On Tuesday and Wednesday July 8th and 9th the ad:tech conference hit Singapore again. The 2014 edition, the event’s seventh, was rebranded ‘ASEAN’, according to the organisers to better represent the increasingly overseas-borne contingent that attends the conference. Around 1,500 people attended the two-day event, making ad:tech one of the best attended marketing events in the Fair City.

The event was kicked off by industry luminary and curmudgeon Michael Leander. The seasoned digital marketing guru tried hard to make true on his announcement early in the speech that he wasn’t going to say anything new, but did come up with a new variant on the tried and trusted ‘AIDA’ concept. AIDA as we know it stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, the road all marketers travel before the Moment of Truth when the customer actually buys the product. Michael’s way to keep AIDA current in an increasingly social internet age is to proclaim AID-LIRA, in which the LIRA bit stands for Like, Interaction, Recommendation, Action. Goes to show that the Age of Social doesn’t make the sales funnel any easier.

Michael Leander

As always, the organisers expressed an acute awareness of which trends are hot right now. Breakout tracks were organised around themes like Content Champions, E-Commerce Elites, Data Devotees, Mobile Maestros, Social Media Stars, and Growth Hackers, the latter being so important that they were declared exempt from the TSA rule (Thou Shalt Alliterate)

The single Gold Sponsor for the event was also a sign of the times. Of course it is money that speaks in choosing your main sponsors, but it is telling that ad:tech Asean 2014’s chief maecenas was Tealium, a company that specialises in managing all the marketing tags on your websites. Capturing consumer behaviour and sorting it out so that you can actually put it to use for your marketing efforts is becoming increasingly important. Tag management is one way of doing that, and we will undoubtedly see more brand names pop up in this field.

Indeed, a little sponsorship analysis shows more on this trend. Apart from ad:tech regulars like the Financial Times, SPH and Innity we saw interesting new names: both Krux and Lotame are online data management platforms; Emarsys, an email service provider; and Adello, a data and analytics driven mobile advertising platform.

It does take a sponsorship analysis, however, to discover anything new in this year’s ad:tech extravaganza. The 2014 edition was disappointingly poor in big announcements and product launches.Gone are the days that companies and exhibitors wait till the Big Day to announce their important news. It gave a routine feel to the event, which it needs to shed if it wants to keep up its leadership position.

Richard Morewood and Daniel Lee.

Ad:tech is a big event, with about 100 speakers and sessions over two days. Highlights were the National Breakfast Day story from Content Champions Daniel Lee from McDonald’s and Richard Marewood from Tribal DDB, and the regional taxi-app marketshare grab by Growth Hackers Cheryl Goh and Lim Kell Jay from GrabTaxi.

Cheryl Goh and Lim Kell Jay.
Julia Kwan, Head of Southeast Asia, dmg events Asia Pacific presented the prize to the winner.

ComScore took the prize of the wildest after conference party on the Tuesday evening, and the 70-odd exhibitors’ stands saw brisk business throughout the show.

We are looking forward to next year’s edition and hope that ad:tech will be able to stay ahead in these uncertain times for event organisers.






Scenes from networking party:

Scenes from exhibition:

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