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New York, New York: Recap From The 4A’s Data Summit

The 4A’s hosted their first ever Data Summit in New York on Wednesday Oct 16th with a jam packed agenda corresponding to the growing trend in big data and how it is evolving the advertising industry.


I was skeptical at first that the conference would dive so deep into the numbers that the strategy side of data would be lost.  To my surprise, I spent a wonderful day listening to numerous industry leaders, technology companies, and even a data scientist who impressed me with his knowledge on the wide world of data.  Here’s a brief look at my top 5 takeaways from the day:

  1.  Data and Privacy – there was a lively debate about privacy issues as it relates to data collecting and who is really being harmed in the process.  I think as long as we give the consumer a choice we can stay in front of strict regulations.  Clients want to build trust with their consumer, even more so today than ever, so if we are transparent with them we can make their ad experience better and more relevant.
  2. Programmatic Buying – the panel started out with a real time media trade and ended with a lively panel discussing this hot topic.  Data is allowing us to shift our thoughts from media buying to audience buying in a way we could never do before.  Real time trading allows machines to do the work faster than a human could and with a new resurgence of this concept higher quality placements and reach are at your fingertips.  I feel in an area where inventory can be limitless such as the web the trading desk can succeed but in an area where inventory is so limited such as TV and cable it will be hard to move to this model in the near future.
  3.  Facebook as a solutions provider – Facebook is committed to moving their advertising offerings to the next step and provide clients with real ROI on their business outcomes.  They are focused on providing advertising solutions for the mobile space since people are checking their phone on average 100 x a day.  It will be interesting to watch this next progression with Facebook since up until now it has been more focused on engagement metrics.
  4. Creativity comes from everywhere – media, data, creative, and technologist all need to come together to find solutions for clients to reach their audience.  We need to look to transform our own business to break down any silos that prohibit creative thinking.  The customer has to be in the center and we need to follow them on how they interact with a brand and what technology they use to do that.  We need to consider how a consumer connects with their multiple screens and devise a creative strategy for the context of that device.
  5. Future trends to keep an eye on – a representative from Goldman Sachs presented an enlightening snapshot at how Wall Street values big data.  They believe ad dollars will continue to shift online and that programmatic buying will continue to grow.  They predict a time when their will be frictionless buying across traditional and digital platforms.  (Can we say hallelujah!)  They believe the visualization of the web will continue as well as growth with companies leveraging first party data (Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn).

In the end the trip was a HUGE success and we learned so much. Thanks to the 4A’s for putting this conference together. We can’t wait to come back up next year.



How the Automotive Industry will Cope with Sandy

It’s hard to escape the images on the news networks and the Weather Channel: Homes knocked off their foundations, burned houses, washed-out neighborhoods, flooded streets and downed power lines. 39 people lost their lives, more than 8.2 billion homes and businesses lost power, and early financial estimates show at least $20 billion in property damage and $10 billion to $30 billion in lost business. These are staggering figures…

The Automotive industry is also feeling the effects of this “Frankenstorm.” Just as it was poised to finish strong in 2012, experts foresee several possible outcomes from Sandy – some good, and some bad:

Decreased month-end sales for October

  • Dealerships typically push month-end offers/specials, but when Sandy hit on the 29th, both foot traffic and sales were affected in Northeast.

Fear of buying a Used car flooded by Sandy

  • Experts say that more than half of the cars flooded by Hurricane Floyd were put back on the road. Buyers beware of cars that have been damaged by Sandy and re-sold; once an engine is damaged by flooding it will most likely never be the same again.

Power outages may cause All-Electric and Plug-In vehicle owners to reconsider

  • With the constant push for fuel economy and eco-friendly models, the recent power outages have left many All-electric and Plug-in vehicle owners wondering how they will charge their cars.

Special offers for Sandy victims

  • Some manufacturers and dealerships have already made special offers for Sandy victims. These good-will gestures may go far for PR and customer retention, but will also help with sales in the next few months.

Possible sales spikes in the Northeast

  • Many vehicles that fell victim to Sandy will need to be replaced. And, combined with the fact that the average age of a car today is approximately 11 years, car owners affected by the storm may be shopping for a car in the next few months.

It will be interesting to see how the Automotive industry reacts and moves forward in the wake of Sandy.