• Editor's Letter: Radical Digital Transformation
    As I sat down to write this - just a few paragraphs summing up an issue we've devoted to digital transformation of mainstream marketing - I got an email that caught me off guard. By 2015, the forecaster said, 208 million of us will be using "phablets," a cross between a smartphone and a tablet. I had to laugh, and not just because it's a dumb word. (Sorry, Samsung.) Or because of the visual - hundreds of millions of us yapping on what is essentially an enormous and clunky cell phone. Or even the realization that size doesn't matter, because …
  • Marketing as 3D Chess
    Winning companies today are defined not just by their product and service offerings, but by the manner in which they respond to the needs of their consumers in the new digital world. But this wasn't always the case.
  • Mining Mobile's Local Motion
    In many quarters, 2012 has been dubbed the year of mobile. According to a 2012 Nielsen report1, smartphone penetration in the U.S. has exceeded 50 percent and is poised to rise even further as the technology improves. Just like every new technological platform that attracts a critical mass of consumers, mobile has experienced its fair share of the inevitable growing pains in monetization with advertisers that every nascent medium goes through. However, I think brands and agencies know there is great, and largely untapped, value in mobile advertising, and an engaged audience - expecting media and technology to tangibly improve …
  • Social Setbacks
    A recent survey conducted by agency media software and processing firm Strata found that 69% of agency honchos consider social the "focus" of their digital ad spending. That puts social just behind display as the dominant digital media-buying platform, creating pressure to perform in a channel that remains remarkably unproven, hard to measure and riddled with cautionary tales.
  • Speaking in Tongues
    By now, Orabrush has become something of a digital legend. The product - a $5 brush that removes stinky gunk from the back of your tongue - was a retail failure until the inventor, Dr. Bob Wagstaff, a 76-year-old dentist, took it to a bunch of marketing students at Brigham Young University. Jeffrey Harmon, now CMO of Orabrush, thought he could sell it online. In exchange for the dentist's motorcycle, he began working on a marketing plan in his off-hours. He made a basic video, and the device started selling. Enter Austin Craig, an intern at Harmon's day job, and …
  • The Last Gasp of [Old School] Marketing
    When it comes to enormous change in media and marketing, there's never been a shortage of prophets or doomsayers, but the apocalypse never quite arrived. While editor-at-large Bob Garfield admits that Jurassic marketing models have survived longer than he expected, audiences are still shrinking and prices still rising. That means the tipping point is closer than it appears, he believes. The good news? In the very near future, the relationship between marketer and consumer will be a whole lot cozier. Garfield, a speaker at the Brand Marketers Summit, fills Joe Mandese in on the new rules of radical transparency.
  • Not Pull, Not Push. Plush
    On my way to Las Vegas and thinking about media and how technology has changed it utterly and forever. In the beginning, it was all so easy. The newspaper was on the stoop. You read it. There were a couple of radio stations you could listen to on the way in to work. So you did. When you got home, there were three stations to choose from to watch the news. You picked one. After doing the dishes, there were the same three or four stations you'd watch until bedtime. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
  • Search Mixes it Up
    The integration of mapping systems and mobile phones will become the single most important search advancement in 2012. It will promote consumer loyalty for nearby businesses, and generate long-term advertising revenue and profits.
  • The Metric Muddle
    In the television realm, marketers understand cost-per-thousand. It's how they purchase eyeballs, and it's the single magic number that simplifies every spending decision. But even as digital advertising continues its explosion, there's still unease and anxiety: Where are the magic numbers? When will the industry come up with bedrock metrics that demystify digital platforms? Do they work, and how should they be valued? It's a question that digital marketing and ad agencies are grappling with and have been for the last 15 years in which the digital world evolved.
  • Storytelling Magic
    At this point, there's no argument that video is the snap, crackle and pop of the Internet. After all, comScore reports that 181 million U.S. Internet users are watching nearly 37 billion online videos per month, with video ads topping 8 billion for the first time on record. But thinking that popularity is what makes video so important to marketers is missing the point entirely. The true power of video is that it's the primary communication channel for Gen Y, and for marketers that means video is the language of the future. It's how Millennials want to consume content: A …
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