Rakuten Marketing’s network of 400 brands and publishers came together last week (April 22 2015) for the company’s annual Symposium event in London.

Mobile, attribution and breaking down international borders were the ‘lightbulb’ discussion topics, given Rakuten Marketing’s investment in these technologies through the acquisition of Deep Forest Media – announced last month - and the purchase of Rakuten Attribution (previously DC Storm) announced in May 2014.

Archie O’Connor, vice president of business and strategic development at Deep Forest Media provided an introduction to the programmatic mobile advertising and DSP and said that the integration of Deep Forest’s technology would “allow Rakuten Marketing customers a unified vision of purchases and the entire consumer flow.”

O’Connor explained that Deep Forest Media is separated from competitors by its “elegant data architecture”, which provides marketers with actionable data that constantly evolves based on real-time insights.

The day of networking, which encourages marketers to look at the next big digital innovations and apply them to their marketing campaigns, is focused on increasing business success by bringing publishers and brands together.

Speakers included David Mattin, head of trends and insights at Trendwatching.com, as well as Rakuten Marketing’s newly appointed CEO Tony Zito, who travelled from the US especially for the event.

Perform or Perish

Mattin inspired guests with his talk ‘Perform or Perish!’ which looked at key consumer trends for 2015 and encouraged marketers to think differently about their approach based on consumer habits and behaviour today.

Lewis Lenssen, commercial director at Rakuten Marketing joined O’Connor on stage to explore the role of attribution and the complexity of measuring the purchase journey now that mobile has become a key part of it. “Shoppers now move across channels so marketers must have a cross-channel view of their journey in order to create campaigns that will reach customers at every touchpoint,” said Lenssen.

Nick Fletcher, Rakuten Marketing’s director of service strategy also chaired a panel session with ShopStyle, Savoo, MATCHESFASHION.COM and Hilton Hotels Worldwide to discuss the secrets to international success in the online world. A major takeaway from the session was that the markets with the greatest potential for growth, such as Africa and China, are highly mobile, so it’s crucial that British brands utilise this channel to drive cross-border sales.

Commenting on the event, Mark Haviland, MD, Rakuten Marketing Europe said: “The fact that we are able to bring so many brands and publishers together in one room is invaluable. It enables our partners to innovate and to develop relationships that improve advertising performance.

He continued: “Mobile is now a key driver of ecommerce and up until now marketers haven’t been able to fully understand its role in the journey to purchase. Only with an omni-channel customer view can brands create measurable campaigns that engage consumers at the right time and on the right device. Deep Forest Media will be integral to us providing our partners with the insight to develop winning campaigns.”

At the event, Rakuten Marketing announced the new brands that joined its network this year including PANDORA and Hilton Hotels amongst others.