What are they next big changes for advertising, including data usage? How do you reach consumers?

A panel discussion at The TimesCenter during the first full day of the INMA World Congress — entitled “Inside the Mind of Madison Avenue: What's Coming Next?” — started with advertising as a whole, and what state it’s in with relation to reaching out to consumers and providing exactly what they want.

“I don’t think advertising is dead,” Andrew Essex, vice chairman of Droga5, said. “I think bad advertising is dead.”

This discussion of good versus bad advertising led into talk of relevancy of advertising in the world around us, as well as judging the reach and effectiveness of advertising to many different groups of consumers.

“I think we’re far from the day when we’re not marketing products to people all over the world,” Kimberly Kadlec, president of Starcom MediaVest Group, said.

Kadlec explained ways to track consumers and how to decide whether the consumer is simply going out and buying the product, or whether they are actually engaging with it and passing it along, adding the concept of shareability within advertising.

Anand Pandya, senior vice president and group director of strategy at ZenithOptimedia, feels that trying to reach the consumer is an issue that many have still not been able to grasp.

“I still think personally that it’s a puzzle that hasn’t been solved,” Pandya said.

One major component of trying to understand consumer behaviour and reachability is data. Essex noted data is being used to find better insights to help tailor work, instead of just using data to justify results.

Kadlec resonated the sentiment by showing the many layers of data, including simply measuring clicks and likes, all the way to the importance of knowing how the consumer interacts with a product.

“Data has become more and more important for every industry — not just the news industry,” Kadlec said.

Another side of the conversation is how to improve advertising for the consumer and where funds are allocated to help aid in that area: “How do you take those dollars and spread them in the right way?” Dave Penski, chief commercial officer for VivaKi Exchange Global, asked.

Penski discussed how to manage your advertisements to get the best reach possible to your consumers. He advised finding sustainable methods and making sure advertising doesn’t spread too wide and thin by getting involved with every new platform and method possible.

This slow spreading of advertising, however, all comes with one exception: “You guys have to figure out how to create more video,” Penski said.

With the discussion of the many aspects of advertising, what works, how to gauge it with the audience, and what the future holds for advertisers and methods, Pandya suggested one main approach to reaching the consumers.

“What is it that drives people?” Pandya asked. “It’s emotion, and it’s finding that emotional hook.”