SF Shop Enlists Tech/Gaming Folks to Talk ‘Five Trends Changing Marketing for Good’

By Erik Oster 

School of Thought creative directors Joe Newfield and Tom Geary, along with account director Rachel Newell, produced and directed this short video called “These  Five Trends Are Changing Marketing for Good.” In it, five thought leaders in the fields of marketing, online entertainment, innovation and education — Prashant Sridharan, developer advocate, Facebook; David Zemke, director of mobile, Sega; Jason Titus, chief technology officer, Shazam; Kalimah Priforce, educational gaming entrepreneur, Qeyno Labs; and Russ Angold, chief technology officer, Ekso Bionics — share their thoughts on the important trends in digital marketing, as well as the challenges and possibilities digital marketers will face in the future. Together, they came up with five things digital marketers can do to embrace today’s trends: embrace multitasking behavior, use multiple screens to deepen engagement, demonstrate brand values in everything you do, tech will know what we want — before we do, and, as always, start with the customer.


Whether or not it’s healthy, or even technically possible for the human brain, multitasking isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s taking over. As Facebook’s Prashant Sridharan observes, companies and consumers alike are trying to determine “how many more inputs we can add to human beings, where they can still be functional.” It’s a valid question, even if some would argue we’re dysfunctional enough already, and it explains the next phenomenon: the rise of multiple screen engagement.

Most marketers are still learning to adapt to reach out to their audience on multiple screens. David Zemke of Sega describes the connected screen as a “place I can connect to a fan or user in multiple spots.” As marketers learn how to better incorporate multiple screens, it should lead to more engaging, dynamic content; and better second (or third…) screen engagement.

The Internet and social media has made it so brands must appear to have values, since they have to answer to their customers so directly. As Sridharan puts it “We as consumers can vote with our wallet. And we can vote for companies that have the same interests we do.” This means that brands must include their audience in the conversation or risk becoming irrelevant. When audience backlash can be instantaneous, it’s that much more important to make sure your brand has a well-crafted message.

“Tech will know what we want — before we do” isn’t just about big data or targeting banner ads. It’s about the ability to “pre-calculate the things we think you might be interested in,” says Jason Titus, chief technology officer at Shazam. So far it’s more promise than reality, but targeting potential customers before they know they even are potential customers, using localized information, could make for more relevant and engaging ways of targeting audiences in years to come.

Lastly, it all comes back to the customer. Calling this a “trend” is a clear misnomer, as this is nothing new. But with new technology dividing marketer’s focus, it’s important to remember what it’s all supposed to be for: the customer. Knowing your customer and meeting their needs is now more important than ever.

Let us know what you think of School of Thought’s “These  Five Trends Are Changing Marketing for Good” in the comments section. Is there anything they left out or got wrong?