Ad Age | November 16, 2017 by Judy Shapiro

In a recent Ad Age post, I heralded a new era for agencies where “quality scale” was new revenue created through the design of trusted user experiences that can be deployed at scale. This level of sophisticated marketing design is beyond the scope of ad tech platforms or management consulting firms with their limited executional, real-world experience; presenting agencies with a potent new growth area. That vision set the stage so now let’s turn our attention to the practical details which will require, perhaps, challenging almost everything we think we know about how agencies are run today.


Align to clients’ new “trust” value equation

A staggering 60% of top 100 advertisers plan to review their agencies in the next 12 months, clearly reflecting clients’ radically changing expectations of their agencies. More than ever, brands need their agencies to be experts at creating trusted digital experiences while remaining operational and financially transparent. This complex dance of positioning, creative, data and technology is new terrain agencies must conquer.  .  .  .   Read full article at Ad Age: 



Ad Age | August 23, 2017 by Judy Shapiro

In the 2000s, agencies were profitably mastering “quality” niche marketing with “new” media like cable, direct marketing and customized print.

By 2013, ad tech almost wholesale displaced “quality” in favor of “quantity.” Clients began to value “predictable scale” more than the unpredictable outcomes of “quality” advertising. In the quality-versus-quantity battle, the quality camp has been on the defensive.

But the real change today is an emerging business model around quality scale…

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Traffic Authentication: The Most Nettlesome Issue in Ad Tech

Ad Age | June 23, 2017 by Judy Shapiro

Unless you have been living under a digital rock, the mounting outrage about fake impressions is quickening, commensurate with a deepening understanding of ad tech fraud among advertisers. Recently, Forrester confirmed advertisers’ suspicions in a study titled “The End of Advertising As We Know It.” In it, the analyst firm argues the current backlash against major publishers and ad networks, including Google and Facebook, comes “as advertisers re-examine their digital spend and demand more transparency.”

This has been a long time coming, and what follows is clear: advertisers must confront the issue of fraud from all angles — the buy side and the sell side. This must also include a clear-headed assessment of traffic verification services delivered by outside companies….

To read full article, please visit:


Five Strategies to Put Humans in Control of Ad Tech

Ad Age | May 3, 2017 by Judy Shapiro

Many have described ad tech as a black box sitting atop a runaway train, with marketers in the caboose, fearful to stay aboard but more fearful to get off. Left to the engineers alone, “quality digital advertising” is virtually an oxymoron. Marketers are frustrated that foundational human elements like insight, trust and creative instincts have largely been stripped out of ad tech.

But now marketers are moving with stunning speed to regain control of this runaway train by consciously “humanizing” marketing technologies.

These five humanization strategies are powerful because they allow us to balance what people do best with what machines are engineered to accomplish…

To read the full article, please go to:


Meet 40 over 40 2017 Digital Leaders

Campaign Live | March 27, 2017 by staff contributor 

Meet an eclectic mix of marketers, creatives, technologists, PR pros and account mavens who prove that millennials don’t hold a monopoly on digital skills.

Judy Shapiro, CEO/ Founder: Lots of people can claim to have a strong background in digital advertising, but few have roots as deep as Judy Shapiro. In the early 1990s, Shapiro worked on the landmark AT&T campaign that was the first in the market.  Shapiro founded the ad tech firm engageSimply, where she has created “Programmatic Plus,” a solution that merges the efficiency of programmatic media with content marketing…

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Marketers Should Embrace, Not Fear, Artificial Intelligence

B2B News Network | March 24, 2017 by Rob Zaleski

The world of marketing is awash with conversations on emerging technologies, apps, and innovations that will disrupt the way we do things. In 2017 one specific topic dominates the conversation: artificial intelligence. So what is the role of artificial intelligence in technology, society, and our future.

Judy Shapiro says Artificial intelligence is a capability within the world of MarTech, not a solution in and of itself. “We can neither look to A.I. to solve all our marketing challenges nor replace human marketers completely…”

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Who’s to Blame for the Current Ad Tech Trust Gap?

Ad Age | March 14, 2017 by Judy Shapiro

Recently, PluggedBD held an executive-level roundtable titled “Transparency, Measurement and Viewability in the Digital Age,” which began with a discussion about what Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard meant when he called for “… new [transparency] rules for agencies and ad tech to get paid.”

Not one of the panelists, representing every aspect of ad tech, could exactly answer the question, which prompted moderator Jonathon Shaevitz, CEO of Industry Index, to ask a second question: “Who’s to blame for the ‘trust’ mess we’re in?” That’s when the conversation got really interesting because solving marketing biggest “whodunit” is how we start down the road to redemption.

Who’s really to blame?

The angst in the room was palpable as the group struggled to solve this “whodunit,” with panelists assigning blame in equal measure to agencies, publishers and CMOs — all the while acknowledging they weren’t really sure whom to blame.

But to me, the culprit is clear….

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Three Ways Facebook Has Jumped the Shark for Marketers

Ad Age | February 7, 2017 by Judy Shapiro 

Way way back in pre-IPO Facebook history, I pondered in a 2010 Ad Age post about whether Facebook had jumped the shark, given the advertising platform’s constant iterations.

My intention, then as now, was to understand how advertisers can effectively use Facebook. As I wrote at the time: “I have no ax to grind with Facebook, but I hold no sacred cows either.” This is still true. Facebook ad products continue to morph and change, leaving marketers stumped to answer basic questions like: What’s the ROI of Facebook? How does Facebook measure its authentic audience size? What percentage of Facebook accounts are real vs. fake?

Within this context, I believe 2017 will go down as the year Facebook “jumped the shark,” defined by Urban Dictionary as the moment “…when something that was once great has reached a point where it will decline.”

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The Insider’s Guide to Data, Personalization and Marketing Automation

Ad Age | January 17, 2016 by  Ann Marie Kerwin

Ad Age Executive Editor Nat Ives talks with TBWA Global Data Director Baker Lambert, Accenture Interactive Global Head of Personalization Jeriad Zoghby and EngageSimply founder Judy Shapiro at the Ad Age IQ Conference: Marketing & Technology in New York on Tuesday….

Judy Shapiro, CEO-founder of EngageSimply, walked attendees through the steps of marketing automation and a customer journey. “Marketing automation is the process of marketing, animated by technology,” she told attendees. “Martech is the process. Ad tech is the stuff, the platforms, the tools, that enable the process.”

Every campaign at every company will look different, but every campaign will encounter what she calls the “Gotcha Gremlins,” the setbacks or small failures that will require a campaign to course correct. “‘Gotcha Gremlins’ are often annoying, but they are never fatal,” Ms. Shapiro said, adding that once you know they will be there, it makes it easier to deal with once they pop up.

She then took attendees through a sample customer journey, starting with topic discovery…

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Why Advertisers Are ‘Intimidated’ by Marketing Technology

Ad Age | January 6, 2016 by Jessica Wohl 

Judy Shapiro, CEO and founder of programmatic content marketing company EngageSimply, doesn’t hold back when talking about the potential she sees with marketing technology. She wants marketers to embrace it, and worries they largely have not yet done so.

The way she sees it, marketing automation and data are not yet working well for big companies, and it may still be a few years before things truly click. Before she addresses the Ad Age IQ Marketing and Technology conference on Jan. 17, Ms. Shapiro shared some of her thoughts on why marketing instincts still matter, even as the marketing technology world becomes more and more automated.

Advertising Age: If there was one thing you could fix in marketing technology, what would it be?
Ms. Shapiro: I would love marketers to love the technology, and that’s really difficult because none of them actually use it. There’s a genuine intimidation…

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5 Transformative Creative Trends in 2017

Ad Age | December 15, 2016 by Judy Shapiro

There are a few times in the great arch of history when one consciously knows she is observing a rare, transformative moment. This was how I felt at the recent sixth annual 4A’s Create Tech conference. “Design and the Future of Advertising” set out to explore how marketing can touch the human experience in diverse and encompassing ways.

Previous creative renaissances were driven by technology, and this one is no different. From the invention of the printing press in the 1400s that allowed “scalable” transmission of stories to the 1960s, where tech allowed musicians to fabricate new sounds not possible by live artists, technology has been about transforming ideas into art. Here are the top five creative trends that will dominate in 2017….

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50 over 50 2016: Mantra’s for Marketers to Live by

Brand Quarterly | November 12, 2016 by Andrew Vessey

Marketing thought leaders have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share. Combining their well-deserved recognition, we asked 50 senior executives who have gained the respect of their peers through their words, action and achievement.

Judy Shapiro, CEO and Founder of engageSimply mantra: “Great content engages. Great tech simplifies. But great marketing rests entirely on great execution.” 

To see full list, please visit:


Six Broken (or Almost Broken) Ad-Tech Promises

 Ad Age | October 5, 2016 by Judy Shapiro

Google has gotten together with a diverse group of marketers, publishers, agencies and industry bodies to create The Coalition for Better Ads in what Ad Age called“possibly the broadest attempt yet to fix online advertising so that consumers don’t become obsessed with blocking it.”

Ouch! Ten years into advertising’s digital transformation, this is a stinging indictment of ad tech’s failure to create quality user experiences, and the reason so many consumers have turned on their ad blockers.

With 20/20 hindsight, we see what happened. Over the last decade, the financial rug was pulled out from the “art” side of marketing, leaving a strategic vacuum that ad tech ventures filled with lots of bold promises. Now marketers are realizing many of these promises were a stretch at best or overblown at worst.

So let’s take the air out of the most egregious ad tech promises, freeing marketers to make the best use of ad tech, realistically.

See full article here:


How to Navigate the Programmatic Contextual Maze:  Tech Strategies for Marketers Who Want Contextual Advertising 

Ad Age | August 31, 2016 by Judy Shapiro  

Ask 100 marketers to describe “contextual advertising,” and you are likely to get 400 vague, optimistic answers about the “right message at the right time and place to the right person.” Ask 100 startup CEOs and you’re likely to get 1,000 black-box answers that will confound you.

There lies the core conundrum. Everybody wants “contextual advertising” but no one knows how to get there with all this techno-babble black-box confusion. This leaves marketers scrambling to figure it out amid a plethora of platforms with their glossy contextual promises that may fall short of what a marketer really needs.

So let’s deconstruct the contextual equation recognizing that “contextual tech” covers a wide swath of ad tech. I’ve confined this highly simplified schema to those technologies that directly drive the “right time/place/message/person” model in the programmatic world for advertisers, leaving out many branches of the ad-tech tree. From this very focused, programmatic perch, we have an excellent view into the highly variable contextual tech landscape:

Contextual Tech Maze chart adage

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Why the SaaS Model Has been Bad for Marketing: Trust Is the Casualty When Platforms Aren’t Accountable

Ad Age | August 15, 2016 by Judy Shapiro

Marketers’ trust in the ad-tech world is on the decline for lots of reasons: complexity, lack of transparency or standards. Gartner’s Hype Cycle research puts ad tech deep in the “trough of disillusionment.”

One can cast blame in many directions, but one of the biggest corrosive factors eroding trust between advertisers and ad tech is the relative newcomer to marketing — the SaaS (software as a service) ventures that dominates marketing today.

Here’s why.

SaaS business ventures are the darlings of Silicon Valley, with seductive investment qualities. First, SaaS ventures have reliable recurring monthly revenue — sell once and done. Second, SaaS business can scale with relatively lower infrastructure costs compared to people. Third, and possibly most important, the very nature of subscription business is its narrow focus, which means SaaS platforms are rarely directly accountable for marketing program results. They tend to be, for example, a data link in the marketing program supply chain. No accountability — less risk — potential nice returns. This also explains why, by contrast, DSPs are not welcome in Silicon Valley. High accountability — high risk — low returns.

My cynical streak believes that detaching from the messy execution side of marketing was a deliberate strategy on the part of SaaS ventures to shield themselves from the messy business of demonstrating real results….

To see full article, please visit: 


It’s Time to Ditch the Paid/Earned/ Shared/Owned Model of Ad Tech: Ad-Tech Models Have Distracted Marketers from Unifying the User Experience

Ad Age | July 8, 2016 by Judy Shapiro

Before the great ad-tech boom, the advertising model was straightforward — if not simple. The “four Ps” dominated the modern marketing machine, with “promotion” being universally understood as paid media and sales promotions. End of story.

Then digital happened and the old model collapsed in a heap of bytes and algorithms and platforms. As marketers struggled to make sense of it all, technologists filled the void, creating architectures organized into ever fragmenting tech segments.

This is the origin of the paid/earned/owned (PEO) model. In just a few years, it took off, morphing into the expanded PESO model we know today.

Its popularity was fueled by automation’s promises of unlocking customer engagement while reducing costs including, hopefully, paid media costs.

As promises go, this was a doozy that alas, turned out to be false. Worse, it distracted us from the harsh reality that PESO is stuffed with tech, but shallow in creating recognizable outcomes around customer conversion.

So let’s deconstruct the PESO automation-driven, cost-efficient, agile marketing machine promise with a peek under the pretty charts.

Debunking the PEO/PESO myth

The most lethal arrow to aim at PESO’s heart is squashing any illusion that PESO will ever result in a cost reduction for marketers. That is just untrue as we analyze the “owned” and “earned” components of the model…

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Beware the Siren Song of Marketing Automation: 4 Dangers Lurking Beneath the Seduction of Marketing Automation 

Ad Age | May 25, 2016 by Judy Shapiro

The ancient legend of the sirens who seduced sailors with their enchanting song — only to result in often catastrophic shipwrecks — is an apt metaphor for today’s marketing automation adoption journey.

