Michael Estrin is freelance writer. He contributes regularly to iMedia, Bankrate.com, and California Lawyer Magazine. But you can also find his byline across the Web (and sometimes in print) at Digiday, Fast Company, Nerve.com, and on MSN and Yahoo, to name a few. He's also written copy for a few brands you've probably heard of.
In the past, Mich... more
If you aren't in touch with customer feelings, you're missing an important opportunity. Here are the brands striking that emotional chord.
Need to get up to speed on native? Here are the most important players and trends shaping the space.
There's no shortage of great voices coming out of the marketing industry. Here are the essential blogs you should be reading and why.
Serious questions are being raised about whether ads are really reaching their target audiences. Here's why the most common explanations are the least helpful.
Do you have what it takes to be a strong digital marketer? Industry experts share the necessary traits to take your career to the next level.
If brands aren't considering the best ways to converse with customers, they are missing out on priceless insights. Here's how to begin.
You know about the importance of big data. But what does it look like when marketers put it into action? Find out how these brands made a big splash with big data.
After some initial resistance from users, Instagram has become a powerful platform for brands. Check out the early winners and how to get in the game.
Your budget isn't unlimited, so don't throw away valuable marketing dollars. Here are seven spending mistakes you're making and how to correct them.
The mobile revolution is well underway. But is your brand doing mobile the right way? Find out from the experts in the field.
Keeping an agency prosperous isn't as easy as it once was. These warning signs indicate that you might need to alter course.
Google isn't just a search giant. With a seemingly endless supply of digital products and tools, it's also a goldmine for marketers. Find out which Google tools marketers consider essential.
In the last few years, virtually every brand has taken on a publisher's mindset. But thinking like a publisher and winning as a publisher are two different things. Just ask these brands.
Content marketing is all the rage. But are your metrics set up to measure success? Or is your brand just fooling itself?
While most brands bring their A-game for the holiday season, there are always a few duds. And this past holiday season was no exception.
The marketers behind these ads still have their palms to their faces. Here are the brands that catastrophically failed this year.
If you think you've made some bad calls in the past, check out these awful marketing decisions that caused serious staff cutbacks at AOL, Nokia, P&G, Hostess, and Netflix.
Pssssst. Have you heard? We're doing a roundup of our favorite industry gossip, misunderstandings, and downright lies.
Trying to create powerful connections with consumers in real-time can be a dangerous game. Here's how some brands are turning big risks into bigger rewards.
Marketers hear about "the next big thing" every week. But most bright and shiny objects end up fizzling. Let's look at a few examples.
The big data revolution is transforming our world, but marketers are losing sight of the forest for the trees. Here's a look at big data in context to ensure a solid strategy.
Publishers are increasingly offering brand advertisers the creative services once provided by agencies. But every publisher is a little different. Let's compare.
Not every brand uses an agency. These companies prefer to keep the work in-house. Find out why.
Email marketers need to get into the mobile mindset or risk losing their coveted place in the consumer's inbox. Here's how to email in the mobile future.
You've heard the pitch: Deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. But is that a promise an agency can really keep?
Social media bots can be valuable scheduling tools for your brand, but they can do real damage when left unattended. Before you hand over the reins, heed this advice.
When marketing goes bad, it goes really bad. Find out which brands failed the hardest this year.
There's an art to creating great infographics, so it takes guidance from industry experts to turn your data into a meaningful message. Here's their best advice.
Want to grow your brand's presence on YouTube? Consider these essential lessons in video from four YouTube sensations.
Does your brand have a Pinterest strategy? These six questions will help you get the ball rolling and plan for the hurdles you'll encounter.
Which blogs are must-reads for digital marketers? Our recommendations might surprise you.
BuzzFeed is quickly becoming a launching pad for brands that are serious about publishing their own content. Find out which brands are buzzing on BuzzFeed and scoring some serious earned media.
If brands are becoming content publishers, then it's time for a crash course in launching your YouTube channel. Here's what you need to know.
