The Internet is without a doubt the most transformative medium of our time. It has given voices to millions who can now easily share their own stories and ideas with the world, and given access to information to many millions more. The Internet has been, and will continue to be , a force for positive change in society. But, as with all tools, there are negative implications we must be aware of, even when discussing something as seemingly positive as a "free flow of ideas."
When it comes to the theme of excess this time of year, we're generally talking about too many depressing, blatant consumer marketing gimmicks -- or too much promotional email. Or, too much play on a particular news story. And we're digesting all this after having consumed too much turkey and stuffing over the weekend. Still, as we pick our particular excess on which to reflect, we see the one clear thread: too much.
I've recently come to terms with the fact that the agency business is almost 100% commoditized as a result of its own ineffectiveness and unwillingness to adapt. The agency of the future will be 90% automated, with only minimal human curation of the data and the systems that are put in place, and a modicum of strategy applied as well. The human component will exist for top-level strategic thinking, and to develop research and POVs on data opportunities and evaluate new platforms -- all of which serve to further automate the media planning, buying and execution process.
It occurred to me recently that our industry has a particular tendency to lump a lot of stuff into an aspirational name or title, often without really committing to the tough work that needs to be done to make the aspiration a reality.
It doesn't matter if you're a CEO, a senior manager, a middle manager or an entry-level employee -- even a freelancer. In the end, all workers report to someone or some governing body. That's how businesses work, and that management dynamic is a good thing.
This relationship organizes workers and drives focus and accountability. It enables companies to set and enforce benchmarks and goals. It drives efficient and effective deployment of worker capital and resources.
The number of Americans subscribing to monthly TV service provided by their cable, satellite and/or teleco has dropped over the past two quarters, the first decline in decades. Is it the economy? Or are Americans starting to "cut the cord" on paid TV services and to view their television programming over the Internet? Are the pay TV subscription declines the beginning of the end? Or, as others argue, are they just cyclical consequences of the U.S. economy mired in a slow recovery from a very deep recession? I believe the latter, and here is why:
Social media is a lot like selling media: You need to listen first before you do anything else.I came upon this parallel last week in two separate discussions, and I realized they were both part of a larger theme. Social media is a conversation, but selling media is also a conversation. Both are based on relationships and the relevance, strength, interest and benefit to both parties engaged in the conversation. In social media marketing you have to establish a baseline and listen to the conversation before you interrupt it with your message, and in media sales the same idea can ...
Will Facebook replace email? I don't know. It has as good a shot as any company has ever had at dominating how people communicate, but there are a number of challenges still ahead. Since the Internet began there has always been one question that unimaginative investors and naysayers use to tell innovative companies to not do something: "Why wouldn't ______ just do it?" Or, depending on the decade, "Where is Microsoft, Google or Facebook?"
As we often do, I spent a little time this past week pondering the mingling of the old and the new. Old and new media, that is. I've been catching up on my reading about AOL's new journalism project. No irreverence intended -- but some of the details are curious, considering the entity and the change-making executives involved. Ad economy pacemaker Tim Armstrong, for one.
Perhaps the biggest news in the Internet industry this week was Amazon.com's purchase of Quidsi, parent of Diapers.com, for $540 million. According to Claire Cain Miller of The New York Times, the "acquisition suggests how far Amazon will go to maintain its edge in many corners of e-commerce."