Web Summit 2019, Lisbon, Portugal – Era of digital transformation

News - Nov 18, 2019

Being a part of the event such as the #WebSummitLisbon, with 70,000 visitors from all over the world, more than 1,200 lecturers and 2,500 journalists, in the world where “equality” is represented by 46.3 percent of women, is definitely a privilege. Being a part of the event about the latest trends and expectations in the digital world for 2020 is also an honour, which I’m going to share with you. This year, Represent Communications was represented by a 6-member team at the system level.

The very fact that this event is capable of hosting more than 70,000 visitors and 1,200 lecturers confirms its size. Lectures were available at an arm’s length.

Edward Snowden joined the opening of the event directly from Russia via video-call and talked about how the most relevant institutions in society were perceived as less important than they actually were. Digital transformation as the topic of this summit gained in relevance through various examples and lecturers, where we learned that the power of digital transformation, if adjusted to our work adequately, might revolutionise our profession.

Digital transformation has been a hot topic in recent years. Its importance and implementation in our industry are more than needed. An increase of influencers working for various brands is expected – they actually create content and thus communicate with audience – said Ian Sommerhalder, a famous actor, who is directly engaged in creating content for a number of companies. Asked whether it would be possible to develop a new brand, bearing in mind how SoMe were oversaturated, he said that content in the form of appealing short video clips or animations was what made a difference with new brands or products.

– Authenticity, honesty and solid frequency of high-quality content are what people appreciate. Perfection is the biggest enemy of a good YouTube channel – said Ian.

From a strategic perspective of business, he pointed out to 3 key pillars: people, environment and profit – as consumers want nothing less. Companies, namely brands will have to follow these three principles in order to survive.

The future of influencers is in focus again, thanks to the influence of SoMe. Too many likes, too many followers. If around four million influencers were registered in the world in 2018, this year the number jumped to nine million, posing a very difficult task for companies – they need to pick an ideal candidate for their needs. What will make a distinction in the future is the production of content appealing enough to be remembered and attractive, and thus shared on SoMe. The need for connecting with a target audience will be based on the absorption of its needs and creativity produced for stronger interaction. The increase of the number of influencers working with brands means production of content and direct communication with audience. A good example was a story about Walt Disney, as the company with direct access to audience through creating sufficiently attractive content. It builds long-term relations with its audience.

The same rule applies to SoMe. It is not enough to have a page or pay for a campaign there. Not only does content have to be adequate by our standards, but it also needs to be sufficiently appealing. SoMe are actually treated as a “rented apartment”, with long-term investments in order to get virality. What the future brings is really the establishment of own media via good content, and therefore generation of traffic by a targeted audience. SoMe will be used exclusively for a “push” effect and collection of followers/consumers.

The app use has been growing constantly, accounting for 55 percent of all network transactions at the moment. Statistical data show that the growth of app use is currently three times bigger than resolving targeted problems/tasks/objectives through search engines. Unless brands adjust and communicate with their consumers in this fashion, the growth of use of smartphones and apps will not be good for them.

Technology has been regularly changing and developing in a manner suitable for users, and opportunities for cashing in on in some, let’s say, experimental phase. Expectations for digital platforms and their use for 2020 mainly coincide with Instagram Stories, TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube. Content in the form of video clips and animation is simple enough for watching without the need for reading. Furthermore, static banners will record a continuous drop of appeal, unlike dynamic banners and animations.

A representative of The New York Times talked about storytelling and brands, underlining that the point of access was in identifying a relevant story and how it would be disseminated further. Not to present a brand as the main topic of a story, but to refocus on expectations and needs of a target audience in a manner it would understand and remember.

– Don’t force your children to eat raw broccoli or tomato. They don’t want to. Find a way to give them a shape they find acceptable.

#WebSummitLisbon was a meeting point of a large number of visitors from various industries, but the conclusion of all panels, discussions and lectures we attended was the same – The future is in own content, which will provide continuous results in the long run. Communication of a campaign with potential customers is short. Don’t invest in a wrong manner!




Nataša Mirkova

Director Skopje Office

Natasha Bozinovska Mirkova has 15+ years of experience as digital marketer combining it with all managerial skills she can possess so that the office in Skopje can become one of the youngest offices with biggest potential.

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