The ad:tech San Francisco 2012 conference kicked off with a special surprise guest. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee showed up at the conference and gave the opening welcome remarks to get the party started at Moscone West this morning! He wants to work to make San Francisco better through innovation!
Immediate after the mayor left the podium, Lisa Utzschneider, VP of global advertising sales at Amazon, took the stage to give the first keynote. Her theme? "It's Day 1 for advertising," which was an echo of Jeff Bezos's famous 1997 declaration that "It's Day 1 for the Internet." She shared the legacy story of how Bezos started Amazon while analyzing data and crunching numbers. After looking at the growth of the Internet and deciding books would make for a good foray into the online frontier, he quit his Wall Street job and started the company we all know and love as Amazon.
Utzschneider talked about the importance of the consumer and personalization, which are the backbone of Amazon’s success. Amazon is relatively new to the advertising game itself. When the e-commerce giant started running ads about 6 years ago, they only introduced five static ads, all of which were below the fold.
But since then, the company’s advertising has grown. Now Amazon has worked with many brands to spread their messages. Lisa gave numerous examples of this—from a Lorax movie blitz by Universal Studios to Ubisoft’s Just Dance game —and shared statistics on how they helped increase unaided awareness.
The jury is in. Online advertising isn’t just for point of purchase, brands can count on their campaigns to help at the consideration stage and awareness point. Online ads are moving up the funnel.
The keynote also included remarks from Neil Lindsay, VP of marketing for Kindle. He shared a Charlie Rose video segment of Jeff Bezos. Bezos was talking about how instead of putting 30 percent of energy into product development and 70 percent into marketing, Amazon flipped that model on its head and did the reverse.
As you know, Amazon does very little marketing – you were very unlikely to see a TV ad for Amazon from 2002 to 2009. During that time, the company focused on expanding its product offerings (can you say hardware like the Kindle and Kindle Fire?) and luring users to things like Prime. And the company would rather spend on making a better user experience and growing through word of mouth.
Now attendees are looking forward to Terry Kawaja's keynote after lunch!