Although, I may have been one of the oldest guy at the show, I had a fantastic time at Tune's PostBack conference. Just to give you an idea of the vibe at the show, there were fantastic sessions led by important industry players combined with late night parties with a famous DJ followed by catered McDonalds Egg McMuffins and hashbrowns for all of the hungover attendees.
I was very impressed with the speakers, the panel content, and the energy around the room. It is now the second year that they've done this conference and Tune was able to pull in senior execs at Twitter, Google, and many others. It is notable that such a young company has the foresight to take the leadership position in sponsoring an industry conference focused on large issues around campaign tracking and user acquisition. In addition, to the fantastic content, I was struck with some larger trends at the show, including:
- Traditional product management is dead - just like code is written fast and released often, so to is the new form of product management. The industry has evolved to the point where technical skills combined with analytic skills really are going to become the norm at least in the mobile and online world.
- User acquisition expertise in mobile growing beyond games - What struck me was that many of the conference panelists mentioned that the expertise from many mobile games companies user acquisition techniques are just now filtering out into the larger market. I have a little bit of a gaming background and have experienced how strong game marketers are at ROI analysis. Although, I don't see the amount of money being thrown at user acquisition continuing at this rate forever, it is safe to say that there will be more knowledge proliferating out into the other verticals like Health and Fitness, News, Entertainment, etc.
- New screen, same old crap - I have some history in adtech and there always seems to be the same recurring themes regardless of the era around the need for better clarity around the placement and performance of media as well as innovating in the actual media itself. Much of the discussion was around mobile needing to do better around the standard IAB banners used in mobile today to more innovative formats including rich media and native ad formats.
Lastly, it is still early in this space. My company is at the very early stages of building in-stream performance-based advertising called Pytch. There were a ton of companies with their own take on the opportunities. When you look at the discrepancy between mobile eyeballs and ad spend - we're still in the early innings.