Advertising Week 2019: Fragmentation Free

As Advertising Week 2019 comes to a close, we at Kite Hill PR have taken some time to reflect on all of the amazing insights we walked away with this year. 

In its 16th year, Advertising Week New York was held at the AMC Lincoln Center Theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan – with the vast majority of events conveniently in one location. Big brands such as Hulu, IBM, and Microsoft hosted interactive activations, and there was no shortage of much-needed snacks and fuel courtesy of Fox, PubMatic, and Ampersand, among many others. 

The beauty of Advertising Week is amongst the multitude of events and brand activations; there is something for everyone and every industry – DTC, retail, adtech, martech, esports, the list goes on.

Here are some of the highlights from Day One:

The State of AI

There’s been a lot of debate around Artificial Intelligence (AI) lately regarding whether or not this complex technology is replacing people’s jobs. Rest assured our jobs are here to stay. And as executives from Microsoft Advertising, Heat, Meteor Now, Xaxis, and IRI Worldwide expressed at the dedicated “State of AI” panel, AI is here to work in tandem with us humans, especially for efficiency purposes. AI can help to go through and aggregate data and allow their human counterparts to focus on the creative side of things. Because isn’t that what we all really want to do anyway? Many were on the same page stating that regardless of how AI continues to evolve, traits such as empathy aren’t replicated digitally so humans will always be needed to work alongside it.

Something else that’s worth mentioning is for industries looking to add AI to their tech stack in some capacity or implement their own, not all the buzz lives up to the hype. Panelists were quick to put some common misconceptions to rest. For example, many companies that label themselves as AI are using pre-programmed algorithms versus utilizing technology that can make decisions. If it’s pre-programmed, it’s not AI.

Climbing Over Walls: Real People Data In An Automated World

The panelists from Index Exchange, LiveRamp, Roundel, LUMA, and Publicis Media have spoken and the results are in. The Customer Data Platform (CDP) has proven to be more than just a trend but a necessary component amongst the martech stack to collect customer data. The co-founder of LUMA cited $3B has been invested in the category alone. 

New Channels for Customer Acquisition for the Performance Marketer

Amidst the conversation of different methodologies used for procuring data and what performance means for brands such as Bayer Consumer Health, Cadillac, T-Mobile, Reckitt Benckiser, Mars Petcare, and Publishers Clearing House, something discussed that stood out was the role of the Chief Marketing Officer. With data being such a huge proponent to not only influence the marketing division within a company but across all departments and impact business decisions, the path to the CMO position nowadays is not what it used to be. Today, most CMOs will require a heavy background in data analytics to ensure all facets of the business are utilizing real insights to inform strategy. 

Across each panel and presentation, all were asked, “what do we think we’ll be discussing next year?” AI for social good, that all browsers (Safari, Firefox, Chrome) will be grounded by first-party data, and Voice will be a more established channel. 

Exciting times ahead – looking forward to revisiting in 2020!

- Sammy Williams, Account Supervisor