Interactive marketing evolving, not innovating: CaratDigital's Oscar

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NEW YORK - Integrating targeted messages into various mediums is the key to reaching consumers, according to ad:tech New York's "Digital Media Innovators" panel.

The session Nov. 6 focused on how marketers should embrace multichannel marketing capabilities to get through to consumers in a world noisy with advertising.

"Consumers can read through the bulls--t meter, so we have to be open and honest to get them to take us seriously," said David Cohen, executive vice president and U.S. director of digital communications at Universal McCann. "It's not about mass marketing anymore; it is about sending targeted messages."

This ability to send targeted messages is why Mitchell Oscar, executive vice president and director at CaratDigital, defined today's interactive marketing space as going through an evolution and not just an innovation.

"I'm not sure what television is anymore, because if I watch it on the TV, it is TV, and if I watch it on a broadband connection, it is online video, and if I watch it on a mobile device, it is called something else," Mr. Oscar said.

"It's really about the consumer and how they use these things without defining them," he said.

One audience member asked about the security in investing in these new kinds of technologies when television is still the safe way to keep a job in the advertising world. Most of the panelists disagreed.

"I think you will be fired if you don't have a really good idea of how you are blazing ahead in the digital world," Mr. Cohen said.

The key to getting ahead in the digital world is to know what your message is and how to implement it in the right channel. Marketers need to identify what their branding messages are versus what their call-to-action messages are.

According to Mr. Cohen, it's not that social networks are better tools than TV. It is about finding the right channels and using them wisely.

"I think investment in television is still a cornerstone of the industry, but agencies like R/GA and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, who integrate various technologies into one message, are the ones to look to for ideas in innovation," Mr. Cohen said.

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