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Three Themes We Saw at Advertising Week 2016


Advertising Week New York is regarded as one of the most highly-anticipated events the marketing industry sees every year. With hundreds of speakers from some of the world’s leading businesses, attendees have the opportunity to uncover some of the biggest trends and hot-button topics in advertising. Here are VSA’s three biggest top-of-mind takeaways:

1. Screentime doesn’t always mean primetime for your content: choose quality over quantity.

Nowadays, it’s easy to catch ourselves looking at multiple screens at once, constantly consuming information from numerous outlets—But as we learned from the panelists at Storytelling in the Digital Age: What Brands Need to Know, screentime isn’t the end-all-be-all for developing impressions and engagement. While digital platforms and capabilities have undoubtedly forever transformed the way we communicate, it’s important to remember the power of our other utilities, too. As humans we crave real, interactive experiences with one another, and although there isn’t a “share” button in real life, we can oftentimes make our stories more meaningful by making them experiential.

2. Data is key to programmatic marketing, but only if you’re reading it correctly.

As more and more information continues to crowd the digital marketing space, it’s imperative now more than ever that we are delivering our content to exactly the right consumer. During OMMA Programmatic, we learned that while data is our best friend, it’s only as strong as our interpretations of it. In recent years, a lot of lead-way has been made to optimize measurement and attribution, but it’s still a work in progress. During this panel, Nick Cavet reminded us that the best media strategies combine the power of data and analytics with creativity and design to produce plans and ideas that are backed by facts and lead with innovation. Breaking down the silos between data and creativity could be the key to connecting with the ideal audience.

3. Cognitive Marketing is quickly becoming a major game-changer.

As we learned from Maria Winans on Tuesday’s Marketing in the Cognitive Era, cognitive systems are turning the marketing tables. These incredible computers, like IBM’s Watson for example, are capable of drawing information from numerous resources to provide key insights that influence consumers in a given market—all the way down to the emoji’s they’ve most recently used. Much like humans, these cognitive systems are capable of understanding, reasoning, learning and interacting with data and information to draw conclusions. Unlike humans, however, these computers almost instantly sort through data and point out some of consumers’ most telling or unique characteristics to build the ideal audience or campaign. Move over, Siri—The AI game has changed.