From the activity on the floor, to the bravado of its attendees, the marketing industry, and more specifically the digital marketing business is thriving. The floor is packed with new exhibitors, new faces, and new energy.
Of course the big boys are here... Bing and Yahoo (Right Media,) ComScore, and Amazon (Web Services,) but a surprise was more traditional big brands like American Express OPEN. And there are a slew of agencies, but what is different is these agencies are specialists, and concentrate on doing a couple things very very well. They speak digital in a way that previous agencies only dream about, from companies like Grafton who specialize in content creation and making sure it is picked up by search engines to extend your message, to a slew of creative, media, and ethic targeting agencies, the options for brands allow them to choose the right agency for the right job at the right time.
Most of the activity that is exciting to me is booth to booth to booth of new vibrant companies, and startups. From companies like Beintoo who is bringing gamification and rewards to mobile, and Fiksu which is helping marketers get their apps discovered on iOS and Android, to SeeMail who allows you to attach your voice to pictures you send to provide more context, and Stipple who enables shopping, search and discovery through images. From companies that are helping in Search, to those facilitating email and CRM; from companies that manage, accelerate and report on social media to those who enable gamification, app discovery and mobile advertising, the entire ecosystem and markets have diversified.
This is no longer the year of any one specific thing, be it "social media" or "mobile" or "email" or "Search" where the majority of new companies are focused on one vertical; this is the year of everything. There does not seem to be one predominant trend or theme, instead the trend is not a "vertical" but "innovation," and that is a good sign for our business.
The convergence of advertising and technology is what AdTech is all about, and the conference this year is delivering on that.