• A New Way to Determine Corporate Value
    Last week, I talked about the trend of "hyper" expectations and corporate valuations. Peter Fader, a marketing professor at the Wharton School, commented, "This is why we need to replace the guesswork of tech valuation with the more rigorous, valid, and operational notion of 'customer-based corporate valuation.'" I had a chance to look at Professor Fader's paper on the topic. Essentially, he proposes a new model for the valuation of subscription-based businesses based on a calculation of customer lifetime value that uses publicly available information. While interesting in its own right, the model shows a fundamental shift of thinking that ...
  • Super Bowl 50 Killed The Super Bowl Star
    It's time we see those Super Bowl spots across multiple screens for what they really are: a fata manana. That's a combination of "fata morgana" and "manana." The dictionary explains the "fata morgana" or "mirage" as "something that is seen and appears to be real but that is not actually there." "Manana" obviously is Spanish for tomorrow. Thus, the "fata manana" is an indication of an illusion that we think will happen tomorrow (the day after the Super Bowl).
  • Hey, Movie Studios: You Can't Force Us To Love You
    The iTunes store opened on April 28, 2003. In just five years it became the largest music vendor in the United States, proving Steve Jobs right when he said that it's not that people want to steal, it's just so darn hard to be law-abiding and so freaking easy to grab a free MP3 off a file-sharing service. The message was clear: If you make it easy for us to pay, we'll pay. A simple message. And yet, here we are, eight years later, and the movie industry never got the memo.
  • The Impact Of Viewability On Creative Advertising
    Viewability is fast becoming the standard for online advertising, but the implications for its full acceptance still need to be discussed. While a lot of good comes from this change, we should be aware of the challenges that come as well -- at least so we know how to respond.
  • Living In The Age Of 'Hyper' Expectations
    Amazon is a disappointment. In the fourth quarter of 2015, it made a measly $482 million profit on sales of $35.7 billion. That's a 22% gain in revenue from a year ago, and over a 100% gain in profit. In that year, Amazon also doubled its market value to over $300 billion. Bunch of deadbeats. Last week, Amazon's share price took a beating in after hours trading, dropping 15%. Serves you right, slackers. And this all happened because despite Amazon's healthy performance, it "didn't meet analyst's expectations." Maybe it's time to look at those expectations.
  • The ANA And 4A's Have -- Predictably -- Split On Transparency
    We have written here before about the alleged improprieties that agency holding companies, and especially their media and digital outposts, may have conducted with their clients' money. For decades, rumors swirled around, and some actual cases came to light in Europe. And then last March Jon Mandel, former CEO of Mediacom, spoke at the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Media Leadership Conference. He lobbed bombshells, mentioning "a media agency agreeing with an unnamed media vendor to an industry-standard 2% commission, but as much as 9% in volume-based incentive."
  • The Unquantified Self: Advertising's Opt-in Challenge
    Anyone with a strong interest in either tech startups or personal fitness is by now familiar with the term "the quantified self." The category includes things that go on your wrist (Fitbit, Basis), on your belly (Bellabeat) and in your shoe (Nike+). It's not clear, however, that consumers are very interested in being quantified outside an opt-in environment. In advertising, the rapid growth of programmatic buying, big data, and DMPs has allowed us to parse and target audiences with unprecedented sophistication. This should, in theory, lead to more relevant advertising, a better user experience, and higher consumer engagement -- which ...
  • Marketing Technology Will Collapse The Digital-Ad Supply Chain
    I've written a couple of times recently about my views on the rise of marketing technology and its implication for our industry. Lots of folks have been reacting to it, so I'm taking that as a message that I should continue to push forward on this meme. I believe that the rise of mar tech is going to have an enormous impact on the structure and operation of the digital advertising supply chain. Put simply, it will obliterate the supply chain as we know it today.
  • What Will Your Legacy Be?
    In addition to my day job running marketing for my company, I also study the role of the CMO and the craft of marketing itself as other people -- in other companies and categories -- practice it. To do that, I speak to other CMOs and ask them questions about how they do what they do. Recently I was intrigued by one question that was asked by someone else in a conversation: What will be your legacy at the company where you currently work?
  • The 'Get-It' Gap
    Netflix and Chill: It sounded innocent enough: a night of curling up on the couch in a Snuggie, with no plan other than some "Orange is the New Black" and Hagen Dazs binging. And that's how it started out: innocent. Then those damned kids got hold of it, and its present meaning ended up in a place quite removed from its origin. Unfortunately, my wife didn't know that when she used the phrase in a Facebook post for her gift basket company.
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