Saturday, June 30, 2007

Context And The Crowd Trump Behavior

by Steve Smith, Friday, June 1, 2007

MOST BEHAVIORAL TRACKING WORKS ON the simple assumption that past behavior is a solid predictor of future need. Not so in all applications, says Baynote CEO Jack Jia. The founding CTO of content management giant Interwoven took a crash course in social science, which he claims tells us that group behavior in a given context is a better indicator of any given user's future actions than piles of personal behavioral history. He tells us how the wisdom of the crowds in context informs Baynote's approach to content and product recommendations.

Behavioral Insider: You were at content management supplier at Interwoven for eight years. How did that experience evolve into Baynote?

Jia: The last years of my Interwoven experience really helped me start thinking about the bigger problems people were facing. Customers were saying, the more content I am publishing, the less valuable it becomes. People aren't finding it. I created all this stuff but they aren't really getting value. This became the genesis of this new company that helps people consume this content more effectively. It follows how information and knowledge is accumulated and how it is passed down generation to generation.

Behavioral Insider: Explain that connection to human behavior patterns.

Jia: I actually spent almost six months studying and working with some of the social scientists at Stanford, really thinking through to the right solution -- not from a tech or computer science perspective, but more from psychology, sociology and organizational behavior.

We produce content recommendations. Where other people find value with similar things on your site, we start to accumulate that knowledge by observing their behaviors. We can deduce what is useful and what is not. and feed that back to the users with similar needs. The bottom line is the conversion rate improvement for any business site. Our e-commerce customers have seen somewhere in the area of 20%-plus revenue lift. The support side is cost reduction. Fewer people call if they find the answers online. We just did Turbo Tax's support site and they saw a huge reduction of the support costs by having the community being the backbone of providing what answers to provide to which questions.

Behavioral Insider: Explain that connection between the social science you learned at Stanford and the company's behavioral model.

Jia: We found what we call the wisdom of the invisible crowd. This is a big insight that the psychologists and the social scientists have known for years. There is a controversy between behavioral targeting and contextual targeting. A lot of computer scientists believe you can predict people based on their past behaviors, that past needs can actually dictate what I want in the future. And that's really the basis of personalization and the more recent BT.

When we went to Stanford and really studied this, we found [past behavior] is a very poor predictor, because humans have way too many profiles. I am a father, a son, a brother, I like travel, I like a lot of things. You can track all my past behaviors all you want, but in any given moment when I go onto a site it is very hard for you to predict what I want. We believe that particular approach has a low accuracy in terms of predicting human behavior.

However, there is opposite research that is well known among scientists that asks whether people are unique. We are raised with the notion that I am unique and don't have needs quite like other people. But the scientists proved we are not unique at all. We are pack animals. Pretty much 95% of people will need the same thing. We only need to find out under what context what things are useful, and then present that product or content given the context. Then the prediction is very accurate.

Behavioral Insider: Describe how that insight translates into a recommendation method.

Jia: For example, although we know each individual and track them, we don't really care what they did yesterday. We can build profiles, but generally we don't use that primary guidance. Instead, say at our customer Cisco's site, someone goes to the router portion of the site -- then you will more than likely behave like other people who have interest in routers. There is a router peer group vs. the switches Cisco also sells, or the investor visitors vs. the job seeker. They can be the same people with different profiles, but once you enter that router world you behave much like the other people in routers.

We don't really care about your behaviors. And given our attention is so short, we can only recommend to you three or four documents before you get impatient. And then which ones you choose is very important. In aggregate, you are watching everyone's behavior. But it's not necessary to track behaviors day after day.

Behavioral Insider: But what data points are you collecting to understand what people will do in a given context?

Jia: That's one of the unique things. Almost all of the vendors out there except Amazon is collecting clicks. Through our studies at Stanford we found the click doesn't tell you anything. The click is the function of the area of the site you are on. If you put a link on the front page, you will get more clicks. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you link less-used content on the front page more people will click on it, and then people back out of it.

So click doesn't tell whether a piece of content is useful or not. It is the other things we are tracking, about 20 behavioral characteristic that in aggregate can tell us, for instance, how much time you spent on a piece of content relative to the size of the content. It really depends on what other like-minded peers also spent time with. Whether you come back to the same content. A repeat visit to the three or four products you like, we call virtual bookmarking. So, basically how you navigate now is telling.

Behavioral Insider: What kind of sample base is needed to make predictions?

Jia: One person can be noisy. Two people still noisy. Three to 10 with similar needs, like-minded peers, will start to cancel the noise out. By observing a set of heuristics, that forms a unique fingerprint of someone who likes or dislikes the content. Then we compare that fingerprint with like-minded peers, 10 or 100 other people. The noise will cancel each other out in 100, and what remains is a consistent pure signal. That is where we know that this content is truly important to that group of people.

Welcome to [ Article: Apple's iPhone Dissected: We did it, so you don't have to]

Welcome to [ Article: Apple's iPhone Dissected: We did it, so you don't have to]

iCashedIn: iPhones Flood eBay

iCashedIn: iPhones Flood eBay

Friday, June 29, 2007

MySpace Likely To Open Platform To 3rd Party Developers

MySpace Likely To Open Platform To 3rd Party Developers

Guy Swipes Reporter’s Mic During iPhone Live Shot

Guy Swipes Reporter’s Mic During iPhone Live Shot

The Rising Roar of Word-of-Mouth

JUNE 29, 2007

'I tried it and... '

More and more, consumers are relying on advice from friends, family and even strangers to make purchase decisions, select physicians, choose travel destinations and pick politicians to vote for.

And many of them are giving — and getting — that advice online.

By eMarketer's latest estimates, over 25 million US adults regularly share advice on products or services online.

"For as long as humans have been talking, information has spread by word-of-mouth. But it is only recently that word-of-mouth has become an actual marketing discipline," says Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer Senior Analyst and the author of the new report, Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Winning Friends and Influencing Customers.

According to a BIGresearch study, 91% of US adults regularly or occasionally seek advice about products or services.

In the same study, 94.1% of US adults regularly or occasionally give advice to others about products or services.

"Obviously, nearly everyone is talking," says Ms. Williamson.

And their friends are listening — and being influenced.

Adult Internet users surveyed by DoubleClick chose recommendations from friends as the one type of promotion they consider most worthwhile.

"However, at a time when consumers have more ways to wield their influence and opinion than ever before," says Ms. Williamson, "word-of-mouth represents a double-edged sword for marketers."

Survey after survey reports that consumers consider word-of-mouth more credible than nearly any other kind of marketing, but the more that companies try to control it, the greater the risk of failure.

To learn how to get your product or services talked about, in a good way, read the new eMarketer report, Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Winning Friends and Influencing Customers.

AdSense ad design turns a corner - Search Marketing - BizReport

AdSense ad design turns a corner - Search Marketing - BizReport: "AdSense ad design turns a corner
Google AdSense has added a new feature for publishers to manipulate the design of their ads’ borders.
by Helen Leggatt
AdSense users have long been able to control and size and colors of their ads. A new design option allows for a choice of ad border corners. Called “Corner Styles” the feature allows publishers to choose between “very rounded”, “slightly rounded” or 'square' corners.
The effect of being more able to blend an ad into a website has the potential to raise click-through rates and complement the overall site design.
The new option is available when designing ad blocks, in a pull-down menu as illustrated below.
Of course, some designs will render the borders invisible, as the Google blog points out. “Please keep in mind that if your page background color, ad background color, and ad border color are all the same, these new corners won't be visible,” it reads.
Tags: ads, AdSense, Google"

Thursday, June 28, 2007

iLoser retains place in line, crisis averted - Engadget

iLoser retains place in line, crisis averted - Engadget

The Next Net: Google Injects Cash Into the Widget Economy

The Next Net: Google Injects Cash Into the Widget Economy: "Google Injects Cash Into the Widget Economy

Google is a big believer in widgets, or what it calls gadgets, those little applications and pieces of other Websites you can embed on your Google personal homepage or on your desktop. In an effort to encourage outsiders to develop even more widgets, it is now offering $5,000 no-strings-attached grants to software developers who want to improve their already-popular widgets. And it is starting an investment fund called Google Gadget Ventures to sprinkle $100,000 seed money into the very best of these ideas.
What we are seeing is a variety of platforms—Google, MySpace, Facebook, Pageflakes, Netvibes—competing to attract the best widgets, which in turn will keep people on their sites longer. The problem is that a widget that works on Google will work pretty much everywhere else. So it's not clear that Google (GOOG) is creating any competitive advantage here, unless there are some Google-exclusive hooks that would prevent the widget makers from distributing their Google-funded apps elsewhere.
Maybe that seed money, though, will move the widget industry forward from making cool features to creating real widget-based businesses. The business models here, though, are far from clear."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

UGC Users Outnumber Creators

JUNE 26, 2007

Are enough people recording their cats?

