Confab/Expo December 2010 / January 2011

Future of the Digital Era

Challenges, solutions and big names at ad:tech tokyo 2010

Future of Marketing and Advertising in the Digital Era
The first day’s highlights included keynote speaker Marvin Chow, marketing director for the Asia Pacific at Google Inc. Chow said that digital ad spending represents just 15% of the present advertising market capacity of $550 billion. However, he expects the figures to grow to $1,000 billion and above 50%. “The market keywords are ‘technology, economic and society’ ”, he said.

Google’s Marvin Chow: ad spend growth

He explained that technology develops according to how marketers meet consumer needs. For technologies to succeed, members of society must accept, trust and come to love technological developments, a good example of such success being YouTube.

Innovation, he said, represents the future of marketing, and to remain in business, the industry must continue to challenge new concepts.

Can TV Remain Popular?
A lively discussion — moderated by Yuki Kishi, a creative director at Dentsu Inc. — was held concerning internet-TV rivalry and the future role of both media in marketing.

Panellist Hiroshi Osaki, CEO of Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd., spoke of the positive aspect of the internet’s function as an extra channel for distributing content. “Soon [the internet and TV] will complement each other and function as a new media platform that I would like to help develop”.

However, another panellist, Toru Ota, executive officer and managing director of the Content Creation and Distribution Department at Fuji Television Network Inc., said developing human resources was the most important industry issue today.

“Making digital media with strong, solid content part of a business plan is more important than focusing on the platform itself”, he said.

Dentsu Creative Director Yuki Kishi: TV vs. internet

Today’s Consumer-Driven Environment
In the first Brand Marketing session, panellist Miki Iwamura, head of marketing at Google Japan, explained the PDCA cycle based on Data Integration and Integrated Planning. “The personalisation of the user experience is important”. Google as an advertiser, she added, is trying to be strategic and creative in approach to marketing.

Chiaki Watanabe, GM of the Advertising Planning Dept., Marketing Communication & Research Center at Sony Marketing (Japan) Inc., spoke on “What Brand Companies Expect Partners to Do”. He pointed out the need for consumer-oriented marketing and said he is concerned that many firms are not doing this.

Marcus Otsuji, director of the Omniture Business Unit at Adobe Systems Co., Ltd., presented a case study that analysed online and offline data. “Consumer behaviour can only be understood when offline data is considered”, he said. “By having an integrated analysis, marketers can provide relevant, timely information”.

Multi-Channel Marketing Strategies
Panellists heard that, as the volume of data increases, traditional marketing methods are losing ground. Case studies and ideal as well as anticipated strategies were introduced as possible solutions.

Dominic Powers, senior vice-president, Asia Pacific, at Epsilon International, introduced his data analysis of the complex picture that consumers present, explaining trends in Japan by gender and age group.

Carolyn Everson of Microsoft: beyond borders

His analysis suggests that, depending on age group, consumers are driven by different media. As a result, marketers cannot afford to ignore traditional media, even if it does not drive all age groups. “For example, newspapers may have limited influence on consumption by the young, but greater influence on that of an older generation. To discover the range of consumer needs, one would have to use traditional media”.

The Advertising Revolution
Carolyn Everson, corporate vice-president of Global Advertising Sales and Trade Marketing at Microsoft, used the automotive industry as an example of how marketing campaigns need to go beyond conventional borders in response to constantly changing consumer requirements. “Between creativity and solutions”, she explained, “is the age of cleverly providing data”.

She gave two reasons for which corporations annually increased their digital advertising budgets: the advancement of an environment in which creativity can grow and one can present brand images on multi-screens”.

Everson selected three points to summarise her “trends in the age of choosing technology at your fingertips”:

  • Real-time internet: Shows how consumers gather information and allows user reaction to be appraised.
  • Portability of content: Offers a seamless experience that provides more than one interface and customises content to match device characteristics.
  • Natural interfaces: Involves the development of technology that responds to consumer needs, such as Microsoft’s new KINECT (expected to go on sale in Japan at the end of 2010), which can be used without a motion controller.

Kenneth Estenson, of media diversifying

Anna Kirah, an innovation and design anthropologist, said: “It is essential that the people who understand the trends do so by appraising global phenomena, not by focusing solely on Japan”.

During the panel discussion that followed, it was agreed that frequent contact with consumers is important.

Revolutionizing Digital Publishing
“The media continues to diversify and subdivide and, due to the appearance of various devices, we are in an age in which media can be contained in the palm of one’s hand”, said Kenneth Estenson, senior vice-president and GM of, who gave a presentation on the broadcaster’s expanding coverage by utilizing social media and the internet.

Estenson said that, as people’s contact with the media had increased, CNN’s conventional text-type websites had been revised. The channel’s reporting had been adapted to create imagery-bearing websites with multiple themes that would each appeal to a particular generation of user and specific interests. This move was already bearing positive results.

He mentioned iReport, a website featuring postings by citizen journalists who relayed news from Iraq despite media restrictions. Estenson said this had dramatically improved CNN’s coverage.

When accidents and disasters happen, interactive citizens create databases to provide information on the safety of local people. “We want to not only convey the facts, but also to provide strength for victims of accidents and crime around the world”.

Tokyo’s third ad:tech will be in October 2011