IAB Sold-Out Annual Leadership Meeting: Live Blog - Monday
Our last panel of the day took a political spin with a frank discussion on the lessons learned from the Obama campaign in social media. Moderated by John Battelle, the panel featured:
Tom Arrix, Vice President Sales, Facebook
Andrew Mitchell, Vice President Interactive Marketing, CNN.com
Rob Shepardson, Founding Partner, SS+K
The discussion ranged from the coolest thing they did during the election (CNN/Facebook inauguration mashup for Andrew Mitchell) to Battelle asking Tom Arrix if Facebook made money off the campaign (answer = page views went up). Rob Shepardson also made some great points about how what Barack Obama stood for meshed perfectly with the Social Media platform in distribution and organization.
This was a great end to a fantastic day. I’m off to the networking reception followed by dinner. Tune in tomorrow morning for updates from Day 3 of Ecosystem 2.0 - Brands Battle Back.
Back from break with two more sessions until cocktails and dinner. First up is Scott Howe, Corporate Vice President, Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group from Microsoft. Going into the tail end of a day packed with learning and debate, this high-energy performance was just what the crowd needed.
Howe’s presentation was based on three statements:
1) What we can learn from the Great Depression
2) Why the Green Bay Packers are smarter than us
3) Why Geology and Physics should be friends
To try to explain through this blog how each of these statements leads to a lesson learned would not do the presentation justice - so here are the lessons minus the entertainment:
1) Adversity must fuel innovation.
2) We must as an industry defend our value.
3) There are challenges in our industry that can only be solved through collaboration.
I’ll be back in an hour with the final update of the day.
Creative is king as The New York Times team shares how they’ve used creative and “beauty” to drive a 38 percent increase in unique users.
Steve Duenes, Graphics Director, explains that the goal is to always deliver something novel to users—something they won’t find anywhere else. It’s about taking simple data, like exit poll results, and working through a way to deliver the journalism in a new visual experience. As a viewer, watching the samples he’s displaying, you almost don’t even notice you are absorbing the information because it seems so natural and interesting.
Next up is Aron Pilhofer, Editor, Interactive News Technology. His group consists of ten journalists/developers that form a true project desk. They are working on visual ways to guide readers through important sections of documents, accessing information that traditionally could be very difficutl to sort through. Building community around the sections people wait for each week can and will change the future of newspapers. Is there another option?
New platforms, Times People, Times Extra and apps are slated to create loyalty and drive people back to The New York Times homepage says Paul Smurl, Vice President, Advertising. Multi-platform advertising isn’t new, but continues to be a focus for advertising sales.
The last break of the day—I need a sugar rush! Wish me luck.
Steve Duenes walks the audience through recent visual data displays.
Aron Pilhofer explains the role of the new interactive news technology team.
Back from lunch and a little warm sunshine, the afternoon sessions are underway. And, a little surprise…..
The IAB, with the help of small publishers across the country, created “I Am The Long Tail,” a collection of homemade videos from small publishers themselves, telling the story of how online advertising allows them to thrive in business and in life. The video will be available at iab.net/longtail soon.
Recession 2.0: A Deep Dive Into the 2009 Interactive Economy features two presenters. Mark Mahaney, Director, Internet Sector, Citigroup Investment Research, is taking on “Where Are Advertiser Dollars Going?” His big picture answer: advertising outlooks will continue to decline, but there is opportunity. There is a $125B opportunity, five times the total dollars spent on online advertising in 2008. The advertising spend can and will shift online. The biggest areas of ad innovation are mobile, video and local advertising. CMOs do like Internet advertising especially search, he says.
Terence Kawaja, Managing Director, GCA Savvian, is dealing with “Where Are Investor Dollars Going?” Private investor activity was ramping up. M&As were producing activity. The buyer universe was expanding. But, now the world has changed and so have the stats and the dollars. Content, agencies, performance marketing and social/blog deals are still happening because the investment spectrum is all about balancing risk and reward. And, social is going corporate while corporate is going social.
The good news: interactive is the only bright spot in advertising. Digital is the only channel that can deliver value to brands. It’s only going to happen with the support and help of the leaders in this room.
Last year at the 2008 IAB Annual Meeting Wenda Harris Millard famously declared “we must not trade our diamonds like pork bellies” when speaking about ad inventory. David Payne, CEO, ShortTail Media, continued the pork analogy with a presentation about how to turn pork bellies into premium inventory. He gave six steps to accomplish this:
1) Radically improve ad units - after all the two-minute commercial break is interpretive but it can also tell a story.
