KATANA Attends Interactive Day 2018: A Recap

"picture of a crowd of heads with speech bubbles hovering from their heads to show thoughts about programmatic"

On May 18th, Katana team members attended Interactive Day in San Diego, an annual conference that brings professionals in the digital marketing and advertising industry together to present creative ways they’re leveraging technology and art to improve their brand or client’s profits and lifetime value.

Executives from tech companies and agencies across the country, even Olympic athletes,  came together to discuss the state of the digital marketing industry today, as well as it’s future. A few of these companies include Facebook, Google, GoPro, MJD, Mirum and many more. The conference was split into four tracks: Influence, Intelligence, Innovative, and Inspire. There were four breakout sessions in each track and attendees had the option to listen to one of four talks each hour. The sessions took place at various downtown business and agency locations, with J Street being the central hub for attendees to talk to sponsors, win prizes and try some alcoholic Kombucha by BoochCraft! Some notable speakers include Josh Higgins, Creative Director at Facebook, Cherry Park, Senior Director of Marketing at Qualcomm and Jenny Thomassian, Head of Industry at Google.    

“Brandon Farbstein speaking at Interactive Day”

After some much needed Cafe Moto coffee and oatmeal courtesy of Brekki, the conference kicked off in the historic Balboa Theatre in Horton Plaza with keynote speaker Brandon Farbstein. An internationally recognized speaker at the young age of 18, he gave an inspiring talk about how empowering people is the ultimate way to influence them, sound advice not just for individuals, but for brands and agencies alike.

Shortly after the inspiring keynote, a bus transported us to our breakout sessions. The different tracks at IDSD represented different aspects of digital marketing. Influence was focused on “influencer marketing” and how culture-defining figures can be a powerful tool for marketing a product or service. Innovative track encompassed the unconventional or out-of-the-box ways to reach the desired solution, whether that be for personal career goals or agency goals. Intelligence track centered on how new technologies such as A.I., VR, AR and digital assistants will change the brand experience, and therefore the role of the marketer and agency. Finally, Inspire track gave attendees tips for more creative media campaigns. Here KATANA’s highlights from a handful of the breakout sessions:

"Listed Tracks for Interactive Day: Influence, Intelligence, Inspire, Innovate, and Speakeasy"

  • Brands should prioritize consistent, and strong imagery for their advertisements and creative output. This is because strong imagery can affect emotion, which can lead to action. Interestingly enough, brand imagery usually is not top-of-mind for major companies. This is a problem because it can can affect organizations in a positive way. It’s important to note, however, that much more creativity exists within text shapes and colors in branding than just images. (Punks Not Dead, Josh Higgins, Facebook)   
  • Assistance is a big part of Google’s role as a search engine. There are three current trends within assistance that Google has observed: Curious, Demanding and Impatient. Within Impatient, Google will be taking mobile site loading time into account when determining their organic search rank beginning in July. This will make mobile optimization more important than ever. (Growth in the Age of Assistance, Jenny Thomassian, Google)
  • A.I. has the capacity to gather viewer data, i.e. views, watch time, tune out time, etc.  from videos and custom curate highly engaging content from these inputs. (Dylan Whitman, Cherry Parks, Mark Newcomer & Jeremy Duimstra)
  • AR will become mainstream sooner than VR. VR will become the mainstream long term, once they make the gear less clunky and large, and cut down costs. (Dylan Whitman, Cherry Parks, Mark Newcomer & Jeremy Duimstra)
  • By 2020 the customer experience will overtake and product as the key brand differentiator. In fact, 86% of buyers don’t really mind paying a premium price for a better customer experience. (Attribution Game Changers, Dean McClearn – MNI Targeted Media).


"Thought Leaders from Mirum, Qualcomm, and MJD at Interactive Day Speaking"
Pictured Left to Right: Cherry Park of Qualcomm, Mark Newcomer of Mirum, and Jeremy Duimstra of MJD

What we loved:

IDSD was a great way for the KATANA team to network and be immersed in the vibrant advertising and marketing community in San Diego. It was also interesting to discuss similar challenges and different approaches other firms are having with their business. The organization of the conference was overall efficient and ran smoothly.

What we’d like to see next year:

We would love to have some hands-on workshops that can provide actionable items and strategies that attendees can walk away with at the end of the conference.

"Facebook Jenga at Interactive Day"

This year’s conference lived up the title: Collide with Tomorrow, with future-oriented insights as to how the digital marketing industry will change in the next 2-3 years. KATANA looks forward to attending next year’s conference!

Interested to see how KATANA utilizes next-generation technologies to deliver high-impact, profitable media campaigns? Contact at us at letstalk@katana.media and follow our blog on https://medium.com/katana-media