Even taking into account the power and ease of use of user-generated content tools like digital cameras and affordable audio/video production software, there are more content consumers than creators.

In the US, the number of users of user-generated content will hit 101 million by 2011, up from the 2006 estimate of 69 million.

Globally, the estimated number of user-generated content users will hit 254 million by 2011, up from 128 million in 2006.

Not surprisingly, the number of people who create content — i.e., post videos, photos, music, blogs, wikis, personal profiles and personal Web sites — is expected to increase significantly as the user-generated content movement gathers steam, rising to 95 million in the US by 2011, up from 70 million in 2007.

Globally, the number of user-generated content creators will reach 238 million in 2011, up from 137 million in 2007.

John Horrigan of the Pew Internet & American Life Project said in a Clickz interview, "[The Web is] shifting now to user-generated content; it shows people engaging with the Internet in a number of different ways in their lives. It shows that people are pretty interested in using the technology to put something of themselves on the Internet, not just pull down information from the Internet."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Coen Downgrades '07 U.S. Ad Spend Forecast by $8 Bil.

John Consoli

JUNE 26, 2007 -

Media advertising forecaster Bob Coen, senior vp at Universal McCann, said he significantly overprojected advertising spending for 2007 last December in his semi-annual forecast and today (June 26) revised his totals, saying combined national and local ad spending will total $290.3 billion, $8 billion less than his original forecast. But national ad spending will still be up in 2007 over 2006.

Coen said national ad spending in 2007 will be $190 billion, up 4.2 percent over 2006. In December he had forecast national spending in 2007 would be $195.6 billion, up 5.9 percent. Local ad spending, Coen predicts, will now reach $100.2 billion in 2007, up 1.7 percent. Last December, he projected it would be $103.1 billion, up 2.7 percent.

Coen said 2006 turned out not to be a very good year for ad spending, despite it being an Olympics and election year. He said that has carried over into this year.

In a usual Olympics and election year, he said, ad spending usually rises by close to 6 percent overall, but 2006 finished with only a 3.9 percent increase to $281.6 billion. That impacted his projections for this year.

This year has also not started off very well as far as ad spending goes. Coen said in the first quarter of this year, major ad categories like automotive and telecommunications are down 11 percent and 14 percent, respectively, in national television, and other categories like soft drinks and airlines are down 17 percent and 24 percent respectively in national TV spending.
On the local side, classified advertising in newspapers is down significantly, with that category projected to be off 13.2 percent for 2007.

“The outlook for advertising this year is not very good,” Coen said. “In odd-numbered years there is a significant fall-off in political advertising from the levels of the even-numbered years when all members of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are involved in election contests,” Coen said.

Coen said right now it is “wishful thinking” that any significant ad revenue will be gained from presidential primary campaigns or that traditional media will gain huge amounts of new ad revenue for their online services.

For 2007, Coen projects that the Big 4 broadcast TV networks will take in $17.1 billion in ad revenue, up 3 percent over 2006. Other Coen projections: All of cable TV, he said, will take in $20.1 billion, up 4.5 percent. Magazines will bring in $13.5 billion in ad revenue, up 4.0 percent. Syndication TV will bring in $3.6 billion, down 2 percent. National radio will take in $4.5 billion, up 2.5 percent; and newspapers will bring in $7 billion, up 1 percent. Internet advertising, Coen projects, will be up 17 percent to $10.6 billion in 2007.

Coen’s also made local projections for 2007: newspaper advertising woulc be down 1.5 percent to $38.8 billion; local TV, up 8 percent to $15.3 billion; and local radio up 2 percent to $15.5 billion.

Emerging media, although a growing ad category percentage wise within itself, will have little overall impact on traditional media in the near future, according to Brian Wieser, senior vp, director industry analysis, at Magna Global, the media buying negotiator for Universal McCann and other Interpublic media agencies.

Wieser said contrary to what many believe, younger audiences are not abandoning television for emerging media. To the contrary, he said, younger audiences are actually watching more television in addition to using emerging media. He said video viewing online is less than 1 percent of total traditional television viewing right now. Online video advertising will total $365 million this year, he said. Other forms of emerging media advertising like video-on-demand will bring in $160 million in 2007, mobile wireless advertising will total $100 million, and in-game advertising will reach $216.9 billion.

In Shift, EMarketer Raises Online Ad-Growth Estimates

Continued Strength in Search, Display Spur Revised Prediction NEW YORK ( -- What slowdown? While there has been some speculation that the dramatic growth in online display advertising is starting to level off, that is not the case this year or next, said eMarketer, as the research firm revised its online ad spending estimates upward for 2007 and 2008.
Negative predictions about the economy as a whole haven't necessarily panned out, partly leading to eMarketer's revised upward estimates.
Negative predictions about the economy as a whole haven't necessarily panned out, partly leading to eMarketer's revised upward estimates.

Mearly 30% growth
EMarketer is bumping up its 2007 totals from $19.5 billion to $21.7 billion, which means instead of 18.9% growth the industry will experience 28.6% growth. While 2007 was expected to be the first year in the past three that growth dipped below 30%, now it will at least come close.

Growth in 2008 is expected to be more robust -- again more than 30% -- to a total $28.8 billion, thanks to an injection of political spending dollars from the presidential election. In 2009 eMarketer is finally predicting a slowdown, with online ad revenue growing at a reduced 18.1% clip.

"A combination of seeing continued growth not just from Google but seeing it at places such as AOL, and seeing that when there's any good news from traditional media it's been online," said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer. And the growth isn't only coming from the usually hyped sectors of search and video.

"One of the things that's most interesting is continued strength of display," Mr. Hallerman added. "It's become almost a standard add-on for campaigns. Yahoo's weakness ... has been in search more than display."

What's changed?
What has changed since the earlier 2007 estimates? For one thing, when the estimates were created in September, Yahoo was issuing warnings of weaker-than-expected display revenue in a couple key categories. As Mr. Hallerman notes, they are still the second-biggest contributor after Google to the U.S. online advertising revenue. "But it wasn't clear other publishers would be gaining as much as they have," he said.

Additionally, there were more negative predictions about the economy as a whole -- and those predictions haven't necessarily panned out.

Online advertising as a share of the total media budget will surpass radio this year, eMarketer said, and top 10% next year. EMarketer benchmarks its estimates against figures from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Interactive Advertising Bureau.

R/GA Names Kohnke For Data Intelligence

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2007 6:00 AM ET
R/GA HAS APPOINTED LUANE KOHNKE as managing director of data intelligence. In her new role, Kohnke's mission is to grow R/GA's analytics and Web-measurement practices, as well as augment them with customer-segmentation and data-driven targeting. She will also work on creating proprietary data-visualization and optimization tools. Kohnke, who most recently served as senior vice president, strategic services at Wunderman New York, will now head a team of analysts in New York and build an analytics team for R/GA in London.

