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Fear of slow moving trains—why marketers don’t process threats before it’s too late

by Christina Smith

18 November 2020 17:26pm

New Thoughts, New Ideals

This week’s New Thoughts, New Ideals column was written by Rick Erwin, CEO of Adstra.

Everyone remembers the scene from “Austin Powers” where one of Doctor Evil’s henchmen is crushed by a cement roller. The joke stems from the fact that the vehicle is moving extremely slow, and that the character, rather than simply moving out of the way, stays put and screams for an inordinately long time, before being crushed underfoot. “South Park” has used a similar joke only with the character on a literal train track. The trope is enduring, obvious comedy. [Copyright New Line Cinema]

These scenes would be a lot funnier if they didn’t provide such a fitting allegory for how marketers face the largest issues impacting their industry.

Whether it's data privacy regulation, the rise of walled gardens, or the deprecation of the third party cookie, marketers consistently demonstrate a preference for panic over prevention. Most of these trends have been underway for many years. Their realities and implications have been outlined by exhaustive research, debated and discussed at industry conferences, and in many cases been communicated through outright warnings. Most marketers I speak to are more than familiar with their ramifications. And yet, few are prepared.

Perhaps that’s because despite broad consensus on what needs fixing there’s little consensus on how to fix it. The problems are obvious, but the solutions are not.

That’s likely because the companies responsible for providing these solutions are addicted to old business models, outmoded service offerings, and antiquated technology. Data companies and ad-tech point solutions cling desperately to legacy systems that exacerbate rather than solve the problems that marketers face today. They have little incentive to change until marketers wake up and demand it. And marketers, seized by panic, have not known what to ask for.

The solutions do exist. At Adstra, we have assembled a team of veterans from the data and digital marketing industry to pursue a disruptive strategy that refashions the technology and economic model for data.. We believe in a value-based approach where marketers can apply data to all dimensions of their efforts without incurring incremental costs for each application. We believe in the balance between cloud-based technologies and expert service from seasoned professionals, without relying on one over the other. And we believe marketers should be able to perform any action on their data behind their own firewall, deriving the maximum value from their data without having to expose it to risks at every handoff.

The slow-moving trains are finally arriving at their destination. The time to act is now. The dawn of a new ideal in data is upon us.

Get on board before it’s too late.


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