IAB Engage 2009: the tea break guide
LONDON - If you weren't able to make it along to today's IAB Engage conference here's the lowdown on what happened and who said what. Read it on your tea break and you'll be able to pretend you were there.
Charlie Leadbetter said you are what you share
IAB chief executive Guy Phillipson got the proceedings off to a start by revealing that just 5 per cent of UK online ad spend is dedicated to brand building activity. "The opportunities for growth are huge," he told delegates at Engage 2009, which this year had a ‘Keep Fit, Be Happy' theme.
Charlie Leadbeater, strategic advisor and author of We Think, was the next to take the stage, claiming the world we're moving into is one of ubiquitous participation where "you are what you share."
In this new environment media companies are being forced to reinvent themselves. "With the exception of Google most media businesses are in search, with increasing desperation, for new business models," said Leadbeater. "We are in an age where impending doom and huge explosions of creativity are going hand in hand."
"The kind of media organisations we will have in the future will be quite different," he added. "All the new media business will be pebble businesses as opposed to boulder businesses. They will be small, agile and interconnected. We will see boulder business will attempt to become pebbles in order to adapt to this new world."
Jeff Levick, president of global advertising and strategy at AOL, told delegates that the internet is entering its third phase where content will be the defining factor.
"The first phase of the web was all about getting people online," he said. "The second phase was all about the platforms needed to connect people with each other. We are at the end of this phase and are entering the third phase that is all about content."
Levick went on to explain that "niche is the new mass media" in the online universe. "The challenge for brand advertisers is to find these niche audiences and build their media plans around them," he said. "It's all about finding the right audience in the right place at the right time."
Guy Phillipson, IAB chief executive, then returned to the stage to talk about UKOM, explaining it's "the Barb or the NRS of online" that will allow brands to "plan their media from the bottom up with robust data".
Reiterating that the potential for the continued growth of online advertising, Phillipson said: "The minority of spend is dedicated to brand building, while the vast majority goes on direct response, which you can measure until the cows come home. UKOM will change this, opening up limitless opportunities for advertisers."
Louise Ainsworth, managing director EMEA of Nielsen Online, joined Phillipson to explain: "UKOM will become representative of the UK online audience in a way that is consistent with other media."
UKOM will begin measuring ad networks in the middle of next year, she said, followed closely by video capability.
In a session entitled ‘Survival of the fittest' IAB marketing director Kieron Matthews, ruffled a few feathers by claiming "the level of creativity in the digital industry at the moment really isn't that great". In order to raise the creative bar Matthews called on marketers to have "an unhealthy obsession with their consumers and to focus on creating "ideas that can be advertised rather than advertising ideas."
After the first coffee break, Shaun Gregory, managing director of O2 Media, took the stage to talk about mobile. "Mobile represents a completely new mind set and way of thinking for the marketers of tomorrow," he said. "The key to success is to think beyond the banner and explore the medium's full potential."
He was followed by managing director of AKQA Mobile Dan Rosen who emphasised the need for marketers to look "beyond the iPhone" when devising their mobile strategies. Rosen claimed that mobile represents the future of social media, allowing brands to engage in consumers on their own terms.
He went on to explain: "the best campaigns are integrated" rather than standalone mobile initiatives. "Utilising a range of different media allows you to get the most from the mobile device."
Before lunch Mark Lund, chief executive of the COI, took the lectern to explain how the government can interact and engage in the digital age. "The more trust there is between government and citizen the more healthy the democracy," he said. "Digital communication will be at the heart of behaviour change that we need to create this trust."
"We are now spending three times the amount on digital that we were spending on in 2006," he explained. "Our view of digital being the pivotal medium for the future is based on its ability not only to connect citizens and government but to connect all other media channels. Digital is the plasma that runs through the whole media ecology we'll be using."
After lunch, Google UK managing director, told delegates that mobile internet usage will explode, more services will move into the cloud and everything will connect via the internet. His presentation on the future of digital expanded on four main points: be greater with data; leap and learn; use the technology; and faster is better than slower.
Ashley Highfield, managing director of consumer and vice president of consumer and online at Microsoft UK, followed hot on Brittin's heels. Outlining his vision for the future of the UK digital industry, Highfield said that the proliferation of cheap netbooks would fuel a boom in demand for online video content. "When low-end netbooks become ubiquitous and disposable the idea of receiving your video content through traditional means almost becomes absurd," he said.
Looking further ahead the Microsoft boss said that TV screens will eventually disappear allowing viewers to interact with video content that will immersed in the world around them.
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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