Friday, May 30, 2008
56 percent polled said the quality of their online experience would be improved if social networking sites provided more targeted advertisements and offers tailored to their specific interests and preferences.
According to the survey, consumers said the types of tailored ads and offers they would respond to are:
One-off coupons and discount offers from the brands and products they buy (62 percent)
E-newsletters featuring coupons, discounts, news and tips about favorite brands (24 percent)
Invitations to join interactive email groups, online forums and social networks for sharing and communicating (14 percent)
85 percent of consumers said they are more likely to join a free social networking site supported by advertisements and offers targeted to their interests rather than a paid social networking site without commercial advertisements. The report says that:
54 percent of consumers never click on advertisements on social networks
39 percent of consumers occasionally will respond to ads
7 percent will often respond to ads
Jere Doyle, Prospectiv's CEO, concludes that "... members of social networking sites are open to offers and promotions as long as they are targeted to their interests... the web publishing industry seeking to monetize their online communities (needs) to improve ad relevance..."
At the same time, a recent eMarketer study says that "Social networks... show some promise in developing new forms of online advertising. MySpace's HyperTargeting initiative, for example, has helped double CPMs at the site, and 75% of advertisers that have tried it have come back for more, according to News Corp..."
The eMarketer projections say that combined, MySpace and Facebook are expected to account for 72% of the total US social network ad spending pie this year. Spending at all other online social network sites, including general social networks, niche networks and marketer-created networks, is expected to reach $370 million, while widget and application ad spending is projected to rise to $40 million this year.
US Online Social Networking Ad Spending (Billion Dollars)
Social Network Ad Spend
Thursday, May 29, 2008
MAY 29, 2008
Drawing more budget away from print
More than three-quarters of marketers surveyed said they will increase their social media spending during the next three years, according to Eloqua's "State of the Marketer" report. A full 74% said they plan to increase their direct e-mail spending while about two-thirds will spend more on mobile texting and SMS.
Respondents were bullish on online ad spending overall, with nine out of 10 saying they would continue to increase their direct online ad budgets. The spending increases are likely to come at the expense of print ads, since 55% of respondents said they will probably decrease print ad spending in the next three years.
The planned increase in social network ad spending is consistent with eMarketer's projections of nearly $2.4 billion in 2011, up from $1.4 billion this year.
Likewise, eMarketer estimates e-mail ad spending will jump to $677 million in 2011, from $492 million in 2008.
The jump in mobile texting and SMS is also in line with eMarketer's projections, which call for $3.8 billion in mobile messaging ad spending in 2011, up from almost $1.5 billion this year.
To learn more about how online advertisers plan to spend this year, read eMarketer's US Online Advertising: Resilient in a Rough Economy report.
CARLSBAD, Calif.--Glam Media is launching a new platform for content distribution, the GlamTV Platform. It will allow the video assets in its woman-focused network of sites to be shared to new destinations, and more importantly, everyone in the value chain of the distribution will collect a piece of the advertising revenue. Videos on the Brightcove platform will also work on GlamTV.
"It's a rights-managed platform end to end," Glam Media CEO Samir Arora told me at the D6 conference here. An example he provided: Let's say the editor of SheFinds, an independent site, saw some video on a Glam site that she wanted for her site.
On the TV Platform, she would grab the embed code for the video, but unlike with a YouTube video, once the media played, all the participants in the value chain would share in the advertising revenue--SheFinds, the Glam site that acquired the video, and potentially the contract video producer as well. Arora was pleased to remind me that Glam is currently running over-$50 CPM ad rates, so its publishers can afford to split some of their revenues.
The Glam TV Platform will also allow publishers to pick and choose videos from around the network, bundle them into their own branded widgets, and then make those widgets available to others in the network. Again, when the widgets play videos, all participants get a piece of the action.
Glam makes this economy function by securing and managing the rights for all the video assets that go into its network. In most cases, the company acquires blanket rights for videos, but it can also accept more restrictive rights from publishers who want to control where the assets they paid for end up.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
MediaPost Publications - Discrepancy Revolution: IAB Issues Guidelines To Fix Online Media Buying Errors - 05/28/2008
by Joe Mandese, Wednesday, May 28, 2008 8:00 AM ET
As part of a broader push to improve the efficiency of interactive advertising campaigns, and to reduce the number of discrepancies that occur in online media buys, the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tuesday released a set of recommendations for both advertising agencies and publishers. The white paper, dubbed the Interactive Campaign Setup Best Practices, may sound boring and mundane, but it is a critical first step toward the kind of processing errors that have made online media one of the industry's worst offenders when it comes to media buying discrepancies.
The paper, the third in a series of initiatives coming from the IAB's Ad Ops Council, was created with input from Madison Avenue, including input from agencies such as Avenue A/Razorfish, Digitas, MediaVest, and Horizon Interactive, and includes a detailed breakdown on recommended steps to take when creating and scheduling an online advertising campaign. On the agency side, the paper covers three crucial steps: The request for proposal (RFP) stage, the insertion order phase, and the campaign delivery process. For publishers, it covers steps to take during"
11.5 Reasons Why the Zillow Mortgage MarketPlace Will Not Work in its Current Form and Will Likely Move to Exclude Most Lenders in the Future | Mortga
April 2nd, 2008 by Trace Richardson · 18 Comments
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[Disclaimer: I generate no closing cost home loan leads for profit at tracecapital.com]
1. You can’t give an accurate rate quote without knowing the correct LTV based on an accurate assessment of home value. Problem: Zillow or borrower is used for determining value, enough said.
2. A mortgage marketplace quote is based off of the credit score given by the borrower. Need I say more? Compare this to the traditional lead model where credit is pulled once the borrower is contacted.