Since the beginning of marketing automation time — from the sales automation of the 1990s to inbound marketing automation platforms of the 2000s — today’s solutions struggle to balance the delicate tension between serving the art of marketing within the tight construct of marketing automation.

That age-old tension is being played out among the top mega automation platforms today as they wrestle with a new level of complexity never seen before. They must manage the onslaught of big data; they must power inbound marketing optimization platforms; they must allow for real-time social management; and they must somehow tie all the pieces together to leverage a new era of personalized user experiences.

The complexity is daunting for everyone, yet despite the challenges, the prize is worth the effort because the next horizon of marketing excellence is all about user experiences — personalized and authentic. That’s where marketing automation comes in.

So while the siren song is sweet, let’s be cognizant of the four dangers that lurk beneath the glittery surface.

To see full article, please visit:


A stranger in a strange ad tech land.

Medium | March 23, 2016 by Judy Shapiro

I think I may be the loneliest woman working in ad tech today. This post is my virtual version of yelling atop a NYC rooftop where there’s therapeutic relief knowing that everyone can hear you but no one actually does.

The heart of the matter is simple; I am in the ad tech world as a startup CEO but not of the ad tech world.

I have been a marketer for thirty years starting in the 1980’s. I was lucky enough to be around during the remarkable transformative years when the adbusiness ala Mad Men became the marketing business we know today. The marketing disciplines, methodologies and systems we throw around a lot today are barely 25 years old and were created during these formative years.

We were tackling many new marketing channels; co-op programs, visual merchandising and direct marketing. There were new types of multi-channel programs we had to formalize; from reseller to telemarketing. CRM was barely a twinkle in anyone’s eye and big data meant how high the computer readout stacks were. “New” ad technologies” like Cable (1990s) and Internet (2000s) “disrupted” older media and solidified concepts such as CPM, impressions and predictive modeling.

This long view of marketing is an incredible advantage for our venture but it also draws an invisible circle around me. This, coupled with my deep understanding of the tech side of ad tech — the ad serving, the RTB and bots — all of it, scribes the circle ever deeper in the ground.

I mean — it turns out I know too much….

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Four ways “straight talk” will spark a Quiet Revolution in Ad Tech.

Confusing Language Has Hobbled the Ad-Tech Landscape

Ad Age | February 25, 2016 by Judy Shapiro

Ad tech’s technically dense language is propelled by disruptive algorithms and technology that attracted a lot of investor money very fast. In the boom, ad-tech black-box solutions with business models like SaaS or platform licenses were launched at a staggering rate, bringing along with them a confusing landscape exacerbated by confused language.

This doubly hobbled the ad-tech landscape, already laboring to deliver the critical “human element” real engagement with real people. It is most fitting therefore that the human activity of talking will be powerful enough to reorient the business to realize its transformative promise.

Here then are the top conversation changers that are quietly reshaping the business and sparking a revolution in the process….

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How to Close the B-to-B Ad-Tech Gap:

Four Ways Ad Tech Fails B-to-B and What to Do About It

Ad Age | January 15, 2016 by Judy Shapiro

Recently, I saw an IAB b-to-b programmatic study that revealed nearly half of b-to-b marketers don’t even know what programmatic buying is. That’s a staggering gap compared to b-to-c marketers, among which 62% of marketers use programmatic.

What’s accounting for this gap between b-to-b and b-to-c marketers?

IAB rightly believes education will help, but I suggest there’s something more fundamental going on. Beneath the “cool ad-tech veneer” lies a vast sea of ventures specifically designed to chase large consumer ad dollars, but in the process has left b-to-b advertisers in the ad-tech dust.

Here are the fundamental b-to-b gaps I see and what you can do to overcome them:

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Here’s the Only Marketing Trend You Need to Know for 2016

 Ad Age | December 2, 2015 by Judy Shapiro

New Year’s “trend lists” will start filling up our feeds pretty soon with posts like “Top five ways to leverage native ads” or the perennial list about “What’s hot in mobile.”

All useful and insightful, though I submit there’s really only one trend to remember for 2016, because next year seems destined to go down as the year of “marketing doing.”

With all the buzz and disruptive hype of the past seven years or so, there was no small amount of “shock and awe” marketers had to absorb. In the tumult, a marketer’s job became just too burdened with a deeply dysfunctional, fragmented set of capabilities developed in a tech/VC echo chamber but lacking practical, real-world applications.

That’s why it’s taken marketers a while to figure it out. As countless ventures jockeyed for space on increasingly complex Lumascape-like diagrams, marketers spent countless hours evaluating technologies instead of evaluating results of in-market programs. Amidst all the high-flying disruptive ventures, there was virtually no innovation centered on cross-process platforms needed to activate the technology.

But in 2016 we will see a clear change, a paradigm shift — a term popularized by the renowned scientist Thomas Kuhn in his 1962 book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” There he describes a paradigm shift in terms that set the tone for marketing in 2016: “[A paradigm shift] represents a shift in the problems available for solutions … transforming the imagination to change the very nature of how the work is done.”

This quote speaks to the profound changes we can expect next year, when marketers will replace the “awe” of algorithmic magic with awe-inspiring new questions about how (not if) we balance ad tech with the art of marketing. As Kuhn understood, once we start asking new questions, the paradigm shift is set in motion, resulting in new answers — a new paradigm.

In practical terms, the paradigm shift might seem subtle to outsiders but will be centered on ventures that power the business of “marketing doing” in which, once again, marketing artistry can soar. These ventures will create the cross-process platforms where marketers can craft elegantly designed, operationally functional, multi-channel campaigns that curate welcome brand and user experiences. Finally, in 2016, marketing artistry will re-emerge, dominating the business so that technology will be deployed only within the context of the user experience the artist had in mind — not the technologists…

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News Flash: Ad-Blocking Is Not Marketing’s Fault.

Ad Age | November 6, 2015 by Judy Shapiro

Marketers are usually the first to be blamed when things go bad in the corporate world.

Product didn’t sell well? Customer research was flawed. Competitors eating our lunch? We didn’t communicate our point of difference well. Stock price going down? The advertising wasn’t cool enough.

So it doesn’t take much for us marketers to blame ourselves for anything, including the rapid rise of ad-blocking usage. The flurry of mea culpa posts from all types of marketers make it clear where the finger of blame must be pointed: “Publishers only have themselves to blame for the ad-blocking apocalypse” or “We created this madness: Agencies take some blame for ad blocking.”

Yet I think this is a case of misplaced blame and it’s time to set the record straight. The explosive growth of ad-blocking users — going from 54 million in 2013 to 121 million by end of 2014 — is not marketers’ fault at all, but rather the human response to the unbridled technological rise of programmatic ad-buying.

The chart below paints the picture when we look at corresponding trends comparing the increasing share of programmatic ad-buying within the digital ad-buying space and user adoption of ad-blocking software over the same period. It’s notable that the largest spike in ad-blocking adoption occurred in 2013 — the first time programmatic ad-buying represented more than half of digital ad-buying…

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Marketing Geeks Take Revenge on Advertising Tech

Entrepreneur | October 14, 2015 by Judy Shapiro

It’s no secret that marketers are struggling to adapt to a tech-heavy, algorithmic-driven marketing landscape. Adapt or die is what technologists tell marketers, revealing a thinly veiled disdain for the very marketing customers they sell to.

Yet technologists seem blind to the current, impractical and fragmented state of advertising tech buoyed by the media who are far more interested in covering its superstars than in delving into the dark side of that world. The evidence is mounting that advertising tech is, to a stunning degree, failing consumers most dreadfully. Consumers are responding to the digital advertising deluge by adopting advertising blocking services in droves, with usage up 41 percent worldwide and 48 percent in the U.S., according to an Adobe & Pagefair Aug 2015 study.

While technologists created disruptive advertising tech to curry favor with investors who love algorithms and big data, their disruptions wreaked havoc across a wide swath of the general population…

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Best Practices: How to Harness the Chaos of Experimentation for Marketing Breakthroughs

Ad Age | June 5, 2015 by Judy Shapiro

As marketers, we are master tinkerers. We tweak this and modify that as we follow our customers in their individual digital journeys. The ad-tech revolution has given us many new tools in our toolbox to delight any hardcore marketer.

Ironically though, as tools got more sophisticated, learning became more obscure — veiled in a faux “big data certainty culture” that leaves little room for the serendipitous learning achieved only through experimentation.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas Edison.

Experimentation done right is messy business, which makes it foreign to the “predictable,” data-driven ethos of corporate culture. So we are faced with a maddeningly simple and seemingly irreconcilable conundrum — how does one balance the need for predictable performance against the recognition that breakthroughs happen in the messy, unpredictable world of experiments?

I posed this question to some of my colleagues at forward-thinking organizations like AT&T, Siemens and Kimberly-Clark. In listening to their stories, I realized that these marketers are writing new playbooks about how to embrace the messy, failure-prone business of experimentation and still have a business win.

Here are four recurring themes that provide us with a roadmap on how to integrate experimentation successfully into marketing organizations…

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Why Excluding Marketers from the Ad-Tech Boom Is a Failed Strategy

Ad Age | April 30, 2015 by Judy Shapiro

I am shaking with fury as I write this — reeling from three incidents that individually might have gone unnoticed, but as a group tumbled into my consciousness, leaving me wanting to yell at the top of my lungs, “I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore,” in a pathetic mimic of that famous scene from the 1976 movie “Network.”
I was jolted to face the disturbing reality that because ad tech was created in a tech/VC echo chamber, largely excluding marketing practitioners, it is suffering from an overemphasis on the “product” side to the detriment of the human element of marketing. Through these individual experiences, it became painfully obvious to me that the unnavigable ad-tech sprawl is consuming more and more time and resources, yet we are accomplishing less and less.

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‘Go Small or Go Home’ Is the Next Big Thing in Ad Tech

Ad Age | March 17, 2015 by Judy Shapiro

“Go big or go home” is the mantra that drives the current ad-tech gold rush. It refers to the prize that awaits ventures capable of scaling their audiences — the faster the better — guaranteeing huge ad budgets in the rapid shift from traditional to digital media.

Advertisers, for their part, were seduced by ad tech’s undeniable appeal for “predictable” marketing — devoid of quirky, error-prone human intuition. Powerful ad-buying platforms promised billions of impressions, delivered faster and cheaper than ever before.

But, as in every other gold rush, a few “unicorn” successes don’t guarantee a sustainable ad-tech industry. The recent weakness of some high-flying ventures like Say Media, which is scaling back, Sulia, which shut down, or Rocket Fuel, post IPO, reflect how underwhelmed advertisers are by the performance of “scalable” ad-tech platforms.

Their disappointment is well-founded. Ad tech’s performance paints a sobering picture, demanding a critical look at the “scale” game.

There’s rampant ad fraud driven by arbitrage incentives endemic throughout the ad-buying process.

There’s shocking low quality to all the billions of impressions delivered, frustrating advertisers’ desire for quality engagement with real people.

All these symptoms are the toxic results of the unbridled drive to scale. Ad tech confused the internet’s ability to scale technically to billions of digital nodes with marketing’s desire to reach billions of people. This colossal “bait-and-switch” scale game left advertisers deeply mistrustful of ad-tech, as all those algorithms stomped on the very human and delicate brand/consumer digital dance. This leaves us with retargeting ads that follow us relentlessly and banner ad blindness that’s more acute than ever.

It’s time to put people first

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10 Things a Startup CEO Should Never Ever Say to the Startup Team.

StackStreet | December 9, 2014 by Judy Shapiro

Between the startup dreams and funding reality lies the “day in day out” stress of being a startup CEO. Sometimes maintaining a certain level of grace under pressure is tough.  Sometimes, we stumble and we say unthinking things, unkind things or just plain stupid stuff.

So on the long and winding path towards startup Zen Zeitgeist, here are the top 10 things you should never ever say to your team. This list was formed through hard won experience (you can thank me later):

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It’s Time to Balance the Tech-Human Element in Marketing:

5 Ways to Thrive in the Chaotic Ad-Tech Wonderland in 2015

Ad Age | December 3, 2014 by Judy Shapiro

Advertiser patience is wearing thin trying to figure out if those billions of digital impressions are all that valuable.

Today, digital marketing is dominated by conversations around “scale,” giving one the sense of falling into a wonderland of ad networks, exchanges, trading desks, mobile and video platforms, all swirling in a cloud of big data. From afar things look normal, but on closer examination, everything is askew.

Impressions are arbitraged in a tangle of tech platforms and middlemen that defies attribution. We chase technical metrics instead of human ones. We talk about “brand-safe” ad placements instead of “brand-relevant” ads. And we play whack-a-mole with fraud, worrying about bots instead of aiming for real engagement with real audiences.

It’s clear marketing is not a pure tech play. It needs to be delicately balanced between technology and the human element. Sadly, it’s also clear the tech boom taught us how to value the science of marketing but not the art of marketing.

The cruelest cut of all is that technologists continue to grab headlines and revenue as advertiser trust in digital advertising plummets, leaving agencies and publishers bearing the brunt of advertiser rage.

No wonder advertisers and agencies are trying to figure out how to thrive in this chaotic ad-tech world. Here are five no-nonsense strategies to help thrive in 2015.

