I want to be a (paid) Mad Man

I am now a PAID Mad Man

Posted in Blogs by jartkin on February 18, 2010

My name is Jamie Artkin and I am a (paid) Mad Man.

Finally! To many of the people that I worked with in the fall of 2009, I described by foray into advertising as a long and arduous process of getting a full-time, paying gig. Hence the name of the blog, I want to be a (paid) Mad Man.

I was scoffed at repeatedly because I had only been at it for four months. I came in, worked my butt off and in the end, it paid off. Like it was supposed to. Isn’t that why people intern in the first place? Get some experience under your belt and ultimately get hired at the firm you intern at, or set your self up to get hired on somewhere else.

I did it perfectly but the reality still seems to be that although things are getting better economically, there are still a tonne of twenty-somethings on the sidelines, still looking for a pay cheque.

Did I get lucky? Maybe. Was I more fortunate that I worked my butt off and got noticed enough to standout from the rest who were trying to scratch their way inside?

I think it was a little bit of both.

What is the lesson? Be tenacious. Any time you have some kind of contact or a lead, you have to utilize it. In the advertising industry it became quickly apparent to me that jobs aren’t handed out or posted on message boards. An email is sent from HR asking the staff to forward resumes of stars they may know.

So if you get forwarded an email like that, attack it like it is your job to lose.

Just my two cents, for what it’s worth.

So, from now on this blog will be a little bit lighter.

A little more sports, a little more humor.

What can I say, I’ve been on cloud nine for quite a while now.

Finally, I’m a (paid) Mad Man.

As always, follow me on twitter: @jamieartkin

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Intuitive Web Tools

Posted in Blogs by jartkin on December 18, 2009

Hi, my name is Jamie Artkin and I want to be a (paid) Mad Man.

A big part of my routine as an intern is using the web tools offered by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to track website analytics and adword performance. All of these search providers have developed tools to make it as easy as possible for users to intuitively make changes to their campaign or pull reports on web traffic.

Recently in a Canadian Business magazine article, Google was slammed for their idealology of being an innovative company. The magazine cited the examples of Google spending money buying small companies and marketing the tools such as Google Earth or the Android mobile operating system as their own. The premise of this article seemed to be, that despite having all of these ‘developed’ tools, Google was a company vuneruble to a newer more innovative company that could have a more comprehensive revenue stream.

This was immediately puzzling for a few reasons.

1. Google’s stock price is currently hovering around $550 per share

2. No one has ever reported that Google was in danger of being less than the biggest guy on the block

How can a company with stock price around $550 per share have such limited revenue streams? Why has no one, in the major media at least, reported that Google was so vunereble to a change in the market?

The other major search providers, Microsoft and Yahoo have been trying to take a bite out of Google’s monoply for some time now. There were takeover rumors for months and finally a search and revenue sharing agreement was reached. Google has maintained an almost 65% market share with Yahoo coming in second with about a 20% piece of the pie and Bing has made gains since its debut in August with just under a 10% share of the search market.

Can Yahoo or Bing continue to make gains in the search marketplace?

I would say no. Well, at least not major gains.

Yahoo can oust their CEO and reshuffle the board and Steve Balmer can storm around a stage like a Gorilla, but the fact remains that Google provides a far superior product than that of its competitors. What can Yahoo and Microsoft do, separate or in partnership to drive interest in their tools? They need to get back to their original core focuses. Microsoft became successful because they designed software that was better than anyone had ever seen. Today they rely on their windows operating system and office tools for the majority of their revenue. We can say these products are so good because they have woven their way into our everyday lives. I am typing this blog in Microsoft Word on the Windows XP operating system.

Can you name a better word processing program than Microsoft Word? Maybe it hasn’t been developed yet. What is the best application to play your music on your computer? The leader, by a large margin would be Apple’s iTunes. If you asked the same question 5 years ago the answer would have been a mix between say, Windows Media Player and WinAmp. Apple identified a market for a product and designed and developed iTunes to compete and eventually dominate the music application market.

Microsoft and Yahoo need to develop an application to compete with Google’s ad and analytics tools. Apple was able to build an application that was intuitive and made listen to music easier.

The reason that I use and prefer to use the Google tools is as I stated earlier. They are intuitive and they make my job easier. I don’t have to spend time trying to find out how to do something. Everything that I can possibly need is in front of me.

The Microsoft/Yahoo partnership needs to make lives easier with its tools, something that it has so far failed to do.

As always, don’t forget to follow me on twitter: @jamieartkin

The Future of Social Media in Sport

Posted in Blogs by jartkin on November 3, 2009

jamie profileHi, My name is Jamie Artkin and I want to be a (paid) Mad Man.

We are seeing an increasing amount of money being poured into social media with respect to professional sport leagues. With the cost of a ticket being what it is, the interaction that an organization has with a fan has changed in the last 5-10 years. Teams shifted from trying to get people into the building to multiple revenue stream systems: luxury boxes, restaurants, private suites.

The average fan has been priced out, but the teams still want them to be loyal, i.e. they still want their money, just without their presence in the building. No one will come out and say it directly, but its what they all are thinking.

At this point, the economics of sport are probably not going to change a whole lot, so the strategy has to be to maximize the experience that a fan can have from the comfort of his own home rooting for his favorite team.

1a. Teams need to expand the fan experience online.

Yes, networks and teams alike are experimenting to a certain degree to find the perfect medium of interaction with fans before, during and after games online. Owners like Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks however are pushing the envelope  to give Mavs fans more access and information than any other team in the league. He established the Mavericks social media site: friends.mavs.com, interacts with fans via twitter, @mcuban and also runs a successful blog: Blog Maverick.

