Gfm Trend Conference: Companies navigate the "New Virtual

The Trend Conference of the Swiss Society for Marketing Gfm appealed to the courage, creativity and innovative strength of those present. At the 32nd edition of the event, the focus was on artificial intelligence and digital worlds.

Dominique Von Matt (left) together with Andrea Vetsch and Jean-Marc Grand- (Image: Gfm)

The Gfm speakers presented the latest marketing trends to around 300 guests at the Aura Zurich on Tuesday. Dominique von Matt, president of Gfm, appealed to the audience's willingness to take risks: "We have to act consistently according to the motto 'think big, start small, learn fast and fail cheap'." Courage, he said, is imperative for innovative strength and competitiveness. Sonja Mechling, CEO of Kaiser + Kraft: "Many of the use cases probably won't work - so what?"

But Swiss companies are hesitant about digital transformation and wait instead of exploiting new potential. "Technology develops quickly, but our brains do not," says Anne Scherer from the University of Zurich. Speed is crucial when it comes to exponential developments.

"At the Trend Conference 2023, the aim was to show participants how they can successfully navigate through this transformation," explains Gfm Managing Director Jean-Marc Grand. The presentations of the experts showed in a practical way how companies can profit from digitalization.

Social presence as a killer app

In the Metaverse, people can meet, experience something together and help shape it. Here, interpersonal closeness is created again, which has been lost in the meantime due to technologies. According to Prof. Dr. Thorsten Hennig-Thurau from the University of Münster, social presence will help Web 3.0 and virtual worlds achieve a breakthrough.

"Thanks to data and AI, we are getting to know our target groups better again. This allows us to tailor offers to them and personalize interactions," says Laura Meyer, CEO of Hotelplan. Online communication can become more humanized again. "The key here is to try things out early without spending a lot of money," Meyer is convinced - especially when the industry has been hit hard by disruption.

New opportunities for effective and efficient marketing

Content is consumed differently today on various levels than it was a few years ago. At the conference, Mirco Hecker from TikTok will show how the video platform redefined moving images.

Algorithms calculate the interests of users and play out content in a more targeted manner. Artificial intelligence and machine learning enable very personal messages. The impact of advertising is massively increased by individualization.

In addition, processes can be accelerated through the proper use of tools like ChatGPT. "You will not be replaced by an AI. But you will be replaced by a human using it," Anne Scherer quoted a Twitter post.

Think big, start small, learn fast

Digital transformation and technological progress do not serve as a substitute for human know-how, personal proximity and human resources. Instead of dreaming up sci-fi scenarios, the task is to embrace these new tools, use them to simplify daily activities, and thereby create added value.

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