Conversation and Conversions (when did creative turn into math equations)
Advertising Week in New York and the Interactive Advertising Bureau's MIXX conference this week were separated by seven blocks. But the convergence of the creative, content, data and profile of the customer were never more evident than this year. Lots of buzz around Ad Agencies building stories and content that is relevant to users at the right moment because you know where they are located, about using reality and documentary for brands to tell a story, and about how to leverage Facebook (Starbucks has 25 million Fans).
The keynotes of the day and closing sessions were power-packed.
Keynote speeches from the top guns at Coke and its cultural relevancy, Facebook and how its timeline can become a vessel for all the times of our lives kicked-off my day at MIXX (www.iab.net). Coke talks about its place in the world in terms of cultural experiences. Over at the New York Times building for Ad Week, I learned Coke serves 1.7 billion drinks per day and makes over 3,500 products.
There were two shows this week in the city and one message. Targeting. And geolocation technology on mobile devices is a big part of it. With our connected world, marketers can tell where you are and you even check-in on Foursquare to tell them.
"The economics of advertising all used to be horizontal integration, said Barry Wacksman of the R/GA agency. "But today we are in the business of growth. With so many choices, globalization, line extensions, we now must (buzzword alert) 'create an eco-system of value' for 21st Century Growth."
R/GA says Apple, Google and Amazon already operate in that eco-system. For the ad agencies that means becoming more functionally integrated. So the Don Draper Mad Men world will be displaced by a flatter approach to advertising. Sort of "functionally agnostic" in our marketing mix (please provide credit to this author for new buzzword).
John Martin and partner Paul Neto, both comScore ex-pats, founded Crowd Science three years ago to help publishers with micro-targeting. Its Citrus Technology applies a "pattern engine" and impression-level audience predictions to market research. Twelve of the top 50 publishers are now customers.
Nerissa Sardi, spokeswoman from Crowd Science, said publishers can increase CPM (cost per thousand) ad rates and convert remnant ad space into new segments. Finding Political Moms for a Huffington Post or Hockey Moms for their new client the NHL:"It's like a yard sale when publishers can convert run-of-site viewers into quantifiable users." Sardi said "we look into the nooks and crannies" for the audience.
"It's simple math," said Co-Founder Martin. "Let's help independent publishers see their audience from the bottom-up". Everyday Health is noted as a "rock star" client and Citrus is helping them compete with WebMD: "publishers and the reader get the best experience when we do the matching."
Advertisers need to think more carefully about who they are reaching. One sales exec Bill McHargue said, "when I hear about storytelling from Creative Directors, I want to walk out of the room. Maybe that audience doesn't want to hear that story. It really depends upon to whom you are storytelling."
IAB's Randall Rothenberg told the ad community: Marketers no longer create campaigns but need to create stories that resonate with their consumers," he said in an Adweek magazine interview. "Those consumers will then pick up (the story) and socialize it themselves."
I will put on my Nike track shoes, grab my IBM computer and Blackberry Curve, use my AMEX "Open" Gold Card for Small Business, rock-on with my New York Times, and set forth. No product placement money was provided for these mentions but contextually, it's a good thing. Maybe there will be some advertising adjacencies.
Now that content and advertising are seamless.