Time To Go Quigo For Contextual

by Gavin O'Malley, Tuesday, Jun 26, 2007 6:00 AM ET
MARKING ITS BIGGEST ONE-TIME DEAL to date, contextual ad service Quigo Technologies has secured an exclusive, multi-year partnership with Time Inc.
Quigo gains access to more than 19 million unique visitors who flock each month to,,, and, among other sites.
For the first time, Time Inc. will be able to directly offer its advertisers text-based pay-for-performance ad serving across its entire network, site by site, and page by page.
With Quigo's AdSonar-powered ad platform, Time Inc. advertisers can buy space on, say, the home page of, sections like " and Science," along with hundreds of topics or keywords, including "Mutual Funds" or "Chicago Cubs."
"We chose Quigo because of the flexibility they offer and the fact that many of our advertisers are very response-driven," said Vivek Shah, president of digital publishing, Time Inc. Business and Finance Network. Until now, Time had divided its contextual ad duties between Google and Yahoo.
The companies estimate that ad revenues will top $100 million over the first three years of the partnership, according to Henry Vogel, chief revenue officer at Quigo.
In the competition for contextual-text-ad-serving, Quigo has been nipping at the giant knees of Google and Yahoo. Over the last two years, the New York-based company has won over a number of top-tier media sites, including,,, as well as Cox Newspapers' 17 sites.
Apart from its David-and-Goliath charm, publishers have been attracted to Quigo's transparent ad placement operations, which have stood in contrast to Google's and Yahoo's more veiled approach. (Quigo gives advertisers a list of specific sites where their ads have appeared, as well as the chance to buy space on specific sites and pages.)
Quigo's strategy is proving so effective that Google earlier this month followed suit by offering placement performance reports for AdWords--allowing advertisers to see where their ads appear, as well as site-by-site performance metrics.
But Quigo's success does not rest on its transparency alone, assured Vogel.
"Our strength comes from our highly customizable and customer-centric focus," said Vogel. "This is about publishers who want control over the ad-serving process, rather than outsourcing it to a blind network."
Quigo had 13 billion impressions in May, said Vogel, who predicted the number would rise to 20 billion monthly by the end of the year.
And Quigo's business is not limited to text ads. According to Vogel, the company is busy integrating its performance-based technology into other ad formats, including display and even video ads.
"We are at a tipping point with performance-based marketing," Vogel said. "The door is now open to explore other ad formats."
According to Shaw, Time Inc.'s main interest with Quigo is text-based ads, but the company would be open to exploring other ad formats with Quigo in the future.
Contextual ads generated about $2 billion in revenue last year--or 13% of online ad spending, according to eMarketer. Google took in about 60% of that revenue, while Quigo was left with less than 10% of the pot.
Other sites in Time Inc.'s network include,,,,,,,,,, and

Monday, June 25, 2007

Microsoft Taps Interpublic's Reprise As Search Agency

by Tameka Kee, Monday, Jun 25, 2007 6:00 AM ET
MICROSOFT HAS TAPPED REPRISE MEDIA to manage search marketing across its product and brand portfolio, just two months after Reprise was acquired by the Interpublic Group.
Reprise will work in tandem with IPG sister agency McCann WorldGroup, Microsoft's global agency of record, to develop and execute search campaigns that are closely integrated with current online and offline marketing strategies.
"We'll be working with McCann to improve the execution of search," said Josh Stylman, managing partner, Reprise Media. "But also to ensure that it can be leveraged as the integration point between every other piece of marketing."
The firm has just begun to analyze and tweak the search efforts for both consumer and b2b products, like Office, Zune and Vista, and according to David Grubb, Microsoft's global media director, "they have had a visible impact on our efforts already, and we're just getting started."
Reprise's next steps for Microsoft include developing search efforts for public relations and contextual marketing campaigns, as well as executing strategies designed to ultimately increase search share for Windows Live.
Stylman would not comment on whether input from aQuantive (Microsoft's pending digital agency acquisition) will be a factor going forward. But the software giant currently uses aQuantive's ATLAS technology for search tracking, and there are no plans to change that.
"We knew that Microsoft was one of the biggest accounts we would be working on," said Anthony Iaffaldano, director of marketing, Reprise Media. "And we're striving to make sure that search never becomes an afterthought in their media plan."

Yahoo Ad Sales Reorg Signals Platform-Agnosticism

by Laurie Petersen, Monday, Jun 25, 2007 6:00 AM ET
BY COMBINING ITS SEARCH AND display ad sales teams under one executive leader--search side's David Karnstedt--Yahoo is catering to what its customers want, but in a platform-agnostic fashion, Karnstedt's boss said last night.
"You will hear more," said Gregory Coleman, Yahoo's executive vice president of global sales, in an interview. "We have a full plan. Today's announcement is a signal to say to everyone that we're serious."
Months in the planning, the reorganization is accompanied by the departure of longtime Chief Sales Officer Wenda Harris Millard, the six-year Yahoo veteran whose new job as president of media for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, starting July 16, was announced separately by that company yesterday.
Millard was on the team that developed the ad sales reorganization plan, knew Karnstedt had been chosen to run it, and opted for the MSLO position rather than take on a global ad sales role for Yahoo, she told Online Media Daily. (See related story.)
"This new structure further solidifies marketers' instincts to plan their search and display campaigns together," said Roger Barnette, president of SearchIgnite, a media management platform specializing in auction-based media, and sister company to 360i. "Additionally, with this news following Yahoo's acquisition of Right Media, Yahoo is laying groundwork to emerge as a leader in providing auction-based media opportunities beyond search marketing so advertisers can achieve the most efficiency with their campaigns."
Coleman said it will take several months to work out the exact integration, but that the timing of the announcement had nothing to do with Millard's new job. Rumors that she would be leaving Yahoo for something new have circulated for weeks, and reverberated even louder last week after Terry Semel stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Co-founder Jerry Yang. Millard, whose profile is best-known on Madison Avenue, is credited with legitimizing Yahoo as a destination for leading brand advertisers. Earlier in her career, she was a founder of the pre-bubble DoubleClick.
"Integrating our world-class search and display sales teams under David's leadership will allow us to better serve all of our advertisers' marketing objectives ranging from brand awareness to direct response," said Sue Decker, president of Yahoo in the official company statement announcing the move. "This is one of many important steps we're taking to re-invigorate our display business, further build on our industry-leading position in advertising, and drive thought-leadership in the online advertising marketplace."
Last Monday, Yahoo said its second-quarter revenues would be closer to the lower end of earlier guidance because of display advertising weakness.
"David Karnstedt has done great things for Yahoo's Search Sales business, and it's his leadership skills, business acumen and keen understanding of the new media landscape that make him the perfect person to help shape the future of Yahoo's advertising sales business," Coleman said.
Karnstedt, who continues to report to Coleman as head of North American sales, joined Yahoo Search Marketing (formerly Overture) in September 2001. He is also a veteran of such pioneering Internet companies as Lycos and Alta Vista.
"By taking a more holistic approach to advertising sales, Yahoo will become a more consultative seller, which should make buying complete solutions easier for our customers across Yahoo and our partner sites," Coleman said.
Yahoo has been seeking to boost its share of advertising business on partner media sites as well. It is supplying both display and search advertising for eBay, and has recently signed deals with Comcast and a consortium of newspapers. Karnstedt will oversee ad sales on all Yahoo properties, including the new One Search mobile platform.
Yahoo made every effort to focus its statements on Karnstedt's elevation rather than Millard's departure, but her decision to leave is a reminder of a new wave of executive departures. Earlier this month, Yahoo's chief technology officer, who led the development of the Panama search marketing platform, put in his last day.

Where'd you go? Advertisers know



NEW YORK — Personal identity has taken on a new meaning in the digital age, where basic facts like your name, address or age are far less important to some people than the collected records of what you were looking at online.

Technologies for monitoring and interpreting Internet habits as a predictor of future behaviour cropped up at the start of this century, but only now are gaining momentum as the newest gold mine for Web sites and their advertisers.

Known as behavioural targeting, the premise is to follow the sites you visit and build a picture of what products may interest you, then deliver related advertising in time for you to choose your purchase.

U.S. marketers will nearly double their spending on such advertising to $1-billion (U.S.) next year from $575-million in 2007, according to research firm eMarketer. By 2011, behavioural targeting will surge to nearly $3.8-billion of online ads.

