5 marketing buzzwords from Internet Week New York 2016

MMS Upfront 2016

This year, Internet Week New York is a collection of loosely related events related to the tech world, with a particular focus on digital marketing content and its changing role in our brave new world of non-stop innovation.

At WGSN, we attended the Modern Marketing Summit Upfront, MediaPost’s OMMA conferences on Programmatic and Marketing Technology, and a Vox Media panel on lifestyle media in the internet age.

Throughout all three events and from over 50 different speakers throughout the industry, several prescient buzzwords emerged.

Here they are:

MMS Upfront 2016

MMS Upfront 2016



If programmatic was the official buzzword of 2015, “storytelling” is poised to take the spot as this year’s term. Having trained most people to not even see digital advertising (providing they haven’t already installed an ad-blocker), marketers need to figure out how to deliver advertising that brings real value to the consumer’s life.

“They’re not going to share stories about your product,” says Bank of America SVP Lou Paskalis, unless the stories resonate as great content. Marketers should always ask themselves, he continued, “will they care, and will they share?”

Taking things a step further are brands who use storymaking and technology to let consumers take part in creating their own advertising content. Examples include the #straightoutta meme generator promoting the film Straight Outta Compton, and this campaign from ad agency Deutsch for VW’s Golf:


While consumer interest in carefully considered design aesthetics constantly increases, brands and publications continue to innovate the ways they craft expressions of lifestyle. Though some consumers question the commercial nature of the lifestyle label, many see its practical utility in constructing identity.

Lifestyle brands with a consistent point-of-view and public voice make it easier for shoppers to investigate seasonal trends or quickly compare groups of similar items.

Inspired by the power of social media influencers and micro-influencers, brand and advertisers attempt to tap into the lifestyle ethos for powerful content marketing.


Since the technology was introduced on platforms like Facebook Messenger and Kik, nearly every brand is looking into developing their own chatbot. While the range of possible text communication presents obvious opportunity for marketers, strategists agree that consumers will initially respond best to short, emotionally or conceptually compelling interactions, rather than longer, more involved branded conversations. Said Jacquelyn Wosilius, director of digital marketing for Bowlmor AM, “Email is always going to be your workhorse of the marketing world. No other service can provide that sort of return.”


The ever-growing importance of digital media since the rise of the Internet has led to an overzealous buying of digital advertising — pop-ups, banner ads, and other interstitial advertising that either interrupts a viewer’s browsing experience or wastes data loading on mobile.

Over and over, panelists at Internet Week 2016 events described a disconnect between marketing strategy and the content being delivered.

Rather than nurture “great ideas”, many publishers opt for what was repeatedly referred to as the “low hanging fruit”: rapidly buying digital ad space and valuing impressions over conversion.

The solution? Extremely specific data analysis that will allow advertisers to deliver messages that are especially relevant to the individual consumer.

Data is king, and the technology used to mine and analyse it gets more sophisticated every day. Specific data allows marketers to deliver content that is more likely to be relevant to that specific consumer — or to suppress ads that might be nothing but a nuisance. For example, delivering ads for McDonalds breakfast only during morning hours, or programming an ad not to load on a phone that is on low battery, as the chances of conversion are greatly lowered.


But with all the important information data collection gives marketers comes the inevitable question: what about privacy? The word “creepy” came up again and again, but panellists were divided on the ethics of data. Do consumers already assume the collection of data and effectively opt into the system by even using a smartphone? Keep an eye on this debate as the conversation continues to develop both online and in federal courts.


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