Tag Archives: tech

IAB’s David Cohen with the Pulse of Digital Media & Marketing



When David Cohen joined the IAB as President, the US was two weeks into stay-at-home mandates. While that may have curtailed in-person conferences the industry association is known for, it upped the focus on all things digital. Not long after, the ante was also upped for Cohen personally when he was named CEO following the 14 year run of Randall Rothenberg. Pressure? Not to hear Cohen, who has helmed major agency divisions and had $20B in media spending under his purview during his days at MAGNA and UM. But pandemic-influenced strategy changes? Definitely.

In support of its mission to “empower the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy” – let alone during a COVID economy — Cohen has “brought an unprecedented number of industry captains into their leadership councils and transformed the timeliness of their strategic initiatives.”

Those words from Rothenberg’s commendation of Cohen on his promotion sparked a song from me. Of course. No one is safe. But that didn’t curtail a compelling conversation about more serious matters, such as Cohen telling me about the advantages that came with adapting to the digital world as early as the 90’s and how he – and the IAB overall – are continuing to innovate with today’s current technologies for marketers. I also put Cohen in the same hot seat he put recent panelists in when moderating a Reach Conference talk himself, asking what he would most like to see fixed in our current digital eco-sphere.

Cohen moderating Reach Conference panel

We also discuss:

  • Cohen’s A-ha! Moment – from the Yellow Pages!
  • The lessons he learned after joining the IAB family that every marketing agency should know
  • “Pulse studies” on changes in consumer consumption trends to media buyers/seller polls
  • The IAB’s Brand Disruption Summit
  • How to navigate through your Brand and Demand goals
  • The shift in how digital engagement is being accomplished
  • How IAB is helping in pushing cross-platform forward
  • Like his friend and recent Insider Interviews guest, Carl Fremont, Cohen has a pro-social personal mission. Hear how he — and ANA’s Bill Tucker — are helping push support of disadvantaged children.

Resources Mentioned:

Social Media Links:

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Please share the podcast and share how smart you are about media, marketing and advertising! To reach out to be considered for an episode or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss — email podcasts@mossappeal.com. We’re “hear” for you!


Global Branding Meets Customer-Focused Creative – Dell Technologies’ Rachael Henke



Rachael Henke’s short title is just “brand” at Dell Technologies. Her formal title is long, but it’s a big job, for a big company: Director of Global Brand Advertising Content and Customer Engagement Storytelling. That means, per Henke, “everything we do is to elevate the brand.” While most everyone has heard of “Dell,” her job is to ensure everyone knows the larger entity – created from the merger with EMC some three years ago — is actually “Dell Technologies” and that it’s gone from primarily computers to being “an end to end essential technology partner”.

While computers are, as Henke says, “still a very critical part of our business, we really want to focus [on the] B2B space, showing how we’re driving innovation and emerging technologies across areas like cloud storage and AI.” For Henke, that means that while being part of the brand team for a 150,000-person global company is impressive enough, she’s also, necessarily, a woman who can use “hyperconverged infrastructure solutions” in a sentence. But it’s still a human-oriented brand, evidenced from top-down actions like Michael Dell donating $100 million dollars to pro social initiatives during our current COVID-19 crisis. So, in Episode 6 of Insider Interviews, Henke explains how her team approaches brand storytelling – turning complicated offerings into human-oriented content. Here’s a topline of our conversation, edited for clarity:

“Every day is different”:  Henke’s days involve “conversations about what products are going to launch… and how that will turn into the vision where we’re going… a lot of conversations around messaging and with customers to understand how our technology gets used.”

Applying Those Conversations To Content: Like TV spots that take the figurative (“is your business going in circles?”) and make it literal, like spokesperson/actor Jeffrey Wright going in circles and upstairs and coming back to the starting point, their B2B brand campaigns aim to showcase how they deliver on solutions, what’s innovative, “and connecting that solution to work for sales teams, too…And If there’s a consumer campaign that works really well, it provides lift to our business side as well.”

