• Coming This Fall
    We're in the lazy days of August, when most in the media and advertising business are vacationing, or at least taking Fridays off, and everything slows down. It's hard not to let your mind drift to the future and wonder what might be in store for us this fall. Here are some five near-certainties that we should expect to greet us in the months ahead:
  • Three Proven Steps To Data-Driven Marketing
    Data-driven marketing is a complicated business, but there's still a simple way to break down the market and develop a strategy, one that's easily taught to all members of your marketing org.
  • Can Alphabet Spark Corporate Innovation?
    As I was reading Walter Isaacson's new book, "The Innovators," which chronicles the rise of the digital revolution, something struck me. From Charles Babbage to Sergey Brin, the arc of digital innovation has gone through three very distinct stages. In the last, starting in the '60s, a new breed of innovator emerged: the innovative entrepreneur. Almost without exception, they started within a larger organizational context, but soon found a way to break free and build a company around their innovativeness. This all becomes more than academically interesting in light of Google's announced corporate re-org, Alphabet.
  • #Ourdigitallivesmatter
    Not a week goes by when we don't find confirmation of the fragility of our digital and mobile existence. By now your identity has probably come into the hands of shady Internet operators (and/or the Chinese government) at least once or perhaps multiple times. The U.S. government, banks, airlines, insurance companies, retailers, credit card companies - who hasn't reported a data breach yet?
  • Where Has Serious Journalism Gone? Sucked Into The Vortex Of Tinder, TMZ And Fox News
    Tinder is pissed. The company has taken umbrage at a piece in Vanity Fair. And to be fair, author Nancy Jo Sales doesn't make the app, or the culture in which it resides, sound particularly appealing. It's all quick hookups and volumetric sex, the pleasure of gorging yourself, and the realization of the fleeting nature of such superficial satiation.
  • This Is NOT A Touchscreen: Business In The Age Of Tech Disappointment
    Technology is unleashing itself on every aspect of our lives, progressing relentlessly to bring about more profound changes, more quickly than ever before. Ironically, as is does so, the only thing developing faster than technology is our expectations of it.
  • Amazon, Walmart, And Wingtip: Size (And Loyalty) Does Matter
    A few weeks back, Amazon announced earnings, and quietly surpassed Walmart in market valuation. How was this not bigger news? When I wrote this article, Amazon's market value was estimated at about $244 billion, while Walmart's estimate was around $229 billion - which means a virtual store is worth more than the world's largest physical store.
  • Why Disruptive Change Is Disruptive
    There were many responses to my last column looking at why agencies and clients have hit the point of irreconcilable differences. Many of those responses were in agreement with me. In fact, none were in outright disagreement. This surprised me. A lot of Online Spin readers are people who work for very big agencies. I can only conclude that you elected to show your dissent through your silence.
  • The Wolf Of Madison Ave.
    Last week I talked about how agencies perhaps need to radically reinvent themselves. I made that recommendation on the basis of studies from both the U.S. and the U.K. by the ANA and the IPA respectively, which showed that the marketer-agency relationship is so broken, it may be time to call it quits on the current model. And now we throw more oil on the flames, thanks to an insightful report from U.K.-based independent accountant Kingston Smith W1 analyzing the financial performance of Top 50 agencies across a number of different agency categories.
  • Shades Of Grey In Platforms' Content Accountability
    Here's a quick thought experiment: if you are driving a car with four underage drinkers in it, are you responsible for them breaking the law? What if one of the people in the car was selling liquor to the others? What if it was a ride-share system, like a shuttle, where one of your customers regularly sold alcohol to other passengers, serving as a de facto liquor store? At what point do you become responsible for what happens on your platform? The above may sound like a ridiculous scenario, but it's not all that far off from some of the ...
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