• Instagram Now Bigger Than Twitter On Mobile -- And Why That Doesn't Matter
    Nielsen created ripples last week when it released data showing that Instagram has on average 32 million monthly smartphone users, versus Twitter with "only" 30.8 million. Oh, the humanity! Our obsession with "mine is bigger than yours" in digital is really an old-media argument. Bigger used to mean more reach, and therefore a higher ticket price. But we don't live in that world anymore. "Better Delivered," "higher engaged" or "highly relevant environment" matters more and should cost more, with "how many" as a secondary cost qualifier.
  • Oculus Premature For The Promise Of Equity Crowdfunding
    In case you've been living under a rock for the past two days, here's the story so far: in September 2012, a startup virtual reality company called Oculus ran a Kickstarter campaign that raised $2.4 million. Three days ago, the company sold to Facebook for $2 billion. Lots of those early backers aren't so happy with this development -- mostly, it seems, because they think Oculus founder Palmer Luckey sold out to the devil. But some are upset because they think they should have gotten a payday: We gave you money when you had nothing, now you sold for billions, ...
  • Building Ad Platforms: Will Digital Ad Tech Absorb TV Ad Biz (Before TV Can Build Ad Tech to Absorb Digital)?
    AOL's Tim Armstrong told us yesterday that the media and advertising business is on the verge of its most significant transformation since the Internet came on the scene 20 years ago. In Armstrong's Ad:Tech San Francisco keynote, and in a subsequent interview with Mike Shields of The Wall Street Journal, he made it clear that the future of AOL is in platform-driven, cross-channel ad technology, to be built out on the company's newly announced ONE platform.
  • The Death Of The 'Big Idea' In Marketing?
    Marketing used to be about the "big idea." Talented agency execs would sit around reviewing research, brainstorming in their war rooms and staying up all night drinking scotch so they could come up with the big one. These days, brands work with too many agencies, creating a sense of strategic competition, and the big-idea model has shifted to a series of smaller ideas, customized to a billion potential eyeballs.
  • Doing Fewer Things Well
    I noted recently how we all maintain several identities across many online venues. One important one for me has been my persona in this column -- for most of eight years. But part of managing different versions of yourself on the Web is hard. Actively managing them sometimes means pruning them. That includes venues where you've contributed and received immense value for a long time. Well, that's what I'm doing now.
  • Five Industry Expressions I Want To Ban Immediately
    Once upon a time, in a universe far, far away, I worked on the agency side. While living and working in the '80s and '90s in swinging London, I was involved in lots of client presentations. To lighten up these presentations, we would give each other challenges: usually a word or sentence we had to somehow incorporate in the presentation. I was once given the task to include the sentence "like elephant droppings in the snow" without its being weird. How I succeeded is a story for another day... Conversely, we would sometimes challenge each other to avoid certain words ...
  • Secrets From The Guy With 100 Million YouTube Views
    Somewhere in a little town in Belgium, on a square where nothing really happens, Kris Hoet and his team decided to place a red button. A large arrow dangled above it, with the words, "Push To Add Drama." The resulting video -- a promotion for the launch of the TV channel TNT in Belgium -- has been seen 50 million times and is the second most-shared TV commercial of all time. (The first is Volkswagen's Darth Vader ad.) Hoet himself is the head of digital & Change Architect at Duval Guillaume, a small agency in Antwerp. Duval Guillaume has generated ...
  • Why I Am Putting Ads On Your Mom's Face
    Sometimes the biggest and best ideas are right in front of our faces -- pun intended. Are you ready to have your mind blown? I am going to put ads on your mom's face! I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but follow my iron-clad logic here.
  • Rules For Wearable-Tech Data
    Wearable technology is poised for exponential growth over the next three years, but the value of this technology to marketers will depend heavily on the rules for how the data will be gathered and used. As this is a burgeoning area, industry groups are not yet ready to tackle the topic , but I thought I'd propose some ideas for how data from wearable tech could, and should, be utilized.
  • How Many Online Identities Do Your Consumers Have?
    I've accumulated perhaps dozens of identities across various social platforms over the years. I use the same handle -- maxkalehoff -- on all of them, though the persona I present is nuanced across each platform and norm. Here are my major ones and their purpose:
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