• What Makes A Bad Salesperson (Hint: See Below)?
    I have been an ad and marketing guy for a while now, and I've been sold by some of the best and some of the worst salespeople across the industry. Many of the best I've maintained strong relationships with for many years, but the bad ones? Eh... not so much. What makes a bad salesperson? It's actually very easy to point out:
  • What Would A 'Time-Well-Spent' World Look Like?
    Technology is our new drug of choice, and we're hooked. We're fascinated by the trivial. We're dumping huge gobs of time down the drain playing virtual games, updating social statuses, clicking on clickbait and watching videos of epic wardrobe malfunctions. Humans should be better than this.
  • Cannes Is No Longer An Ad Festival
    Did you go to the Cannes Lions ad festival? Lucky you. A week (or a couple of days) in some of the most opulent (and expensive!) hotels in Europe, or a well-appointed Airbnb, or perhaps just slumming it in an F1 Hotel (France's answer to Motel 6). Regardless, being on the sunny French Riviera beats any day in the office. My conclusion is that Cannes is an ad festival by tradition only anymore. What it has turned into is a tech-deal-makers meet, agency-deal-makers swap meet.
  • Waze, Google, Facebook: The Observer Effect And Our Interconnected, Co-Created Reality
    In science, the "observer effect" describes the impact of measurement on behavior. To measure voltage, for example, you have to stick something in the current, and that something will in turn modify the voltage. The photons used to measure electrons affect their paths; a thermometer exchanges heat with the object whose temperature it is taking. As a metaphor, the concept can be easily extrapolated. Our society, our economy, our politics, our impact on the planet -- all co-created in a complex feedback loop of which each of us is an integral part.
  • The Marketing Technology Culture Clash Prevention Guide
    Marketing becomes an information problem as computers augment humans in the execution of online marketing. It was bound to happen, but it leaves CMOs with a question about exactly how to incorporate information skills into their organizations. And the culture of information will bump into the culture of marketing. In an effort to help, I present the following incomplete dos and don'ts for handling the cultural divide.
  • Don't Blame The Agency
    I recently read the Association of National Advertisers report regarding the findings of non-transparent practices in the agency world. If I were an agency media person I would be worried, but maybe not for the reasons you might think. Fundamentally, the blame for this situation does not rest with the agencies (at least, not completely). I would go further out on a limb and say many brands have enabled things by permitting - if not creating - the situation that requires these kinds of practices: a climate of agency distrust and mistreatment.
  • Dad: Unplugged
    I went off the grid last week. It wasn't intentional. Given that I felt like my right arm was lopped off, you would think this might impact the quality of my Father's Day. And it did - but all for the better.
  • Digital Ad Fraud: Perhaps The Most Fixable Problem Today
    The Association of National Advertisers(ANA) report on media transparency, the World Federation of Advertisers(WFA) report on digital ad fraud, the Interactive Advertising Bureau(IAB)'s Trustworthy Accountability Group, and even Google's DoubleClick -- all have reported on the issues of budget waste due to ad fraud and mark-ups.
  • Will Blockchain Put Consumers In Charge Of Ad And Marketing Industry?
    Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, is likely to have a significant impact on the world of advertising and marketing.
  • Oligopolies That Delight And Confound
    When it comes to word pairings, "oligopoly" and "delightful" are not a natural combination. The synonyms of "delightful" include "marvelous," "wonderful" and "splendid." An oligopoly refers to a state of limited competition in which a few firms control the market -- hardly a marvelous state of affairs. Recent (and decidedly undelightful) oligopolies include credit ratings agencies, health insurance firms, and oil companies. After reading the combined 313 slides of Mary Meeker's "Internet Trends 2016" and Luma Partners' "State of Digital Media 2016," one would be hard-pressed not to describe the Google-Facebook lock-up as a duopoly.
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