What We Learned | A Visit to iCEE.fest



Last week Team EasyPlatform visited iCEE.fest 2017, the largest gathering of marketing professionals in Romania. With over 3,000 attendees it’s seen as the place to be if you’re in the digital marketing business in Eastern Europe. As a service for those that couldn’t attend, we decided to collect the most interesting content, thoughts and opinions that we heard over the course of the event.

While the presentations ranged from eCommerce to Augmented Reality there were a few ideas commonly represented across the event.

Attribution seems to be the 2017 most important topic for eCommerce


The current complexity of channels, touch-points, and advertising formats have generated tones of data. Making sense of that information across the consumer journey is the key to maintaining and growing relationships. We heard of brands using different marketing channels in innovative ways to attract and engage customers. Whether it is customer acquisition or shoppers retargeting, the role of the technology now is to improve and enhance how customers interact with your brand and what is the exact attribution for each channel. Without adequate cross-device and omni-channel measurement tools, we lose valuable insight and understanding of what is meaningful to our customers.

We haven’t hit Programmatic peak yet


While much of the event focused on the challenges posed by today’s fragmented and inconsistent programmatic ecosystem, there’s still opportunity and efficiencies to be found across the spectrum. We learned that mobile programmatic is still in its infancy, programmatic direct is the preferred form of advertising for big brands and that targeting continues to get more relevant and specific. Advertising platforms put efforts on fraud identification and prevention as well as brand safety.

Ad filtering


There were several panels with the participation of big European and US publishers, discussing the future of ad blocking and the ways each of them manages the rising share of users not accepting ads. Most of the big publishers seek the problem in themselves and try to make things better, try to improve the user experience and track the blocking stats in order to gain insights whether they are doing well enough. There was a lot of conversation about how to best convince consumers to white list a website and how to make better ads and design a website with acceptable ads quantity and quality. Native advertising is an obvious answer to the challenge of relevance and ad-blindness. The upcoming Chrome ad filtering (on a browser level) is something publishers are afraid of and remains a mystery.

Digital and TV work together


It has become obvious that everything is now digital. We learned that the idea of TV shouldn’t be considered the primary driver of audience engagement. Now the primary goal is to create content that is relevant and meaningful and find the best distribution for that content. TV then becomes just one of many distribution points, just as social becomes just one of many measurement criteria.

What’s Next: VR and AR


The future lies in these technology - at least that was the idea of many of the presentations during the fest. There were many examples of creative ways to interact with brands and products. Many of them are reasonably easy to implement and execute, so we expect to see more and more brands using them in their communications in the near future.

Overall we found the conference to be an outstanding forum for idea generation and networking, definitely a worthwhile investment!