Last week I went with a couple of colleagues to the Marketing Association’s annual ‘Digital Day Out’, and it was a full day of head-imploding info on some amazing tech, as well as insights into how that tech is being used for marketing and other consumer innovations. I’ll give you the briefest overview I can, as a taster!

Okay, deep breath….

The Internet Of Things:

Big data and smart tech are a way data is gathered and can be used to monitor our fridges, suggest recipes, and automatically restock and deliver our supplies. How vehicles can collect performance data and use that to identify faults, order parts, book repair services, offer coupons and also feed that info back to manufacturers to monitor trends and faults right back to the exact plant where the parts were made.

Messaging Apps:

Trends are moving towards messaging apps as the #1 way we are keeping in touch, and what was interesting was that trend was a consistent percentage across all age demographics. And there's evidence that some are ditching Facebook altogether for Messenger and WhatsApp. The tech is keeping up too with group chat, and chat bots that are increasingly human-like in their interaction. (Some are running pretty top tier dad-jokes!)

Digital Humans:

Shaun Paga from Soul Machines took us through a mind-blowing look at the tech they’re developing here in Auckland. They create digital humans and A.I. and the numerous applications that can be applied to autonomous cars, training tools, brand experiences, customer service and selling tools. It’s alarming how far this has come already with A.I. being able to detect our subtle human emotion nuances and react accordingly. (Those of us raised on dystopian sci-fi movies shifted uncomfortably in our seats.)

Social Media Campaigns:

A few speakers touched on campaigns ranging from social awareness and challenging stereotypes with bold campaigns like the #ThisGirlCan (encouraging more females to exercise through inspiration and sharing stories and personal experiences) or the ANZ #HoldTight celebrating same-sex relationships or the brand story that started the Lyft car transport app. Again and again, the message is engaging the consumer with touching personal stories, unflinching honesty and encouraging the audience to participate in sharing and personalising the experience.


Creating games as a form of heightened connectivity is a fun and effective way to engage your audience well past the 6-second attention span and stay there for minutes at a time – as well as repeat visits to the site. This ties into A.R. (like Pokemon Go) where you can search for the supermarket aisles looking for animated characters and find rewards and digital coupons along the way. V.R is a tool to experience strange, fun or dangerous scenarios and environments from a safe viewpoint for everything from advertising to education and simulations.


The future is here, and China is seemingly leap years ahead with this incredible app that seems to be able to change… well, everything from messaging to instant shopping to entertainment. And it’s a massively… massive mobile payment system. There’s almost nothing it can’t do.  Seriously. 

It was about this time my cerebral hard drive crashed! Thanks for a great day Marketing Association, looking forward to next year!

That’s it for now, and catch you next time :)