OMMA Behavioral 3.0

A year ago, we started the OMMA Behavioral conference series wondering if there were enough behavioral targeting hot topics to fill a full day's program, let alone serve a substantial audience. Overflow crowds and great feedback "OMMA BT" 1 and 2 put to rest any concern. Of course, an FTC Town Hall and a new awareness of "behavioral" in the press didn't hurt either. This is the hot zone now, both for development and controversy. Clearly the digital media industries as a whole see the promise and the risks involved in a more addressable, targeted ecosystem, so interest is high. A conference room is too small, a day too short, to fit all the people and issues at the heart of BT now. And so as we prep for the third show, this time in San Francisco (July 21, Hotel Nikko), I once again move beyond the event itself to solicit contributions from our dear and loyal readers.


At the second OMMA Behavioral, user-submitted questions helped shape the moderator's agendas and deeply informed our customary Grill the Vendors panel, where an audience of buyers interrogates the sellers. Let's do that again. As we bring the show to San Francisco for the first time, OMMA BT 3.0 expands its embrace of emerging technologies and takes a special focus on e-commerce and leveraging behavioral tracking to optimize the site experience. Our first panel, "Optimizing the Buyer," will include, Continental Warranty, and Edmunds, and will explore how companies are leveraging their own data to identify the right consumers and move them through the purchase funnel more efficiently. What key issues would you like these sites to address? Are issues of technology integration and complexity, cost/benefit, privacy, or something else most important to you? Let me know.



Several panels on July 21 will engage the future of behavioral techniques as they migrate beyond display and search and into other platforms. Mitch Oscar of MPG has been vetting new technologies for the major agencies for years. His lunchtime presentation, "Television Addressibility Undressed" looks forward to that "Holy Grail" future we've all been whispering about, when TV becomes more like the Internet. But when and in what form? What issues of timing, technology and integration would you like Mitch to include? I have a question myself. If TV does become as addressable as the Web, how does this undermine a key differentiator of the online medium? Who will be the dealmakers that broker and manage integration of online data with set-top data to create seamless campaigns that follow users across platforms?

Much of the afternoon at OMMA BT will be forward-facing. Where is BT going "Out of the Black Box" of display and on-site ads and into mobile, RSS feeds, social networking and the blogosphere? Technorati, Pheedo, Nokia, SocialMedia Networks and Ignited Media will cover a broad terrain. Are these platforms bringing new kinds of behavioral data into the mix or new sensitivities about managing personal data? But I imagine some of you media buyers would need to know more about how some of these technologies scale for BT. Even on networks with reaches of 100 million, scale and ROI can be hard to achieve. How do you do it in RSS or within highly self-targeted social networks?

One of the true veterans of the digital ad space, Cory Treffiletti, brings us to that next stage of BT, where publishers and marketers access deep data about every aspect of user surfing, searching and buying habits to create highly personalized experiences online. Even if we set issues of privacy aside for a discussion like this, how can marketers leverage this emerging structure to anticipate what consumer want next? What does media planning look like in a world where sites are built to predict our next likely move?

All of these next-generation BT technologies only heighten concern about privacy. We engage that issue this time from two directions. First, some of the major players in the online Data Portability Project have gathered to discuss their attempt to give consumers more control and leverage over their data -- but in ways that also improve their e-tail and content experience at favorite sites. From the time I started covering digital ad targeting a decade ago, it was clear to me that at some point the consumer would come to realize that their personal habits represented a commodity with which they could barter someday. Is this an idea whose time has come, where the consumer becomes more of an active player in the value chain of user data? Rounding out the privacy discussion, MediaPost's own privacy and regulations specialist Wendy Davis brings together legal experts, privacy advocates and ad networks to discuss recent developments.

I, for one, want to know how ISP-based data gathering is poised to blow this issue up once again. Moreover, I would like to see these experts reflect upon some of the preceding panels and what privacy issues addressable TV, the Semantic Web and mobile ignite for consumers and regulators.

And finally, we fire up the barbeque for our traditional grilling of the vendors. Last time, we solicited questions for these companies from your readers and throughout the day at OMMA BT. Some familiar companies will be there, including Revenue Science and ValueClick, but this time we welcome X+1, Turn, Apptera and NebuAd, each of which represents some of the new applications we will have been discussing throughout the day. And this time, industry firebrand Philip Kaplan, CEO, AdBrite, runs the interrogation. Many of you will remember Philip as the inventor of dot bomb chronicle F***ked Company back in the day, so I am sure he won't be shy about asking your most forthright questions.

Please do feel free to email me suggested questions or topics you would like to see raised at OMMA Behavioral or post them as comments and conversation here. Either way -- live or by mailing it in -- we look forward to you being part of the show.

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