Tumblr may not have as much B2C cache as its competitors, but that doesn't mean the platform is irrelevant to marketers. In fact, it's the platform of choice for many agency creatives. Find out why.
A lot of marketers have no clue what near field communication is, but savvy insiders are beginning to unlock its potential. Here's a cutting-edge guide to NFC to lift your brand's profile.
Should brands talk politics, religion, and social issues? These brands did. See if it worked out for them.
Is your brand's Facebook page lagging behind? Or worse, is it still on the drawing board? Check out these essential tips from the experts for creating the ultimate branded Facebook page.
Can marketers tap into the influence of a meme? Sure, but to do so, you need to speak the language. Here's what you need to know.
Are you thinking about adding a practice area to your agency? Before you do, take a moment to hear from your peers about what you need to know before you flip the switch.
Brands big and small are leveraging Facebook apps to make powerful emotional connections with users. Let's take a look at some of the best work in this small but impactful category.
Is your agency's website a failure? If some of these red flags describe your site, you need to up your game -- now!
As ad targeting gets more sophisticated, marketers are becoming increasingly adept at slicing and dicing audiences. But does that mean traditional demographics are a thing of the past?
Is your client rethinking its relationship with your agency? Look for the telltale signs, and consider these strategies for salvaging an account that may be in jeopardy.
Thinking of starting your own shop? Find out what these agencies really learned in their first year of business, and how you can use that information to make your startup succeed.
Are you thinking about adding a practice area to your agency? Before you do, you might want to take a moment and hear from some peers about what you need to know before you flip the switch.
Your brand just has to have a viral video for its next campaign, right? But is this an attainable goal? Find out what agencies really think when they hear the phrase "viral video."
Industry events can be time well spent, but making the most of conferences is an art. Find out what you need to do to make your next tradeshow a masterpiece.
Turning to the masses for creative is nothing new, but scoring big with outsiders' ideas isn't so easy. Here's how effective crowdsourcers make a good idea great.
Are any agency blogs worth reading? Actually, yes. Find out which ones we like and why.
Want to understand the forces that will shape digital in 2011? The conversation starts here, and here's your chance to be a part of it.
Advertising is coming to Twitter. Check out how the leading social media agencies are reacting.
When disaster strikes a brand, social media channels are the front lines. Find out what you need to know to win the battle.
A lot of brands are turning to social causes to amplify their own messaging and engage consumers on a deeper level. Find out the rules for the road.
Are we in the middle of a social media bubble? A blog at the Harvard Business Review says yes. Let's see what marketing specialists have to say.
In a world where anyone can knock out a short YouTube video in less than a day, long-form video may be that rare beast that allows advertisers to do something really different online.
Standing out in a competitive job market is no easy task. Find out what gets these interactive executives excited when they're sifting through resumes.
The iPad could very well change a lot of aspects of digital marketing. Here are the reasons online video will most certainly be one of them.
Going viral demands true entertainment value. Here are some recent branded campaigns that delivered just what viewers wanted.
How does a brand that traces its origins back to the 19th century stay at the cutting edge of digital? We asked Levi Strauss & Co.'s CMO to give us the rundown on how he approaches digital.
Find out why the digital/traditional distinction does more harm than good, and why beautiful websites aren't all they're cracked up to be in this interview with the CEO of Publicis & Hal Riney.
See what those in the industry have to say about common misconceptions that plague the ad network business.
Staying on the cutting edge of digital advertising is hard enough, but getting your client to join you there is the real challenge. Find out what strategies will help take your client into the future.
Need help separating the hype from the hits? Here is a breakdown of which emerging platforms aren't quite ready for primetime.
Low media prices are great for media buyers and advertisers, but here's why we need to develop a model that provides value to publishers, advertisers, and users.
Think great web design is a budget-buster? Think again. Consider these tips for stretching your design dollar.
Humor can be an advertiser's best weapon, but when a joke goes bad, it can often ruin a campaign. Here's why it pays to make sure users laugh with, not at, your brand.
