Ask 100 marketers to describe "contextual advertising," and you are likely to get 400 vague, optimistic answers about the "right message at the right time and place to the right person." Ask 100 startup CEOs and you're likely to get 1,000 black-box answers that will confound you. There lies the core conundrum. Read Article
The Disruptive Agency Model
In a recent Ad Age post, I heralded a new era for agencies where "quality scale" was new revenue created through the design of trusted user experiences that can be deployed at scale. This level of sophisticated marketing design is beyond the scope of ad tech platforms or management consulting firms with their limited executional, real-world experience; presenting agencies with a potent new growth area. Read ArticleNovember 16, 2017
Three reasons it’s hard to tell Silicon Valley from the NRA
In the past month, we have been helpless onlookers to horrific mass shootings in Texas and New York that’s haunting the national consciousness. Over the same period, we were witness to Silicon Valley’s titans; Facebook, Google, and Twitter, wretchedly attempting to explain how their platforms became weaponized by governments hostile to American interests. Read ArticleNovember 14, 2017
Traffic Authentication: The Most Nettlesome Issue in Ad Tech
Unless you have been living under a digital rock, the mounting outrage about fake impressions is quickening, commensurate with a deepening understanding of ad tech fraud among advertisers. Recently, Forrester confirmed advertisers' suspicions in a study titled "The End of Advertising As We Know It." In it, the analyst firm argues the current backlash against major publishers and ad networks, including Google and Facebook, comes "as advertisers re-examine their digital spend and demand more transparency." Read ArticleJune 23, 2017
Marketing Tech Insights: 2017 Top 10 Content Marketing Solutions
“Growing competition is compelling content marketing to be more creative, deliver real-time content based on behavioral patterns. Rethinking content marketing has become has become most crucial today to drive more traffic and enhance revenue.
In the last few months, a distinguished panel comprising CEOs, CIOs, VCs and analysts and the Marketing Tech Outlook Editorial Board have reviewed the content marketing domain and selected the ventures at the forefront of tackling the industry’s challenges. The companies featured have manifested profound business process knowledge, integrated and innovative strategies in the content marketing arena.
SEE THE TOP 10 See page 14
READ ABOUT engageSimply See page 32April 1, 2017
Who’s to Blame for the Current Ad Tech Trust Gap?
Recently, PluggedBD held an executive-level roundtable titled "Transparency, Measurement and Viewability in the Digital Age," which began with a discussion about what Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard meant when he called for "… new [transparency] rules for agencies and ad tech to get paid." Not one of the panelists, representing every aspect of ad tech, could exactly answer the question, which prompted moderator Jonathon Shaevitz, CEO of Industry Index, to ask a second question: "Who's to blame for the 'trust' mess we're in?" That's when the conversation got really interesting because solving marketing biggest "whodunit" is how we start down the road to redemption. Read ArticleMarch 14, 2017
Three Ways Facebook Has Jumped the Shark for Marketers
Way way back in pre-IPO Facebook history, I pondered in a 2010 Ad Age post about whether Facebook had jumped the shark, given the advertising platform's constant iterations. My intention, then as now, was to understand how advertisers can effectively use Facebook. As I wrote at the time: "I have no ax to grind with Facebook, but I hold no sacred cows either." This is still true. Facebook ad products continue to morph and change, leaving marketers stumped to answer basic questions like: What's the ROI of Facebook? How does Facebook measure its authentic audience size? What percentage of Facebook accounts are real vs. fake? Read ArticleFebruary 7, 2017
ADAGE: 5 Transformative Creative Trends in 2017
There are a few times in the great arch of history when one consciously knows she is observing a rare, transformative moment. This was how I felt at the recent sixth annual 4A's Create Tech conference. "Design and the Future of Advertising" set out to explore how marketing can touch the human experience in diverse and encompassing ways. Read ArticleDecember 15, 2016