Industry executives say it's a boon to the consumer, who in an ideal world will only receive commercial messages that suit them personally, while enjoying online entertainment or information for free.

“As long as I'm seeing relevant advertising and as long as I am receiving free content, I am a pretty happy person,” said Bill Gossman, chief executive of behavioural targeting firm Revenue Science. The company's clients have included media outlets from Reuters Group Plc to Walt Disney Co.'s ABC News and Gannett Co. Inc.'s USA Today.

To protect individual privacy, U.S. companies who sell such services say they do not link the behavioural data with the actual names and addresses of computer users.

“We have no idea of who that individual is and I don't want to know,” Gossman said. “What marketers want to know is, what is their intent?”

Critics charge the technologies will only stoke corporate efforts to accumulate an ever-increasing pile of data on a person's behaviour whether on the Internet or elsewhere.

“My concern as we give away ever more data about ourselves, our activities, our behaviour in the world, our choices ... is that fairly rich data sets can be built up, maybe not in one place but relationally across the Web,” said Adam Greenfield, a futurist and user experience consultant.

The greater danger, he said, involves the ability to match data on Web behaviour with information such as a person's location, via their cell phones, or commercial transactions.

For a marketer, there is no such thing as too much information when it comes to making a sales pitch.

“The picture isn't complete until you literally plant tracking devices inside somebody's arm,” said Emily Riley, an analyst at JupiterResearch. “When I go to the mall, nobody at Google is going to know what stores I have visited.”


For example, a person comparing automobile brands online is likely interested in buying a car. Behavioural targeting narrows those categories further: Is the car a model that would seat a family? Did the individual inquire about hybrid vehicles, suggesting interest in protecting the environment? Did they also look for an infant's safety seat?

From that data, enough information could be gleaned about a person to know that they might be interested in not just the latest Volvo or Honda model, but perhaps biodegradable diapers as well.

“The ideal is where they literally know your preferences and what motivates you,” said Riley. “That is really personalized. If we are at Web 2.0, that would be Web 3.0, where your entire personality is online.”

Build a database of such people's habits and you can index their interests to create an “audience” of individuals. They may be at different places online and in the real world, but they all show a preference for environmentally friendly products, or tend to spend more money on shoes than on hats.

That proposition has turned traditional advertising, long dominated by the television commercial, on its head. In the Golden Age of U.S. advertising, a marketer could be confident that buying time for a commercial on three TV networks would reach a wide swathe of the domestic audience.

Those audiences were defined by demographic categories like age and gender. TV networks based the price of their ads on a small sample of the viewing habits of U.S. consumers, charging their highest premium for programs popular among young males.

As people now get their entertainment on everything from cell phones to video games, the audience has dispersed from their living rooms. That makes them harder to track down, but offers the advantage of more precise information once they are found.

Internet advertising agencies are reaping the advantages of these fundamental changes, largely because they help figure out where to find a specific audience and build campaigns tailored to the Internet as a medium.

“This is going to be a Golden Age of advertising,” said Scott Howe, president of the DRIVEpm behavioral unit of online marketer aQuantive Inc. “It's the ability to deliver messages in sequence and tell a story. Advertising is going to become fun again. It's going to become serialized.”

Howe said behavioural ad campaigns can be just as useful for filtering out certain consumers. In one campaign for a software product, the manufacturer targeted customers who selected the product for their online shopping cart but deleted it before making their final purchase.

The rationale was these customers had already shown interest in the product, and just needed some further incentive to make an order.

“It was the worst-performing campaign. It turned out these people weren't buying the software in the end because it was incompatible” with their computers, he said. The marketer then used the same list of customers to make sure they didn't receive such advertising in the future.

Just try to do that on television.

Global Media Outlook: $2 Tril. by 2011

June 21, 2007
By Georg Szalai/The Hollywood Reporter

NEW YORK The global entertainment and media industry will expand at a 6.4 percent compound annual growth rate over five years to hit $2 trillion in 2011, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2007-2011."

One estimate likely to cause a stir includes the prediction that U.S. spending on Internet advertising and access will surpass spending on newspaper publishing in 2009.

Globally, PwC expects Internet advertising and access spending to grow from an estimated $177 billion in 2006 to $332 billion in 2011, making for a 13.5 percent compound annual growth rate.

The U.S. remains the largest but also the slowest-growing media market in the world, expanding at an estimated 5.3 percent compound annual growth rate to hit $754 billion in 2011.

Asia Pacific will be the fastest-growing region at an estimated CAGR of 13.5 percent.

Digital media, particularly online and wireless, are pegged to be the key growth engines around the world, with nearly half of total industry growth expected to come from these two areas over the five-year period, according to the global consultancy.

PwC released its eighth annual Outlook forecast with these and other projections today.

Global advertising will increase at a 5.4 percent compound annual growth rate to expand from an estimated $407 billion in 2006 to $530 billion in 2011, the Outlook predicts.

According to PwC, the Internet will remain the fastest-growing ad medium, with a projected 18.5 percent CAGR to $73 billion, or 14 percent of total ad spend, by the end of the five-year period.

PwC projects double-digit growth in the online/digital and mobile fields in all territories around the world over the next five years to $153 billion, with TV distribution and video games also figuring as key growth engines.

Broadband households will grow by 300 million to 540 million, and wireless subscribers will increase by 1.1 billion to 3.4 billion worldwide, PwC also predicts.

"Content, distribution and technology companies need to aggressively seek out new relationships to accommodate the shift towards convergence," said Jim O'Shaughnessy, global chairman of PwC's entertainment and media practice.

In terms of regions, economic and media/entertainment growth will continue to boost the importance of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), according to PwC.

One particularly eye-catching projection by PwC calls for Asia-Pacific spending on the distribution of TV programming on mobile phones to jump from only $26 million in 2006 to $6.5 billion in 2011.

This 14.7 percent compound annual growth will be nearly three times the projected 5.5 percent increase for the rest of the world.

"Digital download-to-own streaming services will generate incremental revenue in the United States and EMEA," PwC predicts. "Box office will be enhanced by digital cinemas in the United States, Europe/the Middle East/Africa and Asia Pacific and by modern theaters and more screens in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America."

The 6.4 percent global entertainment spending increase projected in PwC's Outlook compares with the compound annual growth rate of 6.6 percent that last year's report predicted for the 2006-10 time frame.

Aegis, WPP Dominate Digital Agency Ranks, Account For Half The Industry

by Gavin O'Malley and Les Luchter, Friday, Jun 22, 2007 6:00 AM ET
WITH A TEAM OF 1,400 people worldwide, London-based Aegis Group--and its Isobar network--is the ad industry's biggest interactive media services organization, according to estimates released Thursday by Paris-based agency billings researcher RECMA.

Based on data published in RECMA's first-ever digital agency report, Aegis accounts for 28% of all the digital media personnel across the six holding companies (see below) and eight nations (RECMA measured eight countries for the worldwide figures--the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia and India.) surveyed.

WPP's GroupM Interaction is the second-largest digital network holding company--with 1,224 digital staffers globally, or 25% of the total, RECMA said. In the U.S., however, GroupM has a larger presence, with 619 staffers versus Isobar's 595, followed by Publicis (453), Interpublic (365), Omnicom (320) and Havas (79).

Aegis' digital edge over WPP is all the more impressive when considering the two agencies' total staffs: 2,175 worldwide for Aegis compared to 5,977 for WPP.

Rounding out the top six holding companies are: Publicis Groupe Media with 897 digital staffers (18% of the total)--453 of whom reside in the states; Omnicom Media Group with 590 (12%) worldwide and 320 state-side; Interpublic, with 542 (11%) worldwide and 365 state-side; and Havas Media, with 344 (7%) worldwide, and 79 in the U.S.

