Category Archives: High Tech Media


Yesterday I was asked if my idea of polarization was basically high touch = brand building activity and high tech = direct response.  I don’t thinks so.  In fact, I also don’t think this phenomenon is limited to media:  it a applies to marketing communications as a whole.

Sure brands are looking for love when they engage in high touch activities – consideration, preference, loyalty.  But these campaigns very often also involve opportunities for sampling/trial, being rewarded for referring new customers and other direct actions more closely tied to sales.   The win is engagement with the brand, not engagement with the message.

Direct response marketers have certainly been early adopters at the high tech end of the spectrum.  But package goods advertisers and others looking for awareness and influence play there as well – they want targeted, efficient, optimized, unduplicated reach and controlled frequency.

What does this look like from a creative rather than media perspective?   At the high touch end we see a focus on the big idea that can run across any media and by taken up by the consumer.   At the high tech end, dynamic creative is the goal – copy, images (and of course offers) are assembled from a pool of assets and optimized on the fly.  Again, ads and audience just don’t cut it anymore.

This phenomenon is happening in all areas of marketing communications.  In the social marketing/earned media/PR camp we see a ramping up of high touch activities with more emphasis on events and trans media story telling.  At the high tech end, we see earned and owned media optimized to drive organic search results and the quest to harness the power of social media monitoring.

I sat in on a “virtual microconference” this week that explored the high tech end of the spectrum and it’s impact on every single area of marketing.  The Future of Marketing 2: Technology-drivien Personalization had 60 speakers in 60 minutes sharing insights.   I highly recommend you have a listen.   Find out what leaders from CRM, Social Marketing, eCommerce, Public Relations, Advertising, Publishing, Media, Mobile, and more believe about how personalization is and will change marketing.

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Filed under High Tech Media, High Touch Media

the polarization of media planning and buying

I’ve talked a lot about this trend at recent seminars and conference.  While the bulk of what agencies do is ads and audiences, I see that advertisers are increasing wanting to see more activity at the far ends of the spectrum:

The high tech end of the spectrum is a hot bed of activity.  Check out Terence Kawaja’s talk on this.

Does this crazy world matter to anyone outside the display advertising world?  I believe so.  As more media goes digital, what we know about distributing, tracking and optimizating online advertising will apply to OOH, TV.  This will completely transform the media buying business.

No doubt there are hurdles.  The  legacy systems and resources big agencies and media companies contend with make it difficult to profitably “retool” at the pace demanded – plus there’s still lots of manual labour and intellectual leadership required despite the automation you might expect.   The reluctance, particularly in Canada, to invest in what is seen as a smaller piece of the media investment pie holds us back.  (although this does seem to be changing with recent activity at  Bell as an example).   Privacy issues need to be negotiated – are we citizens or consumers?  Rights of way have to be navigated between content producers, rights owners and distributers – the struggle between disintermediation (, YouTube) and vertical integration (Rogers, Bell) will continue.  Fun times!

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Filed under High Tech Media, High Touch Media