New media hot Ad:tech topic

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Last week advertisers and technology experts alike descended on New York to talk about the latest and greatest in advertising and technology. A key theme of the show was consumers' shifting media consumption models. As Web sites become less important than a Facebook page and Twitter entry, advertisers wonder what this means for digital marketing.

“The future of media is not necessar­ily about an ad that needs to be bought and placed in a specific spot,” said Tom Bedecarre, CEO of AKQA, in a panel called The Modern Agency. “It may be more about an iPhone application or a Facebook tool that needs to run.”

This sentiment echoed throughout the show. The keynote roundtable, Obama, Apple and Ice Cream — Building Brand Passion Among Millennials, brought a group of young consumers age 19 to 21 to the stage to talk about their media con­sumption habits. Not surprisingly, all of the panelists said that they could not live without their mobile phones.

However, most said that they don't watch TV on TV very often, mainly catching their favorite shows and mov­ies online and through DVR.

While none of them were particularly enthusiastic about receiving ads on their mobile phones, and didn't often add Face­book pages for favorite brands — preferring to put them in the “interests” column — they all agreed that if a brand were to contact them with a relevant offer that helped with their lives, they might pay attention.

“This is an elusive audience,” said mod­erator Samantha Skey, EVP at Alloy Media & Marketing. “But it uses more media than any other population, so if you can make your mes­saging meaningful, they will be loyal and will have influence.”

Taking this consumer perspective back to the strategy side, during the State of the Industry panel, moderator Randall Rothenberg, president/CEO of the Internet Advertising Bureau, questioned whether the new ways in which consumers view content, such as short-form video, give advertisers new ways to think about media and ad units.

And, while social media and mobile marketing continue to be hot topics, mar­keters are still finding e-mail newsletters relevant. The Web 1.0 technology still fits into a world moving 3.0, because newslet­ters can be incredibility customized and consumers can pick and choose the infor­mation that they want to interact with and advertisers are getting more sophisticated in the content they serve.

Tina Sharkey, chairman and global president of Baby Center LLC, said that newsletters and e-mail consumption are higher than ever. “Consumers are picking the information they want to consume as opposed to just visiting a homepage,” Sharkey said. “It's customized media, and it's more targeted.”

All of this new focus on media models presents a great opportunity for analyt­ics-led marketing. Because most media are being consumed digitally, it presents great opportunity for measurement — even when selling things that are more difficult to track online.

“We sell mayonnaise, so tracking is hard,” said Rob Master, North American media director at Unilever US. “We use analytics and augment our mix models to help define the appropriate metrics. We don't just look at direct response. It is far beyond [just] clickthroughs.”

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