The Future of Digital: Top 3 Discoveries from Digital World Series Birmingham

Blog by Greta Geoghegan

Keeping up-to-date with not only current trends, but also future trends is key to our business. One of our roles as a creative agency is to stay ahead of the game so we can offer the best possible service to our clients. I recently attended Digital World Series Birmingham in order to grasp a better understanding of the future of digital from experts in the field. Speakers from Uber, Twitter, Facebook, Urban Coffee Company, and many more, shared their views on digital transformation and the big trends every business should be embracing.

It was an inspiring and educational day, and I left with plenty of new knowledge ready to share with our clients. I’ve whittled it down to three key discoveries that every business should consider.

  1. The growth of video marketing is accelerating

The common theme throughout the day was video. Every speaker at least alluded to its importance, with some centring their entire presentation around it. Sophie Rayers, Marketing Director at Brightcove Inc, discussed the challenges and opportunities with video marketing in great detail.

Sophie explained the ‘research, recommend, repeat’ cycle. Consumers are far more likely to research a brand, recommend it to their peers, and repeat loyalty to the brand if they are marketed to with video. Why? Recent statistics show video is 1200 times more powerful than images and text combined. It’s good for search too – Google pushes pages with video content higher in search results.

Twitter’s European Head of Content, Paul McCrudden, and Facebook’s Agency Partner Manager, Greg Russell, also demonstrated the power of video in their presentations. Twitter conducted neurological research to assess how people react to different media. Video won hands down, causing the most brain activity in those studied. This led to Twitter introducing an update, which allows users to access Periscope within their timeline.

Facebook have also seen a massive shift to visual. On average, there are 8 billion video views per day on Facebook – a 94% increase on video views last year. Facebook predict that as we saw text shift to photo, and then shift to video, video will shift to VR/AR. Check out our recent blog on the future of virtual reality marketing.

  1. The shift from desktop to mobile is complete

Facebook’s Greg Russell focussed on ‘Innovation In A Mobile World’. In his expert analysis, the digital world has now totally shifted towards mobile, and brands that aren’t embracing this are missing out on the majority of their customers. There are 2.8 billion internet users globally, but 7 billion mobile subscriptions. This just demonstrates the sheer amount of people brands can tap into.

52% of all time on our mobiles is spent within apps, and 88% of this time is spent within our top 5 apps, which include Facebook and Twitter for the majority of people. This is why it’s so important for brands to be producing social content that looks good on mobile. 70% of video views on Facebook are viewed from a mobile device.

Twitter’s Paul McCrudden demonstrates how mobile media time is growing, whilst everything else is declining.


  1. You won’t always get it right, and that’s okay

What was really refreshing to hear was businesses talk about their failures, and how they’d learnt from them. For example, Sage, Britain’s largest software company, had effectively no digital strategy until last year. Digital transformation is now a major part of their growth strategy, as they’ve learnt from their mistake of not embracing it as well as they could have in the first instance.

Uber also grow via their mistakes. As the fastest growing company in history, it’s certainly working. Local teams are in charge of local decision making, which means there is a lot of experimentation; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it does work, it’s recorded so other local teams can adapt the idea for their region.

A smaller business that’s learnt from failures is Urban Coffee Company. Co-founder, Simon Jenner, explained their experimentation with various digital elements, such as an app that allowed customers to pre-order coffee. It didn’t work, but what’s important is the learning from it, and understanding what they can do to improve next time. As Ian West from Cognizant said in his presentation, ‘Start small, think big, fail fast.’


The event confirmed that Digital Glue is moving in the right direction. Video marketing, in particular, is something we are experimenting more with. Want advice on digitally transforming your business? Get in touch with us for a chat.


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