Viewer Engagement – does it matter?

I’m always one to look for theories to be proven or dis proven, so this headline in MediaPost caught my eye today –Effectiveness Is Not Aligned With Engagement, and I’m glad I read it.

The article makes two points which may seem obvious, but sometimes advertisers view engagement as a silver bullet for narrowing down prospective media opportunities, which are mind-bogglingly complex.  Truth is, there is no silver bullet and there are always downsides to the seemingly simple answer — in this case, high engagement is good for advertising.  Those two points are:

1.  Advertising relevance is a better indicator of success than high content engagement.

2.  On TV high content engagement is correlated heavily with ad skipping as audiences are so engaged that they don’t want to be disrupted by advertising interruptions.

Food for thought.

iPhone on Verizon = No Impact

I’ve been having a debate with my husband about the impact of Verizon’s sale of iPhones.  His theory is that people on AT&T will just switch to Verizon and continue to use iPhones.  My theory was that there was pent up demand on Verizon and people would switch from Blackberry or Android to iPhones.

Just for context, I had an iPhone but when I started working at Adobe…well let’s just say that I don’t have an iPhone anymore 😦  I got a Blackberry and found it to be too difficult of a transition.  So I got a Motorola Atrix (Android) which I actually like quite a bit.  My only big complaint is that it doesn’t synch with my corporate calendar very well.  I can’t accept a meeting, for example.

My husband had a Windows Pro phone and  it totally fell apart.  Then he got a Samsung Instinct which was okay, but his true love is his new Dell Windows 7 phone (which totally bricked once already).

So I was really excited to see today’s Nielsen data (BTW, the basis for the data on that study is a product that I helped to create while I was at Nielsen so I totally trust that data) about mobile phone share and to my great surprise, iPhone and Android market share held steady.  DARN!  I hate it when my husband is right.  That must imply that the Verizon iPhone sales are AT&T steals and the device that you have is the one you’re gonna keep.  But with 2-year equipment contracts it can take a while for true preference to show up in this marketplace.  So maybe I’ll be right after all.

Nielsen Mobile Data Release

Disband the Patent Office – let’s debate

I’m going to take an extreme position here, but I’m gonna throw down.  Get rid of the patent office and patents in general.  There, I said it.

I have 3 patents (pending still I think) and the whole darn thing is just a huge waste of money and impediment to business.  Here is my argument:

–  You really have to pay lawyers to interface with the Patent Office.  Despite do-it-yourself books, you’re not likely to get a complex patent accepted unless you hire an army of high priced lawyers.  So mom and pop or the original inventor like we used to have is unable to play.

–  Technology is confusing and near impossible to patent anyways.  I’m sure you’ve worked at a company that put up dozens of patents just to try to protect their invention from work arounds.  Even then, another company patents something similar and then it all gets fought in court.  All kinds of companies pop up just to patent things that they never intend to build.  Innovation is stifled.

–  Congress is way too detached from technology to ever be able to create a government office which can effectively manage patents.

This is one of those issues that we don’t spend enough time talking about.  It is a huge mess right now.  So when I read this article on congress attempting to “fix” the patent office, I almost laughed out loud.  Read it and debate me…


Financial Impact of the Japanese Earthquake

Nobody really knows what happens when you take the 3rd largest economy out of commission for a few months.  I don’t believe it has ever happened since World War 2.  What does it mean for global trade?  Does it reinforce for us how reliant our global economy is in keeping money spinning around the globe?  I wonder if a number of companies will pull back on the reigns until it becomes more clear if Japan has become too preoccupied with it’s own horrible (and may I say awe-inspiring) disaster.  This recession has certainly taught us that pulling back on the reigns, even if it is not necessary,  has a domino effect which leads to a downturn.

But I’m not gloomy on the prospect of a pull back right now (if it happens).  I am so inspired by the courage and sense of order that I see in the videos of Japan.  I really don’t think that any other country in the world could remain so calm.  To have no civil unrest or crime is simply amazing.

I guess that Japan is back up and running again with a renewed appetite for goods, a speedy recovery in exports and an even greater appreciation for life than ever before.  My prediction is a rockin’ Q3 for global commerce.  Wanna bet?

