IAB Digital Britain – Coull wrap up

The IAB Digital Britain Conference was recently held in Manchester - the most important subject on the agenda?

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The IAB Digital Britain Conference was recently held in Manchester – the most important subject on the agenda? Digital Advertising revenue spend for the year of 2013. Attendees gathered from around Britain to hear the big figure revealed, but that’s not all that was on offer.

CEO of IAB UK, Guy Phillipson revealed the projected revenue spend for the full year of 2013 was £6.1bn but announced an official spend of £6.03bn – an increase of £853m in a full year and a 15.2% increase on a like for like basis. The figures show a positive forward momentum that really encourages those in the industry to keep pushing, challenging, and participating in innovation to help not only improve revenue, but improve the longevity of digital advertising by:

  • keeping it brand safe

  • protecting privacy

  • working to make advertising more and more contextually relevant for audiences.

From our perspective, the really juicy part of the Adspend Study came in the form of the figures for online video which made up 17% of all display advertising with strong signs of increasing.


  • Video itself grew to £325m in 2013 which is a growth of 2/3rds – very positive figures.

  • It was made clear that digital advertising has shifted from a click to purchase model of conversion, to having real value in creating brand awareness and purchase intent.

  • Mobile ad spend grew to £1.03bn which is a massive increase of 93.3% on a like for like basis.

Multiple screens and multi-tasking

IAB Senior Research Manager, Hannah Bewley spoke about the IAB RealView research project that showed how people use their mobile in conjunction with other devices (#omniscreens) in everyday life. Perhaps the most intriguing finding was that many people were interacting with their devices while conversing face to face with friends and family and not even realizing their distracted behavior. A lot of participants were also making use of multiple devices/screens at the same time to complete tasks more quickly or easily, or to in fact, multi task.

More technology, more problems?

Amit Kotecha – Head of Marketing EMEA at Quantcast spoke about the vast amount of data that we now generate and have access to, but that without insight, data doesn’t mean anything.

‘Data is dumb until we give it meaning’

Amit stated that we used to be happy with a simple report detailing impressions, clicks and CTR but we now require much more granular information relating to the consumer conversion journey.  We need insight into attribution, viewability and brand safety and data can reveal this information if it’s analyzed and reported in the right way.

Social video

Oliver Smith from Unruly spoke about how we can make video that get’s shared, watched and ultimately remembered.

The key learnings where the reasons people share videos and how brands can invoke a positive response:

  • Make your video emotional

  • Negative emotions may well get you noticed, but they are risky

  • Exhilarate your audience –  exhilaration delivers 65% brand recall

  • Be proud of your brand – put emotional and interesting content in front of your audience and they’ll be more likely to share even branded video.

  • don’t over invest in the content and under invest in the distribution – there is no point spending time and money on content creation if you don’t have the means to make it visible to your audience.

A video that results in a positive physiological response is much more likely to be shared socially.

Oliver identified nine different reasons for sharing a video that range from sharing similar interests and being charitable, to participating in current trends, self expression and opinion seeking. Video should appeal to a user’s emotional needs and give them to opportunity to fulfill those needs online.

The IAB Digital Britain conference encapsulated the progression of the digital advertising industry and gave a good picture of not only where it might be headed from an industry perspective, but from a user perspective. Understanding how consumers interact with media technology and how they use digital media is the key element in driving innovation, better experiences and sustainable and increased revenues.

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Posted by simonholliday