The major French media are embarking on the battle of the data, you should too!

Last week was rich in announcements for French media with the announcement of the upcoming launch of two initiatives common to several major players in the press. Two excellent initiatives that lead to a simple question: why did not they react earlier? The hegemony of Google, Facebook and major platforms is such that one is entitled to wonder if it is already too late … And the worst thing in this story is that the question is also valid for advertisers. It is therefore high time for you to seriously consider the implementation of a major “data” project.

A solution to fight the hegemony of Google and Facebook

Nobody is supposed to ignore the dominance of Google and Facebook as sources of traffic, on average 40 to 50% of incoming traffic to a site ( Lifestyle Audiences Live on Facebook, Technology Readers Still Want Google Search ). A trend that we have seen for a few years now and which is only intensifying, even in Europe ( Is Google or Facebook the main traffic source for publishers? ). A trend that is not likely to be reversed as uses are shifted to smartphones, where Facebook and Google reign as masters and publishers accelerate the movement by exploiting new platforms ( WhatsApp rises as a major force in news media ).

I had already addressed the subject in 2015 ( The advent of content platforms and the revenge of syndication ) with the launch of native articles ( Instant Articles at Facebook, Accelerated Mobile Pages at Google). If at the time publishers saw a solution to boost their visibility, they quickly disappointed so much their audience was vampirized by these two platforms ( The Guardian is getting 60 percent of its Google mobile traffic from AMP ). And since then, the situation has become more complex with the rise of disturbances ( Snapchat: the hijacker of Silicon Valley which upsets the media ) and with the worsening of the problem of fake news, thus loss of confidence of the Net surfers.

The tension has still mounted a notch with the announcement by Google’s Digital News Initiative to fund up to 800 K € a large-scale experiment in automated content writing local ( Google is funding the creation of software that writes local news stories ). Groups!

In a word like a hundred: it sucks, to death …

No, the robots are not going to replace the journalists (maybe some freelance work, but it’s negligible). What is, on the other hand, is very worrying, it is the fact that Google and Facebook collect today the major part of the advertising revenues (between 60% and 75% according to the markets). This phenomenon is not new, it has already been explained and commented ( What Killed The Newspapers? Google Gold or Gold? …? ).

But talking about it does not solve the problem for publishers who see their advertising revenues decline every year ( Google and Facebook nowadays, and in the World Combined ). There are many factors to consider in explaining this erosion, but I think I’m right in saying that the two factors that have contributed the most to the establishment of this duopoly are the uninterrupted growth of Google’s audience – Facebook, and the shift to programmatic purchasing patterns.

If Facebook and Google are so popular with advertisers, it is that they represent an easy solution by offering both a large audience and simple advertising solutions, but sophisticated. A winning combination against which publishers could not fight in isolation.

The “Airbus of the data”

It is with great curiosity that I witnessed last week the announcement of the creation of an alliance among many French publishers (see the report published here: Alliance Gravity, L’union fit the data ).

To summarize a long explanation: the data is the raw material of advertising agencies. More data = better CPM. Data has become a key issue for the media, which has decided to join forces to reach critical mass and offer advertisers one-stop shopping. The Gravity Alliance is therefore made up of numerous national publishers (Les Echos, Lagardère, Challenge, Condé Nast, Le Parisien, Prisma Media …), local publishers (Le Télégramme, La Montagne, Sud Ouest …), service providers (SoLoCal), an operator (SFR) and commercial sites (Fnac-Darty). The objective was to create a common platform where are aggregated a dozen billion data every month, collected from a hundred media.

The promise to advertisers is to offer an alternative to the accuracy of Google, the power of Facebook or the creativity of Snapchat. For the moment, the Alliance announces a daily reach of 44% (ie the ability to reach 44 out of 100 users every day), which should increase as more partners join the Alliance. You will note that similar initiatives already existed in France (La Place Média, Audience Square …) and in Europe (eg Emetriq in Germany), but this one has an even stronger ambition.

Two days after this announcement, it was the turn of the Le Figaro and Le Monde newspapers to announce the launch of an equivalent initiative: Le Figaro and Le Monde launched Skyline, a direct digital advertising marketplace. The justification for this second initiative is the same: fight against GAFA, Google and Facebook and particular, and platforms in general.

