The landscape of business etiquette is deep and nuanced, so I can understand if not everyone understands it all. But there's one area I think everyone should be clear on: business-meeting etiquette.
I'd like you to give me your undivided attention. I'd like you to -- but you can't. First, I'm probably not interesting enough. Secondly, you no longer live in a world where that's possible. And third, even if you could, I'm not sure I could handle it. I'm out of practice.
It's time to wake up to this very simple realization: Fake news won't fix itself. Our information ecosystem is awash in garbage, noise pollution that makes it almost impossible to separate signal from noise. It's not a small problem, and it's not going to be solved by pointing fingers or placing blame.
"As tech giants become a new kind of Internet gatekeeper," said Senator Al Franken this week, "I believe the same basic principles of net neutrality should apply here. No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn't." He went on: "Facebook, Google, and Amazon, like ISPs, should be neutral in their treatment of the flow of lawful information and commerce on their platform." It sounds reasonable. After all, he is speaking in defense of private citizens' right to choose. Surely we should be the ones to decide what content we consume, …
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.)
I hear blockchain is a big deal these days. I've had it explained to me by about a dozen people in just the last week, but the hype on it is so high that it smells a bit overinflated. To me it seems like the"virtual worlds" a few years back, when companies like Second Life were everywhere and every brand was trying to develop its virtual presence.
If there were any area where machines can beat humans, it would be in making purchases. They're much better at filtering based on objective criteria, they can stay on top of all prices everywhere and they can instantly aggregate data from all similar types of purchases. Most importantly, machines can't be tricked by branding or marketing.
Back when I heard about the first Video Everywhere Summit from my friend Barry Frey, the executive director of the Digital-Place-Based Advertising Association, who organized the event -- I couldn't help but think the phrase was aspirational. Was video -- and TV -- everywhere 10 years ago? Certainly not. What about five years ago? Hardly. But today, TV is indeed EVERYWHERE. And this year's summit proved the point.
Just when the agency holding companies thought that the worst of the pitch avalanche was behind them, we find ourselves in a second wave. And this second wave (2017/2018) actually appears to be larger than the first (2015/2016). The list of marketers that are actively reviewing their ecosystems, and those who have considered doing so, comprises a "who's who" of, well - many.
In advertising, we discover data, nurture it, harvest it, organize it, analyze it, and sell it. Still, there's a nagging question: Are we baking a marvelous cake with not-so-marvelous ingredients? Maybe the backlash against digital targeting is not because targeting is a bad idea, but because it has been badly executed by the industry.