Overwhelmed by research reports, studies, and white papers? You're not alone. Find out how to cut through the clutter to isolate meaningful insights for your brand.
The right agency can be an invaluable partner for your brand. But that partner doesn't come cheap. Find out if your compensation model is on the money.
Confused about building your next website? Find out what you should be asking your design team -- and what types of answers to expect.
Need a new digital agency but don't know where to start? You're not alone. Find out what you should consider before inking a deal with a new digital partner.
Black hat SEO tactics should never be part of your search strategy, but many people still cheat the system. Whether it's a competitor or an agency you've hired, find out how to spot these schemers.
You pay a lot for your agency, but are you getting what you're paying for? Here are some tips that will ensure your agency gives you its all.
Big results come from big ideas. But big ideas come from all corners -- sometimes at the expense of your agency of record. Find out what that means for brand-agency relationships and how to get the best ideas without burning bridges.
There's no shortage of so-called social media experts, but not all have the know-how you need. Here's a look at a few agencies you might want to poke, friend, or even hire.
Lost in a sea of garbled tweets? Find out who's worth following and why. After all, on Twitter, you're only as good as the people you follow.
There are some good reasons why the popularity and value of ad networks continue to grow. Find out what it is that marketers find heavenly about this media planning partnership.
Think you can "set it and forget it" when you buy media from the middleman? Find out what marketers say can -- and does -- go wrong if you don't choose your network wisely.
Simply having a company blog might have set your marketing apart a few years back, but today brand blogs are a necessity. The question is, how do you make them worthwhile for your users?
Does your boss or client think Twitter is the only thing that matters? Tell them to think again. If time and resources are at a premium, Twitter can actually hurt your brand.
Staying ahead of the curve isn't easy. But for marketers, the ability to spot trends is more important than ever. Find out what tools and tactics your peers use to stay current.
SEO is critical, but how do you know it's working? Here are some tips and tools for spot-checking your SEO efforts and fixing the weaknesses.
Whether you're contemplating a massive overhaul or simply enhancing your features, website updates can be complex undertakings. See what you can learn from these recent redesigns that caught our eye.
Thinking about a homepage takeover? Consider these do's and don'ts before developing a creative strategy.
Searching for great creative but not sure where to look? These agencies may not be on your radar, but they should be.
Whether your brand has an official Twitter account or not, users on the microblogging platform are talking about you. And if you're not tweeting back, you're losing.
Bigger ads are on the way. But will they work? And more importantly, what will they mean for you?
Whether the economy is up or down, nothing beats free press coverage. But can you really get the media to carry your message? Here are five campaigns that did just that.
Burst launches a new network, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Think buying on social networks is all the same? Think again. LinkedIn's director of ad sales, Steve Patrizi, gives you the inside scoop on leveraging the space.
Peer39 adds to its board, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
At conferences like TechCrunch50, it practically rains startups. But finding a killer app isn't easy. To help sift through the hype, we turned to a former tech journalist and startup veteran for the inside scoop.
Sportgenic scores some cash, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Search campaigns on Google will now move at a dizzying pace thanks to a slew of changes with AdWords, but advertisers looking for an old-fashioned publisher relationship will want to call on LinkedIn.
With a winning product, Kraft took a calculated risk on a viral campaign that delivered huge results. Find out how.
Think interactive is all about machines and metrics? Marti Funk, Sportgenic's VP of client solutions and insights, says bringing value to users is really the name of the game.
While search got a knock on the door from the feds, Facebook made its facelift permanent and digital got a shot in the arm from leading CMOs.
Confused about when and how to link? Our panel of SEO gurus dishes the straight dirt on the best practices for inbound linking.
Those who thought the browser wars were over got a rude awakening when news broke that Google had attacked Microsoft's ubiquitous Internet Explorer. But beyond a battle between titans, what does Chrome mean for marketers?
The economy is giving many in digital a greater headache than previously thought, while Google is giving publishers a leg up, and Facebook may have given users more than they bargained for.
It may have been the most highly anticipated email/text in the history of digital marketing, but did Obama's decision to ditch television deliver the goods?
