Thursday, December 19, 2013

Google Glass – my first 24 hours

I picked up my Google Glass (glasses?) yesterday at the Google Glass location at the Chelsea Market in NYC. You, my dear readers, expressed a lot of interest in what the experience is like when I posted a few weeks back that I was selected by Google to become a Glass Explorer.

So here we go.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The gap between The Coca-Cola Company and The Gap

Two articles grabbed my attention over the last couple of days. One talked about The Gap suspending advertising in the fourth quarter in the United States. And one talked about The Coca-Cola Company suspending advertising in The Philippines. One company got it absolutely right, and one is stuck in 1995.

Let’s review…

Friday, November 15, 2013

The memo the print media didn't get: increase ad rates with every decrease in readership

As many of you are aware, I have recently become a published author, in collaboration with my good friend Joseph Jaffe (@jaffejuice).

Our book “Z.E.R.O.; zero paid media as the new marketing model” has been out for a few weeks and we are beginning to have truly interesting conversations with readers all over the whole world.

One of our contentions in the book (and one where, according to Joseph, I am more bullish – in a bad way for the industry – than he is), is that “the big one is coming.” Big what?

This: If you look at the sum of current trends, traditional media is incrementalizing itself out of the marketing mix. Permanently. And if you, as an advertiser, are not prepared to evolve into a different mix, you/your brands will likely go the way of Blackberry, Kodak, Pets.Com, print media, the Dodo and the Dinosaur.

So let’s look at the facts.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Why Google’s new Terms of Service are good news for you, and why you think otherwise

Google announced it is updating its terms of service. And immediately, media began a feeding frenzy about how terrible their new terms are for you, the user. Always the contrarian, I actually believe the opposite to be true.

In fact, there are many other businesses who, throughout your day, offer similar services to what Google is attempting to do and you are perfectly happy about these offerings. Let’s review.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I have succeeded as a digital age parent; what I learned from my 12 year old son

Despite the fact that I am showing you two pictures of myself, this is not a post about "selfies".

The other day, I changed my formal looking Skype profile picture to what I thought to be a more playful picture I just happened to have on my phone. It was of me and our dog Kenji, and I thought it would be a fun profile picture.

I Skype with my 12 year old son Robert every day, so he saw that my picture had changed. The following conversation then took place:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Man vs. machine, the advent of electronic buying and the death of the media buyer

If you read about what is going on in media land, I am sure you have heard of “programmatic buying” and DMP’s. You may have understood that it is something to do with digital media buying. And you are right, but also wrong.

What is really happening is that all media are becoming digital, as a result of which all media are generating reams of data, real time. And it is this data that is allowing or causing many disruptions across the field of connections strategy, planning, buying, optimization and post analysis.

In this post I want to explore what this means for the role of the media buyer so you can better prepare yourself for the inevitable: the machines are taking over.

(man vs machine visual found here)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Why more digital advertising options is not helping digital advertising

In my last blog post, I stated that the ever growing overload of digital advertising options for advertisers is becoming an issue.

Specifically, I said: “In my mind, the growth of ever more platforms, solutions, apps, options and choices is simply beginning to be too large. As a result, both consumers and advertisers might start to retreat and choose only a limited number of (in their mind) relevant options, leaving 90% of what is out there to fight over crumbs of attention or ad dollars.

In fact, perhaps the overload of digital advertising options is turning out to be a hindrance for the digital advertising industry to mature and not a conduit. More in this case is probably worse, not better.

Here is how I have been thinking about it. Let’s see if you follow along and agree.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The evolution of digital and the devaluation of advertising on it

I don’t know about you, but I am beginning to suffer a little bit from digital evolution overload. I am all for progress but to me it is beginning to feel like there is just too much being launched without there really being any thought to whether it fulfills a basic human or business need, utility or solution.

Perhaps it is because of the heat wave that my brain has switched to skepticism mode. Perhaps it is because so many new apps, tools, services and the like all seem to have a name ending on “r” (Tumblr, Flickr, Crushr, Flushr, Pinheadr, etc. And it turns out I only made a few of these up…). 

Perhaps it is because many of the options have, even if they have great consumer utility, no idea about what they need to offer an advertiser in order to be taken seriously as an ad platform of any kind.

Here is my take on how the world of digital has evolved:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

How crap online advertising turned you away from my blog

As I am a big believer of learning by doing, I added Google AdSense to my blog a little while ago. Google AdSense allows third party ads to be visible on your blog or website, and gives you a (somewhat bewildering) series of options and exceptions to choose from with regards to what and where you want ads to be included.

I very quickly discovered that I was making money ($ 0.51 cents to date! woohoo!), and that adding ads can cost you in readership and usability even if you think you are making sensible decisions as a content owner.

Both are valuable lessons, and it shows that paying attention and analyzing what and how you advertise really matters. Let me explain what I learned.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The media agency conundrum: advertisers want more, pay less and trust no-one.

