In the center of the CBD on March 12 and 13th, hundreds of marketers and the leaders of major companies gathered at Sydney’s premium event at The Hilton Sydney to ‘Learn, Network, Play’ with Google, IBM, Linkedin and more.

What is Ad:tech?

Ad:tech is a valuable chance for marketers to be a part of their three core pillars of learn, network, play. Some of the smartest in the digital world are in attendance for this annual event. Topics range from discussing changing trends to the latest tactics in digital marketing. Attendees gained access to unparalleled speakers and exhibitions, making the event one of a kind in the Sydney area.

Day One

A major topic that showed popularity throughout the two days appeared to be relevancy. It was first brought into discussion on Day 1 during Tom Goodwin’s keynote “How To Reimagine Marketing”.

Goodwin, Head of Innovation at Zenith, preached connecting with consumers is more about being relevant than it is about personalizing and tailoring to each individual. The right message, at the right time, to the right person is key. 

He argued the principles to advertising have not changed throughout the years. “We should be curious about technology and obsessed with people,” Goodwin said. He also went on to add that empathy is a vital component to connecting with those interested in your brand.

An ‘Agile’ Mindset

IBM’s Head of Marketing, Mari Kauppinen was a crowd favorite as well. The main takeaway from her was about agility. She embedded into the audience’s mind the idea that being agile is more than a process, but a mindset. 

“Take risks and correct as you learn with ongoing feedback,” Kauppinen said. “Effective transformations come from both long-term strategy and short-term actions.” 

She also added that setting key roles and respecting all voices from the team will help to be open to all ideas from the workplace. 

Kauppinen went on to say data alone is not enough and can be misleading. Too many companies focus only on data and it is important to understand a client’s voice and their end to end journey. 

The Head of Marketing at IBM concluded with a quote from Carol S Dweck, “No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”

Ad:tech Day Two

On the second day of the event, a panel titled “Executing The Big Idea In Data Driven Media” drew quite the crowd. Ricky Chanana, the Managing Director ANZ at Unruly, engaged panelists:

Key insights included augmented reality currently being a huge player in the marketing world.  

The panelists shared their thoughts on ‘the bigger picture’ of a brand being most important. To be successful in your workplace and company it is essential to not get distracted by ‘small movements’ too many troubled businesses steer towards. 

Not being blinded by your daily dashboard (i.e. likes, tweets, shares) is key to brands winning.

Couldn’t make the event this year?  Check out our twitter and instagram pages for other key insights from Ad:tech Sydney 2019. Stay tuned to the Ad:tech website for highlights to be posted as well.


Jackie Goodwin is a Boston University student and Marketing Intern at North Sydney Innovation Network. Twitter/Instagram: @jgoodwin411 / Facebook: Jackie Goodwin