Slice and dice your way to nothing; Vogel’s advice to publisher moguls

Here’s today’s roundup of AdExchanger.com news… Want it by email? Register here.

The illusion of personalization

The ability to dynamically scale creatives and A/B test dozens, if not hundreds, of permutations of ad campaigns, all potentially targeting specific audience types, has moved marketers away from creating ad campaigns. ‘a single piece of self-contained and attractive creation for as many people as possible. .

But is this a good thing? Not really, writes marketing consultant Samuel Brealey in a blog post.

“Over the past ten years, the temptation has been to view advertising and marketing as a technical feat due to the explosion of new technologies and to overstate its importance in all marketing tools,” writes Brealey.

Enthusiasm for personalization only adds complexity and cost to campaigns.

Rather than going back to basics, brands have increased segmentation to the point of stifling marketing. By cutting audiences into smaller and smaller segments, marketers end up creating audience groups so small that they have diminishing returns. Finding women with children who are passionate about household items could reduce a universe of 100,000 potential customers to a few thousand. It’s a poor trade-off, despite what appears to be a targeting advantage.

“In general,” writes Brealey, “the best advertising for one audience is the best advertising for all audiences.”

Don’t call it a comeback

Comeback stories are rare on the internet.

But About.com is an exception to this rule. Under the leadership of CEO Neil Vogel, the Web 1.0 fixture was transformed into Dotdash-Meredith, IAC’s top cash contributor.

At Brian Morrissey’s The reboot newsletter, Vogel details how Dotdash-Meredith’s focus on intent-driven audiences, page load speeds, and fewer and better ads has been a recipe for success in the publishing market difficult today.

The market has increasingly focused on contextual marketing, lower funnel performance, and e-commerce, Vogel says.

For Vogel, the media game is simple: “Collect and serve audiences that have value, make yourself valuable to them, deliver them to advertisers in a way that works for your audience and your marketer. Oh is that it?

And, when it comes to e-commerce, he says publishers should focus on affiliate marketing rather than making their own products.

The traditional approach to media can seem counter-intuitive as digital publishing and advertising technology continue to converge. But Vogel gave this advice to advertisers: “Anyone who thinks they’re going to reinvent the rules of historical media, don’t give them money. Any publisher who tells you they’re a tech company, run for the hills.

Save a batch

Disney and Uber seem to be co-marketing pretty heavily right now: Disney to fill its pool of Disney+ prospects, and Uber is just thirsty for advertising partnerships.

For one, this week Uber and Disney unveiled a subscription promotion that offers two free months of “Disney Bundle” (Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+) to Uber Eats customers. And vice versa: Disney+ subscribers can redeem six free months of Uber One (a $100-a-year membership program with free or discounted rides and Uber deliveries), plus a $25 credit on their first Uber eats order.

Streaming content partnerships are low-hanging fruit for Uber Ads, as the company’s data-driven media business is called. Uber riders — especially Uber One subscribers who use the service regularly or for longer periods of time — might be tempted by a streaming trial when faced with a long commute.

Michelle Grant, senior information manager at Salesforce for the consumer goods and retail category, tweeted an in-app Uber advertising experience that constantly offered a UFC stream. You can buy the UFC stream or, hey, guess what: it comes with the Disney bundle.

But wait, there’s more!

TikTok has a few main ingredients for making money. [Bloomberg]

More on TikTok: An FCC commissioner is calling on Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores, calling the app a national security risk. [Insider]

Patrick Stox at Ahrefs: Almost half of clicks on Google Search Console go to hidden terms. [blog]

Netflix has disrupted entertainment with binge watching. Can he now avoid the disturbance himself? [WSJ]

You are engaged!

Joshua Lerman is promoted to CEO of the Kepler Group. [release]

Constant Contact appoints a new Human Resources Director and a Strategy Director. [release]