Recently, both P&G as well as Mondelez announced they were seeking significant increases on the payment terms they require from their media agencies. Mondelez International is going the way of AB-InBev with 120 days payments terms, while P&G are going with 75 days. This means advertisers are asking their media agencies to bankroll the advertiser’s media costs and fees for a longer period of time (up to 120 days).
Advertisers need to be realistic in terms of what the consequences could be. And then decide if these consequences are not worse than the actual benefit of these “enhanced” payment terms.

Note: a few of the paragraphs that follow were written by me for the book “Z.E.R.O., zero paid media as the new marketing model” (with co-author Joseph Jaffe). Z.E.R.O. is on pre-order on Kickstarter through June 26, 2013. If you haven’t pre-ordered yet, and it isn’t June 26 yet, then you still have time.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What’s in a name: Newfront is an affront

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I led the media department of Leo Burnett in Amsterdam and I helped usher in the commercial TV revolution to its clients. The Netherlands did not have commercial TV until 1989. Before that date, the state owned TV channels (there were 2!), sold advertising once a year in September, and in that month all advertisers had to commit for the whole of the following calendar years’ worth of TV advertising. It resulted in an up-front commitment made in September of one year all the way to Christmas the next year. It was ludicrous and fell apart when commercial TV was launched with far more flexibility and commercial openness.

In China, once a year, national (and government owned) TV network CCTV puts on a big event in a ballroom somewhere in Beijing. And when I say event, I mean an auction, with paddles and shouting and showrooming and everything else that comes with a frenzied auction atmosphere. CCTV auctions off its most prized assets for the upcoming TV year. Very often, Chinese advertisers pay ridiculously inflated prices for airtime well into the next year, as the auction frenzy sets off a battle of "mine is bigger then yours" in terms of budgets and commitments. Last November, CCTV's haul was $2.5 billion. Nice for an afternoon's work.

Both events are stupid and would never happen anywhere else. Right? Wrong: something quite similar happens every year in the United States of America and is called the Upfronts. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Introducing a new law on Big Data and Marketing: mine

So you have heard of Moore’s Law, right? According to Wikipedia, Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore concluded in a 1965 (!) paper that the number of components in integrated circuits had doubled every year since its invention in 1958, and he predicted the trend would continue for the next 10 years. The only thing wrong with his prediction about the doubling of computer horse-power was the “10 years” part: the law still holds true today.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the Big D word. Yes, Big Data. It is now used (and abused) so much that the term delivers 2 billion 200 million results through a Google search. If we narrow the search to “Big Data Marketing” the results are still a portly 445 million results. That is a lot of data about Big Data.

But has it been helping marketers to date? I don’t think so. In fact, the opposite of helpful seems to be true. So I humbly present Maarten’s Law of Marketing Data and Understanding.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Is it bad when your CEO does not tweet? Is it good when he does?

Recently there have been a number of publications regarding CEO’s and their use (or not) of Twitter. The tone seems to suggest that there are still more CEO’s who don’t tweet versus those that do, and that this is a really bad thing.

I would like to disagree. I want to address Twitter for CEO’s using a fascinating metric that I have come to trust over the years: common sense.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Five things brands can learn from the fastest woman on the race track (spoiler: it is not driving a car really fast)

(Note: I have no affiliation with any of the brands or organizations mentioned in this post)

You may have heard of Danica Patrick. She is one of only a few female racing drivers, and the only one to have won an Indy Car race (she hates being called a “lady driver” as she stated in a recent Speed Network interview). She is now also the first woman ever to have clocked the pole position at the Daytona Speedway 500 race opener for the NASCAR season 2013.

That is no small feat, as all teams are launching into the NASCAR season with new cars, and in many cases, new car/driver combinations.

But that is not what this post is about… I want to talk about “Brand Danica” which seems to me to be very well managed, and even more so, extremely well communicated. Other brands can learn from this.

One of the biggest challenges that brands face is to find their authentic voice via the channels utilized for a brand. And it is here that Team Danica do a great job.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Digital Marketing, Expectations and Commons Sense

Even if you do not live in the United States, if you work in Marketing you will have been bombarded with Super Bowl related marketing news over the last few weeks.

I subscribe to a fair number of online marketing newsletters, blogs, magazines and the like, as well as general news outlets from all over the world and in the past few weeks you were forgiven for thinking that all marketing revolved around how advertisers maximized their ROI on a $4 million 30 second investment.

That is not what I want to talk about in this post. What I want to address in the context of Superbowl is Digital Marketers and Common Sense, or very often the lack thereof.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Privacy is your concern, and not Facebook's

Much has been written about privacy and the web. I just read an excellent column from Webby Awards' director David-Michel Davies over on MediaBizBloggers. I don’t know if this blog post was inspired by or prompted by an earlier blog post on that same website from the usually very articulate and smart Shelly Palmer.

The issue at hand is this: with Facebook Search upon us apparently you will now be exposed for the binge-drinking, table dancing, karaoke singing, serial adulterer/adulteress that you are.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Let's ban the word Television - epilogue

Even though I was going to tackle some other thorny subjects as the new year starts, I must one more time come back to what has become my most read and shared TV posts from 2012 (if you missed them, part 1 is here, and part 2 is here).

The reason I wanted to add this epilogue is that a good friend and much admired thinker sent me some really interesting comments and I wanted to share them with you.