You will understand: the major French publishers are embarking on an arms race to keep pace with Google and Facebook. At the heart of this battle: data, which allows to target Internet users according to their profile (eg sex, age, level of education and income …), their behavior (eg hunter good deals), their interests (eg food, DIY …), their intention to buy (eg change of car or TV), their moments of life (ex: marriage, birth of a child, divorce, retirement…). The more the partners of a group are diversified and the more the profiles are varied. The denser the content, the richer the targeting data. This explains these two initiatives: pooling data to revalue the advertising inventory.

You could tell me that these alliances are useless if you install a banner blocker (which prevents the display of the banner, but also the collection of data). And I would say that there are internal initiatives like Prisma Media with MyAdFilter, a fair advertising filter. These alliances would make it much easier to deploy solutions like this on a large scale and begin to address constructively the problem of saturation advertising.

Data is a strategic asset for the major media, as for advertisers

So … the big French media unite to increase their chances of survival thanks to the data. If one can not really envisage an alliance of the same type on customer data, the data is nonetheless an essential raw material for advertisers, as well to improve the targeting of advertising ( If you want to deliver ads, you’ve gotten to get better at using data ), than to improve loyalty ( Data at the heart of CRM strategies ), the impact of publications ( The Hack: Having a Media Company Mentality ) or the relevance of artificial intelligences ( The importance of data, and humans, for machine learning ).

It is in the interest of advertisers to help them improve the collection, processing, and exploitation of their data, before the GAFAs do it for them, for a commission of course. Some talk about “Google tax” or “Amazon tax”. I would rather call it “take a position on a vacant place” because it is clear that the data is still largely underutilized: The data seen by French advertisers.

The study published by Quantcast is thus revealing the situation for many advertisers: the data is there, available, but not really exploited. We can thus see that the data are mainly used to make geographic segmentation.

It is therefore absurd to note that some publishers prefer to use Facebook or Google data than internal data because they are more reliable and easily accessible in their advertising platform. This is contributing to the increased reliance on Google and Facebook, especially as lawmakers are at risk of cutting the clutter of outside data providers ( Third Party Data: Chronicle of an Announced Death ).

More than ever, advertisers are under pressure to launch a major data-driven project in order to build an ambitious technical platform to transform the potential of data-marketing. Unfortunately, this means assembling a number of technological bricks and stacking many hosted services in order to have an overview of customer data and make them accessible to different tools ( The five layers of Marketing Data Technology: Backbone, Discovery, Delivery, Activation, and Automation ).

The promise is beautiful, but do not be fooled: the best tools on the market will not deliver their full potential without the right skills and without a true culture of data disseminated to all layers of the decision-making pyramid ( Five building blocks of a data-driven culture ).

In summary: to survive the threat of the GAFA, it will be necessary to attack them on their ground (data) and acquire skills, tools, culture … all this requires time and pedagogy. It is not too late, the battle has just begun for the major publishers, they show the way, you to inspire you to build convictions.

We live now in a mobile world

” Everyone will soon have a smartphone, ” said Eric Schimdt (the president of Google) a few years ago. But his statements earlier this year were much more explicit: ” the trend was that the mobile was winning, it has now won ” ( Eric Schmidt makes 2014 predictions, says mobile has won ). Understand that the debate over whether mobile devices are more important than computers is behind us. To be exact, the tipping point took place in 2011.

It sold nearly 1 billion smartphones in 2013: 1,000,000,000 smartphones, and we do not even count the tablets! ( Smartphone sales may have topped 1 trillion in 2013 ). In less than 5 years, mobile devices have become the majority, a historical record in the pace of adoption, dethroning the couple Windows / Intel.

Ultra-fast growth boosted by Asian markets and not likely to slow with demand from South American and African markets. The advent of mobile devices is not a phenomenon to be taken lightly, as it is redefining access to information and the computer tool itself: Postmodern computing.

I imagine that you already knew these figures, but I think it is important to come back to measure the extent of the phenomenon.

