As many of you are most likely not reading this today, I wanted to take one moment to thank you all for your attention during the year and for reading our articles here in the Online Spin. I think I speak for all of us when I say that the Spin is a fun place for us to share our thoughts and ideas on our industry and receive critical feedback to help us evolve.
A lot has been written lately about AOL's elimination of its agency relations director position. A number of agencies have expressed concern publicly. A petition is even being circulated by Mass Transit Interactive president Jason Burnham to urge AOL to solidify its commitment to agencies. Wisely, AOL has commented that agency relationships are a critical part of everyone's job at AOL. But some agency folks aren't buying it.
Those of you who know me or follow my writing know that I often write about how to target younger marketers and how to protect kids online. Parents, teachers, and the school administration at large have been able to stop bullies in the schoolyard. However, there is a new breed of bullies and these folks can't do all that much to stop them. As a result, there's a new term out there called "cyber-bullying." It involves computers and digital devices.
Thanksgiving is the best holiday. Halloween is more fun. Christmas and Chanukah are more festive. But, Thanksgiving is designed to be the one that all peoples can agree on. Come this Thursday, I'll give thanks for many things having nothing to do with the business we're all in. And I'll give thanks that I don't have my usual column deadline (and many of you will sing praises). But, as pertains to this digital marketing world, I'll be most grateful for the following and more.
I don't know about y'all, but I've been swamped lately. Lots of new business requiring attention; plans that need to be delivered the day before you ever got the call requesting them; sales calls from reps I've not heard from in years. I don't want to be seen as complaining (not too much). It all bodes well and is a sure sign that things are picking up.
About this time every year I try to make my own Swami-like predictions for what I think will happen in the coming months. These are based mostly on gut instinct rather than fundamentally sound knowledge, but they sometimes are correct, so I keep on making them each year.
Across the industry, I've been hearing planners and buyers singing a different tune than they might have been last year. It seems that for 2004, marketers are seriously ramping up their online efforts. Perhaps it's the realization on the client side that folks are becoming tougher to reach with traditional media. Maybe it's because the IAB has done some great things to prove that online is a necessary component of many media plans. Then again, it might be frustration with the lack of accountability on the traditional side.
I just got back in the country a few hours ago. I write still having sea legs but one thought still resonates with me: The "feeling" of a brand. Okay, I know you probably think its jet lag or something, but let me explain.
Analysts and media types are usually ready to applaud any major company when they take measures to expand into other areas, as long as those areas make sense strategically. With Google launching their Deskbar last week, there was applause all over the news.
This week I was reading a column in a competitive publication by James Hering, the SVP and director of interactive marketing at Temerlin McClain. The subject of his piece was the difficulty he's been having as of late in finding qualified media personnel.