nextMedia 2015: The Future of Content and Commerce: Part I

By November 11, 2015 Events, Marketing No Comments

Conferences of any kind have a magical way of linking some of the most brilliant minds within their respective fields together to illuminate new concepts and forge the infrastructure of fresh connections. The electricity of ideas coursing through the auditorium, combined with a splash of ambition, and the fusion of creativity leaves you bursting at the seams with inspiration.

nextMEDIA 2015 covered every square inch of new trends and topics along the digital superspeedway. nextMEDIA is Canada’s leading digital media conference and networking event focused on the creation, distribution, and monetization of digital media content and technology.


One of the more prevalent themes that kept bubbling to the surface throughout the conference is the infinite sea of content on the digital sphere and the increasing challenges for marketers to cut through the clutter and let their messaging shine.

Take in these metrics to fully grasp the magnitude of this sentiment:

  • 90% of the world’s data was generated in the past 2 years,
  • Media overload is the #6 cause of stress in the USA,
  • There is more uploaded content in one month than U.S Broadcasters have created in the past 30 years.

The challenge in the digital space is that it can explode very quickly – and because of social media evolving at such a rapid pace, marketers need to plan quarter by quarter and not yearly because of how unstable the media landscape can be when forecasting long-term. Due to the influx of content injected daily, consumers look to trusted brands to emerge and supply them with entertaining and engaging content – which shows the importance of having brand authenticity and consistency.

With the media ecosystem constantly evolving – we keep asking: where is the consumer going? The digital era has become fragmented and cluttered – but you can find your platform. Brands that cling to the models of old will be left behind. 5 years ago marketers woke up and their jobs suddenly changed – to the point where there became a paradigm shift between spending versus investing. The relatively conservative mindset as a marketer switched to experimenting with creating newer forms of innovative content and taking larger risks that could potentially yield greater returns on their investment.

Bridging the Gap Between Content and Commerce  

It was interesting to see the viewpoints of content creators themselves and how they were able to blend their art with an organization’s marketing objectives – without compromising their vision.

Content is great when it’s derived from authenticity. When it’s worth sharing, worth talking about and when it forms a bond with consumers. The by-product of staying true to the brand and delivering meaningful brand experiences elicits a powerful and emotional reaction.

The underlying message always goes back to the consumer asking: what’s in it for me and why should I care when there’s so much content out there? Take this in.

Nike partnered with Youtuber, Casey Neistat, who went completely off book and designed his own version of what “make it count,” meant to him. If this video doesn’t make you want to take chances, embrace all of life’s possibilities and up and travel the world – I don’t know what will.

It’s not just about what people want – it’s also more about what they don’t want. So the responsibility is on marketers to not inundate consumers – it has to be tailored.

The Explosion of the User-Generate Space  

“Aim for art over advertising.” David Hayes, Head of Creative Strategy, Tumblr

Advertisers have traditionally viewed their work through the lens of being remembered – but now the shift has occurred with how they would rather have their content to never be forgotten – a concept which really speaks to their art.


The creative class (creators and curators) are open to having their art to be remixed, appropriated and photoshopped, in a form of self-made remixes. This leaves the art open to interpretation and how brands can evolve because of it. David Hayes, Head of Creative Strategy, Tumblr spoke about following the creator, not the content, and how brands have come to embrace this mindset when collaborating with creative talent.

Check out Part II from our overview of the nextMEDIA 2015 marketing conference in Toronto.


About Mike Valenti

Skiing, content and tomfoolery are my three main ingredients in life.

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