I can honestly say that I learn something new every day. Then there are times where I can surround myself with brilliant minds, thought leaders, and fellow industry professionals and the learning overflows. The 2016 IAB MIXX Conference was one of those times.

After two days of provoking conversations, listening to digital marketing experts, and learning best practices from online advertising trail-blazers, it took several days to sort through my notes and identify the key takeaways that I most wanted to share. So if you missed the event – simply read through my blog. Maybe you’ll learn something new today as well.

Key takeaways


Number 1

Mobile provides innovative and unique ways for us as marketers to develop meaningful engagements with individuals at the time a decision is being made. Deborah Wahl, SVP CMO of McDonalds USA, stated it best with the quote “content + location = occasion.” We need to really understand the decision making process and engage when and where the buyers are – when they’re ready.


Number 2

Strive for two-way conversations and abandon the “telling” of days gone by. We need to start connecting with others in real-time, meaningful dialog. The technology exists, we’re collecting the data, the platforms are robust; it’s time to bring it all together.

Number 3

There’s a need for diversity within our industry. The interactive industry is missing opportunities to recruit and develop qualified talent. We need to be more inclusive of differing genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds. This starts in our local communities by engaging with high school and college aged individuals to teach them the opportunities that exist. We need to be open to new ideas and viewpoints. One could argue that this extends beyond just this industry, but we’ll save that discussion for another blog.

Number 4

Pokemon Go, while a huge 2016 phenomenon, was not the first Virtual Reality game (albeit the most profitable). There are many lessons to be learned from this event, the biggest is that people are telling us that they want experiences relating to brands. Not just stories and offers. To quote Les Bastholm from Google Zoo, be “useful, usable, and delightful”.

Number 5

Measuring behavior has come of age. While digital media has always been touted as the most “measurable” media, progress still needs to be made in bridging the gap between online behavior and offline activity. Fortunately, there are several new options that allow for this level of reporting. Using our programmatic ecosystem, we’re able to provide better analysis and attribution than ever before.

Final Thoughts

None of these points from the IAB MIXX event should come as a total surprise. But if you’re at all like me, one or two were an eye-opener. Today, I can say with confidence that we’re on top of our game. We’re working in the general direction of many of these points but we have a long way to go. Our environment is changing at lightning speed and I’ve never been so grateful for my team of experts at KeyMedia Solutions. They make it possible to continue to move forward with the evolution, to stay on top of trends, and to test new capabilities. They teach me as much as I teach them. It’s a wonderful place to be.