To distill the key learnings, we asked our two attendees for their take on the highlights from each day of the conference.

The below is the final blog in a three-part series in which our attendees – Jared Orth and Mary Tyrrell – share their most valuable insights. (If you missed the other posts, check out what they had to say about Day 1 and Day 2 of the conference.)

Day 3: Welcome to Innovation Morning

Day three of 4A's Transformation opened with the MarTech boom as Scott Petry, VP of high-tech agency SapientNitro, took the stage. Petry dedicated his session to marketing technology's impact on storytelling, the importance of collaborating across disciplines, and engaging with the connected consumer. The rich agenda that followed opened our eyes to many of the advancements that will impact the advertising industry in the not too distant future.

He Said…

  • It’s really kind of complicated… – To no one’s surprise, technology is leading the way in which advertisers are communicating with individuals. And the number of avenues available is endless.  The chart below sums up a “snapshot” of technology vendors ready at a moment’s notice.

  • The world’s 5 waves – We are in the midst of the 5th world defining wave, and it is concentrated around technology and the jobs we live every day. The 5 waves were defined as: 1) Water and Steam Power, 2) Railways, 3) Electrification, 4) Mass Production, and 5) Information and Communication. We have been in this last wave for some time and it is reaching its turning point. This wave has changed the way we all live and will continue to do so for years to come. The big question I was left asking is: What is the 6th wave? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
  • 5 Companies you should call, today – The speaker that had me on the edge of my seat from the get-go was Ben Gaddis, CIO, T3. He basically told the audience that there are 5 tech companies advertisers should align themselves with as soon as possible. In no particular order, they are:
    1. DJI – a drone company revolutionizing the drone space from the production quality to pre-mapped flights to the willingness to partner with brands.
    2. Meridian – an indoor wayfinding company that is currently being used in Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco. It shows guests where the shortest line is for the bathroom, where they can find a frosty beverage the quickest, etc. Another company open to engage with a retail location or venue.
    3. Google – very tongue in cheek, Ben outlined just a few of the offerings Google has available. And if you are not aligned with Google through any one of their outlets at the moment, you may be in a bit of trouble.
    4. Infoscout – did you ever wonder what region of the US consumed the most Red Bull?  Well, Infoscout takes individuals’ receipts, compiles data such as Red Bull consumption, and allows you to cross-reference with an array of qualifiers to help determine consumer insights. The kicker….it’s totally free to use this service (as of today).
    5. Atlas Wearables – Ben described the Atlas wearable as a “fitbit on steroids.” The amount of data this wearable can track, from specific exercise movements to reps and sets, goes above and beyond what a Fitbit can currently track. While a niche market, the data being collected through this device will be opening the doors for future analytics.

She Said…

  • The tech market is a complicated landscape – The tech market is in a state of proliferation.  For every two companies that consolidate, another three more are started. While this can be utterly confusing, it also opens up virtually limitless possibilities. Read on for more.
  • Drones, Robots, and Meerkat, oh my! – Some highlights from South by Southwest made their way to the stage at 4A’s Transformation. First, a drone delivery system for Amazon is coming, in which unmanned aerial vehicles will drop packages to consumers within 30 minutes of ordering. Next, the robot petting zoo at SXSW demonstrated that robots are becoming easier to use, leading to more mainstream adoption. Finally, the Meerkat app took off at SXSW, bringing a Twitter-centric live video broadcasting platform to users. (Unfortunately, Twitter didn't share the excitement, acquiring rival start-up Periscope and restricting Meerkat’s access to its data.) These developments show that science fiction is quickly becoming reality!
  • Indoor wayfinding will become a consumer expectation – Meridian is an app that provides a user with turn-by-turn directions for indoor spaces, such as airports, retail stores, hospitals, museums, and ballparks. Beacons allow users to receive detailed information on where to go based on their current location, and what to expect when they get there. Take Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco as an example. Not only can users find their seats and order food, but they can locate the nearest restroom and find out the approximate wait time. As more locations adopt this technology, people will come to expect indoor wayfinding as a mainstay of their experience.