He has more than 15 years of experience and first started as a publishers’ representative, selling ad space and helping them develop placement schedules.
Now, he works with high-profile clients to disseminate his extensive knowledge, expertise and proven best-practices with a laser focus on the automotive industry.
Joe shared some of his thoughts on programmatic advertising in the interview below:
PA.O: In your opinion, how is programmatic advertising – the growing prevalence of marketing automation, data mining and the cloud – changing the world?
Joe Tarell: With great innovation and tremendous amounts of data, we also have a tremendous responsibility. The changes are here and accelerating because of the ability to mine data. I have always believed that knowledge is power. When I was managing a sales team, this was the first priority, getting the team to embrace the knowledge and be the smartest person in the room.
The Internet has made the world smaller by making knowledge bigger. It is changing the political landscape across the world, and it is definitely changing the way we advertise and market.
PA.O: So, what systems and ways of thinking do you think are being completely disrupted by the emergence of programmatic buying? What about by digital advertising in general?
Joe Tarell: Advertising has always been about the audience. Whether it is demographic, geographic, psychographic or just broad reach, the target audience is what we buy when we buy advertising. Programmatic buying and the power of targeted digital advertising allow us to zero in on the audience that suits our products and services better than we ever have before. We not only know the audience, but we know the mindset of each person to a large degree because we know what they are reading at the moment we place our advertisement in front of them.
PA.O: Do you think this is affecting our culture? And, if so, is this for better or worse?
Joe Tarell: I believe it is better. Advertising is not going away; it works. Some may find it intrusive, but I find it more intrusive when someone guesses about who I am and what my interests are and then places ads in front of me. I jokingly tell my buddies that I am giving up golf because when I watch tournaments, the advertising tells me that they are all a bunch of ED suffering, pill poppers who care about nothing but insurance and investing their money. I don’t take any prescription drugs, hate insurance, and I have way more important things to worry about than my money, but as a golf viewer I have been unfairly labeled.
PA.O: Given what you’ve stated, what might be the biggest growth areas for advertising?
Joe Tarell: If I knew that, I would have a lot more money to worry about. I go back again to my time as a sales manager. No one likes it when a salesperson product pukes. I get it; you know everything about your product, and you want to tell me. Asking questions is the way a professional approaches it, and I wish our advertising would follow the same model. We need to find ways to better target advertising by asking our audience what they are interested in, not just data mining their preferences. Imagine if your television show or your favorite website asked you to pick your top three areas of interest and we will direct our advertising accordingly, or opt-out and pay a monthly fee for ad-free TV. I am oversimplifying things, but we must get better at aligning with our audience and not restrict data collection.
PA.O: Can you tell us about any campaigns over the past year that have caught your attention in a good or bad way? Why did they stand out to you?
Joe Tarell: Since I have the forum – can we please stop advertising prescription drugs on TV? Obviously the worst are the ED, but when you spend more time listing the side effects than telling us about your product there is a problem. Then you realize that we are advertising to someone so he or she can prescribe his or her own medication. I always imagine my 82-year-old father telling his doctor, “I want you to put me on this drug I saw on TV.” And I hope his doctor tells him to go back to med school and then he can recommend drugs.
On another note, video pre-roll is pretty cool to me because [when] people have chosen to watch a particular news clip, how-to or humorous video you can align the advertising. Video for advertising has always had the allure of full motion and sound, but with TV it was just too hard to target the audience as well as I would like. Automotive advertisers have wasted so much money over the years on TV because “cars look good moving.” With just about 5 percent of the audience in the market for a car at any one time and maybe 20 percent max that would even consider your model, 99 percent of the audience is wasted just so you can show your car driving in the commercial.
PA.O: What excites you about the future of digital advertising? What are you looking forward to?
Joe Tarell: The thing that excites me most is how fast it changes. I just wish I was smart enough to be ahead of the changes, but it keeps me young trying to keep up. I have always felt that there was room for industry and activity specific search engines and Apps. Google, like all great monopolies will eventually lose luster, and I think the next billionaires are those that figure out where they are going to get beat. Right now Google controls too much of the online ad revenue and mind share.
PA.O: Let’s play devil’s advocate. What are some of your concerns about the future of digital advertising? What keeps you up at night?
Joe Tarell: Government control and band width. The government thinks they have to legislate everything and the information grid is still pretty fragile. It takes a ton of data to fully utilize the Internet for effective targeted digital advertising, and information in the wrong hands is dangerous, so I can see those two things slowing us down.
PA.O: Every generation has its game changers – those people like the Steve Jobs’ of the world. What would you like to tell our next generation of innovators?
Joe Tarell: The greatest innovators never worried about the money or tried to create something with money in mind. They wanted to be great, wanted to build a great product or service and the money followed. Check out Simon Sinek’s TED video – Start with Why.