The final morning of the 2009 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting proved to be just as impactful as the full day of take-aways that preceded it. The audience of high-level brand marketers, advertising agency executives, media professionals and others remained engaged and involved throughout the morning by participating in audience voting and providing thought-provoking questions after each session.
Randall Rothenberg’s voice drew attendees in from the buzzing foyer as he recapped major themes recognized over the course of the event. Interactive is an AND not an OR industry he said. Services are becoming an even more important part of what we do and we must use all the tools available in order to maximize the user experience.
Google’s President of Display Advertising, David Rosenblatt, talked through the organization’s product development strategy of openness, results and efficiency by addressing each core principal in detail and relating it to their product line. This “Rumors on the Death and Display Have Been Greatly Exaggerated” session inspired many questions from the audience about the marketplace model of selling ads and the exactly how Google defines themselves—media company or technology company. The answer is “both.”
Mobile was up next as Omar Hamoui, Founder and CEO of AdMob, demonstrated the tremendous speed of growth in the marketplace and the diversity of the audience. If you have an audience, you can find them in mobile users. As the platform grows the diverse audience follows, providing targetable options for reaching consumers—many of which now prefer mobile over other mediums.
“Brand marketers don’t need agencies. Interactive publishers can provide everything they need.” The Great Debate, an IAB Annual Meeting tradition, fueled the fire with one of the biggest shifts defining the future of interactive. Moderated by Abbey Klaassen, Digital Editor of AdAge, the panel consisted of two industry leaders in agreement with the statement—Sarah Chubb, President, Condé Nast Digital and John Partilla, President, Time Warner Global Media Group—and two in opposition, Quentin George, Chief Digital Officer, Mediabrands and Jean-Philippe Maheu, Chief Digital Officer, Ogilvy North America. The agreeing side called-out for the industry to focus on working together, each sector doing whatever they can to support clients. The opposing side focused on differentiating the value of services and the perception that the best creative professionals reside at creative agencies. Current economic conditions aside, the best creative is what every brand requires.
Joanne Bradford, Senior Vice President, U.S. Revenue and Market Development and Michael Walrath, Senior Vice President, Advertising Marketplace Group, Yahoo!, proved that “partnership matters” as they co-presented the final session of the conference. Sharing 10 things that truly matter to Yahoo! and the interactive industry, their list tackled many of the industry’s biggest issues—and stirred up a little controversy when the question of ad networks came up.
As Randall Rothenberg officially closed the 2009 IAB Annual Meeting the crowd filtered out of the ballroom, continuing to discuss and debate the knowledge shared over the three-day event. Some went directly to IAB committee meetings, some prepared to return home and others found time to enjoy warm, sunny Orlando—but all left with powerful, actionable information and new contacts to help them reshape the future of their business and the interactive industry.