Are You Experienced?
MagazineTech is not only known for nurturing strong interactions between vendors and publishers, but also for its pantheon of expert advisors. Tim Sanders, one of the conference's most esteemed speakers, delivered the three-day show's keynote address, "Are You Experienced?" As director of Yahoo! ValueLab, Sanders serenaded the publishing audience with his well-honed insights about the new economy. Taking a more philosophical approach to print and online business models, Sanders advocates education as a means to better understanding industry trends and making tomorrow's predictions. According to Sanders, "Experiences are private events that occur in response to some stimulation."
Sanders steered the audience through a map of experiential marketing, emphasizing that one-to-one connections between professionals and consumers are becoming more essential as technology automates business. "Traditionally, retail management has said quality, service and selection—now it's experience," explained Sanders. Whereas the progression of economic value once ranged from commodities to goods to services to experience, he says the closer end-products come to being experiences, the more customers will pay for them. For instance, a consumer can buy coffee in bulk for only ten cents a cup, but Starbucks thrives because as well as offering coffee, there is an atmosphere upon which entertainment—not just coffee-consumption—is based. Similarly, noted Sanders, the Ford Motor Company launched it's Web site with the slogan, "Enter the Experience." For publishers online and off, the greater interaction that exists between professionals and consumers, the better the responses will be to products—and the more money there is to be made.
Sanders also says that those who will inevitably thrive within the new economy—balancing automation with personalization—will be those who create memorable experiences for target markets. Throughout his own career, Sanders serves as in-house advisor for Yahoo!, where he leads a team of client consultants. During which, Sanders developed marketing ventures for such notable clients including, Harvard University, Intel and Victoria's Secret. With a savvy arsenal of Web casts and conceptual marketing conventions under his belt, he assured the MagazineTech audience that dynamic presentation is integral if professionals intend to compete with mass communications. With an estimated 80 percent of time spent using technology, according to Sanders, the more content shared online, the better the chances to reach individuals. "Information surrounding the product," says Sanders, "can be more important than the product."