Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Attending Click 2009: Dubai



Here I was randomly invited to
Click 2009: Digital and Online Marketing Summit, when I am requested to fill in for a panelist (a PHD professor of Corporate communications at Singapore Management University) who did not make it. What’s the topic? “Effectively Using Online Social Media and Networks to Boost Your Marketing Efforts” I thought piece of cake, no one knows anything about the topic anyway so I might as well sit and preach – or at least give my opinion.
The first question asked to the panelist was: “Do advertising agencies understand social networks and how to best get ROI”? I found it a perfect opportunity to bash every ad agency in the region (if not globally), then a sense of ethics kicked in. I answered the following: “does Mark Zuckerberg understand social networking and how to best get ROI, because
Facebook is not making money” needless to elaborate on the financial situation of other social networks.
We cannot blame advertisers and marketers (solely) for the issues we are facing in monetizing social networks and the internet. Obviously a banner ad does not work, and the only forms of digital advertising that have gotten some traction in terms of ROI are applications and widgets (the good ones at least). But is this advertising, or does it classify as product development? Is it something that the digital media owners should offer, or are they things brands should create from scratch with the likes of
R/GA?

Yes it is time, we are in dire need for you to quit your job, and setup the next Agency 2.0 that will remodel digital advertising, make the difference, and rake in the billions.


Other highlights of the summit included:

- The Tragic Assassination of a Soap Bar: A very good presentation by Leo Burnett’s Strategic Planning Director Nicolas Chidiac
- A person presented the Nakheel water saving initiative as an example of a great campaign LOL! Because all of the people who believe in water conservation and making a difference will actually purchase property from the maker of the Palm, the world, another Palm etc.

- The other presentations and conversations I had there were pretty much stating the obvious, or trying to sell ads on certain digital properties

- I learnt about
Netlog, a Social Network focusing on Teens and Youth with a claimed 2.5 million users from the Middle East

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