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AOL's Digital Prophet, Shingy, gives us his predictions for 2015

Allan Swann | May 8, 2015
David Shing, better known as Shingy, has been one of Australia's most outspoken exports - appointed AOL's digital prophet, he has been on the speaking circuit for the last few years spreading his particular view of the future of the IT marketplace - drawing criticism and praise in equal measure. ARN sat down to have a chat with him at CeBIT 2015 ahead of his keynote.

Phone and watches are different. You have to pull your phone out of your pocket. The watch will all be about notifications, it's a different communication language. Only the most important stuff will go to your watch.

Well is all this automation and 'always on' going to define the coming tech landscape?

Its about efficiencies. People that used to be stuck in marketing lifecycles can now get on to better things. Its subtractive. Everyone thinks machines are going to take over — they're not. The industry is human by design! We're just creating efficiencies by design, so we can get on with more important things.

Branding by video, it's not just our brands. It's about delivering video to people in context. If you think about what we're doing here with AOL platforms, it's not just about our properties, it's about putting it in other properties out there. It's a distributed model, a contextual model, as I call it. The vast majority of decisions made by humans are emotional, so I like to work emotion into everything.

I like the example of GoPro, a product that's marketed by use cases and experiences, such as surfing or strapping it to a dog, rather than RAM, megapixels or processor speed...

Great example. They don't talk about their features and focus, they look at the people using their products, and why. GoPro is the perfect example of that, bro. The customer is their brand.

The path to building a world-class brand has completely flatlined in the modern world. You don't have to be a top 10 marketer to produce that, you just need a great idea, and get it contagious. I mean who would've thought that one of the world's iconic brands, Kodak, would go down the tubes the same year that Instagram was bought by Facebook for a billion dollars?

So how can IT business and startups make their branding stand out in the marketplace?

As much as its opportunity, it's about right time and right place. It's a cliche, but its true. Not everything you try will succeed. Companies need to remix their marketing enough to have some money to try weird new things. Then if it starts to take off, put your money behind it to amplify it. That's not rocket science.

There are a couple of things I like brands to think about when they walk away. Don't talk about innovation, talk about invention. Instead of talking about remixing, talk about reframing. Change your budgets around — but not so much that you get fired!

If it doesn't work, celebrate the failure. Learn from it. If it doesn't work, you can also ask for forgiveness! You've got to always be trying something new.


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