Weird stuff. Google dominates the industry but I feel like I'm watching a juke & jive show.
YouTube "on the brink of imminent profitability.
Now turning into a brilliant PR seminar on how not to answer a reporter's legitimate questions. Now it's funny.
Archive for the ‘Agencies’ Category
Weird stuff. Google dominates the industry but I feel like I'm watching a juke & jive show.
Aspen, CO, BrainstormTech: Brian McAndrews and Wes Nichols declare the concept of online engagement is only an intermediate metric and does not relate to sales data.
Friday July 22– Fortune Brainstorm Tech, @ The Aspen Institute
At the branding panel with Wes Nichols, (Marketshare Partners), Tom Bedecarre (AKQA), Brian McAndrews, (now a VC) Barry Saltzman (Google)
Room full of investors, agency CEOs, analysts all agreeing that social media will be the engine that finally moves big media dollars online.
From Press Release land .. and the The Wall Street Journal
"The U.S. online ad market started a turnaround in the second half of
last year, says research from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Interactive
Well, what else would they say?
"U.S. online ad spending for the fourth quarter totaled a
record $6.3 billion — a rise of 2.6%."
OK, that's good. The interesting thing about "online ad spending" numbers is that they massively understate the dollars that are spent in online marketing. The IAB (the web publisher's advocacy group and don't forget it) is naturally going to tell Price-Waterhouse to define "online ad spending" as transactions between an advertiser and a web publisher. Fair enough. But, big but, the definition of what constitutes "online ad spending" could be looked at in a much different way.
What if we defined online ad spending as any transaction that creates an impression, whether it is a transaction between a publisher and an advertiser or between a consultant and an advertiser. By this I mean that as dollars have flowed (and plenty have) into "social media" and the old standby "web development" and various kinds of "optimization", none of that gets recorded as "online ad spending." And yet all of those dollars are doing exactly what ad dollars are supposed to be doing.
This creates some interesting winners and losers:
The Winners: Social Media & Optimization budgets
The winners are optimization-focused and social savvy agencies (of all kinds, btw) and consultants who understand that their economic future and their clients' both get better every time they can convert a dollar earmarked for traditional "media" into fees for services such as ghost twittering, landing page optimization, content creation and on and on.
The other winners are the advertisers who recognize this. At a recent OMMA panel moderated by AKQA's @TomBed, Marty Collins of Microsoft's Windows answered my question regarding their ROI tracking on cost-per-impression for social media versus the cost-per-impression for traditional media by saying, "social media blows traditional away. It's not even close." (To be fair, she went on to add that her view, which I agree with is that not all impressions are created equal.)
The Online Ad Losers: Web Publishers
The losers, oddly, and notwithstanding the $6.3 billion "measured" by the IAB, are the publishers. Smart media consultants, ad agencies and PR agencies are recognizing that for fees that stay with them they can create impressions at a fraction of the cost of "traditional" online media. All the better if they get to keep a much larger portion of the "media" budget as fees –rather than acting as a bank for the advertisers and skimming, at best, 15% off the top. So the smart gatekeepers over online spending are rapidly building rationales for massive cuts to the "online ad" spending the IAB is boasting about
Will this turns into a wave? Is it possible that "online ad spending" is the wriong metric. Maybe it's online ad spending + fees collected by smart agencies and consultants. And, my guess is that that (unmeasurable) number is growing at a way faster pace than 2.6%.
What do you think?
Everyone has their pet frustrations with the device they can't live without.
The failure of the iPhone browser to support Flash content has been pretty frustrating if only because everyone insists on putting Flash into their sites (never mind Google can't index it, but I digress). Along comes Rich Wong of Accel Partners, a Valley VC saying that Adobe blew it, Flash is toast, Fuggedaboudit.
Flash won't be supported on the iPad. Now I could this see this having a big affect on how publishers develop content. Since publishers both online and off are stumbling over each other to develop iPad-ready versions of their magazines and newspapers, it's not hard to see how Flash starts to lose its appeal for publishers. Why do things in Flash if readers can't see it on the iPad — because, as you know we will each own five iPads in about two years, not counting the kid's pads.
One possible benefit of the death of Flash (I'll believe it when I see it) is the demise of the classic advertising agency site built entirely.in Flash so as to satisfy some art director's vanity — sites where you can't copy content or download anything while you play cat and (ready?) mouse (har, har. Sorry had to do it) trying to find the precious hidden roll overs.