3. Mortgage marketplace does not take into consideration late payments on mortgages, late payments on credit cards or unsecured debt, or other derogatory credit items. Repeat after me: “Yes Mrs. Smith, I did quote you 6% but the 30 day late mortgage payment changes that quote. Why yes, I am aware that there is a Lender Rating system on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace but really, I"
Three Steps to Sustainable and Scalable Change | Strategy and Operations | Performance Improvement | Enterprise Cost Management - Deloitte LLP
Three Steps to Sustainable and Scalable Change
Creating sustainable improvements to a company’s cost structure requires three elements: choosing the right business model, determining how decisions will be made and putting the decisions into action. When improving their cost structure, many companies jump directly to action; however, the results are generally disappointing and, even if they are acceptable, they are usually hard to sustain.
Deloitte’s three-part series, Three Steps to Sustainable and Scalable Change, takes a detailed look at all of the activities necessary to produce cost structure improvements that can withstand the test of time:
* Part 1: Rethinking a Company’s Business Model offers fresh and practical advice to help companies choose the right model. This provides a blueprint to guide the overall effort.
* Part 2: Aligning Operational Governance with the Business Model presents a framework for improving the way decisions are made and executed. This provides the foundation for lasting improvement.
* Part 3: Aligning Organization Design and the Service Delivery Model will explain how companies can deploy their resources to create"
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
JVC, SoCo Are Still in Spin, but They're Focusing on Outlets Such as Heavy That Deliver Flexibility, Results
By Nat Ives
Published: May 26, 2008
Instead, a combination of forces led by the broad economic slump is delivering as challenging a year as ever for traditional publishers. You can see it when you look at macro measures such as the number of ad pages sold into print magazines for their issues through June, which came in 5.5% lower than in the first half of 2007, according to the Media Industry Newsletter.
And you can see it when you visit individual fronts in the battle, such as the young men's video site Heavy -- which is now playing a bawdy music video it created to promote the JVC El Kameleon car stereo. JVC has pulled out of titles such as Playboy and Forbes this year to concentrate on digital marketing, outdoor advertising and events such as the Crue Fest 2008 tour.
"FHM has gone away, and Stuff magazine has gone away," said Chad Vogelsong, general manager-marketing at JVC Mobile Entertainment. "Every year, those magazines that our core reads are shrinking. Magazines are not the way young males are being entertained anymore. ... So I decided to get away from those more-traditional media angles and focus more on viral through partners like Heavy."
Still in print
Starting next month, Heavy will add branded entertainment on behalf of Southern Comfort, which chose not to repeat its recent buys in titles such as Rolling Stone and Maxim.
Nobody is leaving print entirely; Spin has managed to retain both JVC and SoCo as advertisers, and both brands are still using niche magazines, too.
Nor are magazine publishers passively taking the losses. Magazines including Forbes, Playboy, Maxim and Rolling Stone have built websites that go well beyond their print editions, offering exclusive video, mobile updates, blogs, widgets and special ad units. Magazine companies are investing in ad networks such as Jumpstart Automotive Media, acquired by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. in April 2007, and partnerships such as the deal between Hearst Magazines and YouTube to build magazine-branded video channels.
Magazine sites attracted 70.7 million unique monthly visitors during the first quarter of the year, up 11.9% from the first quarter of 2007, according to a Magazine Publishers of America report last Tuesday. That's a much faster rate of growth than the internet as a whole enjoyed in the same period.
But advertisers' priorities, methods and media partners are clearly continuing to change.
"It was time for us to make a bigger bet in the digital arena," said Campbell Brown, VP-director, Southern Comfort Americas.
That's partly because Mr. Brown wanted to expand the impact of the growing SoCo Music Experience, a festival that kicked off its fourth year May 17 in Atlanta. Heavy is recording backstage conversations, band performances and crowd interviews to run on its music channel through November.
"We're not a small brand, but we're not a goliath either, so you really have to make decisions based on affordability -- and you want guarantees," Mr. Brown said. "Digital offers some flexibility for delivering on original promises that you may not be able to find in print."
JVC's video, called "Turn Me On," was played some 300,000 times in its first week. It's been downloaded more than 1,000 times for reposting on visitors' MySpace pages, Facebook profiles or personal blogs, said John Lumpkin, senior VP-sales strategy and partnerships at Heavy, "which in the magazine world would be the equivalent of ripping out an insert, running down the street and showing it to all your friends."
Friday, May 23, 2008
MAY 23, 2008
Strong growth, good prospects
For the full year 2007, online ad revenues totaled $21.2 billion, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)/PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) "2007 Internet Advertising Revenue Report." That was 26% higher than 2006, which was itself a record year.
The IAB and PwC said that Q4 2007 Internet advertising revenues reached $5.9 billion, the highest ever for a single quarter and 24% higher than the same period in 2006.
"Despite the current state of economic uncertainty, 2007 was another record year and the 13th consecutive record quarter," said David Silverman, partner, Assurance, PwC, in a statement.
The IAB and PwC said that search, display, classifieds and lead generation all continued growing. As in prior years, consumer advertisers were the largest category of Internet advertising spending, at 55% of 2007 full-year revenues, up from 52% from the full year 2006.
eMarketer predicts that despite continued strength relative to most other media, Internet ad spending growth will drop to about 16% in 2009. This slowdown reflects a combination of the maturing online ad market and overall economic weakness.
There will be a bounceback in 2010 due to a recovering economy and a much larger influx of branding-oriented ad dollars flowing online. One major source of those escalating spends will be video ads, which are relatively expensive and greatly desired.
"By 2012, the anticipated boom in online video advertising combined with continued strength in more established Internet ad categories, such as paid search and classifieds, will mean spending growth greater than 20% for the first time since 2008," said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
In March, Google Sites ranked as the top U.S. video property with more than 4.3 billion videos viewed (38 percent share of all videos), gaining 2.6 share points versus the previous month. YouTube.com accounted for 98 percent of all videos viewed at Google Sites. Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 477 million videos, followed by Yahoo! Sites and Viacom Digital.