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The Seven Deadly Sins of the Startup Psyche.

StackStreet | October 10, 2014 by Judy Shapiro

Ever since my days at the Bell Labs New Ventures Group (during the first “.com” boom), I’ve enjoyed mentoring startups. Over the years, arguably I have worked with probably more than 50 startups in various stages of birth and decline.

In the past 6 months in particular, I noticed a stunning similarity in younger startup CEO thinking that is consistently naïve and/or ignorant (depending on your mood). I’m all for optimism tinged with hopeful delusion (I too am a startup CEO), but the irrational exuberance of the current venture crop is just too uncomfortably reminiscent of the last bust. No wonder I am twitching.

The heart of the matter is simple. Too often the passion of younger CEOs around their vision tend to cause a blind spot (deliberate or not) around basic business common sense and basic numbers crunching. Ya – I know that sounds ridiculous boring but without a clear understanding of the numbers, you’re likely to confuse activity for traction.

Seeing this trend played over and over again in just a few months, inspired me (with a tinge of irritation) to share what I believe are the top seven deadly sins that seem worth noting and hopefully avoiding.

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Six ways to fall in love with marketing again.

Ad Age | September 11, 2014 by Judy Shapiro

Marketing was never for the faint of heart. It requires the insight of a psychologist, the wit of a standup comedian, the stamina of an endurance athlete and a chameleon-like ability to adapt to never-ending business highs and lows.

But if you made the grade, you were rewarded by participating in an industry that attracted the best and brightest. More than that, marketing as a vocation was deeply satisfying because you knew that your work meant factories kept running and people kept getting paychecks.

Today, though, any casual observer can’t help but notice a downright dour mood among marketing folks despite media’s love affair with all things ad-tech. The praise heaped onto the coolest data plays or platform plays or mobile plays belie the fact that it’s anything but playtime for marketers.

The sheer tonnage of technologies is a serious buzz kill, casting a cloud over the industry. But it doesn’t have to be that way with these six techniques to keep your passion for marketing intense and vital…

To read full article: 


Disrupting the Disruption Myth

Entrepreneur | August  12, 2014 by Judy Shapiro

In the United States right now, in some conference room or coffee shop, a potential investor is asking an eager CEO of a startup the D question: “What makes your venture disruptive?” And in the pit of that CEO’s stomach, he or she knows that the answer could make or break their venture.

The buzz word disruption has captured center stage in the U.S. investor world. Disruption grabs headlines, accelerates valuations and is so seductive for investors. Its widespread appeal comes from logic that goes something like this: Unless a startup is doing the blowing up, the company is likely to get blown up as a result of another company’s success. This line of thinking is an odd by-product of Clayton Christensen’s 1997 book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, which was of great influence at Bell Labs when I worked there in the late 1990s.

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Top 8 Tech Terms Marketers Love to Hate

Social Media Today | July 14, 2014 by Judy Shapiro

Nothing rankles the ire of any marketer with even a tad of experience more than those highly touted “new” tech terms or concepts positioned as silver bullet answers to heretofore unsolved marketing problems. And to those of us who’ve been around the marketing block a few times, these new terms resemble a toddler’s early attempts at speech: cute, but a phase they’ll grow out of.

Unfortunately, though, some of these usually harmless little word experiments “stick,” taking on a larger-than-life meaning that does a disservice to everyone.  My plain hope here is to put these concepts into context so they can be practically applied in the day-in-day-out business of marketing.

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10 Apologies I Will Never Make Again As A Startup CEO

Entrepreneur | July 11, 2014 by Judy Shapiro

My unlikely journey of launching an ad-tech startup is almost a Dickensian tale, with false starts, misfires and more disasters than most ventures can be expected to survive. It’s been some 27 months now from initial inspiration to the successful creation of a live system and beyond.

Probably one of my biggest mistakes was a misguided attempt to follow in the typical path of tech startups: hanging out at meetups, applying to every incubator and funding platform I could find and flying to San Francisco so often that my frequent-flier miles qualify me for a trip to anywhere.

Truth be told, I failed to gain traction in Silicon Valley.

Read full article here:


Can Native Ads Save The Soul of  of Digital Advertising?

Execs Debate Whether Programmatic Buying Will Screw Up Native Ads

Ad Age | June 10, 2014 by Judy Shapiro

During the OMMA Native Ad Conference at Internet Week last month, I heard an ad tech executive proclaim, “But digital banner ads work. They keep publishers afloat.” I literally gasped out loud. Aside from the fact that “keeping publishers afloat” is hardly a ringing endorsement, it highlighted how differently technologists and advertisers look at the world. Plainly put — from a business perspective — if digital advertising’s abysmal engagement rates are failing advertisers, they are failing everyone — publishers, agencies, advertisers and, of course, consumers. Game over. The tech guy’s comment continued to reverberate in my mind when, as a panelist, I joined a session called “Rise of the Robot Natives: Oxymoron or Solution?” Moderator Steve Carbone, managing director at Mediacom, started the session with the question on his and everyone’s mind: “Will turning native advertising into programmatic units literally destroy the quality of native content?” Underlying Steve’s question was the grim, fait accompli belief that programmatic buying is too blunt an instrument to create the intimacy that makes native advertising perform better than today’s banner ads. The majority of the audience, along with Peyman Nilforoush, CEO of inPowered (another panelist), shared Steve’s skepticism about whether programmatic buying could be applied to native advertising; “When you start thinking about native ads as programmatic, you just lose engagement,” Peyman said. But other panelists argued that native and programmatic were not mutually exclusive. Sloan Gaon, CEO of PulsePoint, astutely observed, “What can go programmatic, will go programmatic,” a sentiment echoed by John Fredette, manager of global media and sponsorship marketing at IBM, when he said earlier in the day, “We would do more native if we knew how.” So the big question remains around the “how,” and more specifically, “How do we not screw native up?” Read full article here _______________________________________________________________

Intrusive Intimacy

MediaPost | May 19, 2014 by Tyler Loechner 

“Technology lets us get more intrusive,” said Judy Shapiro, CEO and founder of engageSimply. “But it also lets us get more intimate.”

Damn you, oxymorons that make sense!

Shapiro was speaking on the “Rise Of The Robot Natives: Oxymoron Or Solution?” panel to close out OMMA Native at Internet Week New York on Monday.

Given the topic of the panel, the subject of “programmatic native” came up — something I’ve always thought is an oxymoron in its own right. (And it’s not an oxymoron I’m entirely convinced makes sense, although the panel apparently convinced a few people in the audience according to quick before and after polls.)

See full article here


The Noise From the Tech Echo Chamber Is Deafening

 Huffington Post | February 10, 2014 by Judy Shapiro

This post is best framed with this old African proverb: An elephant can never see the world through the ant’s eyes, but the ant merely needs to climb on the back of the elephant to see his world.

And with that, here is our real world tech tale of the ant and elephant.

As a marketing startup, I had the rare chance to meet with a senior Google exec. It was a meeting arranged for me by a customer who was looking to vet our venture’s topic-based network approach to social marketing. I was eager and anxious for the meeting, since so much rested on our understanding of how Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm changes the discoverability game on the Internet.

Very quickly he validated our overall tech. We weren’t changing the world, but we were providing a happy place for users and a productive platform for brands.

Then the Google Exec said the best thing I could hear: “I can see this as a solid $100-$200MM business” — exactly in line with my own projections, even though I never sent him our Exec Summary.

I was ecstatic but just for a moment… Read full article:   ____________________________________________________________________

How Are Agencies Leading the Way Through Technology’s Chaos?

5 Strategies to Put Marketing Tech Where It Belongs — Connecting to Consumers

 Ad Age | January 7, 2014 by Judy Shapiro

Ask any marketer whether marketing tech is helping him do great work, and you’re likely to get an exasperated sigh, with complaints that too much tech is too detached from his day-in-day-out world. The sheer number of mobile, data or analytics ventures leaves a fragmented, fussy, black-box tangle of platforms that is way out of proportion to what any individual or the industry can possibly absorb. This chaos explains a shift by advertisers to agencies that can help them make sense of it all. Here are five strategies that agencies are using to put marketing tech where it belongs — in the service of helping brands make connections to consumers.

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The Amazing Adventure of a Startup Told In Song.

Medium | January 3, 2014 by Judy Shapiro

Starting a venture is an incestuous marriage of faith and imagination — a rocky start at best. But that what’s makes it so seductive. It is a journey of triumph and terror; vision tinged with delusion and where courage carries the day. Yet in this heady mix, the existential question always remains; will money run out before hope does.

Our own stomach churning, roller coaster ride of nose dives and last minute saves had its share of villains, heroes, schmucks, menschs and chivalrous white knights who stepped in more than once to save this damsel in distress.

This both humbled and emboldened me.

I persevered during the dark nights, quietly defying the odds despite management shake-ups and false development starts. Yet here we are; we’ve come out on the other side. Our platform is live with paying corporate customers. After nearly two years — we have our proof of concept.

This is a particularly precious moment in the life of a venture where rational doubters lost out to those who held the faith. So here is our story from incorporation until now marked by the songs that spoke to me in the moment that I was living the “startup dream.”

It was a journey of unexpected twists and turns. But through it all, the support of the team and our circle of friends has been extraordinary. Rarely has a venture been blessed with so many assets of support. So now is our time to show ‘em what we’ve got. As we move into 2014, we are more optimistic than ever.

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Start-up Psyche.

Medium  | November 10, 2013 by Judy Shapiro

Ever since my days at the Bell Labs New Ventures Group (during the first “.com” boom), I’ve enjoyed mentoring startups. Over the years, arguably I have worked with probably more than 25 startups in various stages of birth and decline. Much of this work is pro bono so I tend to approach it with brutally quick yet kind candor. In the past 30 days, I had been working with three different types of startup in three very different spaces and I noticed a stunning similarity in thinking that was consistently naïve and lacking in some pretty basic business planning modeling.  It seems the current venturing exuberance is just too uncomfortably reminiscent of the last bust. No wonder I am twitching. So given this concentrated dose of entrepreneur fever, I’ve been  inspired (o.k. more like irritated) to share what I believe are the top seven deadly sins that I see startups committing with more regularity than I was expecting  (yup – I recognize the drama queen tone here – but this IS serious). Full article: __________________________________________________________________________

Startup Zen: Knowing when to pitch, when to punt and when to pray.

Medium  | October 8, 2013 by Judy Shapiro

I read with tortured simpatico the blog of “John Startup” describing his 45 day sprint to a Series A (he is at Day 6 today). It is a poignant and agonizing window into the secret, tortured soul of any thinking startup CEO.

His journey resonates excruciatingly for me because we share many characteristics. We are both trying to launch not just a new “thing-y” but a new way of “doing”.

Like John, we have done umpteenth versions of investor decks, presentations and VC pitches. We have performed the passion play for investors so many times we have to guard against just “phoning it in.”

And like John, the “burn rate” meter incessantly rings in our ears, getting ever louder as the bank account dwindles.

But mostly, I share John’s “knot in the stomach” feeling that feeds our insecurities as we muddle through every day. This must be how a bug feels as it clings for dear life on a windshield barreling down the road at 75 MPH.

In this existential moment, though, we define ourselves as entrepreneurs and human beings…

Full article:


Do VCs expect too little from marketing tech startups?

Medium  | October 31, 2013 by Judy Shapiro

If it were not so serious a question — I would appear daft. As it is, ventures are regularly required to jump through incredibly high hoops — be disruptive, have IP that can withstand competitive challenges, be a socially conscious venture ready to change the world all the while creating value that can exit with a ”B” somewhere in there. Whew — and against those milestones — my question sounds even more absurd. Yet the question pressed itself upon my mind because of my recent experiences with and outreaches to VCs about our venture, engageSimply. In true startup form, we bootstrapped our way and raised nearly $500k. We were able to develop and launch Eden; a marketing platform that powers our own topic-based network to drive curated commerce. Within weeks of launch, we closed a few deals including a major brand and our sales funnel would be the envy of any company. So while we are enjoying great traction from customers, we need an infusion to take advantage of the opportunities before us so we started knocking on investors’ doors. The reception from the investor world is a quite different story.

Read full article here:


The Next great advertising blip is just around the corner

Advertising Age | August 27, 2013 by Judy Shapiro

The last 50 years of overall prosperity was a one-time only “blip” of good fortune that’s unlikely to ever happen again, according to economist Robert Gordon. His prognosis for the future, as described in a recent article in New York Mazgazine, is a grim economy based on slow to zero growth where any gain comes at someone else’s expense. The American Dream depends on a growth economy, of course, and as the great American Dream goes, so goes Madison Avenue. Juxtapose this macro-economic “death of a blip” moment against the explosion of game-changing technology that challenges every marketing strategy and tactic of the last 50 years, and it looks like agencies may have taken a mortal blow. My experience of the last 30 days alone seems to confirm this notion. Read full article here __________________________________________________________________________________________

The device dilemma

Digiday | June 28, 2013 by Judy Shapiro 

In a recent Digiday article, “How Tablets Have Changed Publishing,” Chris Reynolds, vp of marketing analytics at Condé Nast, explains that the migration to tablets is easier said than other mobile devices because “the form factor for tablets is so close to what publishers are used to.”

Agreed. But the underlying assumption seems to be that the more places a publisher can put its content, the bigger the audience and the better it can monetize its content. On this point, I am not so sure I agree, and the data is dicey.

