Last Thursday night I joined an interesting gathering of people who are actively thinking and making things happen in the world of interactive media and advertising. The event was sponsored by John Haake and the folks at Eyeblaster, but was set up simply as an opportunity for the group to get to know each other and take steps to continue the conversation beyond the evening.
The group spent much of the evening discussing the challenges they face moving interactive advertising forward. What I found quite interesting, and truthfully a bit depressing, was the fact that many of the challenges are inherent to the agency-client structure and haven't changed in the 15 years I've been working in advertising. Issues of control, ownership and incentives are still the primary barriers to fast progress. On the other hand the fact that smart people are still pushing on what they think is right makes me hopeful for change.
Mirroring the industry's challenge of fragmenting media and user created and controlled media was the variation within our own group in terms of communication preferences: del.icio.us, email, twittering, Facebook, LinkedIn - everyone used a different set of tools and no one could agree on a preference.
Being a widget evangelist I have to refer to John Morton's great post on the evening:
"The word “widget” was mentioned approximately 112 times, but I lost count somewhere in the mid-60s. Why was “widget” talked about so much? It’s a buzz word of the moment that’s started to stick with people across the marketing industry. The term has stuck, but not a definition of what it means is pretty vague. . . .. Again, here’s another topic that I think we can explore further."
John I couldn't agree with you more and look forward to helping to make widgets a more clearly defined set of marketing opportunities. Check out this link to see some of the intial forays into branded widget advertising.
I'm looking forward to continuing the dialog and really enjoyed meeting everyone that evening.
As the lone West Coaster it was of course a treat to be out in NYC, at ValBella Restaurant; David Pogue of the NYT is really a lovely guy - my thanks go out to him for tracking down a cab to share at the end of the evening.
Attendees: Amy Auerbach from PHD, David Berkowitz from Marketer’s Studio, Matt Enos from Tribal DDB, Amaya Garbayo from Mindshare, John Haake from Eyeblaster, Liza Hausman from Gigya, Alex Jorissen from Eyeblaster, Lindsey Kollross from MEC, Gefen Lamdan from Eyeblaster, John Morton (me) from johnfmorton.com LLC, Linda Payson from Avenue A | Razorfish, David Pogue from The New York Times, Adam Romero from Agency.com, Adam Shlachter from MEC, Troels Smit from Eyeblaster, Doug Stivers from Beyond Interactive, Persia Tatar from Media Post, and Ben Weisman from Eyeblaster and Digitas and Lucas Binder of UBS.