When I started my career at age 20 in the pre-fax, pre Internet, almost pre-fedex days on the eighth floor of Grey Advertising's 777 Third Avenue office building, not only was my calculator chained to my desk, (really. It was) but seemingly, the Grey spot media buyers had been chained to theirs for several decades. They were let loose to plop (they all plopped or plotzed) into the waiting limosines of the slick-suited salesmen (the buyers were all women the sellers were *all* men) from the spot media rep houses like Katz, etc. Off they went to the Yankees game or 21. They bought impressions and negotiated rates by parceling out percentages of their budgets. Send me my tickets. Over and Out.
My sources tell me things haven't changed all that much. Within the last year, I heard of a San Francisco- online buyer on the phone with spot buyers at a major buying agency (not Grey or Mediacom btw) in New York who was told point blank, something to the effect of, "if you don't stop talking about accountability and measurement in front of the client, we'll take your entire budget away". They weren't kidding and they still had that power.
Dave Morgan's column in MediaPost today, about "Minimum Motivational Frequency "reminds me that these days may finally be coming to an end. It is becoming increasingly possible to measure the sales impact of specific television spots (see Morgan) as well as the impact of an entire medium on actual behavior. Check out Wes Nichols' company Marketshare Partners if you don't believe me. It's no longer fantasy, it's happening. At the AAAA's meeting last week in San Francisco, I talked to an agency CEO who had yanked the media business away from one of the big media buying agencies with a proposal that actually cost more in fees than the "we negotiate the best rates and offer the lowest commissions" media houses by proving better effectiveness. Even more impressive, he had won the argument with the purchasing department.
Buyers of all media are going to look more and more like digital buyers and less like spot buyers. It's going to get harder. Data, rather than limo length witll drive decisions. Yes, it's taking forever, but it is still going to happen. They find their own limos and they get off on spread sheets and pivot tables. Ain't nobody going to chain them to their desks either.
Layoffs in the ad industry have inspired a documentary called "Lemonade," a project of former Arnold copywriter Erik Proulx, who last year started the blog Please Feed the Animals for unemployed advertising professionals.
The trailer launched this week on the movie's website, lemonademovie.com and will air there once completed.
Prouix interviewed 15 former creative and account directors from major US ad agencies, all of whom had been laid off – but then used it as an opportunity to do something different, such as starting their own businesses or making some other kind of life change. (Hence, lemons –> lemonade.)
This comment on Ad Age pretty much sums it up:
At the risk of sounding heartless, I think one of the (only) good
things about a recession is how it weeds out people who aren't
passionate about their careers and jobs. Based on this trailer, it
seems that many of these people found their passion in other areas –
leaving room in their previous careers for people who want to be there.
I work in the digital media, and the same thing happened when the
market collapsed in 2001 — the only people who remained in digital
were those who truly belonged there, and it was a blessing.
"If you're in advertising, you'd better learn to speak digital, because that's the way the world is going."
Those words come from Josh Bernoff's Groundswell blog today, summing up Forrester Research's just completed five-year interactive marketing forecast. Over 70% of the marketers they surveyed expected the effectiveness of channels like created social media, online video, and mobile marketing to increase, while the effectiveness of direct mail, television, magazines, outdoor, newspapers, and radio would stay the same or decrease.
They expect digital marketing to grow to about 21% of advertising spend in five
years, while overall budgets are declining. And of all aspects of digital marketing, social media is the area expected to show the greatest growth, growing from $716 million this year to $3 billion in five years, between social networking campaigns and agency fees. (And this doesn't include ads on social networks, because those are considered display ads.)
What does all this mean for you, dear friends? Time to get your digital on. Old school just won't cut it for much longer.
We leave you with this eulogy from, well, a social media site:
The New York Times tells us today that Starbucks is launching a major social media blitz to tie in with their latest advertising campaign. Among other things, a contest to be the first to post a photo of new ad posters on Twitter.
They already have large followings on Facebook (1.5 million fans) and Twitter (183,000 followers) and this campaign is sure to get them more. So will social media get people to drink more coffee? Or buy more cars?
No one knows yet how to measure the ROI on social media, yet we all secretly believe it makes a difference. These grand experiments are laying the foundation for the future if nothing else.
Relationships are supposed to be the cornerstones to success on the social web. So what does this mean for brands? We find ourselves wondering how Starbucks (or any other brand) plans to have a personal relationship with millions of people. What's the point of social media if not to be social? Don't get us wrong, we are all for expanding into the social web. In fact, we think it is necessary and only a matter of time until all aspects of the web are social.
And yet, we find ourselves wondering where it's headed. Will social media continue to be part of advertising? Residing within the marketing department? Or is it something else, like, say, how a company does business everyday, up there with answering the phone. Because carrying on a conversation is what customer service representatives do. Not necessarily marketers.
As for Starbucks? We don't make friends with our coffee. We drink coffee with our friends. So we're going to grab a latte, sit down at the keyboard, and check in on Facebook. Maybe we'll tell our friends how great this coffee is.