Ad-Tech New York Kicks Off on Full Strength

adtech_1My colleague Dan Slagen and I arrived to find sprawling lines of digital marketers waiting to get into the Javitz. I think that’s a good sign for the industry, if not a sign of increased business spending.

It’s incredible that people will pay $1,400 and stand in lines three hundred deep to enter this in-person event, but that there still isn’t a strong industry magazine with a viable subscription model.  Hint: With deeper publishing and editorial chops, Marketing Sherpa could have a new business.  The still little-known  mag Search Marketing Standard is a step in that direction, but there’s a strong interest in a less niched offering.

Sessions Summaries:

Reaching US Hispanic and Latino Digital Consumers
In the next census, this group will account for more than 20% of the US population. Further, they over-index relative to national audiences for digital media and communications consumption. Yep, they spend 35% more on data services, and 42% more on online purchases. (The photo above is from this session: it was perhaps two-thirds empty.)

However, typical  Hispanic-focused media buys on average still only allocate 3-5% for digital spend against a national average of 10-15%. That’s a gap waiting for smart marketers to connect on.

Facebook-Sponsored Workshop
Unlike the Hispanic topic, Facebook’s sponsored workshop was packed.  Facebook offers marketers a great alternative universe. Three hundred million users, lots of demographic feedback on ads, even targeting based on friends of your brand’s friends.  The drawback: users really are not there to see your ad.

Sarah Smith, manager of Facebook’s online sales operations, sort of admitted this and said one should expect CTRs (click -through rates) below 1%. Still, it’s a great mass audience, and if you can measure those rare clicks to purchases, there may be an ad deal for you.

The Death of Last Click Reporting
: Lots of things contribute to a conversion; counting the last thing someone sees is an over-simplification. Antithesis: But there’s no clear alternate formula, and without this we stare into the abyss. Synthesis: We ought to suck it up and find our own formulas, because digital marketing holds the promise of accurate measurement. Or else our marketing lives are bleak.

Alas, though digital marketing is measurable, it is not perfectly measurable. That’s life. I know a company where account relationships can be more than ninety years long. That’s nine decades of sales wining and dining. Then along comes a marketer with a formula to explain an individual purchase. There’s hubris and a level of wishful thinking in distilling human decisions to purely factors that marketing can measure and control. Still, we contribute what we can.

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