ad:tech – The Event for Digital Marketing! Review, London

by Jens Sorensen on September 24, 2009

A review of the best bits from ad:tech this year

A look at digital from the 2008 U.S Presidential Election

Thomas Gensemer, Managing Partner, Blue State Digital

Gensemer discussed the tactics used in the my.barackobama.com campaign, for the 2008 U.S Presidential Election. The driver for this campaign featured a daily email newsletter, but to ensure accessibility and low barriers to entry, they were all free from banners and wrappers and below 200 words. Each message was also segmented 300 different ways to appeal to supporters across the U.S. Gensemer added, “…diverse supporters have different levels of participation and therefore need to be targeted in a different way.” He goes on to say that all these messages must be consistent adding that, “…even the most loyal of supporters will only read 1 out of 4 messages.”

Insider Spotlight

Rory Sutherland, Chairman, Ogilvy, UK

Sutherland from Ogilvy, UK, the internationally renowned marketing agency, challenges the real cost of publishing content online: “…it’s not expensive to create content online, but what level of quality are we likely to get if publishers do not gain for their efforts?” He goes on to discuss the need to evaluate online advertising and how advertiser’s shouldn’t be paid just for the final click, stating “…it’s like paying the sales force but not the rest of the company.” This comes at the time when the recent strategic move of P&G (Proctor & Gamble) moves from a cost per impression (CPM) and click-through rate (CPR) to a cost per engagement (CPE) model, in order to reward those that add value to the engagement process.

Influencer marketing: who really influences your customers?

Duncan Brown, European Managing Director, Influencer 50 Ltd

“Don’t influence the individual, influence the market.”

This presentation discussed the need to find the right influencers for your market by highlighting the power of the influencer, and how only a few have the power to influence. Brown discusses the shift from the traditional journalist influence to the 8% increase in bloggers. However, he points out that the majority of influencing is still mainly face-2-face (70%), compared to telephone (20%), and online (10%).

Blogs, user generated content, and communities

Kevin Anderson, blog editor, Guardian

Bob Buch, VP Business Development, Digg

This presentation discussed how the days of broadcasting are gone, and how we now need to ‘get people talking’ in order to engage them. It’s now through the means of sharing and talking to each other that brands can get their message across. Digg have launched ‘sponsored text’ on their website. It allows brands to tell their story in the traditional Digg article format. However, to be a effective the brand first needs to think whether or not there is any value in the content, to ensure readers are likely to ‘Digg’ the article.

Anderson talks about lessons learned from comment threads on the Guardian website. He happily admits that initially they thought a great deal of comments equalled good content. Although, after spending substantial time to fully understand the content and culture of the comments, they soon realised that matching the culture of the comments to new blog articles, readers became much more engaged. He added that the whole Guardian website only has eight moderators, with the journalist themselves taking the time to cultivate their communities.

He adds that there is no secret formula for successful content; instead, he suggests brands need to spend time on different platforms, getting to know their audience, to see what works. Paid advertising can give a good kick-start but that alone will not keep the momentum a campaign needs.

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