He guides content creation, curation and strategy at CadmiumCD, a meeting and event education company based in Baltimore. Michael also works with Concentric Copy to develop online marketing strategies and optimize user experience. In his spare time, he writes books on the frailties of the human condition.
After reading several of his musings on advertising in LinkedIn’s Pulse, we were curious to hear what he had to say about programmatic and digital advertising in general.
PA.O: What do you do for a living and what are your day to day responsibilities?
Michael Doane: I’m in charge of marketing all around– whether it’s in digital or print. I use marketing automation for our ads on Google and manage social media for a software company that caters to the events industry. CadmiumCD builds conference management tools, mobile event apps, paper review software and many other useful tools. I also have Concentric Copy on the side, which works with local clients to increase their business’s visibility and improve their communications strategies.
I am also a writer too. I just finished a book about a month ago: “The Worst Form of Violence.” It is based on a quote from Gandhi, as the worst form of violence is poverty. The book focuses on the impacts of the 2008 recession.
PA.O: I’ve noted a lot of your writing really deals with connecting with the human spirit in advertising and marketing.
So, what are your thoughts of programmatic as a disruptive force in the realm of digital advertising? Is it changing the world in your eyes?
Michael Doane: Yes, definitely. I think the digital advertising industry has actually changed its perspective in a sense because it understands that it needs to reflect. Consumers don’t respond well to traditional advertising anymore. This helps brands and companies build content that consumers and people generally want to consume. So, we’ve seen a lot of increases in inbound marketing, like content marketing and native advertising.
I think programmatic is in an interesting position. It’s a big deal, but it hasn’t necessarily caught on as a necessary component of every company’s marketing and advertising budget. This will definitely change because companies are looking to connect with customers by being more personable. It is nearly impossible to do this once your business begins to expand. Something like programmatic advertising really makes this a possibility.
PA.O: Programmatic really does have an influence on targeted communication. As a content marketer and a writer, how have you used programmatic advertising to tailor messages to your audiences?
Michael Doane: We don’t use programmatic, but we do build [automated email marketing] script programs for our clients. These days our online management tools lead to real human connections. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let an automated marketing content message run and people reach out to me saying, “Oh, thanks for the article. I really enjoyed that.” Or, “Could you send me another one of these?” And, I respond back and say (as the real me) “Thank you! It’s my pleasure. Is there anything else I can help you with?”
PA.O: It is like you use your automated email marketing campaigns to start the conversation.
Michael Doane: I think about it like this: How many of us have taken out our iPhones and asked Siri a question? People are open to responding and interacting with robots as long as they are providing worthwhile content, interactions and experiences.
PA.O: Interesting! I wonder how much time we spend interacting with these automated digital interfaces, searching for experiences, content, et cetera. My final question: Do you see any changes in our culture, as in, how individuals interact with one another based on digital advertising? I know this is a big question, so feel free to share the first thoughts that come to mind.
Michael Doane: People, at their essence, still have the same interactions with each other that they always did. Now, they just do it on different platforms. Our interactions are just moving online. These days so many people would prefer to send an email or text rather than call.
Advertising and culture speak to each other.
Since our society’s culture is online, and is bringing more of these interactions online, it is demanding better interactions with companies. Advertising used to be about just getting a company’s message in front of consumers. Now, it’s about connecting with consumers. I think we’ve seen that with a lot of content marketing initiatives. Companies want to provide fun, interesting content for people – whether they are going to buy something or not. They provide this great content for people who are never going to buy, but that’s okay because our culture expects it, and our advertisers are willing to do it.
I think interactions between companies and people are only going to get stronger. Human interaction online is going to get better. The Internet is still a very new thing, and we are still trying to figure out how to connect with people and make these interactions more meaningful.
PA.O: Thanks for giving us that sense of perspective. It’s so easy to forget that the Internet formed in the ‘90s I think or a bit before then?
Michael Doane: ARPANET, which was the government’s first initiative, started right after World War II. The public got a taste of it in the ‘80s. We can say it is not even 20 years old in being a household name.
PA.O: The Internet is very young. It is up to content marketers, advertisers, users – everyone to help steward it.
Michael Doane: I think it was Seth Godin, one of my favorite marketers, who said we are all advertisers. We all have some kind of message we are trying to get out there. I think advertising in a sense is culture, society and art.
So when you go to Times Square, think of how many people take pictures of that area. It is a part of the culture. It is art. All of those ads people are seeing and interacting with – they are art.
There is not one thing you experience that doesn’t have a sense of advertisement in it.