April 13, 2010

Susan's ad:tech Walking Tour: Part 6.


By Susan Bratton, ad:tech, Chairman Emeritus

The Futurists.

I'm chronically attracted to the latest innovations. I guess that's why I'm in the Internet industry and why I like programming a show like ad:tech that is always covering the latest trends. In this category, I have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven sessions. You can tell I like the future.

The first starts out this morning, right after the keynote, and it's called "Digital Media Innovators." Scott Schiller, the CRO of Glam.com and one of our industry stalwarts and personalities is managing a panel with Bob Flood from MTV, Karen Anderson from Modem Media, David Cohen from Universal McCann, and Mitch Oscar from Carat Digital. Four incredible media people are going to talk about the innovations that they've perfected over the years, and Scott's going to turn that into an audience participation format, where you create planning principles based on what you heard. This session will essentially create the new principles for media planning in today's digital world. That's no small task for a session!


Then, this afternoon I'd recommend a session called "Technology Visionaries Sound Off" assembled and moderated by David Carlick, the managing director of Vantage Point Venture Partners, who has invited in Chief Technology Officers from three of the newest Internet companies; Brian O'Kelly from Right Media, Peter Adams from Vendare NetBlue, and William Shafer, from RevCube, and he's going to ask them, from a CTO's perspective, where everything's going in the online media industry. If you're a tech person, or at least you can scratch the surface of technology, this is a great session to sit in and hang on and go for a ride.

Next, I'd attend "TV Everywhere, Look Who's Watching." Keeping pace with consumers is a really important process when you are in marketing. Understanding exactly what their habits are, not what your habits are and what you do at home, but what our vast consumer market is doing with TV 2.0. Scott Ehrlich of Red Tie Media is bringing in Bernard Gershon from ABC News Digital Media Group, Adam Gerber from Bright Cove, Blair Harrison, the CEO of iFilm, and Mainak Mazumdar PhD, the VP of product marketing at Nielsen//Net Ratings, to talk about exactly what's happening in Television 2.0.


Tomorrow, the future of online advertising will be determined. Drew Ianni, our Chair of ad:tech, through discussions with leading industry superstars Ted McConnell of Procter and Gamble, Stuart Elliot from the New York Times, David Rosenblatt, the CEO of Double Click, and Peter Naylor of NBC Universal, originally iVillage, to talk about where all of online advertising is headed.

Then Barbara Fittipaldi is running a workshop called "Breakthrough Technology: Designing the Future." Essentially, how to create a breakthrough project or product, the process, the systems, by which you can have a breakthrough product.


Also on Tuesday afternoon, Scott McLernon of CBS Digital Media is going to manage a whole group of people from many different disciplines through the process of understanding what new ad models are occurring in mobile video, video on demand, and gaming: where are the newest ad models are coming from. I love new ad models, and this session explores what all the greatest new ideas are.

And finally, another little geeky thing for you. Windows Vista, which used to be called Longhorn, and is the new operating system for the PC is coming out and two great people from the agency world are going to explain to you what it is and what advertising and marketing opportunities Windows Vista can create for you. Darin Brown from Avenue A/Razorfish, and Giovanni Gallucci from Kinetic Results, will walk you through exactly what this software will create in the next world. Interesting characters and excellent speakers.


Interesting Characters and Excellent Speakers

The single best orator at ad:tech is Jim Sterne, the president of Target Marketing, and he's doing two back-to-back sessions. The "Unified Field Theory of Marketing," where he pulls it all together, and "Tracking the Customer Funnel," where he looks at a macro view about everything that you're doing to track the customer. Jim was the keynote at the ad:tech 1MPACT series, and he is continually getting the most rave reviews of any speaker at the show.

Taddy Hall, the Chief Strategy Officer of the Advertising Research Foundation is doing a session on their advertising playbook. Awesome speaker, a lot of fun.


Cliff Kurtzman, the CEO of ADASTRO, is doing a session called the "Economics of Interactive, Industry Investment and M&A for Fun and Profit". Cliff does an overview of all the M&A activity at every ad:tech and it's amazing to see who's buying whom.

Ted McConnell, on Drew Ianni's "Future of Advertising Panel," he's the Interactive Innovation Director at Procter and Gamble, and his words are lyrical and his perspective vast.

Meg Columbia Walsh, the managing partner of Common Health, speaks Wednesday, on a panel about "Big Pharma, Shifting Bucks" and attention to direct marketing and online marketing. Meg is steeped in the pharma and healthcare world. She's down to earth, she's practical, she's gorgeous, and she's interesting.

And who can forget Bryan Eisenberg, the co-founder and CPO of Future Now and author of "Waiting for your Cat to Bark"is doing a session on website analytics being all about the customer. He's very practical and he delivers usable, actionable information in the most wonderful speaking manner. And his line up of brand speakers is strong: AllRecipes and JetBlue.


On Wednesday afternoon, one of our most popular sessions is called "Client Agency Tango," and Bob Gilbraith, the Chief Marketing Strategist of Bridge Worldwide, has brought Kevin Doohan, the Director of Interactive Marketing at ConAgra Foods to talk about some of the case studies that they've produced together. Both are excellent speakers and give real insight into how to collaborate and produce integrated packages and programs.

Contentious Conversations

Well, in industry trade shows, it's no good if everybody gets along, we must have some conflict, some clash, some encounters, some debates, and you shall have them. We're going start out on Monday with the illustrious Evan Neufeld, the principal of Storyline Development, who's going to talk about the gaming ecosystem. Now, that all sounds very nicey-nicey, but Evan loves a little controversy. I think you'll enjoy it.


This afternoon don't miss the grudge match called the "Ad Networks Smackdown" moderated by Shar Van Boskirk, the senior analyst from Forrester Research is going to split the panelists into two. There'll be some from the ad network side and some from the media side, and you can hear the arguments created between Blue Lithium and Tacoda and Icon and Turn and Promethus and ValueClick. Hear both sides of the ad network story.

You'll also hear kvetching in the "Move to Auction-Based Media and the Demise of the Upfront." So much media is going to auction now, and not one single marketer would come and sit on a panel and talk about how they want to buy auction based media. But we have all the auction based service providers there to talk about the marketers behind their backs, since they won't show their faces.


On Wednesday, we have "Online Advertising Inter-Operations." That's about friction, but it's actually not really about friction. It's about removing it through good ad-ops and how you can save money.

We also have a debate on using "Mobile to Monetize your Brand." It's a debate about what mobile is best for moderated by Soren Schafft, CEO of Omobile. Subscriptions, transactions, advertising awareness. See who wins.

I hope my walking tour of ad:tech helped you winnow down the mass of sessions to something manageable for your schedule! Say "hi" if you see me there.


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