The IAB kicked off its MIXX Conference Series today in Toronto with a strong line up of speakers and several hot topics. Over 700 marketing professionals participated in the full-day sessions that covered everything from online video trends to advancements in social media and a cool iPhone case study from Europe.
I’ll be posting some of the highlights in greater detail over the next few days but here’s an overview of today’s content:
Natalie Johnson, the Manager of Social Media at General Motors and Monik Sanghvi, Senior Vice President of Digitas (US) delivered an in-depth presentation of how General Motors has embraced the Social Media channel. One of the great messages of the presentation was the groundbreaking moves the massive organization has taken to simply “listen” and “let go”. While many Fortune 500 companies struggle to control social media content, GM has clearly seen the wisdom in free flowing UGC and its powerful uses for research, branding and innovation.
The Video Five Ways panel stimulated a lot of conversation as representatives from StreamTheWorld, Yahoo!, Brightcove and 750 Industries shared interesting perspectives on the direction of video. Dan Ackerman Greenberg, Founder of 750 Industries insisted that viral metrics were a red herring and that the industry should focus more on “shareable content”. While the argument became somewhat obscured in equations, the golden nugget emerged with the underscoring of the quality of engagement vs. the mass spray of a viral campaign. The idea of creating relevant shareable content vs. hoping that a clever spot would please the masses was subtle but astute. More on this panel tomorrow...
Jacques Hervé Roubert, President and CEO of Nurun gave a presentation on the impact of the iPhone and shared a couple of great European cases studies. I’ll be delving into these over the next few days. The message was clearly that the iPhone is a wonderful marketing tool that goes beyond simple branding and acquisition campaigns. He showed how the iPhone could technically personify a brand and provide true tangible value to the end consumer. The presentation was fascinating.
A mini panel on the “Future of Search” packed a lot of punch for Microsoft as Martin Stoddart, Senior Product Manager of Microsoft Live search declared that the innovation and development of search technology and its business model was not over. Martin talked about Microsoft’s play to reward searchers through cash or rebates on searched product purchases. I have a lot of thoughts about this concept – too many to write in this overview. Again… stay tuned.
Dr. Marc Donner, Engineering Director at Google gave the standard Google mission statement presentation and talked about semantic search and the developments being made in that area. He talked about search being in its infancy and that we are just starting to get to the fun stuff. My head started spinning with the tag-mania he was suggesting (tagging fragments of a larger whole that would normally be unidentifiable and giving them a sub-identity). Stimulating as usual…
Innovation Upstarts Made in Canada! was an animated panel that covered Praized Media, Kneebone, Refresh and Hippopost – all of these are start-ups I will cover in greater depth shortly. I love Hippospost (I have a fetish for the connection of offline/online media these days) so I will cover more of this tomorrow.
David Friedman, President of Avenue A/Razorfish, Central Region gave a wonderful keynote about the client of the future and how agencies must adapt to the shifting demands for integration. David’s view is that marketing disciplines (DM, brand, online etc.) desperately need to come out of their silos. The picture on my blog was courtesy of David’s presentation. It was the slide he used to illustrate the delusional world agencies are living in when they believe that they are “world class, fully integrated, customer centric” – brilliant.
It was a busy day with a lot of content and a lot of interesting ideas discussed.