Mark Duffy has written the Copyranter blog for 12 years and is a freelancing copywriter with 25-plus years of experience. His hockey wrist shot is better than yours.

The scene: You’re a robotic fly on the wall inside a conference room of a Flatiron District marketing firm on a recent afternoon as two digital marketing experts (and Martin, an intern) try to hammer out new strategies for their biggest client.

SETH: OK, we need to get way out in front of everybody else. What’s the new [makes air quotes], “new” thing? What’s after AI, AR, VR, 3-D, 360? That’s where we need to be.

MELISSA: Chip implants?

SETH: Interesting. Martin! Start a list.

MELISSA: Eventually, they’ll be the norm. Hopefully, it’ll be government mandated. When people walk by a billboard or, say, sit on public transportation or visit a website, custom ads could be beamed directly to their brains.

SETH: Shit, yeah! But that seems a bit … too far out in front. What else is new-new?

MELISSA: Roombas are looking like a good option for collecting hidden consumer data. Maybe we should conference with iRobot?

SETH: Hmm, OK. But let’s keep that on the D-L.

MELISSA: We definitely need to get their cognitive marketing ramped up.

SETH: Yes, that’s hot! Refresh my memory. What is it again, exactly?

MELISSA: Well, Boomtrain says it’s using the brain’s ability to think about itself as a way to form a connection with a customer.

MARTIN: Uh, I thought it was just marketing software that thinks for itself, like AI, kinda.

SETH: But then what would [client name redacted] need us for? Write it down anyway, with a big asterisk.

MELISSA: Checking my notes … last week, we told [client name redacted] that they needed to pivot to more people-based marketing and interconnect it with the UGC storytelling — sorry — story-doing content the ad agency team is currently collaboratively curating with [client name redacted]’s PR people and that hot Australian director.

SETH: Get all of that, Martin?

MARTIN: Yes, and checking my notes, Seth, you also told [client name redacted] that we would crunch user data and identity-map connected customers … ?

SETH: Really? Why did I say that? Do we do that? Can we do that?

MELISSA: We don’t. We could. …

SETH: Well! All I know is we’ve got to get more of their customers to join more conversations, and then we need to change all the conversations to get maximum on-boarding and convert more of them to QLs. How the fuck are we gonna do that?

MELISSA: I think we need to get their new DMP all up in their customers so that we know everything, all the time, immediately.

SETH: Yes! We need more fast data! Millisecond marketing! Then, we can create fresher and more scalable paint-by-data numbers portraits of all their customers and make them all contextual and globally accessible for real-time decision making. Does [client name redacted]’s cloud connect with consumers across the entire customer journey?

MELISSA: No, not even close, but please remember, Seth, [client name redacted] now calls it their “Marketing Stratocumulus®.”

SETH: OK, that’s a bit much. But we do need realer real-time results. Solutions?

MELISSA: We need to get more H2H interactions to their touch points, even if it’s M2H [Copyranter: “M” stands for “Machine”] posing as H2H.

SETH: Which brings us back to our people-based marketing content project. I think it’s gonna light up [client name redacted]’s dashboards like Times fucking Square.

MARTIN: Totally spitballing here, but I read that running a national TV spot one time is still the biggest bang for your buck.

SETH: Spare us your ancient school sound bites, Martin. How old are you?

MARTIN: It was in Ad Age. …

SETH: Ad Age is dead.

MARTIN: Coke’s CMO said it. …

SETH: Coke is dead. Do you drink Coke? I don’t. Nobody in my after-work squad drinks Coke. I drink peach Ghost Pee. You both should be drinking Ghost Pee. It’s organic. It’s Canadian. It’s now-er than now. Martin, go get three bottles from the fridge. What time is it in Australia?

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