The Opera Mediaworks team today attended the Chief Digital Officer Global Forum in Half Moon Bay, California. The event is an exclusive gathering of senior digital operating executives and industry influencers to discuss and debate the state of the connected consumer.
Opera Mediaworks CEO Mahi de Silva was on an opening panel on the first day of the conference, talking about “The State of the Industry” with Mark Mahaney, Managing Director, Internet Research, RBC and Tom Bedacarre, co-founder and chairman, AKQA & President, WPP Ventures. The panel was moderated by Ari Levy, Senior Tech Reporter at CNBC.
The panel went over many discussion points about the state of the digital advertising industry and where the dollars are moving. Some of the key points addressed by the influential panelists were:
Mark Mahaney from RBC quoted a stat that today up to 25% of digital ad spend is going into mobile and he sees mobile as the single biggest trend in digital advertising. However, there is a problem of attribution and tracking to the right source, which is what the industry needs to solve, pointed Tom Bedacarre of AKQA. Our own Mahi de Silva talked about the growth of mobile video advertising as the ultimate medium that connects with the consumer with sight, sound and motion. He pointed out that with a $100M annual revenue run rate, Opera Mediaworks mobile ad platform now sees almost 50% revenue coming from mobile video ads — a trend to watch out for in mobile.
Cross-screen advertising and Connected TVs:
Ari brought up a good point about the role of connected devices in the advertising ecosystem and how marketers will be able to target consumers on the large screen. Mark from RBC predicts that these will just be intermediary devices for the time being that will go away with the rise of Connected TVs. Mahi pointed out that Europe is already implementing cross-screen advertising and companion experiences across TVs, tablets and mobile devices and it won’t be too long before this becomes a mainstream phenomenon.
And how will marketers utilize wearables as an advertising opportunity? We certainly don’t expect consumers to be bombarded with ads on their tiny wearable screens, pointed Mahi. However, what is important for marketers is the data they can retrieve from these devices for better marketing and targeting. With wearables, companies will be able to get more information about user habits, preferences, and their proclivities, which marketers will then be able to use to offer consumers the right messages on their mobile devices which are heavily attached to their wearables.
Last but not the least was the age-old question of the compromise of privacy as users continue to give away lots of personal information to apps such as Facebook. Panelists seem to agree that consumers were ok with their privacy being compromised to some extent as long as they got a fair value exchange for giving up that information – and will continue to use services such as Facebook, Twitter and Google to stay connected. Mahi pointed out that Facebook has been able to do a tremendous job of keeping its users engaged even though there is no way to opt out of their targeting like users can with Google.
All in all, an interesting, high-level discussion on where we are with digital and mobile advertising with many view points.
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