• More Than Just A Line Item
    To this day, if you ask marketers to show you an example of their media flowchart for the year, they will almost undoubtedly show you a page that has a single line item on it for either "digital" or "online." That's akin to having a line item for "advertising" -- and if you think about it, underneath that single line item is a host of tactics that will achieve your objectives while living out their lives in a sea of anonymity. Would you want your efforts to go so unrecognized?
  • It's Like A Fan: Facebook Changing
    Soon people traveling the interweb won't be becoming "fans of brands" on Facebook,but instead will simply have to acknowledge they "like" a brand. According to the All Things D, who broke the story (and has images), not much else is changing. As the memo from Facebook to advertisers says, "your fans are still your fans." So what does this change mean for brands?
  • The Monster Ball Of Privacy
    Surely you know about the monsters in your closet. For consumers, these hairy guys are you -- the advertiser or the agency wielding sinister ad tracking and targeting voodoo. For you, the lurking monsters are the consumer privacy bill, to be introduced shortly by Congressman (D-Virginia) Rick Boucher -- a sign of the mounting, irreversible reality of more governmental control over our industry.
  • Earth People To Marketers: 'Only Straight Talk, Please'
    Like most people, I don't like marketing messaging that interrupts, distracts, exaggerates or condescends. For me, marketing messages are most welcome when they counter complexity and confusion, or solve a specific problem at just the right time. Which is why I've been particularly intrigued by some 10-second audio ads from Ally Bank that run at the beginning of Planet Money, an intelligent money-for-dummies podcast on NPR....
  • Top 10 Takeaways from ARF's Annual Convention
    I spent several days this week at the Advertising Research Foundation's 56th Annual Convention, Re:think 2010. As conferences go, ARF's this year was a good one, with some really insightful contributions from many of the speakers. Here are my top 10 takeaways from the sessions I attended:
  • Building or Buying The Right Media Mix Model? I Say Build For Now
    Our business is maturing pretty rapidly, but one of the biggest issues is that we don't have any easy way to make an equivocal measurement of the impact we have on driving appreciable business growth.
  • No One WANTS To Watch Your Advertising, Still
    I'm in shock that there's even a debate about the viability of advertising in social media. The only thing that outweighs my shock is my awe of the denial of some marketers that if they just "join the conversation" (still not sure why I want a brand in my conversation), then they don't need to figure out how to buy advertising.
  • The Pre-Legitimate Life Of Mobile Marketing
    There is a familiar term in venture capital circles, "pre-revenue," which designates potential ventures where revenue streams do not yet exist or value is still debatable. I found this term floating through my head this weekend while attending a conference on mobile marketing, an emerging market now truly coming into its own among media professionals.
  • How To Create Customer Trust, Loyalty And A Great Brand Reputation
    I recently wrote about the growing hype in marketing circles around customer satisfaction and the Net Promoter methodology. The point of that post was to underscore that customer satisfaction and loyalty scoring is worthless if a company is not going to act on the intelligence. That column prompted a thoughtful reply from my friend Bruce Ertmann, a marketing veteran in the automotive industry: satisfaction scores are great, but what matters most is delivering on the promise.
  • The Power of 'No'
    Simple words can be very powerful. One of the most important tools a worker in the media and marketing world has is the power to say "no." Learning how and when to use the word is a vital lesson. This is true whether you are in sales, client service or product development. It's particularly true in start-up companies, where resources are scarce, historical guidance is short, and making too many promises is devastatingly more dangerous than making too few.
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