It was a misty, rainy Danish fall morning on the docks of Nordhavn, but we were greeted by a red carpet and a saxophonist. Inside, notes of pink and purple helped keep us warm, We were in a restored old salt warehouse, but with 500 colleagues, music, and beautiful artwork on the ceiling, you could hardly feel the fall weather knocking at the door. A generous side of sweet surprises throughout the day helped close the deal.
If you can’t tell, I was a fan of #komfosummit.
You could tell that #teamkomfo had gone all the way to create meaningful moments and surprises throughout the day. From the saxophonist to a room full of VR to play with, one of my personal favorites was probably experiencing teenagelovetune open the main stage with their delicate, catchy pop.
But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. What about the content and the speakers, I hear you asking. Did you learn stuff? And yes, we did!
6 KomfoSummit trends
Let’s start out with some main themes and trends from #komfosummit. Not everything mentioned here can be described as news. But when things are mentioned again and again by several different speakers, perhaps we should be listening?
- Storytelling isn’t dead. In fact, it may even be the new content marketing. But we can’t continue to rely on on our own content and stories. User generated content and influencers are on the rise, and they are creating their own stories with your brand.
- We are definitely not done hearing about influencers yet, but the way we use and view influencers is still in flux because the way we create and consume media is – surprise! – also in flux
- Chatbots are on our minds and may very well be the topic of the year for many digital marketers. Almost every speaker at #komfosummit mentioned chatbots to some extent. Here’s the catch: many of them were critical, because they view the technology as being immature, especially for fostering relationships… But still, when everyone is mentioning chatbots, maybe we should be listening, right?
- Relationships and customer-centricity is still at the heart of marketing and communications. Nothing new to see here, except that a lot of brands and marketers still need to pay more attention to this point. As we’ve been hearing (and hear at komfosummit): it’s about people, not platforms.
- Amazon. Amazon, responsible for 53% of e-commerce in the US, is being used as the prime example in every presentation. Why is Amazon mentioned as a trend? Thought not yet in Denmark, they are a force to be reckoned with and a force to keep any eye on (kind of like China; see below). They are barreling ahead in everything from AI to Bots to new tech to….
- Data. Data is everything. We need data too make everything above work and to get better at everything above. To quote Anne Sophie Hurst: if you don’t have a data scientist team, get one now! Or even better, To quote Emma Blom: I’m not smarter than anybody else, I just have better data!
One of my personal greatest ‘aha-moments’ was Christina Boutrups keynote speech on China – “Is it time to copy China?” As someone who has previously mostly focused on english speaking markets, this presentation was a huge eyeopener. Also, clearly much more complex than just the overview I am showing you here. Biggest takeaway: Chinovation is real and we should be paying attention!
- Did you know that 1/3 of all VR sold in the world in 2016 was sold in China?
- Or that China is number 1 in the world for: social, ecommerce, drones, fin-tech, electric cars, solar, and high speed trains? They also have a goal of being number 1 in AI, which is a goal that is heavily supported by the government.
So how did China get so good – so fast? Well, one way is by believing in “failing fast forward”, often going to market with products that are only 75% complete, but then being incredibly speedy about gathering feedback and improving products and scaling to market needs. In the west, we’ve sometimes laughed at the idea of these products that seemed incomplete, but what if was just a tactic for sprinting through the feedback proces? I think some of the slow-moving western giants could learn from that dynamic approach.