Ruminations Over ad:tech Chicago, and ad:tech in General
I was trying to think how I could adequately top off my ad:tech Chicago coverage but have been admittedly hard-pressed, mainly because one speaker in my last seminar, Actions Speak Louder Than Clicks: Exploring the New Laws of Relationship Marketing, reminded me of Dr. Strangelove, and that singular thought wouldn't go away.
This is the third ad:tech I've been to. One thing I noticed about each respective conference is the variation in social culture - yes, even marketing culture can be segmented.
I'm probably in no position to talk about San Francisco, because after all, those are my people. But Miami definitely had an exotic tango-in-the-night flare, and Chicago - "that toddlin' town," as Tony Bennett said - recalls an industrial Florence, except without the whole "city-is-sinking" aspect (thought it may well be).
A great thing about hitting all the different ad:techs is you get to draw a sense of what marketers from different sides of the game are concerned about - often an invaluable lesson in how we, the hype-peddlers, are more susceptible than your average consumer to our own incendiary travaux.
In SF, a mere three months ago, everybody was twittering about viral and this whole "new media" thing. In Miami, there was a strong concern about hitting the Latin market - one I'd like to see reverberate across the whole of the marketing community.
Guys, this isn't a demo we can afford to hit late - not when one in every four people in the US is of Latin descent. (In case you're curious, it's late already, so get to work!)
In Chicago there was a clear sense of ease with the New Media disease (or not?) that so ravaged San Francisco. People were more concerned with the particulars; namely, video and mobile. And I was surprised to find a newfound interest in the online marketing basics, like search engine marketing.
When in doubt, it's a good rule of thumb to go back to the basics and master them.
As in SF and Miami, I spent most of my time sucking in the city and gawking at ads (I'm kind of obsessed). Steve gave me a fresh-printed box of Adrants business cards and, freshly armed with printed legitimacy, we ran amock.
If you followed Steve's posts you already know we did the bar-hopping scene, laughed about people who all wore the same variations on button-downs and distressed jeans, compared the scariest of the immaculate beards and laughed about the Spam King. And, of course, we all went to bed at an ungodly hour.
That aside, the city's gorgeous, and I've still got Tony Bennett in my ears. Catch you again in New York!