Summary of OPS Markets London

The London Film Museum provided a unique and inspiring backdrop to the AdMonsters OPS Markets conference last week; with close to 150 attendees enjoying a packed day of keynotes, expert sessions and debate, amongst the star-studded exhibits.

The Museum’s Historic Debating Chamber – once the site of many heated political and social stand-offs, and now used for theatrical productions, speeches and presentations – provided a more than suitable setting for morning Keynote Donald Hamilton – Partner Precedio Consulting – who opened the day’s sessions with a lively discussion on one of the most hotly debated topics in digital media: data.

Donald’s presentation: What data do you want, and why? enthused and enthralled the audience – prompting many to join the debate and present their views to the floor –  and touched on key issues about data acquisition, usage and privacy:  

“We’re all shouting from the top of the rooftops, that data is the new gold, but I don’t think we actually get what data is, and what is does. We used to put the customer at the centre of our operation, and everything fed into and from that customer. Now, we’re not doing that, we’re just firing that data off. We can fire off data and build campaigns, but unless we have insight, I don’t believe we’re there yet. Everybody has got to go back to basics, identifying audiences and customers, and treating those customers as individuals. I like to deal with people who understand me, who engage. The Internet is all about engagement, isn’t it? That’s what data is for.”

Robert Webster – Head of Technology Mediacom – followed on from Donald, with the first of the Expert Led Sessions of the day; Best Practices for DR Display. Robert presented his thoughts: “Traditionally, in the network space, the decisions were taken by the the networks. Publishers and advertisers are making those decisions now, and with that change, we need to be set up better to be able to make those decisions.”

Optimisation is the key, of course, but what do we optimise to? Look at your customers goals, what are they trying to do? You need to make sure you’re delivering that value, across your entire plan. It’s important to understand the customer journey.”

Bob Bahramipour – TRUSTe,  James Sandoval – Invizua, and James Hamlin – SeatWave took questions from AdMonsters’ Rob Beeler and the attendees in the first Expert Panel of the day; ‘Resetting the Display Model’ All raised some interesting issues on the ever more crucial consumer relationship: Bob Bahramipour said:  “From a consumer standpoint, they’re imagining us building ‘Skynet’, to take over their lives. As an industry we do things because we can, but we haven’t communicated this and consumers are filling this space with their worst fears. We need to communicate better and build transparency.
James Sandoval – Invizua – added: “We have an intense relation hip with our customer, there’s a lot of trust however the way advertising worlds today doesn’t help to build that trust. We need to help create a tighter relationship  between brand audience and prospective customers.”

The afternoon Keynote; ‘A New Direction Forward’, presented by Jacob Nielsen – Managing Director UK at GroupM Interaction talks about Xaxis – WPP/GroupM’s new Audience Buying Company, saw the debut of  Xaxis, GroupM’s new venture.

Jacob explained that Xaxis is the world’s largest audience buying company. It uses data and technology to enable agencies to reach and engage with audiences at scale, and deliver optimised digital media, measurable value, dramatically improved performance, and actionable insights for clients. He went on to  explain the concept behind the new brand: “The key is not just about technology, it’s about understanding data and understanding how to use that data. Technology is important, and there’s a lot of technology that can achieve good things for you. There’s also data though. It’s easy to get data and store it, the challenge is dissecting it.
Everything we do as an industry is very, very data-centric.  Data is not easy, data is difficult and you need to do something with it. You need to collect it for sure, but that doesn’t do anything. How we use that data is the key and will determine which way we’re all going.”

Post lunch, topics are varied as ‘Data – The Policy and Regulatory Environment’, ‘Bringing Social Media Into the Mix’ and ‘Using HTML5 To Optimise Campaigns Across Devices’ were delivered to attendees in County Hall’s various conference rooms.

Closing the days sit-down sessions were the sticky subjects of Informed and Effective Self-Regulation: How to Achieve This, by Richard Foan – Group Executive Director – Communication and Innovation, ABC UK; and the now customary OPS Markets Wrap-Up, Panel Session.

The panel consisted of Communications Director, Jemm Media and Richard Wheaton – Managing Director, [email protected], and was Moderated by Peter Kirwan, Journalist for Wired and the Guardian.  Panelists led the debate on how online advertising has evolved and what the future holds. Topics touched on were: the impact of the new market-driven economy; how media will be bought; and the ways in which business leaders throughout the ecosystem can leverage operations and technology to increase profit and profitability. A lively lead in to the OPS Cocktail Party and Reception.

Matt O’Neill, President of AdMonsters said: “Data acquisition, usage and protection are the most crucial areas in digital advertising operations right now, and opening up dialogue on all the issues surrounding them is vital for us to move forward as an industry.
Events like OPS Markets, where our community can come together, share and discuss problems and solutions are central to this process and I’m delighted that our first London-based OPS Markets conference received such a great response, and that attendees were so willing to get involved, interact, and speak out on the big issues.”

The next event in the AdMonsters calendar will be OPS Europe, which takes  place on Sept 20th in Cologne, Germany. Already confirmed to be speaking are Frederic Joseph, Chief Digital Officer Worlwide ZenithOptimedia and Terry Freiherr von Bibra, VP Advertising Marketplaces Yahoo! Europe and MD Yahoo! Germany.

OPS Europe will be followed closely by the UK Publisher Forum, on November 13 in Oxford. For more information visit the events page or contact us.