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Learnings from #OiConf

Published on Monday, 10th April 2017, contributed by AgencyUK

Three things we learnt from #OiConf Cardiff

Being the desk-bound creatives that we are it’s a good idea to sometimes get outside (god forbid) and challenge our preconceptions. Last week’s #OiConf Cardiff proved just the catalyst needed. A hugely insightful day, it would be easy to churn out a lengthy piece on the state of digital, the future of mobile or the impending doom of social media but you’ll have to make do with our three key takeaways:

Influencer Marketing Is Under Threat.

Influencer marketing is at a crux. Having become a hugely popular strategy in a very short space of time, cracks are beginning to show in the foundations. Central to this is a lack of transparency.

The UK’s advertising rules — the CAP code — state that “marketing communications must be easily identifiable as such”. Despite attempts by the Advertising Standards Agency to introduce a solution (indicating paid posts with certain hashtags), research shows that this doesn’t align with how consumers use social media, as few are aware of what #sp and #ad mean. Worryingly, almost half of consumers claim that they would trust an influencer less if they knew they were being paid to promote a product.

How, then, do we create an environment in which influencer marketing can flourish as a viable pillar of marketing communications whilst ensuring it complies with legal and ethical considerations?

This is the start of a long journey but it’s clear that advertising’s governing bodies, influencers, brands and agencies all have a part to play.

Can Creativity Be Automated?

Automation has become an intrinsic part of marketers’ jobs and is unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon. As technology becomes more sophisticated we’re seeing more and more ways in which machine learning can take over marketing.

OiConf saw much discussion about the future of this sector and how it could be implemented into forthcoming marketing strategies. It also flagged the important question of how and where creativity fits into this. Can it ever be entirely automated?

What Is The Future Of Content & Publishing?

“The internet is full of shit”. Michael Scantlebury’s maxim seemed to resonate with the audience, particularly following his assertion that it was in fact marketers and brands who were responsible for clogging it up with the aforementioned excrement. It has become the norm for marketers to arbitrarily make and post content of little value because it has been deemed an essential part of marketing, resulting in a huge surplus of content far beyond that which consumers are able to absorb. Every minute on the Internet now sees the creation of:

  • 204,000,000 emails
  • 216,000 new photos on Instagram
  • 277,000 tweets
  • 420,000 tinder swipes
  • 1,400 new blog posts
  • 72 hours of new video uploaded to YouTube
  • 2,460,000 pieces of content shared on Facebook


It is the job of marketers to ensure that the content they (/we) are posting is high quality, relevant, informative and valuable to its intended audience. Currently, 5% of all content generates 95% of engagement so make sure your content rises above the shit by ensuring it hits those criteria. Understand the fundamental drivers for people clicking your content and use them to inform your future strategy.

Our own Ian McKee also touched on this in his masterclass on why we should be doing less on social media. Watch this space for a blog write up.