• Time To 'Do More Digital' -- But Rationally, Not Blindly
    You read and hear it everywhere in the ad and marketing world: Do more digital. I've been in digital advertising since the early 1990s, so I'm happy that the market has finally gotten the religion. However, we're seeing a lot of unintended consequences from those calls for digital being followed too blindly, too literally. Problems with viewability, fraud and bots have been just a few of the unintended consequences of doing more digital without really understanding what might happen if budgets for "programmatic" were increased tenfold without understanding where the inventory could come from - particularly CPMs that seemed too ...
  • The New Ad Trifecta: Data, Agency, TV
    The three most overused words in the advertising biz this year are "data," "agency" and "TV." All three are core to the current status and future direction of the entire industry. Being a writer at heart, I think it's important to analyze these three words and possibly offer some better ones to consider.
  • Flow And The Machine
    Flow, the highly engaged mental state when we're completely absorbed with the work at hand, may be the one thing that machines can't replicate -- yet.
  • The Reinvention Of TV
    We are just coming out of the annual ritual that is the TV upfronts. The news seems to be that ratings are down, prices are up and commitments to buy airtime have been brisk. This continues to baffle many who observe the TV ad sales market. How can something that delivers less cost more and sell out?
  • Radical Transparency In Politics And Media
    In medieval Latin, the word "transparency" means "shining through," and in most modern contexts the word has a positive connotation, even in negative situations. The wafer-thin intellect of a President, for example, by letting the light shine right through, reveals neither the madcap stratagems of a next-gen Richard Nixon, nor the hard outlines of a consistently pro-business ideology, but a vast and vacillating willfulness. Transparency is topical not only in the political sphere, but also within the media business. As in politics, for media agencies, transparency is connected to alignment, to the responsibility of an appointed party (the agency) to ...
  • Jeff Bezos' Secret Message For Marketers
    Marketers channeling their inner Maverick (Tom Cruise's character in "Top Gun") often find themselves thinking "I feel the need, the need for speed" - but are plagued by internal speed bumps and stop signs. Little do they know that buried in Jeff Bezos' annual Amazon shareholder letter is an approach for helping them accelerate marketing efforts and navigate past internal road blocks.
  • Why TV's Upfront May Not Be Doomed
    What's the role of the television upfronts? I know the old answer was to convince advertisers where they should spend their money over the coming year, by teasing them with first-look views of the new programs that will garner the attention of the masses. In today's world, this seems far less necessary.
  • How I Cleared A Room Full Of Marketing Techies
    Whenever we start talking about B2B marketing, people start heading for the door. If there is a B2B track at a general marketing show, you can bet your authentic Adam West Batman action figure (not that I would have any such thing) it will take place in some far-off corner of the conference center, down three flights of escalators, where you turn right and head toward the parking garage.
  • Back To The Future: What Marketers Want
    I spent last week at The Festival of Media Global in Rome. There were on-stage discussions with global leaders from P&G, VW, Burberry, Lastminute.com and many others. It was an excellent event, and it gave me the opportunity to talk to almost a dozen senior marketing and media leaders. Here's what I heard:
  • Trump: News Media's Worthy Competitor
    They say competition makes you stronger. When you're on your own, there's a tendency to slack off. When you compete, you have to be better than your opponent, who has to be better than you, and the two of you push each other further and further until ultimately you are delivering the absolute best performance you are capable of. This is not to say competition always produces better outcomes. In the quest to win, people will often go too far, in sports as well as business. But in general, in a competitive environment, all participants will perform at a higher ...
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