An MPA study confirms that 68 percent of consumers “believe technology has improved the experience of accessing various media.” That’s a clear indication that there is value in adapting to the multi-device reality.

The data also tells us that more “screens” means more time spent consuming content. Arbitron reports a 16 percent jump in the amount of time spent on TV, Internet and radio since 2003. Comscore data also clearly confirms the close relationship between device access and time spent with content. In comparing households that watch only TV versus households that use four screens (tablet, TV, mobile, PC), we see a 2:1 relationship where TV-only households spend 4 hours per day on content versus 8 hours per day in four-screen households.

Yet we shouldn’t be sanguine and just accept that more content on more devices automatically means larger audiences for publishers. The abysmal and declining performance of digital ads with their pathetically low CPMs suggests just the reverse. In fact, it’s becoming clearer that simply putting content on digital or mobile platforms is no panacea for monetization.

So if content monetization isn’t about more eyeballs looking at your content, what’s the real answer to the content-monetization puzzle?

Read full article 


Will the real native ad please stand up?

Digiday | June 26, 2013 by Judy Shapiro

Everyone’s going native these days. From New York Times to Google, more and more companies are doing some version of native advertising.

From a term first coined by Fred Wilson back in 2011 as “native monetization,” this concept has come to mean a wide range of activities. Some people mean it as sponsored content, others mean advertorials and others talk about “in stream ads.” But all are talking about bringing relevancy back into the platform-based marketing landscape where it is getting lost in the muscly algorithmic shuffle.

Rhetoric aside, the practical question remains: is native advertising a genuine innovation or just “an old girlfriend in a new dress;” a quaint AT&T anachronism suggesting it’s nothing new and is just another name for what effective advertising was always about anyway.

This is a pressing question for an industry creaking under reams of data confirming our worst fears – digital advertising isn’t working as well as it used to. Articles like “10 Horrifying Stats About Display Advertising” feed our angst. We see that 8 percent of internet users account for 85% of clicks on display ads (comScore) with an abysmal click through rate is 0.1 percent. (Source: DoubleClick). Even more damning, Nielson reports that 33 percent of people find banner ads on social networks more annoying than in other places.

Ouch! Enter native advertising as the industry’s pivot.

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6 steps to prevent digital identity disaster

Bit Rebel | May 29, 2013 by Judy Shapiro

When I was in college (back before our civilized, digital epoch had dawned), the resume was the “you” you presented to potential employers. It was a carefully crafted document, edited to put your experience and skills in the best possible light. It was quite efficient, and the primary filter that companies used to screen applicants.

Flash forward about 20 years and the resume has almost taken a backseat to the digital identity prospective employers can glean about you from lots of sources, not just your ever so carefully crafted resume.

In today’s digital world, your digital identity is the now the “you” companies see well before they even invite you in for an interview. And yet, in today’s digital world, the digital “you” can misrepresent “you” in ways unimagined. And unfortunately, this is something that happens more frequently than you would think.

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Are Google Alerts the Canary in the Big Data Mineshaft?

Bit Rebel | April 26, 2013 by Judy Shapiro

I remember the first time I actually got a Google Alert in my inbox. It was around 2008, and I had started my blog a while before. I signed up to get Google Alerts on my name mainly so I could see how fast Google indexed information. At the time, I noticed I got an alert within 3 hours of posting. It was a heady, strange type of thrill to know that Google had found me. A whoo hoo moment.

Then starting in 2009, as I started to write for Ad Age and HuffPo, I noticed that I got an alert within maybe five hours of publication. Often, it was the Alert that told me something had published since I often didn’t know. The whoo hoo moments came fast and furious as I started publishing a lot.

By 2010, as I continued to publish, I started to notice a real lag between the time I published and the timeliness of my Google Alerts. I’d say the lag had grown to about 12 hours before I got that coveted Alert in my inbox… a 5x time delay from 2008. In 2011, the lag times widened even more so that I was getting Alerts a full day later.

Probably by 2012 or so, the delay was now stretched out over several days so I didn’t even realize if I got the Google Alert or not. This brings us up to date. I note rather sadly that too often I don’t even get a Google Alert anymore, even if I publish in a widely distributed publication like HuffPo or Social Media Today.

It’s a sad milestone because in 2008 when I unknowingly embarked on my simple experiment, who’d have thought it could turn out to be a barometer on the health of the BIG Data mineshaft – the proverbial canary in the mineshaft. 

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Top 10 Business Growing Pains Social Media is Going Through Right now

Social Media Today | April 26, 2013 by Judy Shapiro

On a recent April afternoon, at the suitably hip offices of AppNexus over 200 agency and marketing folks came together for the IAB Social Media Agency Day. Susan Borst, Director, Industry Initiatives, IAB opened the event titled “Social Media. judy jetsonWhat can Twitter, American Airlines and Jane Jetson teach Us About Social Media Planning For Real Time?”

It provided a rare chance for marketers and technologists to commune about the practical challenges of successful social media for brands.

The agenda included an impressive set of panels covering Politics, Sports, HBA and Auto discussed by a mix of tech folks, brands folks and agency folks. Each panel had something unique to share with the group – about what success meant or how to execute great social concepts.

But in listening to all the panels, I also noticed many of the panelists expressed a “wait and see” attitude about social media; reflecting the reality that social media is still in its infancy. No doubt with maturation comes standardization but in the meantime, the session seemed to repeat certain key themes – growing pains as it were – about the business of social media.

Full article


Is a startup bust just around the corner?

Ad Age | March 26, 2013 by Judy Shapiro

Even the best technology won’t create value if it can’t get to market.

That simple, straightforward lesson from the last tech bust ought to be guiding the new generation of startups. But as technology companies rush to fill every niche in the marketing industry, the lack of go-to-market savvy is stunning. In fact, four trends suggest that a bust is just around the corner. (Warning: This list will sound vaguely familiar to anyone who lived through the bust circa 2000.)

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Why Mayor Bloomberg Declared January 24 Joe Torre Day

Huffington Post | February 2, 2013 by Judy Shapiro

In the last few weeks we saw three separate incidences where teenagers committed unfathomable acts of violence killing family and strangers with equal brutality. The motives are murky but if we look deeper – we see a single thread links most incidences – these kids are exposed to violence at home when they were younger. Despite what we may want to believe, family violence is so much more pervasive in our society than you would think:  6 out of 10 kids are directly exposed to violence according to government sources (Department of Justice Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence: ). This epidemic of violence has major consequences because it is traumatizes for a lifetime and is passed on from one generation to the next in a cycle of violence that is hard to break. It can seem hopeless if not for brave champions who take up the battle to break the cycles of violence. One such champion is Joe Torre, the legendary baseball player and manager, himself a victim of family violence who, along with his wife Ali, was motivated to start the Safe at Home Foundation. They dedicated themselves to making a difference in kids’ lives by giving them that one break that can put a kid on a path to a productive life breaking the otherwise hopeless cycle of violence. That’s why Mayor Bloomberg declared January 24 Joe Torre Day to recognize the Safe at Home 10th Anniversary Event honoring Joe and Ali’s decade long commitment in founding the organization. Read full article. _______________________________________________________________________________________________

Five Hyper-Local Marketing Trends to Take the Street Fight to the Next Level

Ad Age | January 23, 2013 by Judy Shapiro

The StreetFight Summit last week (Jan 15-16) was a celebration of all things hyper-local … loyalty platforms, publishing platforms, daily deal publishing in a crazy collage of capabilities designed to empower local businesses. Amidst the optimistic top-note at the conference, there was also a realistic recognition that 2013 is likely to be “The Hangover Year” as Dave Payne, CEO of ScoutMob described it – an evolving landscape with players that overlap in a confused mix of platform competencies.

Overall though, the new thinking at the conference revolved around ideas that are attuned to the importance of balancing technology (of which there is an abundance) with the human element needed to create truly transformative business practices. Here are some takeaways from the key players.

Full article


Get Ready for Five Big Sentiment Shifts for 2013

 Ad Age | December 13, 2012 by Judy Shapiro

It’s the time of year to look ahead (perhaps with a touch of trepidation) of what the next big thing in marketing might be. But 2013 will be less about revolutionary products and technologies and more about the subtle shifts that have already begun to transform marketing and will become even more important next year.

Here I’m going to ditch the black-box techno-jargon in favor of five big sentiment shifts that will re-frame the conversation next year.

Read full article


Untangling the confusion between social media and social marketing.

Social Media Today | November 26, 2012 by Judy Shapiro

The world of social media is dense with jargon that defies consistent usage across the business. This sets the stage for confusion and mismanaged expectations especially when people bandy about the terms social media and social marketing as though they are interchangeable.  They’re not and by understanding the difference you can begin to knit together the right mix of “media” to “marketing” in the social realm. Read full article. _____________________________________________________________________________________

The quieter wreckage Sandy left behind

HuffingtonPost | November 19, 2012 by Judy Shapiro

The images of devastation in the wake of Sandy are overwhelming, especially for a NYC gal who only could imagine such wreckage in some distant city with a history of floods or hurricanes. To see such devastation in NYC seemed inconceivable.

So as NYC still reels from the trauma of Sandy on the visible landscape, there is another wave of destruction that is ready to wash up on the shores of our city like the carcasses of cars and houses washing up on shores months after the tsunami had struck.

Full article


The problem with impressions.

Ad Age | November 5, 2012 by Judy Shapiro

Too often my meetings with online media network salespeople sound something like this: Me: “So how did our campaign do?” Salesperson: “Great. You performed within range — getting 1/10 of 1% response based on number of impressions delivered.” Me: “Um, how is that a great result?” (C’mon … what am I supposed to do with 1/10th of 1% CTR anyway?) Salesperson: “Well that’s based on 500,000 impressions and its well within the range of other brand campaigns.” Me: “Can you tell me how many real people were reached by the ad buy? After all, impressions don’t buy — real people do.” Salesperson: (Frustrated) “We don’t have that information. Besides, no one ever asked me that question. We are a branding ad platform and you are using direct response metrics.” This common exchange is frustrating for both of us because if more online social/media networks really embraced their very wonderful, response-based DNA roots then it would be more productive all around. Instead, newer online publishers/social networks focus on impression-based ad sales to make them sound like offline media. Problem is that online media is nothing like offline media. Full article


Why does Fashion ignore Post 50s?

HuffingtonPost | September 14, 2012 by Judy Shapiro

Fashion Week has come to a close. For the last seven days, New York was abuzz as the celebration of chic sets the standard for global style. And as all of this pageantry took center stage, as a woman over 50, I feel like a kid whose nose is pressed up against the candy store glass. I can see the beautiful fashion confections but they remains tantalizingly out of reach. For me, all the hoopla is one humongous marketing platform where high fashions meets titan brands like American Express, Fiber One, Maybelline and Mercedes-Benz. All this marketing muscle is aimed squarely and almost exclusively on women in the “prime” 18-to-49 target. We woman of the 50+ set are on the fashion outside looking in. This seemed to be a puzzle. You would think that these fashion companies and brands would want to reach women 50+. We are brand loyal, affluent and drive much of the spending decisions in our households. Yet from fashions or brand messages that are geared to a woman 32, ideally with an anorexic build, the 50+ group is routinely sidelined, ignored and generally absent from the scene. It’s not an overstatement to say Madison Avenue is making a fashion statement about Boomers — we somehow just became style-challenged. I pondered this puzzle aloud with a colleague, Peter Hubbell, CEO of BoomAgers.  As a former Saatchi Board member who recently launched his agency focused on Boomers, Peter’s expertise in marketing goes deep given his years leading the largest of brands like P&G. His explanation for why we women Boomers are ignored was a sobering revelation. Full article


The Great Divide: Agencies and Tech Innovators Need to Get On The Same Page.

Ad Age | August 27, 2012 by Judy Shapiro

The financial world believes that the social-media bubble has popped… Restless crowds of investors are calling for Mark Zuckerberg’s head, and many shaken financial analysts now are questioning whether these stocks were over promoted. Yet few of us experienced in marketing are surprised by this news. We have publicly questioned whether Groupon was good for brands. We have struggled over how to translate a “like” into a sale, and scratched our heads at the astonishing Facebook valuation, given iffy returns on marketing programs. Clearly there’s a stark difference in perspective between agencies and the technologists/venture capitalists who are re-engineering marketing. It is emblematic of a deeper disconnect that, as a marketing veteran and CEO of a startup, I experience personally. Full article. _____________________________________________________________________________________

A different kind of medical battle.

Huffington Post | August 7, 2012 by Judy Shapiro

There is so much noisy battling going on around the state of health care that sometimes one can easily overlook the quieter battles that go on every day in homes and doctors’ offices around the country. And in these quieter battles, much of the heartbreak really resides. And just as often, in these quieter battles we get to glimpse at the best of the courageous human spirit. Read full article: _____________________________________________________________________________________

The Key Issue Isn’t Isn’t Free or Paid, But How Can We Regain Consumers’ Trust?

Ad Age | July 24, 2012 by Judy Shapiro

While the “freemium” concept does solve the scale issue for marketers, all the marvelous technology available for reaching consumers directly is sacrificing their trust –- the most important ingredient marketers need to monetize programs.

Full article


When hacker culture collides with business reality.

