Don't Read This Column...

So far, so good -- if you’re reading this, it’s proof that you don’t necessarily listen to directions.  That means you’re perfect for this business!

Innovation comes in many forms, but its one common thread is a general disregard for direction from others – not out of arrogance, but out of an innate desire to find new ways to do things.  Call it a questioning of authority, but hopefully one tempered with curiosity rather than hubris.  Most of the world’s greatest innovators were always looking for a new angle and a new way of doing things.   Of recent history, I point to people like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. Who else would question long-established services like trains and automobiles, or how we use the phone?

I bring this up because our industry is in need of a new wave of innovation.  Things are going great -- business is up, we’re creating jobs and digital is slowly taking over the top spot as where consumers allocate their time. It would be very easy to rest on our laurels and enjoy this stage of business, but that’s exactly when things can go wrong.   When you’re right on top is the best time to start looking for new areas in which to innovate, and that time is now.



Here’s where I would place my bets on innovation:

The way we deliver creative online right now is good, but not great.  We are constantly evolving the ways we deliver messaging within the standard IAB sizes, but we should revisit how ads are integrated into content in the first place.  Let’s rethink what makes an ad “standard” to begin with.  In the past, we tested interstitials -- and I’ve noticed them making a resurgence as of late -- but even that’s not the end game.

I don’t know exactly what it will look like, but 3-dimensional video could be an area worth exploring.  Why does the standard Web page have to be a 2-dimensional environment with ads strewn throughout content on a flat surface?  Why not find a third dimension and integrate marketing into that model in some fashion?

Which leads me to the area of digital publishing. Why isn’t the Web evolving to give a third dimension to the way we consume content?  It’s a very linear model now, based on backward and forward exploration, but the Web is a medium of tangents.  When I surf the Web I typically bounce around quite a bit and open multiple windows and screens.  Why can’t that action all take place in one location and be organized in ways that tie them together better?

And that brings me to another area: mobile.  I’ve been keeping an eye on the developments associated with new phones from companies other than Apple, as well as speculation on where the next generation of iPhone will go, and I sense we’re about to see another watershed moment in the mobile world.  With a wave of the hand, literally, we’re going to see the experience on mobile devices shift dramatically.  Gestures and voice-operated controls could radically change how we interact with our devices, and the cloud means that every device is simply a conduit to an experience hosted on the Web.  Siri was a first step, and the “Minority Report” world is not far behind.

I consider a brainstorm to be an open discussion, and I’m curious what you’re all thinking about.  What are you brainstorming in your world?  Consider this a temperature check: Where do you see innovation popping up in the coming months?  What are the areas you predict will be addressed with new ideas and insights?

Where will someone show up who doesn’t take direction well?

3 comments about "Don't Read This Column...".
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  1. Dave Hendricks from LiveIntent, August 7, 2013 at 12:54 p.m.

    Hey Cory - innovation is tricky. It sneaks up on you.

    Jobs didn't invent the computer, and Musk didn't invent the car or space travel. They snuck up on existing models and changed them. Apple and Tesla are still turning heads.

    Turning things on their head is how you innovate. Look for the NEW OLD THING.

    The only reason I read this column was because it was pushed to me via email. If you wanted to deliver a really good IAB ad, it would have been in the email (which probably will drive most of this article's views). An the ad would have been bought and sold in real time.

    Want a new thing? Using email address hashes for ad and message targeting. We all have an email address, and they work on all our devices the same way. Email opens can be ad vehicles based on real time signal.

    Since you are a Bluekai guy, you know you can drop a cookie on an email open, and you can retarget somewhere else. email marketing is not about sending email, it's about the email address. And cookies go really well with them, done right.

    Watch out for this. It's coming to a website near you.

  2. Roy Perry from Greater Media Philadelphia, August 7, 2013 at 1:37 p.m.

    "Siri, how long is the average flight from L.A. to Australia?"

    "I'll tell you right after I deliver a perfectly targeted commercial for a GPS-capable cellphone you don't use, own or want. OK?"

    "No, not OK. I'm booking a major sales trip for me and my boss and would appreciate it if you'd just concentrate please?"

    "Of course, booking a trip. Here are several cheap flights to Boston you are 60 per cent likely to be interested in."

    "What? No, I said Australia."

    "I will render the information in 3D - very innovative. In a burst of gratitude and ramped-up engagement I'm sure you'll be happy to visit Boston!"

  3. Christopher Sanders from The Ingredients Group, August 7, 2013 at 2:45 p.m.

    It has nothing to do with my present job but I am always thinking about the evolution of TV and cord-cutting (of cable/TV services). I look at Crackle, Netflix, Aereo, HBO Go, etc and the fact 50% or more of people I know under 30 do not have cable, and think there will be a more radical shift (as with iTunes) that comes with Video programming. I know there are alot of people working at this, including the big media companies. But unlike music, I think the shift will be more subtle than radical. And, rather than one big winner (Apple) there will be several winners who will innovate not to take over TV but establish a 3rd era of the "Golden Age of TV".

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