If you'll indulge me this week, I'd like to cover a couple of topics of interest in MediaTech.
On Conferences: I attended two last week. There continues to be a steady drumbeat of discussion on the subjects of targeting and measurement, very often by the same strong voices. One of those voices, Anne MacDonald, CMO of Travelers, provided a dose of reality as she gave the keynote to a day devoted to the Future of Television (which is increasingly sounding like the present of television). She said that despite impressive capabilities of new and enabling technology, no one has THE answer, and more importantly, she reminded us that this will continue to be an evolutionary process because the key change required is within us, i.e., behavioral change.
She also rejected the notion that marketers -- and specifically their advertising dollars -- would be the solution to each and every technology company's business model. She added that, along with thinking about the next software release, consolidation and collaboration would be useful to think about.
On Implications: An article in the current issue of Ad Age highlights the comments of Alex Tosolini, P&G's VP of ecommerce, at their recent digital conference. He said that the lines were blurring between marketing and sales, as the capabilities of digital marketing and ecommerce continue to intersect.
Now that's both interesting and important on its own, but the implications for organizational design and incentive programs for a new kind of staff, with different skills, attitudes and a need for ongoing training, was the real message. For years we've heard the phrase "people do what they get paid to do." And we've observed that the first wave of each new capability -- from the early Internet, to search, to mobile and now social media -- required a new and special set of skills. Most often, these skills begin and continue to be housed in their own organizational silo, while the theme of integrated marketing continues to be the industry refrain. There is no suggestion that this is easy, only that we keep our eye on the big picture. Tosolini's comments have implications for every organization. Creative thought applied to organizational design and incentive plans can be a competitive advantage today.
On Just Fun: You know how I love headlines and advertising copy, especially when there's a chance to have fun with them. A current radio spot promotes a prominent hospital "where patients often have better outcomes." Now there's a sustainable competitive advantage.
Best newspaper headlines, "Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures," "Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges." And my favorite, "Kids Make Nutritious Snacks." You can't make this stuff up.