IAB Leadership Forum Theme: Integration

The IAB Leadership Forum on Friday certainly surprised quite a few of the attendees. Not with the content or what's commonly referred to as schmooze-potential, but with just how grown up the interactive advertising industry seemed at this event compared to previous forums. There wasn't a single proverbial black turtleneck of the old dot-com days to be found in the audience of nearly 150 in the W Hotel in New York.

The theme of this year's event was "The Integration Imperative," and as IAB President and CEP Greg Stuart wrote in the conference brochure, the objective was to "move the concept of Cross Media Integration to the practice of Cross Media Integration."

Much of the content centered on the IAB's ongoing Cross Media Optimization Study, which signed a new participant last week in the face of VeriSign, the first Business-to-Business company to come onboard to find out just how much of their media budget should be spent online in order to maximize results.

Several research presentations and roundtable discussions focused on how to lift campaign results across all channels through the optimum media mix, 10-15% of which should be Interactive, according to previously collected XMOS data.

The research is sound, all participants agreed, but the uphill battle to convince the major spenders to follow the data is just beginning. And the approach is different depending on the organization. Some have trouble convincing the upper management. Some struggle with the lower ranks.

According to McDonald's Neil Perry , the biggest obstacle in increasing the interactive portion of the company's marketing mix was the over 50, late web adopter contingency of McDonald's franchisees. "Getting that group to understand the positive aspects of web" was the biggest challenge, Perry said, and "XMOS was a way of proving to them that it's wroth it."

Colgate-Palmolive's VP of E-Business Jack Haber, however, said that in his organization, the results of the XMOS convinced everybody on the upper management level, and the challenge came from the marketing manager level. Haber did say, however, that through "lots and lots of meetings," the battle to increase interactive spend is slowly being won.

In the words of afternoon keynote speaker Charlie Tarzian, CEO of Euro RSCG / Circle, "If marketers was their relationships with consumers to stimulate sales, they should stop relying on so much TV and take up the very technologies they fear."

Next story loading loading..