Brands Failing to See the Impact of Online Engagement on the Bottom Line

September 11, 2009

LONDON, September 11 /PRNewswire/ –

– Investment in Direct Engagement Over Face-Value Online Presence to be
Discussed at This Year’s ad:tech London

Brands that unlock the full potential of online communities as part of
their communications strategy will see a long-term return on that investment,
organisers of this year’s ad:tech London have revealed. This follows detailed
research last month by the Wetpaint/Altimeter Group that its recent
ENGAGEMENTdb* report had found evidence of a financial correlation between
brands ‘who are deeply engaged and those who outperform their peers’.

Peter Ward, co-CEO of social network firm WAYN.com and one of the
speakers at this year’s event, commented; “More brands than ever are
recognising the importance of social media and are experimenting with various
ways to engage with it, whether it be creating a Facebook fan page, a Twitter
stream or uploading videos on YouTube. What we are seeing however, is that
many brands remain sceptical and have yet to experience many of the tangible
benefits that would convince key decision makers to make social media
marketing one of the key pillars of their marketing strategy.”

Lulu Phongmany, Marketing and Business Development Manager for
ivillage.co.uk, added; “Social media is no longer something that consumers
and brands dabble with. It is something that is core to any successful
marketing or branding effort. More and more consumers are turning to the web
to talk to each other about products and to gauge opinions on a product
before they buy. In this way social media platforms offer brands an
unprecedented opportunity to interact with their customer base and be part of
the dialogue organically.”

Ivan Croxford, General Manager, Digital Marketing Services for BT, also
shared his views ahead of the show, saying; “Social networks are making
‘Word-of-Mouth’ one of the most effective tools for winning business today.
Consumers, cynical of corporate brands, are becoming more and more reliant on
online communities as they look for recommendations from peers before they
buy stuff. It’s an irreversible trend and those that engage with social
networks first will be the ones that get noticed in the future. This is a
real opportunity for small businesses to compete with big business.”

Ward continued; “Brands can best engage by working with the social media
publishers directly where possible, and start by clarifying their objectives
on what they are trying to achieve. That way, social media publishers, or
agency specialists can use their experience to put together a campaign
strategy that meets or exceeds those needs.”

Taking place on the 22nd-23rd September at Olympia, ad:tech London has
become established as the largest gathering of digital marketing
professionals in the UK (http://www.ad-techlondon.co.uk). This year’s
conference programme includes the following discussions and speakers:

Social networking power panel

Can social networks become a viable part of the communications mix and
how do you maximise your presence in an online community? Panel session

    - Jeanie Bergin, Creator, Thinking WIDE
    - Simon Podd, Head of Sales, Bebo
    - Ivan Croxford, General Manager, BT Tradespace, BT
    - Lulu Phongmany, Marketing and Business Development Manager,
    - Peter Ward, CEO, WAYN

Best practices in branding

The way we communicate and consume media has changed forever. Brands
recognise this and need to be innovative and pragmatic in the way they
approach their consumers to stay relevant. Panel session participants:

    - Stephen Cheliotis, Chief Executive, The Centre for Brand Analysis and
      Chairman of Superbrands
    - Catherine Demajo, Director of Marketing and Circulation, Time Out
    - Nick Jones, Head of Interactive Services, COI
    - Giles Horton, Vice President of Marketing in Europe, Monster
    - Ed Elworthy, Head of Brand Connections, Nike

The role of social media in consumer dialogue

Blogs, UGC and communities – how are they changing the way people engage
online? Panel session participants:

    - Kevin Anderson, Blog Editor, The Guardian
    - Marta Obrebska, Online Business Manager, Dell
    - Bob Buch, Vice President, Business Development, Digg
    - Nick Burcher, Head of VNC UK and Products / Partnerships EMEA, VivaKi
      Nerve Center

In addition to looking at the wider issues of brand engagement through
social networks, this year’s ad:tech London will also discuss how companies
can best identify and select the most appropriate mediums for their
communications strategy and balance traditional and new media as part of the
same marketing strategy.

The full conference programme can be viewed at:

* ‘The world’s most valuable brands. Who’s most engaged?’ ENGAGEMENTdb by
Wetpaint/Altimeter Group, July 2009

Notes to Editors:

About ad:tech London (http://www.ad-techlondon.co.uk)

Dedicated exclusively to Interactive Advertising and Marketing
Technologies such as Search Engine Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile
Marketing and E-Commerce, ad:tech London is the only event in the UK that
welcomes marketers from blue-chip companies and SMEs the opportunity to
investigate a complete range of end-to-end interactive advertising and
marketing solutions. ad:tech London is a unique opportunity for CEO,
brand/product managers, marketing directors, media planners/buyers, creative
directors, PR managers, campaign managers, agency executives and marketing
service providers to reveal latest trends and market figures, share best
practices, address industry challenges and further understand how digital can
generate results that translate directly into increased performance and
greater ROI.

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with principal operations across North America, Europe and Asia. dmg world
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SOURCE ad:tech

Source: newswire

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