most out of each talk, which he did a great job of. But I would say that – he’s my boss 😉 Add to this an inspiring lineup of speakers, DDO 2018 shaped up to be another successful event from the NZ Marketing Association. Here’s a quick round-up of the talks:

Dave Wild – Futurist & Innovator, Smith & Wild

Dave Wild is a futurist who encourages us to think about the impossible.  Dream big . . . but then focus on the execution, because this is often much harder than the ideation! Ten years ago we all thought by 2020 we’d be riding around in driverless cars, but delivering this is harder than expected – just ask Uber.  Dave’s ideas centre around fusing the real with the digital (as well as the achievable), creating a ‘mixed reality’. Google Home is the perfect example of this, where they’ve removed the interface to create a more human and user-friendly experience.  He gave an apt example of his Grandad using Google home for the first time:

“Hello Google, can I have a recipe for Banana bread?”

“Would you like the steps or the recipe?”.  Very clever. See Dave’s website here.

Travis Chambers – Chief Media Hacker, Chamber.Media (USA)

Travis is the perfect case study for investing in social video. His big-budget ads have driven millions of dollars in trackable sales while being long form and funny. Impossible you say? Travis’s talk unpacked the strategy behind his large-scale video success stories. The takeaways: create videos people actually want to watch while boosting your bottom line by focusing on the problem your products solve for your customers. See examples of Travis work here.

Martin Curtis – Head of Performance Agencies, Google AUNZ

Martin has 3 pieces of advice for us. Show up. Wise up. And speed up. While these recs could be applied to most areas of our lives, Martin focused on how brands are harnessing new technology to anticipate consumers needs, aka ‘being helpful’. Want to change your hair colour without the risk? Why not do it in an app first. The same applies to adding a spoiler to your car or new couch to your living room. It’s not always a product’s quality that that drives sales, it’s the assistance they provide. Think Dominoes who provide 15 different ways to order a pizza. Friction burns customers – reduce the path to purchase and you’ll be on a path to success!

Cassie Roma – Brand Storyteller, Social & Digital Media Pioneer

Cassie has been a Chief Storyteller for over a decade now and her talk emphasised the importance of brands using stories to create their own unique voice. Cassie illustrated this with a personal story of trying to sell her preloved piano. She couldn’t give her beloved piano away and it sat on TradeMe for months with no interest . . . until she added a story to the description. This piano had travelled around the world, united families and created memorable moments in so many homes. With the addition of the story, the piano sold in minutes to a woman who connected with the journey and had her own story to share. Cassie’s key point: “If you don’t tell your story yourself, your audience will make it up” an undesirable outcome for any brand.

Jody Boshoff – Director of Marketing, FaceMe

Jody heads up the marketing team at FaceMe – creators of the first human-like interface powered by artificial intelligence (AI). FaceMe has partnered with banks in Australia and uses their ‘digital employees’ to help customers complete tasks through chat and video (in the most natural and human way possible). The huge advantage of this technology is its ability to deliver 24-hour customer service at a decreased cost. It was fascinating to see this technology in action – a taste of what’s to come across a large number of industries that increasingly require 24-hour customer service. See more of FaceMe’s work here.

Alessandra Nixon – Digital Content and Social Media Manager – Consumer Brand, Vodafone

If you’ve ever heard Google Maps pronounce the names Tauranga, Waikato, Taupo you’ll know it has a specific issue with Maori pronunciation. In her talk, Alessandra explained the strategy and execution behind Vodafone’s ‘Say It Tika’ campaign which ran in Maori language week last year. Kiwi’s were invited to pin incorrectly pronounced Maori place names on a map on the Say it Tika website. Vodafone then partnered with Google Maps to update and enhance the pronunciation of these places.  This campaign is an excellent example of driving brand engagement by tackling an issue New Zealanders are passionate about. They did this while achieving Vodafone’s mission to improve communication as well as aligning the brand’s ‘here to help’ focus. More campaigns like this please! You can watch the ad here.

Jessica Yip – Senior Manager, Digital & Social Media Marketing, Air New Zealand

Jessica showcased the thinking (and stress!) behind the hugely successful Emoji Journey campaign Air New Zealand ran at the beginning of the year. They created an interactive experience that allowed people to plan a trip around New Zealand using only emojis. Users commented on the Facebook post on with a combination of emojis that best described their perfect NZ getaway. A bot then replied with a link to their personalised Emoji Journey – a Google Maps overlay that showed more info about the destinations and activities they were interested in. This is another great example of a campaign that champions the customer experience while being innovative and fun. See the ad here.

Ashleigh Smith – Marketing Manager – Corporate and Loyalty, Air New Zealand

Most of us would recognise ‘facial recognition software’ from the genius tech behind SnapChat’s suite of filters. However, this same technology has other (slightly more helpful) uses and is increasingly used being used by marketers.  Ashleigh demonstrated how Air New Zealand harnessed this software in a recent marketing campaign to monitor a range of facial movements and expressions as viewers watch footage of different Queensland experiences. From the expressions they were able to decipher which experience appealed the most to each viewer.


Erik Hermanson – Global Head of Digital & CX, Giant Bicycle (Taiwan)

Giant bicycles are the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer. In his talk, Erik illustrated how the company has driven growth by tapping into emerging markets – women’s cycling being a key success story. Using trends in running, Giant recognised the huge potential of the women’s cycling market, releasing a range of women-specific products ahead of demand. How did they achieve this? Erik emphasised the importance of internal teams working together to solve problems. Aaaaand getting buy-in from the executive team on the big ideas always helps too. Something we all can relate to!

Kari Mastropasqua – Executive General Manager – Data & Analytics, Equifax New Zealand and Australia

Kari talk centred around how businesses can draw insights out of their data to drive meaningful business outcomes. With the massive increase in data that’s available, combined with the increase in interaction rate by consumers – there’s a growing need to marry up the many data points so we can make unique propositions to consumers. The takeaway – prioritise the use of data in your business to make smarter decisions around your ad spend.