In terms of individual digital media networks, Aegis' Isobar is again tops worldwide (903 staffers), followed by Publicis' Zenith Optimedia (581), Aegis' Carat (497), WPP's MediaCom (421) and WPP's MEC Interaction (406). In the U.S., Carat is the top digital employer, with 304 staffers, followed by Isobar and Zenith Optimedia tied at 291, and then Interpublic's Initiative at 220. (See complete chart of 15 agencies below.)

Overall, RECMA reported that 4,997 people work for digital agencies around the world, with about half of them--2,431, or 49%--in the U.S.

RECMA--the "Research Company evaluating the Media Agency industry"--is a Paris-based independent research company established in 1991 with offices in France, the U.S., and Hong Kong.

In January 2006, it met with the top managers of global interactive media agency networks. Information collected during these meetings and interviews formed the core of its new "Profiles of the Major Interactive MEDIA Agencies." In December 2006 and January 2007, RECMA met managers of several U.S. global media agency networks and presented a preliminary report.

Interactive Media Agencies Ranked By Size



Ranked By Parent Company

Aegis (Isobar)



WPP (GroupM Interaction)



Publicis Groupe Media



Omnicom Media Group



Interpublic (Media Units)



Havas Media



Ranked By Media Network




Zenith Optimedia









MEC Interaction



Media Contacts (MPG, Havas)



OMD Digital









MindShare Interaction



Universal McCann



Omnicom (OMG Direct, etc.)



GroupM (Outrider, M80, etc.)






Interpublic (Reprise, IDP, etc.)






Keeping Online Video Ads on Target

JUNE 22, 2007

ScanScout's take on the business of online video advertising.

Doug McFarland, CEO of ScanScout, has been in the media business for 22 years. Nearly half of these have been in executive positions in the field of interactive media. Before ScanScout, he was EVP/GM of Eyeblaster, North America, and EVP/GM at Before that he was president of Jupiter/Media Metrix.

ScanScout, two years in the making, now serves targeted video ads around online video content.

eMarketer: What does ScanScout offer?

Doug McFarland: We target video ads to relevant content and to targeted users.

eMarketer: What's your business model?

Mr. McFarland: It's pay-per-view. The advertiser doesn't pay until the user has chosen to see the ad.

eMarketer: Sounds familiar?

Mr. McFarland: We do for video pretty much what Google does for AdSense, except they only look at the contents of the page, we look at the contents of the video. If the viewer is reading a review about new autos, and the review mentions a Porsche 911 or Porsche Boxster, we can serve a Porsche ad.

eMarketer: How "targeted" can you get?

Mr. McFarland: Eventually, we'll use cookies. Now the targeting is contextually based. Whatever type of content is playing, the ad will relate to that. I call it "video by invitation."

eMarketer: You place ads around user-generated content. Isn't that risky for some brands?

Mr. McFarland: No. We are able to protect our advertisers from content they don't want to be associated with because of our brand-protection technology.

eMarketer: How does that work?

Mr. McFarland: Advertisers go through our pick list and choose the content and keywords they don't want to be associated with, like violence or sexual content or content that is just dumb. We use three different types of filtering: one type that identifies contextualization within a page, an audio analysis and, finally, music, like the background theme, coloration and other visual-detection technology. Based on what is input, we classify it as acceptable or not acceptable.

eMarketer: It sounds like most of the content on the Internet wouldn't pass muster.

Mr. McFarland: For one of the user-generated content publishers we're running on, about half of the content is not acceptable.

eMarketer: Does that worry you?

Mr. McFarland: A large portion of the video out there is like that TV show featuring stupid home videos. But most of that video was good for advertising because it had a big audience and the videos were humorous in most cases.

eMarketer: Are you looking forward to the appearance of more professionally produced online video content?

Mr. McFarland: The number of streams is constantly increasing. Every major publisher we've talked to has video now or has a plan to have it by the end of the year. TV advertisers have always had a big propensity to video.

eMarketer: What content is the big seller?

Mr. McFarland: Movie trailers, entertainment news. It's difficult to talk about because if you do a search on Google, there's video on every subject.

Kris Oser, Director of Strategic Communications at eMarketer, was a business reporter for 15 years, most recently covering digital marketing at Advertising Age.

Revenues to Grow at YouAd

JUNE 22, 2007

The content consumer becomes the creator.

An explosion of user-generated content has reshaped the media landscape, shattering the status quo of content ownership and distribution and creating new opportunities for marketers.

Led by the companies that started this revolution — YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Photobucket and others — eMarketer estimates that US user-generated content sites will earn $1 billion in 2007 and reach $4.3 billion in ad revenues in 2011.

On a worldwide basis, user-generated content ad revenues will rise from $1.6 billion in 2007 to $8.2 billion in 2011.

"Gone forever are the days in which giant media conglomerates control the creation, distribution and monetization of content," says Paul Verna, eMarketer Senior Analyst and the author of the new report, User-Generated Content: Will Web 2.0 Pay Its Way? "The media companies are still around and still wield considerable clout as a result of their content and their distribution networks, but today much of the power is shifting to the consumer."

Not only are consumers able to choose how and when they consume virtually any media, but they are also increasingly in control of the actual creation of content thanks to the popularity of sites like YouTube, MySpace and Wikipedia.

"Of course, user-generated content in itself is not a new phenomenon," says Mr. Verna. "For as long as 'content' has existed, common folks have used all manner of public forums to make their voices heard. Witness America's Funniest Home Videos, subway graffiti, folk songs, Speaker's Corner and cave paintings."

The difference now is that the Internet has democratized the creation and mass distribution of content. Anyone with the basic tools of a PC and an Internet connection can reach literally millions of people with a keystroke.

"This capability has put enormous power in the hands of the estimated 64 million Internet users in the US who created user-generated content in 2006 — and that number is expected to swell to 95 million by 2011," says Mr. Verna.

Currently, the US dominates the space, but other geographies are expected to contribute increasing amounts of user-generated content over the next several years, with 238 million user-generated content creators worldwide in 2011, up from 118 million in 2006.

To see how this explosion of user-generated content is reshaping the media landscape, shattering the status quo and creating new opportunities for marketers, read the new eMarketer report, User-Generated Content: Will Web 2.0 Pay Its Way?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Are You Getting Any? Ad Spending From Billions To Trillions

June 22nd 2007

PricewaterhouseCoopers recently published a report entitled “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2007-2011.” It anticipates the growth rate annually to be 6.4% resulting in $2 trillion dollars to be spent in 2011.

Internet advertising dollars are projected to surpass spending on newspaper publishing by 2009. PwC expects Internet ad spending to grow from $177 billion in 2006 to $332 billion in 2011, which predicts a 13.5% annual growth rate.

Although the United States has the largest industry, it is also the slowest growing market with a 5.3% AGR tapping $754 billion in 2011. Asia-Pacific is marked as the fastest growing currently holding a 13.5% AGR.

Over the next five years, the majority of the growth in the industry is to come from online and wireless digital media. Global advertising will increase at a 5.4% annual growth rate from an estimated $407 billion in 2006 to $530 billion in 2011. Five year projections show online/digital and mobile fields worldwide to increase to $153 billion. Broadband households will grow from 240 million to 540 million and wireless subscribers are predicted to increase from 2.3 billion to 3.4 billion globally.

PwC has said that in terms of regions, economic and media/entertainment growth will continue to foster the importance of India, China(BRIC), Brazil and Russia. “Content, distribution and technology companies need to aggressively seek out new relationships to accommodate the shift towards convergence,” said Jim O’Shaughnessy, global chairman of PwC’s entertainment and media practice

Asia-Pacific spending on distribution of TV programming on mobile handsets is expected to increase from $26 million in 2006 to $6.5 billion in 2011. At 14.7%this is three times the 5.5% growth rate projected for the rest of the world.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

india online growth E-commerce sure of more revenue this financial year

E-commerce sure of more revenue this financial year: "E-commerce sure of more revenue this financial year
Posted online: Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 0000 hours IST

Send Feedback E-mail this story Print this story
NEW DELHI, JUN 19: The use of the Internet for shopping has become extremely popular, especially in the metros where the use of the world wide web is the maximum. The e-shopping industry is projected to reap revenue of Rs 5,500 crore this year with an expected growth rate of 150% against Rs 2,200 crore in 2006-07, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

Consumers in Delhi and Mumbai are prone to e-shopping than other metros with Delhi e-shoppers share projected to go beyond 30% as against 20% last year.


