Digicon OMNI opened strong in its first two days, October 5 and 6, with nearly 2,000 delegates across the Philippines joining this year’s first-ever online DigiCon dubbed as the OMNI of all webinars. Presented by Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP), DigiCon OMNI 2020 goes 100% digital streaming global keynote speakers and industry leaders to give life to this year’s theme built around a multitude of channels that enable customer interaction in a socially-distanced age.
In his state of the digital nation address, IMMAP President Dennis Perez opened the conference on October 5 with a challenge to digital practitioners: Play an active role in the ongoing evolution that seeks to empower the industry to champion digital success. He cited four challenges critical to IMMAP’s mission that also includes lobbying for reforms particularly in regulating eCommerce, creating a single digital measurement approach, promoting holistic digital ethics and increasing talent through education.
“We need to push the boundaries of what we can do in order for us to be able to create that singularity of how our customers and consumers can interact with our business,” shared Perez. In the face of this pandemic, he stressed that IMMAP exists to show the industry how digital transformation can enable businesses and brands to move forward and bounce back.
Hosted by thought leader and TV personality RJ Ledesma and IMMAP board member Joana Chan-Mojica, Digicon OMNI kicked off with the theme “Mindsets and Skillset” that focused on fostering innovation and building resilience to quickly adapt to “new normal” scenarios. Proof to this innovation early in the conference was the fun and witty Omni Café segment with Digicon OMNI co-chairs Christina Lao, McDonald’s Digital Acceleration-Director, and Leigh Reyes, Chief Product Consultant of MullenLowe.
The two talked about DigiCon’s mission and how this long-running industry convention pivoted to go purely digital this year. “This is the best time to keep asking questions and keep learning,” Reyes quipped. Lao and Reyes also announced an early bird promo for DigiCon 2021 tickets which are on sale at 50% off. This year’s delegates can avail of this special price until the last day of DigiCon OMNI this Friday, October 9.
Starting off with the day’s first major talk, the Digicon OMNI mainstage welcomed frog Global VP for Technology Jona Moore who provided the audience a deeper understanding of how disruptor brands deliver impact to customers and win. “Offer new solutions instead of doing what your competitors are doing,” Moore shared.
In this session on the topic “The Disruption Playbook,” Moore was able to illustrate how frog has emerged to be one of the world’s leading global design and innovation consulting firms. The brand’s vision is clear: Customer purpose as brand offering. “We disrupt by connecting and understanding the people we’re designing for,” Moore imparted.
Key highlights of DigiCon OMNI also include “Deep Dives” that offer insightful conversations with thought leaders, this time with Gigil Group founding partner Badong Abesamis tackling an interesting discourse on the topic “From Oreo to Orocan: Thoughts on Creative Agility.” Citing the agency’s winning Orocan campaign that boosted product sales tremendously, Abesamis succeeded in driving an important point about cultivating creative agility instrumental to churning effective digital campaigns. “Creative agility means content, not commercials. It has to be engaging— so entertaining people will share it and the media will cover it,” he said.
DigiCon OMNI Day One concluded with a compelling keynote talk by CEO and Founder of Character Lab Angela Duckworth, renowned book author of “GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. ” In a thought-provoking 30-minute conversation about what drives the world’s most successful people, Duckworth presented powerful insights built on the science and practice of character development and an important core value called grit, a discipline she researched and studied for many years to become a strong proponent of this principle.
“I studied grit so as not to drop out easily. Grit is a sustained passion and perseverance for long-term goals. It’s a strong predictor of staying in,” Duckworth shared.
While most people believe that talent is what makes one successful in a chosen field, Duckworth proves otherwise after sharing results of her studies that it’s deliberate practice that makes one an expert. “Talent counts but effort counts twice,” she enthused. She correlates grit with a growth mindset that promotes the culture of learning and openness that interests and abilities can be developed with focus and dedication. She said that it helps to have a mindset to simply not quit when things are not progressing.
“On a bad day, we sometimes want to quit what we’re doing. It helps that we have someone in our life to tell us ‘Maybe today is not the best day to decide to quit,’” she offered. “When we fail and are challenged, that’s how we develop a growth mindset.” According to Duckworth there are four ways one can start building and growing grit: develop your interests, practice like an expert, cultivate your purpose and change your mind about changing your mind.
DigiCon OMNI continued with more inspiring talks on Day Two with the theme “Humanity and Technology.” Hosted by IMMAP board member Gary Abello and marketing leader Germaine Reyes, the discussions were focused around bringing back the primacy of insight and understanding of human behavior beyond data points.
For the first session, delegates tuned in to the thoughtful narration of Dave Meeker’s “Story of My Digital Life” that brought back memories of his early love for technology that defined his digital journey as an innovation leader. “The Impact of the computer on my dad’s business and my life is worth sharing. Computer taught me that I could create just everything,” shared Meeker, Global Chief Innovation Officer of Dentsu Aegis Network.
As Meeker became more immersed in the world of the internet and computers, he recognizes the phenomenal impact of technology on humanity while looking back at the time when technology was just science fiction. “Amazing how we are using technology to understand, to predict and to come together. Something we need to do better,” he pointed out.
He was keen in talking about how the internet is designed to give the most powerful invention and that there is no excuse anymore to be ignorant, “We are judged by our intellect to produce information because of technology.” Yet Meeker has a stronger appeal that challenges the status quo. “Rethink how technology creates impact. Every time technology is applied to solve a problem, think of an elephant in the room.”
An engaging roundtable discussion followed quickly featuring CEO of Shell Brands International Dean Aragon sharing a deeper insight on the topic “The Truth About Brand Purpose.” Aragon revealed this truth that starts with being true to your personal brand, “I sincerely believe that your most authentic self is your best self. When you don’t allow yourself to bring that to your work, then you’re not bringing your best self. Play your game. Channel your personal brand.”
Capping off Day 2 was another enriching talk by keynote speaker Publicis Groupe Senior Adviser Rishad Tobaccowala, author of “Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data.” The book focuses on helping people think, feel, and see differently about how to grow their companies, their teams and themselves in transformative times.
In another insightful session, Tobaccowala opened the discussion by raising the question “How do we restore the soul of business and stay human?” He cited that most businesses are so fixated on data and outcomes. “It becomes a spreadsheet-driven business,” he said. “Success is built on culture, story, and vision. What makes a successful business is a combination of story and data that defines a data-driven and storytelling future.”
He ended the talk with deeper perspectives on managing change and leading in these times with integrity, empathy, vulnerability and inspiration. “If the future requires us to change, that can only happen if we improve.” He stressed on the need to keep learning one new thing every day and build a case of the exact opposite of what we believe. “You are the future of the industry and these are extraordinary times. Think about the great reinvention of yourself and your business.”
Since 2007, the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) has been advocating the use of technology for marketing and economic development in the Philippines. The organization is composed of local members from a wide range of industries, and is part of the global network of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).