SoDA Touts Best Digital and Marketing Practices at Moscow Conference

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Russian Internet Week (RIW), one of the top internet-focused events held in Russia, invited the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) to kick off its October 2009 conference with views on the global state of the digital marketing and communications industry. SoDA shared industry trends, correlations, and insights gathered from its international member base spanning five continents.

Our industry is on the leading edge of a huge, inevitable wave of change. It's a wave that is crashing onto the traditional bastions of 20th and even early 21st century advertising all around the world

Russian Internet Week (RIW), one of the top internet-focused events held in Russia, invited the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) to kick off its October 2009 conference with views on the global state of the digital marketing and communications industry. SoDA shared industry trends, correlations, and insights gathered from its international member base spanning five continents.

SoDA attended RIW at the invitation of Moscow-based digital advertising agency GRAPE, which presented separately on the topic of social media marketing.

Tony Quin, CEO of IQ Interactive and a SoDA board member, represented SoDA at the conference. Quin gave an in-depth presentation on how a recession can positively affect a brand's ability to catch up with its audience. He then dovetailed into an explanation of how the same economic downturn is affecting the accelerated shift to digital media.
"Our industry is on the leading edge of a huge, inevitable wave of change. It's a wave that is crashing onto the traditional bastions of 20th and even early 21st century advertising all around the world," stated Quin.

Using video case studies, Quin showcased the creative work of SoDA member agencies and the trends now seen across the various avenues of digital marketing that will allow for agencies to flourish in 2010. Among the applications and technologies he cited were creative uses of back end technology; innovative user experiences, and simply, "understanding the competition and being better than anyone else who's doing what you're doing--whether it's through technology or the creative--or, even better, both."

Before returning home, Quin took time to meet and connect with a variety of Russian agencies. He observed that there are numerous commonalities between U.S. agencies and those he visited. He listened to issues, problems, and challenges that resemble those he faces at his own agency such as the need for standard tools to measure success metrics; more clarity on legal issues surrounding digital media use; and the struggle to keep pace with technology and outsourcing to specialists and digital producers. Many of the international attendees added that, like their U.S. counterparts, they were tired of giving away strategy and creative in order to win accounts and production dollars.

Despite the world economy, there was strong attendance at the conference, both in person and via computer. Russian media carried live coverage of the event during its prime time news.
"Russian businesses and agencies are very interested in learning how to reach consumers through online media because, unlike some parts of the world, we're still only seeing the tip of the iceberg here as far as internet use goes," said Quin.

According to eMarketer, 41 million online users in Russia had access to the internet in May of 2008, making the country the 8th largest online population in the world. This number represents 30% of the country's population and is projected to grow to 61.9 million by 2013, compared to 227 million US online users representing 74% of the US population.

"As Russia continues to increase its adoption rate, it makes sense to apply experience and learnings from the U.S. and other markets to Russian digital marketing. Our messages really resonated with attendees," said Quin. He concluded that the internet marketing communication industry continues to evolve and, more than ever, will be closely intertwined internationally.
Pictures and more information of Tony Quin's trip can be found on his blog post here: http://sodaspeaks.ning.com/profiles/blogs/from-russia-with-love-soda-at

About SoDA
The Society of Digital Agencies is the voice of digital marketing professionals with a mission to advance the industry through best practices, education, and advocacy. SoDA is a non-profit industry organization with Adobe Systems as its founding sponsor.
For more information about SoDA visit http://www.societyofdigitalagencies.com or join the conversation at http://www.sodaspeaks.ning.com

CONTACT:
Kendyll Picard
SoDA Communications Coordinator
727.967.9342

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