Marketers say digital is at the heart of engagement

Marketers have used the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Engage conference to emphasise that advertisers should treat digital as a core engagement tool.

Mark Lund

Mark Lund, chief executive of the UK’s biggest advertiser, the Central Office of Information, says digital is at the ‘heart of public engagement’.

Lund adds digital media is becoming an essential component to engage with the public on sensitive subjects, but should not be used alone.

“Digital is a huge opportunity to encourage behavioural change in consumers, but it cannot be used on its own. The power of conversations is very important and social media is a positive environment to make changes happen,” he says.

Lund says documentaries aimed at curbing teenage pregnancies and the RAF’s use of YouTube to broadcast unedited and unmediated footage from soldiers allowing consumers to post feedback to the video diaries as examples of social media in action.

He adds the COI had increased its digital spend by 200% over the last three years and the channel will be a “pivotal” medium in future Government communications including allowing consumers to get involved with future policy discussions.

Meanwhile, Matt Brittin, managing director of Google UK, says marketers must engage more with data and use it as a core advertising aid.

“Become greater with data, take leaps and learn, treat testing as a religion, consider both cost and collaboration across teams and try and move faster,” he stressed.

Ashley Highfield, managing director and vice president of consumer and online UK at Microsoft, adds: “We’ve reached a tipping point where PCs are selling more than TV sets. The digital world has got to move with this and for the most part, this will be an ad-funded future. The modernisation of screens used in marketing will help to convince more advertisers of the merits of digital.”

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