The current fight about self-regulation of consumer privacy between Representative Henry Waxman (D-California) and the online ad industry is a shining example of when gut instinct can lead to fatal errors. Make no mistake: we are teetering on the edge of sweeping regulations that will wipe out some questionable companies in our space, and do damage to most others. We are in this position because our industry leadership is making a classic strategy error: believing that 100 good short-term tactical moves equate to a winning long-term strategy.
Interest in so-called free media is a big driver of advertiser interest in social media, but do companies achieve value in free media that is out of proportion to their investment in earning it? Does the advertiser pursuit of free media kill the social media party?
Question from a media buyer: We're getting pressed by our clients to get more "free media" for them, but it's getting harder to do. They expect social media to cover the gaps, but even social sites can't guarantee anything. We have to pay for it all. Since we buy media on social sites, what about getting social media with other sites too?
This has to get simpler; we can all agree on that. Where opinions fracture is on "the how" causing the market to limp behind its potential. I have a remedy for the leaders buying and selling online inventory to consider -- a solution so simple I can share it over a cup of coffee.
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