• Are Agency Careers A Dead End?
    A couple of years ago, I asked the readers of this column "Would You Want To Be A Media Agency CEO In 2015?" The point was that the role of leading an agency, or a group of agencies, was not an easy job. Fast-forward to today, when agencies and their holding company motherships have become damaged goods, with revenues and margins facing south, growth stagnant, their very existence threatened.
  • Will Mobile Become The Dog Wagging TV Advertising's Tail?
    There's no question that mobile advertising will someday -- perhaps in five to seven years -- overtake television in overall U.S. ad spend. However, I think that it's quite likely that mobile will become the dog wagging TV advertising's tail well before it becomes the largest platform for U.S. ad spend. Here is why:
  • Balancing Owned, Earned and Paid Media Ain't Easy
    In marketing circles, the current construct for developing a strategy revolves around paid, earned and owned media. This is a useful model to start with, but it doesn't provide enough granularity around timing. A strong strategy for marketing campaign development requires you think how these three areas interact and at what time you should be launching each phase.
  • We Don't Need More Athletes Or Models -- We Do Need People Who Understand Complexity
    Have you seen the Verizon ad? The one that starts with LeBron James walking toward the camera and then saying "We don't need more LeBrons"? He's followed in quick succession by other celebrities, including model Adriana Lima, quarterback Drew Brees and soccer star David Villa, all saying we don't need more of their kind. The ad wraps up by saying what we do need is more people in science and technology to fill the 4 million jobs available. Fair enough. The world runs on science and technology. But there's an unintended consequence that comes with that. Technology is making the ...
  • Facebook's VR Vision Beats Apple To Market
    The thing about Facebook that makes it so powerful is that it has the courage of its convictions. When Mark Zuckerberg made his first play in virtual reality, it was a big one. He purchased the Oculus Rift for $2 billion back in 2014. You can argue that Oculus hasn't had a big impact, and has had more than its share of internal drama and turnover. But the Oculus purchase brought some serious VR talent in-house. Facebook has been working hard to turn that early bet into a global phenomenon. Now we're starting to see the output of this investment, ...
  • OF COURSE Google Home Is Spying On You
    It was a shocking headline: "Google Home Mini spied on user 'thousands of times a day,' sent recordings to Google." But not really that shocking. Home, Echo, Siri... they all have a job to do: wait until you say their name, and then deliver whatever you ask. But here's the catch: In order to hear you saying their name, they have to listen. All. The. Time.
  • Marketers, You Want Innovation? Bring On The Engineers!
    As a group, the most creative thinkers and doers that I have worked with have been engineers. Yes, engineers. There's a reason that Silicon Valley has driven so much innovation in the Internet era and the people that have delivered the best solutions have been engineers. (And I write this as a digital entrepreneur who is proud of his liberal arts education.)
  • The Good And The Bad Of Positioning Around AI
    AI is the buzzword of the moment. As the the hype gets greater and greater, it becomes challenging to sort through the noise. Let me help you out with that.
  • 157 Shades Of Grey
    Design is important. Thinking through how people will respond to the aesthetics of your product is an admirable thing. I remember once having the pleasure of sharing a stage with JetBlue's vice president of marketing, Amy Curtis-McIntyre. She explained how important good design was to the airline's overall marketing strategy. A tremendous amount of thought went into the aesthetics of all its printed materials -- even those cards explaining the airplane's safety features that none of us ever read. But on JetBlue, not only did passengers read the cards; they stole them because the cards were so cleverly designed. Was ...
  • Did I Sell Ammunition To The Vegas Shooter?
    On Oct. 1, just after 10 p.m., my social media feeds lit up with reports of an "active shooter" at a Las Vegas music festival. Exhausted from a constant drumbeat of terrible news, I rested my eyes from the screen in my hand and then did something I rarely do: I shut off my phone. The next morning, as the media did double duty, covering the sheer scale of the carnage and trying to understand the "why," 'I found myself painfully thinking of some events in my past. Was I in any way to blame? Had I shirked my responsibility ...
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