ADAGE: Six Broken (or Almost Broken) Ad-Tech Promises
Google has gotten together with a diverse group of marketers, publishers, agencies and industry bodies to create The Coalition for Better Ads in what Ad Age called" possibly the broadest attempt yet to fix online advertising so that consumers don't become obsessed with blocking it." Read ArticleOctober 5, 2016
ADAGE: The Programmatic Contextual ConundrumAugust 31, 2016
ADAGE: It’s Time to Ditch the Paid/Earned/ Shared/Owned Model of Ad Tech
Ad-Tech Models Have Distracted Marketers from Unifying the User Experience.Before the great ad-tech boom, the advertising model was straightforward -- if not simple. The "four Ps" dominated the modern marketing machine, with "promotion" being universally understood as paid media and sales promotions. End of story. Read ArticleJuly 8, 2016
AdAge: Beware the Siren Song of Marketing Automation
Four Dangers Lurking Beneath the Seduction of Marketing Automation. The ancient legend of the sirens who seduced sailors with their enchanting song -- only to result in often catastrophic shipwrecks -- is an apt metaphor for today's marketing automation adoption journey. Read ArticleMay 25, 2016
AdAge. How to Close the B-to-B Ad-Tech Gap: Four Ways Ad Tech Fails B-to-B and What to Do About It
Recently, I saw an IAB b-to-b programmatic study that revealed nearly half of b-to-b marketers don't even know what programmatic buying is. That's a staggering gap compared to b-to-c marketers, among which 62% of marketers use programmatic. Read ArticleJanuary 19, 2016
AdAge. Here’s the Only Marketing Trend You Need to Know for 2016
This Unexpected Trend Will Steal the Spotlight from 'Cool' Ad Tech. New Year's "trend lists" will start filling up our feeds pretty soon with posts like "Top five ways to leverage native ads" or the perennial list about "What's hot in mobile." Read Article.December 2, 2015
AdAge. News Flash: Ad-Blocking Is Not Marketing’s FaultNovember 9, 2015
Marketers are usually the first to be blamed when things go bad in the corporate world. Product didn't sell well? Customer research was flawed. Competitors eating our lunch? We didn't communicate our point of difference well. Stock price going down? The advertising wasn't cool enough. Read Article
Entrepreneur. Marketing Geeks Take Revenge on Advertising TechOctober 14, 2015
It’s no secret that marketers are struggling to adapt to a tech-heavy, algorithmic-driven marketing landscape. Adapt or die is what technologists tell marketers, revealing a thinly veiled disdain for the very marketing customers they sell to. Read Article
AdAge. Best Practices: How to Harness the Chaos of Experimentation for Marketing BreakthroughsJune 5, 2015
As marketers, we are master tinkerers. We tweak this and modify that as we follow our customers in their individual digital journeys. The ad-tech revolution has given us many new tools in our toolbox to delight any hardcore marketer. Read Article.
AdAge. Why Excluding Marketers from the Ad-Tech Boom Is a Failed StrategyApril 30, 2015
I am shaking with fury as I write this — reeling from three incidents that individually might have gone unnoticed, but as a group tumbled into my consciousness, leaving me wanting to yell at the top of my lungs, “I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore,” in a pathetic mimic of that famous scene from the 1976 movie “Network.” I was jolted to face the disturbing reality that because ad tech was created in a tech/VC echo chamber, largely excluding marketing practitioners, it is suffering from an overemphasis on the “product” side to the detriment of the human element of marketing. Read Article
AdAge. ‘Go Small or Go Home’ Is the Next Big Thing in Ad TechMarch 15, 2015
“Go big or go home” is the mantra that drives the current ad-tech gold rush. It refers to the prize that awaits ventures capable of scaling their audiences — the faster the better — guaranteeing huge ad budgets in the rapid shift from traditional to digital media. Read Article.
StackStreet. 10 Things a Startup CEO Should Never Ever Say to the Startup TeamDecember 9, 2014
Between the startup dreams and funding reality lies the “day in day out” stress of being a startup CEO. Sometimes maintaining a certain level of grace under pressure is tough. Sometimes, we stumble and we say unthinking things, unkind things or just plain stupid stuff. Read Article.
