Now playing the role of creative technologist: Nerds

Our ears were burning while reading “The Role of the Creative Technologist” by Scott Prindle at Crispin Porter + Bogusky – and really burning when we got to lines like: “It makes sense to integrate those who live and breath software and utility – creative technologists (programmers) – into your creative and strategic process.”

Yeah, yeah, we probably think this song is about us, or at least written in the key of Nerdery. Shshsh, let’s listen in: “The creative technologist introduces emerging technologies into the creative concepting process.” Prindle asserts that because creative technologists “think in code … and in left-brained, logical, rule-based constructs” that therefore, “the creative technologist manages complexity” and can use a growing development toolkit to tinker constructively in an expanding digital universe, backed by “an in-depth understanding of core computer science and IT principles.”

If you’re a marketer so busy you can read only one slide, skip on down to #85 for a whole-lotta truthiness on getting the most out of nerds (OK, creative technologists). Truth marches on in the next slide as programmers get marching orders on how to contribute to the ad world.

It’s a good kind of burn (this sensation in our ears) because it’s true: “Technology will continue to bring about disruptive change in our business. The creative technologist will play a lead role in creating ideas that carry across the rapidly expanding digital ecosystem.”

The Role of Creative Technologist

Banner ad webinar wrap

Whether you missed last week’s agency-primer webinars on banner ads or just want to experience them over and over, here’s the slideshow and full-length video (the director’s cut).

Banner Ads Nerdery Webinar from The Nerdery on Vimeo.

Nerdery webinar on banner ads, Aug 31 and Sept 2


Some people find banner ads maddening, sometimes with probable cause. Some are conditioned to never ever click a banner ad, but with the right design you can get them to have a look. And we can help. RSVP at to check out one of our two free webinars on banner ads – Tuesday August 31 at 10:15 a.m. Central and Thursday September 2 at 3:15 p.m. Central.

We’ll address two primary kinds of banner ads: those designed as a call to action (the ones that beg to be clicked, made to drive traffic) and those that just sit pretty for the sake of brand awareness. We’ll cover development best practices favored by media service providers and the standards of rich media service providers regarding tech specs, sizes, bells and whistles.

If you want your banner ad to really make a scene, we can make that happen – but buyer beware that placement costs rise, as do risks of being more distraction than attraction to some online consumers voting with dollars of their own. Maybe a game is the right play for your banner, but maybe not. Nerdery developers are good at weighing in on what will work, and really good at working directly with media and rich media service providers to implement the ideas of our agency partners.

Good seats (of your choosing) are still available, please RSVP.

Friday Links: Web ads on the rise, Facebook’s privacy nightmare, and a history of the blink tag

Friday Links: Understanding designers, holiday newsletter MadLibs, and more greatness

Friday Links: Advice for marketers, agencies, and designers

Ad:tech Chicago – holy #&%^$@! amazing conference


It’s Christmas in September for this nerd. The powers that be gave me the head nod to make the pilgrimage down to ad:tech Chicago. I wasn’t sure what I was really getting into, but seeing as most of the agencies we work with were either attending or sponsoring, it was pretty clear there was a compelling reason to go.

After day 1, I’ve seen the light. With four sessions to choose from every hour, amazing keynotes in the morning, and great conversations between sessions, well, there’s no way it’s all ever going to fit within a single blog post.

There are a couple sessions that nearly knocked me over, though.

  1. The Transformation of News Media: How to Thrive in the Age of Chaos
    Who woulda thunk anyone could learn so much from the financially-challenged news media industry? It’s amazing how much harder you’re forced to think when you’re under the guillotine. No doubt, news media revenue is largely stagnant, and those failing to innovate have died. This humble nerd’s opinion? The places they’re looking at going are the same places our agency partners are going to start heading. Highly targeted, hyper local, deeply relevant content and user experiences…and not just via mobile.
  2. Master Class Workshop: The Modern Agency
    With a panel comprised of Draftfcb, TribalDDB, and Razorfish, this was bound to be interesting. And it was. Key take aways:

    • Clients don’t see agencies as strategic partners. The panel seemed to agree – this is where the opportunity is, and this is where agencies should consider going.
    • Agencies that become strategic partners should expect to see a shift back to bundled services.
    • Agencies need to move faster to include strategy that embodies emerging technologies. They didn’t with social, and that’s why internal marketing teams are handling the social channel.
    • The new agency model involves triangulation between marketing, agency activity, and digital. I think. Anyone able to clarify this?

    I think it was the comment that “agencies are comfortable” that made me see the dangerous parallels between the agency world and the news media world. I hope I’m wrong, or that agencies can make the quick move and innovate for their clients.

Every single session I attended put the gray matter into speeds beyond the legal limit. Instead of brain vomiting all over the place, final thoughts: Think hyper local, highly relevant, contextual experiences and content delivery. Not everyone is on Twitter, but the ones that are are the influentials (not my words, but hey).

Turns out ad:tech really is “The Event for Digital Marketing.” Nerdery Interactive Labs isn’t a digital marketing shop, but that’s exactly who our partners are. Throughout the day, this nerd got bathed in the challenges our partners face. Understanding the challenges of agencies  puts the Nerdery in a position to become better and more strategic partners, something we all hope carries significant value back into the work we do.

If you’d like to catch the tweets from ad:tech Chicago, you can read them from me or everyone there.

Friday Links: Rules for Highly Evolved Humans and stuff marketing people like

Interactive marketing expected to trump traditional advertising by 2014

Everyone who works in the interactive/digital marketing space is sort of fluttery with anticipation and hope today. Why? Because of two studies released this week pointing to a huge increase in the interactive space over the next five years.

First came the Forrester Research that predicts interactive marketing in the US will grow to $55 billion by 2014 and includes this delightful nugget:

Unlike the last recession, digital marketing is no longer experimental. Now it looks more like advertising is inefficient, relative to digital. More than half of the marketers we surveyed said that effectiveness of direct mail, TV, magazines, outdoor, newspapers, and radio would stay the same or decrease within three years. In contrast, well over 70% expected the effectiveness of channels like created social media, online video, and mobile marketing to increase.

Following on the heels of the AdAge comes news from Forbes on Outsell, Inc.’s prediction that $65 billion will shift from traditional advertising to interactive.

Both articles are absolute must-reads for anyone who works in the interactive space — marketer, sales person, designer, developer, executive.

Friday Links: Brand tattoos, Helveticons, and sucky SyFy