Mumbai's share was 24% with maximum e-shopping taking place in electronic gadgets, apparel and design purchases, railways, air and movie tickets. The number in percentage increase for e-shoppers in 2007-08 would touch at least 40% in case of Mumbai. Products that will gain popularity in e-sale could include gems and jewellery, online books sale, accessories, apparel, gift products, music and movies, hotel room besides tickets for transportation.

Changing lifestyles, high per capita income leading to consumers turning shop-a-holics, yearn for "

Jupiter: Social Networks Awash in Behavioral Data · MarketingVOX

Jupiter: Social Networks Awash in Behavioral Data · MarketingVOX: "Jupiter: Social Networks Awash in Behavioral Data

Social networks like MySpace and Facebook are sitting on a treasure trove of behavioral information, according to one Jupiter analyst, reports ClickZ.

The guidance comes from JupiterResearch analyst Kevin Heisler on the heels of the release of Jupiter's US Online Advertising Forecast. Heisler opines that while social networks such as MySpace have used the member data it has in ad sales and targeting to some extent, it's nowhere close to maximizing its potential.

While ad revenue growth at these sites is happening, Heisler and others feel the targeting potential inherent in these networks has yet to be tapped to the extent possible.

But the sites are forced to walk a line between using this data for ad targeting and protecting the privacy of members. Failing to do so, or making moves that blatantly sacrifice privacy for revenue, could lead to user defection, something social networks fear.

Behavioral targeting, Jupiter's report says, will be a major factor driving overall online ad growth. Social networks aside, targeting technology is seen as a catalyst for future growth in the industry."

Mysql 2007 Tech At Digg V3 � SlideShare

Mysql 2007 Tech At Digg V3 � SlideShare

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ad firms look for better gauge of success

CANNES, France — While the global ad industry is again gathered here to honor ad creativity, much of the talk at the 54th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival is about number-crunching.

New media, as well as audience fragmentation, have upset the old agency model of creating ads and taking a percentage of the mass media spending as compensation. Today, there is pressure on agencies by marketers for new measures of the effectiveness of the $600 billion a year they spend worldwide on advertising, and agencies are trying to come up with models for being paid for that analytical work.

"Since every dollar has to work harder, clients are asking agencies to provide better predictors of success," says Anne Benvenuto, executive vice president, strategic services for digital agency R/GA.

But such predictors and pay models are all over the map. Particularly with fragmented new media, audience size often isn't high enough for statistically valid measures, and few standards for how to pay are in place.

"Digital and some of the emerging technologies don't have the reach and scale that TV has had," says Neil Canter, who heads Marketing Accountability Partnership, a division created at ad holding company Interpublic Group two years ago as a third-party ad measurement group. "So there are not very good inputs to the model. If you're going to figure this into compensation, you have to have an agreed-upon yardstick."

That yardstick is still up for grabs. Nielsen has only recently begun measuring commercial viewing, and the Internet Advertising Bureau is trying to establish standardized measures of Internet traffic.

"The name of the game for advertisers is using technology to document the effectiveness of ads," says David Evans, managing director of global competition policy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of Catalyst Code: The Strategies Behind the World's Most Dynamic Companies. Evans says successful agencies will use analytical tools to measure the impact of ad ideas on sales and attitudes.

New measures and pay plans:

•Flat fees. Simplest is a negotiated fee for service based on costs and profit margins to measure an ad's effectiveness across media. Depending on the scale and scope of a project, marketers can pay anywhere from $35,000 to $1 million to apply analytical tools to optimize how and where ad dollars are placed.

Agency MindShare uses flat fees and sometimes the additional cost of a specialized manager to interpret data. "We're open to more fee-based agreements that reflect the exact scope of services for the advertisers," says Scott Neslund, CEO, MindShare North America. "To do a commission basis like … 20 years ago doesn't make sense."

•Dollars for consumer behavior. Direct-marketing agency Wunderman recently redefined some key measures to assign a dollar ratio to consumer actions, such as what percentage of visitors to a website performed a specified activity, such as requesting more information. "This is very, very meaningful for a client because it shows the value of a series of actions," says Mark Taylor, Wunderman's chief operating officer.

•Performance commission. DraftFCB, created last year by merging direct ad agency Draft and traditional agency FCB, created a variable-pay model based on a marketer's objectives. The agency still reaps a percentage of ad spending but will charge lower commissions in combination with a bonus if the program beats expectations.

"We want to compete the way clients do, which is based on performance measures," says Laurence Boschetto, president and chief operating officer. Real-time results for marketing programs are posted in the office on computer screens known as the "smart wall."

•Premium services. IPG's Marketing Accountability Partnership bills clients an average daily rate akin to consulting fees. Operating the unit independently of the agencies that create ads helps create the perception of objectivity and reduces the inclination for agencies to place ads in more costly media. "One of the key issues with accountability into compensation plans is the client perception of the objectivity of the accountability measures," MAP's Canter says.

Still, the industry hasn't moved as quickly as media has changed, and agencies are reluctant to give up commissions as a business model. And they don't want to be penalized if sales fall short for reasons other than the marketing. - Business - Yahoo co-founder Yang back in charge - Business - Yahoo co-founder Yang back in charge Research Identifies the Power of the Digital 'Uploader'

'Uploaders' are driving social media with disproportionate share of voice and changing how Internet users inform their opinions

LONDON, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- today released the findings
of their proprietary research into digital 'Uploaders,' a group of internet
users who are driving social media. Uploaders are a key catalyst for brand
growth. If engaged correctly, found that they can be powerful
brand advocates -- which considering they are masters of social media,
means that their voices can be heard by many people around the world.
Revealing the Uploaders
Carried out with research partners, Brand Genetics and Hall & Partners,'s UK based research explores in depth the profile and behaviour
of these 'Uploaders.' While only 8% of internet users in the UK
(approximately 2.3 million people) actively upload content and reviews
regularly, these 8% are hugely important for brands because their ability
to influence other Internet users is huge. In essence they are informing
the behaviour of millions and changing how we inform our opinions about
brands, products and services.
Although found that this group does not trust advertising
that much, they are positive towards brands and are more likely to be brand
advocates. In fact, 83% of Uploaders actively recommend a product or
service that they like but the challenge is to make them brand advocates.
Understanding why they Upload
An Uploader's primary motivation for uploading and sharing content is
to help their community; they see it as a public service. They believe by
sharing real experiences from real people we can get closer to the truth
about brands, products and services, instead of relying on what
corporations are telling us.
Influencers for a Digital Age
Uploaders are twice more likely to be category opinion leaders[i] than
the average Internet user. For certain categories, such as media and
entertainment, their opinion leadership is dramatically higher -- up to
four times as likely.
The average Uploader is also socially very connected. They belong to
twice the number of clubs, communities and societies offline as other
Internet users and belong to four times the number of communities online.
They communicate to more people more often. For example, they send 3 times
as many SMS messages and have, on average, 60 people in their IM buddy
lists. has identified a number of ways that marketers can engage
Uploaders. For example, by inviting Uploaders to become brand advisors and
to help inform a brand with its marketing or product innovation, increases
their Net Promoter Score[ii] by 19 points. This is hugely significant and
could have a direct impact on brand growth and sales.
James Clifton, European Planning Director for, commented:
"We believe that it is important to look at the people driving social media
and work out how to engage them, rather than just jumping on the latest
MySpace or YouTube bandwagon. We believe that Uploaders are a powerful
force where the worlds of Word of Mouth Marketing and Social Media collide,
and this research provides interesting insights into the make-up of these
Uploaders, what value they hold for brands and we can start to engage
Dr Paul Marsden, a leading figure in Word of Mouth Marketing and Net
Promoter circles, commented "Bain & Co have told us that the Ultimate
Question for good marketing is "would you recommend us?". With this study, has given us an insight into the Ultimate Answer: Engagement.
The big strategic implication of the Uploaders study is clear -- brands
need to think of these digital influencers as a resource, not a target."
To download the initial findings of this research and to join in the
conversation about Uploaders, visit the blog at (live from Monday June 18).
[i] As measured by the Childers opinion leadership scale

[ii] Net Promoter Score: The Net Promoter Score (NPS) was identified by
Bain & Co as the percentage of customers who are promoters (those who
are highly likely to recommend your company or products) and subtract
the percentage who are detractors (those who are less likely to
recommend your company or products). The NPS provides the means for
gauging performance, establishing accountability, and prioritizing
investments because it connects to growth. If a company's "growth
engine" were running at perfect efficiency, it would convert 100% of
its customers into promoters. The worst possible engine would convert
100% of its customers into detractors. The best way to gauge the
efficiency of the growth engine is to calculate a company's NPS.
Visit for further information.

