4A’s CreateTech 2015 in New York City is hosting more than 270 registered guests to hear from futurists, agency and media leaders, marketers and academics as they discuss the game-changing tech trends. The big stories on Day One shared similar themes: innovation, the value of time, consumer-focused design, virtual reality and the enduring power of storytelling. 

Here’s a Recap of Four Things You Missed:

THE FUTURE BEGINS NOW, Erica Orange & Jared Weiner, The Future Hunters

Erica Orange, 4A's CreateTech 2015    

Erica Orange, 4A's CreateTech 2015


Key Takeaway: Everything is shrinking. Consumers have less time. Marketers need to group “generations” in terms of 2-3 years, not 10-12 (as was the case with the boomers or Millennials.) Those who produce digital marketing efforts have less time to create.

Why It’s Important: The compression of time guarantees agencies will need to create more messages more frequently with less turnaround time. If businesses can’t find ways to shorten their processes and get products or product messages into the market more quickly, they won’t succeed. 

How It Can Help Your Business: Now is the time to rethink workflow, and hire enough resources to turn things around quickly so quality won’t suffer and valued employees won’t burn out. Accept that the products or services you produce will have a shorter shelf life. 

LISTEN CLOSELY, Daniel Perlin, UX Director, Droga5

Daniel Perlin at  4A's Createtech 2015

Daniel Perlin at  4A's Createtech 2015

Key Takeaway: Listening to the consumer and asking the perennial questions, "Who? What? When? Why? How?" should guide the good user experience.

Why It’s Important: “Our responsibility as people who make things is to pay attention to context,” says Perlin. And listening is NOT the same as hearing. Listening requires more than just your ears. It requires your other senses.

How It Can Help Your Business: If you listen to your customers, you will be able to design products in their proper context. Good user-experience designers serve as the eyes and ears of the customer as new digital products and messages are created. Listening will create a stronger bond between the customer and the digital experience. 

WHEN THE ONLY SOLUTION IS INNOVATION, Andreas Dahlqvist, Chief Creative Officer, Grey New York and John Militello, Director of Marketing Innovation & Strategy, Volvo

Key Takeaway: Marketers who are facing stiff competition from rivals who outspend them five to one have no choice but to innovate. 

Why It’s Important: Many companies are facing extinction, even big beloved brands that were once too big to fail. Innovation is not for the faint of heart. Clients who don’t give their agency partners room to produce edgier creative could pay a steep price.

How It Can Help Your Business: Innovation is no longer a luxury. It’s an imperative. Volvo cited its effort for the Super Bowl where it encouraged consumers to tweet for a chance to win a free car for someone who inspires them during every car ad (all competitors) that ran on the Super Bowl. The result was $200 million in earned media impressions and envy among competitors. Volvo is indeed a David vs. Goliath story in the auto category. “I think our slingshot is marketing innovation,” says Volvo’s Militello. “We want to do stuff that will (move) the needle.”

                        Andreas Dahlqvist at 4A's CreateTech 2015

                       Andreas Dahlqvist at 4A's CreateTech 2015

IMMERSION AND ENGAGEMENT, Melissa Eccles, Elastic.tv and Jamin Warren, Founder, Kill Screen

Melissa Eccles and Jamin Warren, 4A's CreateTech 2015

Melissa Eccles and Jamin Warren, 4A's CreateTech 2015

Key Takeaway: Immersion is one of the most intimate forms of storytelling. When a consumer is immersed in an experience, he believes he is participating in and being transported into the story. Engagement is what a customer might want to do to share or enhance that experience. 

Why It’s Important: Immersion is one of the strongest ways to connect with customers. “The reality of being totally immersed in the world is as old as fiction,” said Warren. “Immersion is something that we desire.”

How It Can Help Your Business: Immersion followed by engagement is one of the most powerful ways to create customer loyalty. Minecraft was used as an example of an immersive experience that can lead to engagement. Players are immersed in the game, but they might enhance their experience by watching other gamers play Minecraft on YouTube.



All photos Jennifer L. Gonzeles, j.l.gonzeles@gmail.com