Quote of the week during adweek for me: “That dude uses data the way a drunk uses a lamp post. For support rather than illumination.” and also a fitting recap of the week in many ways. Always good to reflect a bit post adweek on what happened and what does it mean. 5 key things stood out immediately for me:
1. Absence of traditional media: This could be because 2 of the 3 main events are focused on Online (OMMA) and Interactive (IAB). But with AOL/Microsoft/Yahoo huge sponsorships of the Adweek too it was a clean sweep in many ways. I’m not saying this is good, I think balance is always preferred and there were some great traditional media sessions I’m told, but seems like we can almost take Digital out of the advertising moniker, it’s just Advertising now…
2. Proliferation of “we get how to use Social media”: Always scares me when folks start saying the “got it”, when we all can agree that with social we have less control (see…even I say I got it). There is and always has been something about this business that makes us want to have a formula, be smarter than our audience when it comes to messaging, etc. That said, a few did say they “got it” by saying you’ll never “get it”. Maybe they really do have it…lots of stats on Social, lots of examples, even Ashton Kutcher of 3+ million twitter followers. No question social was prevalent, as it should be. But even in our world of Social networks, still saw the most happy people in the old school social networks this week (parties!)
3. Data, Data, Data, Data: Whew, we got data…but I think this is an area where we, as an industry are starting to make progress. I heard several customers and agencies talking about the new planning model, where you either use data up front to drive the “idea” and creative and/or use it during the campaign to make adjustments. Brilliant! Data can’t be simply about effectiveness of the campaign, if that’s all you’re doing, you’re missing the real beauty of what Data can do for you. I’m not saying don’t measure, absolutely measure, but use it! Don’t just plan your campaign, run it and measure…make sure you budget to change and improve.
4. Digital battleground taking shape again: As one who loves competition and of course, winning, it’s great to see Yahoo and AOL come out with new campaigns at Adweek. First I think it will move the category along and get “digital” to where we need to be as a percentage of spend overall, second it will fuel us at Microsoft to compete even harder (if possible ;-) and that’s always good for customers. Having Yusuf Mehdi, Darren Huston, Scott Howe, Robin Domeniconi all at Adweek from Microsoft and Carol Bartz and Tim Armstrong all on the ground just added to the buzz of the week.
5. Less talk about the economy: Didn’t say no talk about the economy, that would be silly. But the talk now is more about how the business will evolve after the reset. How do we move forward, charge for value and begin to build a different business model .
You can see all the Microsoft presentations, read about Ashton, see an amazing interview with Mark Cuban all at our Adweek site http://advertising.microsoft.com/adweek/home
To those of you who made it the Microsoft opening party or to the “Loft”, thank you! Fantastic to see the energy of the industry back in full force this week.