The advisory board for ad:tech Melbourne 2011 met to discuss the issues that are affecting the market and the content that should be on the ad:tech programme. Here is a summary of the key areas discussed:
Data & Analytics
• Measurement – we’re drowning in data, where to start what’s relevant and what’s not
• Benchmarking – what tools are best to use. Ideally there needs to be more tools on the market and more competition.
• Standards will be more of an issue in March because of progress with the IAB. Have the final 3 tenders on stage to discuss their approaches.? There will be interest around what is acceptable, useable.
• Site measurement and transparency – there is a lack of information and a lot of fragmentation in the market. And ‘smaller’ projects (companies / sites / campaigns) don’t have budget for the comprehensive tools and analysis.
• Not a lot of choice of who to get data off
• Ad networks are invisible on data
• Platforms / systems / tools need to include more analysis and capabilities to be useful – need a breakdown of data to a meaningful format for internal and external use
• There’s a lot of disparity between different systems, and they’re costly, and you don’t always get what you want
Insights / analysis
• Interpretation of results is important too but resourcing / managing this is a challenge. Understanding the ‘whole’ story is still a challenge.
• Need to try and move to single view of the customer
• Putting data into context is key to getting most from it
• Bottle neck in data etc is resource, training, skills, experience, expertise. There is a gap in knowledge with clients and agencies.
• How do you consolidate agencies but retain expertise?
Structure / organisation
• Good data management is an opportunity to manage ‘up’ in the organisation re. digital, budgets etc
• Reports need to be more accurate (100% attribution to online doesn’t help…) so that senior management believe in the power of online
• There needs to be senior level buy in to ‘do’ digital. Organisation structure and strategy can help with this. If there’s a strategic framework in place then the tactical ‘will come’
• You need hard numbers to make a business case, get buy in
• There needs to be a better approach to working together – attribution, cross media research, multi channel attribution etc
• A data driven culture would make a difference
• Use of data to optimise across multiple channels – need to use data and insights to change activity according to results. Leverage across channels to make them work for you.
• Behavioural targeting – how do you set this up? There are tools but it’s a challenge. Disparate databases hold you back
• Content feeds into this – how do you add value through tailoring?
• What’s the value of an email?
• Everyone wants a member database now but does that fit with your brand, action, objectives?
• What do people get for their membership?
• It’s a competitive environment – are ‘group’ models diluting efficacy?
• Digital strategy – what is it??? This is an industry problem
• If you’re working across different generations how do you develop different approaches and get the most from them. Working with different ages / demographics of employees to understand how / what they want to consume better.
• Who can do digital strategy? There isn’t the resource, talent, training… Do clients or agencies do it? Clients don’t have the budget for it.
• Can an agency work on a stand alone strategy for a client, or does it have to be part of a retainer / long term engagement?
Structure / organisation
• Technology and digital fits across the whole organisation – businesses need to transform how they’re working and transform their culture.
• Organisations need to understand that digital pervades all business units. There is a difference between approaching a business strategy and a marketing strategy for digital.
• Business transformation should be based on how consumers want to consume your product. While you need to look at previous behaviour to know this there is also a tendency to over rely on historical data.
• Adoption / adaptation is key – what is the pace of early adoption now? LUCY SEND REPORT?
• Technology will continue to change faster and faster so that requires a cultural change to keep up with it
• Need to know how to nurture ideas and innovation
• How do you fold innovation in to everything?
Testing / failing
• Fail isn’t an option because legal departments will push back
• Testing as part of the organisation culture
• Testing is fine but regulation makes us risk adverse
• ‘iterations’ are acceptable
• Senior management need to decide upon a budget for testing / innovation / fail
• Governments and NFPs do some good innovation and have a different approach to failing
• Generating quality content is the Achilles heel / bottleneck generally.
• Online content generation / innovation is the opportunity
• Communication / creative need to work together more
• Issue of control over content – there needs to be a less formal approach to content generation
• How to create ongoing engaging content – a traditional operational structure doesn’t facilitate this. need a structure that allows churn of content
• In an ‘always live’ environment how do you provide enough content?