Lessons from TechCrunch Disrupt Conference

Ad Age | May 30, 2012 by Judy Shapiro

In some ways the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference was a metaphor for the state of the tech industry, especially technologies created for the marketing/ media/ publishing industries. Read full article _____________________________________________________________________________________

What marketers should learn from the Internet Industry anti SOPA Campaign

Ad Age | January 25, 2012 by Judy Shapiro

In case you missed it, January 18 was Internetageddon, the day some sites big (Wikipedia) and small went dark in protests over the Stop Online Piracy Act. By the end of the day, headlines spoke of sweet success: Sunk! How Hollywood Lost the PR Battle Over SOPA. This euphoria was juxtaposed against a headline that ran just a few days earlier:ICANN gTLD Machine Grinds Into Action, providing sad testament to the marketing’s industry failure to stop ICANN’s rightly criticized new gTLD Program. The contrast was startling and seemed to reflect a deeper malaise plaguing our industry as we evolve to leverage this technologically dense marketing landscape. Let’s deconstruct what happened in each case. Read full article _____________________________________________________________________________________

Why Social is so disruptive to traditional marketing.

Social Media Today | January 16, 2012 by Judy Shapiro

On a warm day in May 2009, I impetuously made a bet with a friend, an EVP at a huge traditional agency, declaring that within 36 months – digital marketing would dominate all media spend. My normally reserved friend let out a snicker of disbelief since traditional media accounted for 90%+ of all spend at the time.  As ridiculous as my prediction sounded to both of us, I was expressing my growing frustration at working with all the new digital options in social and mobile marketing technologies. My friend summarily declared me “bleeding edge” and that, it seemed, was the end of that. Read full article ———————————————————————————————————————————————

How one little book became a movement that saved a young teen’s life.

Huffington Post | December 13, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

Kids’ books have been long cherished as a way for kids to learn about their world. In fact, the more complex their lives become, the more stories take on a new significance. This is perhaps why it’s not hard to spot a book that seems to be a “little” book but is, in fact, a portal to something much more important. This is the story of a remarkable book, a powerful movement, and one very scared, young middle-school student. Full article ———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Hey Klout – What are you REALLY measuring?

All Things D | November 16, 2011 by Judy Shapiro Wake up and smell the perks. Recently, Klout, a startup that measures “influence” in social media, and purveyor of “perks,” declared a “new era” because they were adjusting their scoring algorithm. The whole episode seemed to cause one to wonder what was behind Klout’s change. Read article here ——————————————————————————————-

Has Facebook Faded?

Voice of America | November 4, 2011 The question now: is Facebook’s size its chief asset, or vulnerability? Surprisingly, Judy Shapiro argues the latter.

“Size is useful when appropriately applied in a communications context but not necessarily a wonderful thing to sell stuff. There are many, many studies that speak to the challenge of using Facebook productively and profitably.”

Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————————

Staying ahead as the ‘Last Mile’ advantage wanes.

Multichannel News | October 5, 2011 By Judy Shapiro In the 1990s, when I was at AT&T, owning “the last mile” – the pipe into the home – was the most valuable and monetizable place to be. As the competition began to chip away at the edges, our defensive strategy was to offer more services as a way to bind the customer to the AT&T franchise and – voila – bundled services were born. We offered a wide variety of communications plans with endless combinations. We got into the home-security business; we developed new small-business services plans. We even played with PPV for a while. But churn they did.  Unbeknownst to us, consumers had a very clear ceiling as to what they were willing to pay “the phone company.” As competition heated up, they learned to circumvent our sacred “last mile” advantage while we failed to grasp quickly enough that just offering services does not move customers up the value chain. In fact, adding more “stuff” just made it worse because lots of time and investment went into these new offerings, which ultimately did little to mitigate the downward slide. The sad result was that instead of slaying the commoditization beast (low-cost telecom plans, etc.) – we fed it by offering more services that were likely to become commoditized themselves. And here we are. Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————–

Are You Ready For One of the Biggest Changes on the Internet in a Decade?

Ad Age | October 18, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

Tic Toc …

ICANN’s New Generic Top-Level Domain Program is just about to kick off and I bet most of you are wondering what the heck those are anyway (don’t feel bad if you don’t know – neither did I until recently). Then, you are also probably wondering why you should care.

Read full article here.


How Does a Small Classroom Garden Become Part of a BIG Solution?

Dallas l October 17, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

Alarm bells are ringing nationwide regarding the rising obesity rates among children. Public figures ranging from first lady Michelle Obama to officials across the country are recognizing the severity of the issue and are looking for tangible ways to help reverse the trend.

Lots of attention in addressing this issue is rightly focused on school programs because students consume 30% to 50% of their daily calories at school. The solution seems simple enough — properly fund school lunch budgets. But unfortunately with budgets as they are, on average we spend about 90 cents per day per child on ingredients — less than many might spend on their pet’s daily diet. Shocking isn’t it?

That’s leaves a huge “nutrition” gap which explains the urgent need. There are many types of programs from lots of different organizations looking to help make a difference. Some focus on education (e.g. Whole Kids Foundation) , others on cooking (The Creative Kitchen) while others like Together Counts, introduce a balanced of view lifestyle changes — like family meals and activities.

Read full article here:


Social Media Today: Best Thinkers Webinar Series

Where Have All the Hippies Gone? Monetization, Data and Social Media October 13, 2011 Panelists: – Judy Shapiro, CEO and founder of engageSimply, a marketing commerce technology firm. – Brett Shellhammer, Executive in Residence at Communitech in Waterloo Ontario where he mentors technology startups. – Mike Edelhart, the President of Tomorrow Project, LLC, the company that produces Pivot Conference, Contact Conference and Social Week.

The next stage of the social web is monetization, or figuring out how to profit from the presence of many habitual users and the information gathered about those users.  In this webinar, the panelists will explore the various strategies that companies are adopting to pay their way on the social web.

* What are the leading monetization strategies for social media companies?

* What’s the future of online advertising?

* How can companies formulate appropriate data management policies that allow them to monetize user data without violating the trust of their users?

To listen: —————————————————————————————————————-

Social Network Shake-up.

Maximum PC: October 2011

By: Brad Chacos

 The Future >

With so many networks vying for your time social media users may have some hard decisions to make. “The entry of Google Plus and continued changes in Facebook will make most consumers realize that social media can only take up so much shelf life in their digital lives.” Ad Age’s Judy Shapiro expect social networks in general to thrive going forward. “I believe the Internet is evolving so you can have your web and I can have mine.” See full article. ——————————————————————————————————————

Why buying “Made in America” makes a real difference.        

HuffingtonPost  | August 18, 2011 by Judy Shapiro   Here’s a grabber headline from “Tackle Trade Deficit to Create Jobs” which goes on to unambiguously to explain that: “Halving the nearly $600 billion annual trade deficit would create at least 5 million jobs…” Then, on the same day there’s this Huffington Post blog entitled: “Dude, Where’s My Job?” that lays it out in black and white: “China accounts for about 70% of our trade deficit outside of oil … That’s about a million jobs a year or 10 million over the last decade. It’s the difference between 9% unemployment and 6% unemployment and the core cause of our recessionary predicament.” Wow! A clear and unequivocal declaration of what we lose when we don’t buy American — 5 million jobs to be exact. The answer seems simple — buy American. But that’s easier said than done … Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

Can Facebook and Google + co-exist?       

PC World | July 11, 2011 by Megan-Geuss  

“…. Theory 3: There Can Be Only One Survivor

Judy Shapiro, a contributor to AdAge and the CEO of EngageSimply, a technology marketing firm, says that both Facebook and Google+ are in a war, and consumers will choose the victor based on privacy or on how well they can turn the social network off. “Google+ is just Google’s attempt to be Facebook, and Facebook is doing its share to become Google,” Shapiro says.

In the beginning, Google had search and a way to make money through ads, and Facebook had social data. Google seems to feel that the best way to improve the accuracy of its search results is to integrate social data, something it tried to do back in 2010 when it acquired Aardvark, a company that gave feedback to questions based on the preferences of the asker’s identifiable friends and followers. For its part, Facebook has gradually built an onsite platform that allows advertisers to send targeted ads based on users’ personal and preference data. It has also established a partnership with Bing to help generate revenue from all of that social data.

But Shapiro argues that the convergence in what Google and Facebook can do might not merely create a mass exodus of users from one social network to the other; it might ensure their mutual destruction. “The more precisely a network can target us [in terms of ad-sales] the more resistant we become to it,” she says. “If you marry the strength of the search that Google has with behavioral base of social media that Facebook has, that’s a one-two punch. But our privacy becomes the collateral damage.” Eventually we might get smart enough to seek alternatives that let us share information with friends and family, and yet avoid sharing it with companies that have an abiding interest in monetizing our data.”

Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

Why Google + is the best thing to happen to Facebook.      

Ad Age | July 6, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

During a recent morning audit of my Twitter feed, I noted a particular tweet from a respected journalist: “FB making big announcement next Wednesday.” “Hmm” I thought, “It can’t be a coincidence that this big announcement comes during Google Plus’ new found glow in the media spotlight.” I pondered the topic of Facebook’s announcement, which the punditry seems to believe revolves around Facebook’s impending deal with Skype. I wondered how Facebook’s continued alliance with Microsoft is intended to hit Google where it hurts — in its search business. But mostly in my uninformed speculation, I imagined an alternate reality where Facebook’s big announcement is simply an admission that it is very, very scared of the Google+ initiative (functional merits notwithstanding). In my thought experiment, this announcement becomes the pivotal breakthrough moment that endears it to millions, giving it a much needed boost to its flailing consumer goodwill. In this version of reality, Facebook realizes its ultimate triumph through humility. But in the real world, the Facebook we know seems tone-deaf to the range of negative public sentiment that any high-profile company should be able to read expertly (especially one preparing for a $100 billion IPO). Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

Facebook says membership has reached 750 Million    

ABC News  | July 6,  2011 by Jon  Swartz

A saturation point? Facebook’s recent dip in North America, while perhaps an anomaly, does raise the question: Can it maintain torrid growth amid looming privacy concerns, escalating spam and phishing attempts, and inevitable user boredom?

 “Facebook is flat. Everyone is piled in one spot, making it hard to connect with so many different people (friends from high school, college, work, children),” says Judy Shapiro, a marketing expert who presented the panel “Has Facebook Jumped the Shark?” at the South by Southwest Interactive tech conference in Austin in March.

 “As people get more mature with Facebook, its usability gaps become more visible,” says Shapiro, who, to her surprise, did not receive much criticism of her panel.

 Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

Why Facebook is flat: a look at its most unfavorable underbelly.     

Social Media Today | July 7, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

With all the hoopla around Facebook’s new “awesome” video chat announcement coupled with the fact that it has reached the 750 Million member milestone – my question may seem rather ridiculous. But hang in there so I can explain. I mean that Facebook is flat at its most basic, literal sense.  I mean that Facebook’s – “all friends are created equal” – design strategy reveals a glimpse into its most vulnerable underbelly – Facebook’s usability. Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

Help! A Web Ad Is Stalking Me!    

PC World | June 21, 2011 by Mark Sullivan

“And that, in a nutshell, is the whole problem with most “social advertising” that is not opt-in. People like social networks because a certain amount of trust exists among a group of friends, explains Judy Shapiro of social marketing firm EngageSimply. The moment money is introduced into the equation without the user’s consent, things change. That’s one of the reasons that Facebook ads have not performed terribly well for marketers: Most people don’t want to mix social interaction with commerce. Shapiro’s company, EngageSimply helps companies engage customers via social media on an opt-in basis.”

 Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

The single most important question you MUST ask your social media maven.      

Social Media Today  | June 21, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that social marketing is an important tool for marketers. But it DOES seem to take a rocket scientist to make heads or tails out of social technology solutions… Most of the time – all I could do was mutter to myself; “Huh?” So most of the time, I had to call them,  talk to them  for 60 minutes or more until I get a vague idea of how I might be able to use them. Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

The great social land grab.     

Social Media Today  | June 16, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

It is obvious that consumers have adopted social media at a rate that caught many marketers by surprise. It is also obvious that companies large and small are starting to get the importance of the social revolution. And finally it is sadly obvious that as marketers scramble to catch up, they can stumble clumsily. Now normally I shy away from “naming names” but given the sheer media weight behind this campaign, specificity can be instructive. My intention purely is to explain how even the best of marketers can stumble into a confused social-terminology land grab that ultimately ill serves the brand and consumers. The campaign I’m talking about here is AMEX’s “social currency” campaign.  I bet you are wondering; “What’s my issue with this beautifully produced campaign that leverages the social cachet of “social currency?” Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

 How to fix the ad-targeting paradox.      

Ad Age  | June 10, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

… In the span of just a breath, the Facebook love fest turned nasty when one friend said: “Yeah, I do love Facebook, but I hate those ads aimed at women 50+. I’m 51 and I sure don’t want Facebook reminding me every time I am there. It pisses me off actually.” That set off a torrent of comments which turned into a veritable hate fest of all those creepy ads that seem to know exactly who you are. Unfortunately, I was the only marketing person around and so it was put to me to defend Marketing (with a capital “M”). I confess plainly I don’t think I did our profession proud in that moment. Aside from the beer and the speed of the sentiment shift, I was at a loss of what to say because they were right! Technology is getting very good at precisely targeting us based on behaviors scraped across an ever widening spectrum of social/local/mobile data. There’s no denying that as marketers we are reaching a targeting golden age — virtually pure target reach with little/ no waste. Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

Content is not king (or even a pirate) – the story is king.       

