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  • Lou Killeffer

2018 IAB Mobile & Data Symposium

Last week I joined hundreds at Convene on Park Avenue in Manhattan for the IAB’s 2018 Data & Mobile Symposium, subtitled How Data Fuels the Direct Brand Economy and the “Mobile Always” Consumer Experience.

Founded in 1996, with offices in New York, Washington, DC and San Francisco, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) serves the media and marketing industries as they've evolved within and increasingly drive our digital economy. Its members include more than 650 of the leading media and tech firms engaged in selling, delivering, and optimizing digital marketing campaigns.

The IAB does a number of things very well: fielding significant research, educating businesses and brands on digital marketing, developing tech standards and best practices, and promoting public policy. They’re particularly good stewards of a dynamic industry through their continuing and intelligent points-of-view on an array of critical issues, from ad blocking to programmatic buying.

This year’s Symposium, sponsored by a slew of companies and featuring premier sponsor IBM Watson Advertising, brought together a who’s who of digital executives discussing how marketers use data to enhance the consumer experience while actually achieving the holy grail - delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.

A highlight of the day was the presentation of “The State of Data 2018,” a study showing a dramatic increase in spending on third-party, audience data for advertising and marketing. This year, US companies will spend almost $19.2 billion on the acquisition of audience data and the various solutions to manage, process, and analyze it - a whopping (+) 17.5% above last year.

Indeed, for the first time in history, in 2018 marketers will spend more on digital data assets than on traditional, so called, “terrestrial” data. The rise of programmatic advertising, and a substantial wave of pre-investment in anticipation of looming data protection and privacy regulations, are the key accelerants to these dynamics.

Net, things are moving more and more quickly, there's an awful lot going on behind your screen, and yes, a fair amount to still unpack...2019 promises to be quite exciting. If you'd like to start getting ready now you'll find the complete study here.

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