Ad Age: It’s Time to Balance the Tech-Human Element in Marketing
Five Ways to Thrive in the Chaotic Ad-Tech Wonderland in 2015: Today, digital marketing is dominated by conversations around "scale," giving one the sense of falling into a wonderland of ad networks, exchanges, trading desks, mobile and video platforms, all swirling in a cloud of big data. From afar things look normal, but on closer examination, everything is askew. Full ArticleDecember 2, 2014
eMarketer: EngageSimply Envisions Omnichannel as a Way of Targeting Small Subcultures
As an engagement marketing company, engageSimply uses data analytics to serve ads and cultivate customer interests. Judy Shapiro, engageSimply’s founder and CEO, spoke with eMarketer’s Yory Wurmser about how omnichannel marketing is moving toward quality interactions based on context. Full Article (PDF).November 17, 2014
StackStreet: The Seven Deadly Sins of the Startup Psyche
Too often the passion of younger CEOs around their vision tend to cause a blind spot (deliberate or not) around basic business common sense and basic numbers crunching. Seeing this trend played over and over again in just a few months, inspired me to share what I believe are the top seven deadly sins that seem worth noting and hopefully avoiding. Full Article.October 18, 2014
Ad Age: Six Ways to Fall in Love With Marketing Again
The sheer tonnage of technologies is a serious buzz kill, casting a cloud over the industry. But it doesn't have to be that way with these six techniques to keep your passion for marketing intense and vital. Full Article.September 11, 2014
Entrepreneur: Disrupting the Disruption Myth
The buzz word disruption has captured center stage in the U.S. investor world. But is disruption a necessary ingredient in the startup world? A look overseas to China indicates that this need not be the case. Full Article.August 12, 2014
Social Media Today: Top 8 Tech Terms Marketers Love to Hate
Nothing rankles the ire of any marketer with even a tad of experience more than those highly touted “new” tech terms or concepts positioned as silver bullet answers to heretofore unsolved marketing problems. Full Article.July 14, 2014
Entrepreneur: 10 Apologies I Will Never Again Make as a Startup CEO
Probably one of my biggest mistakes was a misguided attempt to follow in the typical path of tech startups: hanging out at meetups, applying to every incubator and funding platform I could find and flying to San Francisco so often that my frequent-flier miles qualify me for a trip to anywhere. Full Article.July 11, 2014
Ad Age: Can Native Ads Save The Soul of of Digital Advertising?
Execs Debate Whether Programmatic Buying Will Screw Up Native Ads. During the OMMA Native Ad Conference at Internet Week last month, I heard an ad tech executive proclaim, “But digital banner ads work. They keep publishers afloat.” I literally gasped out loud. Full Article.June 10, 2014
Media Post: Intrusive Intimacy by Tyler Loechner
“Technology lets us get more intrusive,” said Judy Shapiro, CEO and founder of engageSimply. “But it also lets us get more intimate.” Damn you, oxymorons that make sense! Full interview.May 19, 2014
Huffington Post: The Noise From the Tech Echo Chamber Is Deafening
This post is best framed with this old African proverb: An elephant can never see the world through the ant’s eyes, but the ant merely needs to climb on the back of the elephant to see his world. Read Article.February 10, 2014
Ad Age: How Are Agencies Leading the Way Through Technology’s Chaos?
