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And Other Stupid Shit Your Agency Is Talking You Into…

As the CEO of an AdTech/ Marketing company, built in a hybrid model specifically designed for the challenges of 2024, my biggest market challenge is collective stupidity- or- group think. I’m not saying others are stupid, I’m saying that pretending like the whole ad serving platform arena hasn’t dramatically changed, is stupid. And yes, some people are stupid as well, but I digress.

New tech isn’t necessarily smart tech and AI isn’t necessarily learning anything valuable. Enter Meta’s and Google’s AI algos that, thus far, have only delivered serious volatility on their platforms, MASSIVE amounts of bot traffic and extremely unpredictable CPMs for marketers and brands. And the agency world acts as though nothing has happened. The iOS 14.5 update shook the marketing data world to its core and agencies keep on, keeping on as though nothing has changed. And that is stupid… for you.

It’s brilliant for them as they continue to beat the “new ads, new content” drum they monetize or pretend that your company’s future lies in your CRM already. Thousands of agency plays have entered the market positioned as, better at “running ads” or doing “lead-gen” with some new ads and message sequencing, because THAT is the sequitur to growth. My favorite is “uncovering revenue” through tiny buckets of de-anonymized web visitors and digging into old data on your CRM.

From where I sit, the market has lost its collective shit and the dumbest, fastest person in the room is running the show. What are we doing? This is exactly what happens when we train an entire generation of marketers to manipulate social media and ad platform algos and we forget to to teach them basic marketing fundamentals to inform their tech understanding.

If marketers were in charge of space exploration, we would have made the apparel for moon walking 50 years before we built the first rocket. And that is exactly what they have done here. They have focused on and monetized the slickest ad sets and most engaging content without so much as even considering who will actually see it. Focus groups are great at telling us how markets will receive things, but AdTech has delivered serious technology hurdles to actually getting in front of the people that you focus tested in the first place. It makes zero sense and as marketers, if we’re being honest, most of us already know how to develop great ads and content. It’s leveraging ad spend to deliver that well crafted marketing to audiences that care about it in the first place. For that, you need serious tech. For that, you have to invest, test and iterate technology applications. For that, you need to be way more than good at “running ads”. For that, you need serious skills in fighting big tech’s monetization models, not a willingness to go along to get along. You need Specificity and you need Put-thru.

We pick sides and the side we will always choose is the client actually spending the damn money for the result in the first place. Sorry, not sorry. If this hurts your feelings, you should consider a career change.

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