The smartphone is the remote control of our everyday

Even if the penetration rate of smartphones remains less than half of the French population, we really feel that smartphones are everywhere. Imagine what it will be in two years when the market share reaches 75% (a barely optimistic projection). Already in 2011, I analyzed the growing importance of smartphones in our daily lives, and this place has only increased. I love the analogy that says smartphones are the stuff of adults: always at hand, thanks to smartphones we stay in touch with our family and friends, we are omniscient and omnipotent.

Our addiction to mobile devices is such that sociologists have also identified many behavioral drifts : sleep disorder ( Six in 10 Brits now sleep deprived because of smartphones and computers ), anguish related to the loss of his phone ( Nomophobia, the evil of the 21st century ), fear of missing something ( Do you have FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out? ), fashion of the selfies … Worse: the addiction to smartphones increases from year to year ( The Rise of the Mobile Addict ).

You suspect that such a phenomenon will not be without consequences for advertisers and online service providers. These months I have spotted a number of strong signals:

  • The strategic reorientation of web giants to mobile devices like Yahoo or Facebook ( Yahoo is a mobile-first company and Facebook Passes 1B Mobile Users );
  • The launch of mobile device offerings by major publishers ( IBM’s French R & D is paving the way for their new mobile-focused business and Microsoft Launches Enterprise Mobility Suite );
  • The success of mobile communication applications ( WhatsApp passes 500 million active users, says over 700 million photos and 100 million videos are shared daily );
  • Retraining of online portals or services ( CNN Digital Posts Best Year Ever, Dominates Mobile and launches an email service only accessible from a smartphone );
  • The redesign of mobile-first information sites like Time or Eurosport …

In short, I have the impression that everything is now revolving around the mobile. It is not a coincidence that the vast majority of statups bought by Facebook are mobile applications. Why such an interest? Because smartphones make almost the same services as a computer (access to information and services, entertainment …) but keep in the pocket, are always on / connected and allow a high level of customization.

A distorted Western vision of reality

The mobiles have thus conquered the planet. Yes, but obviously not everyone has realized it yet. The majority of people I meet in my day-to-day work still consider mobile as an additional activity, a complement of the web. The discussions that I can have with them are often addressed by a ” we have a mobile application in preparation “. Yes and then, I already spoke on this subject two years ago and the situation has not changed: mobile applications only postpone the deadline ( Why to launch a mobile application is useless ).

Certainly, there is this famous diagram that we go out all the sauces to justify the use of mobile applications: Apps Solidify Leadership Six Years into the Mobile Revolution.

The problem with this scheme is that it is misleading: 2/3 of mobile users are games, social applications and communication and Youtube (which is installed by default on smartphones). Is it really relevant to compare the time spent on a browser with that spent on Angry Birds or Snapchat? It’s like you’re saying, “Business users use Outlook for 99% of the time their computer is turned on, so we do not need a website, just a newsletter .” As I have had many opportunities to repeat: mobile apps are a fantasy. Would you consider developing PC software for your online store or website? No, because you would find it absurd to have to force your visitors to download, install and set up your software. For smartphones it’s the same thing: the whole point of a mobile application is to offer a quality experience in a context of intensive use: a game, social network or communication tools that we will consult several once a day on the run (as soon as you have 3 minutes to lose).

The reality is that only a minority of publishers can justify the use of a mobile application: eBay, Private Sales, Voyages SNCF … For others, the commitment to the brand is far too weak to justify the use of an application. Whenever I discuss the subject on my blogs, I get a rush of developers who tell me that users want fast and efficient mobile applications. I doubt that mobile users are openly expressing the desire to install a native application: what they want is to buy shoes, check an opening time, compare prices … no matter how they manage, It’s important to get there with the least amount of complication (see Mobile apps cost too much, bet on the web instead ).

Rest assured, the purpose of this article is not to relaunch the debate on application vs. mobile site, but rather to make you realize that we Westerners, have a distorted view of reality because a very large majority of our homes have a computer and an ADSL connection. In other parts of the world, mobile devices are the only way to access the internet or even the only means of empowerment (especially for women in Africa). As a result of this distorted view, there is a clear lack of discernment by advertisers and content editors / online services who devote a still largely insufficient budget to “mobile” operations. The gap between the budgets allocated to traditional media, the web, and mobile terminals are enormous and especially completely out of sync with the reality of uses and the time spent on each of these media. by demonstrating more pragmatism, much more needs to be done to invest in the mobile devices that are at the heart of consumer life, not the television or the press that are now on the periphery (see What’s next for television on time? P2P and SoLoMo? ).

