Next Five Years to Bring Dramatic Increase in Digital Media
There are two kinds of keynotes at industry trade conferences. There's the kind that keep you on the edge of your seat eager to drink in the wisdom of those on stage. Then, there's the kind that are...well, shall we say...less than awe inspiring. Unfortunately, the ad:tech San Francisco 2007 kick off keynote was one of the latter. Reminiscent of an old video interview between a major network and the founders of Razorfish, during which a frustrated reporter could not get a straight forward description of what the company did, today's keynote with aQuantive (now owner of avenue a/ razorfish) CEO Brian McAndrews as interviewed by Fast Company Senior Editor Lynne Johnson took a bit longer than other keynotes to deliver the meat.
There's absolutely no disparagement of the expertise that sat on stage today as the two discussed The digital Decade - What the Past Five Years Can Teach Us About the Next 5" but it took an interminably long time to get to the keynote's deliverable nuggets. One such nugget was McAndrews suggestion to agencies that social media be approached somewhat like a "big focus group" and that marketers would be best served by paying attention to what gets written on blogs, in forums and on social networks. With the rise of consumer control over media, marketing is clearly a two way street - far from the one way megaphone approach of yesteryear.
The importance of a global presenceby agencies - and the occasional M&A required to achieve that - was discussed and seen to be a big advantage in serving the increasingly global nature of companies and their marketing efforts. The ability to tap into multiple cultures with appropriate messaging becomes ever more important for an agency to succeed.
The overarching theme of the keynote stressed the transformation of all media from traditional to digital and the tremendous amount of detailed metrics that can be acquired to improve the deliverability of messaging to ever more finite target audiences.
Mobile marketing was touched upon and McAndrews urged those in the industry to give the medium time to mature before applying specific deliverability and measurement metrics to the emerging medium.
During the Q and A, McAndrews commented on the need for general ad agencies to get with the digital program, educate themselves about digital marketing and bring that expertise to their clients lest his companies swoop in and steal the business. OK, so he didn't really say that last part but you know he was thinking it.