Disruptive is one of the most overused words in the marketing lexicon, but it’s hard to argue for a better adjective when it comes to describing the transformation of our industry and the consumer landscape over the past decade.
This year, industry event ad:tech London celebrates its 10th birthday and will mark the occasion with a "Digital Decade: Past, Present, Future" theme. The content and exhibition has been programmed to explore how what we know about marketing, media, consumers and technology today can be used to anticipate future trends, challenges and opportunities.
The definitive marketplace
While the conference is the destination to hear from leaders of companies such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Diageo, Ryanair, Virgin Media, McDonald’s, YouTube and BBH, the value of visiting ad:tech extends beyond the content. Attendees will have the chance to check out the free ad:tech exhibition – a 150-stand marketplace showcasing the most exciting solution- and service-providers in marketing, media and technology.
From programmatic, multiscreen advertising and data tools to some of the most cutting-edge agencies, visiting marketers can discover the technologies, people and products that will give their marketing the edge in 2015 and beyond.
A good, old-fashioned industry party
This year also sees the return of the ad:tech Social – a feast of cocktails and music from Groove Armada’s Tom Findlay at Kensington’s Roof Gardens to celebrate ad:tech’s 10th birthday. This social event is the place to unwind and build relationships after a day spent engaging in industry debate and exploring the latest innovations. If you get your hands on a VIP ticket, you’ll have the chance to mingle with 500 brand, agency and media leaders until the small hours.
While some trends may come and go faster than a Snapchat message, it’s reassuring to know that after this most disruptive of decades, the industry’s insatiable appetite to get together and enjoy some late-night networking remains intact.
A new world order?
Plotting the course of major shifts in areas such as mobile, social and data, ad:tech London will reflect on an "unprecedented moment in history and landmark bigger than the Industrial Revolution that calls for a radical rewrite of the planet" – the words of ad:tech London keynote speaker, Clarity Digital president and Coventry City Football Club co-owner Leonard Brody.
Brody, once described as "a controversial torchbearer for a new world order" and an active venture capitalist/financier, will be sharing his views on why the world has not caught up with the radical change of the past five years, which will transform every part of our existence, from human behaviour to the allocation of investment.
Whether or not you agree with Brody’s radical assessment, some of the industry’s leading statesmen and women will be sharing their thoughts on the future of marketing and media in the ad:tech conference – a melting-pot of brand, agency and media-owner leaders across Summits on Future Media & Technology, Data-Fuelled Marketing, Engagement & Experience and Platforms & Devices.
Sir Martin Sorrell on the future of content and the impact of programmatic
The ever-candid Sir Martin Sorrell and GroupM EMEA chief executive Dominic Grainger will debate the learnings of a digital decade and the disruptive trends that will define the future of the relationships between clients, agencies and media owners.
Sorrell, who recently set WPP a target of a 45% rise in new-media and emerging-market revenues, will examine the prospects for programmatic and the impact of a changing media and content landscape where tech companies such as Facebook and Google control 50% of digital adspend.
Time for a new approach to brand experience?
Another heavyweight flying into London for this annual gathering of 6500 marketing and media professionals is Mondelez VP global media and consumer engagement, Bonin Bough – the driving force of the Oreo-maker’s attempts to break the marketing mould through innovation.
Mondelez caused a stir at SXSW earlier this year when it unveiled the Trending/Vending machine – an adaptation of the 3D printing process enabling Oreo fans to create their own cookie combination based on what is trending on Twitter. Bough believes that disruptive technologies like 3D printing represent a unique opportunity to create new forms of brand engagement and experience. Marketers now have little choice other than to challenge the status quo and embrace the hacking economy or "hackonomy", as Bough prefers to call it.
Unilever on the hunt for The Next Big Thing
One brand with a major innovation agenda right now is Unilever, and the FMCG multinational is this year’s sponsor of ad:tech’s Future Media & Technology Summit and Next Big Thing initiative, in partnership with Collider and tech2brand.
Led by SVP global marketing Marc Mathieu, who earlier this year launched the Foundry – a hub where marketing tech innovators can engage with the company’s key brands – Unilever will be searching for tomorrow’s tech disruptors through the Next Big Thing pitch/award and overnight hackathon. Unilever will also bring up to 50 of its marketers to participate in curated tours of the show, giving attendees and exhibitors the chance to engage with a group of senior brand professionals tasked with delivering technology-driven innovation.