A Google clone highlights growing fears about the search engine, plus pre-roll makes a comeback, and the Olympics leave us wondering if there's really any gold for advertisers.
Marchex adds some new talent, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Who is to blame for falling CPMs, and which ad network gives marketers the reach they crave? Those questions and a stunning hiccup from Google dominated the top stories this week.
The Ballpark adds a new creative hire, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
On the web, good news travels fast, but disaster spreads at the speed of light. See which brands belly-flopped this week, and how MySpace nipped a potential catastrophe in the bud.
Gorilla Nation continues its quest for inventory, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Facebook has a new look, Yahoo is still independent and BT may be able to predict the future. Sort of. See what happened this week in interactive.
News of Adobe's decision to work with Google and Yahoo to make Flash searchable spread like wildfire. But so far, agencies aren't sure what this change really means.
Traditionally a male bastion for web content, online video has come a long way. But women haven't managed to close the gender gap just yet. Find out why and what that means for the future of video.
Hundreds of millions may be slashed from ad budgets, and the nation's biggest advertiser lost its CMO. Step inside and follow the money.
Impressions may be through the roof, but social networks aren't the apple of a serious media buyer's eye anymore. Get the inside scoop on what's working in that finicky space and why some brands just won't go there -- period.
Tremor Media gets international, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Confused about SEO? You're not alone. We reached out to leading SEO gurus, including Google's search evangelist and Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land, to uncover the truth behind the most common myths.
Revenue Science gets a new boss, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
FreeWheel brings in a big gun, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
If knowledge is power, digital media buyers may be falling behind their traditional predecessors. While a slew of products aim to arm buyers with better intelligence, will any of them fire the magic bullet?
Want to know what industry leaders think about the critical issues confronting online advertising? See the results from iMedia's Agency Summit in Austin, Texas.
Adconion goes on a hiring spree, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Haunted by a Netflix ad that wouldn't go away, we asked an easy question that led to some complicated answers for the future of online advertising.
Wondering how the latest interactive news affects your business? You're not the only one. See what's got marketers buzzing.
Think you've got all the metrics you need? Think again. Experts explain why the web has only just begun to scratch the surface for reporting.
Want to know the real dirt on how buyers and sellers interact? John Durham rounded up eight industry heavyweights and asked them to take the gloves off. See what happened.
Marketers are becoming increasingly cynical about the value of social networks. But many who work in the space say value is defined by what the brand brings to the table -- social networks aren't the mass media buy many thought they were.
What does hip-hop have to do with interactive marketing? Everything. At least that's how Russell Simmons sees it. See why.
CraveOnline picks up two hockey properties, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
ValueClick turns 10, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Microsoft dropped its Yahoo bombshell almost three months ago, and since then the U.S. has seen an economic downturn. But hard times might be good for Yahoo -- and the rest of the web. Find out why.
Is a social network really an ad platform? Consider the nature of the site before you buy.
Over the next three years, General Motors will shift half of its advertising budget to digital. Will that be enough to get the automobile manufacturer in gear?
The results are in. iMedia breaks down the numbers behind its survey of leading marketers and agencies.
The cracks and crevices of the digital landscape can be goldmines for marketers, according to David Scott Carlick. But knowing where to look will require a radical rethink of the industry's economic model.
Innovation may happen in a technology lab, but pushing those developments forward will be the task of creative executives. Here's a glimpse into the future of digital marketing.
If you think digital will kill TV or print, you're wrong. Jeffrey Cole explains that opportunities abound for traditional media, and with those opportunities comes a chance for advertisers to strike a new bargain with users.
For digital marketers, easy access to data has been a blessing. Trying to figure out what that data means looks to be a curse (for now).
If you think you understand web video, you're wrong, according to Shelly Palmer. But asking the right questions will count for more than a foolhardy belief that you've got all the answers.
Making sense of the web's fast-growing but fragmented video audience isn't easy. But the truth may be that reach is already here. It's just up to the marketers to find it.