Huffington Post  | May 17, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

I am not sure when the history bug bit. I was not a youngster — I think I was in college. But once bitten I was hooked. I loved it all. I became an avid fan of any well done historical fiction — book or film. And I especially loved the whole “Yo ho ho” 17th century pirate/rogues genre. I read the popular Return to Treasure Island, by John Woods, a sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s all time classic Treasure Island. And of course, I was a big fan of the first, wildly successful Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Curse of the Black Pearl back in 2003. As I wait for the fourth installment… fortunately, I had the chance to discuss my feelings with a fellow pirates fan — and author John Woods. We both love the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and we pondered together about what to expect with this fourth installment. Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

Why social media is a bad measure of influence.      

Forbes  | May 13, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

Chasing the “Influencer” set is a long standing marketing strategy – not a novel concept newly minted from the social media revolution. We may have called them by different names 20 years ago – thought leaders, trend setters, early adopters – but we always understood their disproportionate power to drive business. Back then, it was not hard to know who influencers were (usually confined to public personalities) but it was hard to determine which “influencer,” a.k.a. celebrity, was worth more than another. To solve the problem, a company called Marketing Evolutions introduced “Q Scores”, a well-known popularity metric as one way (albeit limited) to compare one personality’s influencer value from another. Then, as social media “happened” – BOOM – brands had easy and really really cheap access to more influencers than ever before. The only trouble was sheer quantity made finding the “influencer diamonds in the rough” really – uh – rough.

Read more


Why “commerce” shouldn’t be a dirty word in tech marketing.    

Ad Age | April 28, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

Agree or not — no one can debate that social commerce has not really happened yet no matter how cool Mashable or TechCrunch describe a new marketing technology. Is it too much to ask for these technologies to be designed to sell something — anything? Or, how about, just for a change, we stop chasing the ever elusive “Producers” or “Influentials” or whatever we call them and we get down to the business of actually selling them stuff online? Why does it seem like “cool” marketing technology and “commerce” are mutually exclusive? Read Full Article  ——————————————————————————————————————

Why I have begun to hate the term social media?  

Forbes  | April 13, 2011 by Judy Shapiro 

My frustration with the term “social media” reached a tipping point. I had come to hate the term because it has become so undefined and unusable resulting in much confusion. In short, for me, the term had outlived its usefulness.

Read more. 


Is Groupon good for business over the long term? Do sites like Groupon build loyalty for returning customers?

Quora Question  | March 24, 2011 answer by Judy Shapiro

Short answer. No. This model – offer huge discounts to drive new users is one that has been used for years and often backfires for merchants. I have worked in direct marketing, newspaper, online marketing for a long time and most of the time this tactic does not deliver long time value to the advertiser. The “social schtick” that Groupon hangs their hat on is, IMHO, largely “window dressing” to make it seem different to marketers. BTW – why am I so sure this does not work in the long term? Name the last company that got YOU as customer using a lost lead price discount. I bet you can name maybe one – and just maybe. Sure it works sometimes – but only with the frequency that one can strike it rich while digging for gold in Alaska. Yup – the odds are that against it. Sorry Groupon – but you should have taken Google’s offer when you had it. I wonder if you will ever see an offer that good again. Time is not on your side. Original link 


Why Media pros are the only ones feeling “exploited” by Huffington Post.

Ad Age  | February 27, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

Since AOL’s deal to acquire The Huffington Post, the knives have come out. Now that Arianna Huffington has made a little money, and has a big-time job at AOL lording over some 700 professional writers, editors and content producers of all stripes, a vocal group has decided to express apparently long-simmering indignation for, in the words of Los Angeles Times’ Tim Rutten, a “galley rowed by slaves and commanded by pirates.”

But as one of those unpaid foot soldiers, I was caught by surprise at the animus. It was as if they thought the unpaid columnists — and not Arianna — deserved to be reaping value from the sale.

So I wondered, “Why did the sale elicit such a backlash, and who was yelling the loudest?”

Full article


Where are the women in tech – you ask?

Crain’s Business (Chicago)  | January 31, 2011 by Judy Shapiro

I watch with amusement when the best and brightest in our business attempt to answer the question, “Why are there so few women in tech?” I confess to a small amount of perverse pleasure at how, no matter what they say or don’t say, titans like Robert Scoble (noted tech blogger) and Michael Arrington (of TechCrunch fame) get skewered in the process, always managing to piss off a large chunk of femininehood no matter what. Nor are women any better when talking about this topic as I witnessed with shock at a panel discussion featuring “women in tech” descended into a dissing fest that was utterly embarrassing all around. Read full article —————————————————————————————————————— Why Agencies Should Stop Pretending They’re in the Technology Business. Ad Age | January 11, 2011 by Judy Shapiro I can’t prognosticate what’s going to happen next year. But at about this time last year I wrote that social media would go mainstream. And with Time’s selection of Zuckerberg as Man of the Year, it seems I got it right. So as I reflect back on the past year and think ahead, I’m emboldened enough to suggest what I believe we must tackle next year. In truth, I offer this list more as an industry call to action than as a “prediction” for 2011. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Five organizing principles for social media in 2011.

Crain’s Business | December 29, 2010 by Judy Shapiro I can’t prognosticate what’s going to happen next year. But at about this time last year I wrote that social media would go mainstream. And with Time’s selection of Zuckerberg as Man of the Year, it seems I got it right. So as I reflect back on the past year and think ahead, I’m emboldened enough to suggest what I believe we must tackle next year. In truth, I offer this list more as an industry call to action than as a “prediction” for 2011. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

The Twitter Secret for business. The simple, definitive “why” of Twitter – Rant #2.

Social Media Today | December 28, 2010 by Judy Shapiro Back in July, I wrote this first rant called: The Twitter Secret – why & how to use Twitter for B2B and technology businesses. Rant #1, where I give a detailed explanation of how to use Twitter properly in business applications. By now I would have thought most people would have figured out the “why” of Twitter. But no. Back in July, when I wrote this post, The Pew Institute reported that for 2009, Twitter awareness was at a remarkable 80%+ but usage was relatively low at around 7 – 8%. People tied themselves in knots to explain it. Many suggested that Twitter’s relative youth accounted for its low usage numbers and that surely over time, its influence would only grow. Guess what. A year later and the latest Pew Institute usage numbers for 2010 say Twitter is still at 8%.  This time around, it’s harder for people to explain it away in the same way. So now a new crop of answers try to explain the awareness/ usage gap. Therefore, in the interest of efficiency, I will explain the secret of Twitter in 140 words or less (yeah I know I am cheating – so sue me). Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

A marketer’s moment of shame.

USAToday  | December 20, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

I have always been proud to be a marketer, whether I was at a large advertisement agency or working from the client side. That is, until earlier this month, the exact date was December 11 — a date that is now indelibly marked in my mind as the moment when I lost pride in my industry. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Has Facebook jumped the shark?

All Things D  | December 8, 2010 by Judy Shapiro I knew I was on thin ice when a close friend who is CEO of a tech company cautioned me: “It will get attention, and people will call it BS, and I will be one of them.” It was a sobering comment echoed by the folks at Ad Age when they gently suggested I better have a damn good argument as claiming that Facebook has “jumped the shark” was likely to be “controversial.” Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

How Research, Technology and Mary Tyler Moore Deliver on Promises Made to “Judy Consumer.”

HuffingtonPost  | November 29, 2010 by Judy Shapiro No one who has watched TV over the last 40 years does not appreciate the iconic status of Mary Tyler Moore. In the 1960’s Mary Tyler Moore played the loving yet “spunky” wife in The Dick Van Dyke show carving out a new equality between husband and wives. Then in the 1970s she played “spunky” (see a trend?) executive producer Mary Richards in the MTM Show giving us a new model for how women can be in the work force, maintain their self and thrive. This is the Mary Tyler Moore that lives in the popular imagination. This is the Mary Tyler Moore that stood before the parents and kids and business people who all gathered one night this November at the Promise Ball in NYC in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). As Mary Tyler Moore spoke to parents like Mort and Ellen Silver, who helped start the Promise Ball 40 years ago, she acknowledged the courage of these parents when they made a promise to their children afflicted with this disease — to find a cure by funding research. Over the years, this grassroots organization held Promise Balls all over the country to support the technological research of the JDRF and, one promise at a time, raised an astonishing $55 Million. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Judy Consumer Gets Crowdsourcing Right.

HuffingtonPost  | November 8, 2010 by Judy Shapiro From the telling of it, you would think that the notion of “crowdsourcing” was borne just a few years ago with the explosive growth of Wikipedia, the new age poster child for crowdsourcing. With that first groundswell crowdsourced success story, companies fell all over themselves to launch crowdsourcing projects from asking audiences to create ad campaigns or logos and or new products. Yet, it’s helpful to put the notion of crowdsourcing in perspective by recognizing that everyday “Judy Consumer” was engaging in crowdsourcing way before Internet. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Why old media really isn’t dead.

Ad Age  | October 13, 2010 by Judy Shapiro I was at dinner the other week with Joy DiBenedetto, an ex-CNN journalist who is now CEO of HUM News, when she leaned in to me as one would at a memorial service and said in a hushed tone: “Did you notice that in roughly the last 30 days, it seems that Old Media just died.” Her tone and demeanor suggested a melancholy that was palpable. She continued, “Think about it. In the last four weeks, the legacy media landscape shifted more significantly than in any time in the last 40 years. Old legends fell away and esteemed media properties were almost sold at auction.” She then delineated the list of media shifts of the last month. I was left breathless at the scope that seemed to go under the radar. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

President Clinton Teaches Us Why We Are Born Optimists.

Huffington Post | September 28, 2010 by Judy Shapiro As a proxy for our friend, the generic “Judy Consumer,” I had the rare chance to experience in person the Clinton Global Initiative (September 21 – 24) as “Judy Consumer” might. Never having been so close to so many high level politicians and world leaders, it was exciting (somewhat dizzying) to be a part of this global event. It was awe-inspiring to know that this collection of business leaders, sustainability experts, diplomats, politicians, and celebs were all talking about one simple thing — what can we do to make a difference to someone, somewhere in our wide world. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Judy Consumer Learns About Personal Branding in this Hyper Competitive Workplace World.

HuffingtonPost  | September 28, 2010 by Judy Shapiro The typical “Judy Consumer” out there would probably not have given a second thought to the notion of a personal brand, or if she did, she would relegate it to the domain of celebrities and the glitterati. Personal branding was certainly not anything she needed to worry about. Yet in today’s hyper competitive world — a personal brand is exactly what she needs because to compete effectively in today’s job market is as much about your personal brand as it about what you actually do on the job. But I don’t think it is an overstatement to say “Judy Consumer” probably has little notion of what it takes to build a personal brand, maintain it or the strategies needed so that your personal brand can get you through tough career challenges. While the stakes are high, success in personal branding requires just a bit of education combined with easy-to-use technology that is readily available. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Twitter’s tender trap.

Social Media Today | September 27,  2010 by Judy Shapiro The tech set quite completely sliced and diced the “new” Twitter concluding that it “gets better the more you use it.” But something’s still gnawing at me no matter how pretty the Twitter song sounds or how beautifully the “new” Twitter intro video flits. While I certainly can see how heavy duty users would benefit from the redesign, I ask; “what about “Judy Consumer” – does she need a “new” Twitter when so few Judy Consumers used the “old” Twitter in the first place?” Clearly Twitter believes by designing Twitter to be more usable, it will become a hub (of some sort) and therefore the monetization Gods will smile kindly upon them. The highly touted Twitter figure of “145 million users” suggests that they have a critical mass adoption which can be best leveraged with a “new” Twitter. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

There’s Nothing “Social” About Online Social Engineering Attacks.

HuffingtonPost  | September 14,  2010 by Judy Shapiro If you didn’t know better you might think the term “social engineering” was a benign reference to some “friendly engineers” – but you’d be wrong. Security experts have long worried about these type of online attacks because they use common and “cheap” marketing tactics to deceive making it harder to detect versus, for example, technology-based, more “expensive” scams which often leave a tell tale technology “fingerprint” that can expose the fraud. As a result, we see that we see that social engineering attacks run rampant (*sigh*) like those emails from “your bank” asking you to confirm your user information due to some “security breach”. Or the email congratulating you on being the “lucky multi million dollar winner” in a lottery. Or (and these type always crack me up) you are “most kindly” asked to “act as agent” for someone who seems to have benefited from some amazing financial windfall. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Why the Net Was Never Really Neutral Anyway …

And How Both Sides of the Google-Verizon Debate Are Missing the Point

Ad Age | August 31, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

The notion of net neutrality evokes a sense of righteous entitlement whenever anyone vaguely threatens this sacred principle. The mere discussion gets a knee jerk “the net should stay neutral” reaction that rivals what the “live free or die” call probably evoked in its day. With that type of zealous devotion, the recent Google/ Verizon joint announcement, which outlined their version of a “neutral net,” opened the floodgates of criticism that resembled a digital tar and feathering. Article upon article demonized them, with some articles going so far as to say that Google — once the white knight against the Microsoft evil empire — had become the evil one to avoid. How fickle public opinion can be! But more worrisome is how easily this issue has become misused to promote business agendas on both sides of the debate. The issue, after all the hoopla, boils down to a fairly straightforward proposition. The pro “net neutrality” position is that the digital information delivery infrastructure is really like a “public utility” so that, like the telephone network where all calls are treated equal, all information should be delivered equally. So whether the information is from a small blog or Amazon, it gets to “Judy Consumer” in the same way. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But that simplistic understanding (promoted by the net neutrality advocates who have their own agenda) misses a lot. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

What Do Carly Fiorina, Lady GaGa and Judy Consumer Have in Common?