5 Strategies to Put Marketing Tech Where It Belongs — Connecting to Consumers. Ask any marketer whether marketing tech is helping him do great work, and you’re likely to get an exasperated sigh, with complaints that too much tech is too detached from his day-in-day-out world. Full Article.January 7, 2014
Medium: The Amazing Adventure of a Startup Told In Song
Starting a venture is an incestuous marriage of faith and imagination — a rocky start at best. But that what’s makes it so seductive. It is a journey of triumph and terror; vision tinged with delusion and where courage carries the day. Yet in this heady mix, the existential question always remains; will money run out before hope does. Full Article.January 3, 2014
Ad Age: The Next Great Advertising Blip Is Just Around the Corner
The last 50 years of overall prosperity was a one-time only "blip" of good fortune that's unlikely to ever happen again, according to economist Robert Gordon. The American Dream depends on a growth economy, of course, and as the great American Dream goes, so goes Madison Avenue. Here's how agencies can position themselves to cash in. Full Article.June 27, 2013
Digiday: Will the Real Native Ad Please Stand Up?
Everyone’s going native these days. From New York Times to Google, more and more companies are doing some version of native advertising. But the practical question remains: is native advertising a genuine innovation or just “an old girlfriend in a new dress”? Full article.May 15, 2013
Bit Rebels: Are Google Alerts The Canary In The Big Data Mineshaft?
There’s no question the industry is reeling from processing more and more data, so many people are relying on predictive technologies to crunch the numbers and spit out what you want even before you want it. The problem is they require GOOD big data to get it roughly right. Yet the volume of big data has grown so fast that lots of bad big data has easily permeated the system, contaminating the entire data mineshaft. Full article.April 27, 2013
Social Media Today: The 10 Business Growing Pains that Social Media is Going Through Right Now
At the IAB Social Media Agency Day, I noticed many of the panelists expressed a “wait and see” attitude about social media; reflecting the reality that social media is still in its infancy. No doubt with maturation comes standardization but in the meantime, the session seemed to repeat certain key themes - growing pains as it were - about the business of social media. Read on for the 10 themes that kept surfacing. Full article.April 26, 2013
Ad Age: Is a Startup Bust Just Around the Corner?
Even the best technology won't create value if it can't get to market. That simple, straightforward lesson from the last tech bust ought to be guiding the new generation of startups. But as technology companies rush to fill every niche in the marketing industry, the lack of go-to-market savvy is stunning. Full article.March 26, 2013
Ad Age: Get Ready For Five Big Sentiment Shifts in 2013
The next big thing for 2013 will be less about revolutionary technologies and more about important conversation shifts that will transform marketing redefining privacy, reach, Big Data and trust. Full article.December 13, 2012
SOCIAL MEDIA TODAY: Untangling The Confusion Between Social Media & Social Marketing
Social media is dense with jargon that sets the stage for mismanaged expectations especially when people think the terms social media and social marketing are interchangeable. They’re not. Full article.November 26, 2012
The Problem With ImpressionsNovember 5, 2012
Why Now Is the Time for a Different Approach to Ad Metrics. Too often my meetings with online media network salespeople sound something like this:
Me: "So how did our campaign do?"
Salesperson: "Great. You performed within range -- getting 1/10 of 1% response based on number of impressions delivered."
Me: "Um, how is that a great result?" (C'mon … what am I supposed to do with 1/10th of 1% CTR anyway?)
Ad Age: The Great Divide: Agencies & Tech Innovators Need to Get on the Same Page
Technology strives for quick wins and platform plays, but winning in marketing is a long-term process. There's a big gap between agencies and marketers and the technologists and venture capitalists. Full article.August 27, 2012
Advertising Age: The Next Disruptive Tech on the Web? Trust
Our Digital Lives Have Evolved — So Must Trust After reading that headline, I can see some (maybe lots) of you scratching your heads saying: "Wait a minute -- trust is a not a technology!" A decade ago that would have been true -- it is not now. Read Article.February 16, 2010
Advertising Age: A Digital Myth: Technology Doesn’t Make Life EasierMay 11, 2009
It Simplifies Tasks but Complicates Lives. In the past several days, I have seen nearly a dozen dreamily written articles espousing the virtues of the still-rumored new iPhone that can, in one mighty device, make video recording, editing and uploading easy. Nor could one ignore that this media deluge seemed well-coordinated with a very cool, very prominent iPhone TV campaign called "There's an app for that" that touts the amazing things one can do with an iPhone. Read Article.