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The sold-out IAB Social Media Marketplace took “engagement” to a new level in 2010, attracting the largest audience ever to attend. The annual event drew more brand marketers and agencies than in previous years, with those segments making up 65 percent of the registered guests and proving that the entire ecosystem has embraced the platform as one of the most important ways to reach the right people.

Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB, opened the day with a promise to educate sellers and buyers on making the social media supply chain more efficient and touching on the social aspects of all media—including the recently released iPad.

Linda Cronin,Director, Media and Interactive Integrated Communications, Sparkling BBU, Coca-Cola North America, the event's keynote speaker, set the stage of hot summer nights, friends and neighbors gathering for good times and the taste of a refreshing Coca-Cola capping off the experience. Representing "where people meet," Coke has always been with consumers every step of the way throughout its history and social expands that presence even farther. Cronin's Five Ingredients for Social Media Success--1) Add value 2) Be transparent 3) Be consistent 4) Be receptive to change and 5) Surprise and Delight your consumers.

Following Cronin's lead of actionable takeaways, the next experts onstage shared go-to-market techniques that marketers can apply immediately. Luane Kohnke, Senior Vice President, Managing Director, Analytics and Accountability, R/GA, tackled ROI buy breaking it down into goals/objectives, benchmarks and paid vs earned media. Tim Gilchrist, Director, eBusiness Strategy, WellPoint Healthcare, addressed the potential for crisis as social media gives power to so many consumers--and provided examples of averting the spread of negative information through brand interaction. And, Bill Clifford, Vice President, Global Ad Sales, WildTangent, offered three hints for advertising within the social gaming space. Be desireless (not overbearing). Be excellent. Then, be gone.

The morning also featured a Marketplace session, unique to IAB events, to introduce marketers and agencies to solutions providers that meet their needs and fit their budgets. Five providers— WildTangent, Brickfish, Sprout, Spiceworks and Gigya—gave multiple short-burst presentations focusing on their distinct value propositions. Attendees had the opportunity to attend four 15-minute sessions— wasting no time learning which solutions providers they’d like to learn more about and saving the time and complexity of scheduling individual meetings.


Sponsored by FreeWheel, Official Video Sponsor of IAB Events


GE took the spotlight in another session format specific to the IAB mainstage. This year's Pitching to the Major Leagues featured four social media experts doing live, onstage pitches to convince senior marketers  from GE that social platforms (and their individual products/services) can meet the needs of the brand. The session was led by Andrew Markowitz, Director, Global Digital Strategy, GE Corporate Commercial & Communications.

From breaking news to cause marketing, the social marketplace has transformed the way brands and consumers come together to support a “community” in need. New engagement outlets provide new, powerful opportunities for brands to build loyalty and awareness through public support of charitable efforts such as raising money for Haitianearthquake victims, breast cancer research and many other worthy campaigns. Adam Fell, VP, Quincy Jones Productions, shared insights on the recently produced We Are The World remake in support of Haitian earthquake victims and Jory Des Jardins, Co-Founder, BlogHer, offered insights on blogger word-of-mouth efforts.

Foursquare check- ins at the Roosevelt Hotel spiked as its Co-FounderNaveen Selvadurai and Seth Goldstein, Co-Founder and Chairman, SocialMedia.com, talked one-on-one about the hottest, new social options--location-based services. Selvadurai fielded questions from Goldstein (and the audience) about how brands without actual physical locations can take advantage of the engagement opportunities. Building and disseminating messaging around geographical targeted filtering  will be available surrounding user habits and more ideas and features to come as foursquare continues to grow.

The collision of entertainment and social media continues to spark new ideas and scalable engagement opportunities for hit shows, viewers and even brands. Ian Schafer, Chief Executive Officer, Deep Focus, walked attendees through how understanding a product’s connection to an audience, in this case AMC and Mad Men Session 3, lead to an engagement-centric approach that was rewarded with an enormous ripple effect. The campaign Mad Men Yourself continues to be popular among show fans.

The multiple dimensions of social media--marketing, public relations, customer service--draw into question where the responsibilities of managing and paying for the tools lie. Valerie Brown, Director, Consumer Marketing, Bravo, and Beth Reilly, Digital Marketing, Kraft Foods, shared their perspective with session moderator Bryan Wiener, Chief Executive Officer, 360i. Brown faces the challenge of promoting and growing individual show sites and campaigns--each managed by individual teams--while using this same attention to grow the overall Bravo brand. Reilly provided an in-depth look at Kraft’s agency-selection process as they try to put teams in place to integrate social and digital seamlessly into the overall media mix. One pitch technique they were both impressed with--agencies not hesitating to tell them exactly what they are doing wrong now, and of course, how a new team can help make it better.

Earned media is a vital part of a social strategy, but it is only one part. The most successful social campaigns incorporate a mix of bought, owned and earned media. Wenda Harris Millard, President and Chief Operating Officer, MediaLink, lead a lively panel of digital experts as they deconstructed the perfect blend required to turn a campaign into true results. Doug Chavez, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing, Del Monte Foods; Tom Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer, Media6Degrees and Hashem Bajwa, Director, Digital Strategy, Droga5 allweighed in.

With a full-day’s worth of knowledge and inspiration, the sold-out crowd gathered to enjoy cocktails and the company for peers, colleagues and competitors. Will the ideas developing today become the hot topics of tomorrow? Find out at next year’s IAB Social Medial Marketplace.