Reprise Media had another highly successful yearly Offsite event yesterday at the Bowery Hotel on New York City’s onetime-skid-row-turned-hip-Mecca boulevard The Bowery. Although we had a series of informative and eye-opening sessions I think my favorite was a presentation from influential Morgan Stanley online and technology analyst Mary Meeker who, as the kids say, “dropped some crazy knowledge.”
Meeker is a big adherent of online video, seeing YouTube as much more than just a video sharing site and going so far as to wonder whether it may end up being a “new portal” for broader categories of information such as news. As she put it, “Advertising follows eyeballs…” Of course you may remember me fretting in this space earlier this year over the flat nature of broadband adoption in the United States and the possible consequences for offerings like online video.
When I asked Mary about this she explained that there was still a vast gulf between the availability of broadband and use of online video and the successful monetization of what’s already out there. Even without significant growth in broadband takeup (and she agreed that in the face of a recession it’s likely to be sluggish) there should be a revenue boost as these sites figure out a successful monetization model.
Meeker compared online video to TV and pointed out that while click-through ability and measurement were wonderful bonuses to internet based advertising they’ve had the effect of “spoiling” some marketers into missing the importance of exposure alone. After all that’s as far as you can get with television, with significantly less targeting ability and an audience that is likely to be actively engaged in a relevant activity at the time of exposure.
Meanwhile, as recent activity in the financial markets deepened the economic gloom emanating from Wall Street, Meeker was relatively upbeat when it comes to online marketing and advertising – particularly search. As some ad budgets are feeling pressure clients are demanding data, accountability, and return-on-investment more than ever. These are all metrics that search marketing excels in. Many major organizations have only begun to scratch the surface of what they could be doing to reach their target audience through search and social media effectively.
All in all it was a fascinating presentation and part of a really memorable event.