Snippets from Ad Tech Asia Singapore- Purple Cow is not good enough
Had a good day at Ad Tech Asia Singapore on the 9th June. First day- and the public seemed already quite warmed up. The first keynote session was quite jampacked and from thereon, the crowds started dispersing, socializing, networking and attending different keynotes, panels and workshops.
One thing that makes events worthwhile for me is the opportunity to ‘refresh relationships’- they are relationship refreshers. You meet people you already know but probably wouldn’t meet them in the absence of a formal occasion. This gives a chance to meet up friends in a relatively casual environment and talk about things business or general.
The ‘business’ advantage is- you could meet a lot of people in one day- and make it more productive than a usual day of meetings.
Specially for us from the Digital Media/marketing industry, Ad Tech has become one of those events that you HAVE to attend. Though I almost ended up speaking in this event, it was great that I could attend it otherwise and meet friends both professional and otherwise.
However, I could see a little less overseas crowd this time (economy at play?). Either which ways, good fun.
The highlight of the day for me was a special Q&A session with Scott Goodstein- External Online Director for Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign. Got to meet some blogger friends (amongst the creme de la creme from Singapore)
Second Photo with thanks to Bernard Leong (and Bjorn Lee who forwarded this to me). And guess who was taking the first picture?
Scott gave some insights into how he ran the campaign, the factors at play in the campaign and what led to the groundswell in favor of Mr Obama.
The crux of the discussion was that the success of the campaign (and the elections) was due to a mix of the right message and the right medium. This came up quite clearly in the answer to my question on “Whether the campaign would have been as successful if it was not for Obama”
To this I also wondered if we had to take some of the learnings to marketing commercial brands, how would you use buzz marketing/social media if a brand has little less charisma and perceptual charm. Scott was of the opinion (my interpretation) that Brands have figured it out and they could probably come out with messages that are more advertising type- but for a presidential campaign, there are other sinister factors at play. the public at large could ‘sense’ if you were being genuinely transparent and honest or not.
One of the failings of Ms Hillary Clinton’s campaign could have been that her campaigns were too polished and ‘made up’. So while they made good entertainment value, it did not strike a chord with the voters. Due to this, her campaigners had to change her stance (on the website) multiple times. Whereas Mr Barack Obama not only had a singular positioning but also portrayed an image of a sincere, charming, family man and an intelligent person. He had a conversation with you rather than “talk at” you- qualities that other candidates seemed to have missing.
Of course in the hindsight, one would assume that such pointers where picked upon by marketing teams and played upon/amplified.
From a marketing perspective, it was also interesting to note that (in response to Daniel’s question) the campaigners did not have specific conversion goals in mind. They were working towards getting traction which could ultimately lead to donations and actual voting, but no goals set (‘we need to get x amount in a month’ for example)
I think the lesson to be learnt here is this- It is no longer good enough to have a good product or even be a ‘purple cow’. You have to amplify and project the right attributes in the right manner. This is where marketing comes in (with complex factors at play)- consumer insights, the right strategy, message dissemination and distribution, right channels and costs/measurement
Apart from this highlight, I also particularly liked the workshops at Ad Tech and hope to attend some more on Day 2.
More on that later- till then- watch some pictures from the event- Ad tech Asia Singapore 2009, and keep on chasinh the storm.