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State of the Digital Union

Preview of ad:tech Chicago Keynote Panel

Sunday, August 16, 2009 | Posted by Aaron Goldman

Posted In: Digital Marketing

adtech Chicago

On Tuesday, September 1st at 10am, I'll be hosting the keynote panel at ad:tech Chicago titled, "State of the Industry (Presented by the Chicago Interactive Marketing Association)."

My esteemed panelists include Jeff Davidoff, who recently departed the Orbitz CMO role (shortly after selecting Trailer Park as AOR), Sean Finnegan, SMG's Chief Digital Officer and sound-byte machine, John Cantarella of redesign fame, and Jeff Levick, who runs sales for the newly minted AOL Advertising.

In 45 minutes, we'll attempt will cover all the key trends in the space, starting with the group's reaction to my list of top ten hottest areas of digital marketing. A couple areas I plan to really drill down on include the role of the agency going forward and how publishers can best position themselves within the ecosystem. I've also asked each of the panelists to be ready to share at least one case study that their company executed this year that they're especially proud of. And, of course, I'll throw in the standard, "name one memorable campaign from the past year that you didn't have anything to do with." 

One topic that I'm especially looking forward to getting insight on is the state of digital marketing budgets. Specifically, I'll look to Sean "Flat is the New Up" Finnegan to tell us if "up is the new up" these days. Many pundits are saying that the economy is starting to turn around and I've heard anecdotally from agencies and publishers that client budgets increased in Q2 and will continue to do so in Q3/4 leading up to the holiday season.

I'll also look to get some specific feedback from Jeff L. on what's next for AOL, Sean on the Razorfish-Publicis and Microsoft-Yahoo deals, John on the whole paid content/anti-Google thread and Jeff D. on how Twitter might make money not just for itself but for advertisers.

Then I'll wrap things up with a Twitter (aka lightning) round where I'll ask everyone to answer in 140 characters or less. Here are the Q's I've come up with so far...

  • What’s the one thing you’re most excited about for 2009 as it relates to your company?
  • If you were a VC, name one company besides your own that you’d invest in.
  • What will be the year of mobile?
  • What’s the right format for video advertising?
  • What will we be talking about at this time next year?

Let me know what else you'd like these guys pontificate on (looking for some good curveballs, I've got enough lobs!) and, time permitting, I'll throw 'em out there. And, if you haven't already registered for the conference, use with the promo code 35SPCH9 to get 35% off. Hope to see you there!

Update 9/2: Just posted a recap of this session and my presentation slides to my digital marketing blog.


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