Wrapping up the Festival of Media: blog

From Net-a-Porter's next mobile offering to global conversations on programmatic, Performance Content Group's CEO takes MiC to the event in Rome.

Deborah Hall, co-founder and CEO of Performance Content Group, attended the Festival of Media in Rome this week, with her company being chosen as part of the event’s Emerge program for technology organizations. Read on for her summary of the week’s trends, including the next wave of mobile and real-time content.

By: Deborah Hall

There were several consistent themes that continued to surface throughout the global Festival of Media event for 2014. For some background, Performance Content Group was chosen to represent Canada in the first-of-its-kind Emerge program that brought tech companies like us to mix with the clients and media agencies. The timing is perfect for such a mix as technology is woven into pretty much every presentation and is no longer siloed in the media business.

The first theme was built-in intelligence, the idea that data is created through various touchpoints, wearable technology and mobile devices. This creates #bigdata for brands, retailers, content creators – the whole ecosystem. AOL’s digital evangelist David Shingy continued to promote the curation of conversations and the fact that there are new ways of measuring social currency.

Measuring engagement, audience intent and interest continued to be a theme across the various panels and conversations surrounding programmatic buying. The best part of the global nature of the festival was getting all of the industry leaders together to debate things like programmatic buying and the significant industry shake-ups and mergers.

There was no longer a question of whether brands should invest in mobile – most brands are placing mobile the center of their investment. Steve King, global chief executive of ZenithOptimedia, in particular outlined that mobile advertising is now growing at more than six times the rate of desktop ads. Net-a-Porter’s Sarah Watson presented two of their latest mobile initiatives, Porter magazine and a sneak peak at their new Net Book, a foray into social commerce.

Real-time content evangelist Oliver Snoddy from Twitter proposed that a new content creation culture has changed the game for brands to react in seconds as opposed to minutes. “Real-time content amplifies the meaning of a moment, contributing in creating a new piece of culture.”

Bonin Bough from Mondelez shared some of the fantastic work on the Honey Maid brand as an example of how brands can be involved in conversations and react to their audience in creative ways. Oliver Luckett from theAudience (who is now reaching over one billion people through their work) evangelized social content creation as a living, breathing organism that needs to be nourished to experience the significant engagement across the art that they produce.

These themes of technology, content curation, transparency and social innovation shaped an amazing Festival of Media 2014 – the awards gala and dinner followed suit with several creative new categories in areas like data. As a technology company focused on several of these themes, it’s inspiring to create work and art that could make for great entries in the awards categories for 2015.