Man vs. Machine: Go to enough ad industry conferences and you’ll come away convinced that it’s going to be nothing but computers talking to one another once everything shakes out. But that’s not really the case. The online ad world has a nasty habit of getting obsessed with the plumbing, which sometimes obscures the real challenges. Technology and media have undeniably collided, creating lots of challenges and opportunities. One thing that clearly hasn’t changed is the need for top-notch people. At Digiday’s Data Management Summit in Deer Valley, Utah, there was an undercurrent of this frustration at the focus only on the mechanics. Rob Key, CEO of Converseon, made the point saliently: “Humans are going to have to be deeply involved in this to find the insights. We can’t get infatuated to this point that all data is going to give us all the insights.” Witness the changes to the agency. Starcom Mediavest’s global head of data and analytics declared his biggest problem isn’t getting the machines to work right. It’s needing 60 new folks with analytics backgrounds. In fact, the need for people to run the machines has led Universal McCann to look for “Goldman burnouts who don’t want to work 100 hours a week,” said Jeff Matisoff, digital director at UM. This is true even at Google, which is notoriously against touchy-feely people stuff. Neal Mohan, head of its display strategy, listed its services and relationships with publishers as a key reason Google bought it. Who would have thought people would matter so much?
Quote of the Day: “Is there a risk of overnerdifying the industry?” Digiday senior editor Mike Shields.
Ignoring the Hue and Cry: If social media’s taught us anything, it’s that consumers have a voice. This is mostly good, only sometimes it isn’t. It seems like companies aren’t willing to stick to their guns and make the tough decisions that innovation requires. Henry Ford famously said that if he listened to what his customers wanted, he’d have given them faster horses. In tech, there are ample cases of trailblazers making what at the time are unpopular decisions that pay off in the long run. See Facebook’s introduction of the News Feed and Apple’s decision not to include floppy disks in its computers. Big Champagne’s Eric Garland thinks the same will be true of Netflix’s decision to hike the price for some of its customers in a bid to move them over to streaming: “To be blunt, make no mistake this announcement signifies Reed Hastings’ intent to kill the DVD. For sure, the DVD doesn’t need Reed Hastings to kill it. It’s dying anyway. He’s just helping it along on its preordained course.” Fortune favors the bold.
Privacy is Alive and Well: Maybe Google execs read their Sun Tzu. It is clearly attacking Facebook where it’s most vulnerable: it’s sometimes dismissive approach to privacy. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a complicated view of personal privacy. It pretty much boils down to: people don’t have it and should get over it and should instead concentrate on being good people. That’s a pretty expansive point of view. But as Nick Bilton notes on the NYT’s Bits blog, Google+ is looking to turn that notion on its head with elegant sharing controls. In fact, he calls privacy its “No. 1 feature.” If that’s the case — I haven’t used it long enough to know yet — that will truly put to test Zuckerberg’s belief that people don’t really care that much about privacy because they join social networks for the express reason they want to share stuff with others.
Media Briefing: The case for and against monthly and annual subscriptions in the battle for retention
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for improving retention in a subscriptions business. While annual subscribers might stick around longer for some, other publishers will have better luck with monthly plans.
Digiday+ Research: The economy will hit the media and marketing industries this year, but differently
The economy will plague both the media and marketing industries in 2023, but the hit will be uneven between publishers and agencies.
Podcast ad buyers have yet to see a slowdown
Ad buyers have yet to see clients cut their podcast budgets – though the time of podcasts as the shiny new medium may be coming to an end.
SponsoredWhy Best Buy Ads sees retail media as integral to its customer-centric purpose
Sponsored by Best Buy Ads Retail media networks have become critical for marketers, with retailers investing in ways that enable advertisers to engage consumers across online and offline channels. Given the wealth of retailers’ first-party customer data and measurement capabilities, retail media networks have become a natural fit for augmenting performance marketing programs. Alongside the […]
The programmatic open marketplace is faltering, but publishers see a bright spot in private programmatic deals
Publishers are coming to terms with their open programmatic marketplace RPMs being 20-55% lower than they were this time last year, but the hope is that programmatic guaranteed deals will make up the deficit.
Marketers weigh the cons of working with Google Ad Manager amid Justice Department’s new lawsuit
When is it time to back away?