The Best (And Worst) In Marketing Of 2015
As 2015 comes to a close, columnist David Rodnitzky share his picks for this year's most memorable successes and flops in the marketing industry.
As we close 2015, I thought I’d review some of the highs and lows of the year in marketing and give out a few virtual awards to the companies and trends that resonated the most. Without further ado, welcome to the first edition of the D-Rod Awards!
In the Category of “Words,” the word of the year goes to (drumroll)… DMP! While it is true that DMPs (data management platforms, for those of you not hip to the lingo) have been around for several years now, it has only been recently that first-party data has spread across numerous channels (display, mobile, search and social) to boost the importance of DMPs.
The “raspberry of the year” for words is… “stood up.” This is business jargon for “started.”
So, rather than saying, “I started a new department in my company,” you say, “I stood up a new department,” and that apparently makes you sound smarter. Yuck!
In the category of “Channels,” the channel of the year goes to… Facebook! Facebook continues to wow marketers with a fantastic variety of novel, easy-to-use, ROI-positive ad programs.
Indeed, Facebook’s innovation has been so impactful that Google has finally come out fighting, announcing “Customer Match” to compete with Facebook’s Custom Audiences offering (that they “stood up” a few years ago).
For the raspberry of the year in the channel category, the award goes to… Native Advertising! Native advertising is everywhere these days, and that is starting to be a problem.
The entire point of this channel was that it was supposed to be immune to banner blindness, thus saving the publishing world from bankruptcy.
These units, however, are becoming spammier by the day (it seems that the rule of thumb in native advertising is “the more cleavage, the better!”), and I believe a reckoning is coming for this industry, either in the form of significantly reduced click-through rates, publishers recognizing that these ads are not helping their brand or some sort of Federal Trade Commission regulation.
In the category of “Ad Tech,” the company of the year is… Google! Google continues to expand and improve its burgeoning tech stack, with a new DMP, significant improvements to DoubleClick search (also known as DS3) and a bevy of new tools and features for AdWords.
I expect Google to make a serious run for dominance in the marketing cloud category.
The raspberry of the year for ad tech goes to programmatic exchanges! Ad exchanges are great — conceptually — but the results never seem to live up to the hype, at least for ROI-focused advertisers.
I firmly believe that programmatic exchanges are the future, but the future doesn’t seem to be here just yet.
Person Of The Year
And now we are down to our final award — person of the year! As much as I wanted to give this award to myself, I held back and instead picked another marketing luminary.
So this year’s inaugural award goes to… Google’s Larry Page! Page gets this award for having the chutzpah to break Google into “Alphabet.”
This is the sort of genius thinking that keeps Google fresh, and I suspect that it will enable him to spend his time on the stuff he loves (self-driving cars, curing all diseases and so on), while the new leadership at Google can focus on the stuff we marketers love (better ad units, cooler ad tech and more).
The raspberry of the year for people goes to… Sir Martin Sorrell. I don’t know “Sir Martin,” and I suspect I’ll never meet him. And he is probably a perfectly nice person.
It annoys me, however, that whatever he says about marketing is taken as The Gospel. He heads a giant holding company (WPP) that owns lots of agencies, so I suppose his musings on giant brands buying gobs of untargeted TV spots are spot-on, but for issues like digital marketing and the future of marketing in general, I’m not entirely sure why the media continues to cite him.
So congrats to all the winners of the D-Rod awards. Until next year!