Tag Archives: digital trends

Helpful Ad Sales Advice from Ad Panelists at AAN Web Conference

By Mark Hanzlik, AWN Executive Director

I was surprised to see a post about the Alt Press yesterday from Sarah Kotlova, an account director at Digitaria on the ad agency’s blog page.    She was one of two panelists in a session titled “Trends in Digital Ads” at the AAN Web Conference Jan 26-28 in San Francisco.   It’s always convenient to have a digital follow-up  of a session from the presenter’s point-of-view.  Sarah’s wasn’t too unlike the actual exchange recalled from that Friday afternoon session.

The other panelist, Ben Pashman, a relatively new VP at Centro (@benpashman) had a clear and concise message; more rich media, pre-roll video and generally move faster into more technology in order to grow more inventory opportunities.  He boasted that Centro owns 60% of all local display advertising which I found to be both an exciting prospect for Alts but at the same time alarming.

Both Sarah and Ben suggested encouraging more user engagement with alt media web sites by deploying low-cost alternative solutions, and creative out-of-the box  approaches including outsourcing video production.

Sarah stressed the importance of creating a value proposition that is based from a digital-first direction, one where local Alt Media offer partnerships, sponsorships and a different path for advertisers (brands) to reach their audience.   This is coming from an agency person who knows there are plenty of ways to reach a local digital audience now, and often effective targeting, cpm and creative delivery can be achieved through other means.  Ouch.

What Happened? Favorites from 2011 Blog Posts

By Mark Hanzlik, AWN Executive Director

Since this is the time of year when just about everyone who has a blog or web site publishes a top-10 or best-of list instead of covering real news or offering their usual opinions, I thought it would be a good time to do that same. I say that admitting that I’m as guilty as the next guy and therefore offer some of my favorites from 2011 with a few caveats:

1) The following are not necessarily the best, or biggest of the year but topics that caught my attention.

2) I’m usually biased toward the unusual stories that fly below the radar but often-covered stories can be also interesting if the approach is different or view

3) Opinion pieces seldom hold up and while there is a place for those kinds of stories, I’m taking a pass on those without solid research here.

DIGITAL TECH: Facebook and Spotify were among the year’s hottest digital media companies, covered by AdWeek in their “Top 10 Tech Stories of 2011” in early December.   This one is a no-brainer, Facebook has eclipsed everyone and Spotify was the sleeper that burst into the big-time this year as well.   We often blogged about the Web Radio’s audience growth and ad revenue growth online in 2011, and surely Pandora and Spotify are part of that big story.

FUTURE OF RETAIL: The best story I read this year about the retail biz also came near the end of the year.  “The Future of Retail? Look to Its Past” arrived via Harvard Business Review in what can only be described as HBR’s Blog Forum.   It’s a compelling piece about those in retail embracing technology yet retaining the human aspects of the transaction (i.e. face-to-face interactions, etc.)

DIGITAL TRENDS: AdWeek nailed this one back in October;  offering the six most transformative trends in digital marketing.    We blogged about this important digital story here on our own site on Oct 31st.  The merging of mobile and desktop, and the value of specialized content on the web will resonate the most and will no doubt be important topics in 2012.

HYPER-LOCAL: Coverage of everything Hyper-Local was overwhelming in 2011. Not only was it a buzzword for digital news coverage, geo-targeted advertising and new kind of journalism, it served as the launch pad for the success and failure of AOL’s Patch investment which ended the year on a down note.   We first covered the hyper-local subject in September.

FUTURE OF NEWSPAPERS: This one wasn’t too hard to sort out because every story about newspapers (mobile development, daily deals, Sunday insert conversion to the web, etc.) all pointed to the same future. I’ll go with recent release by USC Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism Study which will be fully issued in January titled “Is America at a Digital Turning Point?” Numerous magazines, alternative publications, radio and television stations all jumped on this story and declared death will come quickly “Newspapers Dead Within Five Years.”

We’re ready for another year of changes in media, advertising and digital, tracking all the pluses and minuses.  I hope all the positive changes in 2011 bode well for the year to come.