4A's Conference: Agencies Urged To Embrace New Technologies

The current state of the media and marketing world was described as "positive chaos," by Bill Koenigsberg, CEO of Horizon Media.

Speaking at the American Association of Advertising Agency's Transformation 2011 conference in Austin Tuesday, Koenigsberg said that the marketing world is being transformed by technology as never before.

"There are going to be a lot of big winners and there are going to be a lot of losers," he said.

Figuring out how to transform the agency and media businesses as consumers take charge of how they consume content and interactive with advertising messages is a theme of the conference, and Koenigsberg urged attendees to embrace the changes.

"There never will be a more exciting time to be in this business," he said. "Think big and aim high."

Keith Weed, CMO and COO of Unilever, told the conference that digital technology is changing everything about the way marketing is done. "You can literally make it up as you go along," he said.

This new world of tablet computers, smart phones and apps presents both opportunities and challenges. "The biggest issue is complexity and fragmentation . . . the amount of choice out there," he said. The challenge is to "make it come together in an organized way."

In the digital world, traditional media, such as television remain important, but their power can be multiplied by integrating them with digital communications, Weed said. As an example, he pointed to the launch of Unilever's Dove for Men during last year's Super Bowl. After the game, Dove took over web pages with product endorser Drew Brees, the game's MVP to reinforce its Super Bowl message.

Weed also said that brands need to closer to media and closer to content. He added that he would soon be going to California for meetings with the major media conglomerates to find ways to get closer to quality, effective content in order to "make our brands more relevant."

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.