What is the purpose of all this? I mean, he is a billionaire and the owner of a professional basketball team. Why is he putting himself within such easy reach of Dallas Mavericks fans? From the beginning of his ownership he has always wanted to maintain his sense of being a fan. He has wanted to provide an experience to his fans that he would find enjoyable and engaging.

Teams are going to see the success of the Mavericks social media effort and should follow suit.

1b. Networks need to expand the fan experience online.

It drives me crazy to see networks and sponsors go half way when trying to promote their brand or product. NBC and TNT have done a good job of transitioning its viewers from television to the internet by offering multiple camera angles and live chats, but there is so much more that can be done.

During the World Series, Fox has the ‘Direct TV Mobile Cam’ which follows a player who has just hit a home run as he rounds third base and heads home. Now I realize that Fox cannot stay with that camera for very long after a player has just crossed home because the next batter is at the plate, but why not take the rest of that action online? Offer instant analysis from a ‘hitting guru’, or during the playoffs have a great home run hitter like Albert Pujols for instance, give his insight about the pitch, the swing and the homerun.

How about one step further, after the analysis from Pujols cut right to the dugout and get the thoughts from the player himself. This is already done between innnings with managers, why not talk to the player after he has taken a seat in the dugout?

Its little things like this, simple really, that will take a fan experience to a whole new level. And lets not limit this to just Major League Baseball. How about talking to a hockey player on the bench right after he has scored a goal, or a quarterback after he throws a touchdown? Yes, these guys are in the middle of the game, but lets be honest, those first few minutes when catching your breath, these guys are talking to their teammates about what just happened on the field.

2. Consumers as content generators.

A phrase that has been used over and over by the likes of Mark Cuban and Washington Capitals owner, Ted Leonsis, the concept is tied to the average consumer creating content and being a champion of your brand. The problem as I see it is this: Owners realize that the economics of sport has caused the average fan to be priced out of the building, but in the same breath, economics is all about incentives. These average fans that the owners are relying on to be content generaters suddenly have no incentive to do so.

I like to call this ‘The Economics of Being a Fan’.

For example, the next generation of sports writers, the young men and women who are say 16-25, for the sake of this argument are interested in Hockey, Basketball, Football and Soccer. Because human nature is predisposed to taking the path of least resistance, is a writer who will have great access to attend games and get additional content going to feed off of that and become the next great Soccer writer, or are they going to be content sitting on their couch and writing about the Toronto Maple Leafs with no idea or image in their head of what it is like ot be in the building?

So yes, it is a great idea to to want to have your consumers as content generators, but if they cannot afford to see your product, where is the incentive for them to engage in your social media efforts?

How far sport has come in the last even five years is astounding. HD picture, multiple camera views, in game sounds, coaches being interviewed during breaks in a game. The industry has come so far, but there is still so much they can still do.

Owners like Mark Cuban and Ted Leonsis continue to push the envelope to make the fan experience that much better, that much sooner. All the while trying to balance the economics of owning a team with the economics of being a fan.

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter, @jamieartkin

Hiring Based on Category Experience

Posted in Blogs by jartkin on October 28, 2009

jamie profileHi, my name is Jamie Artkin and I want to be a (paid) Mad Man.

Through out my search for a full time (paid) position in the ad industry, I have quickly figured out there there are in fact jobs out there to be had. It may not seem like it when you don’t get a response from someone, or find out that the job has gone to someone with automotive experience, or specific category experience that a company is hiring for.

I have tried to properly articulate these feelings myself but I discovered Paul Gumbinner did the heavy lifting and has done it for me on AdAge.com with his piece entitled; “Stop Hiring Based Only on Category Experience”.

I know based on the confidence that I have in myself and in the reviews that I have gotten from some of the people who I currently report to, that companies I have applied to are making mistakes in not even bringing me in to interview for positions. Yes, I know that it is extremely competitive for positions right now and category experience is one of the easy ways to cut down the list of resumes on the pile, but at the same time, as Gumbinner talks about, companies are disqualifying highly skilled and motivated candidates because of what is on their piece of paper.

And again, I will reiterate that this may sound like a self-serving piece, but the reality is that many candidates, like me, have been experiencing the same road blocks when trying to gain employment in the industry.

So, take a few minutes, read Gumbinner’s piece and see for yourself what is happening in the ad industry, actually, in a lot of industries for that matter.

Again, don’t forget to follow me on twitter, @jamieartkin

I’m Back

Posted in Blogs by jartkin on October 8, 2009

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Welcome to the new Jamie Artkin blog. Yes, it is going to be as exciting as my old Halifax Sports Guy site, but we will be taking it to a whole new level.

We’re going to talk about advertising because after all, I want to be a (paid) Mad Man and we’re going to talk about social media; whether it be an interesting new campaign or a thought that may have popped into my head.

Oh, and we will talk about sports, have faith. The Monday morning column will be back.

The focus this time around is not going to be on a volume of posts, but an interesting angle that I haven’t seen when looking at a story. After all, if you want the nuts and bolts you can find that on Google News. For the insight and opinion, you can find it here.

So, in essence, I’m back. Not as the Halifax Sports Guy, but as a ‘Mad Man’ who loves..wait, check that, a ‘Future Mad Man’ who loves interactive advertising and sports.

Until next time, you can follow me on twitter, @jamieartkin.