In fact, what we really need is a complete re-education around mobility. 10 years of frenetic growth and forced innovation have left advertisers and publishers confused about what mobile internet really is. I had already addressed the subject 7 years ago ( Do not confuse more mobile internet and internet mobility ), but I think it’s time to review my speech and be much more explicit.

Mobile is dead

Matias Duarte, the head of design in the Android team said this surprising phrase in a recent interview: Matias Duarte, Head of Android Design on the Death of Mobile. His explanation cannot be fairer: the “mobile” Internet no longer exists to the extent that we can not really make the distinction with the “normal” Internet. Smartphones have made such progress and publishers have made such changes that we now access any content or service online with his computer, his smartphone or tablet. The mobile dimension is obsolete because mobile devices are ubiquitous in our daily habits and reflexes.

This statement is perfectly consistent with the advent of the multichannel consumer: it makes fun of the difficulties for a distribution chain to operate different channels simultaneously (from a computer or logistical point of view), for him, it’s the same thing. From this observation, everything must be reviewed in the way of understanding the behavior of users, their needs, the way offers are promoted and sold, and in the relationship that will settle with the brand. The idea is not to turn everything around mobile devices, but rather to integrate them into all stages of the customer lifecycle.

The most important steps, in my opinion, are those of need recognition and information retrieval: during these stages, a prospect will become aware of a need (a new pair of shoes, an outing, a vacation …) and immediately start to inquire. For that, he will use the terminal he has on hand: his smartphone. The problem is that it is in the preliminary research phase (it informs itself informally), so it is certainly not motivated enough to install the mobile applications of all the brands or services it will use. If you are not present in good conditions during this step, it is unlikely that this user will think of you when he will intensify his searches later on his computer. So yes, indeed, we do not buy on a smartphone, however, we get information and possibly compare prices. Brands and publishers of services that do not offer a mobile version of their site are thus removed from the first stages of the purchase cycle. That’s what a mobile-friendly website is all about: staying in the running. Developing a mobile app will not help you achieve this unless you call yourself Amazon and your spontaneous awareness rate is close to 100%.

All this to say that mobility is an ultra-hot issue around which many myths and misconceptions persist. It is high time that brands and advertisers remove their blinders and really get involved in a process of transformation of their communication, sales tools, distribution channels, internal processes … I am finalizing the writing of a book to this subject. I’ve already written 2/3, it should be released next month. I also say that my blogs will undergo a radical transformation to adopt a mobile approach first (it’s the least of things after all that I just told).

The battle of advertising will be won thanks to the data

Google and Facebook dominate the online advertising market outrageously. A domination that all market players denounce because they fail to fight against. However, the competition is organized, especially the major players in computing (Amazon, Microsoft, IBM) that provide a very credible alternative offer while Apple comes to play spoilsports. In any case, do not fool yourself, GAFAMI is and remains the only masters of the game.

Google and Facebook reign supreme over intentionalists and social partners

Last week in Cologne the high mass of online advertising: dmexco. As every year, there are nearly 40,000 professionals in the sector who come together to agree that it was better before, but that the future opens up a lot of opportunities, so we should not Too much interest in half-empty glass, though not quite (the GDRP), but still a little (interesting report published here: Top five takeaways from Dmexco 2017 ).

Invariably for 5 years, it is mainly about two heavyweights in the category: Google and Facebook. It is clear that their hand on the market of online advertising has grown steadily over the years, both in terms of volume ( Google and Facebook bring in one-fifth of global ad revenue ), growth ( Google and Facebook Account for Nearly All Growth in Digital Ads ), and it is not about to stop as evidenced by the latest quarterly reports ( Quarterly earnings for Google ).

This dominant position is also not without posing problems of abuse of a dominant position, as is the case with the lack of transparency in the campaign reports and dubious figures that are used for advertisers: Facebook audience inflation is a global issue. This year, the market has found a bone to gnaw with the blockchain, miracle technology supposed to rebuff the cards ( Can Blockchain Solve Technology Digital Marketing ‘s Ad – Fraud Problems or Can blockchain restore trust in online advertising?

