Sunday, September 21, 2008

Web 2.0 Expo: Man Versus Machine: The New Conundrum of Web 2.0 Advertising Automation

Man Versus Machine: The New Conundrum of Web 2.0 Advertising Automation
A panel discussion by David Kidder, of, Max Kalehoff of, Jim Barnett of, Mike Kelly of Clearmeadow Partners, Tim Hanlon of Denuo

The first session on Thursday, Sept. 18 of the Web 2.0 Expo here in New York was this session on automation. [i.e. It's recognized that automation is needed to capture information about people's behavior when interacting with the web; the question asks how it should be done.] Since it was a panel discussion there were plenty of digressions which made it difficult to follow the train of thought. These are just my notes and should not be taken as a totally accurate transcription of the session. I'm not sure it makes a coherent picture, but that also would be a reflection of the session.

In the world of Advertising 2.0, what does automation mean? Automation is looking for different criteria that changes advertiser to advertiser - media planning. The media company is looking for yield, which is difficult to forecast accurately.

How to improve inventory without conflicts and how to automate it?

A new industry is built on top of this -- necessary due to its complexity.

Are machines replacing people? Complexity is in the nature of companies. It's time to question these traditional models of advertising. And it's impossible to use traditional methods of planning and assessment. One needs to augment staff with MIT programmers. It's not a replacement but enhancement.

How to go about moving into a 2.0 world? Automation is about performance and response. We're overwhelmed by the volume and diversity of content. How do you manage thousands of sites? One company focuses on search [and others on other specific aspects]. This makes it simpler and drives efficiency.

Where is the greatest friction in the market? Too many factors can defeat you. Marketplace = incumbencies. Additional hurdle: compounding. user experience. behavior.
Bringing simplicity to where the frictions lie. We're on a march toward transparency. The environment becomes clear to seller and buyer whether a marketing technique works or not. Up to now,agency business has been traditionally opaque.

Media publishers now have no control over their inventory (because it's dictated by consumers). They're not sure what's going on. What transparency does to the old way of buying and selling: Transparency can mean different things to different people. Traditionally, supply leads demand. But in the current digital media: demand leads supply. Charging for scarcity of return.
talking about massive amount of non-premium inventory.
If you can find potential return of investment (roi) of inventory all way to impression level.

Transparency: customers want to be able to see performance in real time. You must be able to prove performance. [predicting in advance doesn't really make sense - can be unpredictable.]

What do I do to change my business to be responsive?

Automation. It's a new type of creativity.

Niche marketing is the prevailing view nowadays. You need to create multiple messages for multiple audiences.

Advertisers are no longer are satisfied with just TV reporting because they now see how the web is measured, and it makes TV report look crude. So we have to come up with new ways to measure TV.

We're on the doorstep of a new wave of creativity in understanding how to use the new medium.

Automation - how does it change personal relationships? It doesn't really. There's a diversity of content and variability of performance. To think that automation will take over everything is nonsense. Automation will take over tactical ideas, but not great ideas.

Relationships are still important.

Restructuring of relationships: less people, but smarter and more strategically used people. The down economic market will exacerbate and accelerate this. Classic media companies are disproportionally staffed up. We need fewer people and more systems (and intelligent ways to use them).

Ability to invest in digital assets. What kinds of investments will we see?
*cross-platform - more important.
*advertiser desktop solution - no integrated software that's good.
*display problem
*need investment in new talent models - leave old traditional models
*figuring out connection with agency and performance
*solve friction of finding all enterprise software - giving what client needs, saving time, allows them to do their job well.

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