Source: comScore Video Metrix, May 2008 Rankings based on video content sites; excludes video server networks. Online video includes both streaming and progressive download video.
Other notable findings from the March survey include:
73.7 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
84.8 million viewers watched 4.3 billion videos on YouTube.com (50.4 videos per viewer).
47.7 million viewers watched 400 million videos on MySpace.com (8.4 videos per viewer).
The average online video duration was 2.8 minutes.
The average online video viewer watched 235 minutes of video.
Consumers Can Get Cash for Purchases Via Search Service
May 22, 2008; Page B3
Microsoft Corp. announced a plan to pay consumers who buy items they find through the software company's search service, the latest in a series of moves to gain ground on Google Inc. in the lucrative business of Internet search.
The idea to get consumers to use a search service by enticing them with financial rewards has been tried by companies before with little success. Microsoft, a relative latecomer to the search business, believes it can improve upon the concept by implementing it on a broader scale and by coupling it with new options for advertisers.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced the new service, Microsoft Live Search cashback, at the company's annual event for advertisers. The program includes products from 700 merchants, including Barnes & Noble.com and Overstock.com. Consumers who buy items from participating merchants after searching for them and clicking on an ad can get a cash rebate via an online Microsoft account they create.
The offering is designed to help attract a greater share of commerce-related queries.
Microsoft also is hoping the program will draw new advertisers seeking a more precise return on their investment and choices beyond traditional models, such as paying every time an ad is viewed or clicked on.
Merchants who participate in the program will be able to select a variety of options for buying advertising from Microsoft, including paying Microsoft only when a customer completes a sale. Google has begun testing a similar model that calls for advertisers to pay Google only when a consumer completes a specified action, such as buying a product or filling in a form.
The Live Search rebates are set as a percentage of the purchase price of an item and vary among merchants. Users can find a 5% rebate on a $60 coffee maker or 2% on a $120 digital camera, for instance.
Ellen Siminoff, chairman of search-marketing company Efficient Frontier Inc., said advertisers are eager to test new models that can help them spend their dollars more wisely, but that a variety of tools already exist to help them calculate spending on the likelihood it will result in a particular action, such as a sale. She predicts marketers will spend more money on the program if it increases the number of searches through Microsoft's search engine.
In April, Microsoft sites captured 9.1% of the U.S. search market, roughly flat from April 2007, according to comScore Inc. Google's market share in the period rose to 61.6% from 56.1%.
Microsoft withdrew an unsolicited offer to buy Internet giant Yahoo Inc. May 3 but has floated a proposal that includes acquiring Yahoo's search-advertising business, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The software company has tried to use financial incentives before to lift its share of the search market. In 2006, Microsoft tried a sweepstakes-like search service through which users could win prizes if their search terms matched those on a random list. Last year, it started its Live Search Club, in which users earn prizes for completing puzzles that involve searches.
The company's latest attempt is based on technology and partnerships Microsoft acquired by buying comparison-shopping site Jellyfish late last year.
Monday, May 19, 2008
MAY 19, 2008
Fewer new online buyers, less growth
The US Department of Commerce released retail e-commerce sales data last Thursday. Online sales grew by only 13.4% during Q1 2008 over Q1 2007.
That is quite a drop-off from recent e-commerce growth rates. For instance, in 2007 total e-commerce sales grew by 19.8% over 2006.
"This shows that the economic slowdown is having more of an effect than people suspected," said Jeffrey Grau, senior analyst at eMarketer. "It's accelerating existing trends."
Mr. Grau said that retail e-commerce sales growth would have slowed even without any concern about the economy. Since 2003, the real engine of e-commerce growth has come from increased sales to existing online buyers rather than new buyers.
E-commerce sales growth is still higher than overall retail sales growth, which has been 6% at most over the past five to six years. In contrast, retail e-commerce sales growth has been about 25% or more during the same time.
One reason for slowed overall retail sales growth is that existing online buyers are doing more of their buying on the Internet instead of in stores, according to USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future data. The organization reported that not only did large percentages of consumers say their online buying led to decreased offline buying, but that the number is growing.
This shift to online buying is happening because consumers have become more confident shopping on the Internet, which has also improved satisfaction levels. Additionally, merchants have figured things out operationally as far as product information, stock and delivery.
Although the economic slowdown is affecting retail e-commerce sales as well as retail sales overall, Mr. Grau said that online stores likely will fare better than brick-and-mortar ones—partly because of the downturn.
"Some people may shift their spending online to save on gas and because they think they can get a better deal," Mr. Grau said.
The eMarketer US B2C E-Commerce report will be published this month. Click here to be notified when it is released.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Categories: Commercialisation, Semantic Web, Semantic Web Companies, Investment
Tags: Garlik, Semantic Web, Internet, Paul Miller
Following an earlier post on this blog, last month I found myself moderating a panel in the final session of one of the tracks at this year’s World Wide Web Conference in Beijing. As I commented via Twitter at the end of the session,
“Great panel and great room… so a doddle.”
The panel comprised colleague Chris Clarke, Garlik Director and CTO (and Southampton University Professor) Nigel Shadbolt, DERI’s Giovanni Tummarello and David Peterson of BoaB Interactive in Australia. Each brought a different perspective to discussion of commercialising the potential of the Semantic Web, and responded well to questions from a technically knowledgeable audience.
Having expressed concerns about the relative lack of commercial engagement with the Web Conference during April’s Semantic Web Gang just days before this panel took place, I was certainly reassured by much of what I heard.