For further information please contact:

Marianne Stefanowicz Worldwide

YHOO Mgmnt Changes

YHOO announces mgmt changes after the close (Terry Semel stepping down and co-founder Jerry Yang named CEO; Sue Decker to be named President). Bottom line from around the Street: Semel's departure earlier than expected a positive, but guidance was brought to low-end of range as display is weakening; overall Street seems
relatively neutral on the announcement.
Highlights from the call...
• Yang says he thinks YHOO can capitalize on the emerging trends on the internet. Thinks YHOO will continue to benefit from ad dollars migrating online. Yang says they are starting to see slower growth in display advertising. Co continues in earnest its search for a new CFO.
• Re Panama – Yang says YHOO is pleased that "we are seeing financial performance above our earlier expectations"..."our outlook for the full year assumes double digit rev/search gains in H2 of the year - we are already seeing that in Q2"...."the market has been more responsive to changes in the algorithm than we had
anticipated. However - display advertising has been slower than anticipated...”
• We expect to deliver revs somewhere between the mid-point and low-end of the prior range for the Q – display weakness offsetting Panama upside
• "We are in this for the long haul....we think this can be a vibrant, independent company"...we think we are pursuing the right strategy
• Will have an update on the CTO search at the Q2 earnings call
• Mgmt on the call intimated it might ramp up its capex spending and could announce this during the June-Q earnings call (a la MSFT back in Apr '06 when it announced a major ramping of spending at MSN, which weighed heavily on the stock)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Google thinks "flickr censorship = Hitler ringtones"... the social context is missing

Earlier today, I posted an article from Franz Patzig about flickr and the censorship from their German customers. Someone then submitted it to Digg. About thirty minutes ago I received an email noting that on Digg, the Google ads somehow matched the story about flickr censorship to ads for Hitler's ringtones.

See the image below. What's interesting to me about this is two things: the content matching might be close to correct I guess if you assume that "germany + censorship" might equal "hitler" but ringtones? Clicking the link gives me one of those crappy monthly ringtone services but no mention of Hitler.

The "social context" is what's missing in these ads. "Hitler Ringtones" which has nothing to do with Hitler looks like SEO desperation on the advertiser's part...Google (and the others) also has a real weakness with the social context of terms. Someone I was chatting with this afternoon mentioned that phrase to me with regards to ads, and you have to wonder as more of us create content online, whether ad companies will start to use this as a part of their matching systems. The algorithms don't understand social context or meaning.

Do you have good examples of very poor ad matching? Leave them in the comments.


read more

The Behaviorally Targeted Ad Audience

JUNE 18, 2007

Is your campaign too finely targeted?

Consumers like the idea of getting relevant ads tailored to their interests — at least online. In a study published in January 2007 by ChoiceStream, 70% of respondents said they were interested in receiving personalized advertising via the Internet.

That was more than those who wanted such ads delivered to their TVs, and far more than those who were interested in personalized mobile phone ads.

The more relevant an ad can be, the better. For instance, the more general relevance of contextual targeting tends to lag behind the more specific focus of behavioral targeting, at least according to surveys from companies in the behavioral targeting space, such as Revenue Science.

In a May 2007 consumer study from that company, JupiterResearch and AOL, the following top-line results compared contextual with behavioral methods:

  1. 74% of frequent ad viewers stated they would pay more attention to a contextual ad vs. 89% who would pay more attention to behavioral ads
  2. 63% of online consumers say they pay more attention to ads that fit their specific interests vs. 49% who pay more attention to ads that are directly related to their current online activity; that data could be interpreted as more attention for contextual (specific interests) than behavioral (current online activity)
  3. 67% of online shoppers — defined as those who research and/or purchase online — notice behaviorally targeted ads vs. 53% who notice contextual targeted ads

The personalization inherent in correctly done behavioral targeting tends to mean greater awareness among the target audience. In the ChoiceStream survey, 38% of respondents say they are more willing to pay attention to such individually focused advertising.

The personal touch inherent in well-segmented behavioral targeting appeals even to those Internet users who are sensitive to privacy issues, with 50% of that group saying they like to receive promotions and offers that are based on their interests and tastes, according to a study from Ponemon Institute sponsored by Claria.

As useful as targeting can be, eMarketer Senior Analyst David Hallerman says that it can be taken too far.

"An advertiser can slice and dice the audience too much," Mr. Hallerman says. "While the target may then be more accurate, the number of people exposed to the message, in the time needed for the campaign, can become too limited to be effective. Marketers need to remember not to let their desire for the perfect drive out the good."

Learn more about how advertisers and publishers can find their audiences. Read the eMarketer Behavioral Targeting: Advertising Gets Personal report.

Youtube Remixer

Youtube Remixer

Friday, June 15, 2007

How To Avoid The Pitfalls Of CPA Marketing Online

When advertisers choose to engage in CPA (cost per action or acquisition) advertising online, there are several key areas that require specific focus to protect their brand and to acquire the highest quality of new leads through these channels. Although advertisers are often tempted to jump in head first, they should not do so without careful planning and due diligence to understand the space and players in it. In this model, the advertiser eliminates the upfront media risk and avoids payment based on impressions served or clicks generated, which do not take into account the number of orders actually delivered on a given media buy.

However, the downside of this performance-based model is that advertisers take the risk of what quality of customer or prospect they will pay for. The backend retention or churn rate becomes extremely critical, as advertisers evaluate whether this type of acquisition model is effective and scalable for long-term integration into their online marketing mix. An advertiser should approach this model with clear objectives, defining and optimizing performance metrics specific to the channel selected and the economics to make it profitable. This will take into account both the CPA paid at the time of acquisition and the quality of that consumer generated.

Below are the most important strategies that should be used by an advertiser who wants to take advantage of the very real and scalable volume available in the CPA marketplace without falling prey to the many risks that are also an unfortunate and inherent characteristic of this model.

Know and trust your CPA agency and/or media partner(s). The CPA marketplace is virtually a "blind" environment for advertisers in terms of what sites and types of placements will be used to drive new customers. In exchange for eliminating the media risk, advertisers give up much of the control over the actual media placement side of the equation. However, if you are working with a trusted partner(s), this will become a non-issue and the partner(s) will guide and educate you on how to utilize the channels successfully.

Limit the number of broker/network partners. Whether you decide to go the route of an agency partner or work with the media providers directly, it is best to limit the amount of media partners that you engage. This is particularly true of broker and large network partners. Why? There is a tremendous amount of overlap and cannibalization that occurs at the sub-affiliate level where these brokers and networks generate most of the volume for offers on a CPA basis. The logic of "the more people I have working on my behalf, the better" does not hold true in a CPA model. It actually creates a disingenuous situation for marketers and can have detrimental effects on the advertiser's ability to control pricing and volume in these channels. A single or sole source partner model will almost always yield the highest level of benefits (both cost & volume) to the advertiser if the right partner is chosen to manage this environment.

