In Advertising Age, July 28, 2010 – under the heading Online Ad Industry Assesses Latest Call for ‘Do Not Track’ List it was reported that changes may be coming to Internet marketing. ‘Opt Me Out, Scotty! As an old geek from the days when Star Trek was in it’s first run the Beam Me Up! line is rings true. Now we have a new call for our 21st century ‘Trekies’ who are now running the Starship Internet – only this one runs counter to the original.
FTC Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz is now signaling that he is leaning towards an op-out of behavioral targeting in for online advertising. This could go further than the industries current initiative through the trade group the Network Advertising Initiative, and companies such as Yahoo, Microsoft, Google and data exchange Blue Kai which all allow consumers to opt-out of ad targeting.
The real story here is that few who are not true industry insiders understand the issue at all. We are all learning that there is little privacy on the web, and that ads appear by ‘magic’ when we are searching. Who really knows how they get there. Behavioral targeting is a distinct form of targeting that only the ‘illuminati’ of the Internet know, and have yet to reveal to the unwashed masses.
I know in dealing with my clients, even those actively involved in large scale campaigns fully understand. Even Senator Clair McCaskill, D-Mo has said that behavioral targeting seems “creepy.” Others including Joe Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania said that even those who have grown up with the Internet do not understand the underlying issues at play here.
This is a big issue for the industry, and now is a great time to do a better job of shining some light on the issue with better understand on all sides of the issue so something so critical to our future growth with online marketing doesn’t suffer a loss of our ‘warp drives’ just when we need them the most.
Well, it’s about time! We are finally starting to see the rollout of non-gas cars, and California is one of the areas slated for the initial introductions. Where do I plug in? More to the point, my wife wants to know where to plug in, really she wants to know that I can stick it some where, but it won’t be in our garage. I’m an early adopter and gadget freak, and this really has my juices flowing.
I signed up on line for information on the Honda hydrogen car some while back, but I never got the call for an invitation to test one out for a year. I signed up for ‘information’ on the Nissan Leaf on their website, but the information never showed up in my inbox. My wife is elated.
This week the official announcement came from Chevrolet that their new Chevrolet, not Chevy, if you please, Volt will be rolling out this year for the price of only, choke, $41,000, not counting the $7500 tax credit from the federal government. This is the perfect solution for running around town since it has a limited range of about 40 miles on electricity only. I claim that is about my daily range in today’s world, but my wife has that scornful look only wives can get. I’m still doing my math trying to find other justifications.
They come in red – her favorite color. She’s not impressed. She tell’s me to ‘stick it’ one more time, but alas not where. For now all I have is this picture of this pretty red car, and I’m still searching for that 240 volt socket for my place to stick it. What’s a digital guy to do?
After the debacle of last week over the Shirely Sherrod issue I was happy to walk away and let the talking heads on cable deal with the issue. Today I saw a posting on MarketingProfs – a great source, that I had to read, and read again, and then again. Paul Barsh in his article - The Zero Latency Future is Now draws examples that fit into the same mold that we saw last week. I didn’t want to go back to it so soon, but I must.
We are again talking about making instant decisions – snap decisions if you will, and I find it scary. Yes we can do it, but should we. Paul uses the example of the HFT – ‘high frequency trading’ on Wall St. where computers are making the final decisions. It’s kind of like The Terminator for stock trading, and I understand that it can work. Then again I remember on a recent trip in May to Austin when the market crashed while on my Jet Blue flight. Watching CNN on JetBlue while the market was tanking by the milliseconds was frightening. Kind of like hitting an air pocket and dropping 10,000 ft in 5 seconds.
Whether in the news business in the example of Shirley Sherrod, the financial field, and especially in business in dealing with staff and clients we need to be able to take enough time to make great decisions, well thought out decisions, that will stand up to a real test. We have a need for speed, but there still need to be speed limits to keep us all safe.
Today we got word of the first step in polishing of a tarnished brand – one the is so close to me that I am absolutely giddy with anticipation for it to start. Confession alert – my oldest offspring went to USC, and is one of the founders of Trojan Wire and web site since 2000 highlighting Trojan Athletics. He is also a contributor to SC Playbook, a print magazine about SC sports. His full time profession is working on Nike basketball marketing for a large NYC digital advertising agency. That is the family connection, and the basis for the importance of this news. We are knee deep here in USC football, and the recent months have not been kind to our brand and our egos.
Today the new, incoming USC President, Max Nikias, named Pat Haden to be the new Athletic Director at USC. Pat, a star quarterback in the early 70’s personifies all of the virtues normally found on the plaques on the walls at Heritage Hall. His job is to polish the brand and bring back both victory and an image that raging alumni are demanding.
When my son and I were talking about replacements for Mike Garrett, who we both felt needed to go in light of the numerous problems with both the football and basketball programs. I could only think of one name that would be perfect for the job – Pat Haden. I would like to think I am brilliant, but Pat was the obvious choice.
Pat has a long history with USC, both as an athlete and an equally large role as an alumnus who stayed extremely close to the school with numerous links to athletics the university in general. This is going to be an exciting time for USC and for a whole new re-branding program. As a consultant, I have been retained to help in rebuilding and re-branding troubled companies. I know what it takes, and for all of SC’s recent troubles this won’t be a cakewalk. However, this should be one for the textbooks – and we know how expensive those are today. The right person got the job. Good luck USC, good luck Pat Haden – Fight On Trojans. This is one hell of a big game I know you will win. We’ll be watching and keeping score – maybe even a new textbook or two on how to win with style, while polishing the brand at the same time.
Reading all of my feeds on a daily basis saw the post from John Rizzi, CEO of e-Dailog regarding the growth of the mobile market – ‘E-mail, meet your new brother, mobile.’ Confession alert – I’ve never been a big fan of mobile marketing personally. I know, I know – I am an early adopter of most new technology – including the iPhone. My graveyard of best bets for early adoption fills the east wing of my garage – a shine to my folly the wife says. It keeps me humble I retort.
I’m changing – ok, so I am a slow learner sometimes. With 30 years of newspaper and direct marketing advertising under my ever-expanding belt I have been loath to adopt to mobile advertising. I did adopt to email marketing and learned to make it work – for my clients and myself, but mobile has been a bit intrusive for me. With new iPhone software and Android software advertising has come to mobile in ways I could not envision earlier. Attached to apps and all of the other widgets we are using it is hard to not see them, and, I admit, to use them.
Location is also having a big impact on making advertising offers more relevant, especially when I need that donut fix at 2 in the afternoon when I’m far away from home. Now I have offers galore for my afternoon ‘fix.’
I hate to say it, but John Rizzi has something when he says that mobile “will become an indispensable tool for marketers in future years” – now where is that donut shop in San Diego?
The Analog Sherpa and Sir EH the Guide Dog
The Analog Sherpa is back in town after several weeks on the road with clients. A great time for a pause to reflect and refresh on what we are all about, and how we can be even better in the future. My recent road trips have filled me with a lot of great feedback from clients, and prospective clients that I’m planning to share starting Tuesday.
That being side, time to the really important things like lighting the BBQ and slicing the water mellon. Talk to you on Tuesday!