Joe: Five years ago a bot was already starting to feed humans ideas.
- Joe Mandese, Editor-in-Chief, MediaPost
Barest, Managing Director, The Media Kitchen,
- Israel Mirsky, Executive Director, Global Technology and Emerging Platforms, OMD
- Ilana Nolte, President, North
- Louisa Wong, Chief Transformation
Israel: The nature of those ideas will be
more sophisticated. There’s an opportunity to identify anomalies in the data, the more the need for industry by industry data sets become clear. The challenge is finding ways to pay for it, to
help clients see advantage.
Joe: What role will AI play?
Bonnie: [AI] is utilized more at the performance level. Smart tech is just tools. You need humans to unlock that.
Brands need to be combining the performance side of business, thinking of the full funnel. Example, Chico’s. They are losing favortability. We knew we needed to create a movement with consumers.
Used programmatic, crowdsourcing, data and honed in on one insight: an untapped topic that women don’t speak about: age. We created a campaign around “How (B)old Are You?” It tapped
into weather data, personalization but a higher level and creativity wrapped around the way we are creating and engaging relationships.
Louisa: AI and strategies are effectively creating
personality. We’re not there yet. I think we already have an extension of AI living with us, in our pockets. How do we train humans to extract insights? We’ve already seen human capability
and technology. All the opportunities of different sources. I’m interested in small data.
Joe: Take a search campaign that would take 10 people 7 days and turn it around in
minutes because they had found the models that worked best. You don’t think a machine will be more strategic?
Israel: We have sophisticated curfitting. Takes training data and
answers yes or no whether something belongs to a category. The development of general AI is still an indeterminate number of years away. I don’t see us getting to a general AI place in a number
of years that I can determine.
Ilana: The first step is content vs true activation. Don’t have tech infrastructure to track all the data across the journey in the way we want to.
Joe: What opportunity has emerged over the last five years vs. where you were in 2019?
Bonnie: Twitch, a channel for gamers, allows you to broadcast, watch and chat at the same
time. It’s growing because of entertainment. It will be our discovery medium. Play Octopus is putting games in driverless cars.
Israel: The rest of trusted authorities as the
go-between between brands and purchases. Rise of voice, lack of friction. Why I would or wouldn’t buy something of high value via voice. It has become a way for me to shrink down potential
options to a small set. It’s doable via voice. I might want comfort from reading a review, in the future when I recognize that I’m going to behave that way anyway, we’re going to be
comfortable trusting what the best product, value is. This will limit the number of brands that are succeeding in any category.
Ilana: Look at Gen Z and what my daughter is consuming, Dolan
Twins. A change in the content that’s being produced and how it’s being distributed and consumed.
Bonnie: Take filters from Snapchat, viral from Vine, give it to young people. And
it came from China. It’s going to be here.
Louisa: The lack of adoption of technology by the sell side. Tech being layered, not seeing. Programmatic hasn’t grown signicantly
enough. 77 cents of every dollar going to TV. AI, blockchain doesn’t matter. We can’t get fundamental basics right. Value exchange with the consumer, as brand, as agency. Hurtling toward
building a people-based database.
Joe: What has not changed in five years in 2024?
Louisa: Excel! Job descriptions. How are we building talent for the future when
we’re hiring for the days of yore?
Joe: What has changed?
Ilana: Calif. privacy comes up in Jan. 2020. We haven’t figured out how we are going to do
business. Transparency with the consumer. Mirky media supply chains. Ad fraud. There’s a lot we have to fix.
Israel: The end of traditional TV will take longer than we expect. It has
incredible staying power esp. for older generations. Not sure I agree with Ilana on transparency. There are opportunbities across dimensions to increase transparency in inventory. Limited set of
publishers. Make sure we’re paying the right people for the impressions we’re buying. Greatest part of the value has more to do with business model, using tech to rethink the way payments
work. Paying all participants in the chain to see where money is going. Potential to change fraud equation. Strangle some of the propaganda that we are responsible for.