2) Radically cure metrics - we must move beyond the click and provide marketers with meaningful data.
3) Radically improve the creative - amazingly, interactive creative is not evolving as fast as television.
4) Create conventions - drive simplification to gain scalability
5) Develop smarter pricing strategies
6) Focus on simplification - simplification and standardization does not mean commoditization.
With all this talk of pork, I think I’m going to head out for lunch. Be back with more this afternoon.
Things picked up quickly after break with Bob Carrigan, CEO, IDG Communications Worldwide. He discussed the challenges that traditional media companies face as marketers continue to shift money into interactive away from legacy media.
The main concepts of Carrigan’s presentation were: Looking Below the Line, Audience Centricity, Everything is Custom, Beyond Our Borders and Evolution or Extinction. Within each concept, the overriding theme was traditional media must embrace technology in order to create value for their customers. It’s about turning media into a service. There’s still plenty of marketing dollars to be spent. The question is whether you can create the value marketers need in the digital age.
Some quick breaking news before the next session - Revenue Science is now known as Audience Science. Visit www.audiencescience.com for more info.
Randall Rothenberg just wrapped up a discussion with IPG leaders, including individual agency leaders. Nick Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mediabrand; Howard Draft, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Draftfcb; Michael Roth, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Interpublic Group and Robert Bagot, Chief Creative Officer, McCannSF shared the details of how the IPG holding company came together and manages the business. Keeping their head down and focusing on the client and audience is working wonders for them.
A current Hyundia campaign was discussed as an example of how brands are listening to the challenges consumers are currently facing. The offer, in this case the option to return your new car if you lose your source of income, is an important part of the campaign. Media + offer + creative = direct marketing and much more these days.
Consumer engagement is more important than ever. That means blurring the lines between brand marketing and direct response marketing.
Breaking down silos between agencies and expertise has been key to IPG success. One person is accountable for reaching across the different organizations and to the client. It is the agency’s responsibility to be accountable. Clients are demanding an open architecture so IPG is responding—and holding their senior executives responsible through compensation.
Audience members are talking too. Search twitter for #iabnet for details.
Off to a break. Need a snack to maintain my blog energy!
Michael Mendenhall began by addressing how social media is impacting marketer reach. Social networking sites are now a source of advice and are being used to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges—for people who may have never experienced the power of the Internet. The paradigm is no longer centered on interrupting a consumer message with your product, it’s about creating a conversation around your product.
HP is tapping the collective intelligence of customers by hosting forums where they can help each other. These forums are expected to be critical to HPs success as the brand strives to engage customers through digital media. But, they don’t expect traditional outlets to disappear, just adapt.
One example is MagCloud.com - a beta version of an HP site/product which allows anyone to customize and instantly create and print magazines. Sounds interesting.
Michael also drew comparisons between the successes of TV, through the help of independently and locally operated affiliates, and brand building online. Brands can become “the big tv three” by contracting with a vast number of local web sites. The problem is it takes time and research, which can be prohibitive. The winners will be the agencies who can rationalize it and pull it all together. And, they are begining to do it.
For many companies brand specific digital networks will just be a small part. Brands aren’t defined by campaigns anymore, but by the complete environment they create.
For HP success is about “return on information” not “return on investment” in today’s marketplace.
Randall Rothenberg was back on stage to set expectations for the day and comment on last nights activities.
For the first time in any industry—anywhere—everyone has an opportunity to communicate with anyone. We all have unlimited access to information and the technology needed to share it. For us—marketers—this ability to create and distribute content creates a challenge. We no longer control the limit of information consumers can absorb. How do we prosper in a world without limits? That’s the reason the event is themed Brands Battle Back.
Our industry’s leaders are here to explain and tell us what they need from the rest of us to make it happen. First up Michael Mendenhall, SVP and CMO, HP.
Good morning and welcome back to the sold-out IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. Looks like the crowd has recovered from last night’s hopping Poolside Welcome Reception (and the Oscars). Don’t worry, no one wound up in the pool—at least not before I called it a night.
We’ve got a full agenda today, starting with comments from Randall followed by the keynote presentation—Marketing 2.0: The New Affiliates—by Michael Mendenhall SVP and CMO of HP. I’ll let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, here are some photos from last night’s poolside reception.