Interview with Massimo Moruzzi

Who are you and what do you do in life?
I am a former blog-star, at least in Italy (dotcoma.it: now in English!). I have also worked in Marketing, Biz Dev or Sales positions for Start-ups of different stripes (consumer reviews, online dating, classifieds, blog search engines, viral marketing, E-Commerce, SaaS, you name it!) and from more countries that I can probably remember (Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, the UK and now Canada). I am currently launching Montreal-based mobile app Transit App in Italy: we’re live in Milan and Rome!
When and why did you start writing?
I started blogging in the summer of 2001, when the dot-com I was working for was about to do some “right-sizing” and I knew I was the next one in line anyway. It was sad to see a group of friends and talented colleagues go, but I can’t say I was surprised. We were a real dot-com: we had no revenue, and our business model at the time was supposed to be about selling Banner Ads. Actually, letting an Ad Network sell Banner Ads for us. That is, the same Banner Ads that I wouldn’t touch with a stick when I was doing the ad-buying.
What do you know about Online Advertising?
A decade ago, I fully managed the ad-buying for French online dating company Meetic (now part of Match.com) in Italy. I was one of the three or four largest online spenders in the country, along with eBay, online bank ING Direct and a notorious mobile phone ringtone peddler. I tried to spend as much money as I could on co-brands (we even had one with Yahoo!) and on “editorial” positions (yeah, that would be “native advertising” in today’s parlance, I guess) rather than on Banner Ads which, on average, work poorly for us.

I have since kept a rather unhealthy obsession — to the point of reading the industry’s White Papers as a hobby - with the hard-nosed and sometimes unscrupulous schemes the tech industry has come up with to try to milk more money out of Banner Ads.
What about your Ebooks?
In September, 2014, I found myself “less than fully employed”, and with an itch to do something different. As Stefano, a friend I had done some translations for, owed me 100 bucks, I asked him to buy some books for me. I decided that learning about the great Advertising classics was far more interesting than trying to become an authority in “100 ways to use Pinterest for business”.

Besides, my Klout score, whatever that is, was shit.

I had already read a book from David Ogilvy and a couple from George Lois. I read more from both, and I also started reading about Bill Bernbach and Howard Luck Gossage. When I picked up Steve Harrison’s great “Changing the World Is the Only Fit Work for a Grown Man”, lightning struck: this Gossage guy was able to “interact” with consumers half a century ago much better than any of today’s “Social Media Marketing” practitioners. What followed was my first Ebook, “What Happened To Advertising? What Would Gossage Do?”.

After that, I lightened up a bit and published “15 Questions About Online Advertising”.
Any pointers? Who should your readers read?
Some of the best ideas about advertising, the web and the effect the move from analog to digital is having on society and on democracy can be found in the blogs and books by George Parker, Bob Hoffman, Don Marti, Doc Searls, Eli Pariser and Ethan Zuckerman.
Do you enjoy writing Ebooks? How do you like Smashwords?
No, I’m doing it because I want to get rich. And, yes, I like Smashwords and its sense of community quite a lot.
Published 2015-08-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

15 Domande sul Native Advertising
Series: 15 Domande. Price: Free! Words: 2,300. Language: Italian. Published: August 28, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Advertising, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Public relations
Continui a sentir parlare di native advertising ma non sei sicuro di sapere cos'è? Sei stanco di sentire il tuo capo parlare di content marketing, infliuencer advertising etc a rampazzo? La vita è troppo breve per essere gentili. Compra questo libro in versione cartacea e lasciaglielo sulla scrivania.
15 Questions About Native Advertising
Series: 15 Questions. Price: Free! Words: 2,370. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Advertising, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » E-commerce / internet marketing
What is native advertising? Is it a new practice, or little more than a new name? Is it the same as content marketing? How does it relate to social media marketing? Does native advertising work? Does it have negative consequences for society? Should native advertisement be deregulated, or should it be more seriously regulated?
15 Domande sui Social Media
Series: 15 Domande. Price: Free! Words: 2,610. Language: Italian. Published: January 26, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Advertising, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Marketing
(5.00)
Cosa sono i social media? Sono gli stessi siti web che fino a poco tempo fa chiamavamo social network? Perché abbiamo iniziato a chiamarli social media? Ha senso mandare i visitatori del proprio sito su Twitter e Facebook? Davvero le persone vogliono una "relazione" con i brand? E le aziende vogliono avere "conversazioni" con i loro clienti?
15 Questions About Social Media
Series: 15 Questions. Price: Free! Words: 2,600. Language: English. Published: January 14, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Advertising, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Marketing
(5.00)
Does all the hype surrounding social media make sense? What are social media? Are they the same websites we used to call social networks? Do people really want to "engage" with brands? Do companies really want to have "conversations" with their customers? What is the value of a Facebook "like"? What is "organic reach"? What happens now that the free lunch is over?
15 Domande sulla Pubblicità su Internet
Series: 15 Domande. Price: Free! Words: 2,860. Language: Italian. Published: September 30, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Advertising
Funziona la pubblicità su Internet? Funzionano i banner, la "Pubblicità Interattiva" che ora chiamano "Pubblicità Tabellare" (Display) perché non clicca, e tanto meno “interagisce”, nessuno? Per chi funzionano? Funzionano per gli Editori? Funzionano per gli Inserzionisti? O funzionano solo per le aziende della Silicon Valley che si occupano di tecnologia e intermediazione?
15 Questions About Online Advertising
Series: 15 Questions. Price: Free! Words: 2,810. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Advertising, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Marketing / direct
(4.67)
Does Online Advertising work? The right question to ask would be: for whom does Online Advertising work? Do Banner Ads, what we once called Interactive Advertising and now call Display Ads because nobody clicks on them, and much less "interacts" with them, work for Publishers? Do they work for Advertisers? Or do they just work for the Middlemen based in Silicon Valley?