Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

Where’s the year gone? Seems like just yesterday, I made (and broke) all my New Year’s resolutions. Although the year isn’t over yet, we’ve truly made some behemoth strides in this industry. It’s no wonder we’re looking forward to the upcoming holiday (and vacation) season.

Though it’s interactive folk’s nature to typically play the part of the victim and obsess over what percentage of the budget we did or didn’t get, I thought it might be nice to view the glass as half full for a change. After all, it’s the time of the year when we’re supposed to stop, reflect, and give thanks.

Before we get all giddy, we should ground all this optimism in an understanding that while we’ve come far, we still have much before us. The media landscape is changing at a remarkable pace. It will take the fortitude of each and every one of us to continue the march forward.

That said, a few of the things I’m most thankful for in our industry.

I’m thankful:

  • We’re beyond the days of “why” and on to “when” and “how.”

  • We operate in an industry that’s still fluid and provides endless possibilities.
  • We’re past over-promising and under-delivering.
  • We have tools and processes to make the chore of getting a campaign off the ground easier than ever before.
  • I work with a great team.
  • For all the times a campaign launches on time.
  • We’re getting improved billing and reconciliations systems.
  • For the times I watch a client light up as they see their campaign go live.
  • The past 10 years of trial and error made us better prepared for the impending iTV revolution.
  • Consumers are in control.
  • TV ratings have declined.
  • DVRs were invented.
  • Thirty-second TV spots are being questioned.
  • There’s a crossroads in the evolution of marketing — and we’re in the center of it.
  • For strong, vibrant industry organizations that work on behalf of all of us.
  • To be part of a dedicated group of industry warriors who won’t give up.
  • For “reach, frequency, and rating points” used in the same sentence as “interactive media plan.”
  • Integrated media programs are more than the sum of their parts.
  • We’re right on the cusp of defining (and agreeing on) an ad impression.
  • We’re working on reducing the number of ad sizes from 11,000 to 4.
  • Flash is so damn cool.
  • “Media” is the new “creative.”
  • Broadband penetration will take us from a world of information to a world of entertainment.
  • My mother is beginning to understand what I do.
  • Cell phones have larger displays and full polyphonic sound.
  • Online inventory actually sells out.
  • CPMs are climbing again. (Did I just say that?)
  • We’re making every attempt to reduce pop-ups, pop-unders, spam, spyware, and substandard creative.
  • Clients are setting aside robust test budgets for 2004.
  • For my wonderful wife and my adorable daughter Alexa, who is 15 months old (not industry related, but I had to say it).

I’m certain if I thought a little longer, I could add a few pages to this list. Though we always bellyache about something, we do have much to be thankful for.

Market forces are aligning in a way that compel us into a period of rapid deployment, expansion, and adoption. Those “missing people 18-34” we’ve seen in the trades as they relate to plummeting TV ratings will stoke the flames. Advances in technology and possibilities they open for marketers will provide still another catalyst for change.

As you bite into that turkey drumstick tomorrow, take a moment to think about how fortunate we are and what great stuff we have to look forward to.

Happy Turkey Day!

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