After racing from the tube at lightning speed for a coffee at Costa, the first dilemma of the day was this: how does one consume a boiling coffee in record time as no external food & drink allowed in the venue?
Matt Shepherd, MD AdWeek introduced the first session, the Evening standard CEO summit. Moderated by Gideon Spanier.
Stewart Esterbrook, MD Starcom Mediavest
We talk about ourselves as a human experience company and that's the value we bring to the table in understanding consumers
- Agencies have allowed transaction to be the centre of gravity in the past but Starcom are shifting that to more added value conversation by building rounded engaging experience for consumers
- We are not device led but rather look at seamless experiences marrying content and context
- Key to keeping talent is to develop people, show progress and create winning culture (as everyone wants to be on a winning team)
Arnaud de Puyfontaine, CEO Hearst UK
- What keeps me awake at night?
Leadership and people keeps me awake at night
- Agility and pace of change is a concern but opportunity
- Absolute obsession with customer knowledge and data
There is no demise of print but a complete overhaul. They recently launched a new publication achieving 100,000 circulation.
- Keep talent by helping people believe they are building the future
Dave Gwozdz, CEO Mojiva
Biggest concern is looking for talent but also retaining talent is key. Constantly looking to nurture talent pool as people often picked up by Facebook and Google.
Mobile ads don't make you cry and its a challenge to figure it out
- If you don't think you are doing the most exciting thing possible, you should leave
Matthew Dearden, CEO Clearchannel
Core leadership responsibility is to create possibility of potential in a flatline economy
- Shift from a real estate business to audience business
- I believe the future of the Internet is mobile and we have NFC enabled sites
- We even had ads with realtime data feeds
- When digital adds value you can justify charging a premium
- For extra £1 spent on advertising you get £6 GDP growth so would encourage more spending on advertising to grow the economy
- Keep people by giving people jobs they love
Dan Clays, MD OMD
- Culture is so important that they have just appointment director of culture. Need a culture of innovation running through r whole business and also emphasis on knowledge share.
Next up is the Wired Global Conversation with an impressive line-up. This was definitely the best presentation of the day for me, personally. The panel included Rupert Turnbull, publisher of Wired, Bob Greenberg (R/GA), Sir John Hegarty (BBH), Jon Kamen (CEO Radical Media), Steve King (CEO Zenith) and Simon Rees (CEO DCM - Digital Cinema Media).
75% of Europe in 2015 will have smartphones. What are the challenges?
- Marketing on mobile is in its infancy (Bob Greenberg) and refers to Jeff Bezos (Amazon) saying the Internet is in its infancy! The desktop and laptop are shifting to mobile and, combined with GPS, larger screen and voice activation will create tremendous growth though we still don't know what advertising and marketing look like on mobile
- Sir John says the product we produce is getting worse (or at least people seem to think so) - the elephant in the room! There is always a creative deficit with new technology though we are only beginning to work out a roadmap which will take longer. We don't know where advertising fits.
- Jon also says we are in an interesting point of disruption which will change our business forever
- Steve says that mobile and multi-screen consumption is NOT the biggest change. There is a multiple of 20 in the disconnect between time spent on mobile and advertising (because the format hasn't been worked out yet). Definitely have not yet worked out how to make engaging relationships with consumers.
- Simon informs us of the stat that Facebook more consumed via mobile than pc.
- Bob: you can't separate mobile from social
How are going to foster the next gen of creative talent?
- Sir John says we have a dysfunctional government with a disaster education minister who wants to remove a creative education (giving ability to cv don't the future). Real problem in teaching kids about creativity. Governments are run by words!
- Steve King has 5 kids and sees technology as an innate social accelerator as his kids all are producing amazing creativity
- Bob and Sir John sit on the board at Brand Centre where there is a creative technology track. New role: Creative Technologist
What about data?
Steve King talks about the terabytes of data which advertisers have. What do you do with all this data? We can improve the efficiency and efficacy of our communication. But 2/3 of consumers are concerned about privacy though a different 2/3 want relevant ads. Zenith are working with clients at how to use this data. Simon (DCM) worried about data and specifically, how data is interpreted. Cautious about a completely data led solution.
Can advertising change behaviour?
Bob: Nike have seen they can change behaviour e.g. fuelband (I've done that!). Nike working on data visualisation - this is a creative way developing when applied to a live event with sports. Sir John objects and doesn't want people to know all this. He expects a huge backlash as this involves taking away freedom. "I don't understand myself sometimes - why are these companies saying we understand you?!?"
- 400 M actively blogging in China showing desire for self-expression and we should do whatever we can to protect freedom of speech and editors.
- Advertising must have trust and authenticity. We've lost trust in banks and supermarkets. A different approach is needed and Facebook says only 3% of advertisers "get it" - content needs to be rich, engaging, truthful and honest (Steve King).
Next up was Microsoft, my old employer, handing out "cookies" (or shall we say 'biscuits' as this is a European conference) to attendees just as the session kicked off as a tongue-in-cheek salute to the whole internet explorer cookie controversy (which remained the elephant in the room). Andy Hart (newly promoted VP Europe) and Dave Coplin (Chief Envisioning officer) took to the stage for the MSFT Advertising session on Re-imagining Digital Advertising. This was an abstract session telling us how the world is changing and then giving us a peak in the kitchen of Microsoft Research with some super cool innovative products for the near future.
- Our attention spans are getting shorter as we look to our phones, phablets, tablets etc. to cut through
- We get shown 1009 messages a day (PWC/IAB study, Eye blaster/Mediamind)
- Technology is about enabling humans to be better at what they do
- Qwerty design is 142 years old designed to slow typing to avoid keys jamming- behind the core of these devices
- A video was then shown of Microsoft Research (who design technology 10 years out). In the future every single surface will be able to display 2-way transmission. We saw Xbox technology showing the entire room illuminating and making the room part of the game.
