MATI Conference 2014 – Recap of Speakers

MATI-SummitThe Israeli MATI Conference was held on February 11, 2014. Although it had a bumpy start, with some confusion regarding the location of the venue, the conference was informative, and in some cases, inspiring. As an online marketeer, I can’t say I gained new insights; however, many of my personal theories regarding the sector were verified. As with most conferences, I also had the pleasure of meeting a myriad of interesting and inspiring individuals.

MATI stands for Marketing Ad Tech Israel. The key objective of the conference is to bring together highly professional speakers to share insights, success stories and tips on the world of marketing. On top of that, MATI held a startup competition – giving startups the opportunity to pitch in from of the conference participants. Amongst these participants were some highly influential people in the tech and marketing industry. The winner of this competition received several hours of consultation in different fields, from business development to accounting advisory.

I’ve shared some of the conference’s particularly interesting talks in a quick recap below. I promise to elaborate on the most interesting ones in next week’s posts.

A Quick Recap of MATI:

Alvin Chiang – About the Chinese Social Network Market:

Alvin-ChiangThe most interesting talk was, by far, from Alvin Chiang, who has recently been appointed as President of eNest Inc. China. Alvin’s talk concerned the Chinese Social Network Market. A real highlight was an amazing success story regarding the mobile social network, WeChat – a hybrid between WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. WeChat has gained 100 million new users in just four months. This was all thanks to a highly targeted campaign run in the Chinese New Year. I’ll publish a full post dedicated to this talk next week.



David Roman – About Creating Engaging Targeted Campaigns:
David-RomanAnother inspiring talk was by the CMO of Lenovo, David Roman. He shared his story about a successful Lenovo campaign, one which included a partnership with Ashton Kutcher. Lenovo wanted to target a younger audience with the launch of their new tablet. Ashton was used not only as the presenter of the product, but also acted as product consultant. As consultant, he helped them to design a tablet tailored for the younger generation’s needs. I’ll be elaborating on this talk by David Roman in a post being published next week.



Gavin Marshell – About Using Mobile for Increasing their on-Trade Share:

Gavin-MarshellGavin was one of the first speakers and opened the conference with a humoristic atmosphere, befitting the company he works at – SAB Miller (the beer company). Gavin is the Head of Digital Enablement at Europe, SAB Miller and he talked about the challenges his industry is facing in light of the global economic situation. Gavin talked about a decrease in the on-trade market, which relates to the sales generated by local pubs. The factor behind this is that, during an economic crisis, people swap going to the pub for social drinking at home. This makes the competition in these pubs much fiercer. On the other hand, the mobile market is growing at an incredible pace, opening up amazing new opportunities. Gavin explained how they have harnessed the power of mobiles to increase their on-trade sales. This will also be followed up with a full post next week.


Vickie Neumann – About Native Engagement:

Vickie-NeumannVickie Neumann, the president of North America 7 Digital, offered a new phrase for what we all know as content marketing. She called it ‘Native Engagement’: this refers to marketing activities which use sharing via content or any other form of online media. The key points of Native Engagement, according to Vickie, are:

  • Find a Niche, Share a Link/Post/Attribute
  • Find online media, which welcomes your content
  • Keep SEO organic (as opposed to ‘Gamed’).

Yep, pretty basic, but still, the new name is cool!


Greg Stuart – About the Amazing Opportunities in Digital Marketing:

Greg-StuartWhat I liked most about Greg Stuart, Global CEO of the Mobile and Marketing Association (MMA), was his accurate description of the online marketing world today. Greg referred to it as being at the edge of innovation on one hand, and in complete chaos on another. Anyone in the online marketing world can sympathize with this declaration. With the ever growing range of new technologies, it seems like a dedicated person is needed simply for testing new marketing channels.




Hanan Laschover – About the Current Reach of Online TV:

Hanan-LaschoverHanan Laschover, CEO of AOL Israel, more or less gave a presentation about AOL. It’s a shame that the presentation masqueraded as one big advert. If you were able to cut through the self-promotion, you got a pretty interesting presentation which B2C businesses could learn a lot from. In short, to get the idea behind the advertising possibilities in online TV, you should think about TV when it first started. Areas to consider include: audience appreciation, highly advanced technologies, huge reach and relatively low rates (at least for now). Hanan, word of advice – next time talk more about the idea and less about AOL! Your audience is smart enough to connect the dots.


James Spahn – About Video Streaming in Asia:

James-SpahnJames Spahn from NicoNico, a Japanese video streaming company. James talked about monetization updates they’re implementing in their system and how it’s super relevant to Western advertisers. The Japanese, and other Asian markets, are untapped territories and a desired frontier by many companies. However, there aren’t many companies willing to take the next step and start publishing in these markets. It seems like a difficult market to crack and so it remains a contingency plan. James revealed, to us, at least one option that is easy to reach and engage with.



Carl Fremont – About the Connection Between Technology and Marketing:

Carl-FremontCarl Fremont, Chief Digital Officer at MEC, gave a great presentation about the importance of brand managers and online marketeers getting familiar with technology. As far as Carl is concerned, technology and marketing are almost synonymous in this era: “There’s a great amount of available data and we need to decide how to best use it and personalize it”. This actually reminds me of my post about turning your online marketing clients into a personal friend. I’ll expand more on Carl’s talk in a post next week.



Mitch Stoller – About B2B Marketing:

Mitch-StollerNow this is something I’ve been looking forward to for the entire conference. B2B marketing is so different than B2C and there isn’t enough material about it out there. I was eager to hear what Mitch Stoller, founder of Group SJR (WPP), had to say. Unfortunately, other than pointing out it’s a difficult field, he didn’t give any substantial input.




Menachem Sallinas – About the Future of Ads on Facebook:

Menachem-SallinasMenachem Sallian, SVP of Matomy, gave a very charismatic talk about the future of ads on Facebook. Menachem discussed how Facebook is eating in Twitter’s territory with their Newsfeed and their hashtags. He also highlighted the power that Facebook is gaining through mobile traffic. Menachem claims that, within the next few years, Facebook will revolutionize the online advertising world – much in the same way that Google did 10 years ago. I’ll include some of Menachem’s predictions and insights in a post next week.



There were a couple of speakers I’ve missed, but, thankfully, the whole thing was video recorded. I’ll be catching up on them at MATI’s website.

About the Author -

Natalie Halimi is the Head of Marketing Communications & Education at SimilarWeb. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, Natalie has promoted services and products in the B2C and B2B arenas, in various industries.

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