The One Thing I Learned at IAB MIXX

One right?

Okay, there were a million things that I learned throughout IAB MIXX, namely, I really need to find a less cheesy way of handing my business card to people. It is not my strong suit.

But, there was one really big thing that each of these ‘little’ things supplemented. And, it hits you like a ton of bricks sitting in packed ballrooms surrounded by a thousand people that are probably better at their jobs than I could ever be. That is: we are at an unprecedented new age of individual empowerment in media.

Matt Murphy of 72andSunny and Margaret Gould Steward of Facebook were speaking to me, when they reminded and inspired MIXX that the platforms we produce, and the ads we create, are personally experienced by each consumer and that connecting with them, whether with Chenguin or Safety Check, is integral for success.

I have more choices, more platforms, more devices that competing for my attention. When businesses are vying for this attention, it’s important to reach out to me the way I like it. ‘Advertisements are looking more like the content around it with the goal of informing, connecting and entertainingusers,’ (paraphrased from an interview with Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo).

There is a new understanding that consumers are no longer responding, or don’t have to respond, to interruption marketing. Our jobs now are to engage people by creating something. It can be entertaining ads or thought leadership products or useful how to’s or physical products, but no matter what it is, it’s something engaging.

Michael Roth of Interpublic Group spoke about embracing this change in the new business of advertising with IPG’s production of Hammerhead’s GPS app and the Denny’s/Atari app partnership because it’s something that would never have happened in the past.

The shift in content deliverables is happening concurrently with the shift in every touch point with a consumer, specifically the salesperson-customer transaction. Sales teams are not a couple guys with some stuff asking you to buy it. They are utility consultants, becoming far more cognizant of what their product is and how it affects the person who buys it. Their focus is delivering outcomes, respecting the art of TV and digital production. Both the content and the closers are moving from “sight, sound and motion,” to “sight, sound and emotion,” quoted from Linda Yaccarino of NBC Universal.

The digital world has created scores of data about user behavior. Leveraging that data to understand who your audience is and what your audience wants is the challenge for all businesses as they compete for success in crowded and personal markets.

Mobile, Millennials, Media, and Music: 10 Things We’ve Learned From More than 25 Billion Hours of Listening by Spotify and From Web Traffic to Foot Traffic: Enabling Brands to Drive Local Sales Through the Intelligent Delivery of Online Content by Cofactor examined user/consumer behavior in brick-and-mortar storefronts and online platforms. Their research proved that elastic responsiveness to consumer needs is the only way to stay relevant.

So, what did I learned at IAB MIXX this year is that every time I log on, watch, tweet, post, insta someone is out there looking to entertain me knowing that if they fail to do that, they fail at their business. And, that is empowerment.

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