ad:tech London 2009 – ‘think strategy, not just technology’


On Wednesday, I spent the morning at ad:tech London, the show that bills itself as being “all about interactive marketing”. For those who didn’t make it and are interested in what they might have missed, here’s a quick run through of this first-timer’s observations.

Footfall indicates a flourishing industry

Unsurprisingly, the exhibition floor at Olympia was packed from the moment I got there until the moment I left. Forrester Research recently predicted a further 15% growth for search marketing between 2009 and 2014, so it’s no surprise that so many people want a slice of the action. Don’t underestimate the increasing importance of social media though (also discussed in detail at ad:tech), for which Forrester is predicting a 34% expansion.

I took a sneaky peek at other visitors’ badges and found a healthy mix of marketers and small business owners. Exhibitors and speakers alike therefore needed to adjust their pitches if they were to address the many different levels of understanding possessed by this mix of visitors.

Seminars cover the basics – in a good way

I attended a range of seminars throughout the day – alternating between the analytics/affiliates and search/ad networks theatres. The first seminar was pitched at a relatively basic level, but the speaker made some good points. This is my summary of the most interesting ones. 

This links back to my very first point – get your PR agency talking to your online marketing agency and make sure that your various campaigns support and strengthen one another. According to Microsoft, 54% of people are more likely to search on a brand term (company name, tagline, key phrase from adverts, etc.) once they’ve seen a display ad. And, of course, this can all be tracked online.

Why should you go to ad:tech 2010?

Overall, it was a good day and I’d recommend the seminar programme to anyone who is interested in increasing their basic understanding online marketing. The main seminars were completely free (you can pay to attend the Google University if you so wish), so they’re a good option if you want to learn whilst avoiding the persistent sales pitches from the exhibitors with stands.

If you’re a seasoned online marketing professional, I couldn’t say with confidence that you’re likely to get a lot out of a visit to this exhibition – unless it’s a bit of competitor analysis that you’re after, of course.

If you didn’t make it to ad:tech this year and would like to talk to someone about online marketing – or if you did go, but were disappointed by the companies you spoke to – give Coast Digital a call. We’ll be happy to help you with any aspect of digital marketing that interests you.