By Rob Kleiman
“What if Kodak had acquired Instagram? Might the business be in another place? What if Blockbuster had invested in Netflix?” These are the mind-bending, industry savvy curiosities of creative leader Gina Waldhorn, Co-Founder of Evol8ution and the moderator of first of Adthink 2016.
Adthink spotlighted the work of four different startups in the marketing technology and ad-tech space; the event provided a glimpse into the future of the industry. With great enthusiasm the audience, made up of senior marketers, agency leaders, media professionals entrepreneurs and innovators gathered at a beautiful space provided by JWT. They were there to hear from a collection of start-ups who offer attendees cutting-edge solutions in how they reach consumers and measure ROI.
At Evol8tion, Waldhorn, oversees the development of partnerships between early-stage startups and brands via mentorship, pilot programs, investments, and acquisitions. She says, “the stakeholders in the audience who are into paid media [need to know], as ad-blocking becomes more prevalent there needs to be to be a new way [to reach people]. These startups and entrepreneurs are disrupting the paid model by creating completely new connections with, experiences for and tools for how brands communicate and connect with consumers.”
And the way the presenters brought their best shows just how serious they are about it. The evening’s curated list of presenters revealed what’s trending in tech and advertising. Cortex works to unlock the power of intelligent automation by putting artificial intelligence to work for you and your social media marketing efforts; AmpLive creates audience management that goes beyond familiar benchmarks like the view and gives marketers the opportunity to explore how an audience interacts with their content; MuseFind is transforming influencer marketing into a superior, growth machine for the mass; Ditto uses image recognition technology that lets marketers detect consumer affinities expressed in the billions of public photos shared on social media.
The panelists included industry experts with deep insights into how the landscape is changing. Each a dynamo in their own right, these leaders each understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve and utilizing the most up-to-date technologies in their practices. The esteemed group of leaders was comprised of:
- Lucie Greene – Worldwide Director of the Innovation Group, J. WALTER THOMPSON
- Anthony Martinez – Director, Connection Planning & Media Investment, The COCA-COLA Company
- Danny Robinson – Executive Creative Director, The Martin Agency
- Harrison Sebring, Marketing Manager, Brand Activation for Beverage, Meals and Sauces, Campbell Soup Company
They are advocates for trend spotting, and they understand the value of using tools strategically. The questions from the panelist are pointed and challenging, as the world is competitive. There are lots of vendors and it is crucial to know what makes these startups different.
To wrap up and drive the point home Waldhorn commented on the value in attending and why it matters:
“I think brands are missing out on these opportunities. The way they don’t miss out is by coming to events like these. Being aware and being informed about the bleeding edge in startup technology… that’s the only way these brands are going to survive in this brave new world.”
The pace is changing. There is a lot of noise across channels. Breaking through that noise to create a relevant message that feels authentic is the trouble. Further, doing it within budget and then knowing how to turn that information and data into more insight is key.
This is surely an event with a unique approach in helping leaders make strategic decisions. By attending, you get an unfiltered look at the bubbling trends within the industry. The question is, did you attend? If not, you better plan to come to the next one so you can help move your business forward.