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ad:tech NY 2009 Keynote

December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

This past November I had the opportunity to attend ad:tech NY, as Compete had a booth space on the exhibit floor. I was fortunate enough to sit in on the keynote from Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP.  For a quick background – WPP is the world’s leading Marketing Communication services company. It has about 145,000 employees around the world and owns companies such as: Ogilvy and Mather, Hill and Knowlton, TNS, Omniture, Grey and many more.

Sir Martin has such a unique perspective and view of the global marketplace from his position as CEO of WPP, world travels as well as other involvements. For instance at one point during his address, he mentioned how the week prior he was in China sitting on the mayor’s board for Shanghai.  The title of his address was What’s Coming Down the Line? He spoke about a variety of topics, and one that I found very interesting in relation to our class is the power and growth of online. He says that we are seeing a shift in power and a war for talent as new media and the web are growing. These media are more attractive to a younger and more tech savvy group of employees…which is changing the industry culture.  Older advertising executives may be less willing to learn the new technology and resistant to change as they head into retirement. And in their places are younger, more digitally focused professionals – that want a laid back, entrepreneurial, and  flexible work environment.

He also spoke about corporate social responsibility and innovation. In many ways technology has influenced social responsibility and we have seen many foundations rise because of it, for example, The Gates Foundation, The Murdoch Foundation as well as work from Richard Branson.  Sir Martin said that, “doing good equals good business”. It allows brands to build longer term meaning for their causes and companies. Consumers now, are more conscious of what they are spending on and I think we have seen this over the past few years with the green, eco-conscious movement. In some cases consumers may even be willing to spend more for a brand if they believe in its cause. Another great quote from his address, “You can have innovation without a brand but you can’t have a brand without innovation”.  This definitely rings true as we see so many companies being creative with their marketing strategies and it will certainly be interesting to see what innovation emerges as we begin to come out of the recession and move forward.  Below is a clip from Sir Martin Sorrells keynote at ad:tech NY.

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RueLa La & Gilt: Secret’s out, Traffic’s Up

December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Once reserved exclusively for those “in the know” and living in major fashion hubs, sample sales have now gone mainstream. Over the past year a number of online sample sale sites have popped up, such as, ruelala.com and gilt.com. Both Rue La La and Gilt Groupe operate using similar models – both are invitation only, meaning that you have to be invited by an already existing member to take part in the action. They feature premium designer clothes and accessories in private sale boutiques that are only open for a limited time. Members receive reminder emails when new sales are about to open –driving interest and visitors to the online boutiques before coveted items are sold out. Over the past year the word has clearly spread and the secret is out that these sites exist. This is evident from the chart below which shows that Unique Visitors to both sites have been steadily rising.

The increasing traffic to these sites show that in these times premium brand shoppers are looking for deals too, even if it is on a $300 pair of jeans. This becomes even more apparent if we look at the Daily Reach metric displayed in the chart below.

As you can see, Rue La La gets a major spike around the time of December 30th. At this time they were having a sale offering even larger than usual discounts which can account for the rush. For the most part Rue La La has continued to beat out Gilt Groupe but it will be interesting to see if they can remain on top as the space grows and competition increases.

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