In a meeting last week, I was asked to explain why I am neither a believer nor proponent of true one-to-one marketing. The truth is, I don't believe that the future of advertising -- particularly brand advertising on television -- is about finding the most perfect ad for each and every person each and every time they interact with media.
Did you know that advertising is the second-oldest profession in the world? It's a little known fact, but if you follow the money, as they typically say on reruns of "Law & Order," you'd guess the folks engaged in the oldest profession in the world had to advertise to find clients, right?
Winds of change are blowing down the halls of major media agencies. The race to develop data management and audience buying platforms is on. Does this surprise anyone? I hope not. It's a logical evolution and has been underway for a few years now.
One of the most exciting, validating stages of emerging media hitting its stride is when a single media sphere becomes an identifiable, robust, sustaining industry unto itself, with options galore. How does this go down? Simply put, a media type -- search, social, mobile -- comes into its own by first becoming a planning and spending category for agencies. Then, it proves itself as a revenue-generating sector within the ad economy -- and is under constant study and manhandling by all of us.
You cannot hide anymore. The Interweb's combination of ruthless inquisitiveness and infinite access to information will reveal you if you are a fraud, exonerate you if you are a hero, let your cream of wheat rise to the top and leave your chaff by the wayside.
I am writing this column on a flight home from a very important industry conference. No, this is not going to be another one of those effete dispatches from the south of France and the Cannes Lions, filling us in on yacht parties, celebrity sightings and media exec sound-bites. I skipped Cannes this year, choosing instead to spend the past three days in Orlando at Nielsen's Consumer360 conference.
No, I didn't draw the short straw among my several colleagues who did go to Cannes. I had a choice, and here's why I chose Florida instead of France:
A colleague of mine says, "Don't ever burn a bridge -- but if you do, be sure to torch it, because you won't ever be able to rebuild it." That advice, though cynical in some ways, is actually quite valuable.
Let's face it -- technology is sexy, exciting and alluring. However, the most essential gears that keep the digital marketing machine running are not the ad technologies, algorithms or data. Your number-one asset and the driving force that makes digital marketing hum are the people who develop and bring ideas, products and services to market, manage and enforce processes, determine how technologies are to be applied to your business, and manage the day-to-day execution where the rubber meets the road.
The most important tension in the industry right now is a subtle, brewing one: the tension that implores us to slow down. I have long supported this "slow down" imperative, and its value generally within all of our business dealings. However, we are not talking about slowing to a crawl. Instead, we should slow down just enough to collaborate properly; make sound, sustainable decisions; and invest shrewdly in systems, people, research, partnerships and placements.
Palo Alto, July 1, 2013:
Yesterday, Facebook revealed that unique users had failed to show significant growth for the second quarter in a row, staying flat at roughly 7 billion uniques worldwide.
Although new users continue to grow in the infant demographic, a spokesperson for the company said that older users were dying off almost as fast as they were being replaced -- causing analysts to predict certain doom and devastation for the Web giant. "The bubble is finally popping," said a junior analyst from Forrester. "In all my 17 years on this earth, I've never seen anything like ...