Six Questions for Adam Shlachter.
1. Digital consumption seems to have completely flipped and is now mobile-dominant. Is the digital ad business fully prepared? Where are the gaps?
I don’t think we’re nearly there yet. Many publishers and brands have created apps and mobile optimized sites, and Google has tweaked their algorithms to reward that behavior. But there are still as many, if not more, poor mobile user experiences that exist for consumers, including some of the mobile advertising that often accompanies it. We have to make better use of the signals we have – of intent, of location, of behavior- and use that to create better experiences that people can rely on, and brands can see a bigger benefit from.
2. You were a very active negotiator in this year’s NewFronts. How are the NewFronts evolving? What’s changed?
The Newfronts continue to evolve and mature, and through them new ideas, marketplaces, and currencies have been born. And each year it all gets bigger. While I’m not sure we need two weeks of presentations, I think we need more focus on what to expect to get out of them, and ultimately one bigger conversation that brings together omni-channel opportunities from across the entire marketplace, not just a lot of disparate talks.
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3. If Don Draper was in the ad business today, would he be a media investment guy? Is that where creativity lives now?
If you watched “Mad Men” closely, for a while it was Harry Crane who was leading the way. He brought them new platforms, new ways to target, new sources of data and measurement, new technology to derive insights from and plan against. But all of that added up to new outlets for creativity, new ways and places for Don to dream up stories to be told. Media investment is one way in, but it really comes down to media relationships to unlock or develop new opportunities, not just to trade them cheaply.
4. What would surprise media sellers most about the reality of your shop?
That we’re a full-service shop. Not a digital one. Not a media one, and not a creative one. We’re a shop that brings together creative, technology and media to tell great brand stories. If we do that right, we not only can change people’s perceptions, we can get them to change their behavior and take action. And if that happens successfully, we build brands and their business. But it all needs to work together, regardless of the assignment.
5. Mad-Lib: “We’re talking too much about ____________ and not enough about ______________.”
Viewability and fraud; Results and quality experiences.
6. As you look at the next five years of your career, where do you want to build more expertise?
Personally, I would like to work with more clients, brands and organizations as they go through their digital and media transformation. So much is changing so fast, it’s almost impossible to keep up. There’s no textbook on how to do things right; it’s all about new ways of looking at solving problems and planning ahead.
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