Joe: How pervasive
is blockchain adoption?
Israel: There’s the cryptgographic element. Unclear to me exactly how much we’re going to need blockchain tech. Fraud prevention has interesting
uses. I believe it will have real uses. It can allow us to collaborate around a database that nobody controls. Limiting participants. High through-put and low cost. The trick is getting everybody
together to collaborate around that standard.
Bonnie: People in banking industry see value of how you can have transaction among various audiences.
Louisa: BC [is] BS. Opportunity
behind it, smart contracts, managing multiple stakeholders, that’s interesting. Is that not the new internet? In five years time, how does blockchain start to power the new internet? Opportunity
is to identify management. Blockchain enables individuals to keep a data log on themselves and they can choose who to transact with. Currency for transaction becomes in 2024?
challenge is scale, allowing for decentralization and security.
Israel: It’s like someone invented a new computer at the chip level. To make it on par, the ecosystem has to build
everything from OS to cloud services. Trying now to build an infrastructure on par with cloud services. It’s going to take a little while. This is going to be one of the few industry where
blockchain will be a success.
Louisa: Goggle holds us back. In blockchain, would you still need that? It’s like weaning people off crack cocaine. Unless they disrupt their single truth
in Google ...
Joe: Blockchain deployed, smart contracts. The ID value exchange. Post Cambridge Analytica, in 2019 people got idea of value exchange. In 2024, there is a marketplace where
consumers are arbitraging themselves?
Israel: The challenge is that you have to have sufficient skill to have enough advertisers participating. Could be shortcuts through that. The
medical and pharma, if I have a condition and want to sell the data, there’s not a marketplace for me to do that. Small population who have conditions with enough interest. Another way it could
happen is governmental. At some point we’re going to have to upgrade the way we treat identity on a national level. Hang data sales off the side of that. That’s the end of fraud. Nothing
better than a passport. Could make value exchange high enough for a lot of consumers to do it.
Joe: Regulation and self-regulation. How much does Madison Avenue shift toward ethical
models in data?
Louisa: It should be regulated. Self-regulation doesn’t work. Some tech giants have acquired big database companies. We should be audited. You can start to
earn trust from the consumer. Being more transparent. Deliver a personalized experience, this thing grows. Make the complex simple.
Israel: We’re going to need advertisers to push us.
Our KPIs are not, how ethically are you handling the data. Then we will have license to push as hard as we need to.
Louisa: Everyone’s got a secret sauce as to how they make their
chicken gumbo. Whatever you spit out on the backend, you must make sure you’re not breaking trust with the consumer.
Joe: Locaction data being bought and sold. Have you done so?
Louisa: Mobile marketing, location is part of a plan. We’re trying to create more connected consumer experience in journey. Has to be personalized, not creepy.
If you use it in a way that is ethical, consumers want to give you the data. Want to get a dog food ad, not a cat food ad. Being able to use location data to help make relevant experiences is
something consumers want.
Israel: It’s terrifying. A fundamental misunderstanding, maybe willful, as to how data is being used by advertisers. If I’m not building a
rules-based engine for dealing with thousands of people at a time, I am wasting my client’s money. I don’t want access one on one. It’s not something we would enable our teams
to use, to track one individual. needs to be a forceful response to stories in the press.
Joe: I’m hopeful that industry swings toward more ethics in general. More accountable for
where it places its bets on society? Industry was subsidizing platforms that weren’t the best actors. Not always the best managers of people’s identify and data. Does industry have a role
in where it places its bets?
Ilana: Consumers have so much control. It’s getting more difficult for marketers to make those decisions and force down peoplel’s throats.
Making sure we’re being received in the right way in the right time.
Israel: We have that responsibility. Another place where I think we need the advertisers to take a stand. We can help
them deliver against an ethical vision that they have.
Bonnie: Some of it was unanticipated. Once it happened, identified, it was such a big challenge. Now it’s so ingrained in our
society, we have to take a high-road stand.