Advertising 2.0 ... Big and Small

There were two panels today that transcended the usual buzzword bingo at Advertising 2.0, a 2-day conference here in NY by Digital Hollywood and Advertising Age where the top dozen New Media terms were repeatedly defined, combined, and exhausted by noon the first day. The reality check is that there is still need for more sharing of successful deployments that should increase mandates to re-design marketing processes around digital.

The two most valuable panels came in two sizes:
- Big - Keynote Roundtable State of the Industry
- Small - Widgets as a Platform

The “State” panel was very good. (even if the Moderator was distractingly attention-hungry) They summed up the issues with relevant examples from real deployments of interactive advertising campaigns. Laura Lang set the stage with a refreshing position on customer-focused marketing and the real change that is taking place within companies to interact with Client 2.0.

Scott Sorokin added key elements to the Carat philosophy about this change... no more buying time to interrupt. Marketers must make life better for their customers, actually create relevant time (and value) then be invited in and interact within it. Nike Plus is a great example that reflects his point - Marketing is not a spectator sport anymore ... it is a contact sport.

Here's the line-up (in the picture left to right):
Laura Lang, Chief Executive Officer, Digitas
Keith Fox, President, BusinessWeek
Scott Sorokin, President, Carat
Dave Morris, Chief Client Officer, CNET Networks
Chet Fenster, Director of Content Creation Mediaedge:cia
Michael Kassan, Entertainment and Media Consultant, Moderator

The Widgets panel was interesting for a few reasons. The title of this Strategic Workshop was “Widgets as a Platform: Content, Commerce, Communications” – that’s a lot to expect from these cute little things (that you see in the Test Lab over there on the right).

Here were the leaders of the real future of the Web at a very early stage trying to sort through all the issues of a new medium - business model, compete or partner, standards in specs and reporting, etc. Here is a new distribution concept where the audience is simultaneously creating, distributing, and viewing.

I believe Widgets have an uphill battle worth fighting. This very small (very – 2 % of online budgets)needs to convince marketers of the obvious... that driving traffic to their site isn't the only way to gauge success of a campaign. That campaigns are short sighted when you can have a longer relationship with your customers than 13 weeks. That counting the number of email addresses on your list is folly. That it is OK to put their brand into the existing conversations - to fish where the fish are - as Will Price of WidgetBox calls it, "Off Domain Consumption"

Here's the line-up:
Walter Schild, Founder and CEO, Genex
Will Price, CEO, Widgetbox
Cynthia Crossland, Senior Director of Advertising, RockYou
Sonya Chawla, Senior Director, Advertising, Slide
Michael Berkley, co-founder & CEO, SplashCast
Ben Pashman, Vice President, Business Development, Gigya
Jennifer Cooper, co-founder and CEO, MixerCast
Sun Jen Yung, Managing Director, Investment Banking, Collins Stewart - Moderator

As an example, Here is my WidgetBox – a mini, portable version of this Blog. It allows you to put an updated view of what I am posting on any other site. Dozens have. You may want to. Or not.

Knowledge is power. If I want to know what my readers are interested in, here is a look at the number of daily clicks within all my distributed Widgets for the last 30 days: