Will The App Store Be Dead By 2015

The Decision Not to Call Our Shop, "Poop"

I recently had the chance to chat with Rich Cherecwich about the genesis of Circ.us. There were many reasons we went with the name; many of which are too deep for the hoi polloi (don't worry, I am not referring to you), so I went with the simple answer.

An exasperated Professor Richmond (Harry Holma...
Image via Wikipedia

Take a look at what marketing mavens Tom Hespos, C.C. Chapman and I have to say about taking the plunge into starting your own shop.
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Bloody Innovation!

I recently wrote an article promote my marketing masters session at Ad:Tech San Francisco. The article is entitled, "The 3 pillars of advertising innovation"

Article Highlights:

* At ad:tech SF, Broitman, along with other industry experts, will seek to dispel the notion that innovation requires new technology
* The notion of "media as a social affair" has caused one of the most profound climate changes for marketers in the last 50 years
* We are at a crossroads where marketers must ensure that all communications can be accessed everywhere, in a way that makes sense for the way it is accessed

Go have a look. Hope to see you in San Fran next month. I will be around all week.

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Ringleader Broitman Gets Bloody at Ad:Tech SF

 On Wednesday April 21st, from 11-1pm, I will be chairing the Marketing Masters track at Ad:Tech San Francisco entitled, “The Bleeding Edge of Advertising Innovation”. As you can see, I am pretty excited about it:


Ringleader Broitman Speaks with Econsultancy About Augmented Reality Marketing

Caution: eye-poppingly cool links ahead.

If you haven't yet heard of augmented reality, or its applications in marketing, it's time to start working on some serious mind-expansion. AR may be brand new cutting edge technology, but it's already started creeping into marketing campaigns from organizations ranging from GE to Esquire magazine...even the US Postal Service.

Adam Broitman, partner and ringleader of the New York based agency Circ.us, has been preaching the AR gospel -- and working on some groundbreaking campaigns. We caught up with him to asked what augmented reality is all about, and what marketers should being doing to prepare for this next wave of radical technological possiblities.

Q: So let's start at the top. What's augmented reality, and how does it apply to marketing?


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A Ringleader is Augmented In Vegas

Last week I led a master class at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit entitled, "Augmenting The Future". Despite the fact that my agency has been doing a lot with Augmented Reality, my goal was not to proselytize or blindly extol the virtues of a technology that many in the room were not intimately familiar with.

No, that was not my goal at all.

If anything, I was there to get people not to use Augmented Reality.   Superfluous use of technology tends to minimize the impact of use cases that actually make sense. My fear is that the marketing community will adopt this technology, exploit it and then spit it out like so many technologies before it (Second Life, anyone).

My hope is that we have matured as an industry and that we are able to do our due diligence before leveraging the technological flavor of the month (not that Augmented Reality is new--it has been around for quite some time. It is, however, new to the marketing community).

With that said, I think the class went great! Representatives from Traction, OMD, Kraft, The Integer Group, 20th Century Fox among others were all present. It seemed that I got people thinking strategically and that was my goal. As always thanks to Brad Berens, Daisey Whitney, Katharine Panessidi and the entire iMedia family for the opportunity to share some of my passion with the marketing community.

Now, as promised, here are my slides (there are only a few...give me a call if you want me to talk you through them :) )

Augmenting iMediaView more presentations from Adam Broitman.

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LOL Innovation

via icanhascheezburger via icanhascheezburger

I recently wrote a piece for Digiday Daily entitled, "The Twitterization of Everything and LOL Innovation". The take away for marketers was something like the Bob Dylan lyric,

"And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone"

In the article I write the following,

The way in which we communicate has changed—as such, the nature of our language must change. Some refer to onslaught of web jargon such as “LOL” or “GTG” as the demise of the English language. I disagree with such this type of pedantic arrogance. There has certainly been a shift in the English vernacular, but it is not, in my estimation, a negative affair. Are people really that committed to preserving the King’s English?

