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“Rich Media Rocks 2012” by Microsoft in Delhi, India

Rich Media ads or interactive ads, which after the advent of  “Permission Marketing” theories, and Google’s hyper emphasis on unobtrusive advertisement had made it   a bad word for content on internet. A simple, clean and clear-cut presentation became recipe of acceptance for visitors, publishers and advertising platform providers. A good presentation on a page should meet all the three goals: the goal of the visitor , the goal of the publisher and the goal of the advertiser. A publisher should neither provide content solely for Visitors, who are selfish enough to leave the moment their goal is met, nor for the advertisers alone who would benefit mostly from interruption and turn the visitors off. Somebody has aptly described a path between Permission and Interruption as Intermission, which provides a refreshing break which is beneficial for all. So, rich media has actually room in the sphere of Good User experience. Microsoft sponsored conference on March, 1st, 2012 was to spread this sort of awareness among Marketers and Advertisers.
Nivelle Taraporewalla, the opener, claimed he was under-prepared and offered some unquestionable insights. His observation that web has moved beyond desktops to many new devices and applications of which TV too would become a part of it, raised no questions. A country Director of a company like Microsoft seldom offers views which even remotely touches the borderline of debatable topics. Should they drop a hint and people start reading between the lines. So, his presentation was more to do with his position rather than his unpreparedness.
Pushkar Sane, was the next speaker . His view on why you shouldn’t interrupt Facebook friends, with blunt marketing pitches, sounded convincing. He coined “Friends or Facends!” to demonstrate how relationship may sour because of insensivity, which touched the nerve of the audience. He elaborated it with many examples, how taking things for granted, may harm you in the long run. I overheard many people praising him during lunch time. I myself acknowledge such speakers leave everlasting impression on audience.
Trevor Yeats talked about Microsoft products as was expected of him. His presentation was very well prepared and appeared flawless. People asked him many questions and it appeared like the audience had warmed up by then and a momentum was set in. I asked him, why Microsoft sells its Banner ads through direct sales unlike Google which anybody can target through auction bid, from right inside the adwords dashboard. He answered, that it has something to do with Google’s focus on Search and Microsoft’s on Portals, though its a notable point. 
Farshad Family shared his insights on web tracking and how facebook cookies and other related means are used by Neilson’s tracking software to successfully predict the demographics and consumer behavior. He was demonstrating how this software is capable of improving the targeting of ads and how they boost the ROI. It was an interesting session.
After break John Paul Stift and Andrew Young, both from Microsoft presented useful insights, on purchase behavior, attracting through creating experience, converting interest into action and fostering long lasting advocacy. One of them, I don’t remember exactly, claimed a very high level of CTR through rich media engagement.
Oded Lida Greiss shared his own experiences and success with Rich media campaigns. He impressed everyone with his case study on trappers, whose campaign he himself had created. He shared how this campaign turned viral and drove sales and traffic astronomically. A large part of his presentation, the visuals, were non-english. People talked to him about cost of such campaigns and cost effectiveness, because they appeared to be very unique, a kind of their own. He replied, such costs are “redundant” compared to the cost incurred on purchase of the ad slot itself. A diplomatic sort of answer!
After that there was a lucky draw of visiting cards for Xbox 360. I had given them my name written on a piece of paper. When they picked one, it was a Lucky Piece of paper, but it was announced that it had the name of a Microsoft Employee (undisclosed) on it and hence disqualified. They announced another winner. Well, I had given them my name on a piece of paper and it appears the wise people of Microsoft thought, its uniqueness must be diluted by introducing more “piece of papers”. I suspect it must be the mind of Trevor Yeats, who had announced that “People are very enthusiastic about the Lucky Draw”, soon after I gave my “piece of paper” at the reception. Anyway, I just wanted to participate, and am happy I did.

(P.S-----> I have relied upon my own note and memory on what the above mentioned people have said. I checked for videos and other sources, which were not available at the time. Many things may not be accurate or may even have quotation shift error . Fans and followers of them need to take no offence, I would be glad to correct myself. I was the first to publish it, and there are many resources available now on the web. Some of the speakers are publishing it on their own too. )
Also See:
Google Engage Partner Meet Up & Google Adwords Display ...

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