Giovanni, for one, spoke with conviction about activity at DERI to move their Sindice research project onto a sound commercial footing, and flew from Beijing to California to begin meeting with potential investors. Nigel was also able to shed light on the early success of Garlik in exploiting university research, building a consumer user-base (some 60,000 registered users, of which 10,000 are already paying for additional features), and monetising both in partnership with established organisations such as the major high street banks. Garlik CEO Tom Ilube points to the next stage of Garlik’s journey in an article for May’s Nodalities Magazine, to which I shall doubtless return when it’s published next week (disclosure: I am the editor).
Asked if Garlik’s DataPatrol product would have been ‘possible’ without the Semantic Web, Shadbolt echoed a sentiment that I’ve heard elsewhere, suggesting that it would have taken longer to do and been a much harder programming task;
“unpredictable data is hard to work with, without the Semantic Web.”
During questions, Tim Berners-Lee reiterated his earlier thoughts on the importance of Semantic Web technologies in facilitating ‘unexpected re-use’ of data, leading the panel to discuss several of the ways in which their own work has created unanticipated opportunities to push data in new directions.
W3C Semantic Web Activity Lead Ivan Herman cited a perception that universities are failing to provide sufficient skills to students entering the workforce, and asked if panellists struggle to recruit. He also pointed to SWEO case-studies on the deployment of semantic web technologies in business, and called for more examples.
Everyone on the panel was agreed in stressing the importance of building applications that solve real problems for real users. Neither users nor investors are particularly interested in being pitched with ‘the Semantic Web’ or ‘RDF’ or ‘triples’; they want applications and solutions. The fact that the Semantic Web is at work behind the scenes to make those applications and solutions ‘better’, cheaper, more scalable or whatever is clearly important, but shouldn’t be the opening gambit in conversation. Chris illustrated this point with reference to his presentation on Talis Engage from the session before the panel; a new application built in its entirety on top of a Semantic Web Platform, but intended for purchase by a conservative market (local government agencies) and use by a non-technical audience (the general public; specifically those interested in local clubs, societies and events). Chris stressed the effort that had gone into making this potentially powerful application look and behave in a conservative manner, in order to introduce its capabilities gradually to a market unused to Saas, semantic technologies and Open World opportunities.
From my (doubtless biased) perspective, we got a good discussion going between panellists and the audience, and it would be interesting to repeat the experience at a more business-oriented event such as next week’s Semantic Technology or Linked Data Planet in June. The obvious omission from the panel (we did ask!) was representation from a big organisation; one of the search engines, Oracle, etc. I’d make sure to rectify that omission next time.
MAY 15, 2008
But they still trail in Internet access
In February 2008 the average Hispanic-American over the age of 11 spent more time online than watching television, according to the Terra Networks-sponsored 'Hispanic Syndicated Study,' conducted by comScore Media Metrix.
Need data for presentations? eMarketer subscribers can download charts instantly — over 50,000 choices.
'In general, online Hispanics—independent of their language preferences and acculturation levels—are heavily engaged in technology,' wrote the report's authors.
Every day, more than half (56%) of Hispanic-Americans surveyed said they spent at least an hour online, which was slightly more than the 50% who spent an hour or more watching TV.
On a weekly basis, Terra reported that more Hispanic-American Internet users spent 13 or more hours online (30%) than watched TV for the same amount of time (23%).
Average Time Spent Weekly Using Select Media among US Hispanic Internet Users, February 2008 (% of respondents)
Hispanic-Americans ages 12 to 34 were on the Internet more than those 35 and older, who tended to spend more time watching TV than online.
Time Spent Surfing the Internet and Watching TV among US Hispanic Internet Users, by Age and Generation, February 2008 (hours per"
Posted by Eric Savitz
I’m at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose tonight, for the Churchill Club’s annual Top 10 Tech Trends Dinner. This is the club’s 10th annual tech trend panel. Making the picks:
* Steve Jurvetson, Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
* Vinod Khosla, Khosla Ventures.
* Josh Kopelman, First Round Capital.
* Roger McNamee, Elevation Partners.
* Joe Schoendorf, Accel Partners.
* Tony Perkins, of Always On, is the moderator.
Perkins, McNamee, Jurvetson and Schoendorf have done this before. Kopelman and Khosla are the panel newbies.
Apparently, you can watch this live at ustream.tv.
Or you can read along. Here’s the pundits’ list of trends, with some responses from their fellow panelists (It’s going to be a l-o-o-n-g post):
* 1. From Steve Jurvetson: “Demographics are destiny, creating opportunity.” Baby boomers are an opportunity, including an “eBay for information” that exceeds the market for physical goods. This is a U.S./Canada/U.K. trend. Baby boomers as the first Internet savvy seniors. Smart, active, group, entering AARP age. 75 million of them, half the U.S. workforce. In 2025, the entire country will look like Florida does today. Nothing will change that. Demographics are destiny. Over have of businesses and franchises are started by people in this group. At home, educated and Internet savvy. Services online will exceed market for goods online. Another market: the mental exercise market. If you are 35 or older, cognitive decline is at the same pace as 80 year olds. Khosla said he agrees on demographic trend, but not the opportunity; he doesn’t think it deserves to be in the top 10. McNamee says it could be an opportunity if you can package it. Schoendorf notes that people may be in retirement as long as they worked. He says it will create opportunities.
* 2. From Vinod Knosla: The mobile phone will be a mainstream personal computer. With built in projector. Authentication. Credit cards on SIM cards. ID cards, passports, drivers licenses. Any information you need. Khosla says he keeps pictures of his passport electronically on his phone. He says people will be less likely to carry their laptops. Come near a computer, and physical hard drive will be yours, including half-sent email message you left at home. Lose the phone, and all the information is on the network. Imagine what you want to do, and it should be available anytime. Projectors in cell phones in next two years. More than one camera per cell phone; high priority for Texas Instruments. Critical ingredient is high speed networks, which we will have in next 2-3 years. Jurvetson says the trends are already playing out, other than the projector piece, particularly in Europe, where cell phones are 8% of credit card payments. McNamee says Asia is where most of that functionality is already embedded; he says the carriers and the government puts this projection further out in North America. Schoendorf says he believes the trend; he says a good way to lose money is to bet against Vinod. “I’ve learned to listen when Vinod says something might change,” Schoendorf says.
