Advertising Week highlights digital transition
A few core themes have emerged from Advertising Week, the week-long confab of agency, marketing and media professionals that’s wrapping up in New York today. The increasing influence of digital, particularly mobile and social media, on the ad ecosystem was a common thread.
The New York Times noted that “scores of the more than 150 panels, speeches and presentations” at Advertising Week “are devoted to newer marketing methods, with companies like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter being discussed about as often as parodies of ‘Call Me Maybe’ are uploaded to YouTube.”
There was a bit of buzz about Facebook’s expected entry into the ad network space, as well as the effectiveness of emerging social platforms such as Tumblr, which this week announced a new analytics tool, as brand vehicles. Another noteworthy digital presence came from Amazon.com, which provided some rare insight into its advertising model.
Here are three other themes that emerged from third-party coverage of Advertising Week.
Mashable hosted a panel of media and agency execs to talk about digital innovation, and mobile was a prominent topic. Panelists included Time Inc. group president and chief revenue officer Paul Caine and Condé Nast digital EVP Drew Schutte. From Adweek:
While the panelists conceded that it can be difficult to create a great mobile campaign—Brent Vartan, chief strategy officer at Deutsch NY, questioned whether the medium was even ready for the ideas that agencies are trying to implement—they agreed that investment in mobile is clearly paying off. And it’s not just adding to advertising’s bottom line: According to Caine, consumers who read Time Inc. titles on mobile devices are increasingly subscribing to those magazines, generating additional revenue from the consumer side.
Digiday recapped a case study involving Armstrong Worldwide’s mobile transition, which offers insights for both consumer and B2B publishes, since Armstrong caters to consumer and business customers. After Armstrong saw a spike in mobile traffic in 2011, it decided to invest in mobile web development – bypassing a native app strategy. From Digiday:
Starting from scratch in May 2012, Armstrong began to figure out which aspects of its desktop site made most sense to a mobile audience. Contractors, architects and the rest of the B2B audience need fast answers to the problems they are having out in the field. Armstrong mobile-enabled installation product information and its how-to videos, because these aspects of the desktop site would help this audience get their jobs done faster and easier. Also, the fact that most of the mobile traffic to the desktop site was going to the product section and location tools, made it easy to decide on what to mobile-optimize.
On the consumer side, homeowners need answers fast to problems they have with installations. Here, the product information and location tool – which helps find retailers that sell Armstrong products – were mobile-optimized.
Mobile is also combining with social to create real-time marketing opportunities. From Cnet:
Just a couple of hours after Twitter unveiled a new feature for big brands that will allow them to embed surveys in tweets … Twitter President of Revenue Adam Bain and sales marketing chief Shane Steele shared statistics and anecdotes demonstrating that the service is an ideal place for brands to achieve better and more efficient advertising and marketing results than on just about any other platform.
Since launching its tools for marketing a little over two years ago, starting with Twitter's "workhorse" marketing product, promoted tweets, "we know there's [been] incredible engagement," Bain said. "There's not only incredible engagement, but it leads to even better outcomes."
“The magic happens when we use data about consumers to find out who would want specific content,” said [Time Inc.’s] Caine. Even banner ads—not the most exciting medium—can become an effective tool when combined with consumer data, said ACXIOM CRO Nada Stirratt. “It will be interesting when we can use data to create 1,000 versions of one banner ad” all targeted at different consumers, she said.
Big data and consumer privacy issues go hand in hand. Advertisers used Advertising Week as a forum to condemn Microsoft’s plan to include a Do Not Track feature as a default in its latest Internet Explorer version. From Ad Age:
In an open letter to CEO Steve Ballmer, General Counsel Bradley Smith and Chief Research & Strategy Officer Craig Mundie, the world's biggest advertisers let Microsoft know that if it follows through on its promise to make do-not-track the default setting on IE, that it will "drastically damage the online experience by reducing the internet content and offerings that such advertising supports."
The letter, from the Association of National Advertisers and signed by the chief marketing officers of Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Ford, Verizon, Coca Cola, Unilever, General Electric, American Express, Kraft and 30 others, warned that the action will effectively turn off data collection across a vast swath of the public.
Branded content continues to gain steam. Forbes this week rebranded its AdVoice program as BrandVoice and introduced a new video offering as part of the service, which lets brands publish blogs and other content alongside Forbes editorial content. At Advertising Week, discussions involved the role of the agency in creating this type of content. From Digiday:
“Very often, the question becomes who creates the content: the brand or the agency? [Panelists] agreed that it’s both. A brand knows its assets, as well as its message and an agency will often push a brand outside of its comfort zone to create compelling content. The same holds true for curating that content across the Web.
“It should start with an agency to give the foundation and give that a laboratory to test and apply best practices,” said Aimee Reker, partner at FRWD. “Ultimately, it should live in house.”
Publishers, of course, believe they have a lot to offer in providing content marketing services to brands.
Twitter did not host as much real-time reaction to Advertising Week as one might expect. Here are a few notable tweets:
AdWeek takeaway - mobile is here, lots of top people losing sleep over what to do next. Don't say I didn't warn you. #awix— Patrick J. Moorhead (@chimediaguy) October 5, 2012
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