Movers and shakers from across the social media spectrum converged on San Diego on Friday to showcase the current and future states of online marketing at the 2012 Interactive Day conference.
Speakers and representatives from companies such as Amazon, Twitter and Pandora headlined the event.
The conference’s opening keynote featured Bunchball Chief Revenue Officer Steve Patrizi, who’s company aims to mirror the success of the gaming industry by “gamifying” the workplace.
Similar to how video games track player progression by “leveling up,” Bunchball seeks to utilize progression based “human motivators” by tracking worker progress through an online-based interface, enabling employees to complete various office missions and tasks.
Beyond the workplace, Bunchball has also brought the attention of outside marketers that seek to gamify their ads, such as the USA TV network and the animated movies “Rio” and “Despicable Me.”
Next up was Twitter director of sales, Robert Pietsch, who talked to the audience about the power of the “twitterverse” in online marketing.
“The way we’ve always done things has to change,” said Pietsch. “The conversation is the canvas. It opens up a new world.”
In the marketing world, Twitter is attempting to advertise through user conversations. Though limited to only 140 characters, he said tweets have the ability to bring the advertising world even closer to the user.
“Make conversations not ads,” he told marketers in the audience. “Make content which leads to conversations.”
Pietsch pointed out clothing company Bonobos as an example of marketing through Twitter. The company announces upcoming sales through tweets, and keeps customers up to date on their latest supply of clothing.
The executive director of Pandora, an internet radio service, spoke to marketers about their approach to advertising.
By using Pandora, users are able to create their own radio stations by tagging their favorite artists. The service plays three advertisements per hour on the user’s station.
There are currently 150 million users on Pandora, who play just over 6,500 songs every second, according to executive director John Hilton.
“As consumers we get very used to changing,” said Hilton. “We all used to think what radio was, now its changing.”
Pandora uses factors such as the user’s gender, age and location to better target online advertisements. Pandora is expanding rapidly beyond the desktop, with users now listening to stations through the Pandora app on smartphones and tablets.
Interactive Day, which originated as a luncheon of about 150 people, now has in attendance more than 800 marketing and advertising representatives, said Senior Director of aRes Travel Carmella Spencer, who helped organize the event.
“Even though all these companies are giving their advice, it’s all pretty unbiased and useful information that any business can benefit from,” said first-time attendee Nick Thompson, a recent San Diego State marketing graduate.