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Author: Team DIGO

Ad-Blockers and The Impact On Advertisers

Recently there has been an influx of ad-block applications appearing on the App Store. These apps were developed in response to consumer backlash about the amount of advertising people were receiving when browsing on their smart phones, and have thus far been popular. As of last week, the three most downloaded apps on the App Store were ad-blockers. 

As a consumer, I understand some of the frustrations with mobile ads; they are often intrusive into my expected experience, they often act more as pop ups and are not inline with my scroll, and they are sometimes difficult to close with my fat thumbs.  Additionally, I have found some video ads particularly annoying, as they tend to eat up my data more quickly.  With that said, I also realize they may be necessary for me to continue viewing “free” content.

As a marketer, I share some of the frustrations but think most of the instances are a result of other marketers not doing an effective job of picking and choosing the placements that seamlessly integrate into the user experience.  High impact sounds good and all, but if it annoys the consumer then all you are doing is drawing negative connotation to the brand and the ad.

As a marketer and consumer, I know there must be a better way to advertise and incorporate that advertising in my expected user experience.  Companies like Sled Mobile are working to solve the issue by developing and serving high impact ads that are in stream with a user’s scroll, but more can certainly be done and not just from the delivery side but also from the creative and placement side.

Planners need to be working harder to ensure that the ads they are placing are in an environment where the user is getting some good content. The user will then be more closely aware that the ad is the reason why the content is free ex: YouTube, but it needs to be something relevant to them individually.  Broad and untargeted placements do not work on mobile; ads should be helpful and relevant.

From a creative standpoint, there should be more emphasis on unique and dynamic messaging. Messaged should be catered to location or user activity. The adaptation of a standard desktop display ad to mobile is no longer acceptable.

Being a consumer and marketer gives me a unique perspective; however the one perspective I am not afforded is that of the content provider. What will ad-blocking applications mean for them? Unfortunately, it could mean death.  With ads being blocked, we must ask how the content provider is to stay in business. Everyone loves the idea of free content but unfortunately it’s just an idea and not a reality. Everything on the back end; writers, contributors, designers and webmasters must be paid for.

How is the content provider or publisher to stay in business if they cannot monetize on their offering and recoup some of the costs associated with content creation?  Native or custom content is one option, but there certainly isn’t enough demand to fund a full content offering just yet. Would users visit a site if every piece of content on there was co-created by an advertiser? I think not.

Before we all go out and start downloading ad-blockers, we should first think about the possible repercussions on the content providers we know and love.

-Dan Sauvigné, Associate Media Director, Proove Accountable Media


The Power Of The Buddy System

12039523_10100778309408609_378095294695668421_nStarting a new job can be a very exciting time in your life, but the process often leaves you feeling uneasy and intimidated. You’re the new kid on the block, doing your best to navigate your new surroundings and make a good impression. Most of us will quickly try to find allies in the office, but that isn’t always easy to do. It doesn’t help that stressful situations, back-to-back meetings and timely deadlines are not the ideal ingredients for relationship building.

In September 2015, Fast Company published an article breaking down the importance of having friends in the work place and why it is crucial to our happiness. The article claims that even though we spend most of our days at work, we are less likely to have friends in the office now in comparison to past years. Although this seems like a problem most directly affecting employees, it is also a troublesome problem for employers looking to maintain a positive, productive work place where they can groom long-term talent.

Since our mission at DiMassimo Goldstein is to Inspire Action, we set out to find a solution to this growing problem in the hopes of increasing employee happiness, productivity and motivation. The solution was to start a two-month lunch program that gives employees the opportunity to go to lunch with one another. Each lunch you get thirty dollars to spend with your buddy and the only guideline is that it should be with someone you don’t know very well.

Being one of the newer employees at DiGo, I wanted to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity. My work life was very separate from my personal life when I first started in May, and although I loved my new role, I wasn’t as friendly with my coworkers as I had been at previous jobs. This new company program gave me the confidence and opportunity to reach out to coworkers in various departments including creative, strategy, operations, media and production. This also opened the door for me to reach out to senior staff members that I didn’t otherwise interact with on a regular basis.

