The iMedia Next Wave Award Ceremony and Dinner was the final event of over three days of inspiring presentations, discussions, and powerful networking at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit. This forward-looking event focused on the technologies, companies, and individuals driving innovation and growth within the marketing industry. The award ceremony and dinner, which honored four groundbreaking companies from the categories of data, analytics, and performance, was the perfect way to conclude the event.
With help from the Digital Media Review, the iMedia advisory board narrowed the field down to four top competitors. Representatives from each company pitched their solutions to summit attendees whom voted live during the event via mobile phones. After the votes were tallied, one company took the top spot in the closest Next Wave Challenge to date. Winning by just three votes, media technology company Sticky reigned supreme. Here's a look at the winner and the three innovative startups that are helping to take marketing efforts to the next level.
Media technology company Sticky provides a platform that lets brands and agencies know which ads in a campaign are really seen and which ones consumers overlook. This has great potential given the major lack of viewability online. The company goes beyond determining whether ads were served and rendered on the screen to identify the ads that were actually seen by user's eyes. To do so, Sticky employs eye tracking technology that monitors consumers' eye movements to prove what ads were viewed. Furthermore, the technology tracks the number of ad impressions seen per thousand, determining the real price tag of seen ad placements. As a result, marketers can finally move away from the click-through rate and optimize their branded campaigns with reliable data.
Social media analytics company awe.sm has the technology to measure how social engagement connects not just to traffic, but ultimately to real results on a per-post basis. In other words, marketers can stop bumbling through awkward presentations on social media's "value" because awe.sm provides the tool to determine the exact value of each tweet or Facebook post in real business terms. Because marketers needed to harness the power of awe.sm's technology (technology previously geared toward developers), awe.sm launched "awe.sm for marketers" to deal with a number of industry pain points; most notably, the lack of a social measurement tool to translate data into tangible results. Demonstrating social media ROI is crucial for marketers, and this is exactly what the company hopes to help them do.
Mobile ad company Qriously increases the relevancy of mobile ads by serving in-app questions to smartphone users. Then, Qriously displays ads to them based on the answers. With the company's "AdVox" vision for mobile marketing, it has pioneered a new channel of targeting, aptly named "Opinion Targeting." This solution allows consumers to self-target by answering questions that ask for their opinions. Using these opinions, the company discovers intent and serves up ads that match this intent. Once the connection between intent and relevant ad is made, AdVox retargets consumers while respecting their mobile privacy. By allowing users to self-select the ad, which increases relevancy while involving the user in the advertising process, the company helps increase engagement.
Finalist: SET Media
Video technology company SET Media allows marketers to buy digital video with the same clarity and ease of TV buying, where advertisers know exactly what they will get. More specifically, the company uses computer vision to "watch" every online video to accurately determine the video's content, which enables marketers to run ads on videos that are most relevant to their brand. For example, if advertisers need to run ads on soccer videos featuring a certain player, SET identifies and delivers those videos at scale. In addition, the company provides reporting that gives insight into campaign metrics and real-time performance.