Mike Seiman, CEO & Chairman, Digital Remedy
Technology has been at the core of our business from the very beginning. After operating in digital advertising and media for 20 years, the seemingly dramatic changes we have faced between then and now, have in reality, simply been improvements and evolutions of existing technologies that were already in place—one opportunity yielding another. With each twist and turn the industry has faced, one thing has remained constant: the ongoing relationship between humans and technology.
In its infancy, advertising was a completely linear medium; it was tangible and physical. Yet, technology has been at the forefront of the industry since its very birth, enhancing the ability for an advertiser to reach a consumer. Newspaper, as an example, has evolved from a linear medium to a completely digital medium. In the early days, distribution, printing, ad placement, and sales were all physical. Today, technology has led to automation of every aspect of the Newspaper business from payments, to ad sales, placements, and even reporting (farewell tear-sheets), dramatically impacting the field and the future of media as a whole.
Even the birth of the internet included linear transactions: disk drives with creative assets, the ad space was sold through telephone conversations, mail, and payments were made through manual checks. Ads were “manually” placed and removed from webpages as a flight launched and completed. The physical, human element ever present.
Media and advertising industries evolved, as did the technology that allowed for rapid automation. Ad servers and CRMs were created to track and schedule the running of ads, channels such as search, social, and video developed and matured into stronger outlets that advertisers could leverage to get media in front of consumers. Today, we see linear advancing in OTT, with audio and digital out-of-home not far behind.
Technology has woven itself into the creation and development of each new medium, outlet, and ad format. When individuals identify opportunities within the market, they leverage technology to not only bring it to life, but to automate and mature the process to successfully deliver to the masses. As the industry progresses, we can only assume that more and more advancements will be created through both linear and digital assets, automating the entirety of the process and yielding tremendous amounts of data along the way.
It is clear that we are moving towards a world where one day the advertiser will be able to tell a machine the type of person they wish to sell to, their age, demographic, interests, and more. They will identify the type of product they have, and their margin on that product, and at the click of a button, the machine will identify the exact plan of action (media plan included) for the advertiser. From the type of advertising they should do, the execution tactics, how much they should spend, and what the ROI will be.
I’m sure this both scares and elates people in the industry. I for one, am excited about what the future will hold and the role we will play in that future. While the changes may be coming at a quicker pace than ever before in the previous 20 years, they were always there, consistently evolving humans, technology, and the relationship they share in the advertising space along the way.
About the Author: Mike Seiman is the CEO & Chairman of Digital Remedy, a digital media solutions company leading the tech-enabled marketing space he co-founded while still a college student at Hofstra University in the early 2000s. The company has grown quickly and is now a major player within the crowded digital advertising landscape. The rapid growth of Digital Remedy, formerly CPXi led to its inclusion on Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest-growing privately-held advertising/marketing companies in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014. Mike was selected as a semi-finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year initiative in 2010 and 2013 and as a finalist in 2009 and 2014. In his free time, Mike serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Hofstra University. He also focuses on numerous philanthropic initiatives including sitting on the boards of the H.E.S. (Hebrew Educational Society non-profit community center) and Children International, where he spearheaded the development of community centers in both Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2010 and Barranquilla, Colombia in 2014.