After Sumner Redstone’s proclamation that “advertising would pay the way,” the ad panel at the Media and Money Conference got into the specifics of how. At times, it looked like there might be some conflict as to whether people or technology would prove more important to the ad industry, though there seemed to be some consensus that both were necessary. Another area of agreement: the test of any advertising is whether it causes the cash register to ring.
— Economic Jitters: Marc Goldstein, CEO, GroupM North America: “I think there are a number of factors and that’s (the markets) just one of them.” Gasoline pricing is effecting lots of advertisers “If there were ever a moment in time when advertisers were cautious… right now cautious is the operative word.” Still, there’s been no pullback in spend.
— Consumers in control: Jon Mandel, CEO, NielsenConnect: “The consumer wants toast, it doesn’t matter what kind of toaster you use.” The challenge is to make a connection between the use of content and the things they buy. David Rosenblatt, CEO, DoubleClick: “The implication of consumer choice to us is the fragmentation of consumer time.” From the point of view of monetizing, disaggregated distribution makes things more difficult, which necessitates the need for technology. Mandel: “You don’t need interactivity all the time… there are times I want to be told ‘I’m loved’ and I don’t want to say it back”. His point: old fashioned radio may do okay, because it’s right there (in your car) the second before you walk into a store to buy something. Rosenblatt countered that the internet is now involved in every advertising decision, but radio isn’t.
— The future of ad agencies:Goldstein: “The fact of the matter is, media companies are even more important today than they were 20 or 30 years ago. The fact that disaggregation exists requires an expertise that we bring to our client base.” Not, surprisingly, his solution to disaggregation is the opposite of Rosenblatt’s. Mandel then delivered another one liner, while taking a shot at excess love of technology: “Everyone’s fascinated by algorithms.. The yellow pages is a bigger business than search, ’cause they’ve got the alphabet, they don’t need an algorithm.” Rosenblatt then said he’s actually a believer in agencies, since buying ads online is still very complicated. Dick Anderson, GM Global Media & Entertainment Industry, IBM: The key to effective marketing is to have the right mix of media, which will only happen if you’ve got the agencies.
— Monetizing social media: Rosenblatt:”If anyone had the answer to that question, none of us would be on the stage.” He then noted that the new announcements form Facebook and MySpace are interesting. Down the road: “Ultimately it leads to some very precise behavioral targeting,” which he assured would be opt-in or very transparent. We’ll see.