Another awesome day at Web Summit Lisbon, day 3 was jam-packed with fantastic talks from thought leaders and experts in digital. Here are a couple of key takeaways from my favourite talks.

Digital experience

My day started with a great talk on storytelling and brands from Graham McDonnell, International Creative Director at New York Times.

He discussed the importance of creating a campaign with a hidden message opposed to shoe-horning a branded message into an ad. He spoke about the saturated advertising market and the different techniques to create effective narratives and showcased some awesome examples from Volvo, Shell and other global brands. My favourite quote from his was 'content is king but the execution is your castle.'

Key takeaways:

  • Don't make the common mistake of presenting your brand as the protagonist, you want your audience to identify themselves as the hero
  • Execution is just as important as the story, execution is so powerful when used in the right way, so take the time to nail it
  • Gamify your content as it helps your users to retain the information
  • Create a labyrinth and not a maze, offer just as much information but give the user one single path - don't make it too complex
  • Hide your brand message in your story and keep your audience engaged

Digging deep and beating burnout

A really interesting panel discussion with Mitchell Baker, Co-Founder and Chairwoman at Mozilla and Paige VanZant a UFC fighter, on how to keep the well of creativity and longevity flowing without losing energy.

Key takeaways from Paige VanZant:

  • Surround yourself with people that can support you and create a strong network of those that believe it in you
  • Put your foot down and know your worth and value - be stubborn when you need to 
  • Make sure that you are able to switch off outside of work and know your identity outside of your profession

Key takeaways from Mitchell Baker:

  • With tech constantly evolving, there is always more that you can do at a company, but you must learn when to stop and take a break
  • Look at building a team that has complementary skills to yours, you want a team that understands you and can work alongside with you
  • Keep people close to you that can help you get through burnout

Conscious design: making wellbeing the default

An awesome interview whereby Maggie Stanphill, User Experience Director at Google shared her insights with Jeremy Wilks from Euronews and those in the audience. She discussed how the products that we use, both physical and digital have a massive impact on how we live our lives, and how product design can sometimes have both positive and negative impacts but how we can harness it to promote happiness.

After working in UX for 20 years, she has helped to define the voice of the user. She emphasized the importance of research and using the data to refine the user experience. I was intrigued to hear about their plans for the future and how sleep is a key focus area for them and how wind-down features such as blue light filters and push notifications to break contact with your phone are all part of a bigger plan to help protect users. 

Key takeaways:

  • We need to look to the future and start evolving with the tech around us, we must look at using voice recognition to empower tech
  • Focus on the user and everything else will follow
  • Consider accessibility and digital wellbeing for all of your products in order to create healthier experiences for your users

A picture is worth a thousand words

A truly inspiring interview with photography legend Rankin at the Content Makers stage. He oozed personality and this was one of the talks that really stuck in my mind. He talked with Rob Shwartz from Billboard about his lifetime learnings of being behind the lens. He shared memories from his favourite shoots and those that have been challenging and gave advice to aspiring photographers. 

Key takeaways:

  • Teamwork makes the dream work - your team need to be agile and collaborate in order to keep creating
  • Remember the 3 p's - preparation, preparation, preparation - ensure you are prepared for everything, in the creative industry ensure you test the idea before execution
  • You have to keep experimenting and learn a different range of platforms to broaden your offering

Catching feelings: the strength of experience 

Alicia Tilman, CMO of SAP delved into how brands can create a one-in-a-lifetime customer journey by gaining a deep understanding of employee, brand and product experiences. She discussed the importance of creating experiences that drive growth by combining the power of technology and human emotion. 

She explained that with humans feeling 27 different kinds of emotions, brands have the opportunity to build an experience for their customers. However, each time a consumer interacts with a brand this can make or break a company. 

Key takeaways:

  • The customer experience goes beyond technology and data, the key is creating meaningful experiences and this can help you to keep customers for life 
  • We live in an experience economy, humans are emotionally driven and consumers are always drawn to brands that evoke warm emotion
  • 80% of consumers switch brand because of one poor customer experience, so unlock experiential data to create a positive brand experience

Night Summit at LX Factory

After a busy day at the conference, the LAB Group crew went headed to LX Factory for the Summit's last evening event - possibly the coolest spot in Lisbon. We chatted with some really cool businesses and enjoyed the music and great company at the warehouse party. 

Stay tuned for updates on day four.


Have a project you would like to discuss?