• Here's To The Onliners
    You do realize our industry is completely insane, right? Our developers have to ensure consistency and compatibility across infinite platforms, operating systems, and interfaces of all kinds. Mac and PC. iOS and Android and Windows 7. Mouse-based and touch-based and gesture-based. They deliver technological miracles every day to a population whose expectations sit far above miracle level.

    Our marketers have to dynamically transform strategy and tactics to a landscape that changes faster than a politician's core values, and to client demands that change even faster: Groupon! Foursquare! Facebook! Google+! Bling! Shiny things! Squirrel!

  • Dealing With The Bad Dream Of Market Disruption
    Market disruptions are like bad dreams for folks working in mature, established marketplaces. When your business has been predictable, profitable and comfortable for years -- even if it's far from perfect -- you're not likely to be excited to wake up one day to find that you've lost half your customers, new competitors have entered your market and deliver comparable value at one-tenth of your cost structure -- and your own products, which you have been selling for years, have been exposed as overpriced and wasteful.
  • The Contradiction Of Google And Facebook
    For the last three years I've listened to the debate about whether Facebook will be around and still dominant in 10 years. If you'd asked me the question last month, my answer would have been yes. However, if you asked me that question anytime this past week, my response would have changed -- dramatically. Facebook is simply making too many mistakes.
  • Assumptions Are Killing Your Digital Marketing Strategies
    A few months back I wrote a piece titled "Operating in Real Time: How Far Away Are We?" I must have struck a nerve with the concept of real-time marketing because I received an inbox full of email and tweets ranging from those who warmly embraced the idea, to those who saw it as a utopian dream. While the minority of large, nimble and progressive marketers (yes, they exist) may be able to pull off real-time marketing sooner than most, I tend to agree that it will be limited to certain tasks and channels for the time being. But it ...
  • Why Agencies Should NOT Act More Like Startups
    "Agencies should act more like tech startups," a recent article in Fast Company proclaimed. The basic argument was that agencies needed to embrace the culture of creating software to remain relevant. Having worked at both a large media agency as well as a small software startup, I don't agree. Here's why:
  • File-Swallowing Dropbox Provokes White-Hot Rage
    Wednesday. 5:02 p.m. It's the night before my overseas trip -- for which, obviously, I haven't started packing. I finish my latest changes on a significant, urgent, collaborative PowerPoint document, and save it, as I've been doing all day, to the Dropbox folder where it lives. My local colleague in New Zealand will need to take a look at it and we'll need to fire it off quickly to another colleague in London. It's been a big job, but I'm really happy with the results.
  • Marketers And Media Companies, Start Your Scientists
    Many folks believe that more and more value in marketing, advertising and media will be created -- and unlocked -- through the application of hard science. If you are a marketer, media company or agency and want to participate in that value creation -- and realization -- then you'd better start "heavying" up on science, and that starts with bringing scientists into your organization as employees or contactors.
  • What To Say When A Brand Says 'No' To Social

    We all know that social media is getting bigger and bigger with every passing day, and more brands are engaging in social media every hour, but what about those brands that are still hesitant to get in the game?  What do you say to them?

    If a brand is still afraid to get involved in social, it's because of one of the following "excuses" (and yes, I mean "excuses" -- because none of these are relevant reasons to stay out of it):

    §       "I can't control my message in social."

    §       "There's no clear way to engage my consumers -- ...

  • How To Fix Ad Tech's Branding Problem
    With the sheer number of ad tech startups fighting for dollars, it's more important than ever to have a brand that stands out. But between their awkward sounding names, template-driven Web sites and acronym-laden copy, most ad tech companies aren't making things any easier on themselves with their branding and marketing.

    If you're at a company that's struggling with branding, here are a few tips:

  • Google+ Proves We're As Fickle As Cats
    My cat India has been chasing a crumpled-up bit of paper around the living room for the past 10 minutes. It is clearly the enemy, evoking her most warrior-like characteristics. She prowls. She stalks. She pounces. And then, abruptly -- she stops to lick her crotch.

    Three months ago, Google launched its latest salvo in the social media war against Facebook. To be fair, it's about as evenly matched a war as my cat and the ball of paper.

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