• ONLINE SPIN
    Buzzword Of The Day: Programmatic Direct
    There's a hot topic getting tossed around quite a bit as of late: programmatic direct, which furthers the notion of all online advertising headed toward an automated, dashboard-driven future. It's a very simple concept if you think about it, the "Buy Now" button from eBay applied to media. Rather than having to wait and go through an auction for buying inventory, you can simply "Buy Now" and get guaranteed, premium inventory direct from the publishers you want to work with. Immediate gratification and buy certainty all rolled up into one.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    As Content And Conversation Become Advertising, Brands Must Have Personas
    Consumer brands often develop big brand bibles, but they are largely ineffective at helping companies navigate social media. That is because they lack authentic personas, like people have. Yet shifts in the media and advertising landscape are creating a growing urgency for brands to have well-defined personas.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    Back To The Future
    Last week I had not one but two experiences with social-media-related customer service: the first with @attCustomerCare, @TMobileHelp and @Verizon, and the second with @AetnaHelp. In both cases, it was incredible to experience firsthand how times have changed and feel the impact of consumer empowerment and control. However, I want to focus on the latter example with Aetna, my health care provider.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    The Value Of Doing Nothing
    I spent a few hours today talking with someone whose job is to do nothing. Let's call him James. To be honest, James' job isn't to do nothing, exactly. Just not something. Which is totally different, if you think about it. When people in James' community are having a hard time, he listens to what they have to say, finds out what they need, and then connects them with the right people or agencies. He doesn't just give them the phone number, either. He actively makes the introduction, ensuring people actually make it through the maze of bureaucracy and get ...
  • ONLINE SPIN
    Marketers Should Focus More On Media Performance, Not Just Price
    Virtually every week, there is another story about major marketers putting their media agency in review. Most of the reviews these days are driven by price, not performance. Marketers -- through their procurement officers -- want lower media prices, and they want to pay lower media agency fees. Certainly, marketers and their media agencies also spend a lot of time on media performance, but it seems that the pendulum has swung a bit too far to the cost control side lately.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    The Crisis Of Inaction (Or, How Ferris Bueller Saved My Life)
    There are many ways to operate in this world, and to be honest, you can be very successful with almost all of them. The two most dominant paths I notice are a) the one where you patiently torture every decision and move with deep analysis and the unwavering desire to get everything right, and b) the ability to identify trends, make decisions, take action and be willing to admit when you're incorrect and change direction. There's nothing wrong with either of these paths, as the difference is simply a matter of personal preference -- but when you put the two ...
  • ONLINE SPIN
    On Erwin Ephron
    I learned a few weeks ago from Joe Mandese that Erwin Ephron had passed away. Despite his reputation as an influential media theorist and practitioner -- and often a controversial thorn in the side of many -- there was another side of Erwin I got to know. He was curious, generous and open to accepting new ideas.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    One Last Impression Of The Media Industry
    After more than two years and 100 articles, this is my last OnlineSpin column for Mediapost. It's been fun sharing what I've learned during a career working in media and startups. But now that I've transitioned from ad tech to HR tech, it's time to hand the microphone to someone new.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    A Plea To UX Designers: Make My Old Age Easy
    This is what it's like when I Skype my grandma: I see she's online. I dial. It rings. She hangs up on me. I dial again. She picks up. She says, "Hello?" She hangs up on me. I dial again. She picks up. She says, "Hello?" Her video is not on. I ask, "Can you turn your video on so I can see your pretty face?" She hangs up on me.
  • ONLINE SPIN
    Why 'We're Not Social' Is The Kiss Of Death
    I spent the greater part of last week in Silicon Valley and surrounding areas with about 50 brand managers. We visited with a selection of startups, accelerators, incubators and the usual suspects of social media movers and shakers. Without mentioning names, on one visit with one of the big three in the social space (rightly or wrongly, I'm deliberately not including Yahoo in this list), I was struck by their continual plea that they "weren't social" and should instead be considered as essentially a mass reach play on a par (if not superior) to the legacy television, print and/or radio ...
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