Scott Brinker

Why IT and marketing are diametrically opposed

Forget the usual stereotypes of IT and marketing. Start with the assumption that all marketers and all IT people are smart, talented, enthusiastic, and dedicated to the success of the company, above personal preferences or departmental jockeying. They’re each very good at what they do. So why is there such legendary frustration at the intersection of the two? The Problem The gap that is the marketing/IT divide is, in my opinion, not a matter of …

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Reflections on marketing technology for a New Year

I believe that marketing — as a function, a profession, and an industry — is experiencing transformational changes and disruptive innovation, driven by the evolving capabilities and culture of the Internet and a new generation of marketing technology software. It is becoming more distributed in execution, more personalized in communications, and more fluid across boundaries inside and outside the firm. Its cycle speed is accelerating, its tactical building blocks are fragmenting — from a few …

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Social media personal trainers

A colleague of mine recently said her New Year’s resolution is to blog, blog, blog. She’s a busy executive, with little time to spare, and always a hundred other things competing for her attention. But she also knows that active participation in the social media sphere — blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. — is increasingly vital to one’s influence. It’s valuable to one’s employer, who needs genuine personalities as emissaries in the social web landscape, …

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Marketing technopologists

Just read a great article in the MIT Sloan Management Review, The Secrets of Marketing in a Web 2.0 World. The authors interviewed more than 30 executives and managers in both large and small organizations that are at the forefront of experimenting with Web 2.0 tools in marketing and came up with a set of emerging principles for marketing: Don’t just talk at consumers — work with them throughout the marketing process. Give consumers a …

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Semantic advertising to avoid contextual tragedies

Read a great article on how to avoid contextual tragedies by J. Brooke Aker, the CEO of the US subsidiary of semantic technology firm Expert System. The article discusses the promise of semantic advertising (in particular, the kind that is better at figuring out what a page really means when deciding which ads to place on it). To make his case, Aker shows a number of examples where plain old keyword-based contextual advertising went astray. …

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Semantic advertising contextual corpus

A reader recently commented on my semantic advertising post with a great question: exactly how well does semantic advertising do compared with plain old contextual advertising? Can the difference be quantified in a way that’s independently verifiable? It should be. I understand why it’s not today. There are hundreds of advertising networks, each with their own techniques for targeting and placement, locked in frenzied competition in a young market with few barriers to entry, a …

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Semantic marketing gains mainstream attention: article in Advertising Age

Nice article in AdAge Digital by Marta Strickland of Organic (and editor-in-chief of the wonderful blog ThreeMinds): What the Semantic Web — or Web 3.0 — Can Do for Marketers. Marta does an excellent job summarizing some of the benefits semantic web technologies can have for marketers. Certainly this includes semantic advertising, such as better contextual advertising (e.g., Peer39) and dynamic content in ads (e.g., Dapper MashupAds). But she also draws connections between semantic technologies …

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Semantic advertising to make the Long Tail manageable

Earlier this month, Dr. Riza C. Berkan, the CEO of semantic search engine Hakia, wrote a great article on iMedia Connection, Why semantics are the future of paid search. In my post on the different kinds of semantic advertising, I mentioned that “advertisers in semantic search may ultimately end up bidding on concepts and relationships rather than keywords or phrases”. Dr. Berkan makes a compelling argument for why that could be a huge boon for …

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Disruptive innovation in online advertising

Are the creative capabilities of major advertising agencies really being disrupted by online marketing? Here’s one theory. Clay Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and author of bestselling books such as The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution, has a model for disruptive innovation. As a particular type of product or service improves over time, its “performance” — i.e., how powerful it is along a certain dimension of capability that buyers care about — eventually overshoots …

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Google and WPP marketing research awards

What do you get when you cross Ph.D.’s in marketing with Ph.D.’s in computer science? Hopefully a $50,000 grant from Google and WPP. The two companies recently announced the Google and WPP Marketing Research Awards Program to fund academic research in the following topics of interest: online and offline media interaction relevance and effectiveness measurement audience types and engagement Research questions to be studied might include: How does offline media affect search and vice versa? …

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