Advertising Week returned to New York City from September 25 – 29 for its fourteenth consecutive year, bringing together industry leaders, platforms, tech companies and a collection of creatives, marketers and innovators. The events, which took over bustling Times Square, aimed to problem solve industry-wide pain points and establish best practices that positively impact brands and propel the industry forward. Attendees had the opportunity to discuss the ecosystem’s biggest trends through workshops, educational programming and networking opportunities which fostered dialogue and collaboration. Our team was on the ground throughout the week and has identified some of the biggest themes and topics that dominated Advertising Week 2017:
Bringing Innovation to Marketing
A huge focus of the week was on the future. Ad agencies were searching for methods and tactics to accelerate growth, and platforms discussed how they can harness new technology, tools, and products to drive further success. Experiential marketing was omnipresent in different venues, and artificial intelligence was in the spotlight as a way to both personalize marketing and optimize efficiency. Unilever CMO Keith Weed explained that the industry must focus on experimenting with new tech and approach marketing differently going forward. He expressed his belief in moving away from mass marketing and moving toward “mass customization” to better focus on the demands of consumers, and thought leaders far and wide emphasized the importance of putting consumers on the forefront of all strategic and media planning. To learn more about how digital advertising is changing the success formula, check out our guide.
Several discussions focused on content: how to monetize it, how to efficiently produce it, what formats drive success, and how to effectively use data when mapping out new strategies. Jed Hartman, CRO of the Washington Post, focused on personalizing content and the positive effects of integrating tech into content creation and curation. He believes that you can “invest and thrive in both [tech and content].” Meanwhile, Bank of America’s Lou Paskalis focused on content as a means to create “authentic connections.” Industry thought leaders echoed the sentiment of focusing on consumers when creating content and truly meeting the needs and demands of your readers and viewers. Marketers discussed how they are using data to effectively work with partners and advertisers, and many harness data to dictate content strategy. Data has become a powerful tool that validates the methods by which marketers approach how they create content, and publishers are integrating data into their day-to-day to foster growth and opportunity. To learn more about data-driven creative, read our full guide here.
Marketers Are Still Struggling With Measurement
Industry leaders agree that measurement, viewability, effectiveness, and brand safety are extremely important challenges that they must overcome. Many agreed that there is an increased need for standards and policies when it comes to attribution and measurement. Platforms explained that they have begun tackling this issue by creating partnerships with third-party measurement companies and investing in more human capital to magnify the lens on their internal processes. Platforms are also innovating with new formats and features to maintain brand safety, such as increasing ad inventory and steering away from user-generated content, which has the potential to be objectionable. Advertisers and publishers are focusing on providing marketers and consumers with the best possible experience to meet their needs and values, but they understand that the industry as a whole still faces some roadblocks. Our Brand Safety Guidecan provide you with more tools for success.
Video Rules Over All
It’s no secret that video is center-stage. Discussions about streaming were abundantly present throughout the week, and publishers repeatedly emphasized their increased investments in video content. Platforms are capitalizing on video content; Facebook is seeing success with its Watch tab, while Twitter is increasing its partnerships to host live content on its platform. Hearst’s director of partnerships Jason Blanck explained how the legacy publisher has evolved from making “one to two videos a week” a few years ago to “hundreds of videos a day.” Several speakers emphasized that creating video is all about understanding who your audience is, and repurposing content is just one way to effectively create video without breaking the bank. Marketers see video as an explosive component of marketing and advertising today, but many hinted that audio is on the precipice. The SocialCode Video Guide can help you harness the power of digital video advertising.
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