Advertising Week

Rounding Out Advertising Week With Your Burning Questions

Ad Age's Allison Arden Leads Panel With Crowd-Submitted Questions on Personalization, Ad Blocking and the Next Big Thing

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Ad Age Publisher Allison Arden led an Advertising Week panel with four marketers at Nasdaq MarketSite today, using crowd-curated marketing questions to spark conversation about data, targeting, ad blocking, music, TV and anything else attendees wanted to know.

Marketers Alex Amado, VP-experience marketing, Adobe; Kelley Maves, senior VP-data solutions and product management, VivaKi; Jim Stengel, president and CEO, The Jim Stengel Company; and Kenny Ochoa, founder, Quiver Music, wrapped up the conference with discussions about what needs to change in order to serve consumers better, with some referencing on previous panels they attended.

Ad blocking -- the week's biggest topic -- kicked off the discussion.

"My view on ad blocking is that it's kind of a second-degree form of stealing to a degree," said Mr. Maves. "The way I see it is, it's kind of analogous to using Napster in the early days of pirating music." He added that, because ads support content creation, ad blocking will ultimately hurt the consumer. Many share the same sentiment. Mr. Stengel noted Tim Armstrong's ad-blocking panel, in which the AOL CEO said it's better to ask why people are blocking ads in the first place. It could be a quality or relevancy issue, Mr. Stengel said. Mr. Amado argued the mobile model might need to change.

"We need to figure out how to make our mobile marketing helpful and a service to those users instead of intrusive and annoying so they won't pay money to get rid of it," Mr. Amado said.

Ad targeting also made the discussion: How much personalization is too much?

"The time when you've crossed the line is when the person experiencing that personalization steps back and goes, 'I'm being targeted,'" Mr. Amado said. "If it's seamless and helpful and in aid of either something they want to do or are doing or trying to accomplish, nobody thinks twice about it."

Matt Scheckner, Advertising Week executive director, asked what should be included in next year's conference. Mr. Ochoa said, in his industry, the hot topic will be how talent is integrated with branding. Mr. Stengel said mobile and ad blocking will get more intense, but based on what he heard this week -- with speakers talking about inspired, engaged and energized organizations that are making a difference -- next year might focus on those who are innovating. Mr. Amado said next year's agenda should explore how to deliver the customer experience and the tech that enables it. Mr. Maves said he'd like to see a tighter coupling of the advertiser and marketing team with the creative and media buying shops.

"I don't think we can deliver on a lot of what we've been talking about today until you address organizational change," Mr. Maves added.

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