* 3. From Josh Kopelman: The rise of the “implicit” Internet. Today your permanent record exists; you create a trail of data exhaust, digital bread crumbs. Implicit data that exists in silence. Movie rentals, restaurant reservations, books purchased, Web sites visited, etc. All of this data existed in silence. No easy way until now to benefit from the data; but the silos are coming down. Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Mozilla collecting data. Trend is that big wave will come to companies that are able to novel and new ways to deliver information by crossing these silos, with implicit data on the Internet. Use social networking data to improve search. Conversion of data exhaust will create value in new and interesting ways. All of the panelists seem to agree that this is a key trend. McNamee says he hopes Kopelman is not right, given the privacy concerns that are involved. The issue is providing implied consent to follow the bread crumbs, McNamee says. Schoendorf says this is an under 25 issue. McNamee notes that the trouble is that not only does Facebook know what I’m doing, but the Chinese government also knows. Khosla says it is an opportunity, not a problem. “Privacy is a red herring,” Khosla says. “There are rules and laws and ways to address the privacy issue.” Data reduction is an important need, Khosla says. He has a secretary to do it. Khosla says it is a critical need and huge opportunity.
* 4. From Roger McNamee: Betting on smart phones: The mobile device migration to smart phones from features phones will produce even greater disruption than PC industry moving from character mode to graphical interface. Used to be just Palm and Research in Motion. (Note that McNamee’s firm is a large investor in Palm.) What you are really doing, is put in real software environments, with applications layer that separates network from physical device. Phones far more pervasive than PCs. Will take out Motorola. One of LG, Samsung or Sony Ericsson as well. Will be intensely disruptive. And it will hurt Microsoft. You can not make a great consumer product with unbundled operating system. It will be incredibly disrupted. In five years, half of what we think of as phones will do something far more profound than what we think of a phone as doing. Design centers will fragment. An Amazon Kindle is a smartphone, with 3G network behind it. A life changer for people who use it. Will turn billion unit a year industry on its head. Assume Nokia, Apple, RIMM will do really well. (And Palm will do great, he says.)
* 5. From Joe Schoendorf: Water tech will replace global warming as a global priority. The world is running our of usable water and will kill millions more in our lifetime than global warming. Darfur could go down as the first water war of the 21st century. And with 2 million deaths, might not make the top 10 list. One billion of 6 billion people do not have healthy water. We’re losing close to 1 million people a year under 5 years old due to dirty water. Imagine a 60 year drought in this state. Within 15 years, will be up to 3 billion people with a water problem. 70% of water used for agriculture; 90% for developed countries. If nano technology can work, and can figure out desalinization, can prevent many wars over the next 30 years. Missing the Al Gore for water. Khosla agrees it is important, but not that it is more important than global warming. Global warming is causal, Khosla says. In 25-30 years, will be rarer commodity than oil, and more valuable. Khosla says he is invested in two water companies, and looking for more. Schoendorf notes that T. Boone Pickens is selling oil companies and buying water companies.
* 6. Jurvetson: Evolution trumps design. Many interesting unsolved problems in computer science, nanotech, and synthetic biology require construction of complex systems. Evolutionary algorithms are a powerful alternative to traditional design, blossoming first in neural networks and now in microbial engineering. Near-term trend: year or two, components of microbial engineering products will involve some form of evolution. Design for evolution. Has been used in neural networks. In microbial work, cripple a microbe, so it can do the one thing it does better and better. To make industrial chemicals. Applied to analog circuit design. In the future, artificial intelligence. Most of the panel seem to have no idea what Jurvetson was talking about, really.
* 7. Khosla: Fossilizing fossil energy. Oil and coal will have trouble competing with biofuels. 99% of discussion on the topic is completely irrelevant to the topic. In 4-5 years will have production proof that can sell biofuel at well below $2 a gallon at today’s tax structure and no subsidy. Can’t imagine how big oil can stay in business if that is an alternative. Zero land needed to replace 100% of our gasoline. The other major issue is electrical power generation, which is coal and natural gas. One of his companies signed deal for 175 MW solar plant at costs below natural gas. Cheaper and less subject to commodity pricing. All of the panelists agree on that one.
* 8. Kopelman: Venture Capital 2.0. Venture capital has underwritten most of the transformative software and Internet companies over last 20 years. Changing economics will have dramatic impact on the venture capital industry, in particular for software and IT. Typical $400 million fund, to get 20% return, have to triple, and return $1.5 billion. Hitting point where we are seeing larger fund sizes. What happens: some real changes as the institutions see the returns. Wonder how much of expansion into green tech, nano, is people running to something, not from something. Khosla agrees on software specifically, but not innovation generally. McNamee agrees with the thesis; the issue for software and IT is very real, but does not have anything to do with “venture.” The opportunities - IT is an enterprise thing - not going to make kind of investments in IT that would them to be interesting businesses. VC industry is diversifying away from industry where returns are poor. Schoendorf says “he could not be more wrong.” About 90% of all venture returns made by about 5% of the people; global supply of capital has kept pouring in. Returns come from a very small set. He says we are going to have a renaissance in software, with new billion-dollar companies created. More opportunity for great kinds of business plans.