This new vernacular of the web simply fits the way our society is changing. As with every societal change, the ways in which people express themselves needs to be altered. Communicating in the year 2009 is more immediate and increasingly mobile; the language we use must service these factors (if you still disagree, try texting in Chaucerian English—let me know how that goes for you).

As a student of language and innovation, I say, “Long Live LOL”!

If you get the chance, go over to the article and have a look. I would love to hear your thoughts.

(I will post the link as soon as the article is live)
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Goodbye Media, Hello Circ.us!

Mrs. Jester (the better half)
Image by Will Montague via Flickr

A Media Circ.us has been with me now for over three years. It is near and dear to my heart. Blogging has taught me more about media relations than any course or lecture ever could; still, as with everything in life, things change.

Over the past few months I have been working diligently (and somewhat stealthily) with my partner John Swords, on building a new creative communications firm called, Circ.us (you are probably familiar with the name, as it is the URL that you are on right now). Our directive is to help brands effectively tell stories through innovation and participatory culture. We feel that these two elements are critical for for all brands, and we are certain that their are enough forward thinking marketers out there who agree (and will join the Cir.us--as client partners).

The legacy of A Media Circ.us will be kept alive here, at the Circ.us blog. John Swords and I will try to continually bring you the best insight from the cross section of branding, technology and marketing. As new members join the Circ.us, they will be contributing as well.

I am very excited for this new chapter. I promise the Circ.us will keep you entertained.

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The Death of Blogging

Everywhere I look bloggers are turning in there once beloved blogs for shiny new toys. Lifestreams using Posterous, FriendFeed and Tumblr are on the rise. Heck, even the Micro Persuader himself has given up on traditional blogging in favor of a Lifestreaming approach. I wish that I could attribute all of the slacking that is taking place on A Media Circ.us to such a noble cause, however it would a farce.

Some of you may be saying, "Adam, we miss your great insights and cannot properly do our jobs without your wisdom". Well, fear not--I have more articles on the way over at iMediaconnection and am also speaking at a number of events and giving a couple of webinars in the next few months. As always, you can reach me on Twitter as well @adambroitman

Why is A Media Circ.us so sparse these days?

The truth is, me and a business partner have a new venture entitled Circ.us. It will be another month or two before we announce what the big idea is, but we are busy cranking away right now, working with some pretty large brands (as well as some smaller, but totally cool brands--you know me, I do the cool).

Again, my apologies for the lack of information; rest assured I am getting some great things done over here.

Note: I will be at IAB Mobile tomorrow; stop by and say hello.
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Digiday: Networks Keynote Debate (raw notes)

Over the last few years we have witnessed juxtaposing ideas that have created an interesting paradox in the world of media strategy. On one hand, targeting has allowed media strategists to get very granular with their creative messaging, and on the other hand, the veritable glut of media inventory has commoditized certain segments of the media marketplace, resulting in the same type of one size fits all creative that has always existed.
As top tier creative media strategies roll out left and right, there remains a significant amount of untouched inventory that is on the market for pennies on the dollar. This pool of inventory is so large; without effective ways to access these impressions en masse, it is likely that many of them will go untouched or suffer the fact of being significantly undervalued.
What is the solution for publishers seeking to unload these impressions for more than a few pennies; and for advertisers to effectively scale their targeted media buys—without sacrificing creativity? Are ad networks doing an adequate job of helping advertisers sift through sea of ad impressions, or are they simply creating a commoditized marketplace? These were a few of the questions that faced Moderator of Digiday’s Keynote Debate, Masha Geller and her esteemed panel
•    Brian Quinn, VP/General Manager, Digital Ad Sales, The Wall Street Journal
•    Darren Herman, Group Director, Head of Digital Media, The Media Kitchen
•    Joe Apprendi, CEO, Collective Media

Are we dealing with an hour glass marketplace where there is a top tier of inventory and a secondary tier?

