## (2/24) #coding and (2/26) programmatic ad buying and native advertising

Alright, alright, alright. It’s nuts to think we are heading into the home stretch of the quarter. We don’t have that many classes left together (sniff). So, let’s finish it strong!

You’ve heard several people talk in our Hangouts about how important it is for a digital marketer to have the ability to code. A couple of years ago, I saw this blog from Wade Foster about what it takes to be a “Full Stack Marketer”. Some things have changed, but I think most of it is still relevant. Scroll down to #17 and Wade writes:

A marketer who can get their hands dirty will be much more effective than one that always has to lean on a developer. Being able to edit the copy directly via HTML {or} reposition an element on the page via CSS will let a marketer iterate quicker without distracting the development team.

I’m still not entirely sure what “iterate” means there, but whatever, it sounds classy.

We’re going to get a little “multimedia” this week. First, watch this short video about one of the original computers developed by Alan Turing, the real life hero from the Oscar nominated, Cumberbatch featuring movie “The Imitation Game“. (I saw this last month with @MktgLove_WWU, his wife and my son. When the credits rolled Hunter said, “That was awesome.” He’s in 1st grade.)

Now, I think that you guys have experience with some programming in your MIS classes. What I would like for you to do for Tuesday is go to Codecademy, sign up and register, when you get to the learn page scroll down below the fold and find the section entitled “Language Skills” and click on “HTML & CSS”.

Codecademy HTML and CSS

When you start, take a screen shot that shows the time. (If you don’t know how to do this … figure it out.) After two hours stop, then take another screen shot of the time so we can see how far you progressed.

One last reading for Tuesday, it’s from Nautilus Magazine and it’s entitled “Moore’s Law is About to Get Weird”. I’ve mentioned Moore’s Law in the past, and sometimes I’ve referred to it also as the “Lego Movie” law (another one of Hunter’s favorites) because Moore’s Law makes everything awesome. So for your blog on Tuesday, write about:

  1. Why you think coding is a good skill for a beginning digital marketer
  2. What was the experience like using Codecademy
  3. What are some potential product applications for chemical and wetware computing

On Thursday, we’re going to talk more about paid advertising, but going away somewhat from the PPC/SEM stuff we talked about this week. Specifically, we’re going to talk about programmatic ad buying and native advertising. First off, what is programmatic ad buying? Did that make any sense? Would you rather have it explained to you as if you were 8? Or how about a dummy? And check it out comScore is involved! Why do people think this is such a revolutionary thing?

The other part of paid that I want to talk about is native advertising. It’s the theoretically seamless integration of advertising into editorial content. Traditional publishing used to call this “advertorials”, but it’s getting a lot of buzz now in digital marketing. It’s a tricky subject, that can sometimes confuse the reader and even embarass the advertiser. Check out this screenshot I took of a native advertising piece about friend of the class Aseem Badshah.

Native advertising problem screen shot


As they should, Geekwire identified the piece has having been sponsored by Comcast. But check out the headlines on the left hand side of the page. Kinda weird, right? Makes everyone look bad, imho.

Podcasts are an interesting vehicle for native advertising and this article from the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review talks about it’s use in a new podcast called Startup. I’m a big fan of this podcast, it’s excellent. I recommend you listen to it from the beginning. But, for class on Thursday, please listen to Episode #9 – “We Made a Mistake”. It really illustrates one of the major potential pitfalls for native advertising.

So for your blog on Thursday, write about where you think paid advertising is going. The thing I find most interesting about this is programmatic and native advertising seem completely opposite. As more and more “premium” advertisers migrate their ad dollars to digital, what would you recommend they do?

Whew, that’s a lot. Have a great weekend and see you Tuesday.

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