That applies to small business as well: One example is working with ad agency MediaCom and audio company Entercom to create a virtual podcast conference, The PodFerence, to spotlight podcasts on relevant topics for customers.

Rinse and Repeat: Henke names brands and marketers she “keeps an eye on” and describes  her own goals to balance creative and data: “One of the challenges that any brand marketer has is how the heck do you measure brand advertising, because you’re not necessarily tied to a click, a call, a transactional sale. So we do a lot of measurement …and also make sure we’re not just looking at data in a silo [but working together with other divisions.]”

The Media and Marketing for Tomorrow: Will one of the world’s largest tech companies continue to put budget in linear? Henke is bullish on balancing linear and digital, especially when it comes to now on paused live sports. “It’s really timely to ask that because we are a PGA sponsor and have Dell Technologies Match Play which was supposed to take place in March. But I still feel like sponsorships will still be something strong and that we will continue because let’s face it, people want sports more than ever.”  We’re looking at continuing with linear, but figuring out where are people still watching? I think CTV and On Demand will absolutely be part of that mix as well.

For the future? “We truly believe that because of what has happened globally companies are looking at how they digitally transform in a way that makes sense, but also in a practical way. …We want to make sure that our brand is there to be that partner for our customers as they need to make changes because the world will be different.

Balance and Togetherness: Balance – between divisions as well as between work and home – is a continuous theme for Henke. Her bio describes her home life as including one horse-loving child and one gaming-loving child. But she acknowledges, “I don’t know how we all do it. In a moment of vulnerability I’ll just say every day is a challenge. One of the things that I have to harp on myself about is self-care, especially when you work from home”. So, this tech brand expert also relies on tech to remind her to get out and exercise…. “and making sure that I have those moments where I can go and retreat and think and take a step back.  I don’t get every day perfect, with two kids running around, but I always have to try to reset with myself.”

And Henke seems to be succeeding.


The Scoop from Shelly Palmer on WFH Tech and Keeping Connected



One of the smarter ideas I’ve had recently was to invite the even smarter Shelly Palmer to guest on this episode of the Insider Interviews podcast. I had an ulterior motive: I’d been challenged by my work-from-home (WFH) tech set up and he is the go-to guy for keeping us all on point. 

Palmer, of CNN, CNBC, Fox 5 NY contributor fame, advises companies on their “digital transformation” and was also a LinkedIn Top Voice in Technology. And I needed help.  Our conversation went from scientific explanations to fun anecdotes about his own podcast on the Westwood One network, Think About This with Shelly Palmer and Ross Martin, to the topic of his most recent interactive online chat, hosted on his new tech-focused social network, PGX: what a post-Corona Virus society might look like. Palmer is not shy about airing strong opinions without much prompting.

You’ll hear thoughts, recommendations and advice on:

On Choosing One Tech Tool Over Another:  (“In some cases, it’s just personal preference. In others it has to do technologically with where you are and what you’re trying to do.” He uses Zoom for meet-ups with 150 or so attendees and Webinar Jam for one-to-many.)

On Adapting to Technology: (“People have been accepting of technical glitches that they never  would have before… like when smartphones [drove] vertical video. It’s been fascinating to see how fast people are willing to adopt bad lighting, camera angles, and bad hair. It’s fantastic because the most important thing is that we figure out how to be social animals in a time when COVID-19 is forcing us to be less social.”

On Using A Personal Tech Stack More Personally: (If you’re working for a bigger corporation, they’ll likely dictate the VPN and office suite you’re going to use. [A good choice] for small collaborative companies is Google Suite and have Slack running to interact with clients without having to send email. But a lot of clients are using Microsoft Teams. But when you’re working totally by yourself right now, the most important thing you can do, I think, is send an email or a text message to everybody you know in the world — and find out how they’re doing.”)

On AI (replacing for journalists?!), and “Truthiness” in media, and if we will continue to Zoom like crazy?: That you’ll have to listen to the podcast for. Bonus: you’ll learn which recording platform I picked too.

And visit shellypalmer.com for his very robust list of resources for your own WFH tech set up. Whether or not it involves a podcast.