Weeks after the fact, people are still abuzz about Steve Ballmer's statement at the recent MSN Strategic Account Summit. You've probably already heard Microsoft's CEO believes by 2010, all media will be interactive and delivered to consumers via some form of intelligent IP.
If the prediction comes true, it looks like a rosy picture for people in interactive today. We're setting the stage for the future of all media. The principles we're establishing today, such as user measurement, real-time tracking, and accountability, will be incorporated into all media in the near future. When savvy marketers have a solid understanding of how online media works, they ask for the same measure of performance from all their marketing efforts. Nothing like detailed performance data to determine the real return on investment (ROI) of marketing efforts.
One presentation at the same conference contained an even more compelling vision: Bill Gates' view of advertising's future. (I found it quite interesting this conference was the first time Gates and Ballmer spoke at the same industry event since Ballmer took over the corporate reins. Have to wonder if MSN is viewed as more important within the company these days.)
Specifically, Gates spoke of an overarching vision of a "seamless computing" world in which software plays a key role. Microsoft will invest nearly $8 billion in R & D to create greater synergy between devices and locations so consumers can access what they want, when they want it, and where they want it.
A few highlights:
If most, or even some of this, is really in the future, what does it mean for the future of media? There will be far more targeting opportunities. Relevancy and interactivity will be the key components in advertising success. One thing is certain: Technology will continue to play an increasingly significant role in determining the level of engagement between consumers, programming, and the ability to deliver ever more insightful analysis of advertising efforts.
What's your vision of advertising's future? It may be time to pop "Minority Report" in the DVD player again. Maybe those instant Gap ads weren't so far-fetched after all.
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