Affiliate Summit Boston was held August 10-12 at the Seaport World Trade Center. Affiliate Summit brings together those who, well, engage in affiliate marketing. What's affiliate marketing? Basically, it's revenue share advertising. A site runs ads for free but gets a cut of whatever sale occurs through the advertising. If you've seen those amazon book listings on websites then you've seen affiliate advertising.
Here's another great definition: "Affiliate marketing widens the scope of your internet presence by encouraging other websites to become advocates for your services, increasing your online exposure and improving the efficiency of your advertising spend."
Here's a wee throwaway video I took in the ad:tech press room, which is where we hole up from morning 'til the first party of the night.
Featuring Brent Terrazas, Steve Hall and Really Loud Guy Who Asks for Business Cards and Puts You On Annoying Mailing Lists.
Seriously. He doesn't even ask for your name. It's just "Miss, got a business card? I HAVE A NEWSLETTER."
While ad:tech Chicago's "The Role of Email in a Web 3.0 World" was mostly theory, I liked its feel-good flow. Moderator Christopher Marriott of Acxiom Digital got panelists comfortable without making viewers feel like they were sitting on the outside of an inside joke. It's a rare and beautiful skill.
Marriott acknowledged it was late in the day and told us up-front that the panelists were debriefed on his questions beforehand. As a result, he said, they came laden with slides to answer three major questions:
1. How might the nature of email change as it goes more completely cross-platform?
2. Can email coexist with the semantic web (web 3.0) ... or co-opt it?
3. What role will The Consumer play in creating web 3.0 email?
Before we get too deep down the rabbit hole, let's define web 3.0.
- Need to brush up on your dating skills? Head over to the Stop Hating Dating Game and engage in some choose your own adventure action. It's all to promote a book, of course.
- New York Festivals has formed a partnership with China's SiTV to showcase its International Advertising Trophy winners on XiYuan, China's show about advertising.
- What the James Bond Quantum of Solace theme song will be since Amy Winehouse ain't.
- "Harvey Marco, standing ECD at Saatchi LA, is confirmed to have resigned from his role, yesterday August 5th. This according to a Saatchi LA insider."
- Need a Doctor Who fix? 2 Entertain and gas Agency has it for you with an online quiz.
Tuesday night at ad:tech Chicago wrapped up with a keynote by author Clay Shirky, "Here Comes Every Customer: The Former Audience is Talking Around You."
The Big Idea, if intro speaker Drew Ianni is any authority: "The internet is the most important thing to happen to the human species."
That's a pretty high and mighty manifesto. Upon taking the stage, Shirky tried conveying the same idea with more precision -- and a much higher word count.
There are three types of ad:tech session:
- Roundtables, which look like opportunities for Socratic discussion but are actually ideal hostage scenarios for greedy salesmen.
- Polite affairs where a moderator, charged with exploring a given topic, poses questions in hopes of getting cotton-mouthed executives to divulge things they're not supposed to.
- The kind where a moderator -- contemptible creature -- invites panelists to pitch the audience one by one, and the topic be damned!
"The State of Online Video: Going Beyond the Pre-Roll
" was the third type.
Things kick off with Josh Chasin of comScore mumbling figures into the mic, followed by Smith Forte of Current.TV. Then Rebecca Paoletti, director of video strategy at Yahoo, takes the stage.
Last night after the first day of the ad:tech Chicago conference ended, UnsubCentral's John Engler organized a dinner at the Chop House for about 16 people including Powered COO Mark Drosos, Direct Response Technologies' Matt Haag, Frontline Direct Sales Manager Barbara Stratte and Marketing Director Cari McClure, Adconion Media Group VP Kristian Wilson and Account Manager Alexis Berger, Spiderbait Strategist Dante Montverde and StoryQuest's Tim Keelan among others.
Also enjoying some of Chicago's finest beef were Adrants' Co-Editor Angela Natividad and the ad:tech blogging team Paige Dzenis, Brent Terrazas and Krista Neher.
Like any dinner with 16 people across two tables in a loud restaurant, the discussion varied widely from work topics to wine selection. None of which, sadly, can be currently called to mind. The food was amazing. The wine was great and the people excellent company.
Chicago ad:tech is, by far, a smaller show than either new York or San Francisco. THough that doesn't stop vendors and attendees from mingling en mass in the exhibit hall.
Adrants contributor Krista Neher of Photrade attended the opening ad:tech Chicago keynote and submitted this article:
Ad:tech kicked off with a great start! ad:tech Chair Dew Ianni introduced the keynote speaker and shared some key info on the state of the industry. A few key pieces of information:
- Online Advertising is growing - from $25B to $50B in 2012
- IAB reported $6.8B in Q1 with growth of 18% (not bad for a slowing economy)
- Key Trend - Consolidation: 300 "networks" to a few dozen by 2010
- $$ still flowing to innovators: Apps/Widgets, Social, Mobile, Niche
- With the state of the economy, ad budgets are tightening, however digital and online continue to show growth
The stage was set with an optimistic outlook for digital marketing, and keynote speaker Google Industry Development Director Kevin Kells kicked it off by asking the audience: "What comes to mind when you think of performance and brand building?" After a short silence (probably because the coffee hasn't kicked in yet), the audience threw out some suggestions:
- Increased Sales
According to Kevin, growth comes largely from being more relevant to the marketplace. There are two things that are really driving this: 1) Gathering and using better insights from the people that matter to you the most and 2) Telling more stories more often to people who matter to you.
- See trailer for Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, a movie guaranteed to alter the tween lexicon for at least six weeks: mutti! Vati! Snogging! Nunga-nungas! Facsimile of a fax of a scam! Saliva-ville. Hits US theatres this October.
- And speaking of a whole lotta words that mean nothin', Spam makes like Weekly World News.
- Plaid wraps up the weekend on the West Coast. "Wash down the bitter taste of capitalism" -- with Coke and pizza?