It’s hard to believe that Web Summit 2015 is over. We’ve had such a fantastic week meeting talented and passionate individuals from all walks of life and industries, as well as listening to some of the most insightful talks given by the most influential figures in business. Here are the final two sessions we attended.
Big Data and the new age of Advertising
‘Big Data’ was one of the most common buzzwords at the Summit. The thing is, while most companies collect huge amounts of data, they may not necessarily know how to make it actionable. Furthermore, it’s not just about Big Data, but about fast data, i.e. how quickly you process that data, which is crucial in order to enable real-time decision-making.
There has long been a tension between creatives and analytics in marketing, and this is a divide that can only be resolved through Big Data marketing. Big Data marketing allows both these facets of marketing to play their respective roles, in order to produce a new form of marketing, far more effective than ever before.
Data is currently already incredibly smart but to make it even smarter, one has to turn to Machine Learning. Machine Learning is about pattern-matching, and big companies like Facebook and Google are investing in a whole new generation of processors.
It’s all well and good to promise marketers that you can help them obtain more customers, but what’s less clear for marketers is how to retain consumer loyalty. This is where Machine Learning comes in. For example, you can discern certain attributes about someone who is dropping loyalty, which allows you to customise an offer just for them.
Clicktivism to Activism, presented by The Guardian
With all eyes on the Labour party this year, it was interesting to see how digital has impacted on British politics, and politics as a whole. The 2015 British election was the most digital to date, with gov.uk publishing all appointments to the general public, rather than the information being passed through lobbies and journalists. Another way that digital played a part in the election was the storm created around David Miliband on social media. However, given the result of the election, it was a confusing outcome in terms of how much of an influence digital had over people’s votes.
This is where the panel started to discuss whether clicks can ever actually amount to votes, examining the role played by ‘clicktivism’ in campaigns such as the Scottish Independence referendum and the recent buzz around Jeremy Corbyn. Technology is a tool which can be used for good, if audiences can move beyond liking, retweeting and commenting. One of the panellists argued that we are essentially sleepwalking our way into an age of technology, and that our civic lives are stuck in the 20th century. However, digital has the potential to change the way we communicate and even vote. Digital means that an online leader could be a 15 year old or a political veteran with a political ideology. Opinion expression is the starting point which can be powered by social media.
We are very much looking forward to the next Web Summit, which will be held in Lisbon. We hope to see you there.