This past Thursday I attended the first Got Social Media conference and had a very refreshing experience. I was surrounded by tons of people who were enthusiastic, thirsty to learn and all of them with a streak of ambition.
Throughout the day, various subjects oriented around communications were discussed from a beginning to end kind of fashion; what communication is and the value and purpose it serves, the metrics involved in quanitfying the effectiveness of communications, the future direction of communicating and its experiential shift, tactical approaches to stir buzz marketing, a reality check about women and internet (which by the way makes up 52% of the entire web user population!) and the evolution of web technology.
There were some great presentations with valuable messages and I especially loved the ones that sparked curiosity. For me, those are the ones that usually stick. =)
A personal favorite from the event was the presentation by Stephen Anderson. His discussion tied in a number of different psychological/social behavioral elements and how in the future he believes the focus will shift towards the experience of browsing. In an “off-line” conversation I had with him, he talked about how it used to be the programmers and developers who ran websites, and now it’s the web designers and in the future it’ll be the psychologists and those involved in the social sciences. After thinking about for a bit, I think he’s right. As websites and internet users become more sophisticated, the development team will have to also. You can already see it on Nike.com and UnderArmour.com. It’s pretty clear that they’re selling emotion and experience, not just the shoes and tshirts.
With all that I’ve learned, I think that in the future, successful websites will be the ones that are able to replicate real in-person behaviors and tendencies in an online environment. In his presentation, Chris Bernard said that studies revealed that women shop for longer periods of time and spend more money when they shop with a friend or in a group. The question now is, how can you create an environment to simulate this kind of behavior on the internet? It’s something to think about.