Huffington Post  | August 4, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

It is a strange combination, I know; Carly Fiorina — Senate candidate, Lady GaGa — the pop culture icon and “Judy Consumer” (and we all know her). You may be tempted to quickly answer; “Oh they’re all women.” But if you stop at that simple answer, you’ll miss something so much more interesting. And to appreciate it, let’s take a moment to understand these three personalities. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Is it possible for agencies to embrace marketing “complexity?”

Social Media Today | July 8, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

The ad business is going through a change not seen in 3 decades. For 3 decades there were three chairs at the marketing table — agencies, brands and the media. All 3 parts technologically evolved in a symbiotic “one:many” model to grow the business. Agencies “produced once and ran many times”; brands (one) had a message to get out to many and each media property created its media content for many people. But Internet was a fourth chair that came to the table. It started to dominate the other three chairs utterly disrupting the “one:many” efficient, profitable marketing model in favor of a “many:many” model brought on by social media and mobile technologies. As technology continued to evolve much faster than the other chairs at the table, the result of this disequilibrium was first felt by the media which suffered a near fatal blow. Agencies, now are feeling the full brunt of this dynamic largely because the “complexity” of social media is taking more and more of the traditional ad budgets. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————————

What’s at Stake for Consumers in Today’s News Trust Gap?

BusinessWeek | June 28, 2010 by Judy Shapiro Overheard this conversation the other day while waiting to get coffee. Woman #1 (in her mid-30’s) asks Woman #2 (mid-20’s): “What’s the difference between a journalist, an expert and a blogger?” Woman #2 answers, “Not much, except bloggers know how to make money from their work.” That exchange pretty much sums up the confusion for “Judy Consumer,” who can’t tell the difference between credible journalists, entertaining bloggers (who, by the way, don’t often make money blogging) and self-proclaimed experts who render judgment on virtually every aspect of her life. While she may enjoy the dizzying array of news options, how is she to tell credible journalists from crack pots? So it’s no surprise that The Pew Institute%u2019s recent study assessing the public’s confidence in the press reported a “drop like a rock” decline in the trust people have in the news they see. In 1985, most people (55%) had confidence in the news they saw. Today, less than a 1/3 (29%) think “journalists” get their facts right. No doubt this low confidence number is reflective of the confusing plethora of new voices rather than of the real hard work most reporters do to ensure accuracy. But the result of this explosion of news options for Judy Consumer is painfully clear — Judy Consumer is left with three significant “trust gaps”: Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Question: What’s a Facebook Fan Really Worth to Marketers?

Ad Age | June 14, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

True to form, many of the technologies showcased during New York’s annual Internet Week wowed, but what really generated attention were efforts to answer the $64,000 question: How do we measure the value of a Facebook fan, especially since Facebook is a dominant part of a marketer’s toolkit? Two clever social-media technology companies, Syncapse and Vitrue, took a crack at answering this seemingly simple question. I say seemingly simple because, in reality, the “value” of a fan can mean lots of things such as actual sales value or value as evangelists or value as a research resource in a crowdsourcing campaign. And given the ad hoc nature of measurement today, it’s no surprise, therefore, that we see wildly divergent answers from these two companies. Syncapse, for instance, assigns the average value of a fan at $136.38, and Vitrue pegs the value of a Facebook fan at $3.60. The wild differences, of course, lies in what you are measuring. Let’s take a closer look. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Five Trends That Marked TechCrunch Disrupt Conference 2010

AdAge | June 1, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

My frame of mind for the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference, though, was shaped even before I got there. I saw an early tweet about how the men’s room was crowded but at the ladies room “it was clear sailing.” “That’s a switch,” I thought, and with that, I knew this conference was going to be different, maybe even disruptive. The first difference to strike you is that the conference was held in an abandoned Merrill Lynch office. The sweet poignancy of a new industry emerging from the wreckage of another was not lost on most attendees. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Has the Internet’s Level Playing Field Finally Arrived?

New Crop of Technologies Help Small Businesses Overcome Competitive Disadvantages

Ad Age | May 27, 2010 by Judy Shapiro My frame of mind for the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference, though, was shaped even before I got there. I saw an early tweet about how the men’s room was crowded but at the ladies room “it was clear sailing.” “That’s a switch,” I thought, and with that, I knew this conference was going to be different, maybe even disruptive. The first difference to strike you is that the conference was held in an abandoned Merrill Lynch office. The sweet poignancy of a new industry emerging from the wreckage of another was not lost on most attendees. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Welcome Social-Relationship Marketing

Ad Age | May 17, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

My lovefest with social media was ignited fairly early on (circa 2006) because it was “freep” (free and/ or cheap) and I was working at a small, innovative technology company that needed new ways to brand itself in the marketplace. Then, as social media expanded in scope, I began to work it from a pragmatic, business perspective, reveling in the fun of these new, real-time interactive technologies. Marketers love feedback and this “new” new media (vs. the “old” new media) offered endless ways to get feedback immediately. What’s not to love? I wrote of my optimism about social media in 2009 post. But make no mistake — until fairly recently I thought that social media lived within the marketing ecosystem. I tell you now — I was wrong. I now recognize that social media is not just part of a marketing system, but is the underpinning of a new corporate marketing system that is violently erupting with a spasm all around us. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Where have all the marketing practitioners gone?

What makes an “expert” and expert?

Social Media Today | May 10, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

Every day I see seminars, books, podcasts, white papers given by social media “experts” and I wonder – what’s makes them an expert? When I examine said expert’s creds – I typically find this formulaic bio…

{Insert Expert name here} is an influential thought leader on Web strategy, interactive marketing, and social technologies. His experience reflects {insert number of years here – but a decade or more is best} in social media emerging technologies that stem from the brand side, agency side, and industry analyst perspective. {Expert Name}has {fill in number here}+  Twitter followers and his blog is recognized as a leading source on web strategies according to {insert source here}.

Previously, {insert expert’s name} was a Senior Analyst at {insert analyst company here, e.g. Forrester} focused on social computing for the interactive marketer. Prior to that, he was the Director of Corporate Media Strategy at {insert short lived start up here}. He also served as the Intranet Architect for {insert trade association here}. An accomplished speaker, {expert} has spoken at  {insert industry conferences here but must include at least one of the following: Internet Strategy Forum, Web 2.0 Expo, and SXSW}{Expert’s latest book} is a recognized world over as a leading guide to new social media strategies.

I have seen this bio hundreds of times from “social media experts”, but I am left unsatisfied. And then it dawns on me that maybe today’s expert is less about having business world “expertise” but the ability to convey the presumption of expertise based on social media success. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Google, Apple and Facebook Battle For Judy Consumer

Brands Vie to Be Sole Provider of All ‘Her’ Communications, Commerce, Content-Consumption Needs

AOL News | May 4, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

It’s not hard to understand why Judy Consumer would be curious to see what all the iPad buzz is about. After all, Judy Consumer saw Dave Letterman playing with one recently on his show. In fact, her curiosity (in addition to Joe and Junior Consumer) helped move 1 million units in just a few weeks. Astonishing. Then I was reading about Google TV and it was quite easy to see the appeal of it for Judy Consumer. TV and information anywhere, anytime on your phone. This service adds to Google’s already impressive set of services from Gmail to Google Wave to Google Voice. The telecom giants are courting Judy Consumer, too. Verizon’s launch of the HTC Incredible is aimed at helping Judy Consumer upgrade to 3G technology and their offers of this sleek new phone are certainly tempting. Lest the social networks feel left out, they are pursuing “Judy Consumer” with a vigor bordering on stalking. Facebook provides Judy Consumer with a neverending cornucopia of connectivity confections that is addictive and that increasingly takes up more of her time. These social networks want Judy Consumer to vow digital fidelity to them. Ah, so many suitors are chasing Judy Consumer, offering glittery technology baubles as enticements for the real goal: to be the sole provider of all Judy Consumer’s communications, commerce and content-consumption needs. They want an exclusive, long-term relationship with Judy Consumer and they don’t really want to share her with anyone else. So while Judy Consumer may think she is simply picking a phone or a service, she may be making a long-term commitment to a service provider that, unbeknownst to her, gates what she sees and what she has access to. Read Full Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Debate Over Copyright in the Digital Age Continues.

Exploring the new way forward

DailyNews | April 26, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

I was utterly unprepared for the reactions to my previous post , “Is copyright the buggy whip of the digital age?” where I shared my thoughts from the CCC (Copyright Clearance Center) conference called “The Collision of Ideas 2010.” The conference was created to explore the state of copyright laws in the ez-copy’n paste digital world. In my post, I concluded that while copyright used to work reasonably well for most people, it seems to fail a lot when it comes to the internet. But the sheer depth and breadth of the reaction inspired me to dig deeper. I was secretly hoping to find the silver bullet answer that could magically protect artistic rights while simultaneously allowing content the freedom to flow so that it could potentially improve the lives of billions of people worldwide. Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Is Copyright the Buggy Whip of the Digital Age?

Exploring Balance Between People’s Desire to Share Content and Creators’ Right to Compensation | March 16, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

Have copyright laws outlived their usefulness in the digital age? That was the question I harbored as I joined some of the most prestigious copyright lawyers last week for a conference sponsored by the CCC (Copyright Clearance Center) called “The Collision of Ideas 2010.” I fully acknowledge that my understanding of copyright law is basic at best, so I wanted to attend because as a marketer I honestly don’t how to apply best practices when it comes to copyright issues in the digital world. Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

Corporate branding goes rogue

Why Social Media Is Radically Changing the Game | March 10, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

Social media is not just another tactic to be tacked onto the proverbial backside of a corporate identity system. It needs to be recognized for what it is — the disruptive technology that radically changes the game. So much of what operated in the old corporate branding model simply does not apply anymore. Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

Publishers: Triumph From Within the Belly of the Content Beast!

Two Inspiring Examples in Monetizing Content | February 24, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

No one can deny the carnage wrecked on the publishing industry last year. It remains a brutal spectacle to watch. My horror is magnified because as the daughter of a printer, my first job was at a magazine, so I hold a special affection for publishers and the printed word. It is not hard, with 20/20 hindsight, to see what went wrong. In the blink of an eye, the spectacularly long-lived success of the publishing industry succumbed under the weight of too much free content flooding the internet, causing a crash in the value of content. Content went from being a prized asset to the cheap fuel needed to feed this “content-serving beast” (aka the internet). This beast cared not for quality — only quantity. We substituted feeding the human soul with quality content with a decidedly technology focus that fed lots of SEO-friendly content to the digital content beast. It was a bargain made with the devil, because our sacrifice of the human element was not rewarded with loyal traffic the ad-revenue model promised. Only now in the smoldering wreckage, can we see that the main beneficiaries of this unhappy model were the technology SEO-driven businesses (and that covers a wide swath of the internet technology world). But also in the wreckage, we see new ideas about how to thrive from within the belly of the digital content beast. Read full article. ——————————————————————————————————————

The Next Disruptive Tech on the Web? Trust

Our Digital Lives Have Evolved — So Must Trust | February 16, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

After reading that headline, I can see some (maybe lots) of you scratching your heads saying: “Wait a minute — trust is a not a technology!” A decade ago that would have been true — it is not now. Our digital lives were once confined to e-mail, some web surfing and an occasional online purchase (for the braver among us). A mere decade on and our lives are increasingly being lived online. Yet, while our dependence on the internet has grown exponentially, the technologies we use to navigate the sometimes dangerous, somewhat untrusted waters of the internet remain the same — largely confined to incremental improvements in narrowly defined segments of security or access. The unfortunate result is that the trust gap is more “gaping” than ever. On a personal level, it’s difficult to authenticate what we see online, who we interact with, who we label an “expert” and what information is trustworthy. If we want to buy something online, we may know that an SSL padlock shows us that our interaction is encrypted, but it speaks nothing about the trustworthiness of whom we are encrypting with. Social networks introduce business rules to ensure privacy, but these practices are easily breached. Read article ——————————————————————————————————————

Meta-trending: The Movements Behind the Lists

Parsing the Big Shifts in Digital Marketing | January 25, 2010 by Judy Shapiro

This year started with a particular abundance in “top 10 trends” list — best digital tech, worst tech, best lessons learned from Google, hottest social media trend that will change our lives, you get my point. The more lists I saw, the more I realized they seem to look alike. For fun I decided to put a bunch of the lists together and I was not too shocked to realize that there was a commonality to the lists. They didn’t actually give us “trends” but rather lists of the most interesting digital/ tech “stuff” we’ll see in 2010 centered around (note my very technical language here):

  • “Mobile” stuff: hardware, commerce, computing and marketing
  • “Search” stuff: real time, social, semantic
  • “Cloud” stuff: for consumers and businesses
  • “Social media” stuff: the list here goes on and on …

These lists left me unsatisfied because I wanted to know about the trends that shaped which technologies made the lists. In order to get at that, I had to catch my breath (after all — this is really cool technology), take a step back and see what the trends are that transcend all the “stuff.” Read full article ——————————————————————————————————————

9 Digital Marketing Mistakes I won’t make next year.

Common Sense, Real Results and Shiny-Object Restraint Will Rule My Marketing Plans Next Year. 

