AdTech Celebrates 20th Anniversary
We attended an historic event last week….AdTech NYC 2016….the 20th anniversary of AdTech!
It was quite a nostalgic conference….many of the early pioneers in AdTech (rebranding now as MADE – Marketing and Advertising, Digitally-Enabled) reminisced that when AdTech started (in 1996) there were no smart phones, no Google, no Facebook, Apple stock was selling at $2.00, and most CEOs felt the internet was a “fad.”
Fast forward 20 years and where has AdTech arrived? In 2016, Google, Facebook and Amazon are 3 of the top 5 market capitalization companies and there are numerous Fortune 100 companies in merger discussions (i.e., AT&T – Time Warner, Verizon – Yahoo) being fueled by the rapid transformation of the media and entertainment sectors into digital, content-on-demand, subscription models delivered through numerous new subscription service platforms (Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, Apple TV) to mobile devices (tablets, smart phones, PCs) which have become the new “first screen.”
Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategist at Publicis Groupe, emphasized 3 major global trends that suggest continued future digital/mobile/social changes are “unstoppable:”
- Globalization – Despite Brexit, and discussions of building a wall or closing borders, globalization is unstoppable since it is good for the majority of the people in the world. 1B+ people have come out of poverty in both China and India over the past 20 years and these are the 2 fastest-growing global economies (5-7% growth). Politicians can say whatever they want, frankly they don’t “get it.” If you do not compete in a global world, you will not be viable in the future.
- Demographic Shifts – China is “growing old fast” (avg. age 40+) due to limits of 1 child per family, while India is “young” (avg. age 20) and the largest users of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ (which are all banned in China). Africa, with a current population of 1B people, will become a population of 4B+ people within the next 10-20 years.
- Digitization – Digitization is the new religion, it has given people “God-like” power. The iPhone 6S has the same processing power as the space shuttle and it has allowed people globally to connect to everything and everyone. Digitization provides a “David vs. Goliath” slingshot where people globally can being down all governments and all businesses.
According to Tobaccowala, no amount of walls or legislation will stop these 3 big global macro-trends; they are irreversible and that’s the real crisis. Our political leaders don’t talk about the real problems, which is why so many people regardless of political affiliation have become dissatisfied with politicians.
The future global business outlook is bright because of the smart phone and the global connectivity that the Internet of Things (IoT) has provided. We are in the “connectivity era” where to remain relevant companies need to embrace marketing and business transformation. Future successful companies must be customer-obsessed, frictionless, seamless, and highly modular. How do you accomplish this in legacy businesses where you can only change the people or change people’s mindsets – and 75% of the time we change the people? This is the big challenge and opportunity for CEOs.