The past couple days I’ve been in Orlando attending the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual conference. Oddpodz was invited to be apart of a special program called The Long Tail. This segment featured a handful of small niche publishers. The Long Tail companies showcased their important role in the future of the exploding interactive media world.

The conference included many inspirational speakers like Michael Mendenhall, Chief Marketing Officer from Hewlett-Packard, Wenda Harris Millard, President of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Jack Myers, innovation and media consultant.

While the conference attendees were mostly from large companies, I gained a lot of insight about where the industry is going and how all of this will impact all businesses, large and small. In fact, other than scale of budget and resources, the issues applied to any size company.

Here’s my take away.

1) Even in these challenging times, online and interactive media continues to grow, in fact, it exceeds all other media.

2) Stop dwelling on that “R” word that we’ve all heard too much recently. Instead, put energy and resources on: renew, refresh, rethink and innovate.

3) Speed kills if you don’t have it.

4) Interactive advertising is the art and science of persuasion and participation. Using only analytic tools is like treating heart problems with a single aspirin. Not recommended.

5) There is no need to choose between direct marketing and branding strategies. Interactive is an “And” world. Effective and compelling campaigns balance both.

6) Advertising should not interrupt, but be an on going conversation.

7) Don’t hide behind math and science of online. Creative is needed fuel for success.

8) Brands are good for brands. Work together.

9) Brands are not static logos, but moving, living sums of values, products and experiences.

10) The only thing that is certain about interactive media, it is change, embrace it.

On the topic of earning advertising when your site is small and growing.
Oddpodz just engaged Adspeed to run our ad operations. We’ve had their ad server installed for a while, but had no one to leverage it. If you are looking at ad servers, I recommend checking them out. It has lots of great features and is build with the small business in mind, it’s user-friendly and affordable. And if you are like Oddpodz and have a shortage of staff to manage ads, Adspeed will let you contract out the full management of those duties, so you can focus on other parts of growing your business.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 400 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising.