Review of Ad:Tech London 2011

After reminding myself of the ‘joys’ (think hot, smelly and cramped) of travelling on the Tube during rush hour, I arrived early at this year’s Ad:Tech London for the ‘secret’ breakfast session from the guys at Orange. The presentation kicked off with some interesting stats relating to online advertising, such as that only 49% of ad spending online was done for branding purposes. Having done a small amount of direct sales myself, I’ve often been frustrated with the obsession for a good CTR on a campaign – rather than the client seeing value in having their name and branding being shown X thousand times. Orange also shared their experience that an ad frequency of between 4 or 5 impressions is best in terms of user recall - which I think is now pretty much the standard frequency cap anyway.

Having given us a general overview of the industry, they then moved on to the main focus of the presentation which was to introduce the ‘TV Check’ app that’s due to launch in the UK shortly. This uses a phone’s camera to recognise which TV show (or advert) you’re watching and then loads related content as well as the usual tools for sharing and discussion with other viewers. While I was impressed with the presentation, I couldn’t help think of the app that I was shown 8 months earlier at CES 2011. It will be interesting to see how ‘TV Check’ develops and whether it proves popular, at the moment I’m not sure it’s bringing anything particularly ‘new’ to the market – although I’m happy to be corrected!

The next session that I wanted to share was from Dave Williams (@dave360) relating to ‘Facebook Marketing KPIs’. This was an informative session, again packed with some interesting facts and stats, such as when a friend ‘likes’ a Facebook ad, it can increase recall by 68% and increases ‘purchase intent’ by x4. I also found the overview of Facebook’s new ‘Sponsored Stories’ interesting as it wasn’t something I was aware of. I appreciate I’m probably late to the party here, but for those of you who are still in the dark – it allows you to promote the fact someone has ‘liked’ something. For example, if a user called Joe Bloggs ‘liked’ then currently it would just be posted chronologically on to their wall. This might quickly get lost amongst all their other postings/likes, but with Sponsored Stories I could pay to move Joe’s like from his wall to the sidebar of his page – ensuring a lot more people notice that he likes According to the presentation from Dave, the higher cost of Sponsored Stories (vs traditional FB ads) is matched by their increased performance.

Up next (for me at least) was Scott Renwick, aka ‘the $100m man’, who did a session about an affiliate going from zero to $100m in record time. For those of you who want to check out his past projects (and route to fortune) he started off by selling MetaReward back in 1999 to Experian for $30m, then developed a company called Connexus, and then NextInternet and more recently AdEx. He shared some interesting techniques and recommended checking out the Twilight Fever fan page that someone started on Facebook which quickly gained a large following and now generates income. He also mentioned picky-backing off the trust given to Amazon Kindle books and the idea of doing some publishing yourself as a way of marketing your products. Finally he touched on the fact a lot of affiliates were getting in early to mobile advertising where there’s less competition and cheaper clicks.

Later on in the day I went to the an Adsense session. Some takeaway points from this included the fact the Adsense limit isn’t ‘3 ads per page’ it’s actually 3 standard ad sizes, 3 link units and 2 search boxes – I knew about the search boxes but I thought that link units counted towards the limit of 3, so that was a handy tip. The presentation also mentioned that the first impression served to Google is the most important one, so if you find your mid-page MPU gets the best CTR, then serve that ad first before perhaps the leaderboard you have at the top of the page. I haven’t tried this myself but I thought it sounded interesting enough to check out when I can.

All in all, Ad:Tech was an enjoyable show - I heard there were record numbers this year and the exhibition hall seemed pretty packed. It was a shame some of the large players in the industry (like, Vibrant, etc.) were missing this year and I thought the networking event was a big let down compared to the 2010, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be venturing on to that hot tube again this time next year to attend Ad:Tech 2012 (if they'll have me!)


Anonymous said…
Hello Geoff
Thanks for your review, most useful. I think the app is a social TV media guide, so people interact with programs and share comments. There's no authentification technology behind it. TVcheck is based on authentifying that a user is really watching a program (you can make an analogy with Foursquare and the GPS), and based on this the user will check, get points, earn reward and ultimately be the master of the show. The tv guide and interaction exist in TVCheck but this is not at the core of the app technology.


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