Into the Pool #3: Programmatic

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You know how rock stars have this reputation for throwing stuff from the hotel window into the pool? Hell, Keith Moon even parked his Rolls Royce in the deep end once. In tribute, we’ll be throwing all the crap, bullshit acronyms, empty fads and snake oil of marketing straight into the Rockstar CMO swimming pool.

After dumping remarketing and retargeting into the pool in the last issue, there are whole chunks of lazy, cheap marketing clogging up the filter. And the pool guy is not going to be pleased with what he’s going to be scooping out in the morning. In this issue, more of that lazy and cheap shit is on its way down, as Robert Rose hands over programmatic and Ian Truscott does the honors. Don’t agree? Let us know why.


When we sat down with Robert Rose for our Backstage series and asked him what he thought was getting old in marketing right now, he replied:

“Programmatic advertising. Basically, anything where the algorithm is taking over the presentation of valuable, content-driven, customer experiences and making our content creation process automated. So, whether it's on the traditional banner ad side, or even the emergent native platform side, the whole idea of programmatic, I think, is one for the oldies charts.”

Robert referred to “the oldies charts”, but to be fair, we spoke to him before we showed him the Swimming Pool and you know what it’s like with oldies, they come back, so let’s drop this where it deserves.

Marketers are dependent on the rush of doing lots of something, so cheaply, that even shit results in the single percentage points give a fantastic return on investment.

Of course, the digital machine has done some wonderful work for us and opened up opportunities to engage the consumer with our stories, but many marketers are now dependent on the rush of doing lots of something, so cheaply, that even shit results in the single percentage points give a fantastic return on investment. 

“JUST LOOK AT THE DATA,” they say. 

With remarketing and retargeting it’s bad enough that the machine decides what should be following us – from eCommerce to Facebook – but what if this annoying crap was then applied to the content creation process? 

Crank the handle and there you go: a content campaign, a million emails, a blog post and a month’s worth of tweets made ready by the artificially intelligent, machine learning, content vending machine. 

But listen to the art that you can hear in Robert’s words: “valuable, content-driven, customer experiences”Not more fucking banal content for a world drowning in fucking banal content. 

Yeah sure, I’m not a luddite; artificial intelligence can do wonderful things in the customer experience. I love a bit of personalization and as a first line of support a decent chat bot benefits both the consumer and the organization providing the service.

But, unleash this content by numbers onto your consumer, maybe via your evil remarketing and retargeting machines, and 75% of people will ignore you, 23% will be slightly annoyed, 1% will damn you to hell, and maybe less than 1% will click through. 

“JUST LOOK AT THE DATA,” they’ll say. 

Anyway, Robert – this one’s for you. Damn the pool guy, it’s going in.


Ian Truscott is an accomplished B2B content marketer, having held marketing leadership roles within global software vendors in both the US and Europe, before growing a content marketing practice within an international agency, developing a methodology that enabled clients such as Nasdaq, General Motors and American Express to realise the value of content marketing. Ian is applying this same passion for content as head of marketing for censhare AG.

Go backstage with Ian here, or read more of his articles


Read more like this in THE AGE OF CONSENT Issue

Ian Truscott

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