Software has been transforming and disrupting advertising for decades, certainly ever since our industry's technology pioneers like media legend and longtime Group M leader Irwin Gotlieb began writing software to automate media planning and buying in the 1960s. However, for anyone who thought that advertising's path to a digitized and data-driven future would be a predictable and straight line, it has certainly not met those expectations, particularly in light of the industry's recent tumult around measurement, environment and control of ad tech.
There are two sides to every coin, and a coin can't exist without both sides. The same can be said for marketing: You need a great product and a great story, and you can't succeed with only one of those elements in place.
Quit batting your seductive visual sensors at me. You know I can't resist. But I often wonder what I'm giving up when I give in to your temptations. Could it be humans are making ourselves obsolete?
It has been quite the week in digital advertising land. We received news that in the U.K., the British government's digital advertising had appeared next to porn and terrorist content. I am not sure what the nature of her majesty's government messages was, but apparently they were not targeted at porn-watching Jihadists. And so the government has now summoned Google strategist to come and explain themselves.
I admit to an overwhelming amount of schadenfreude at the challenges recently faced by Uber. After all, its behavior has been egregious for ages. It's satisfying to point the finger at Uber precisely because its actions are so brazen. But doing so also carries a risk: the risk of distracting us from the more subtle ways technology impacts our lives, and the profound ethical implications thereof.
Two walled gardens own 82% of the online advertising business. There is Facebook: like Gramercy Park, locked up tight, but contextually one-dimensional. There's Google: like the Bronx Zoo, with a small fence around the whole thing, and lots of little cages holding species as diverse as search, ad serving, and video publishing. Publishers will further suffer at the hands of the duopoly unless they ban together behind a wall. That's governance. It's a viable strategy for a thousand Davids facing two Goliaths. Some blame programmatic technology for the problems of Internet advertising, but Facebook and Google use all the same ...
Amazon is an amazing company. It picks a category to disrupt, enter into it with verve and velocity and generate almost immediate traction. Each time Amazon does this, it's viewed as a surprise -- but I think people are starting to catch on and there are few surprises left (just kidding).
Last week, I wrote about why marketers are struggling with job security. In an effort to provide career counseling to an industry, I would offer this suggestion: Start learning about the behaviors of non-linear dynamic systems. You're going to have to get comfortable with the special conditions that accompany complexity.
If your inbox is anything like mine, every week it gets flooded with many, many white papers from a wide variety of companies. Some white papers are insightful and good, some are shameless self-promotion. But what many of them manage to do, rather than help, is create or add to the already large amount of confusion in marketing present today. And this is because they use terminology that sounds relevant, but usually refers to a narrow definition that contradicts and under-delivers the white paper's typically grandiose title.
A common critique of VR is that it is will make us even more antisocial than we already are. But there are powerful counter-arguments against this. Chris Milk, probably the most accomplished film maker working in VR today, has called VR the "ultimate empathy machine." Experienced in VR, his movie "Clouds Over Sidra," about a 12-year-old Syrian girl living in a Jordanian refugee camp, carries an emotional power that is hard describe. The viewer does not watch the movie as much as experience it as a participant, with all distance between viewer and subject removed. That effect is impossible with ...