Use real-time credit card processing and data validation techniques during customer acquisition/sign up process. One of the biggest ways an advertiser can protect its business against incidences of fraud or payment delinquency by the consumer is to process credit cards in real time, instead of performing an authorization or Mod 10 verification process at the time of sign-up. The highest level of credit card validation with your merchant processor is the best method for confirming a true buying consumer. An example would be checking the credit card billing address against the card holder's name.

Many advertisers that fail in this environment do so due to a lack of real-time processing of payments for initial and recurring credit card transactions and/or a lack of data validation (valid address, city, state, etc.). A key to minimizing fraud in this environment is to only accept orders and customers that you can verify without any delay or offline processing.

Put parameters on your affiliates. There should always be parameters placed on your media partners in this channel. Do not go into this channel allowing free reign for your affiliate partners, or you will likely get burned. While "incentives" has become a dirty word over the last 18 months due to quality and fraud issues in the marketplace, there are legitimate strategies and incentivized media partners that, when used correctly, can effectively drive new customer acquisition efforts. It is up to advertisers to perform basic research and to put limitations on their affiliates. Two areas I recommend focusing on are the rules of engagement for the use of paid search on branded terms and the use of pure "cash back" incentive sites. These tactics can lead to costs that surpass acquisition costs and higher cancellation rates for new customers.

Create an offer that protects you specifically for this channel. Advertisers must create a compelling introductory offer that will drive the highest level of conversions and compete effectively in these channels; however, the offer should also protect the advertiser should the consumer cancel or not convert beyond the initial transaction. Consumer behavior is more impulse-driven in this environment versus other channels, like paid search. An advertiser should create an offer that balances the needed "skin in the game" by the consumer with a reduced first month charge, or has shipping and handling that also covers the upfront processing charges or the cost of goods sold. This protects the company should the consumer cancel after the initial transaction, and would result in, at minimum, a break-even position.

When all is said and done, advertisers will never be able to completely eliminate the risks that are inherent in the CPA marketplace, but by following the above guidelines, they can minimize these risks and devise strategies that will create an equitable balance between the risk and reward.

Angie McCloskey is Vice President, Business Development of SendTec, Inc.

comScore Media Metrix Releases Top 50 Web Rankings for May

Summer Movie Season and Political Interest Boost Traffic to Sites in May

RESTON, VA, June 15, 2007
– comScore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of U.S. consumer activity at top online properties for May 2007, which saw traffic increase to movie-related sites as the summer movie season kicked off, political sites with the presidential debates fueling interest, and e-commerce sites as consumers shopped for and purchased Mother’s Day gifts.

“With this year’s impressive lineup of big-money summer blockbusters, it’s no surprise that Americans flocked to movie sites in May,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. “Whether searching for show-times or reviews, purchasing movie tickets or buying DVDs, the Internet is playing an increasingly significant role in the promulgation of movie information and monetization of the industry.”

Summer Movie Season Kickoff Heats Up Web Traffic in May

The launch of summer movie season saw traffic increase to several movie-related sites over the month. The tickets category gained 12 percent versus April to 40.8 million visitors, buoyed by strong growth at (up 55 percent to 5 million visitors) and (up 50 percent to 7 million visitors). The retail movies category experienced a 7-percent increase to 27.6 million visitors, while movie social networking site saw its traffic surge 65 percent to 4.5 million visitors.

Political Sites Get Boost from the Debates

With both Republican and Democratic presidential debates swinging into action, the politics category saw a 17-percent increase to 9 million visitors in May, making it the top-gaining category overall for the month. Traffic to, which sponsored the Republican Presidential debate on May 3, jumped 162 percent for the month to 648,000 visitors, while’s traffic surged 246 percent to 689,000 visitors due in large part to an online petition against gas price increases. Several presidential candidate websites also saw their traffic increase, led by (up 13 percent to 298,000 visitors) and (up 3 percent to 217,000 visitors).

Remembering Mom Brings Traffic to Gift Websites in May

Whether searching for that perfect gift for Mom or buying it online, Mother’s Day fueled growth in several online retail categories. The flowers, gifts & greetings category saw an 11-percent increase to 35.6 million visitors, led by a 365-percent surge at Trilegiant Corporation sites, which includes, to 5 million visitors. The jewelry, luxury goods & accessories category rounded out the top ten gaining properties for the month with a 6-percent increase to 16.9 million visitors.

Planning for Summer Vacations Sparks Traffic to Travel Sites

With summer vacation plans looming, travel categories saw an increase in traffic during May. The travel information category grew 7 percent to 42 million visitors, led by Yahoo! Travel with 9.9 million visitors (up 7 percent), with 6.5 million visitors (up 8 percent), and the Travel Ad Network with 6 million visitors (up 23 percent). The car rental category also experienced gains, climbing 6 percent to 6.2 million visitors. The category was led by Avis Budget Group with 2.6 million visitors (up 19 percent), with 2.4 million visitors (up 9 percent), and Hertz with 1.7 million visitors (up 7 percent).

Top 50 Properties

In May, Yahoo! Sites and Time Warner Network remained in the number one and two positions, respectively. Both Amazon Sites and Ask Network gained one position within the top ten, each attracting more than 50 million visitors in May. ARTISTdirect Network, a group of sites featuring multi-media music content, enjoyed a 13-percent increase in visitors and gained six spots in the ranking, while Network increased by 11 percent to secure the number 33 spot. LLC moved up four positions to number 29, drawing more than 21 million visitors.

Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking reached 87 percent of Americans online in May, keeping it atop the Ad Focus Ranking. Within the top ten, Yahoo! inched up a spot to number two, and Blue Lithium moved up two positions from number eight. Centro entered the ranking at number 20, reaching 42 percent of the U.S. online population, while Undertone Networks enjoyed a nine spot jump to number 29, more than doubling its reach.


Top 10 Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*

May 2007 vs. April 2007

Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users

Source: comScore Media Metrix




May-07 (000)



Rank by

Unique Visitors

Total Internet Population





Trilegiant Corporation





Mars, Inc.



































Glam Media










*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in May 2007


Top 10 Gaining Categories by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors

May 2007 vs. April 2007

Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users

Source: comScore Media Metrix



May-07 (000)

Percentage Change

Total Internet : Total Audience
















Training and Education




Retail - Movies








Travel - Information




Car Rental








Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories





Top 50 Properties

May 2007

Total U.S. - Home, Work and University

Unique Visitors (000)

Source: comScore Media Metrix



Unique Visitors




Unique Visitors


Total Internet Users



Yahoo! Sites



United Online, Inc



Time Warner Network



Bank of America



Google Sites



CareerBuilder LLC



Microsoft Sites


29 LLC



Fox Interactive Media


30 Network









Amazon Sites



Disney Online



Ask Network


33 Network



Wikipedia Sites



Gannett Sites



New York Times Digital



ARTISTdirect Network



Apple Inc.


36 Sites



Viacom Digital






Weather Channel, The


38 Network



CNET Networks



Comcast Corporation



Gorilla Nation






Adobe Sites









Glam Media



AT&T, Inc.


43 The Womens Network






WebMD Health



Target Corporation



Cox Enterprises Inc.



Expedia Inc






Monster Worldwide



Weatherbug Property



Verizon Communications Corporation



NBC Universal



CBS Corporation






Lycos Sites


50 Network



Ad Focus Ranking

May 2007

Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations

Unique Visitors (000)

Source: comScore Media Metrix



Unique Visitors (000)

Reach %



Unique Visitors (000)

Reach %

Total Internet Users







Gorilla Nation Media








Vibrant Media**












Tribal Fusion**




Undertone Networks**




Casale Media Network**




MSN.COM Home Page




Blue Lithium**




Ask Network








EBAY.COM Home Page




AOL Media Network








Connexus - TrafficMarketplace**








Specific Media**



35 Network




MSN-Windows Live












Real Cities Network




















24/7 Real Media**




Nickelodeon Kids & Family




adconion media group**




CareerBuilder Network












Tremor Media








CPX Interactive**



44 Network








Lycos Network




Burst Media**




Disney Online















48 Network








ARTISTdirect Network







WhitePages Network