Brian Quinn—Reluctant to get on board with ad networks
60% of WSJ sold across their own network
“We don’t want to be dinosaurs and not realize what is happening in the marketplace”
…but brands still want to be in well light environments
Masha asked, “do you consider yourself and ad network?” He did not say yes, but did not say yes
Lack of integration is a problem (multiple agencies working on creative versus media)

Darren Herman—When was the last time you saw a full page print walk into a store and make a purchase?
We don’t, audiences buy things.
We believe network inventory can be premium; although we don’t use the term premium non-premium—we use reserve, non-reserve
Different audiences allows for more creativity in the art of persuasion
What does higher impact mean for sales?
Vertical Networks are important

Joe Apprendi—

Applauds the OPA for its newest ad standards. Last time they issued standards was 2002
Hopefully the OPA will influence the IAB
A lot of people lump behavioral targeting into one bucket, but there are multiple types of behavioral—Top Funnel/Low Funnel
We have the who and the where—the big question is what (referring to creative)

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Digiday: Networks

If you are in the area today, stop by Digiday: Networks (well, you cannot just stop by, but if you really want to come and do not have a ticket--I have not used my plus one :) )

I will be leading an all-star panel at 12:15 about the future of Ad Networks. More to come later today (as the future is so bright...)

12:15pm: The Next Generation Ad Network: What are the emerging digital network models for publishers and advertisers across platforms? How will the branded, performance, video, mobile, social networks evolve and offer more effective advertising for brands and return for publishers? What are the bleeding edge technologies behind them? And how has a tight economy given them life as the next big thing for content owners and brands? Will networks shift from selling impressions to purely selling data? Shift from site-specific to audience-centric media buying?
Moderator: Adam Broitman, Founder and Ringleader, circ.us


Bant Breen, President, Digital Communications, Initiative Worldwide
Paran Johar, CMO, JumpTap
Andy Monfried, CEO, Lotame
Rob Gorrie,  President, Adcentricity

Chris Riggs, CEO, Imirus

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Social Media: Whose Job Is It Anyway?

I recently wrote an article for iMedia on social media and the dilemma that the agency world has encountered in dealing with the question; what competencies are best suited to deal this new way of interacting with media; and what agency is best suited to handle these chores?

I had some help from industry leaders--who I would like to thank:

David Berkowitz, director of emerging media & client strategy at 360i
Shiv Singh, vice president, social media & global strategic initiatives at Razorfish
Rick Liebling, global director, account management at Taylor
Michael Lazerow, founder, chairman, and CEO at Buddy Media
Christine Perkett, founder and CEO at PerkettPR
Shel Holtz, principal at Holtz Communication + Technology

There was also a lot of chatter about this topic on Twitter and I would  like to thank all of you who retweeted, blogged or mentioned the piece:

Eric Tsai

Neal Wiser

Yaron Orenstein

Dianna Kersey

Kim Brater

Rick Morgan

Marnie Grona

Charles Yao

Hessie Jones

Anita Lai

Jay Baer

Bruce Hendrickson

I hope that this dialogue proves to be something of value to the industry.

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Google Eats Your Lunch and Tells You How It Tastes

We all love Google, right?

I love Google. I love most of their products; Gmail, Reader, Docs and who could forget good old search.

Over the years many have accused Google of things such as stealing revenue, diverting traffic to competitive brands and other such offenses. Sometimes I agree, and sometimes I don't, but the fact remains that Google displays information from other sites that, at times makes it so a user does not actually have to visit that site. Maps, weather, news, movie times are all served up by Google; and there are content owners out there that are not happy about it.

I , or one, believe believe in the adage, "information needs to be free" (not free as in unpaid, free as in unchained) but I always ask the question, "at what point will Google's business model begin to harm content creators to a point where consumers feel a negative effect?".

Today I offer you an interesting case.

Google has announced Rich Snippets; a new way they are looking at data on the web and presenting it to searchers.

Before we dive deeper into what this means, let's take a step back and talk about structured data. Some of you may know what structured data is, but I want to make sure that people reading this blog who do not know, get themselves caught up. At it's most basic, structured data (as it pertains to search) is the act of adding additional meaning to your content through the categorical tagging--thus creating a "structural" foundation for your content.