There are so many reasons I have enjoyed this program, aside from my love of free food. After speaking with different people from different departments, I learned more about how each department functions on a day-to-day basis and ways the account team can better work with them. Having a reason to get out of the office and get some fresh air helped me focus better in the afternoon and increased my productivity level. I noticed I feel much more comfortable walking around the office, chatting with people before meetings or even bumping into them in the kitchen. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to ask advice from people with valuable experience which will not only help me grow at DiGo, but also as young person in the advertising industry.

When introducing this program to the company, Mark DiMassimo explained that the goal was for everyone to be able to say they have at least six friends in the office. After speaking with some of my new lunch buddies, I can confidently say that many of us have accomplished that goal and then some.

And they say there’s no such thing as a free lunch…

-Morgan Kelly, Brand Manager



The Road To Dadsville

DadsvilleMy father was an airbrush artist. He painted crazy stuff on the sides of vans and motorcycle gas tanks and denim jackets in the 1970s and 80s. If you’re of a certain age, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re not, Google the art of Frank Frazetta or Boris Vallejo and you’ll start to get the picture. Imagine it on the side of a van and you’ll start to understand why the seventies were so weird.

My dad also called himself Mongo. And he drove around in a big pink hearse complete with an airbrushed cemetery on the side and a giant, bearded wizard (who looked a lot like him) on the hood. He was one strange dude. And no doubt he is the reason I’m in this crazy business where we make weird stuff that gets people’s attention and makes them say “Hey, did you see that?”

Mongo died about ten years ago now. But a few years ago, while freelancing by day and teaching myself new skills at night, I made a comic book about him. It was called The Book Of Mongo and it was 12 pages long and basically told the story of how he got the name Mongo (Hint: Blazing Saddles was out at the time). It was a labor of love. And I loved it.

When I was done with the comic book, I put it out there on Facebook and everyone seemed to like it. I didn’t really try to get it on bookshelves because my freelance career was taking up more and more of my time and I hadn’t made it to sell. I made it for me. And to learn something new.

But whenever you make Inspiring content, Actions follow.

Soon, I got a message from my friend Dane LaChiusa. He loved the dad comic and wanted to make one of his own. Would I care to get a taco and talk about it? So we did. Dane said he had talked to other people and they were interested in making dad-themed comics too. Maybe we could make an anthology.

We met in a bar a few weeks later with some interested artists. We decided we would call it Dadsville.

Once the idea was out there, we started getting submissions. From comic creators and advertising people. From Brazil, Maine and everywhere in-between. We had hit on a fundamental truth: Everybody had a weird dad. Carol Holsinger, a talented comic creator in her own right, joined Dane and I to help edit the first edition. Mark DiMassimo offered to publish it through the agency.

Again, Inspiration leading to Action.

This past Friday, we had a launch party for Dadsville Issue #1 at our offices on 23rd street in New York City. As I looked around at all the people admiring the art of people I didn’t know, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of pride. Like a proud papa.

I hope Mongo was watching.

-Tom Christmann, Chief Creative Officer


Plan the Total Customer Experience

Key #6 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here.

One of my clients once told me about The Wall.

“The Wall” is what she called it.

“I’m squeezing my brain, my team, my budget and every hour of the day to build this thing, while all around us there are new services gaining market share with little or no advertising.

“My product is dated and it shows – yet I’m in my marketing silo and don’t have the power to change it.

“I know total marketing success requires a product that does a better job of selling itself, but what do I do without the power and the tools to make that happen?”

I told her that she wasn’t the only marketer facing The Wall. Yesterday, the best marketer with the deepest pockets won. Today, everyone is a click away from customer comments and reviews. That means the best customer experience wins.

Fortunately for my client and others like her, customer experience isn’t just about function. It’s not even primarily about function. It’s more about emotion and meaning. Which means that marketing is as much a part of a winning product as the product itself is.

My new client and I determined to work with our teams to do two things:

1) We would determine the emotional meaning of her brand.
2) We would use every lever, every touchpoint, to enhance that meaning.

We remade the aspects of customer experience that she could influence. And then we measured the results.

Based on those results, my client quickly developed the reputation of a “fixer” in her company. She was given responsibility for overseeing the website – effectively the core delivery of the product – in addition to marketing. Extending our insight about the emotional meaning of the brand deep into the customer journey yielded still greater incremental results.

Today, my client can work just about anywhere. Fortunately for us, she’s extremely happy and highly valued right where she is.