• Brand managers and their network of stakeholders are (or should be) providing content
• If you strategy is good then your content creation will be just fine
• Utility over content, execution over strategy is a danger
• Owners of gaming companies are being poached into digital agencies, difference between creating short and long content.
• Content distribution – piggy backing on other sites that are more popular (youtube)
• Content is nothing without distribution – people expect to see content everywhere
• Which brands / companies lend themselves to different channels?
• How content is used is just as important as what the content is
• Need to look at the back end of managing content
• Distribution involves lots of stakeholders
• Social media is now at mass – the volume of communication pumped out means social media is now considered the same way as email, SMS etc the newsfeed is seen as mass media / communication (including the implications of spam). What does this mean for the future? Will it change?
• It isn’t ‘media’, media can be bought…
• Fundamentally why do you want to connect with your customers? What do you want from it?
• Social media can re shape the consumer-brand relationship – consider it like the ladder of needs.
• How do unengaging / unattractive brands or ‘grudge’ purchases use social media successfully to engage with consumers? It won’t change anything..? product, content, consumer must come first.
• Information / value add piece is a potential gap that social media can plug.
• Opportunities in social media: peer to peer, c2c communication, leveraging off communities
• Don’t want to be seen to get it wrong, negatives are so immediate
• Social media still isn’t integrated across the whole team, there is a lot of trepidation here
• Who can manage this – client / agency
• Who can hold the conversation best
• What’s required at an executive level to deliver to your culture?
• Do you need a website if you have strong social media presence? Or is it dangerous not to? How long will Facebook last? Can depend on the longevity of your campaign, product, organisation…
• What is the presence and relationship that you want with your audience?
• Your website can be your destination but it can also drive to the right destinations (where else the conversation is happening)
• What is the value of a like?
• There is a new approach to Facebook now – not just for Christmas
• What is possible on Facebook? We want better advice on what the platform can do etc
• If you’re not on Facebook then where do you sit – what’s your social media component?
• Is just included now – presumed
• Mobile optimised site vs. app development and what are the different challenges
• What do you ‘do’ with your existing site in the new world of browsers etc?
• How and where are people choosing to use mobile and what to view?
• Is accessibility front of mind for clients? As compared to looking good..?
• Mobile is fuelling new business models
• Mobile to improve service delivery to customers – it has a lifecycle value
• There is a big opportunity for brands to provide ‘fremiums’ – free stuff – toy in box – and this could be provided on mobile..?
Device / platform trends
• What are the different operating systems? There are massive challenges on how to navigate through this and then measurement too
• What are the numbers behind usage on different devices?
• How do you cut through the hype and understand the different platforms?
• What technology is round the corner and how do you plan to use it? Everyone needs to be informed. How do you know which browsers you need to be enabled for?
• Geo targeting will bridge the gap between retail and online. Real time nature is critical
• Numbers are a barrier to using this. Only a tiny fraction of people are on Foursquare. Facebook Places is still premature
• Facebook Places is driven by consumers not brands
• PayPal express checkout is being trialled by Hoyts, eBay, Webjet, SportingBet
• What is the merging between social media and online retail?
• Fraud is still holding back e-commerce. It is holding back the whole industry – it can destroy a business quickly.
• Why would you shop locally when there is cheaper, quicker service from international providers? Distribution, freight, parallel imports are all better because international providers have scale.
• Local retailers are starting to aggregate to benefit from scale
• Lack of understanding about logistics, infrastructure etc, especially amongst franchises
• Using mobile to create better service and new products
• Difficult to get into video market – availability (inventory) is a challenge
• Publishers need to spend on hosting sites
• Video is branded entertainment too
• New audiences in TV – how do you use them?
• How do you monetise content and why? And what’s unique about it?
Have your say
This is a summary of the points that were made in the meeting. We’ll be working on this and integrating these topics and themes into the ad:tech Melbourne 2011 conference programme. If you have feedback on these points or want to make suggestions about additional topics or speakers for the programme then please leave comments or get in touch with me here.
Notes from the ad:tech Sydney 2011 advisory council meetings
Who’s on the other advisory councils:
Social Media Strategy
Data & Analytics
e-Commerce / Online Retail advisory
Core Digital Media
Entertainment & Experience
Creative & Brand
ad:tech Sydney advisory council groups named