Future of Marketing Convention Confirms Increasing Importance of Online Media

At The Guardian's Changing Advertising Summit in London today, top marketers have said that engaging customers through digital channels and platforms such as tablet PCs is increasingly vital for advertisers. It was highlighted that mobile web will be particularly influential, with predictions that it will outstrip desktop internet use by 2014.

Keith Weed, Unilever CMO, stressed that digital and mobile channels must be treated with the same degree of commitment as traditional media, using the example that there are now more mobile phones than toilets in India. He added that increasing digitalisation and globalisation of consumer markets has contributed to a revolution in media advertising.

Joanna Shields, Facebook EMEA VP, told the convention that social media will also replace some areas of traditional advertising, pointing out the current trend of more people connecting with brands this way than through company websites.

Ben Hughes, Global Commercial Director and Deputy CEO of The Financial Times, told the summit that 10% of digital subscriptions to the newspaper's content have come through its iPad app. He said, "Media owners need to be platform-agnostic and provide content to all channels where their customers consume it."

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