OMR highlights superpowers of digital marketing
The digital revolution is still making for a sold-out Online Marketing Rockstars festival in Hamburg 35 years after the launch of the World Wide Web. This year’s mega-event attracted more than 1,000 exhibitors, over 800 speakers and 70,000 visitors to keynotes, panels and live concerts on seven stages and 240 master classes focusing on AI. During his keynote on the ”State of the German Internet” and as “no growth could be reported”, Philipp Westermeyer, founder of OMR, asked: "Have we reached the peak?", but found that the German internet is “stable, if declining somewhat". Yet, not even U.S. tech giants could report any real gains in market share and have instead pointed to a rather fragmented market. Nowadays, Netflix, Disney, Gorillas and the Otto Group are competing with top dogs like Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta while Tiktok continues to gobble up a huge slice of the pie.
Three short video super strategies
Tiktok, for instance, has a monthly usage of 23.5 hours, said Roland Eisenbrand, Head of Content at OMR, and provided a deep insight into the industry. By comparison, users spend 11 hours online on Facebook and only 8.5 hours a month on Instagram. That is due to an extremely short user attention span of a mere 0.4 seconds. "One blink and the user is gone," said Eisenbrand and presented three short video super strategies.
Superpower #1 Unhinged Content Entertainment
According to Eisenbrand, "unhinged" stands for crazy, but creative and clever as illustrated by use cases from Germany and elsewhere. A video by the U.S start-up Liquid Death, for instance, features grandmothers bawling trash metal - "and they are selling water!" Meanwhile, Aldi has hired perfume influencer Jeremy Fragrance to sing the praises of its delis. And Clancy's Auto Body in Florida, has notched up 55 million views on Tiktok with a five-second video "just by using a funny cat filter!"
Superpower #2 Snippification
This strategy is especially practical as existing content can be used, said Eisenbrand. "Simply shred an existing video into tiny snaps and play it out one day at a time." The Hornbach garden centre chain store in Germany is already using the idea successfully on YouTube and notching up ever more views.
Superpower #3 Spray & Pray
An approach based on the adage of "the more the better" is being revived in videos. The Californian start-up Tabs Chocolate, for instance, is using lots influencers to advertise its aphrodisiac chocolate. "The production motto is 'quick & dirty'. Most of the videos do not garner any notable attention. But now and then, one of the spots goes viral." And that's proving a real cash cow for the sexy chocolate manufacturer.
Westermeyer's list of winners
Sports streaming services were among the winners in Westermeyer's annual list of the lucky and the unlucky. "The value of live sports rights has increased immensely." Climate technology start-ups are among the other winners: "About a quarter of global venture capital investment is going towards ideas in that sector and to anyone who has mastered 'prompt engineering.' Those people are particularly good at typing commands into the search slots of Chat GPT and other bots." Salaries of EUR 300,000 are not uncommon for such experts, he pointed out.
However, the end of the good times is nigh for employees of U.S. tech giants. Generous salaries, free meals and massages are largely a thing of the past. Westermeyer's list of "losers" also includes social media, and social is clearly on the verge of extinction. He noted: "The big social media platforms now offer professional marketing and entertainment content instead of personal content. The personal has migrated to instant messaging services like Whatsapp." And Metaverse has not lived up to its much-vaunted expectations either despite the hype surrounding immersive spaces.
AI actually replacing the human brain?
Several OMR sessions focused on artificial intelligence. Andreas Mundt, President of the German Federal Cartel Office, spoke about the challenges posed e.g., by Chat GPT, and new developments by founders such as Jonas Andrulis, Aleph Alpha, and Richard Socher, You.com. Sascha Lobo, digital entrepreneur, called for "an AI jolt that should go through Germany". More courage is need to drive AI transformation and ultimately secure Germany's prosperity. Markus Lanz, TV presenter, and the philosopher Richard David Precht, discussed how humans beings are changing in the age of AI. Both pointed to a caesura and while the work of the human hand was previously automated, generative AI is now replacing the human brain. "That will change journalism fundamentally," said Lanz. Yet, AI will not replace human beings, as "the human need for humans will never end," according to Precht.