nextMEDIA and the digital vision

With agency insiders to industry heavyweights, here’s some more insight on day two of nextMEDIA:

Tony Chapman of the agency, Capital C spoke candidly about his goal of moving clients from writing briefs to mission statements in his session on encouraging companies to start socializing versus purely advertising.  Chapman’s reasoning behind this? Because  we live in a time of unprecedented brand proliferation, now, more than ever, it’s important to step up and stand out. As a game changing space, Chapman explained that the social media realm is now about speed and the ability to respond immediately.  Chapman explained that this is a difficult pill for corporations to swallow, seeing as the aged mentality of a well positioned approach before addressing a customer was once the norm.  It’s clear that Chapman believes that we must get much more focused on the fusion between lateral thinkers and wisdom as we engage in future creative endeavours.  Most industry leaders will agree that the move from shouting loudly to listening generously has happened unequivocally.  Given that, as Chapman put it, “attention is the oxygen of marketing,” and it’s important to keep this in mind.

During the Digital Dealmakers and the Midas Touch session we heard from the following companies: Now Public, Comcast interactive, Soft Tech VC, JLA Ventures and First Maximillian.  The overarching theme was the somewhat surprising fact that digital and new media companies have attracted the most investment capital as a space, to date.  Jeff Clavier of Soft Tech VC is a huge believer of Web 2.0 as a business platform and believes that the opportunity to create companies online is important.  Now Public’s Leonard Brody talked the focus of digital.  His belief is that an emphasis on hyper vertical space, a focus on virtual goods, innovation in the developing world are the things we should be thinking on.  The question, about what’s not hot in digital world was raised.  The answer:  Media driven advertising, according to the panel, due to its behavioural targeting.  The panel all agreed that it’s hard to build a busines based solely on content monetization and that creating a destination website through traditional ads is tough. 

According to the panel, display advertising is really suffering because we can’t prove its ROI.  Yet, the question begs of what secret sauce is for traditional media companies to transform themselves. Brody explains that the newspaper business killed itself.  Brody explains that  “the bigger, national brands may survive, but newspaper companies need to engage in selling actual product/stake to win back revenue.  As the web gets more and more infinite there will be more of a demand for exclusivity.”

So how do entrepreneurs grab the attention of a venture capitalist? The panel unanimously declared that overcoming the noise is the first step in being taken seriously.  For emerging entrepreneurs, it’s a must to be able to communicate your idea in twenty-five words or less and engage with investors you really like and trust.  It’s easy to get hung up on valuation, but the right partner can bring a tremendous amount of value to your venture – You’ll be grateful down the road.

More to come on nextMEDIA and CIX!