This week it was awesome to see so many of our colleagues at Ad:Tech San Francisco. Between the exhibit hall, awesome speaker sessions and parties (shout out to Too $hort, Sir Mix-a-lot, Coolio, Tainted Love and Sisqo), it was quite the whirlwind.

For those who were unable to make the event, here are some of the takeaways we grabbed from the conference:

  • Focus: This year’s show seemed heavily focused on SEO and Analytics. Every company we talked to seemed to be thirsting after ways to draw consumers to the web and and monetize these visits.
  • Swag: The best swag award from the conference goes to our friends at Acxiom. They offered up a $5 gift card for taking a 7 question quiz (an incredibly detailed and complex exploration about paid search, media buying and channel usage habits).
  • Attendees: There weren’t a ton of what many people associate as “big names.” You could argue that this absence was due to the fact that everyone knows who the big SEO / PPC players are, but there is without question ample opportunity to get noticed at Ad:Tech without getting drowned out.
  • Hot: In terms of what was hot, mobile advertising probably took the cake. Tons of folks are looking at how mobile ads can go beyond banners and into the realm of rich media (a “Hey look it’s a Fedex guy on my mobile screen!” type of thing). Monetization was also getting a lot of attention, as folks described things like “using images as a channel” to figure out new ways to earn revenue.
  • Strategy: According to Andrew Solmssen, managing director of Possible Worldwide, brands and marketers need to think “mobile-first.” Clearly, we agreed with Andrew, but also thought his insight about using technology to interact with consumers, not just for technology’s sake, was particularly important.
  • Apps: According to Evan Neufeld, chief marketing officer at Ground Truth NYC, discovery for apps is a “tremendous problem.” A great point, which (especially when coupled with their re-open rates) sheds light on why app strategy is extremely tricky and requires powerful analytics.
  • Parties: Hats off to everyone who braved the nighttime rain on Tuesday to go out and have a good time. San Francisco’s chilly weather certainly reared its ugly head, but for the most part revelers remained undeterred.

For those we were unable to meet at the conference this year, please shoot us a note and get in touch. And mark your calendars for next year!

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