Social Data Drives Creative, Technology Amplifies – Key Takeaways from IAB’s MIXX Canada Conference

This post was written by my colleague Laura Muirhead and originally appeared on the DDB Canada Blog. Thanks to the IAB Canada for providing Lura with a media pass to attend MIXX.


Tell a room full of marketers that “We are in the midst of a Digital Revolution,” and you’d expect to see some eyes roll. But not at IAB Canada’s MIXX conference, which I attended today on behalf of Tribal DDB Canada. Attendees here were looking for proven ways to harness the digital advertising space to stay ahead of the curve as the space continues to grow so quickly. And, as I sift through the influx of #mixxcanada tweets, today’s conference accomplished exactly that. Below are my key takeaways from this year’s MIXX.

The Power of Social Data

Keynote speaker Terence Kawaja from Luma Partners drove home the importance of data-driven advertising, or as he called it “science-ified” media. To Kawaja, we’ve entered an era of personalized consumer choice moving at the fastest speed the world’s ever seen, reminding us advertisers that we face real-time push content delivery and, more importantly, discovery. So, capturing data from those resulting conversations from your digital creative and learning what else is important to your target consumer enables better, forward-thinking marketing decisions. After all, as keynote Sarah Thompson from Networked Insights pointed out, you can’t get be on the cutting edge if everyone’s using the same data.

Nussar Ahmad from social targeting company Addictive Mobility says they scan 9 million tweets per hour in order to serve up contextually relevant in-app ads on behalf of its advertisers. Why bother to go to such lengths? Thompson would argue it’s because social data informs. Social data identifies new or hidden audience segments to target. Social data helps us optimize our clients’ media buys and makes them more efficient. And most importantly, it helps us determine consumer intent.

Marketers can’t afford to ignore the potential and power of 2 billion social interactions per month and the resulting data these interactions can generate. Take a look at how Luma Partners maps the companies who are already taking advantage.

Canadians Love Our Online Video

In what was easily the best presentation of the day, the Managing Director of Digital Media Strategy for Google (Americas), Eileen Naughton, shared some staggering statistics about our YouTube usage:

  • 55% of Canadians have a social profile, 89% are watching online video
  • Canadians are watching 19 hours of YouTube videos per person, per month
  • 30% of YouTube viewers share videos with friends
  • 400 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute
  • 150 years of YouTube video is viewed on Facebook daily
  • 6 billion videos are watched each month globally

Yet, as TidalTV’s Mark McKee pointed out in his presentation, only 2% of the industry’s digital advertising spend (approx $50 million) is in online video. TidalTV was one of a few companies at MIXX who are trying to change that. In fact, Mark shared some new technologies that digital advertisers can take advantage of, including enhanced pre-roll ads where utilizing an ‘Add to Calendar’ overlay to your video actionizes what you’re promoting. Meaning, if you’re promoting a new TV show, in one click, a viewer can add the date and time of the show’s premiere to whichever calendar they use. The lesson here – Canadians are leading the space in online video consumption, so make the experience worth our while

The overarching theme of today was that the purported  “Digital Revolution” was more like “Digital Revelation” for many attendees. Goodbye are the days of following the leader. Instead, say hello to the power of entertaining, informing and providing real utility to your digital audience.

See you next year, MIXX!


Laura Muirhead is a Community Cultivation Manager at Tribal DDB Toronto. She can be found on Twitter as @lauraroni.

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