Ad:tech attendees search for social networks

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The Ad:tech interactive advertising and technology conference makes its annual pilgrimage to the Big Apple today through Nov. 8 at the New York Hilton.

Keynote speakers, topic-driven panels and interactive workshops give attendees the tools and techniques to compete in a changing brand marketing landscape.

"Over the past year, we've seen a trend toward more C-level decision makers at advertising firms attending Ad:tech, moving this event from a local foot traffic event to a 'must-attend' conference," said Tim Daly, senior vice president of marketing and strategy at SendTec, Chicago.

These days, search is on everyone's mind. More advertisers wonder how to incorporate video ads, contextual advertising and cost-per-acquisition media buying into their marketing, Mr. Daly said, and he expects these to be topics at the show. Also, given the growing concerns about lead quality and click fraud, these areas will be covered.

Search marketers need to remember that online and offline marketing efforts trigger search interaction. Ad:tech will give perspective on how all channels support and are supported by search.

"Search is fluid and evolving every day," said Robert Murray, president of iProspect, Watertown, MA. "Its reach has extended beyond the typical search engines. Search marketing is migrating to wherever the searchers are, and marketers need to be cognizant of that fact."

Marketers have to locate where their audience is going on the Internet and create unique strategies to convert them. Search has become much deeper than engines like Google and Yahoo.

"Search has gone mainstream, and smart marketers are incorporating it into their core search strategies," Mr. Murray said. "Given that, Ad:tech should matter to search marketers more now than ever before."

For this year's Ad:tech keynote, new Ad:Tech chair Drew Ianni will interview David Lubars, chief creative officer at BBDO Worldwide. Panel topics include the gaming ecosystem, digital media innovators and how social search is changing all the rules. The growth of social networking sites and other user-generated sites offers vehicles to market through.

"We expect the biggest buzz of the show to be around social networks and user-generated communities, like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook," Mr. Murray said. "Our clients are very interested in learning about how other marketers are approaching these online communities. I think incorporating search and search-related content into more of the sessions will help marketers broaden their thinking and see how search can not only complement their existing efforts but also enhance their results."

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