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What Did We Learn At ad:tech asean 2014?

18th Jul 2014


The middle of the year is an exciting time filled with regional conferences and thought leadership sessions with some of the biggest and upcoming names in digital technology in attendance. As Xpand’s sweet spot is right in this space, we once again found ourselves heading over to ad:tech to check things out.

There was a good mix of exhibitors with some small start-ups, which is quite interesting because we hadn’t had a chance to learn about them yet! The layout was well spread out with enough room for people to engage and mingle, without obstructing the ‘red carpet’.

The schedule for this year was very exciting. Day one focused around content and advertising technology, and we found the keynote panel “Making Programmatic Work” particularly englightening. With senior leadership from TubeMogul (Phu Truong – Managing Director, APAC), Google (Robbie Hills – Head of Programmatic Media, APAC), Adobe (Siva Ganeshanandan – APAC Director, Adobe Marketing Cloud), SingTel (Craig Law Smith – Head of Strategy and Business Development Global Advertising), MediaMath (Greg Williams – Co-Founder) and Krux (Tom Chavez - CEO), Jay Stevens of Rubicon Project did a great job mediating. It was really insightful to see some of the biggest brands open up and give us an essential crash course on programmatic trading, with some of their examples. It was a great session for anyone wondering what all the acronyms and buzzwords are about!

Day two was more centered around social media and mobile, of course a topic very relevant to Asia and it’s millennials. We particularly enjoyed the morning keynote with panelists representing Twitter (Aliza Knox - Managing Director, Online Sales, APAC), LinkedIn (Olivier Legrand - Senior Director of Marketing Solutions, APAC and Japan), Hootsuite (Ken Mandel – Managing Director Asia Pacific) which focused on how marketers work with each channel and how to maximize success in campaigns. There was very much a unified thought throughout the two days, that in the digital age there is a huge amount of convergence, which is rapidly happening. Aliza Knox mentioned that the words ‘social’ and ‘digital’ will go away as these become the norm, as we don’t say “hey I’m calling you from my analog phone”! The lines between PR and advertising are also blurring, with many merging or setting up the other function in house.

In summary as we progress right into a mobile centered world, people really do need to start taking mobile and digital seriously. There is now little excuse for a brand that doesn’t have a strong social presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook at the very least. Having a strong social presence means updating these regularly, keeping in contact with your customers and staying relevant. There were some great examples of strong and viral campaigns shared with us at ad:tech.

We are so excited to be working in such a fantastic space in a strong regional hub for much of this business. It was great to meet everyone there, see you next time!