Ecosystem 2.0 Live Blog - Tuesday Morning

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Tuesday Noon
THAT’S A WRAP! What an amazing three days in Phoenix.  Before I sign off and close this blog, I wanted to remind everyone to check in the coming days for in-depth analysis, videos, photos and more as part of our Ecosystem 2.0 Recap.  I hope everyone enjoyed this blog and enjoyed the conference.  I know I did.  Now, it’s time to sneak one more In-N-Out Burger in before flying back to New York.  See you next time!

Mmmm, time for another Double Double Animal Style

Tuesday 11:55am
What a way to close what has been an an amazing conference by all accounts!  We were just treated to a frank an insightful interview of new AOL Chairman & CEO Randy Falco performed by Randall Rothenberg as he once again dusted off his journalist’s cap.

If there is one key point to take away from this interview, it’s that Falco strongly feels this business needs to be about the customer, not the technology. He expressed that we are still in the media and marketing business.  People and creativity still matter.  We are still very early in the game and the people who will win this game are the ones that go out there and think about solutions for their partners. Another key differentiation between Falco and his peers is his belief that he is not in this business to own insights and data.  He wants the marketers and agencies to be as smart as possible as it all comes back to relationships and customers.

Randy Falco says, “Microsoft and Google can leave us off the charts but they do so at their own peril.”

Rothenberg talks about people and relationships with Randy Falco.

Tuesday 11:00am
Our last panel of the conference did not disappoint.  It was The Great Debate - two branded publishers and two ad exchange leaders going head to head on the future of online advertising. The panel featured the following:

Moderator: Michael Wolf, Partner, Farallon Point Inc.
Patrick Keane, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, CBS Interactive
Jim Spanfeller, President and CEO,
Michael Rubenstein, Vice President and General Manager, DoubleClick Advertising Exchange
Bill Wise, General Manger, Global Exchange, Yahoo!

By all accounts, this was the most lively panel of the three days.  Each side raised insightful points. Exchanges reduce friction points and can help sell remnant inventory. They help figure our the value based on market demand.  At the same time, publishers need control and the relationships and understanding of inventory is still very important as consumers come to the web for content, not advertising.  Exchanges want to reduce friction,  Publishers want to maintain control of their customer interactions.  Based on what we saw today, this debate is far from over.

Michael Wolf had his hands full with this panel!

IMG_8119.JPGJim Spanfeller says exchanges disassociate the content provider from the advertiser.

IMG_8085.JPGBill Wise feels the exchange is a platform that allows the combination of art and science.

IMG_8150.JPGPatrick Keane wants transparency and visibility as a publisher.

IMG_8065.JPGMichael Rubenstein expresses that buyers are looking to have access to inventory
and they want the controls in their hands.

Next up is our last session of the day - a chat with AOL CEO Randy Falco.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday 10:00am
Rob Norman, CEO, GroupM Interaction, just delivered and exciting and energetic opening keynote.  Mr. Norman joked that he was a downgrade in keynote speaker from the previous days, but I doubt a single person in the highly engaged and entertained crowd would agree.

Entitled “Holy Crap!! What Now?” the presentation took a dive into the world of GroupM (the largest company nobody has ever heard of per Norman) and then proceeded to take a look at the past, present and future of the media agency.  One of the key themes is that today’s media agency is a dual agency, where tomorrow’s needs to be one.  And not only does the agency need to be integrated - so does the thinking. For Mr. Norman feels that interactive is not a media or a channel, rather it is a parallel universe. The new media agency needs to be a major data center, an arbitrageur of value and a significant component of the distribution chain.

Rob Norman looks at today’s media agencies and says “Holy crap!! What now?”

Next up is the highly anticipated “Great Debate.” Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday 9:15am
Randall Rothenberg just gave his thoughts on the key themes of the conference so far -

  • Platforms are competing for your attention.
  • Media is not a commodity if you don’t want it to be.
  • You can surmount commoditization with insights and a great user experience.
  • We must pursue the digital immigrants.
  • Agencies need the help f the media and the platforms.
Up next is Rob Norman - more to come!

Tuesday 9:00am
Good morning and welcome back to the Ecosystem 2.0 Live Blog.  It’s our last day here in Phoenix after what has been a news shattering conference.  You can check out a partial list of coverage here - IAB Annual Meeting Press Coverage So Far

On tap today are addresses from Rob Norman and Randy Falco, as well as an exciting debate on Ad Networks, Exchanges and the commoditization of media.  While you’re waiting for the program to start, I recommend you check out this morning’s “3 Minute Ad Age” featuring an interview with Randall Rothenberg on this event.