Adtech Day 2

Ben Shepherd writes: I’m at the airport waiting to fly back to Melbourne after Day 2 of Adtech Sydney.

Today was interesting. I only really saw 2 sessions aside the one I was involved in but I did a bit of watching and tried to capture the overall sentiment from the event.

One thing I have taken out is there is still a monster divide between the ‘technologists’ and the wider ‘advertising’ industry.  It’s almost a land grab and I think it’s getting worse. There is so little consideration paid by the digerati to the wider world of communications both advertising wise and non advertising wise that it creates a silo mentality and a feeling that ‘digital is number 1’. IRL (in real life for the non awesome) guys this won’t work … integration is required and I, for one, question how many of you will go with this when the words ‘crowdsource’, ‘the conversation’, ‘dialogue’, ‘social graph’ etc are often muttered but never defined nor tied back to business objectives (which are, you know, the reason why clients (ie those who pay us) use communications channels)

Another thing is the digital industry aren’t particularly good generally at answering questions thrown up from the audience. It’s all very prepared. I asked 4 questions over 2 days and none were actually answered. Maybe some should consider politics!

Twitter and Social Media was definitely the main theme but I question how much said around both wasn’t hot air. Yes, social media is important but I feel so much of the conversation around it is so ambigous and macro that it’s almost like people are making it up on the spot.

I think in hindsight Liam and I were a little wrong around the structure of the conference and the mix was about right – so congrats to Jenny and Beth around this. I spoke to a lot of people today and they were happy with how the event flowed. The crowd was incredibly diverse so the agenda needed to be diverse too.

To be honest, I was a little disappointed the panel I was on had to start late due to the previous one going overtime by 10 minutes. I love hearing Laurel Papworth’s voice just as much as she clearly does (don’t worry Laurel, I enjoy the sound of my own voice too) … but it was a bit rude considering it was the end of the day. Once we got cracking I felt we covered some interesting terrain around the importance of professional content and media brands.

The last click attribution session was interesting in parts. Jenny Bewes from Vodafone was exceptional on stage and it was good to get candid conversation from a marketer around the wider mix and how digital fits into all the broad touchpoints from POS to CRM to TV, newspapers, call centre … just great. Michael Buckley from Amnesia was going very well until he started talking about media consumption as a % and media spend % and then he lost me – I hate that comparison as the only media that is disproportionate in terms of more spends is newspapers … but I think perhaps I misunderstood him. I wanted to ask him who he thinks should be tasked with making the wider world aware of click attribution or misattribution but the session was over by then. Michael – that said I thought you were good and it was great to have a smart, clever media guy involved on a panel!

Monetising Social Networks … hrm … I’m not a believer in these slides and have seen them so many times. Also, Arrington isn’t still in Hawaii … he’s back at Techcrunch. I think saying Michael Arrington could create a Murdoch style empire is so off the mark it’s amusing … he runs a blog around start ups with around 1m users globally and an audience that isn’t really the most valuable around … do you realise the magnitude of Newscorp? The guy from Minti was interesting but I think most people were like ‘Dude what is Minti?’

Twitter stream – valuable but maybe too many back seat drivers.  Struggled to take much out of it personally but I guess the irony is it’s easier to observe than really participate.

My key takeout – get clients to come next year. Adtech is GOLD for clients but I think sadly not enough were there. Lets find a way to get this content in front of them. I know for 2010 I’ll be recommending we bring along some of our clients at MAXUS as they will get a heap out of it. Beth – send me the dates when you can!

And thanks to everyone who came along to our panel – and thanks to Vivek, Duff and Julian 🙂


18 responses to “Adtech Day 2

  1. Hey Ben,

    Was overwhelmed by the amount of #atsyd Tweets so it was nice that you made sense of the two days in a much more digestible form.

    “I, for one, question how many of you will go with this when the words ‘crowdsource’, ‘the conversation’, ‘dialogue’, ’social graph’ etc are often muttered but never defined nor tied back to business objectives (which are, you know, the reason why clients (ie those who pay us) use communications channels)”

    Spot on.


  2. Oh look Arrington is not Murdoch – yet – and the valuation of TechCrunch at 100 million is no where near Murdochs. But it is an interesting idea. I know you are resistant to change 🙂 just play with the concept of a social media proprietor. What would one look like?

    Sorry about going over time. I had no watch and it was up to the moderator to keep us on track. I thought we finished early… 😦

    BTW there was one diagram I have show at 3 other conferences (two out of state) so not sure which ones you have seen so many times? Where you at PANPA last year? The other slides were new.

    Incidentally what were your questions that weren’t answered? Enquiring minds need to know.

  3. Julian me or another one? We didn’t even get to catch up, that was a little annoying! I only saw the second half of the day so it is good to hear your highlights from the second day.

  4. Shep, how did you rate this year for the amount (or lack of maybe?) traditional media bashing? (Because it tends to come from the same ignorance) was it as strong as the lack of acknowledgement for benefits integration and non-digital mediums that you mention?

  5. What about the No1 barrier to entry which we discussed at length today – the cost. Do you think that MAXUS clients will actually pay $1200++ to attend the next one??

    How about introducing a tiered pricing model, Beth? Perhaps we could pay to see particular panel sessions or just for one day/half a day?

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  10. talkingdigital

    hey laurel … i’m not that resistant to change really … just curious. Re the TC valuation … I’d argue right now there’s no way TC is valued anywhere near $100m … that was a figure thrown around anecdotally and that was when businesses like Ning, Digg and Slide were all valued over $500m and FB at $10b plus. Re the questions. My one to you was about how people go about generating a following on Twitter aqnd not just speaking to themselves … not sure I was satisfied with the answer. Another was about media consumption and share of media spend and another was about KPIs on a Smirnoff campaign. Forget the other one.

    Julian – it was weird as during your session I was at the back of the room and I was thinking – Julian doesn’t look like that nor is he that smug … it actually threw me a little!

    Pascoe – not heaps of trad. media bashing but some ignorance of wider media and comms mix was pretty evident i thought.

  11. … and the price???

  12. talkingdigital

    sorry jo gainse! 😉

    re price – i would agree. I think a price point around 700-900 would open up attendance a lot. One day passes around $4-500 would be pretty good too.

  13. Thanks Ben – enjoyed the resume.

  14. Ben,

    Your content panel discussion was very insightful.

    And, yes. More clients need to go to these things!

  15. you hit it right on the spot! i just hate it when these digital IT gurus think the know marketing intergration and strategies! end of the day digital is just another channel of ‘two way communication’ and engagement

    i didnt attend this year cos last year i thought it was very top level stuff, more for the client side who arent really in the know….

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  17. Hi Ben,
    I am the “interesting” guy from Minti and happy to answer your “Dude, what’s minti?” question any time 🙂
    Thanks for the feedback and feel free to get in touch – skype address is: matthew_macfarlane

  18. Pingback: Adtech Sydney 2009 Twitter Conversation Highlights — Rambling Thoughts Blog

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