The competition is grumbling, it does not change the reasons for this dominance: If half advertising budgets are captured by Google and Facebook, it’s simply because their ads work better. On the one hand, Google has 15 years of a search history of billions of Internet users looking for answers to their questions (intentionalists). On the other hand, Facebook has 10 years of sharing history, like, comments, messages & see among the billions of users of its social platforms (socionautes).

All this data is agglomerated, processed and made available to advertisers through numerous advertising solutions. That’s what made the fortune of Google and Facebook, and that fuels the greed of many contenders.

Amazon is already starting to recover some of the advertising pie

The strength of Google and Facebook lies in the accuracy of their advertising targeting with the data of their users. Translation: the more data we have on Internet users, the more legitimate we are to sell advertising solutions. In any case, this is the starting point of the reflection led by Amazon which has distinguished itself this year as the new entrant in the advertising market: Amazon makes its presence known at Dmexc. You will notice that the arrival of Amazon on the market is not new since they have perfected their offer for many months: Amazon grows its programmatic ad business.

This new line of services is not really a surprise since Amazon already offers advertisers sponsored search results. A rather lucrative business in that more than half of the research prior to the purchase of a product is now done directly on Amazon: Amazon is eating into Google’s territory, and it’s only going to get worse.

In some markets, the reaction of advertisers to this offer is very encouraging and very worrying for Google: Galvanized by this first decisive victory, by its tremendous computing power (AWS) and by the consumption data of its customers, Amazon logically entered the programmatic buying market last year: With its new cloud-based header bidding, Amazon is taking another step towards building an adtech powerhouse .

Believe it or not, but if you have a website, you can give Amazon ad inventory management. Some see it as a great opportunity to shake up the current duopoly and give advertisers more bargaining power, for good reason.

Microsoft returns to the race with LinkedIn

Let’s recap:

  • Google dominates the market with data of intent (search engine) and data of interest (video views on YouTube);
  • Facebook is on the heels of social interaction data on its various platforms (Facebook, Groups, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp …);
  • Amazon is catching up with consumption data from its customers.

If we can assume that the BtoC market for online advertising is starting to be locked, things are different for the BtoB market. The corporate world is indeed a territory on which Microsoft is ultra-dominant (roughly 25 years). All they needed was a very large audience on which to place the ads. They had MSN, but this portal has lost its beautiful (euphemism), they failed to impose Bing, no matter, they got paid LinkedIn, and with its hundreds of millions of members, it is largely the case: LinkedIn passes 500 million member milestone.

The audience of the largest BtoB social network combined with Microsoft know-how (recall that it is a historical actor of online advertising thanks to their Atlas advertising server technology resold to Facebook in 2013) form a real machine of war advertisement that unfolds little by little : LinkedIn raises its ad tech game, launches Audience Network across ‘tens of thousands’ of sites and apps

It is now officially possible to buy advertising slots in many mobile applications through LinkedIn’s management.

I’m not guessing, but I think this new offer will very quickly expand to many sites and BtoB services (eg free online applications). Here again, the data of LinkedIn members make it a formidable machine to target professionals.

IBM attempts a breakthrough in the conversational banner niche

More discreet, not really legitimate in the advertising market, but nevertheless very respected by the Directorates-General, IBM also embarked on the race two years ago with the acquisition of and its meteorological data: IBM bought The Weather Company because of weather affects everything. These data combined with their know-how in artificial intelligence have allowed them to launch a worthwhile offer: IBM’s Weather Company employs Watson to boost its updated ad targeting platform. In addition to personalizing the messages, they are positioned on the niche of the conversational banners: Watson mans the first cognitive ad for cars.


For the moment the volume of sales of the Watson Ads division is very much lower than that of Google or Facebook, but their approach is singular and perfectly fit with their strengths.

