At Think SE 2018, an audience of Sweden’s leading advertisers and marketers gathered to hear about advances in machine learning and data-driven thinking, and to discuss how to build the businesses and agencies of the future.
This year’s Think SE event looked at how the latest developments in connectivity, data and automation can help advertisers communicate with a new generation of super-empowered consumers.
Anna Wikland, Google Sweden Country Director, kicked off the event with a warm welcome to attendees, before handing over to Johan Erkisson, Head of Specialists at Google. Johan began by reiterating the importance of customer-centricity, reminding the audience to always ask: “is this truly what the customer wants?” The keynote then moved on to discuss information activation, automation, and the importance of creating an agile organisation capable of responding to the changing needs of consumers. Read more.
Next up, industry guru Les Binet from Adam & Eve DDB, gave a presentation on marketing effectiveness in the digital era. Arguing that marketing is both a creative art and a data-driven science, Les used copious examples from his long career to demonstrate how brands can find the right balance between achieving immediate results and building long-term value.
Turning Data into Information
To better serve the customer you have to understand them better. With increasing amounts of information available, marketers have an unprecedented ability to analyse the consumer journey in detail, but only if they have the right set up and the right tools. Eva Fors, Regional Head of Google Cloud, used her session to discuss the fundamentals of data strategy, customer insight and automation, before Olesya Moosman, Google Sweden’s Attribution Specialist, took the audience through the specifics of using better measurement to drive growth.
Most business leaders are now likely to accept the importance of taking a data-driven approach, but Jeremy Brook, Google’s Head of Creative Partnerships for Northern Europe, insists that this doesn’t mean the end for creativity. In his sessions, he showed how new tools and insights can allow creatives to elevate their ideas to higher levels, and achieve even greater impact. Viewed in this way, information becomes a vital part of storytelling, while the underlying creativity behind the stories remains as important as ever.
Satalia’s Daniel Hulme is both an academic expert in Artificial Intelligence, and the CEO of a company providing machine learning (ML) and data science solutions to some of the world’s biggest brands. In his keynote, he outlined a framework for understanding data-driven decision making, and delivered valuable insights into how businesses will need to organise themselves to make the most of the innovation and opportunity promised by AI.
Beshad Behzadi, Senior Director of Engineering at Google Switzerland, was next on stage, describing a future in which intelligent assistance is always on hand, whether you’re using your phone, TV, smart speaker, or even driving your car. Building on this theme, Samuel Young, Head of ICAx, described how our interactions have gradually moved from ‘human first’ to ‘screen first’ and now to ‘voice first’. With a particular focus on the retail sector, Samuel considered what a world of always-on voice assistants will mean for brands and agencies. If you’re ready to start building your own voice interactions - or if you just want to learn more about the future of natural user interfaces - visit our developer site for details on how to build apps for Google Assistant.
As transformative as ML promises to be for consumers, it is already having a big impact on the work of marketers. In the next session, Google Automation Specialist Freddie Jansson, shared some of the ML-powered tools and approaches that businesses can start using right now, along with details of the impressive results being achieved by companies who have already implemented these solutions.
Building the future
Drawing these themes together in the day’s final keynote, writer and customer leadership expert Thomas Barta drew on his vast experience of melding data, connectivity and automation into long-term business success. With many executives still struggling to successfully transition their businesses to a data-first strategy, Thomas explained the importance of grounding organisational change in the language of hope, and in demonstrating bottom-line impact to break down barriers and encourage people to embrace new ways of working.