A YouTube star, a digital "prophet" and rockstar talent, as well as more sober-sounding (but nonetheless crucial) subjects such as branded content, RTB, data and startup culture all got a full airing at yesterday's summit, attended by nearly 300 invitation-only delegates. Below we present a brief summary of each session, as well as some tasty tweets.
Towards more effective RTB
- Michel de Rijk, CEO, Asia-Pacific, Xaxis
- Mark Prior. VP international, Rocket Fuel
- Elle von Dierer, senior director of procurement, J&J
In a refreshingly frank session, panelists debated the merits of RTB and suggested ways in which both advertisers and publishers could approach the technology more effectively. De Rijk noted that while many see programmatic as a technology to simplify the media buying process, it has in fact made things much more complex. He added that the industry was largely using it in the wrong way, with publishers hesitant to fully embrace it and too much focus on clicks as a metric. Elle von Dierer, a senior director of procurement at J&J, argued that her company was most definitely not buying clicks, but was focused on buying audience. “I would challenge publishers to make available the best inventory possible to advertisers,” she said. “If it’s there, you’ll get the investment.”
AOL's digital prophet: David Shing
With his characteristic unkempt rock star hair, Shing stepped onto the stage at Media360 wearing a black suit splashed with white paint strokes. Like some kind of walking canvas with trousers rolled up, he also sported fern green Dr. Martens boots.
“Let’s get this shit started,” said Shing, turning his back to the audience to get a selfie. “I love the fact that we talk about programmatic and all that. But I’m going to talk about consumers.” This comment set the tone for the rest of his presentation as ‘Shingy’ spoke slightly faster than the above-average human being.
He discussed everything from ‘built-in intelligence’, ‘measuring the attention economy’, to building ‘emotion and immersive experiences’.
Content doesn't compete with advertising, it competes with popular culture. So right David Shing @Media360Summit— Anathea Ruys (@anathearuys) February 12, 2015
Agencies must evolve or become toast
- Gerry Boyle, Chairman, Asia-Pacific, ZenithOptimedia
- Mainardo de Nardis, CEO, OMD
- Alfonso Rodes Vila. CEO, Havas Media
A discussion among three agency network heads examined the future of the industry, which, while looking more promising than it did a few years ago, seems anything but straightforward. The panel agreed that the remuneration model should change to one based on business outcomes, but acknowledged that the shift would not be easy. De Nardis criticised the industry for focusing “too much on the journey and not the destination … Let’s focus on what we have to achieve”. Inevitably, the talent issue came up, and while Boyle said the situation was “not dire”, he said it was extremely important to become more closely involved in sectors like technology “if we’re to grow and have a strong future”. Rodes Vila used football as an analogy to suggest how marketing’s different stakholders should work together. If agencies don’t change from an old-style “tennis” mindset, he said, “our competitors will be consultants and tech companies and we will be dead”.
Putting data to work
- Adam Anger, Asia Pacific GM, Microsoft Advertising (moderator)
- Rahul Vasudev, APAC MD, MediaMath
- Bret Leece, chief analytics officer, Initiative Global
- Martin Verdon-Roe, vice president of global display sales, TripAdvisor
“Stand up if you work with data every day” said Anger. About half the Media360 attendees got up. But it was a trick question. Anger’s point was that everyone in the room should be on their feet, as modern media is as much about data as it is content. “It's a misconception,” agreed Vasudev, “that if you are not Google or Amazon then you cannot use data.” Verdon-Roe described how TripAdvisor uses its data to learn about and monestise the real customer journey. The panel agreed, that all marketers must get started using data if they haven't already. No matter how small you might think your data set is, there’s insight to be found in it.
We need to stop making things complex for the sake of complexity. - Rahul Vasudev, MediaMath. #Media360Summit— Michael McComb (@michaelmccomb) February 12, 2015
80% is good enuf! Getting too precise with big data will slow down a company's agility -Adam Anger, Martin Verdon-Roe #Media360Summit— WarcAsia (@WarcAsia) February 12, 2015
Secrets of startups
- Vinnie Lauria, general partner, Golden Gate Ventures
- Khailee Ng, managing partner, 500 Startups and co-founder, Says.com
- Christian Sugiono, co-founder and CEO of MBDC Media
The three young entrepreneurs shared candid insights on startup culture and the greater efforts corporations are making to be “nimble and innovative” with accelerators and incubators despite their size. “I think when companies have shitloads of money they can just have bit more fun,” said Ng. “For a media agency, it’s good to invest in startups because they’re essentially outsourcing their risk and if the start-up fails then life goes on for the agency.”
Winning talent: Culture, compensation, communication
- Rick Kurnit, partner of advertising, marketing, IP and employment at Frankfurt Kurnit
Kurnit began his session with a story about a smug Satan filling a confused God in on an engineer that got mistakenly sent down to hell. Only after Kurmit got halfway through his session did we realise that the engineer was superfluous. It was a lawyer joke meant to drum home the point that one needs to better comprehend legal clauses and covenants used in contract law to evaluate employment relationships at the outset.
From the hirer’s perspective, excessive ‘non-compete’ restrictions will hinder rather than help the career development of coveted talent, for instance. More survival tips were given in the context of incentive options such as phantom equity, options, restricted stock and deferred compensation—in a delightfully minimalist presentation.
Turn your talent into rockstars
- Bonin Bough, vice president, global media and consumer engagement, Mondelez
The energetic Bough said FMCG companies are facing a serious talent crunch as tech companies offer lucrative and more satisfying alternatives. According to Bough, big organisations don’t understand the “new talent economy”. With no equity, no growth and “golden handcuffs”, it’s no wonder the industry isn’t attracting solid talent. “We’re not competing with other media companies; we’re competing with the likes of Google,” he said.
This is why tech companies that have been around for only seven to 10 years have been able to outpace the valuations of companies that have been around for more than 20 years, he pointed out. To fix these failures, he urged companies to shout the accomplishments of their young stars to the rooftops; only by doing so can companies hope to attract young talent.
Nigahiga in the house
- Ryan Higa, YouTube star
- Bonin Bough, vice president, global media and consumer engagement, Mondelez
- Dominic Good, global sales director, Financial Times
- Geoff Seeley, global communications and planning director, Unilever
- Karim Temsamani, APAC MD, Google
- Angie Lau, anchor, Bloomberg (moderator)
A high-powered group of industry leaders got upstaged by the presence of a true celebrity—24-year-old YouTube star Ryan Higa, whose channel boasts 13.7 million subscribers and more than 2 billion views. Higa revealed his formula for working with brands while maintaining his authenticity: He refuses far more opportunities than he accepts, and the brands he works with are the ones that give him creative freedom rather than trying to impose specific talking points. Seeley argued that a brand should help creators such as Higa truly understand what the brand is about, and then leave them free to interpret it in their own way—although he added that Unilever's contract in such cases gives the FMCG final veto control.