Hayes, there is also Apple who is resisting with the announcement of an anti-tracking feature enabled by default on its mobile browser: Advertisers are furious with Apple for new tracking restrictions in Safari 11. Is it because Apple has established itself in the advertising market that it makes its former competitors pay? I leave you, alone judges …

A sold-out competition between GAFAMI

Admittedly, you could tell me that the advertising market is not limited to the 6 major players of the internet, but I would answer you that with more than half of the purchases made in programmatic ( Half of All Display Traded Programmatically In Europe ), everything is just a question of data: those who have the most manage to better value their inventory, so to attract more publishers, so more visitors, so more data, etc … QED.

So there are GAFAMI and the rest. In this rest, one nevertheless distinguishes actors who remain very powerful:

  • Oath, the holding company that brings together Yahoo, AOL and many advertising solutions (eg BrightRoll …);
  • Twitter, its 300 million users and its social graph of which we do not know exactly what it corresponds;
  • Pinterest, its 200 M users and their wish lists ( Pinterest opens up more than 5,000 interests for advertiser targeting through its Taste Graph );
  • The major press publishers who unite to resist better ( The major French media are embarking on the battle of the data );
  • Specialized service providers with strong technological/algorithmic know-how (eg Criteo, Weborama …);
  • Directories and city guides that have a strong graphical place (eg Yelp, Foursquare, SoLoCal …);
  • Local actors (ex: Alibaba, Tencent, Yandex …).

Again, I’m not trying to downplay the power or the know-how of any particular provider or provider of advertising solutions, I just find that as the market intensifies its programmatic practices, the dominance of the biggest players (those who master the algorithms, data or both) is strengthened.

Conclusion: data is the nerve of war. If you do not want to be dicked by GAFAMI, you should collect as much data as possible about your customers /prospects and equip you accordingly (CRM, PRM, CDP, DMP …).

The 21st century will be video-ludic

” Life is a game “. Thus title the last out of series of the very serious Courrier International. A supplement particularly well documented since many topics related to the game are discussed: Tourism, psychology, education, research, health … Whether you recognize it or not, the game is part of our daily lives we live in a fun world.

This being said, it is also not the revelation of the year, especially for those who regularly read this blog (see The gamification at the service of retention and transformation published in 2011 ). Gamification is thus an increasingly popular practice ( Gamification: the game more than an entertainment ), whose merits are recognized in the corporate world as well ( Gamification, ever more considered to improve well-being). employees ), that within the public authorities ( Ludify public space to encourage city dwellers to practice the city? Example by street furniture ).

In short, gambling is an essential part of our lives, from Legos to Bingo, and video games are its natural evolution. The problem is that they suffer from a very degrading image: no one takes video games seriously, whereas it is a more powerful industry than cinema. And this is the paradox of our society: with the advent of smartphones and tablets, every one day, but advertisers cling to media of the last century in a very clear loss of speed (TV, clipboard …). As a result of this paradox, there are market tensions between advertisers who fail to achieve their goals despite huge budgets invested, and traditional media who categorically refuse to question themselves and demand more and more subsidies.

Yet the numbers speak for themselves: video games are at the origin of blazing flash successes:

GTA V reaches $ 1 billion in revenue in three days
Rovio executive says the firm is the company of the millennium with a full-length feature film in the pipeline
Ustwo Spends To Keep Whale Trail Flying: From Mobile Game To E-Book To Kids’ TV Show
More than ever, it is essential to understand the importance of the game in our society and especially to change mentalities: Behind the video game, it’s all our playful culture that has changed. Certainly, the video games that make the most recipes are those related to a warrior theme ( Call of Duty, Battlefield, Splinter Cell …), but the industry has proved to us that it is capable of producing real cultural works such as Bioshock Infinite, poetic like Ico or Journey, or incredible creativity and collaboration platforms like Minecraft . I have always been a passionate advocate of video games as an artistic vehicle that can convey emotions much more effectively than movies (who has never played the night alone on his couch in Silent Hill 2 does not know what is fear …).

