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The Bridge Between Data and Humanity: The CM Summit 2013 Agenda Is Live!

Posted on March 24, 2013

Today we’re announcing the initial agenda for the 2013 CM Summit, a program we’ve been working on for more than six months. We announced the theme four months ago, and since then we’ve been busy putting together all the puzzle pieces. I think what we’ve come up with is outstanding.

Before I go into some of the sessions, some background. The CM Summit is known for a few longstanding elements. First is the aforementioned theme: a topic that frames our dialog and attempts to elucidate the defining issues of the year. For 2013, that theme is “Parting the Clouds: Bridging Data and Humanity.” Given that the Summit always serves brands, whether publishers or marketers, this year’s theme may feel a bit technical. But after countless conversations with colleagues in our industry, I’ve come to a very clear conclusion: Brand marketing is colliding with the data-driven buying practices known as programmatic adtech. It’s time to bridge the conversation.

On one side of this dialog is what we might call the traditional media world – content creators, media executives, brand managers. And on the other side are the quants – the entrepreneurs and rocket scientists who’ve built out the rather confusing (yet thrilling) world encapsulated in Terry Kawaja’s Lumascapes (yes, Terry is speaking). The goal of this year’s CM Summit is to bring the two sides together.

And it can’t happen soon enough. Turns out, the two sides are – how shall I say it – a bit skeptical of each other’s motivations. The programmatic adtech folk view brand marketers as old fashioned and entitled - ignorant to the true value of data-driven marketing practices. And the brand guys feel the adtech set have a tin ear - they're trying to automate a craft that depends on human insights for its inspiration and its success. Yet both know they need each other.

This tension was in full evidence at last months’ IAB annual leadership meeting – for the first time the attendees came as much from the adtech world as from traditional publishers and marketers. My informal audit of the crowd left me wondering if the two sides will ever find a common language. 

We’re going to give it a try at this year’s Summit. As you can see from the speaker lineup, we’ve got quite the murderers' row of adtech executives. CEOs and CROs from Acxiom, Media6Degrees, LiveRamp, Mediaocean,, Krux, OpenX, AppNexus, Turn, Evidon, Datalogix, RocketFuel, and Quantcast, to name just a few. We’ll mix those leaders with CMOs and senior marketers from Sony, InterPublic, Starcom Mediavest Group, GoDaddy, Adobe, and more.

Then we'll add executives from the major platforms: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Salesforce and FMP. Add a dash of publishers and pundits – Luma, Buzzfeed, - toss a few curveballs from Aereo and the halls of MIT – and you’ve got yourself quite a conversation.

The CM Summit is known for its rapid fire case studies and “high order bits,” where presenters are asked to push their best thinking into a small box of just ten minutes each. Longer conversations provide interludes to the program flow. We’ll be opening the program with noted New York investor Fred Wilson, who has backed some of the most interesting and successful data-driven yet human-facing startups of the past decade – including Twitter, Etsy, Kickstarter, and Tumblr. Fred is always candid and willing to push traditional thinking, it was in an interview with me in 2010 that he called Facebook “a glorified photo app,” for instance. He’s got an eye for trends, and many of his most promising investments are busy re-imagining the world of marketing, media, and commerce. It’ll be a perfect start to the day.

In between we’ll be discussing topics such as “The Modern AdTech Company: Can It Speak Brand?” and “Putting Data to Work Online.” We’ll hear in depth conversations with the CMOs of Adobe and Yahoo, as well as the CEO of television disruptor Aereo. And we’ll end the day with Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest – one of Ben’s first ever public interviews.

Day two opens with the man behind Google’s adtech strategy, and moves through high order bits from fascinating new startups to watch, including HealthLoop and RebelMouse. After a conversation about the future of data-driven brand marketing, we’ll end with a dialog between two of the most powerful women in the agency world – Jacki Kelly, CEO North American of IPG Mediabrands, and Amanda Richman, President of Starcom MediaVest Group. These two usually battle each other to win the business of clients like Pepsi, GM, and P&G – but this day, they’ll set aside their differences to discuss the future of the modern media agency.

That’s just a sampling of the two days we’ve got in store for you at this year’s CM Summit. I hope you’ll enjoy attending as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together for you. Register now, and I’ll see you there!

Media Partners:
Internet Week NY