The results are in. iMedia breaks down the numbers behind its survey of leading brand marketers.
Marketers may be ready for video ads, but are users ready to embrace the platform with open arms? We got the scoop from the people who matter most -- users.
Members may sign up for a chance at love, but marketers shouldn't dismiss dating sites for their campaigns. Dating gurus from two of the space's top sites share their advice.
MindComet VP Tara Lamberson talks shop and helps us make sense of the headlines that impact interactive marketers.
The digital revolution will not be televised. But if it is to succeed, Wenda Harris Millard says marketers must accept the idea of a shared space where consumers have control.
There have always been great ads, but is the quality of advertising great enough to rival content? Geoffrey Ramsey, Carol Kruse and Sean Finnegan debate the question of the day.
The M&A frenzy has created a lot of uncertainty. Our panel offers insights on what the advertising buying binge means for brand marketers.
One digital divide seldom discussed is the gap between brands and their consumers. Jeffrey Rayport offers some advice on how to narrow the chasm.
Platform A President Curt Viebranz goes behind the headlines to see how today's news impacts the industry's future in this Q&A.
Agencies aren't staying ahead of the digital curve, and no agency is "getting it right," according to Forrester Research. Here's what the agencies have to say in response.
Online video may look like TV, but so far the tiny computer screen hasn't been able to deliver the same reach as its larger-screened rival. A new startup aims to change that.
Fox, the once-perfect Patriots and the underdog Giants combined to create one of the biggest media events ever. But many of this year's ads treated the web as an afterthought. Did brands fumble the digital handoff?
Microsoft's $44.6 billion offer to buy Yahoo sent shockwaves through the interactive ad industry, but what does the mega-deal mean for marketers? Industry insiders read the tea leaves.
BrandinHand lands a top digital executive, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Despite electric growth rates, the reference space hasn't attracted a ton of ad dollars with the ad-free Wikipedia dominating the field. But Google's decision to launch Knol could change all that.
Brand advocates can be highly sought after resources in digital marketing, but do marketers really know what they're thinking? Meet some of the people behind user-generated videos.
The results are in. iMedia breaks down the numbers behind the results from its survey of leading agency executives.
Depending on who you ask, the proposed DNT list is either a massive mistake or a step in the right direction. Find out the pros and cons of an idea that could radically alter the marketing landscape.
The real-time audience survey results from last week's iMedia Agency Summit held some big surprises.
Confused by the industry's never-ending news cycle? Geoffrey Ramsey, eMarketer's CEO, sheds some light on the stories that are impacting the interactive industry.
Does industry hyperbole make it impossible to focus on strategy? Leading marketers cut through the confusion.
With the media business changing more in the last five years than in the prior 500, the IAC's Peter Horan explains how to stay ahead of the curve.
Getting paid what you're worth keeps interactive marketers up all night. A panel of industry experts explains how they solve the compensation conundrum.
Former Wal-Mart executive Julie Roehm goes behind the headlines to see how today's news impacts the industry's future in this Q&A.
Rather than focus on matching a brand's message with the best content, Andrew Heyward, former CBS News president, explains what's next for marketers and publishers.
When news broke earlier this week that Verizon Wireless had decided to open its network (perhaps to counter the threat from Google), mobile marketers rejoiced. Find out why.
If the 1988 WGA strike was the mother's milk of cable TV, might Hollywood's current labor strife be a boon for online entertainment?
Gorilla Nation launches a new vertical, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
An ad blocker has emerged from a distant corner of the web, erasing display ads and challenging the current business model. Is it an aberration or harbinger of hard times for interactive? Marketers are split.
Social networks are starting to target ads based on interests expressed by users. But are marketers relying on jokes, lies and deception when planning campaigns?
LinkedIn plucks a Microsoft sales vet, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Does Yahoo!'s new social network smack of desperation, or is it the stuff of inspiration? Get a sneak peek at Mash, Yahoo's answer to MySpace and Facebook.
