The Dressler Blog

When you build digital stuff all day, you develop opinions. Lots of opinions.


Digital Trends

Virtual is an Over-Promise There’s a reason I keep returning to Virtual Reality in these posts. This is a technology on the ascendant. Even a less-than-perfect VR experience has the capacity to replace broadcast media as the entertainment experience of first resort. Unfortunately, we’re still a ways away from less-than-perfect. Apart from the ever-present nausea problem, virtual reality is still a visual-only medium. There’s reason to hope that Magic Leap (when and if it launches) will offer a more immersive experience, mostly because it makes use of the real environment. But if you’re looking for haptic feedback (and I tend to expect haptic feedback in my realities, however virtual), you’ve got a long time to wait. Application to Marketing: VR will be useful for marketing. But technology is only useful for people who understand the limits of technology. We can call it Virtual Reality, but right now a more accurate term would be Immersive Viewing. If you’re selling real estate, virtual reality has something to offer you right now. If you’re selling Alpaca sweaters or soup, slow your roll. Availability: The article below says haptic feedback may be decades away. Read More Neuromarketing, Caveat Emptor I love technology. I do. It plays to my optimistic nature. So whenever I hear someone selling snake-oil and dressing it up in technological or scientific language, I take it as a personal affront. Such is very much the case with the two-part article about the new discipline of Neuromarketing in Readwrite. This so-called Neuromarketing is just a grab-bag of techniques to measure emotional arousal, most of which go back to the 60’s. (These techniques have also been in use in advertising research since the 60’s.) Actually, that’s not completely true. They also talk about using eye-tracking cameras, which is only neurological in the loose sense that your eyes are connected to your brain. (So is your posterior, but I digress.) Application to Marketing: I dearly, dearly wish that this nonsense would just go away. However, I know that we marketers are suckers for snake-oil, particularly snake-oil we think is going to “unlock secrets.” So here’s what this is worth: it will tell you something about the arousal levels of people looking at your marketing materials. So will a lie-detector. Both are incredibly blunt instruments. But if you can’t resist the siren-call of understanding your customers’ neurons, by all means contact Darren Bridger. Availability: Like I said, this stuff goes back to the 60’s. But calling it neuromarketing is a triumph of re-branding. So I guess that’s a good thing. Read More The Future of Television (buffering…) David Sable, the global CEO of Young & Rubicam, recently made the claim that television will still be around thousands of years from now. He qualifies that statement by defining TV as including streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. So I guess what he’s really saying is screens will be around for a long time. Never mind that, by that definition, your phone is a TV. I think it’s quite clear that what we call TV is undergoing a radical transformation both in terms of business model and consumer experience. So what might the future of television look like? Well, there’s Apple TV, Chromecast and Amazon Fire; three technologies that seem to be bleeding the broadcast out of the television experience. Application to Marketing: With due respect to Mr. Sable, I think television is not going to look like television for much longer. Screens are screens. Your television screen is currently the dumbest, least functional screen in your home. That’s going to change and when it does the ad model we’ve been riding to diminishing returns since the second world war is going to have to change too. Availability: The only good news for Mr. Sable and his ilk: the current generation of smart TV technologies is kind of bad. (See review of Apple TV below.) Read More They know if you’ve been bad or good… Palantir. If you haven’t heard of them, don’t worry, they have definitely heard of you. Palantir first came to public attention when it became clear that the Central Intelligence Agency and certain other (cough) government agencies, were using the company’s data analysis technology to identify potential threats. Since then, Palantir has become a favorite bête noire of privacy advocates who accuse it of being complicit in a variety of unconstitutional activities (See: Snowden, Edward) But I’m not one to take sides against our eventual technological overlords. (Hi, Guys!) I’m more interested in Palantir’s anti-fraud offering. Insurance companies and financial services companies are big believers in Palantir’s ability to spot potential fraud before it costs them billions of dollars. Application to Marketing: We’ve got our own little fraud problem. It’s costing us billions of dollars. Digital advertising fraud is crippling the only growth medium we have in advertising today. Eventually, one of the big ad serving networks is going to start talking to Palantir (or someone similar) about identifying and secluding fraudulent traffic. When they do, smart clients are going to pay a premium to advertise to real people. Availability: I have a feeling Palantir will start to enter the marketer’s vocabulary before too long, perhaps in the next year. Read More

Give us your email to sign up for our weekly Dressler Digital Trends. Stop trying to keep up and start getting ahead.