Marketing has come a long way over the last 20 years, but there is still work to be done to create experiences that consumers love. Innovations in technology, processes and creativity are pushing the industry towards the promised land, but there is a human component needed to make the dream a reality. Our Founder and CEO Joe Zawadzki recently had the chance to contribute his thoughts on the industry to the 40th Edition of Direct Marketing Association’s Statistical Fact Book. Below is the first page of his introduction to Chapter 9 on Emerging Technology & Innovation.
WE’VE COME A LONG WAY, BUT WE’VE GOT MAGIC TO DO
Last year, I started this introduction with the idea that marketers are poised to accomplish things “indistinguishable from magic.” And I want to return to that notion, but start at the beginning, 10+ years ago. Back then, digital had made a whole bunch of promises to people. It promised to be a real-time channel of live communication with consumers. It promised to be an incredibly rich and engaging interactive experience. It promised to be the most measurable, the most accountable marketing medium ever. And over the past 10 years, we have made steady progress toward fulfilling that promise.
When we started MediaMath in 2007, we saw something interesting happen. We saw these little ad exchanges that promised a lot of the same things that stock market exchanges promised, including liquidity and automation. And we looked at that and said, “With this, we can do some amazing things.” If we could stitch these all together into one software layer, add data and insights to make high-quality marketing decisions — what ad to buy, how much to pay for it, what to show people — and if we could bring in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to bear to automate those high-quality marketing decisions in real time, in runtime, we could finally flip the script on marketing. It would stop being about spend, and it would start being about outcomes. And that would transform marketing.
And over the years, as we and our ecosystem partners have developed the technologies and techniques that power programmatic marketing, we are seeing glimpses of magic emerge. Today, a CMO can sit in an office, push a button, and change how a brand is displayed across billions of screens in real time. Today, what began with small budgets on small ad exchanges is now at the center of every CMO’s strategy. Today, marketers are exploring ways to deploy these disciplines across every screen, in a fully integrated and personalized way. It’s magic!
And yet, we are far from finished. We have real work to do to fulfill the promise of the system we’ve all built and create marketing that people, publishers, and marketers love. Our mission at MediaMath is to continue that work and not rest until that vision is complete. And we want to enlist others in helping us do that. What does that mean?
You can read the rest of Joe’s introduction and download the Fact Book here.