For example, take a look at the two lines below and the surrounding tags. The tags provide no additional meaning to the text. They just state the obvious or explicit meaning of the text, "this is a paragraph".

<p>This is the most important information on this page</p>

<p>This is the second most important piece of information on this page</p>

The above are examples of unstructured data. The enclosing tags add no meaning to the content and do not help search engines figure out the meaning of the text. A very basic example of structuring this data would be to do the following:

<h1>This is the most important information on this page</h1>

<h2>This is the second most important piece of information on this page</h2>

This is a very simple modification, but now search engines can use the enclosing tags to determine additional information about the text. Search engines know that people use <h1> tags for the most important information on a page (well, people should be doing this, but often fail to--this is not good). By adding a "meta-layer" of information, or structuring the data, search engines can better determine what a page is about and serve up better search results.

Rich Snippets take this concept to greater depth by using microformats and RDFa. Google has recently adopted the use of microformats (something that Yahoo has acknowledged for quite some time already). These formats allow content creators to use semantic markup, or structured data to add meaning to the their content, and have it be discoverable based on attributes other than the implied meaning.

The example that Google gives us, and the first instance of the use of this new way to deliver search results is in search reviews.

In this SERP you will notice that Google has not only delivered a result where you can get reviews about the Drooling Dog, they have actually included a verbatim from a review on Yelp. Some site owners may relish the fact that Google is highlighting content from their site and therefore building awareness and ultimately driving traffic. On the flip side, if the SERP gives a user all of the information that they need, the user may have no use for the site at all--rendering the content creator useless. While I imagine the latter will be less common, it is still a reality.

You Have No Choice, Give Into The Google

You can fight it all you want, but ultimately, if your reviews are not listed in Google, someone elses will be. My advice to you is strcuture your data. Here is the raw structured data that Google used to derive the SERP above:

This is the microformat version:

this is the RDFA version

Notice that the content creator has given the information additional attributes to allow Google to recognize the data as a review. Without this additional semantic markup, Google would not be able to create a search listing with the review in it.

Ultimately, the future of information on the web will be decreasingly siloed--i.e. less destinations, more relevant information. The social web is playing a role in the destruction of the destination web, but semantic search is playing an equal, if not greater role. Are you prepared for the future of the web? Is your data formatted to be spreadable?

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Andy Monfried Gives Bear Hugs; Spends Quality Time With Your Mom

Lotame uses social networks to connect people and brands.

The CEO of Lotame may not fit into Hasselhoff's Speedo but his passion for measuring time spent in a Cost per Mom world is unparalleled. John Swords catches up with Andy Monfried who talks about new advertising metrics and his preferred choice of cheese head in his best Al Pacino voice.

Swords: Andy, it’s great to meet you.

Monfried: Nice to you meet you, John

Swords: Your company is pronounced LOT-of-me?

Monfried: No, it’s LO-ta-me.

Swords: I sort of like LOT-of-me better. It could be the leading ad targeting system for large people.

Monfried: That’s an excellent idea. I’ll bring up the idea for a name change to the board.

Swords: Legend has it that you are a big dude, something like 10 feet tall?

Monfried: Well, not 10 feet tall, I’m 6’4”.Star of Bay Watch and Knight Rider

Swords: Did you know David Hasselhoff is also 6’4”? I’ve often wondered if people of the same height hang out together. Are you friends with him?

Monfried: No, I actually don’t know the Hoff.

Swords: Do you wear a Speedo?

[Alarm sounds]

Monfried: Uh.

[Alarm sounds]

Monfried: I need to call you back. We need to evacuate.

Swords: No problem.


Monfried: Sorry about that. Didn't the same thing happen with Joe in your last interview?

Swords: It’s becoming a common theme for the series. Let's pick up things with -- what does Lotame stand for?

Monfried: Locate, target and message. Locate who you want to target, target them, and then have the right messaging to that user inside of social media.

Swords: In your best Al Pacino impression, tell me exactly what Lotame does.

