Can everybody hit the target at ad:tech?

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At an early afternoon press briefing, over boxed lunches and plenty of press releases, eight Ad:Tech exhibiting companies were given the opportunity to spout for five minutes about their latest news. While each company spoke eloquently about their mostly equally-interesting technologies, the newsworthiness of the briefing was probably highest in what they all had in common: A goal to provide their clients with better targeting and personalization opportunities in terms of connecting with consumers.
Digital out-of-home advertising provider SeeSaw Networks, for example, touted its partnership with mobile social platform LocaModa as a new way to engage consumers at social places like bars and restaurants and then encourage them to interact on social networks through their mobile phones. Ad:Tech diamond sponsor (and therefore ubiquitous) AdShuffle offered up its online ad and landing page optimization technology to lower cost-per-acquisition. Ion interactive introduced its iPhone-optimized landing pages to better target the mobile user. And Linkstorm put targeting in the hands of the consumer with its Banner Xpander, which overlays cascading menus onto banner ads, allowing users to quickly locate products on a Web site instead of clicking through a dozen pages to find what they want.
And the theme of targeting and personalization didn't stop there -- my meeting with Robert Bergquist, president of Widemile, over a cup of green tea was a fascinating education into the world of optimization, which ultimately seems like Web analytics on steroids to me.
As a first time Ad:Tech-er, it's a bit hard for me to figure out who is at the top of their game and who is just following the herd. But maybe it's hard for anyone to figure that out -- your insight is welcome!

This is a 40 Under 40 Profile. Click here to see all profiles as well as previous year's winners.

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