Rich Ziade and Paul Ford say that this is exactly why Verizon bought Yahoo.
Listen to the whole thing here
Also, subscribe. Good stuff there.
Excellent piece. Here is an article that proposes a solution to the troubled ad ecosystem that is innovative and balanced. You might find it interesting.
True. High demand for Ad-blocking s/w is evidence of a desire for a better experience.
However, winning the Ad-blocking war might lead to a state where the market conversation ends. We will own the experience, but the experience will lack interesting content.
Sorry, I’m just thinking out loud about where the middle ground exists for market conversations and digital experiences. Thanks for your years of leadership on this topic.
Metaphors are great. They can be used for humor, education, and sometimes they are a great mechanism to provoke new ways of thinking.
Let me try to extend the rain metaphor without straying too far from the topic …
Rain may annoy people in the short term, but it’s necessary for plants to grow and for animals to eat. It’s only when pollutants (e.g. sulfur or tracking codes?) are added to the rain that the environment turns toxic. Of course, too much rain will also turn people off, but I think that’s a self-regulating system.
I have a healthy suspicion of tracking s/w, but I don’t mind the old magazine business model of “subscriptions & ads” when I use the Wired.com website, for example.
I can’t wait for your next blog post. Thanks for the conversation!
Great piece as always, Doc.
The concept and phenomenon of experience is not well understood. The best analysis I’m aware of is in a 2011 dissertation called “For the Love of Experience,” by a woman named J.M.C. Snel.
She explains that experience consists of three registers or vectors:
1. The environment: This is the thing that is experienced – e.g., Disneyland, a city park, a meal, a movie, a mobile web page.
2. The encounter: This is the interaction of an individual with the environment.
3. The effect: This is the result of the encounter, a judgment or attitude held by the individual. (Which is significantly influenced by prior expectations.)
In short, I have (i.e., form) an experience (in the third sense) when I experience (in the second sense) an experience (in the first sense).
Snel stresses that all three elements are necessary for a full understanding of (an) experience – and also that most parties in the so-called “experience economy” over-emphasize one element at the expense (or even the complete ignorance) of the others.
So it would be justified to say that the operators/advertisers “own” the mobile experience – in the first sense. The combination of content and ads displayed on the screen makes up the environmental vector of the experience. (This is assuming that the operator is not just a dumb pipe delivering content from Facebook, Wired.com, etc.)
The problem exposed by the report is that operators/advertisers (like most companies trying to do “customer experience management”) think that they own – and, worse, control – the mobile ad experience in the third sense. They (absurdly) state with confidence that the consumer’s attitude is “positive” after the encounter with the environment the operators/advertisers have created. But of course the mental state of the consumer is the last thing that can be owned or controlled. (This is one of the reasons that I say customer experience management is impossible.)
Companies build environments while pretending to control effects – and largely ignore the encounter, which is where the experience actually “happens.” (The environment is built in anticipation of a future; the encounter is the present; the effect concerns the past.) In my view, the encounter is only marginally more manageable than the effect – but companies can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome by understanding the consumers needs, desires, and expectations.
There are many ways to chase such an understanding, most of which are invasive by nature (Zuboff’s surveillance capitalism), and which deliver weak and ineffective correlations. (Witness Procter and Gamble’s retreat from targeted advertising on Facebook.) The good and reliable way to achieve it (and the one that provides a causal foundation for an exchange) is to have the consumer tell you what they want and expect – intentcasting and VRM.
Thanks for your very thoughtful reply. I agree with everything you said.
I especially agree with the statement “It is fully legitimate to block that stuff, because it’s not what we ask for. Instead it’s stuff the publishers sneak in, because they can.”.
This brings me back to my original comment … “However, there’s not much evidence that shows customers are winning the war to force better market conversations.”
I’m looking for specific action (other than just ad-blocking) that can be taken to improve the situation. Metaphors only take us so far. Action in the form of delivering real code is more powerful.
I came across The Cluetrain Manifesto in 2009, but VRM is new to me. I guess it’s time for me to learn more about your latest movement.
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