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IAB's Randall Rothenberg

with Don Schechter

Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB, discusses trends in the industry and the online and mobile landscape of 2008.

Transcript: IAB's Randall Rothenberg

We expect that this will be the first year that interactive in the United States will exceed $20 billion. And that is now a major medium. So that is an important ongoing trend same line that we ve been seeing on that curve. The new ones have gotten a lot of attention in the media. This has been the year of social marketing and social media. This is the year that Facebook became the first word on everyone's lips. Last year it was MySpace. This year is is Facebook. The use of social marketing, social media conversational marketing in marketing itself as a way of assembling and managing influence and influencers. That was a big topic. It was a big topic today at our conference. I d say the third one that bears highlighting is the rise of the platforms. There have been quite a lot of consolidation in the interactive media and advertising industry. Microsoft bought aQuantive. Google is in the process or waiting approval of its acquisition of doubleclick. AOL has made several major acquisitions – Dakota, advertising.com, quigo. Yahoo bought right media. What we are seeing is these what used to be called the portals morphing into platforms which is an aggregation of scaled or scalable services that are intended to add value upstream and downstream in the value chain to publishers and to agencies. To bring new efficiencies in marketing processes. As the CEO of a trade organization I think I would answer the question of how I use my facebook page, the way any senior executive would, and that is you know. When you are up in an organization there is not that much of a distinction between what is personal and what is business. I certainly have an informal picture of myself on it. I certainly have things on the page that are about my personal preferences. The music I listen to, the movies I like. The novels that I like that I don t have on my resume. But I tell you, I ask on that page and get answers on that page for a lot of interesting business questions and my two hundred and some odd friends include people I went to high school with, people I went to college with, people I used to work with. People I work with now. They include members of the IAB, they include associates of the IAB so what s business what is personal I don t know anymore. Mobile is obviously a major interest and a major opportunity for marketers and advertisers. Certainly it will grow but there are interesting constraints that we have to get through that I think will require a lot more experimentation and a lot more R and D. Among those are certainly just the simple architectural limits of the screen itself. We haven t really dealt with screens that small as entertainment and information mechanisms until recently. That's an area for experimentation. Another one is simply the underlying infrastructure. We have many different major mobile carriers. They operate in different kinds of delivery modes that actually have implications for the way that information, entertainment, and even marketing messages are delivered. So that too needs a lot of experimentation and R and D. And finally unlike Asia and Europoe, in the US, there is a fair amount of tight tight control over the devices by the individual telecommunications providers. And that actually limits the degree to which services are provided. Since a lot of interactive marketing and advertising is really about the provision of services and really relies on open platforms I really think maneuvering between the closed architecture of the current communications system and the open platforms that marketers are looking for will require just more investigation and more R and D. I think that it is going to continue to grow but I am not sure we are going to see in 2008 that explosive spike that we have been seeing for example in online digital video.

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