Tremor Media taps some big guns, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
From porn to pop-ups to virtual worlds, Brian Shuster has done it all. What he hasn't done is share his hard-won knowledge with mainstream marketers...until now.
Make sure the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. Eyeblaster unveils a product that lets marketers track search and display together.
Not all in-game ad strategies are created equally. While this emerging platform promises stellar returns, only the savvy will survive.
Experimentation is risky, but less so than stagnating. Here's how to balance big ideas and the bottom line.
Upstream Group's president challenges interactive marketers to think about the media world in a new way.
Interactive is the new traditional, according to Crayon's Joseph Jaffe. This is our opportunity to not be traditional media, but we need an appetite for innovation.
While relationships with consumers were always important, real friendships are now critical in today's fragmented media environment.
Building on its acquisition of Right Media, Yahoo increases its investment in areas that fortify the portal's long-term success.
When the PC computer hit the scene, few people saw it as an advertising tool. But Surface, Microsoft's PC-killer, is built for brands. See what it can do.
In the information age, the only way for a brand to control its identity is to feed the hunger for knowledge.
In a mixed-bag ruling, the FCC split the difference between warring internet and telecom factions.
Facebook has come on so strong lately that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made his rivals look like fuddy-duddies. But will its meteoric rise equal MySpace-sized ad dollars?
Scripps Networks announces a new acquisition, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
News flash: Yahoo! is dead. But someone forgot to tell Jerry Yang. See how he plans to turn the company around and regain market share.
Sony's decision to relaunch Grouper as Crackle signals a shift away from user-generated video as we know it, but will high-quality virals deliver advertiser results?
Once a titan, then a digital punchline, AOL grabbed headlines by plunking down a reported $275 million for TACODA. But will BT return AOL to dominance?
TACODA flies high with a travel vertical, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Revision3 scores some financing, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Here are some ideas from today's mobile warriors on how to get your brand to live in your customers' hands.
ActionAds wins an eBay award, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Powell told Summit attendees that original content and passion were key to her success in interactive marketing.
NBC's Vivi Zigler says that content needs to be organic if it's going to be actionable.
Internet Broadcasting taps a former AOL exec, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
PodZinger gets a new name, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
If you're a brand, making friends on MySpace is the easy part; making your friends count is the challenge.
ValueClick names a new CEO, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
There's more to News Corp. than MySpace, but in Rupert Murdoch's bid to outfox us all, it's the perfect starting point: one friend at a time.
AdMob teams with Peperoni, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Recent college graduates have a dizzying array of choices, so how do marketers steer newly minted grads to their brand?
VMIX has partnered with Media General to manage its user-generated content, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
An iMedia Keynote Panel explores ways a brand can think about ROI when it chooses to engage interactively in the name of charity.
Consumers still prefer traditional media such as TV and print, DoubleClick's Rick Bruner told iMedia Agency Summit attendees.
iMedia's senior analyst advises Summit attendees to determine the direction their business will take, adopt a clear vision and plan proactively.
iMedia Summit panelists all stressed that working collaboratively is intrinsic to the internet and will help take the industry to the next stage of success.
ScanScout closes $7 million in its first round of institutional funding, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Experian acquires Emailing Solution, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Digitas launches its own production company, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
Sony spent up to $500 million on "Spider-Man 3." Here's a glimpse at the multimillion-dollar web.
For the first time in the history of the ad:tech awards, three individuals were honored with the Industry Achievement Award.
LiveWorld launches LiveWorld Video, plus other interactive industry launches, hires, partnerships and announcements.
"Fishing From a Barrel" author Rob Graham explains how to put the right ads in front of the right people.
Unicast by Viewpoint launches FUSE 2.0, plus other interactive industry hires, partnerships, launches and announcements.
EyeWonder wins three IAC awards, plus other interactive industry announcements, new hires, partnerships and launches.
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1 9 Facebook hacks that will blow your mind
2 The most meaningless (and hilarious) job titles on LinkedIn
3 How fraud is disrupting the ad industry
4 5 marketing tools you're using too much
5 7 stupid mistakes brands make as publishers