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Top 10 Highlights from Ad:tech Day 1

Submitted by on Tuesday, 20 April 2010No Comment

Today was a great day at ad:tech San Francisco (ad:tech is a client of my company Boot Camp Digital).  With so many smart marketing people in one place there was a ton of great content.  I wanted to share the highlights of Day 1.

  1. Digital Marketers are Like 5 Year Olds Playing Soccer – In the opening Keynote Jaime Cohen Szult, CMO of Levi used this analogy.  Marketers act like kids – they want to run to where the ball is, but we know that a successful soccer strategy is to play your position and be strategic.  That is what marketers need to do.  Play your position and avoid chasing the ball.
  2. Tablets (like the ipad) are HAWT and can Create new Opportunities for Business Models – Everyone seems to agree that Tablets like the ipad will significantly change the way we consume content.  The key question is how and when.  A number of companies (like Wired magazine) have super-secret iPad apps under development.  I think that until we see some really robust game-changing apps this might be tough to grasp.  Two of the keynotes today – Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer and Chris Anderson of Wired – both see the Tablets as a transformational technology.  I have an iPad mini, also known as my iphone.
  3. The Impression Model of Marketing is Dead – Bob Gilbreath, CEO of Bridge WorldWide talked about measuring success in digital through influence in 2 key ways – Engagement and Sharing.  An impression in social media is more powerful vs. traditional media because the consumer is chosing to interact with your content vs being forced to.  Geoff Ramsey also mentioned in his keynote that the old model of disruption and interruption marketing will continue to erode.
  4. All Sharing is NOT Created Equal – Tim Schigel, CEO of ShareThis talked about sharing as a key concept in tracking influence.  Influence is a function of Sharing (how is the content shared and by which mediums) x Clicks (how many people are clicking on the content) x Engagement (how much time do they spend with the content) x Spread (are they inspired to further spread and share the content).  This is definitely a more comprehensive way of looking at influencers.
  5. Getting to the Sharers (influencers) gets Results – A case study shared by Jim Price of Empower Media Marketing showed that targeting ads specifically at influencers (defined as sharers) leads to higher engagement and ultimately results and ROI.  Sharers had a 55% intent to redeem a coupon on contextually relevant content vs. 30% for search and 8% for display.  More details can be found in this article on Media Post.
  6. Measurement – Stop Focusing on ClickThrough and think ViewThrough – This isn’t really “new” to many in the digital space, but it highlights the importance of taking a holistic approach to measurement.  An impression is still an impression – even if there is no click. Invest in measurement early so you can track and improve.
  7. 78% of all Statistics are Made Up – In the closing keynote with Geoff Ramsey from emarketer he highlighted a number of times that there are MANY different statistics out there for almost anything that you want to measure.  “There is no sense in being precise when you have no idea what you are talking about“.
  8. The Bar is Higher for Marketers – Consumers Have to Choose your Marketing – This isn’t really news, but it is a concept that is picking up momentum.  All of the keynotes mentioned it – consumers are getting better at ignoring ads and successful marketers are creating ads that consumers want to engage with.  This is a concept that Bob Gilbreath talks about in Marketing With Meaning and one that Seth Godin brought up years ago in his discussion of interruption marketing vs. permission marketing.
  9. Marketers Need to Think Like Game Creators vs. Reality Show Hosts – Joel from Moxie shared some great thoughts on how marketers can benefit by building gaming mechanics into their marketing.  Foursquare is a great example – a lot of the excitement of Foursquare is collecting badges, completing tasks, competing on the leaderboard, and earning Mayorships.  Three ways to build gaming into your marketing: 1) Customize content with public achievements among friends, 2) Recognize leaders and promote their stats, 3) Create missions, not campaigns.
  10. Affiliate Marketers make the Coolest TShirts – I’ll share more photos to support this theory tomorrow, but affiliate marketers seem to have a gift for creating T-shirts that actually look cool (I am actually wearing an Affiliate.com t-shirt pictured below right now and I would TOTALLY wear it out in public).  Looking around the exhibit hall the affiliate marketing companies had the coolest shirts (although some looked a little too Affliction-like for my tastes) – probably because they are cooler than other marketers.

Photo Courtesy of Heather in BC

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