Inspiring Action Podcast With Paul Butler

Even if you’re not in love with your planet or passionate about conservation and even if you’re annoyed by organizations that change the world for the better, this edition of the “Inspiring Action Podcast” is for you. Paul Butler is the senior vice president of global programs for Rare, an innovative not-for-profit organization committed to inspiring change so that people and nature can thrive.

Over the course of forty-five riveting minutes, Butler tells host Mark DiMassimo how his lifetime passion became his profession when a 6-month voyage to St. Lucia evolved into a 12-year mission. That mission – to save a species – led to an adventure you’ve just got to hear!


Think Outside In

Key #5 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here.

Imagine you’re marketing a limo service and you get Uber’d.

Or you’re trying to put travelers in hotel beds and you get Airbnb’d. You run a car dealership and you get Tesla’d. You’re a travel agent, a financial advisor, sell insurance, or – heaven forfend – you publish the yellow pages!…

I know real people in these situations, and I can tell you this about every one of them:

They never saw it coming!

But Nike saw it coming. Starting with their own brand story, they got ahead of change. Nike didn’t see themselves as an athletic shoe company – they saw themselves as a company that inspires athletes. While other athletic wear companies may have seen the coming age of wearable computing as irrelevant, Nike saw it as an opportunity to inspire. In creating Nike Plus, they got ahead of the curve and developed a way to get to know their customers like never before.

You don’t have to BE a new economy business to WIN in the new economy. You just need an inspiring idea that guides you, and you need to be able to connect that idea to better experiences for your customers. American Express (founded 1850) has done it, reinventing the core of their customer relationships many times over. JetBlue (founded 1998) has done it. Apple (founded 1976) is most certainly doing it.

We call these companies Inspiring Action brands. They share a common point of view. They see things with their customers’ eyes. They know what the people they serve aspire to be and do. They know what their devotees love about themselves with them. They’ve mapped the customer journey and have found ways to intercept and change behavior.

You are what they do.

Your audience is just people trying to inspire action in themselves. If your service works better, you win.

Think Outside In. It’s really that simple and that challenging. Understand your inspiring idea from your customer’s point of view. Map the journey and work out effective ways to change behavior and create new habits.


Inspiring Action Podcast with Steve Harrison

Steve Harrison has won more Cannes Lions awards than any other creative director in the world. He is one of the most influential and inspiring copywriters of his time, and is the author of “Changing the World is the Only Fit Work For a Grown Man”, an eyewitness account of the life and times of legendary adman Howard Luck Gosssage. For his work, Campaign Magazine has recognized Harrison as “the greatest Direct Marketing Creative of his generation”.

Tune in and listen as Steve calls in from the United Kingdom to tell host Mark DiMassimo all about his book, his unorthodox journey to becoming an award-winning copywriter and much much more on this edition of the “Inspiring Action Podcast”.


Inspiring Action Podcast with Leslie Dukker Doty

Leslie Doty was the marketer behind the legendary Citibank AAdvantage Card campaign that won the top Account Planning Group Award, a Gold Effie, and was recognized by the Loyalty Marketers Association as the campaign of the decade. That campaign, created with creative director, Mark DiMassimo, was the seed that helped launch DiMassimo’s fledgling agency, nearly two decades ago. The journey of discovery to the inspiring idea behind that campaign was the seed from which the Inspiring Action approach that Doty and DiMassimo share has grown. As colleagues and friends, Leslie and Mark have achieved many things as partners in inspiring action. Fast forward 19 years and the agency that Leslie undoubtedly helped take liftoff has long since named a conference room in her honor, and what better title for the plaque than the “Leslie Doty Dukker Center of Inspiration”?

Leslie’s extraordinary resume includes stints as the Senior VP at MasterCard Advisors, Managing Partner of DiMassimo Goldstein, Corporate Vice President at CVS health, and now as the Chief Marketing Officer and President of Reader’s Digest Consumer Services, Inc.

In this very special episode of the “Inspiring Action Podcast”, Leslie and Mark revisit their time working on Citibank’s AAdvantage card, an experience that both call transformative in their careers. Listen in as Leslie tells Mark about the defining moment in her career when she became a marketer, and how a great insight can turn into an award winning campaign.