It is in this context that I propose to read the manifesto published by Eric Zimmerman: The 21st Century Will be Defined By Games. In this manifesto, the author explains that if the twentieth century was that of the animated image, the twenty-first century will be that of video games. The author bases his argument on several assertions:

Games have existed since antiquity (and even before that since the game of Go was invented in China well before the Christian era);
Everyone knows and wants to play (learning through play is one of the main features of the mammalian brain);
Technology has given games a second wind (in terms of creativity, realism, practicality (see iPadBoardGames );
We live in a society dominated by information and computer systems (do not hide the face anymore and stop demonizing screens);
Consumers are looking for new forms of entertainment that go beyond linear narrative (eg a movie) and offer limited interactivity (like the new Beyond Two Souls ) or total (see the open worlds). like that of GTA V );
Playful mechanics can help us solve everyday problems (see Scientific Discovery Games like Foldit ).
While you could tell me that there is also a setback to this medal, including addiction or gambling, but the site Kotaku also offers us contrasted opinions: Will The 21st Century Be Defined By Games?

Once again, whether you recognize it or not, video games are an essential part of our daily lives, our economy, and our cultural heritage. From this, it is urgent that advertisers become aware of their importance and especially that they make the necessary arbitration to take advantage of it. I am always amazed by the disproportionate disproportion between the budgets devoted to TV advertising and those devoted to digital media. It is high time to rebalance this by aligning the budgets on the time spent by the targets on each media: TV, radio, paper, web, games … The whole problem is that the communication levers used on traditional media (repetition, proclamation posture …), do not work on these new media. This will require a learning phase and exploring new ways to promote a brand, product or service. Advergames are just the beginning, we still have a century to experiment with new approaches.

The "good" and the "bad" media

Nobody knows what the future of the flagship of the Swiss media, the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”, will be in the future. The liberal-liberal editors have very little money at their disposal in comparison to other large editorial offices of Western Europe, which also have their difficulties, in order to be able to compete on a permanent basis.

Moreover, the close connection between top Swiss entrepreneurs and the publisher is already largely interrupted because there are fewer and fewer top Swiss entrepreneurs who are willing to support the publisher with advertisements for the print edition. Today foreigners are at the top of Switzerland’s most important companies, and their marketing and communication directors, for convenience’s sake, prefer Google and friends as bearers of their messages.

While the Swiss print media was still supported and at least partially financed by the public affairs departments of the large corporations in the last century, this aspect has largely disappeared today.

The bosses of large corporations, often “with Swiss roots”, like to be interviewed by the state. But they are no longer in the bag to finance these state-owned publishers also with. They have simply lost interest in intelligent reporting and analysis by the Swiss media and prefer to present themselves in London, New York, and Singapore.

With elaborate communication and marketing departments, reporting is prevented as far as possible if it deals with backgrounds that are not supposed to be public. That’s why no one really knows why UBS and CS have fallen into such a late, and hardly anyone can tell when and how Roche gets back on its feet.

It is forgotten that many Swiss pension funds and private shareholders invested in such companies urgently need this knowledge in order to achieve the required return. Above all, the presidents of the Board of Directors travel to major international shareholders, so that their trust is not lost.

Even more uncomfortable is the practice for the small specialized publications, as Inside Paradeplatz is it, which shine with high-quality information in those corners of companies that should remain hidden from the interested public:

– None of the major editorial offices, whether Tamedia, Ringier or NZZ, the parastatal radio and television SRF certainly dared, dared to question the entrepreneurial practice of Pierin Vincenz at the head of the Raiffeisen Group. The so-called “noble feathers” wrote down what Lukas Hässig had uncovered, which is why he was named “Economic Journalist of the Year”.

– Credit Suisse had a long trial of Inside Paradeplatz and lost it by a majority.

Now, so-called Swiss global corporations use a new scam to silence IP: The UBS Group and Ernst & Young have internally blocked so that their own employees can not read what the Group management is hiding from them.

There was no outcry in the Swiss media against the homemade restriction of freedom of expression. Games may continue to be played in these companies and Youtube sex videos continue to be watched, but key questions about corporate governance are taboo.

Michael Ringier, one of the most important Swiss publishers who praised himself at the beginning of his career as a great journalist, but later gave up because of lack of evidence, wrote around the last year’s awarding of the Swiss Journalists Prizes an internal rant against the laureate Lukas Hässig, in which he humiliated all his own house journalists, who did not do what a lone wolf could. He threatened his journalists that they would not be surprised if he preferred to invest in e-commerce instead of journalism.

