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Recap of ad:tech San Francisco

Apr 15

This year ad:tech was packed with industry veterans and new faces. It is the only time I can walk around the streets of San Francisco and bump into people I know. The first ad:tech we attended was close to ten years ago. It was in New York, filled with many ad networks, which, fortunately are still in existence today. Year after year we saw some trends, but it seemed to be pretty much the same type of media – online advertising in the sense that an advertiser creates some product/download/bundle and builds relationships with publishers or ad networks to promote the offer.

Some years the expo hall was filled with all of the same, and some clearly ahead of the game. The famous line from pretty much everyone at every booth (or so it seemed) was “We drive traffic.” A few years ago I was walking around the floor in San Fran and told someone “Please, tell me something other than ‘We drive traffic.'”

Does anyone still drive traffic anymore? Of course they do. But now, the guys who had nothing else to say were not at this ad-tech. I hardly just heard “We drive traffic.” Instead, I heard innovative ways to drive the traffic, place ads, and boy, was there a lot of mobile talk!

Here are 4 takeaways we received from this conference.

1. Mobile is here. They may not be able to monetize it in the way that online does, but it is here. If you are not equipped and mobile-friendly, I feel you will have a big issue catching up if you don’t start to get with the mobile-program now.
There were sms marketing companies in every row of the expo floor. Sooner or later someone is going to make their millions with it. As a matter of fact, right before the Ad:Tech keynote by Arianna Huffington on Wednesday morning, Brad Berens shared IAB’s Internet Advertising Report with the audience, a report that was announced that morning. Mobile was included for the first time in the report, and it stated that estimated US mobile ad revenue for 2010 was between $550 and $650 Million. You can view the full report below, which also shows a 24% increase in display-related advertising from 2009-2010. There is no doubt that display advertising is expanding.

2. Regulation keeps the publishers up at night. Well, maybe not everyone, but this was the most popular, agreed-upon response when asked “What keeps you up at night?”.

3. Monitoring where your ads are. Here is one where the presence was felt in ad:tech this year. I met with a company called AdComply on Monday – they monitor where your ads are being placed. There were others present at the show, but I mention adcomply because it seemed these guys really know what they are doing (and their pricing model sounded very fair).

4. Social Media. We all know what that is. Most of us who live outside of a cardboard box have either a twitter handle (mine is VanBranc), a facebook profile, and so-on. There were dozens of books and plenty of companies in attendance focused on social media. I met with MadeinSocialâ„¢ which is “the software that will assist you to keep you continuously updated on what people are saying about your brand.” There will be a growth of software platforms created to track who is clicking on your twitter urls, who is talking about your brand, as well as how to effectively spend ad dollars on facebook and other social media platforms.

This reflects in our daily activity, as more and more clients are asking for us to handle not only display and search, but also social media and mobile. The digital world has changed a lot in the last 10 years and we are really excited to see what the future has in store for us.

ad:tech comes to NY November 8-10th at the Javitz Center. For more information you can go to http://www.ad-tech.com/ny.

You can view the full IAB press release here

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