• Brands Don't Care About Tech, They Care About Customers
    I read a lot of industry trades to make sure I know what's going on, and I talk to a lot of people who are tech marketers. These folks love to talk in terms of speeds, feeds and tech specs and brag about the vast quantities of data that are being processed at any single moment. Tech marketing is flooded with messages that are tech-focused, but marketers really don't care about tech. They care about customers. Marketers want to trust that your platform can do what's it's supposed to do, enabling them to generate results quickly or more efficiently. Your ...
  • Want To Be Innovative? Immerse Yourself
    In a great post earlier this year, VC Pascal Bouvier (along with Aldo de Jong and Harry Wilson) deconstructed the idea that starts-ups always equate to successful innovation. Before you jump on the lean start-up bandwagon, realize the success rate of a start-up taking ideas to market is about 0.2%.
  • The Digital Advertising Upside-Down: What Was Great Is Now Deemed Terrible
    How quickly the world can change. Last week I wrote about the fact that U.K. advertisers seemed to move a lot more proactively than U.S. advertisers on addressing YouTubegate. When the U.K. arm of the Havas agency network and the whole of the UK government joined that group, U.S. advertisers started to take note, and started pulling ads, too. That combined U.S./U.K. group has now become so large that industry bellwether and investment adviser Brian Wieser from Pivotal has now downgraded his recommended position on Google from "buy" to "hold." But why did it take this long before something was ...
  • Who Will Control Future Of Marketing When It Becomes Digital And Data-Driven?
    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.
  • Two Sides Of A Marketer's Coin
    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.
  • Damn You, Technology!
    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?
  • The UK Is Moving Faster On Digital Ad Transparency
    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.
  • Ethics Are For Everyone
    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.
  • Build A Wall -- For The Third Garden
    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 ...
  • Welcome To The 'United States Of Amazon'
    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).
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