To be fair, one has to say that Lukas Hässig, as a thorn in the flesh of the Swiss editors-in-chief, triggered a noticeable improvement in the performances of “Blick” and “Sonntags-Blick”.

Freedom of expression in Switzerland is at risk, because

– Tamedia publisher Pietro Supino, a graduate of McKinsey, is the dominant Swiss publisher in all of his publications, sharing the same opinions from the two central editors. He has fallen behind the “Coop Zeitung”, which prints nationwide at least regional editions that meet regional needs;

– Ringier continues to maintain a mostly pointless campaign journalism, as now by the example of Gerhard Pfister, the president of the Swiss CVP, was read, which one absolutely wanted to write up to the Federal Council candidate, although Pfister did not want;

– the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”, which can no longer independently operate its regional newspapers, reaches only a minority of educated circles, preferably in the Greater Zurich area;

– The Swiss radio and television are committed to a state-sponsored journalism that even a Federal Council Johann Schneider-Ammann enough straws when he has long gone down as a speaker and presenter. The stock market show before the “Tagesschau” is a regularly recurring joke.

Where once the proud Swiss publishers celebrate themselves as bearers of the “forest of democracy”, today I only see ruins that, like the dentist, are looking for bridges to survive, be it aid from Google, their biggest adversary, and state aid is no longer excluded. Doris Leuthard’s successor must solve this.

The Swiss media landscape is quite creative. As always, when the old trees overthrow, something new is also being created on the ground: Inside Paradeplatz by Lukas Hässig, with Constantin Seibt, even the “Walliser Bote” is profitable again because with Fredy Bayard a talented entrepreneur has the responsibility as publisher take over.

While the public Swiss schools are getting worse and worse, as the competent Remo Largo writes, and neglecting their students, the younger generations are getting into the stagnant maelstrom of Internet media.

Every morning I watch the Google and Facebook zombies staring down at their screens, probably hoping for a miracle, while the true world is no longer perceived by them. These people, already up to half of our youth, become susceptible to seductions of all kinds via communication.

With them, Swiss democracy is badly damaged and may even go under.

This is where the interests of Internet companies meet those of the big global corporations. “The outlines of a new era are recognizable, in which economic oligarchs and political rulers negotiate deals among themselves, while the broader population is fed up with emotional slogans,” writes Andreas Mink in the Jewish weekly “Tachles” at the beginning of October this year.

Politics, even corporate policy, becomes a transaction, because the Anglo-Saxon economists, as Emmanuel Todd describes it, “consider the individual to be viable on its own, without social references, without values, but infinitely flexible.”

Such people, gender-neutral, are the people who populate our big cities. Whether they are Swiss citizens no longer matters. The most capable immigrants should be equal, as the UN demands and the Federal Council should soon be able to sign. Thus, the Swiss and European bourgeoisie dies, as it has been successfully built in the last 200 years.

Do people understand what is being played with them? Most probably hardly, because “the boys trust father state”. This is substantiated by a study by Ernst & Young (EY), see above, a company that relies on rest and does not want external disruptions.

Therefore, the question arises as to what better knowledge costs to preserve his spiritual independence. 365 francs will cost this year already SRG subscription, which is compulsorily collected. Aldous Huxley sends his regards. Who subscribes to three daily newspapers, the “World Week”, plus a Sunday newspaper, a regional newspaper, and a specialist newspaper, must immediately put thousands of francs on the table.

Alternatively, get Google for ten francs for 2 to 4 hours daily updated information. It is therefore understandable why the well-made free newspaper “20 Minuten”, which was introduced by the author of these lines in Switzerland, is so successful. Broad sections of Switzerland, not just the Swiss people, hardly have any cash left for the media.

Anyone who really wants to know and can afford international media will not get away with CHF 12,000 a year.

If “good” Swiss media are not even rewarded by the economy and even “bad” media such as are punished, the famous Swiss media freedom is more of a mirage than a reality.

Our Democratic Sunday Speakers of all parties prefer to treat the subject only with restraint. The few hundred good journalists in Switzerland have no choice but to hunch internally. Many emigrate to the PR industry, knowing the weaknesses of their ex-colleagues very well.