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Discussion Point News & Analysis

AOL Unveils Plan to 'Mechanize' Ad Purchases

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Maybe you haven't thought about AOL in a decade or so, but Tim Armstrong has thought about little else.

Today the company's CEO unveiled the culmination of the company's four-year string of acquisitions of advertising technology companies -- a new cross-channel platform called One that he vows will do for ad sales what containerized cargo did for shipping.

The company not only unveiled a "mechanized" platform, but rebranded AOL Networks to AOL Platform just to ensure that the 600-plus marketers in the audience at ad:tech San Francisco got the point. The formal launch of One will follow later this year.

For our 20-something readers, AOL got  big -- really, really big -- when you and the World Wide Web just still toddlers. As use of the Web soared in the late '90s, as many as 30 million people relied on America Online to get onto the Internet.

Programmatic Shaping the Future of TV Ad Buying

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Programmatic ad buying is efficient, effective and delivers real time behavioral insight. It refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising, rather than traditional process that include RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders.

In simple terms, it's using machines to buy ads. Now some online ad buyers who are using "programmatic" trading techniques for video are exploring options for using the same digital processes for ads on TV, as I learned at a recent Simulmedia Salon on the future of video advertising.

Discussion Point: Programmatic Marketing - What is it & Should We Use it?

Does the term programmatic marketing leave you scratching your head as you think "What is that again?" You are not the only one. Many marketers seem to be in the dark with regards to Programmatic Marketing, which led us to gather a group of experts and ask them not only what it is, but also, should we be doing it?

Discussion Point: Records Management Influenced by Cloud, Collaboration Technologies

shutterstock_40040128.jpg The world continues to evolve and as it does so too do the tools and technologies we work with every day, including those that records managers must use. We gathered a group of experts and asked them whether or not the advance of these technologies changed the way they work. Their answers will certainly get you thinking.

Discussion Point: Gamification & Unhealthy Competition

Gamification is certainly a hot topic nowadays. We've seen the power it has to engage customers, and now many companies are turning to gamification within the workplace in hopes to engage their employees like they have their customers. But is it a good idea, or does gamification cause an unhealthy competition amongst co-workers?

Discussion Point: Marketing Automation - Feature vs Platform

We've been hearing a lot lately about Marketing Automation and how businesses can provide better web experiences to their customers through its use. But what is Marketing Automation? A feature? A platform? We asked our panel this very question and received some very interesting responses.

Discussion Point: Marketing Automation - Consistency vs. Best of Breed

We've spent a lot of time in February talking about how we can build better web experiences with the help of marketing automation. While the technology is all there, how it works together is often questionable, especially when we look at the difference between integrating best of breed technology and investing in a platform that does it all (a suite we use to call it). The big question we put out to our panel, is what is the best technology approach when working with WEM and MA?

Discussion Point: Social Technologies Are Changing How, And How Fast, We Collaborate

Collaboration is not a new thing organizations suddenly know how to do, they've been doing it for years. But the technology and the strategies that support enterprise collaboration have changed and are still changing. A hallway conversation, a telephone call, an email -- these are still common ways to work together, but social technologies are starting to take center stage. And it's only just begun.

Discussion Point: From Data to Decisions - Real-Time Analytics Support the Customer Experience

Every organization captures data -- social media analytics, customer interactions, website traffic and other metrics, the list goes on. That the amount of data collected is growing exponentially is no surprise, that technologies are emerging every day to help us capture and analyze this data is also no surprise. But how are these analytics and data support tools changing to help better support the customer experience and what can we expect from these technologies in the next few years? That's the question we asked our esteemed panel in today's Discussion Point.

Discussion Point: The Hardest Part of Content Marketing Is...

For so long, we have been taught that marketing is about persuading people to buy something. It's about the end result -- the sale. Well things have changed and marketing has evolved. Yes, many online marketing processes are still about that end result, but there's a another way to build loyal subscribers to your brand, and it's not about selling, it's about providing something valuable -- information. That is the essence of content marketing. What's the hardest part of content marketing? Now that's a good question.

Discussion Point: How Does Responsive Design Change Digital Marketing & Channel Management?

Today's digital marketers must deliver content across a number of channels and devices. Doing that, while providing a consistent brand experience at a reasonable cost is critical. This is what responsive design is meant to do. But how exactly does this development strategy change the marketer's processes? This is what we asked our panel this week.

Discussion Point: What Does the Yammer Acquisition Mean for Microsoft SharePoint?

Microsoft made it official this week -- it is taking the enterprise social network provider Yammer under its wing. The news has brought up a number of questions, including what this means for SharePoint. In this week's discussion point we went out and asked a number of industry analysts and Microsoft partners for their views. Here's what they said.

Discussion Point: Does Open Source Encourage and Support Innovation?

Open Source and Innovation are two words you hear often in the content management industry, sometimes in the same sentence. But how exactly does open source encourage innovation? The question was raised with three open source vendors: Hippo, Liferay and Nuxeo. What follows are the responses.

Editor's Note: Discussion Point is a new bi-weekly column where we will go out to various industry experts and ask questions focused on current events, and business/technologies strategies being used today. If you have a question that you think would be good to ask or have an opinion to share, drop us an email at

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