10 takeaways for digital marketers from ad:tech New York.

Eric Schaal

Nov 17, 2014

Whether you wanted “results,” advice on e-commerce, tips for creative strategy or perspective on TV viewers in 2015 and beyond, ad:tech New York had a revealing session for that. Here are 10 takeaways for digital marketers gathered from two days’ worth of informative sessions.

1. Engagement for its own sake is not good enough.

Steve Adamis of Adobe opened up a fascinating session on Day Two by playing the engagement card. If you don’t know what 100 new Twitter followers means for your company’s bottom line, there isn’t much use going out and getting them. Come back when you have a business plan.

2. Never take the plunge without measurement.

There was hardly a speaker in sight at ad:tech that didn’t stress the importance of measurement. Whether you are testing the organic reach of Facebook posts or trying out a new tracking technique using in-store Wi-Fi, you better have relevant measurements in place — and know their value.

3. Schedule and share posts outside business hours.

In “Cheat Codes for Marketers,” Allen Gannett of TrackMaven highlighted the futility of most social posts. It turns out it may not be King Content’s fault after all. Before you fire your writers, Gannett suggested timing posts more shrewdly. Most social media users are active early in the morning, late at night and on the weekends. So schedule your posts then and leave posting during business hours for the amateurs.

4. Don’t cut Facebook a blank check.

Does Facebook suck or rock? April Wilson of Digital Analytics 101 debated Chris Treadway of Polygraph Media on that very issue. They both agreed (as did many other speakers at ad:tech) that today’s Facebook must be approached with caution. If you enter the arena, you better have a strong grasp of the system’s complex rules. Keep the checkbook holstered until you do.

5. Design your website for consumers first.

Stephanie Balderrama offered a terrific creative session on website designs and overhauls. Her main points kept coming back to the consumer. You’re building a site with a person in mind. Make sure you know who that is and what they want to do on your site. If you build it right, they will come. Then they’ll come back.

6. Take advantage of free marketing.

Have you declared organic reach dead to rights? Chris Kerns offered his own cheat codes on making real-time marketing work for you. Finding the right time and subject to piggyback on is an advantage marketers should exploit. It often doesn’t matter what the topic is. What do Beyoncé and Best Buy have in common? Nothing anyone can think of, but the retailer provided a test case in smart real-time marketing on the singer’s last birthday.

7. Find the audience tweeting about TV and your brand.

Networks and brands in any industry have to figure out how to engage their audience on social networks. Nielsen’s Erika Faust noted in a panel discussion how brands are looking for a connection between fans of entertainment programs and fans of their own brand. Where the two have affinity is where marketers should direct their attention.

8. It still isn’t about the size of your marketing budget.

Is Google+ stupid? Is scheduling your blog posts for later a waste of time? Not in the slightest, according to aimClear’s Marty Weintraub. There is plenty digital marketers can do in this vein with a small budget and the right approach. These two examples only scratch the surface, but every campaign has to use the available data to maximize value with your budget.

9. The CMO of the future will wear more hats.

Why is the average tenure of chief marketing officers so short? Perhaps it is a reflection on the CMO’s inability to juggle so many new disciplines. Alan Cohen of Giant Spoon and John Nardone of Rocket Fuel agreed the CMO of the future must corral a great deal more data than predecessors did, making the job a bit of chief technology officer, a little chief operations officer, a whole lot of master marketer and more.

10. Agencies are finding relevance in versatility.

Nardone and Cohen’s discussion also touched on the issue of agency relevancy, something that was a hot topic in many sessions ad:tech New York. Both agreed the agency that proves capable of handling the latest technology and showing versatility in other ways will be the one that survives the longest.

Being nimble was a recurring theme over two days of insightful discussions at New York’s Javits Center. The only sure thing is marketers can’t stand pat while the industry barrels forward.

This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest, longest-running digital marketing and technology event. 


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