Home  › Media › Media Planning

The Best of 2012's IAB Annual Leadership Meeting

  |  March 6, 2012   |  Comments

Six highlights and five takeaways from the meeting.

To those who attended the IAB's annual leadership meeting last week, the future of digital advertising looked quite bright indeed...but also more complicated than ever. The spectrum of formal topics ranged from predictions to new creative formats to advertising technologies to legislation. Off the floor, the two recurring conversations I heard revolved around ad management and online video.

iab-alm-2012

Since the meeting kicked off on the same day as the Oscars and since you can read and watch highlights of the event on the IAB website, I thought I'd have a little fun and deliver my key takeaways Academy Award style.

Best MC

IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg once again proved why he's the right person to be helming the organization. Entertaining and gracious, he set the tone for the event. But he also set forth an impassioned entreaty for members to get involved, particularly with respect to matters of government legislation that will affect the entire industry. "What you don't know, can hurt you and can kill your company," Rothenberg warned.

Best Buzzword

I would love to say that it was the event's Twitter hashtag (#IABALM, which reminded me more of ChapStick than anything else), but sadly I think it was weakly used at best. Instead, the word on everyone's lips was engagement. "Advertising has the ability to convert attention into brand engagement and sales transactions," reminded author and advisor Geoffrey Moore; "Reach is no longer enough - we must have the ability to have meaningful engagement with our consumers," informed Peter Moore, COO, Electronic Arts; "It's all about the content - let users choose their engagement," urged Karim Temsamani, Google's VP new products and solutions, to cite a few.

Best Cool New Ad

The IAB showcased examples of the six new large-format, brand-friendly "Rising Stars" rich media display ad units. While they all demonstrated creativity and the expanded capabilities of these ad formats, my personal favorite was AKQA's use of the Portrait format to do live cam fundraising for Pencils of Promise.

Juiciest Quotes

There were a few I liked:

"Everyone's a marketer." - Susan Jurevics, Sony's senior vice president of global retail CRM and brand marketing

"For clients, Facebook is becoming the Internet - and for brand marketers, Facebook is the black hole of marketing - why aren't there Facebook specialty agencies?" - Tom Bedecarré, CEO, AKQA

"We need to solve the problem that it's easier to execute a seven-figure television buy than a $10K digital test." - Bill Wise, CEO, MediaOcean

Best Controversy

Day 3 featured " Ad Technology in the Hot Seat " where five ad technology CEOs had three minutes to answer four core questions, explaining what they did and then taking hard-hitting questions from the audience (including how many of these tech companies were actually profitable). But in the session that followed, when the first speaker, Dave Morgan, CEO of Simulmedia, asked the audience if anyone understood what any of the five previous panelists' companies really did and if you could differentiate any of them from each other, virtually no one raised their hand. Case in point: ad technology is too complicated and if it can't be made simpler and if no one gets the value proposition in using these technologies, they're not going to succeed or find allies in the major players in the digital advertising ecosystem.

Best Surprise Session

The end of Day 2 closed with a panel of Chinese ad industry senior executives. We had to listen through headsets as a translator relayed most of the presentation, just like we were at the U.N.! It was fascinating to observe the similarities and differences in China's nascent online media ad industry compared with the early days of our own. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Top Takeaways

Here's my ear-to-the-ground list:

  • A change in digital ad tracking is a-coming, whether it will be legislated or self-imposed
  • We can expect the push for placing more digital video ads to continue (based on the number of sidebar sales meetings and pitches that I heard and witnessed)
  • The added volume of content being created each day presents a challenge to all sides of the digital equation...and along with that, opportunities to manage and monetize it
  • Data is daunting - all parties are collecting, analyzing and utilizing, and storing vast amounts of consumer data with little end in sight
  • Everyone needs more and constant education - from media planners up to CEOs, we all have to keep ourselves informed

Tags:

ClickZ Live Chicago Learn Digital Marketing Insights From Leading Brands!
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda, or register and attend one of the best ClickZ events yet!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hollis Thomases

A highly driven subject matter expert with a thirst for knowledge, an unbridled sense of curiosity, and a passion to deliver unbiased, simplified information and advice so businesses can make better decisions about how to spend their dollars and resources, multiple award-winning entrepreneur Hollis Thomases (@hollisthomases) is a sole practitioner and digital ad/marketing "gatekeeper." Her 16 years working in, analyzing, and writing about the digital industry make Hollis uniquely qualified to navigate the fast-changing digital landscape. Her client experience includes such verticals as Travel/Tourism/Destination Marketing, Retail & Consumer Brands, Health & Wellness, Hi-Tech, and Higher Education. In 1998, Hollis Thomases founded her first company, Web Ad.vantage, a provider of strategic digital marketing and advertising service solutions for such companies as Nokia USA, Nature Made Vitamins, Johns Hopkins University, ENDO Pharmaceuticals, and Visit Baltimore. Hollis has been an regular expert columnist with Inc.com, and ClickZ and authored the book Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day, published by John Wiley & Sons. Hollis also frequently speaks at industry conferences and association events.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

Resources

Jobs

    • Executive Assistant
      Executive Assistant (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreAgora Inc., an international publishing company, located in the Mt. Vernon district of Baltimore, MD...
    • Paid Search Specialist
      Paid Search Specialist (Boathouse, Inc.) - Waltham  Boathouse is looking for a Paid Search Specialist to work as a part of the Digital Acquisition...
    • Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing (SEM, PPC) Specialist
      Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing (SEM, PPC) Specialist (HeBS Digital) - New YorkJOB TITLE:     Paid Search / Search Engine Marketing...