Will the Role of Chief Marketing Officer Disappear?

As global mobile traffic approaches half of all website visits, every company wants to be “digital first.” And, as @RandSchulman says in this article, because so much of a B2C company’s interaction happens online, digital marketing has become the central force in many companies.

Should companies rethink the role of the CMO in the organization — or maybe do away with it in favor of some new job like chief digital officer?

Hear from Schulman, as well as PwC and Camford Management Associates in Is the CMO Dead?

Open Mobile Summit Conference Report

I really enjoy covering conferences, and often come in as a hired gun for a publisher. It’s an opportunity to speak with very smart people and keep abreast of the latest ideas. And producing a same-day report keeps me focused and challenges me to quickly distill themes and trends.

Here’s my second-day report on Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco.

Car Dealers vs. Connected Cars

Auto dealerships theoretically could benefit from services for internet-connected cars that would, for example, alert the dealer when a car needs servicing. In practice, dealers are really wary of new products like Ford Sync, Hyundai BlueLink, or BMW ConnectedDrive. They’re hard to sell and harder to support. This article examines the challenges and opportunities.

The New Dealers: Selling Telematics to Car Dealers


Can You Quote Donald Duck?

I’m honored that a rather elderly article I wrote for Wired.com on synthetic humans is referenced in a book review in the Yale Journal of Law and Humanities. The article was written in the early days of computer animation, when “virtual humans” — computer-generated characters that could interact to external stimuli — were just beginning to be possible.

Image Is Everything is one of the first stories I wrote for Wired.com was about the possible that virtual versions of famous people could be used commercially without their approval — a notion that seems quaint in this era of cyberstalking and digital personae.

Here’s the official citation:

Johnson, Peter (2001) “Can You Quote Donald Duck?: Intellectual Property in Cyberculture,” Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities: Vol. 13: Iss. 2, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlh/vol13/iss2/4

See also an early story for ClickZ, Putting Virtual Humans to Work, and

Social Media in the Car? Really??

Everyone wants to twittify their product — even car makers, who are worried that Millennial consumers aren’t interested in driving. Some auto makers are plunging ahead and enabling interaction with Facebook and Twitter accounts, often through voice recognition tech that lets drivers talk to tweet. This article looks at some of the less obvious ways that social media could be integrated with connected car services.

The Making of a Social Car