Call For Questions

At our first MediaPost event devoted to behavioral marketing back in July, I recall Brian Quinn of Dow Jones Online quipping about how odd it was to have a conference on BT. "It is like having a conference on 'run-of-site,'" he said. How true. Behavioral targeting is not a discrete platform like search, email, or video so much as a targeting technique or a way of buying media that can apply to all of those formats. And yet, interest in BT is mushrooming. Our July event was incredibly popular, with people almost hanging from the balcony of the Yale Club.

Clearly there is a need for a meeting of the tribes around behavioral targeting, even if the topic is amorphous. We would like your help in nailing BT down as a locus of conversation that best serves our audience of media buyers, content providers and interactive marketers. As people fish around BT from all different angles and at varied levels of expertise, it is not always easy to identify the pressing questions an audience most wants asked and answered. And so, as I move into the final stages of programming OMMA Behavioral for Feb. 11, I turn to our readers for some input. We want to make this a more interactive conference by soliciting questions and key topics from our readers that we can pose to our panelists during the day and also use to shape the panel agendas with our moderators. The panels will be outlined at the show site in a matter of days, but here are the general subjects to which you can direct questions. Send them to me at popeyesmith@comcast.net and I will ask our moderators to include them on their agenda for their respective sessions.

Social Networking: We have invited both MySpace and Facebook to send executives to speak to the recent controversies over targeting against profiles and habits in social networking. Also expect to see media buyers who are already marketing in the space.

Media Panel: We will ask a panel of agency executives whether BT is simply a "nice niche" or a targeting model that is ready and able to proliferate throughout the online ad formats and become a more substantial part of the marketing mix, even across platforms.

Is BT Ready for Its Close-Up: Like social networking, video is the hot property this year online. Do two great trends, video and BT, taste great together? We ask vendors and video publishers this question. Can BT solve the ongoing problem of targeting against content and context in a user-generated video world, or does scale (or lack thereof) become too big a problem too quickly?

Making Policy: The recent Federal Trade Commission statement following last month's town meeting over online privacy opts (some say cops out) for self-regulation. OK, let's start here. We will ask this panel of outspoken privacy advocates within the industry to do just that.

Grill the Vendors: A favorite feature of the first MediaPost behavioral conference put the CEOs of the major BT networks and marketing firms on the hot seat. What do publishers, advertisers, privacy advocates, brands, and other links in the interactive marketing chain want to know from these guys -- to move their product and their industry forward, to make their product easier to buy and plan, to make it more effective, etc. This is a panel we have specifically earmarked for audience input. We will arm our moderator with your most challenging questions on any and all of the topics raised in the industry and throughout the day.

We also have a very special keynote speaker, perhaps the leading figure and voice in this field for the past six years.

As you will see, when the full agenda is published, there will be several more panels, and I am eager for input on all of them. But these are the topics I think will benefit most from a range of questions coming from the many angles our audiences bring to this conference. Even if you can't make it to OMMA Behavioral this time (but we sure hope you do), we want to ensure that the loyal readers of these columns get a chance to have their voices and their issues represented there. So don't be shy about offering your input.



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