- Smart glass connects Xbox to your mobile device – essentially making 2 devices aware of each other, e.g. phone showing map through the supermarket with special offers
- Smart phones are rather stupid given that they know what you are doing next (calendar), who your friends are etc. and yet relying on you to push a button
- Context is everything: emotional, social, environmental, external
- Big data will change humanity (nah, that hyperbole isn't big enough!)
- Consumers feel violated in Creepy Valley: there was company who knew a man's teenage daughter was pregnant before he did
- We need to launch "Invitational Marketing" i.e. consumers inviting your brands into their lives to share experiences and messages which will enhance their lives (though you must understand their context, lean in or lean back). Ads should be beautiful, useful and relevant.
Despite being early, the room was already jam-packed for Programmatic Buying: A win-win for Agencies, Advertisers & Publishers. One angry attendee who was refused entry proclaimed "How could they have such a small venue for such an important topic?!" This session was presented by Powerlinks Media (Mike Harty, Co-founder & COO).
Topic 1: What is driving prices down?
Dan Shaw (ITG)
Very difficult justifying advertisers paying a premium for data. 90-95% data is questionable which creates question mark about the 5% which is good. Premium doesn't justify the cost.
- Seeing more clients asking to be on white list of 1000, 50 or 10 sites because context is so important. Want to be more insightful or targeted and willing to pay a premium.
Harvey Sariant (RadiumOne)
First party data is so important and publishers sitting on so much. How can they build segments for reading?
- White lists are only about trust and brand safety
Topic 2: Audience vs, Context ... Where is the scale? How can we standardise, achieve scale while reaching in niche environments (500 ads seen by each user every day)?
- Good progress in getting publishers to stop competing and start collaborating
- Clients and planners still want larger formats - data is a hot topic but it's not where the money is being spent currently. Need measurement (the right measurement) and KPI's for it to mature.
- MWhat is digital these days? We need a cross-platform metric (eg. viewability) across all devices
Is the age of below-the-fold dead? Yes
Seeing more clients talking about viewability from a DR perspective instead of chasing the last click to help the industry move forward. We need trade bodies to start taking the lead to help publishers. We need a way to only render an ad on the page when the page is viewed.
Topic 3: Complete Data; a pipe dream? Valuing an impression the moment of the cookie drop
- WPP changed their terms allowing them to collect data as they seem fit (IDG)
- Can we overtarget through programmatic buying? There is a temptation.
Topic 4: Delivering for Brand Advertising
- We need a new set of metrics which is standardised
- 55% of marketers interviewed by Digiday said that online metrics should be aligned to offline
- Clients know that TV performs well and they are comfortable with it
Topic 5: High Impact Ad Delivery and Creativity: Click-through rates are decreasing and creative agencies are becoming disassociated with the digital space. What do we think?
- Skyscrapers and MPU's are our bread and butter
- We need to find ways at bringing creative agencies back to the table
- Can we loop back to the creative agencies?
- Need for collaboration and measurement
- Viewability would involve serving ads in real time (IAB guideline says 50% of an ad should be viewable for at least 1 second)
- It's not just the agencies - clients are starting to ask questions
- There are free tools for publishers to show what is and isn't viewable and it's not so scary
- Nobody wants the conversation "have u been serving non viewable ads?"
The final session of the day for me was a panel titled The consumer has changed but has marketing? I unfortunately had to go to other meetings so missed other sessions I would have liked but luckily the conference is streamed and on video This panel consisted of Rupert Staines (MD RadiumOne) , Mark Creighton (CEO Mindshare), Kelaine Blades (7digital), Jennifer Roebuck (French Connection) and Nick Ellsom (founder Fast Thinking)
- Kelaine: your smartphone is your remote control to life, it's timely, relevant and personal but how do we integrate it across everything?
- Nick: marketing is reactive and requires infrastructure
Jennifer: it's operationally almost impossible to keep up – "digifrenia" is about consumers feeling overwhelmed even at the current pace (so it's not just marketers feeling overwhelmed)
- Kelaine: you can't even use the same message across the big 3
- Rupert: Brands don't lag behind, it's the people behind the brands who lag. Simply not enough attention at high levels in the company to address the changes consumers are going through. Companies are suffering inertia and we are still operating around an antiquated structure. Every company without data at its core will not understand its customer base.
- Mark: disagrees with Rupert - it's about structure (moving deck chairs on the Titanic). It's always going to be disruptive. We are just about to create seamless transfer between devices and get connected TV's!
- Rupert: It's a real challenge as there are a lot of companies (see Lumascape) doing a piece of the puzzle
- Mark: Many aspects are really difficult to articulate to clients e.g. Appnexus and RTB
- Nick: Lots of DR spend and not brand spend because its measurable
- Rupert: Nonsense that all value still attributed to last click
- Digital gives smaller brands a chance to rise to the top
- Nike have commercialised "I Am Player" by selling virtual boots so there is a huge opportunity for brands
- Mark: Developed a game for Kleenex called sneeze man. Brands can step in and help small developers who cannot afford the App Store
So after 5 hours of listening and typing furiously on my Ipad Mini, that was the end of the day for me. Lots of common themes and issues have emerged and I'll be publishing these after Adweek has ended. In the meantime, enjoy the little summaries with nuggets I'm providing. All feedback welcome. Let me know if there are sessions over the next 2 days you think I should attend. I have meetings tomorrow but should get a good chunk of sessions again in the afternoon.