Recap from Ad:tech NY – Digital Poised for Growth, Social and Mobile HAWT.

As you may know, I had a busy November – I spent a week in NY for the ad:tech conference (disclosure – they are a client) and then went to PubCon Las Vegas.  I wanted to take some time to post my key take-aways from each of the conferences.  I’ll post on PubCon tomorrow.

Here were my 3 key takeaways from ad:tech.

The Digital Economy is Recovering

adtech_exhibit_hall_affiliateThe attendance and buzz in the exhibit hall were enough to signal this.  Despite the current economic climate ad:tech NY attracted over 10,000 marketers – exceeding attendance expectations.  The exhibit hall was overwhelming.  Companies are still spending.  Digital is still growing.  The hottness of the party scene further confirmed this – smart businesses are growing and spending.

The tone was upbeat (although these industry conferences always are) for continued growth in digital.  As brands continue to tighten their spending, digital is still seen as an area with potential for ROI.

What is Hot? Social and Mobile.

The two “hottest” areas at ad:tech NY were social media marketing and mobile marketing.

Social Media is transitioning from infancy and ideation to real results.  We are seeing a clear shift in brands from simply creating assets (i.e. having a Facebook Fan Page or Twitter account) to building creative campaigns that leverage the social space.  Success in the social space is about creating contagious ideas that drive conversation.  Sharing is the new form of syndication and it has to be earned (vs. bought with traditional media).  Listening in social media is one of the keys to preventing social media disaster – especially since content spreads so quickly online.

charminWhile every year is “the year of mobile” one of the key trends from ad:tech was the interest in mobile and the general acceptance that mobile will become a key way that consumers consume digital content.  Mobile apps like the Charmin “Sit or Squat” app provide brands with opportunities to really add value.  Consumers vote on quality of toilets and there have been amazing results:  8.5 million mobile web ad impressions, 350 million impressions, 400,000 app downloads since the Charmin sponsorship.

While there is a lot of hype around mobile, one of the key questions to ask is: Is the Mobile Web a New Marketing Tool or an Extension?  That was the question posed by keynote Jonathan Miller, chief digital officer and chairman/CEO of the digital media group at News Corp., New York.  He went on to say that marketers and brands do not know how to treat the mobile space.

Brands need to include a mobile strategy early and learn how mobile web behaviors differ vs. traditional.

Don’t Forget Nuts and Bolts Digital Marketing

While social and mobile get lots of hype, traditional digital marketing might be your best opportunity to drive results.  Things like email marketing, landing page optimization, search marketing, PPC and branded websites are often downplayed, however these basic online marketing tactics are known to consistently drive results.

Queensland Tourism (the ones who ran the ultimate dream job campaign) said that most of their audience preferred to be contacted via email vs. on social sites.  That being said, social sites were the single biggest driver of traffic to the site.


  1. Great recap. I love that you remembered to include the importance of “traditional digital marketing”. We have been calling it “traditional Internet marketing” but we are talking about the same things. (email marketing, landing page optimization, search marketing, PPC and branded websites)

    In my opinion, social and mobile exponentially expand the digital footprint and bring with it a ton more client interaction and reporting mechanisms.

    If you are interested, join me at

    Your perspective (especially on industry conferences) would be very welcome.

    -Nelson Bruton

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