Big Data Must Get Smaller
July 17, 2014

Like many folks who worked in the data business for a long time, I don't even like the words "Big Data." Yeah, data is big now, I get it. But so what? Faster and bigger have been the theme in the computing business since the first calculator was invented. In fact, I don't appreciate the common definition of Big Data that is often expressed in the three Vs: volume, velocity and variety. So, if any kind of data are big and fast, it's all good? I don't think so. If you have lots of "dumb" data all over the place, how does that help you? Well, as much as all the clutter that's been piled on in your basement since 1971. It may yield some profit on an online auction site one day. Who knows? Maybe some collector will pay good money for some obscure Coltrane or Moody Blues albums that you never even touched since your last turntable (Ooh, what is that?) died on you. Those oversized album jackets were really cool though, weren't they?

How the Top Ad Agencies Win on YouTube: Great Creative, Lots of Ads
February 21, 2014

Winning YouTube is part art, science, Web savvy, luck and, let's be honest, deep pockets to buy advertising. Some agencies, like OMD and Wieden & Kennedy, make it look easy. The media agency and creative shop headline YouTube's list of the top agencies to have run ads on the Google-owned video service last year. YouTube's agency rankings are determined by how many times an agency's video ads—only videos that have run as ads on YouTube are counted—made YouTube's monthly ads leaderboard in 2013. That leaderboard evaluates the ads according to how many paid and non-paid views they received

Paid Search: The Best Native Ad Format Ever
November 14, 2013

Native ads are all the rage these days. Look around; You can’t escape them. The thing is, native advertising is not a new concept. It’s been around as long as the Internet. Well, almost that long. The first Web ads were really just print ads stuffed on websites. The layouts were very similar to what marketers were used to from newspaper advertising. This helped drive adoption. This trend continued as new ad formats emerged on the Web. The first video ads were simply repurposed TV commercials. The first sponsorships mimicked offline sponsorships—A.K.A., NASCAR logos everywhere. The first commercial emails

Annoying Emails Work Better Than You Think
June 6, 2013

The broad targeting of soccer moms and NASCAR dads was all in the past. Now it was about using “proclivity models” and other analytical tools to mobilize and persuade and make voter contact more efficient. Whether a voter was an 85 on the support scale or a six on the persuasion scale was more important than if she was a young African-American woman in Pittsburgh or he was an old Jewish man in Cleveland or vice versa. Some tech staffers had dismissed email as old-fashioned and uncool, without understanding how indispensable it would be in saving the campaign.

After Boston: Sometimes Real-Time Marketing Means Saying NOTHING
April 19, 2013

There was a lot of scolding, eye-rolling and analysis around social media tactics on Monday, after the Boston Marathon bombing incident. Brands promoting “Blow-Out Sales,” “LOLs” and other marketing messages around the flood of emotion and news around the bombings may have damaged reputations due to carelessness. Some brands (well, too many) also added obtuse noise to the outpouring of support for the victims and city of Boston. Most social media programs have playbooks or, at the very least, community management guidelines. While common sense is the best plan in times of tragedy, today’s social publishing programs have dozens of

Marketers at Odds Over Effectiveness of Responsive Design
January 29, 2013

Responsive design is becoming a very hot topic amongst mobile marketers. While many believe the technology is a step forward in the quest for strong mobile experiences, others disagree. What is not up for debate is that brands are flocking to responsive design in growing numbers as a solution to the issue of device fragmentation and the need to provide a consistent user experience across devices. However, whether responsive design is the answer to these problems or merely a quick stop along the way toward finding a more permanent solution is not yet clear

Case Study: Lifestyle Data Lifts Gift Size for Heifer International
November 9, 2012

Nascar fans are less likely to donate cows to African farmers in their friends’ names for Christmas, but organivores might, Heifer International found in a case study detailed by the charity’s donor conversion manager on Oct. 16 at DMA2012 in Las Vegas.

Twitter's First TV Commercial Is Really Meant to Sell Advertisers on Hashtags
June 12, 2012

Why is Twitter running TV ads all of a sudden? We don't think Twitter is spending that kind of money to sign up new users. (It's doing just fine on that front.) No, we think Twitter is trying to get the attention of big brand advertisers for a whole new way for them to drop big bucks on the site. One word: hashtags. Based on what we've heard, we're pretty sure the ad Twitter just ran on TNT during today's Nascar race is all about calling their attention to a revamped page displaying search results for a topical keyword

5 Steps to Prevent Data Append Mistakes
August 18, 2010

There are several best practices you can follow to maximize the data append process by getting the right data, improving the match rate of third party customer data, and having it come out in a format that you will be able to use successfully and immediately.

A Sweet Ride
December 1, 2006

Thomas Publishing Co. is no stranger to innovation. During its 108-year history, this privately owned business that connects industrial buyers with suppliers consistently has made decisions (such as employing one of the first independent contractor sales forces) that proved well ahead of their time. The company’s move to create a fully Web-based industrial directory in 2004 was no exception. After celebrating the 100th anniversary of its traditional “green books”—the Thomas Register print directory of industrial sellers—executives ceased the print publication and went to the Internet. There was just one “small” challenge: It needed to bring its users along. Historically understated in its marketing, Thomas felt