Tackling Big Media Industry Issues at GABBCON 2018

By Media Insights Archives
Cover image for  article: Tackling Big Media Industry Issues at GABBCON 2018

Reaching the right consumer is getting much easier and, at the same time, far more complicated.  At the GABBCON conference issues like privacy and the right to be forgotten on the consumer side faced off with fraud, viewability and attribution challenges on the advertiser side.  The playing field is not only changing; we may not be able to discern the best path to the goal posts.  In the spirit of the time, Gabe Greenberg, CEO and Co-Founder, GABBCON, made a concerted effort to enlist a diverse group of speakers to participate on panels.  This resulted in an event that included new perspectives on media issues.  The following are some key takeaways.

Choosing a Consumer's Tattoo, Shadow or Twin

What is the best way to target a consumer?  A panel moderated by Wendi Dunlap, Senior Vice President Digital Investment, Blue 449 (previously Optimedia of Publicis Groupe) parsed out the various ways marketers can profile a consumer -- whether a Twin, a Shadow or a Tattoo.

Dunlap explained that a Twin is an individual's digital representation formed by the aggregation and analysis of his or her behaviors, preferences and attitudes as expressed in the digital world.  A Shadow is an outline of a real-world identity but is prone to distortion and misrepresentation based on imprecise data signals in providing a complete picture.  A Tattoo, as coined by Bethany Mach, Chief Digital Officer of Initiative, is a permanent marker of an individual's digital activity that doesn't go away but can continue to morph based on new information.

"The replica of a real consumer is an amalgam of their various behaviors," Dunlap noted.  "A Tattoo is a great metaphor," she continued, stating that we should track "how it holds up over time and what we add to it" and "how it changes, as more attributes are added to it or whether it fades away."

With Employees, Should It Be a Right Brain or Left Brain Hire?

Throughout the day, panelists brought up the challenge of hiring the right people -- those with that careful balance of right- and left-brain capabilities and experiences.  Should new hires be from media or outside media?  These are no small issues for the industry at a time when there is a need for both creative and analytical solutions and the knowledge of the past and the capabilities of the future.

"I am looking for new types of people to work for me," Mach stated.  "I want a data scientist or engineer."  However, filling media slots with left brain experts may be missing an important ingredient in discerning consumer motivations and behaviors.

Shouldn't we also be hiring anthropologists?, Dunlap countered.  "It's good to have an analytical perspective but you also need a social science background," she added.

Blockchain Is Coming.  Be Ready, Or Else.

There has been a lot of talk about how Blockchain will impact the media industry.  But what exactly is Blockchain?  Jonathan Steuer, Chief Research Officer, Omnicom Media Group, defined it as an ecosystem.  "It is a technology method that provides a secure chain of custody for any digital transaction, data, or personal attribute all the way through a system:  Where it is, where it came from and what aspect of it you can use," he explained.

It was agreed that Blockchain should be embraced, not deferred.  Natalie Monboit, Head of Futures at Starcom, warned, "It will hurt you if you are not involved."  She advised to start now by looking ahead and asking, "What is that big disruptive vision?  What is the future state?

"Then work backwards," she continued.  "You have to be in it in order for it not to hurt you."

While some may feel that the future application of Blockchain is just another monstrous transformation to upend business as usual, there are those who look on the bright side.  "Blockchain has the potential to solve for fraud and clean up our industry," Monboit concluded.  "It unearths everything we understand about engaging consumers.  It is a lot bigger than just solving for current issues in ad tech."

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