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Mike Carter heads up IAB’s new Media Innovation portfolio

In its efforts to keep the South African digital industry abreast of latest global developments, the IAB has established a new Media Innovation portfolio. Under the leadership of Mike Carter, special projects director at MaxAxion, the new portfolio will initially focus on addressing the industry’s knowledge gaps when it comes to programmatic media.‘At this time it is essential to help publishers, agencies and brands cut through the complexities of online advertising,’ commented Carter, ‘Conversation, engagement and education are all needed for them to make good sense of the opportunities that programmatic buying and advertising offer, and to fast track the effective use of programmatic solutions and platforms in South Africa.’

UK-born Carter has a long track record of working at the frontline of digital marketing innovation. He was creative director at one of the first London advertising agencies to embrace Apple and Scitex technology. In South Africa, he played a pioneering role in the development of Mxit and more recently, in several social experiments such as Askmi and DemocraCITY, which generated huge social engagement. Alongside his innovation roll at start-up MaxAxion, he also served previously as commercial director of and remains new business consultant for the digital education initiative, Treeshake.

As head of the IAB’s Media Innovation portfolio, Carter is in a position to leverage his network of high profile digital specialists, and he has attracted a council that includes leading digital marketer turned educator, Dave Duarte and the likes of Leigh Hitch and Danny Greeff of Hitch Digital. In partnership with Treeshake, the IAB Media Innovation team are developed three programmatic media courses. Recognising that the need for instruction on programmatic media must be institutionalised, the first course is aimed at students. Through collaboration with the IAB’s Education portfolio, it will be offered to leading advertising and marketing colleges. The second course has been developed for advertising agencies and aims to provide a broader view of the programmatic environment and an opportunity to use a programmatic buying dashboard so that they get a hands-on experience of how this new buying process works. The third course is aimed at giving brand managers a macro-view of programmatic media. Far from being dry lectures, all three courses are eye-opening and innovative, making use of both modern teaching and learning techniques and delivering content through technology.

‘South Africa lags behind when it comes to programmatic media,’ said Carter, ‘One of the advantages of driving this through the IAB international network is that we now have the opportunity to leapfrog over the issues more developed markets had to grapple with intensely over these past years. We can learn their lessons quickly and get up to speed faster. That said we have also got to pace ourselves. We are not aiming at a land grab situation. Instead we are working very closely through global IAB connections so that we can walk the path to better understanding and optimal use.’

Apart from courses, the IAB Media Innovation portfolio also plans to host high-powered knowledge sessions and events that will include streaming the latest thought leadership, intelligence and experience to South African publishers, agencies and brand managers. On the publisher side, private marketplace experiments are currently underway that are aimed at helping them to use programmatic media to generate more revenue and maintain customer value.

In his capacity as the head of the IAB’s Media Innovation, Mike Carter is supported by his sub council members to fulfill the mandate of his portfolio, including:

•Jonhenry Wilson – Head of Newsroom Operations at TEAMtalk media.
Dave Duarte- CEO of Treeshake.
•Marcus Stephens – managing director at Kagiso Digital.
•Leigh Hitch – managing director at Hitch Digital and Danny Greeff – business unit director at Hitch Digital and Gerhard Morkel – head of performance at Hitch Digital
•Brad Page – managing partner at Neo@Ogilvy South Africa, Andre De Villiers – head of Ad-Operations at Neo@Ogilvy South Africa and Matt Wilke – RTB account manager at Neo@Ogilvy
•Matthew Arnold – head of Media at NATIVE VML
•Warren Ravinsky – head of Digital Media at MediaCom
•Julian Mountain – head of Digital at Saatchi & Saatchi and Adam Mitchell – head of Paid Media at Saatchi & Saatchi Synergize
•Rian Carstens – digital marketing consultant and chairman of Digital Marketing Collective
•Joe Steyn-Begley – Co-Owner at Mark 1 Media
•Garth Rhoda – managing director at Detonator Media
•Daniel Kolossa – senior strategist specialising in Online Video at Iconic and Mark Dutlow – SEM Specialist at Iconic.
•André Britz – COO at Atmosphere Orange

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