The seismic shift in traditional media to online advertising was the focus of last week’s IAB annual conference. Keynote speakers Microsoft's Bill Gates, WPP's CEO Sir Martin Sorrell and Lord Puttnam left delegates in no doubt that the future of advertising is online and that a huge move towards digital media is happening now.

Arjo Ghosh, Managing Director at search marketing agency Spannerworks, contributed to a lively search session alongside Overture, mSearch and Modem Media. “With search firmly at the centre of this giant move to online, marketers will have to run more sophisticated campaigns. Brands wishing to maintain a successful presence need go back to good marketing basics.” User benefit is a key influencer for search engines and Arjo urged delegates to develop a marketing strategy that included viral PR and useful content.

As the impact of search on business continues, the big search engines are starting to look at incorporating more refined ways of increasing the quality of their search results. For example, using Hotmail or Googlemail accounts, it is possible to know more about the customer’s profile and what they are looking for. Traditional search engine optimisation approaches have and still work very well, but with personalised search here now, businesses should place the customer at the heart of their search activity.

Guy Phillipson, Chief Executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau said: “At Engage 2005 we dedicated an entire session to Search. It’s a vital discipline that many marketers don’t fully comprehend and the lively debate went a long way to covering knowledge gaps in search behaviour, implications for brands and price comparison.

Following the brilliant feedback we’ve received, I consider the IAB’s first annual conference a massive step in the right direction to getting online on the agenda of every marketer in the UK.”

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Press enquiries to
Spannerworks - Charlotte McDougall on T: 01273 828137, M: 07799 671933 or
IAB – Amy Kean on T: 020 7886 8282, M: 07739 372042 or

Notes for editors

About Engage 2005
450 marketers and advertisers packed the IAB’s first annual conference, Engage 2005, on October 27 to hear Bill Gates, Sir Martin Sorrell, Lord Puttnam and other industry leaders discuss the effects the convergence of technology is having on our professional and social lives and on the advertising industry.

About Spannerworks
Since 1997, Spannerworks has enabled businesses to attract new customers by increasing online visibility in Internet search engines including Google, MSN and Yahoo!. Our Natural Search and Paid Search services combine proven and best practice search marketing techniques for clients across a range of industry sectors.

About the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB)
IAB UK is the trade association for online advertising. As a not for profit organisation its chief objective is to help advertisers make the most of the internet to increase their turnover and grow their brands. IAB UK is part of an international network of 25 IABs and was established in 1996 when it created the banner ad format. In the UK there are more than 150 members representing more than 2000 UK websites. The organisation is run by the UK’s leading digital and traditional media owners.

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Published on: 12:00AM on 2nd November 2005