* 9. McNamee: Within 5 years, everything that matters to you will be available to you on a device that fits on your belt or in your purse. Massive shift in Internet traffic from PCs to smaller devices. You should all get a Kindle, and study this thing, Roger says. Apple has it in the long run, wrong. Won’t be about watching created content, it will be about creating content. Within 10 years, more Internet traffic from your person than all other locations put together. Maybe actually more transaction, as opposed to bits, he corrects, given HD video traffic over the Internet at home. Khosla thinks the trend is already here. He does agree that the device will be transformative. McNamee says he is astonished how surprised people were by the iPhone and the Kindle. “Imagine all the other stuff you aren’t thinking about,” he says.
* 10. Schoendorf: 80% of the world population will carry mobile Internet devices within 5-10 years. Dial-tone is going to be gone. By next year, people will put micro cells in your house. China Mobile has 500 million billable lines. Within 5-10 years will hit 5 billion global wireless phones. Jurvetson thinks 80% is simply too high; he noes that a quarter of the world’s population has no electricity. They will concentrate in the richest nations, Jurvetson says.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) today released the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report covering the second quarter and the first six months of 2007. Internet advertising revenues (U.S.) for the first six months of 2007 were nearly $10 billion, setting yet another new record and representing a nearly 27 percent increase over the first half of 2006. Internet advertising revenue totaled nearly $5.1 billion for the second quarter of 2007, exceeding the $5 billion mark for the first time in a quarter, a 25.4 percent increase over the same period in 2006.
Records aside, the IAB report also breaks down which segments of the internet advertising industry are contributing to that $10 billion figure with comparisons to 2006. Search jumps up a point from ‘06 to 41% and lead gen continues to gain traction, moving from 7% in 2006 to 8% in ‘07. Rich media (including video) rose two percentage points to 8% with the biggest gain. Classifieds and sponsorships models were lower in their �"
As the earth shook with tragic consequences, people in the parts of China that felt the quake used their mobile telephones to send terse messages using the service provided by the San Francisco-based Twitter Inc.
News of the deadly catastrophe reached Twitter devotees such as blogger Robert Scoble in San Francisco even before the massive temblor, which killed more than 12,000 people in Sichuan province, was reported by news organizations and the earthquake-tracking US Geological Survey.
"Several people in China reported to me they felt the quake while it was going on!," Scoble wrote in his popular Scobleizer blog.
Twitters are abbreviated text messages that can be instantly posted on online bulletin boards and personal websites and sent to the mobile telephones of selected friends.
They were at the forefront of a gush of quake pictures and video swiftly posted online via services such as Yahoo's Flickr, Google's YouTube, and French entrepreneur Loic Le Meur's fledgling Seesmic, which has been called the "Twitter of video."
Twitter reportedly became a source of information for major news organizations covering the China earthquake.
"This event has the potential to bring mainstream media into the Twitter world," Alec Saunders wrote in his Personal Soapbox blog.
Twitter launched in March of 2006 and ignited a "micro-blogging" trend by letting people share their every move, mundane or dazzling, with friends every moment of the day.
Twitter users get a maximum of 140 characters a message; ironically, Twitter designer Biz Stone envisioned its potential as a communication tool by a "tweet" warning he received about a California earthquake while about to board a train last year.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey told AFP in a 2007 interview that inspiration for the service came from his experience writing software for courier and emergency service dispatchers that need to route people between locations.
"It was an immediate pulse that sums up the zeitgeist of Twitter," Stone told AFP.
Twitter's role spreading word about China's earthquake seems to have won others to Stone's camp, but skeptics remain.
Search Engine Land blogger Danny Sullivan called it "absurd" to suggest that Twitter users knew of the Sichuan earthquake before the US Geological Survey, which uses seismic equipment positioned around the world to record such events, and then after a scientist's review sends out notices of the events.
"Reading some of the accounts, you'd get the impression Twitter seemed to alert the USGS to the news," Sullivan said.
Metrics: Trouble in Online Adland
PubMatic, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup focused on online advertising, just released its PubMatic AdPrice Index based on data from over 3,000 publishers and billions of ad impressions. The findings of this month’s report: The U.S. economic slowdown is beginning to impact online advertising in a big way, with overall monetization dropping by 23 percent — 38 cents eCPM in March vs. 49 cents eCPM in March. Not a big surprise since housing related advertising was big on the web. Even electronics retailers are feeling the pinch and cutting back.
* eCPMs for large web sites (more than 100 million page views per month) dropped dramatically by 52 percent from 38 cents in March to 18 cents in April 2008.
* Medium web sites (1 million to 100 million page views per month) were nearly flat, with monetization dropping from 34 cents in March to 33 cents in April.
* Small web sites managed to improve their monetization, increasing from $1.17 in March to $1.29 in April.
The overall trends you pick up from the report are not that surprising. For instance, the improved monetization of small web sites is because they have more focused content, which presents more targeted advertising opportunity. Again, no surprise that Social Networking led the plunge, with monetization dropping 47 percent to 19 cents in April from 37 cents in March, below January lows of 22 cents. Too much damn inventory. You can get the full report here:
The PubMatic AdPrice Index is a broad-based measure of ad network pricing information. It is based on anonymous data from over 3,000 publishers who work with PubMatic for ad network and layout optimization services.
PubMatic AdPrice Index
The PubMatic AdPrice Index revealed surprising weakness in monetization for the vast majority of Web sites. Large Web sites fared the worst while Small Web sites managed to maintain their monetization rates. eCPMs for large Web sites (more than 100 million page views per month) dropped dramatically by 52 percent from 38 cents in March to 18 cents April. Medium Web sites (1 million to 100 million page views per month) were nearly flat, with monetization dropping from 34 cents in March to 33 cents in April. Small Web sites managed to improve their monetization, increasing from $1.18 in March to $1.29 in April.
* Small Web site segment: Less than 1 million page views per month.
* Medium Web site segment: Between 1 million and 100 million page views per month.