Lonely at the top

News today about the departure of Richard Pinder, Publicis Cheif and James Murdoch in as heir apparent to the Murdoch empire got me thinking about being at the top.  That old saying, it’s lonely at the top…I think it must be true.  In fact, a couple of weeks ago at our annual conference in Salt Lake City I walked right by our CEO (of Adobe), Shantanu.  And he wasn’t talking to anybody.  Did I seize the day and introduce myself and thank him for coming to our event?  No.  I walked by.  Afterwards I was kicking myself thinking why didn’t I say hello.  He isn’t an alligator who is going to bite my arm off.  Wonder if I’ll ever get that chance again.  Maybe not.  I’ll tell you what, next time I get a chance to say hi and thank a really senior person at any huge company, I’m going to do it.  Maybe you already do, but if you don’t, consider stepping out of your comfort zone and saying hello!  It’s lonely at the top…

There is nothing new in the world

I guess this happens when you get older, so if you’re under 30 this may make no sense to you. Today I realized yet again that everything that is new is really just a technology twist on an age old concept.

I attend a local Ladies Book Club, which is a hoot by the way. And we read The Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio this month. It is a story about a mom who has lots of kids and no money who enters contests by writing ad jingles. We were talking about how that doesn’t happen anymore when somebody said, we’ll it is still happening on YouTube. My mind went back to the Doritos Superbowl ad where they invited anyone to upload an ad to YouTube as a contest. Yet another reminder that our supposed technology innovations are simply bigger, bolder, broader ways of repackaging the past. I guess the moral of the story is, if you’re looking for something new to invent, look at what happened in the past and revive it with technology.

A message to all men in business

Hi Guys,

I’m sitting in a meeting right now with 13 people and I’m the only woman in the room.  This occurs in about 85% of all meetings that I attend.  I don’t mind.  I’m not here to blog about gender equality.  I’m a firm believer in meritocracy and being gender blind.  But there is something that happens when you add one woman to a room full of men in a business meeting.  Suddenly we impact the meeting even if we don’t say a word.  Men stop talking to each other like they do when women aren’t around.  And it makes women feel awkward.  You’re being polite and chivalrous.  I totally respect that and am never one to scoff at a door being held open for me, etc.   So my message to all men about being in business meetings is if you’re going to swear, just swear.  If you’re going to tell an off color joke, go ahead.  We’re not delicate flowers.  We can handle it.  Treat us like one of you and we’ll all be happy.  Thanks!

We never get our history straight do we?

While everybody is raving about how FaceBook revolutionized revolutions, here’s an article which caught my eye.  MySpace did this years ago.  Honestly, there is so dang (another Utah term) much hype about social media today.  What about when AOL Communities were all the rage.  Seriously…we need to have a bit longer than 5 year memory.  Work with me people!

Comparison of San Francisco Snow Days – 35 years apart.

Today the media is all a buzz because it *might* snow in San Francisco.

I was in elementary school in San Carlos, CA when it snowed 35 years ago.  Being a little kid, it was exciting, but I never would have thought it would take another 35 years before it might happen again.  Now, back in the day, before the Internet, social media, mobile phones, xboxes, or ipads or Global Warming (wink), we had a little yippee moment and went on about our jobs/school/other business.  Arundel Elementary school cleared the snow off the playground before recess (I’m still not over that BTW).  It was all melted by the time we walked home from school (yes, I did say walked).  And back in the day, we were concerned about global cooling due to fluorocarbons in the ozone layer and about acid rain which would surely melt flesh off our bones.  That was after the drop and cover/crawl under your desk drills we had to perform when we heard the nuke siren go off.

Flash forward 35 years.  Now we’re worried about Global Warming and plastic bag pollution.  Possible snow in SF is a headline on Drudge Report.  They are doing call in video segments from San Francisco which are reposted on YouTube.  Somebody put up a whole website called  People are reportedly taking the day off just in case it snows.  And I’m guessing if it does, I’ll be seeing FB mobile video uploads all night long.

Oh what a difference 35 years makes!