Space & Time recently attended the RampUp London event, hosted by LiveRamp and covering all things digital and data. It was a fantastic conference with some truly inspiring speakers.

The day began with a keynote session from the Head of Communications at Wimbledon Tennis Club, discussing the role of technology in the transformation of their communications strategy. This provided great insight into how a traditional British institution transformed itself from a ‘two weeks a year’ sporting event into a truly global brand through the combination of a content-first, platform-second approach. The presentation demonstrated how a combination of technological solutions and creative thinking can deliver real business transformation.

Next on the agenda was a panel discussion on how publishers (including The Telegraph, Hearst and The Ozone Project) are evolving how they work in order to build stronger relationships with brands in today’s digital market. With revenue growth now dominated by two key players (Google & Facebook), it’s become increasingly difficult for publishers to continue to stay relevant.

Everyone agreed that – as an industry – we need to find better, more illuminating metrics to measure how audiences are engaging with online advertising; whether that be time spent on page, hover times over ads, using heat mapping to better understand how people interact with ads or good old brand surveys. Karen Eccles from The Telegraph provided some great insight into how they have been pioneering this over the last 12 months, and there’s a great article in Digiday that covers this in detail – which you can read here. Overall it was a great discussion and gave plenty food for thought about how agencies could be working differently with publishers to help clients connect with customers more effectively.

The first afternoon session featured industry big hitters Jeff Nicolson (from Vayner Media) and Rob Pierre (CEO of Jellyfish). The discussion began with some of the challenges that can be faced when delivering data driven solutions for clients, whilst also prioritising and respecting consumer preferences. One key point raised is that most of the public feel comfortable with their data being used if it’s used in the right context. This resonates with some of my own experiences online – relevance good, stalking bad!

The most interesting part of the talk was when they discussed a future where blockchain could enable people to sell their own ‘ID graph’ to advertisers directly, cutting out middlemen such as Google and Facebook. Why, they asked, should someone allow their data to be sold by middlemen when they themselves could directly benefit from selling that ID graph to advertisers? Imagine a world where you get paid for allowing British Airways or McDonalds to advertise to you.

To finish the day there was a panel discussion on the future of data driven TV. With a £132 billion industry at stake, the biggest players – from traditional broadcasters to the internet giants – are all trying to work out how to succeed in this space.

The trend towards addressable TV is only going to accelerate but there was some dispute around how quickly this will happen. In the US this is already becoming a reality with $7 billion traded in this way last year, although this still represents just a fraction of the $70 billion TV market stateside. In the UK addressable TV is yet to be fully embraced, possibly due to higher entry costs or a fear among the key broadcasters that it may devalue their brands. However, we are now seeing the development of the platform with the evolution of Sky Adsmart, C4’s offering and most recently ITV’s Platform V. Anna Forbes, GM of The TradeDesk, suggested “…it’s like fighting the tide. It will happen. And those who invest in the tech will ensure they are well positioned to take advantage.”  This was a great way to finish the day, with fascinating discussions around a vertical that will be one of the next major frontiers in the digital space.

Within Space & Time’s programmatic team we’re continually developing innovative solutions for our client. If you’re keen to learn more about how we can help your business, or just fancy talking about effective use of data, please drop us a line here.

Dan Hughes, Head of Programmatic