* Large Web site segment: Over 100 million page views per month.
* Aggregate Index: Data for All Web sites is computed using a weighting of 65% large Web sites, 20% Medium Web sites, and 15% Small Web sites based on an estimate of overall traffic in the online publishing market.
* Note: The pricing data reflects net publisher monetization via ad networks and excludes ad networks' share of ad spends as well as inventory sold directly by publishers to ad agencies or advertisers.
* On average, Web site monetization dropped by 23 percent from 49 cents in March to 38 cents in April.
* Among the verticals, Social Networking led the plunge with monetization dropping 47 percent, from 37 cents in March to 19 cents in April, below January lows of 22 cents. Entertainment monetization dropped 17 percent from 40 cents in March to 33 cents in April. Gaming and Sports were down marginally (4 percent and 5 percent, respectively). Technology remained relatively flat at 83 cents in April vs. 82 cents in March, but is still off January highs of 92 cents.
* eCPMs dropped significantly in most categories and verticals. However, Small Web sites, consistent with earlier findings, continued to outperform medium and large Web sites.
* In April 2008, 77 percent of Small Web sites garnered net publisher eCPMs from ad networks of under $1.00, compared with 95 percent of Medium Web sites and 100 percent of large web sites.
* Across all Web sites, the range of eCPMs was $0.002 to $18.45.
The PubMatic AdPrice Index is a broad-based measure of ad network pricing information based on anonymous data from over 3,000 publishers who work with PubMatic for ad network and ad layout optimization services. Approximately 85% of these publishers are based in the US.
* The pricing data reflects the pricing of text and banner inventory sold to ad networks only, and does not include inventory sold directly to advertisers.
* The pricing data reflects net publisher monetization, not gross advertising spend or the money paid by the advertiser to an ad network.
The PubMatic AdPrice Index is prepared by leading independent statisticians and industry experts:
* Albert Madansky, Ph.D. is the H.G.B. Alexander Professor Emeritus of Business Administration at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and was the recipient of the 2005 American Statistical Association Founders Award.
* Michele Madansky, Ph.D. is a media and market research consultant and former VP of Global Market Research for Yahoo!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Should marketers avoid paying for prospects who are early in the buying process and not ready to submit personal information or be contacted by a sales person? Should these "tire kickers" be avoided so that marketers can focus their attention on generating more valuable, sales-ready leads? While this approach may seem logical at first, I believe it is short-sighted and ultimately leaves a lot of money on the table.
One of the biggest challenges I've experienced working with B2B marketers is overcoming their belief that if a searcher doesn't immediately register, sign-up, download, or complete a Contact Us form, then the prospect is not valuable and not worth the effort or the price of the click.
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. I believe there is huge value in utilizing search marketing to reach prospects early and frequently throughout the entire buying cycle - including the very first stages. Getting in front of prospects early allows you to cost-effectively support your brand, generate a larger volume of high-quality leads, and improve overall marketing ROI.
Understand how business buyers use search engines
According to recent research from Forrester and Enquiro's 2007 B2B Survey, business buyers use search engines most frequently at the beginning of the buying process, during the awareness and research phases. Buyers actually use search engines less frequently when they are ready to negotiate and purchase a high-consideration product or service.
My colleague Jon Miller also supports this premise and recently wrote about buyers using search engines early in the process and long before they are ready to engage with a sales person.
Align your search programs with buyer behavior
Instead of being frustrated by this fact or ignoring the realities of buyer behavior, B2B marketers should embrace this process and proactively align their marketing programs with the various phases of the buying cycle.
For example, let's look at a search advertising campaign for a company selling database software.
A successful pay-per-click (PPC) search ad campaign designed to reach early-phase
prospects would have the following attributes:
- Keywords include general, broad search phrases such as database application software and database software information.
- Ad copy appeals to researchers and fact finders and might include statements such as database market trends or database application tips and advice.
- Landing pages provide general market information and calls-to-action such as download market trend report or review database application options.
In contrast, a late-phase search campaign would look like this.
- Keywords are much more specific and include many long-tail phrases, such as web based medical databases.
- Ad copy may focus on specific features, product comparisons, and buying tips. For example, Compare database application features or Find the right application for you.
- Landing pages offer information and downloadable assets that address specific buying needs, such as Download product and pricing options. View software comparison chart. Request a custom quote, or, yes... Contact Us.
Manage multiple types of programs
To reach the largest number of qualified prospects, marketers must manage multiple
types of programs designed to proactively reach prospects at various phases of the buying process.
Understanding this requirement is critical to search marketing success, because the brutal reality is that not everyone who finds your site is a sales-ready lead. Remember, not all conversions are qualified inquiries and not all inquires are qualified leads. A lead scoring and nurturing program is required to fully capitalize on search-generated inquires and to convert web inquiries into bonafide sales leads.
Track prospects' behavior over time
How can you determine if first time clickers later become inquiries, leads, and customers? Marketers should track first-time visitors, and their subsequent visits, and their online actions over time. Segment your web analytics data as needed, but at least identify and separate all visitors, search visitors, and paid search visitors. The idea is to understand prospects' behavior before they become a conversion or a lead.
You will see that over time, a percentage of first time clickers who do not take any desired action (i.e., tire kickers) return to your website and sign-up for email information, download a white paper, or register for a webinar. And eventually, some will request to be contacted by a sales representative, becoming leads and ultimately customers.
Embrace the buying process
Remember, business buyers go through a process that involves search engines, especially at the beginning. Very few searchers become qualified sales leads on their first visit. More often, the process takes time and requires multiple searches and visits before a meaningful sales interaction can take place.
Embrace the fact that prospects use search engines early and frequently, and are in control of their own buying process. Get your brand in front of these prospects. Proactively penetrate the market segments you want to pursue. Differentiate yourself from the competition.