Monfried: Whoo ah! … I saw a tremendous oversupply of ad inventory that users were creating through page impressions on social media sites…

Swords: You know, you sound more like DeNiro than Pacino, but continue.

Monfried: Well Lotame is taking this oversupply of social media, applying kick-ass technology to the social sites and then allowing brand advertisers to really customize and target users instead of inventory.

Swords: How do you mean “target users instead of inventory”?

Monfried: We like to say advertisers are buying a profile and a person …instead of an impression.

Swords: Buying people? Do you operate offshore?

Monfried: No we’re headquartered in Elkridge, Maryland.

Swords: Did you know that Jonathan Ward from "Charles in Charge" was born there?

Monfried: I had no idea.

Swords: I may have to call you “buddy” during this interview.

Monfried: Feel free.

Swords: I recently read an article where you talked about new metrics for buying people. How is buying people a new thing?

Monfried: Yes, so the new metric is targeting people based on engagement.

Swords: Give me an example.

Monfried: Let’s say you want all women…

Swords: Yes!!

Monfried: …who have commented on mommy issues, or being a mother, or daycare. That is, you're targeting a woman who influenced or created content. We’re talking about buying that woman or that profile, based on time rather than based on an impression.

Swords: So Cost Per Mom is the new CPM. How is it time based?

Monfried: We will expose her to a brand for 30 seconds or one minute over the course of a month or so.

Patent Pending Lotame technology

Swords: I saw on your website that you have a technology called the “Time Spent Tracker” which looks fine except for the red marks all over the graphics. Very John Madden of you. Won’t that be distracting to users?

Monfried: That's exactly what we intended. We want advertising to be 110% distracting. So, that's the intention.

Swords: That’s really intrusive.

Monfried: John, you do know those lines are just for explaining how the system works, right?

Swords: Let’s change the subject. Are there dangers when you target influencers such as producing a negative response?

Monfried: Sure. When we target influencers, we look at the sentiment of each comment and we only serve ads to those with a positive attitude.

Swords: You know, I’ve never personally seen a campaign from your system.

Monfried: Well you would never get an ad from us because you are an obscene person. I can just tell by this interview.

Swords: Are Undertone and Audience Science your main competitors?

Monfried: Yeah, they're on our radar. I wouldn't say we directly compete with them, because they all have their own kind of spin on things.

Swords: So, when you were younger, did your parents think you would grow up to be a pirate?

Monfried: Uh, no.

Swords: Before Lotame, you were a founder of advertising.com.

Monfried: Not a founder, but just in an early core group of people. I leave that to two gentlemen named John and Scott Ferber who founded the company.

Swords: At your physical size, did you ever threaten to kick the shit out of anybody for sales?

Monfried: No, but I hug the crap out of everyone I meet. I squeeze them until the IOs come out of their pocket.

Swords: I bet your HR department loves you.

Monfried: I know it's a no-no in business, but I don't care. If you do business with me, you get a big hug.

Swords: Do you pick customers up off the ground?

Monfried: If it's a big order, yes. Seven figure IOs get a lift off the ground; six figure IOs just get a bear hug.

Swords: If I were to tell you I could get you any kind of cheese head, what type of cheese would it be?

Monfried: Muenster.

Swords: Good choice.

Social Media: The New New Testament

Hello New Testament Hello Social Media Bible. It is Sunday and I did not shave, forgive me.

When Lon Safko called me and told me that he was writing a bible I replied, "why don't you go build an ark while you are at it?". Alas, Lon has done something that not many people could do; issue a definitive text on all things social media, with top names from around the world. I have to admit, I was a little bit of a skeptic, but then this massive text showed up at my apartment; now I am a believer.

Woah, that is a big book! Whoa! That is a big book!

If you are interested on social media (or new media at large; there is a lot more than just social media in there) for business I suggest going out and picking up a copy of this book (The Social Media Bible)--if for no other reason, you get to read some knowledge from yours truly.

Adam in the social media bible Who is that sexy man?

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