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IAB confab focuses on changing industry

AGENCIES OF THE FUTURE

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Agencies of the future will need to use the Internet as a research tool to mine customer data, as well as embrace new platforms such as social media and mobile marketing, Wiener added. “We need to embrace a strategy that engages customers where they're spending their time—in search and social,” he said. “Total control over brand messaging is no longer possible. The offense starts with an ongoing conversation with the customer.” In a session on “The Next Wave for Marketing Services,” Jack Griffin, president-national media at publisher Meredith Corp., said: “The traditional value chain that once governed media and marketing has been disrupted. We are all in a common endeavor to connect our clients and their customers with valuable messages about products and services. If we relegate ourselves to just one place in that value chain, it's a sure path to extinction.” Griffin discussed how Meredith, founded in 1902 with the launch of Successful Farming, has continued to increase its investment in digital marketing platforms and services. “The possibilities that derive from these new technologies represent enormous potential,” Griffin said. “Getting this right is the Rosetta Stone for our business going forward.” During the same session, Martin Reidy, president-CEO of Meredith Integrated Marketing, said his group is mining customer data to develop targeted programs for advertisers on a number of platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and mobile marketing. “We know what people are doing, what they're buying and what their passions are,” Reidy said. “This gives us great in-depth knowledge about how to take the target to the next level and build on messaging.” Using social media for advertising was explored in greater depth during a session that featured executives from such leading social networks as Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. Anamitra Banerji, product manager-monetization at Twitter, said Twitter is currently testing an ad platform for the social network, although he did not say when it will be introduced. “We will be explicitly clear that [the ad] is sponsored, but make the ad look extremely relevant and useful, so the user doesn't think of it as an ad,” Banerji said. “Hashtags are workarounds for now. We have been doing some testing, and we have a good idea of what will work.” The platform is expected to be rolled out later this month. Tim Kendall, director of monetization at Facebook, said it is a “really hard balance” to deliver ads over the social network. “The people who were first coming to Facebook [in 2004] didn't want to make it commercial,” he said. “Then in 2007 we had a huge revelation—we could make the ads look like content.” Kendall said the news feed, where users share status updates and comment on friends' Facebook activity, is the most popular area of the site for advertisers, which can serve ads to targeted users over an advertising API that Facebook rolled out last year. M
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