• Of Course Facebook Will Want Your Credit Card -- And Of Course, You'll Give It To Them
    I'm at the counter and I've just ordered my coffee. "That'll be five bucks," says the lady at the register. I hold my credit card to the machine for a second or two, it beeps, and I turn to go. "You use that system?" my friend asks, dubiously. "You bet," I say. "It's amazing what I'll do to save a few seconds." It's something I only noticed once I started using Uber: the startling feeling of luxury and sense of satisfaction I get from arriving at my destination and simply emerging from the vehicle like a movie star at the ...
  • Where There's Mystery, There's Margin
    Every once in a while, someone says something that sends me off into never-never land. It happened recently when someone in the advertising industry said, "Where there's mystery, there's margin."
  • Is Digital Media Too Big To Fail?
    Do you remember when digital budgets were considered "innovative"? It wasn't too long ago that the money spent in digital media was considered a test budget. As tests, the budgets were small and the level of forgiveness was high. Marketers viewed the money spent in digital as something to play with, and any wins were considered bonus to the core objectives and could fuel future growth. As those wins piled up, so have the expectations. Digital is now part of a core marketing strategy, and with that level of expectations comes a different level of acceptance as well as forgiveness ...
  • The World in Bite-Sized Pieces
    It's hard to see the big picture when our perspective is limited to 160 characters. Or when we keep getting distracted from said big picture by that other picture that always seems to be lurking over there on the right side of our screen: the one of Kate Upton tilting forward, wearing a wet bikini.
  • Hey, Agencies: Marketers Are Pretty Clear About What They Want
    In the movie "What Women Want," Mel Gibson plays an ad executive who, after a freak accident, discovers he can hear women's private thoughts. He of course uses this great gift to his own advantage to score with "da ladies. Perhaps it's time for agencies to collectively gain the ability to listen clearly to what marketers want. Because last week a number of very senior marketers were very clear about their wishes.
  • Conversational Commerce And The Mobile Experience
    While launching a mobile app has never been easier, getting anyone to notice has never been harder. The problem isn't access or tools or even quality; it's distribution.
  • Branding With A Purpose
    Why do we so often find ourselves tiptoeing around, afraid of offending folks doing "branding" when we want to talk about measuring sales outcomes on a brand-advertising channel like TV? Because, as we well know, for many in the world of brand advertising, the idea of being held accountable for provable sales ROI is sacrilegious. To them, making brand advertising accountable for sales is to demean it as a direct-response technique.
  • Insights from 'Extreme Ownership': Ego Vs. Pride
    Guess what causes most of the problems in the world? It's actually quite simple: ego. I just finished a great book called "Extreme Ownership" by two ex-Navy Seals: Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. The book was amazing because it pointed out how ego manifests in the workplace by using examples these two had seen in the field as Seals, but also as business consultants in the workplace.
  • The Wave Form Of Complex Strategy
    I've been thinking about waves a lot lately. As I said to a recent group of marketing technologists, nature doesn't plan in straight lines. Nature plays out in waves. As soon as you start looking for oscillations, you seem them everywhere. Seasons, our brains, the economy -- if complexity lurks there, chances are there is a corresponding wave. So how do waves tie into my recent two columns about agency relationships? Simply this: Like most complex things, our corporate strategy should also plot itself against a wave-like cycle. And in that cycle, there is a place for both external partnerships ...
  • The Demise Of Brand-Building
    In the hoopla that is modern marketing, it appears that brand-building is taking a bit of a back seat. And when I say "back seat," I mean it's becoming less and less of a priority. And when I say "less," I mean it now ranks dead-last, according to a CMO survey from September of last year.
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