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Advertising Week: Innovation and Leveraging the Power of Social Media
CNBC.com | October 05, 2011 | 10:39 AM EDT

I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the annual Advertising Week conference of six "masters of monetization," as Ad Week called them.

The group spanned the digital spectrum, from social and mobile to local: Tom Arrix runs sales at Facebook, Mike Gamson, LinkedIn's VP of Global Sales, Lee Brown, SVP of Sales from Groupon, Maria Mandel, VP Marketing and Media Innovation at AT+T Ad Works, Andy Wiedlin, BuzzFeed's chief Revenue Officer and Taylor Gray, who until a few weeks ago was VP of Marketing and Social Media Strategy at Huffington Post Media Group.

Despite volatile financial markets and the slowdown in overall advertising growth, the mood on the panel could not have been more bullish. The economic downturn actually seems to be helping these companies. AT+T's Mandel said that clients are more desperate than ever for targeted messaging and quantifiable results. BuzzFeed's Wiedlen noted that the recession has forced brands to question the status quo and hunt for real value. He cited the example of mobile carriers like Verizon spending hundreds of millions of dollars on newspaper campaigns until the financial pinch pushed them to get more bang for their buck.

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