IAB Annual Leadership Meeting: Day One Highlights
Blast off. The 7th Annual IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, “Marketing 2020: The Digital Agenda,” exploded to life. Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB, rallied the audience of more than 1,000 influencers. “You are, by all definitions of the concept, defining the agenda for our industry.” Over the course of the next few days, the preeminent leaders of marketing, media, and technology will share their perspectives on how to tackle challenges and drive profitable and successful futures. Through the town halls, your voices and your ideas will be amplified. “Your input will directly inform the digital agenda we will pursue over the next several years,” he said.
Following a vote to approve the 2014 Board of Directors, and including the new Chairman, Vivek Shah, CEO of Ziff Davis, Inc., and Vice Chair, David Morris, Chief Client Officer, CBS Interactive, Rothenberg held the gavel in his hand to call the meeting to order, when his business was interrupted by a group of members. They marched up to the stage with a gift—the domain name IAB.com for the IAB, whose digital home had long been stationed at IAB.net.
Next, Shah took to the stage announcing the 20th birthday of the ad banner, using this landmark, to urge the industry to live up to its potential. “We have to stop devaluing digital media,” he said. “No more traffic fraud. Let’s end it,” he demanded. “No more denigration of our ad units. It’s not the ad units...We must insist in more creativity and less clutter,” he challenged. “Let’s embrace the new metrics from the 3MS coalition and dislocate the click-through rate,” he ordered. While there is clearly work to be done, “our third decade will be our best yet.”
After the presentation of the esteemed IAB Service Excellence Awards, David Moore, Chairman, Xaxis, introduced the first keynote speaker of the event: Nick D’Aloisio, Product Manager, Yahoo.
D’Aloisio opened the conference with big, simple, and even counterintuitive ideas about mobile, user experience, and content. At age 15, investors like Li Ka-Shing were investing in his work; at 17, Yahoo bought his app Summly, a program that algorithmically generates summaries of the news. On stage, he told the story of his last few years laced with sharp and sometimes surprising insights about user behavior and design. Users want immediacy, particularly on mobile. They will indulge in long form content later on other devices. It’s not about creating a new addiction—there’s limited room for products people use repeatedly throughout the day—but instead it’s about reliance, regularity, and creating new habits. “There’s no point in designing a mobile experience if you don’t have in mind a daily habit,” he said. The demand for social everything is waning. The market is devolving from emphasis on the social graph of the last ten years to anonymity.
After Rothenberg honored the sales executives responsible for helping digital advertising soon to become the largest advertising sector in the industry by announcing the IAB Sales Excellence Awards, he adjourned day one. The audience was wowed—inspired and excited to talk about all they just learned at the Welcome Reception.
Stay tuned to this space for updates, recaps, photos, and videos as the 2014 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting commences.
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