April 6, 2008

This past Thursday I had the privilege to attend the IAA’s Global Marketing Summit at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC.

The speakers were a “Who’s Who” in global advertising. Lisa Caputo – CMO, Citi (who’s bio had my head spinning)..Scott McCune VP and Director, Integrated Marketing, Coca-Cola – David Stern Commissioner, National Basketball Association to name a few.

The highlight for me was a dynamic speaker full of energy and insights that kicked the day off with a speech that still has me thinking. David Verklin CEO Aegis Media Americas. Usually at events like this people in such high ranking positions have a tendency to fall into one of two categories (in my mind anyway). They either lull you into a 25 minute sales pitch for their company, or play it safe and present a case study that you know they barely had any influence in.

David did neither, and to say that I appreciated this may be the understatement of the year. This gentleman was engaging (not easy as the first speaker of a long day of presenters), and provided so much content in his speech that the audience was frantically scribbling away as he spoke (when was the last time you could look around a room and actually see people taking note).

The intent of David’s talk was to discuss “Engagement.” He not only offered practical insights but also challenged the audience to learn more, educate themselves, and push their companies to be knowledgeable about what is currently happening in the online media world. I was delighted!

David’s talk revolved around 5 points:
1. Timing
2. Targeting
3. Emotion
4. Geography
5. Content

He mentioned a few companies that his agency is engaged with that are at the cusp of something very powerful. Joost being at the center. He also touched on Ecostar and some of the exciting things they’re doing with his agency. David also acknowledged some of the pitfalls of agencies being able to engage consumers (Big Brother syndrome). But he was highly optimistic that consumers will react well to receiving an appropriate message when they’re engaged.

He classified engagement as reaching your user when they are highly interested in what is presented to them.

His speaking style was impressive, his message appropriate, and his ideas fresh and exciting.

Thank you to Mr. Verklin from someone that is always looking for the next best thing. I have a tendency to expect the worst when listening to certain speakers, and he proved himself intelligent, engaging (I was looking for the content he provide…mission accomplished)…and entertaining.

Thank you Mr. Verklin, I’ll look forward to hearing you speak again, and I’ll certainly research Joost, and Ecostar even further.