Strive to track prospects after the first click and before the conversion event. Measure repeat visits and website actions over time. I think you'll find that tire kickers are a lot more valuable than you originally thought!
Coupons are making a comeback. In the face of rising food prices and a slowing economy, consumers are clipping coupons once again. Only, they don't need scissors and a local newspaper so much as a computer, printer, and maybe a mobile phone.
The number of page views on Web sites that feature money-off coupons for all manner of consumer products surged 38%, to 281 million, in March from a year earlier, compared with 5% for the Internet as a whole, according to comScore (SCOR). Those visitors spent a total of 145 million minutes on the sites, a 37% increase. While the number of new users to coupon sites isn't growing faster than the larger Internet audience, existing coupon site users are certainly becoming more active. "User engagement by deal-seekers appears to be ramping up," says comScore analyst Andrew Lipsman. "As a general rule, something like online coupon site activity would increase as a result of macroeconomic trends."
Individual sites say they're detecting increased use. Coupons.com and RetailMeNot.com say they have seen large traffic spikes in the past three months. Visitors to Coupons.com, a decade-old site that lets users print coupons that can be redeemed in stores, grew 35% in the first three months of 2008, compared with the prior quarter, says the site's CEO, Steven Boal. Typically, quarterly growth averages 22% to 23%, he says. Similarly, RetailMeNot says its growth for February, which typically slows after the holiday shopping season, is already back at December levels. "There is definitely an increased use of coupons across the board," says RetailMeNot co-founder Guy King.
Fueling the traffic growth are rapid increases in food prices (BusinessWeek, 5/1/08) and signs of economic slowdown that are damping consumer sentiment and prompting consumers to hunt for bargains. Costs of staples such as rice have surged in recent months, reflecting rising fuel prices and in some cases, limits on exports. Some analysts also blame government policies that provide incentives for farmers to devote more crops to biofuel production (BusinessWeek, 5/1/08).
Bargains Via Computer or Cell Phone
In recognition of the rising demand for bargains and in hopes of luring cash-strapped consumers, retailers are making coupons more readily available online. In April, Coupons.com featured more than 120 coupon offers from the retailers that distribute coupons on its site or use its technology to offer discounts on their own sites, Boal says. Typically, the number is about 100. "Coupons move products off the shelf," he says. "That is their No. 1 job."
Digital coupons typically work in two ways. On Coupons.com, store owners create coupons, with unique serial numbers, that can be printed and redeemed in stores. Coupons can also have unique promotional codes that shoppers can use on e-commerce Web sites to receive discounts on online purchases. RetailMeNot lets users post and share such digital coupons on its site.
Retailers are also relying on wireless technology to capitalize on consumers' bargain-hunting tendencies. According to a recent report by Juniper Research, retailers will send as many as 3 billion mobile coupons to wireless phone users by 2011, resulting in $7 billion in discounts redeemed.
Consumer Pain, Coupon Gain
It hasn't always been a given that consumers would warm to online coupons. After the circulars tucked between newspaper sections began disappearing, coupons began surfacing online. But the time involved in finding coupons and the cost of the ink to print them seemed to negate much of the cents in savings. Coupon sites have taken off as more consumers have become motivated to look for even small discounts to reduce ever-increasing grocery bills.
The commodities price hike has caused everyone from boxed cereal giants General Mills (GIS) and Kellogg (K) to meat producers such as Tyson Foods (TSN) to hike prices. More price increases are to come. After reporting a $5 million loss in its second quarter on Apr. 29, Tyson CEO Richard Bond said prices will continue to rise.
Consumer pain is turning out to be coupon sites' gain. Coupons.com provides retailers with coupon-marketing and -serving technology. The more consumers printing and using their coupons, the more retailers are likely to work with the site. RetailMeNot sells ads on its site through Google (GOOG) and collects commission from the coupon-driven traffic to retailers' Web sites such as Amazon.com (AMZN). "The net effect is that people are trying to get the most of their shopping through coupons," says King.
For a look at the sorts of coupons that are particularly popular right now, check out the BusinessWeek.com slide show.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Social Networks continue to show a strong future of growth.
Two recent Forrester reports published by my colleagues, Josh Bernoff and Oliver Young, both showing the future of social computing for the interactive marketer and for enterprise 2.0 purchasing. A very obvious trend for both of these reports is the growth of budgets by marketers and companies for social networks.
I’m not releasing any new information here, but just highlighting the public data that they both point out:
Social technology marketers bullish in face of recession
We polled interactive marketers with the following question: “Assuming that the economy is in a recession in the next six months, how would you change your Investments in the following marketing channels?” Over 40% of them indicated that they will increase spending on social networks even in face of a recession during the next 6 months.
Josh writes: “Social networks will get the largest number of increases, over 40% of those using it, along with user-generated content, blogs, and that old standby, email marketing.”
Forecast: Global Enterprise Web 2.0 Spend By Technology, 2007 To 2013
In Oliver Young’s report on Global Enterprise Web 2.0 Market Forecast: 2007 To 2013, or read the blog post, and the graph has been published on Read Write Web and ZDnet, Enterprise spending of social computing software (internal and external) his report provided some clear forecasts demonstrating that purchasing in social networking software (like this white label list) will increase, and take the largest segment of the budget.
Your internal discussion
You should forward these stats to the web strategy teams within your company, and start a discussion answering each of the following questions:
Is your organization of what social networks are (believe me, many aren’t)? Are you aware of why social networks are so important (talk about trust)? Is your marketplace using social networks? if so, which ones? What are you competitors or others in your industry going? What are people doing in social networking sites in our marketplace?
That’s just the exploratory questions you’ll need to answer, there’s a much large discussion you’ll need to have, after the awareness questions are answered.
I’ve published quite a few posts on social networks, view archives.