Advertising Age | December 29, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

We all know about New Year’s resolutions. We make these decisions about what we’ll do in the next year with good intentions, but we also know that usually, one by one, they go by the way side. So this year, for a change, I’ve started to make “un-resolutions” — things I am determined not to do in 2010.Read article: 


Social Media is the Little Engine that could

Here’s why it will in 2010.

SocialMediaBiz | December 16, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

Remember the children’s story “The Little Engine That Could”? It told of how the big shiny engines were not up to the task of getting up over the hill to deliver the toys to the kids in time for the holidays. Instead, despite the skeptics, it was the little engine in an act of pure will, that kept telling itself, “I think I can, I think I can,” who was able to get over the big hill to get the job done. In some ways, social media is like that little engine (and I use the term social media in its broadest sense to encompass digital and social media). Everyone is playing with social media, but there is a deeply held perception that social media lacks mass audience reach, measurability and depth to get the job done. This perception fuels the debate of whether digital agencies are “ready to lead,” since some digital agencies contend that social media is mature enough to be the leading vehicle whereas big agencies stay true to the law of large numbers that traditional media reliably delivers. But the debate about who should lead seems rather irrelevant, because the key concern should be what will work to get over that “awareness hill” that every advertiser must scale to achieve business results. Is the little social media engine ready to scale the big hill? “I think it can” and here’s why. Read article:

Reactions to article:

Social Marketing News 12/21/09

December 21st, 2009 by Rachelle Houle-Maisner, Interactive Producer

I wish I came up with this term. Judy Shapiro wrote about social media and building awareness at Ad Age, and describes creating “Content Campaigns” to help focus social efforts across multiple channels. What a ingenious concept. She writes, “This approach puts the value on content as an audience builder but in a very strategic way.”


December 18, 2009 by: Valerie Combs

Or so says Judy Shapiro, marketing veteran and Trench Wars blogger, in a recent Advertising Age story. We agree. Judy points to technical innovation as the driving force, enabling advertisers to capitalize on a potent combination of audience reach, measurability and engagement to drive social media ad effectiveness at scale. This, along with natural market maturation (as Judy says, advertisers now realize “thousands of Twitter followers have no direct relevance to effectiveness and Facebook alone can not launch campaigns”), means that advertisers are ready to take the plunge with cross-platform social media strategies and tactics designed to get achieve maximum awareness. Examples? Judy suggests multi-channel (social network, mobile, video, even “traditional) “content campaigns” designed to offer audiences useful, actionable information, putting customer service on the social media front line, and using the right kind of ad networks as the “social media carpet layer” of the campaign. ——————————————————————————————————————

In Mobile, the Device Matters to the Message

Investor Village | December 4, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

Mobile marketing has been an interesting space ever since my time working at Bell Labs. Its promise was glittery then and now it’s taken on a new level of interest, as measured by the near frantic rate of acquisitions and VC investments in this space. All this new energy can’t be explained by the technology alone; the notion of proximity marketing has been kicking around for four years or more. What’s different this time around is that mobile marketing breaks previous marketing models because the message is inextricably linked to the device it’s delivered on. That’s new. In the past, the device via which the marketing message was delivered, a TV for example, was irrelevant to the message itself. Welcome to Mobile Marketing 3.0. Read article: ——————————————————————————————————————

Google Dashboard Changes Our Thinking About Privacy

It’s About Managing Our Public Profiles, Not Doggedly Keeping Everything Private

Advertising Age | November 11, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

Our attachment to a definition of privacy that was born in a different time and place seems misaligned to the realities of today’s internet world. That’s why I think the introduction of Google Dashboard is an important step in the right direction. It will help us evolve our thinking about digital privacy to focus our attention on managing what is digitally public about us rather than on doggedly focusing solely on keeping information private. Read Article PDF version of article. ——————————————————————————————————————

Judy Consumer’s head is in the clouds.

Or at least she is starting to look up.

Advertising Age | October 29, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

Judy Consumer, in this case, a mom who does freelance sports photography, asked me the other day, “I wonder what all this talk about computing in the clouds is about? I have so much footage that I need to access and I do it today with external drives. Managing these external drives is driving me nuts.” Now, if this was an isolated comment, it probably would not have aroused my interest. But that was the third time I had heard that type of question in about two weeks. It was hard not to take notice. Read Article PDF . JS Google Dashboard Changes Our Thinking About Privacypdf ——————————————————————————————————————

Why charging for online content (mostly) won’t work.

Advertising Age | October 21, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

The “give away free content so advertisers can reach an audience” model has been around for decades. But the internet has, most stubbornly, not been able to follow the inevitable ad-supported formula that accompanied “traditional media” for so long — that consumers will accept your content in exchange for viewing ads. What went so wrong so fast? Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Google Wave should beware of the “Communications and Collaboration” Pitch

Advertising Age | October 16, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

My curiosity about Google Wave was naturally piqued, given my AT&T creds, but frankly their “communications and collaboration” motto is what caught my attention. I wanted to see how a company whose DNA rests in “search/ad platform/digital” technologies would go about creating a communications and collaboration solution. Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

The New Viral Marketing Engine

Media Post | October 13, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

What do Ninja Turtles, Facebook, Hush Puppies and Pokémon all have in common? The answer reveals the secrets to creating a viral marketing machine. Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Short CMO Tenures Reflective of Dysfunctional Companies

Advertising Age | October 5, 2009 in CMO Strategy by Judy Shapiro

Considering the tenure of the C suite, no one doubts that the shelf life of a CMO at about 26 months is noticeably less than that of a CIO at about 38 months or that of a CEO at six years. Many articles on the subject offer some explanations and these explanations do account for some of the answers and yet they also seem unsatisfying at some level. There was more going on here; I wanted to understand what that could be. Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

”Judy Consumer” is finally all A-Twitter

MediaBlips | September 25, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

Here’s the lesson for all of us who work in digital and technology marketing: Judy Consumer is being introduced to new technologies at an accelerating rate. While she is willing to invest the time to learn about new technology, there needs to be a clear vision of how the technology works in her life. “Judy Consumer” can see through marketing hype in a heartbeat. Read Article PDF version of article ——————————————————————————————————————

Has straight talk in technology marketing become a casualty of the marketing wars?

Advertising Age | September 2, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

In any battle between titans, there is always collateral damage and straight talk in technology marketing seems to be the casualty of this war.  In the epic PC versus MAC battles, Apple seemed happy to sacrifice straight talk in its bid to win market share. They told the truth – but they did not give “Judy Consumer” the straight story. Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Paltalk is a pal to affiliates.

Revenue Performance Magazine | Issue 26; September 2009 (Page 50)

Paltalk adds a new spin to affiliate programs by developing a specially designed program for its power room owners. With this program, room owners can leverage Paltalk’s successful and proven conversion model of enabling group video chat. “What we’re doing is taking our best room owners and creating an affiliate network just for them”, Shapiro said. “Instead of going out and recruiting affiliates … it’s far more effective to start with your own users.” Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

“Judy Consumer” still not sold on BING.

USA TODAY | August 4, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

The last time I did a comparison of Bing and Google, many of you were critical of my conclusion — you said I lacked thoroughness in my “hypothetical” test on behalf of “Judy Consumer”. But I’ve been seeing Bing’s new commercial that explains the “decision engine” promise in more detail (sort of), so I decided to give it a whirl again.  This time, I actually had a decision to make — I wanted to find a two- to three-day getaway. My takeaway is simple. I like the idea of a competitive search engine, but I think Bing disappoints because its “decision engine” positioning is ill-conceived on two levels. Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Google, AT&T and the DOJ: How to avoid history’s mistakes.

Advertising Age | July 27, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

Many of you will remember the July 7 DigitalNext post, “Why Google Voice Reminds Me of AT&T,” where I broadly outlined how Google, like AT&T before it, can be undone by its ambition to dominate a key “infrastructure” sector, like the web. I contended that, much like AT&T, Google’s quest to dominate web services can divert precious resources from core businesses, leaving it weaker, not stronger. The article generated, uh, considerable conversation; some polite, some not.  Now, a mere three weeks later, Wired’s Fred Vogelstein chivalrously comes to my defense (however unwittingly on his part) with his article, “Keyword: Monopoly… Why is Obama’s Top Antitrust Cop Gunning for Google.” In it, he explores the Department of Justice’s newly launched anti-trust investigation of Google (see where this is going?). Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Social media is not the solution for every business

Marketing Thought Leader | July 21, 2009

Despite the media hoopla surrounding Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking options these days, social media is not the solution for every one and every business situation. That fact is very eloquently expressed in today’s Ad Age Digital by Judy Shapiro’s excellent post “Not Every CEO Needs to Be a Social Media Star”. Read the full article at Ms. Shapiro addressed the recent media headlines that denounced Fortune 100 CEO’s as “social media slackers” based on their low participation on Twitter, Facebook, and personal blogs. She, in turn, chastises the media for their lack of understanding and empathy with the tasks and responsibilities of a senior executive with a major corporation. Read Article ——————————————————————————————————–

Avoid the pitfalls of a tech startup – in three lessons

HostReview | July 17, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

While tech analysts like Warren Lee dissect the cadavers of failed (or almost failed) startups, (his article is entitled “What Sank Veoh and Joost? Too Much Cash Too Soon” in Ad Age), it seems as worthwhile to examine successful outliers like Paltalk to see what can go right. Paltalk, as a profitable and successful video based community, is the happy exception in this space and may provide insight on how a successful tech company can thrive. Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Paltalk sells back shares to VC, sees continued stability

Fierce VoIP | July 15, 2009

Paltalk, the video-based social chat network, announced it has repurchased a 20 percent stake in the company it had sold to Softbank Capital for $6 million five years ago. Judy Shapiro, senior vice… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Bing vs. Google: Consumers Can’t Tell a Difference

CNN Money | July 11, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

We consumers seem to becoming pawns in the power struggle between internet behemoths Google and Microsoft. To Google, we are “products” to be sold to highest bidding advertiser and to Microsoft… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Google’s Tarnished Chrome: The Making of a Disaster

IT Business Edge | July 9, 2009

Often, when watching companies full of kids who were hired right out of school, I wonder how many of them actually earned their grades and how many simply gamed the system by downloading papers… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Handling of Google Voice reminds AT&T vet of Ma Bell

Fierce VoIP | July 9, 2009

Google has made numerous product announcements over the past several months: Google Wave, Google Voice, the Chrome web browser and now its new Chrome operating system. Paltalk’s July Shaprio, who did a long stint at AT&T… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Why Google Voice Reminds Me of AT&T

Advertising Age | July 7, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

I’m an ex-AT&T “Bell head,” so anything telecom always gets my special attention. When I saw the Google Voice re-announcementrecently, I couldn’t help wondering… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Social Media: Communities Based on Trust Are Stronger

Advertising Age | June 26, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

Reading about the brutal lay offs at MySpace last week sent chills down my spine. It comes only two months after a new CEO, a former Facebook exec, took over from MySpace’s founding CEO… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

What Can You Trust? Let Twitter and Twine Help You Decide

Advertising Age | June 18, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

Much digital ink has been spent trying to explain the likes of Twitter and Twine. Often, they are characterized as the poster children of the Web 2.0 trend. Pundits wonder if they represent a… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Why Netbooks Are the Paring Knives of the Technology World

Advertising Age | June 9, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

The “feature arms race” in new products is fundamental to our consumerism way of life: Product managers the world over create “good, better, best” product portfolios with an ever increasing number… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

The Tyranny of Technology in Testing Marketing Effectiveness

Advertising Age | June 1, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

Many of us have been here: We undertake a marketing program with promises of tracking “everything” — clicks, click-through rates and conversions. CEOs want clear answers, so with heady… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Back From Web 3.0 — With Some Problems to Solve

Advertising Age | May 27, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

The nice folks at Mediabistro invited me to join them at the Web 3.0 conference last week. I was able to attend a few panels and hear lots of passionate hallway conversations about scraping… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

When “bleeding edge” becomes mainstream

HostReview | May 18, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

I come from the traditional advertising world where packaged-goods titans like P&G would buy millions in mass advertising which would stimulate billions in sales. A predictable… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

In Web 3.0 We Trust — or Not

Semantic Web | May 19, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

The Web 3.0 conference is about to kick off on May 19 in New York. No doubt it will be well attended by anyone wanting to see what’s “bleeding edge.” After all, Web 2.0 is so “done.”… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

A Digital Myth: Technology Doesn’t Make Life Easier

Advertising Age | May 11, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

In the past several days, I have seen nearly a dozen dreamily written articles espousing the virtues of the still-rumored new iPhone that can, in one mighty device, make video recording, editing… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Here’s a Reason to Rethink Community Building

Advertising Age | May 4, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

Recently, Nielsen and Pew confirmed what we all know: People’s participation in social networks is up, way up. In 2008, 23% more of us have filled in profiles at social networks and more than 70%… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

Top 6 Free Social Marketing Technologies for E-Commerce Success

HostReview | April 27, 2009 by Judy Shapiro

Once upon a time, all you needed to start your web-based business was to put up a website, create an online store, buy some Google ads and then sit back and watch the money … Read Article


Handling of Google Voice reminds AT&T vet of Ma Bell

Fierce VoIP | July 9, 2009

Google has made numerous product announcements over the past several months: Google Wave, Google Voice, the Chrome web browser and now its new Chrome operating system. Paltalk’s July Shaprio, who did a long stint at AT&T… Read Article ——————————————————————————————————————

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