Report from the Media Frontier

Welcome to Report from the Media Frontier, my ongoing blog that provides guidance and insight on the "changing world of media" to advertising agencies, media buying agencies, the media selling community and brand marketers
Report from the iMedia Agency Summit

I recently had the privilege of attending the iMedia Agency Summit in Phoenix this past December. I hadn’t been there for a few years and was impressed how much it had grown from an intimate get together of the founding fathers of digital media buying and selling to a much larger cross-section of those-in-the-know to those-wanting-to-learn. In fact, about a third of attendees were first-timers to the event which is a good sign for an industry that needs fresh talent to grow and thrive.

The theme of the conference, “The Media Bermuda Triangle: The Mysteries of the Revolving Digital Media Landscape,” was very apropos for the challenges agencies and brand marketers face today. Some presentations that really shed light on media today and the future included: “Surviving in the New Media Universe,” “Social isn’t about Media, it’s about Activity,” and “The Publisher and the Age of Enlightenment.” However, the one that really stood out for me was “Dancing with Megaphones: The New Rules, Realities, and Hard Data behind Consumer Control,” presented by Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet Project.

IMedia has made the video of this keynote available and it can be found under my twitter feed, to the right. It is packed with facts and insights that are required viewing for those that want to understand the future of brand marketing. The essence of the presentation is how the media ecology and consumers themselves have changed. Consumers allocate their attention, approach to product research, and buying frame of mind differently today. They are also prepared to discuss their buying experiences on a vastly different scale. These changes are occurring because people inhabit a variety of media spaces depending on their circumstances and these spaces impact their expectations and encounters with brands.

Mr. Rainie sees the interactive world in three stages: First, the Internet revolution where broadband has enabled consumers to become content producers; Second, the cell phone revolution where the presence of anywhere, anyplace devices have created the “Golden Age of the Instant Expert;” Third, the social activity revolution where a person’s network becomes their information evaluator and an immediate forum for action.

It is this social activity which has changed the rules of marketing and altered the shape of the marketing funnel. Mr. Rainie provides plenty of examples and detail that you can hear for yourself, so I won’t restate here, but pay particular interest to his 2011 trend predictions and things to watch. I think they are spot on and should be considered in all future marketing initiatives. 

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