Constant Reinvention Or High-Speed Growth?

Good morning, dear readers. Many of you are in New York for the Advertising Week 2006 events. Of course the OMMA conference is the place to be today. Unfortunately, this writer is back at home in Boston. I won't be speaking on panels or moderating them. I won't be catching up with friends and grabbing quick hugs in the crowded hallways or over industry dinners. However, there is a good reason for this: I'm adopting a baby, and I'm "on call" from September through December. Hopefully, I won't be out of sight, out of mind. In the interim I'll be looking for reports from my fellow Spinners and other MediaPost writers.

However, as the event kicks off, let's take a look at the title, "The Internet: Back on Speed." My gut reaction when I head it was," What the heck has it/we ever slowed down?"

According to the OMMA conference Web site, "The industry is literally re-inventing itself every few months." As a writer and a digital media and marketing exec, I can't help but hone in on the word "re-inventing." I think it's natural evolution, as a high-speed media. Let's face it, those of us who've been in this space since the first online ad was sold in 1994, have had to stay ahead of the curve. This was and continues to be our regimen. It's been our social Darwinism and why we are still here.



So call it re-invention. Call it growth. Call it masochism. The bottom line is, we are still here. Our beloved digital space is off its resuscitator and breathing stronger than ever. It is an exciting time to be in this space. For instance, look at what's hot: RSS, next generation behavioral targeting (BT), video, social networks, word of mouth (WOM)/buzz/viral marketing, (mature) SEM, mobile marketing, and advergaming. I'm sure I left some out, but you get the gist.

Personally I'm happy to see that marketers and advertisers are coming around the bend again to revisit branding. Throughout the tumultuousness of this business, branding has always been my bent. More than ever, I strongly believe you need to develop a strong brand across media channels. Many top advertisers continue to build behemoths wardrobed only for television. When it comes to such companies' online presence, it is often force-fed into a digital format.

Sure, video allows more of a similar format creatively. However, the audience must be the No. 1 priority. I don't have to tell you that "eyeballs" in front of a screen remain a hot commodity. Then why are we seeing so many disjunctive campaigns across media channels? Where is the collaboration and integration we all sugar coat? I'm still having a hard time finding it. The tagline of my business is, "Building, stewarding and protecting brands online." I know you may think it's a shameless plug, but it's true. This is fundamental to our "re-invention" and "evolution" in this space today and tomorrow.

As a result, I think we are hearing people question the value of the digital space less and less. We have gone from the "why" use online media/marketing to the "how to." People get it. They also get the limitations of screens and pixels, clutter and the overall sense of today's modern consumer being time-starved. That's why I think you see at OMMA (in person or virtually) that brand marketers, agencies, consultants and the like get it. Most love it and will speak about this next generation of digital media. Maybe it's Digital Media 2.0. What do you think? Let's see what the speakers, moderators, and attendees say. In the meantime, do you think it's constant reinvention--or high-speed growth?

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