Thursday, October 30, 2008

MediaTrust's own Chantelle White has been published in the current DM Confidential newsletter. Congratulations, Chantelle!

Chantelle White Advaliant Chantelle White

What defines a successful tradeshow? Your ability to swiftly and immediately follow up with all of your new found contacts! Set your calendar as all you have is a three day window in order to rekindle those conversations and truly differentiate yourself. Time is of the essence therefore it is your initiative that will turn talk into a prosperous new venture.

If you are interested in submitting an affiliate tip or
a byline, please contact me:

Leila @

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

7 More Sites to Cut Your Startup Costs - GigaOM

F|R Crib Sheet: 7 More Sites to Cut Your Startup Costs - GigaOM: "F|R Crib Sheet: 7 More Sites to Cut Your Startup Costs

Last month we offered bootstrapping founders a short index of cost-optimization sites to help cut expenses for things like health insurance, web hosting, wireless plans and electric bills.

Many of you wrote in to offer your own recommendations, so this week we’re expanding the list with seven additional resources to help you cut costs associated with project management, conferencing, financial planning and accounting — plus, an entire search engine devoted to sourcing free applications for just about everything else, including: data backup, CRM, product price tracking, professional video editing and more.

As always, if you’ve discovered additional tools for cutting startups’ commodity costs, please share them in the comments section."

1. Financial Modeling

Even if you never plan to raise professional money, you need to know how to build and read financial and accounting models in order to run your business effectively — especially during a recession. offers free tutorials and Excel spreadsheets (available for download once you register) that you can use to round out the capital-investment and cash-flow models in your business plan and help you with ongoing operations accounting. You’ll likely find the template for the enterprise software company useful. The site claims an active community of some 4,000 finance professionals, entrepreneurs, and academics who can give you quick and unbiased feedback.

Also take the time to listen to this lecture, by Prof. Aswath Damodaran of New York University’s Stern School of Business, in which he explains the how to easily assess the beta risk (or market correlation, a.k.a. recession exposure) of your business. (Ever wonder what tobacco companies and Twitter have in common? A low beta!) Other valuation resources are here.

2. Web Hosting (Addenda) is a reader-recommended site for web hosting and applications development. It includes a community for seasoned developers to share their tips and war stories and a very long list of free tutorials for building e-books working in MySQL, Ubuntu, Debian, Capistrano, etc. (Reviews of the tutorials are positive.) is another reader-recommended site that aggregates hosting vendors so you price-compare and buy wisely. We especially like this site for its index of coupons for further discounts and this handy list of articles, such as “The 3 key numbers when buying Web Hosting.”

3. Credit Assistance

Interactive media and online advertising firm MediaTrust is behind, which aims to help consumers and startup founders (some of whom are also, we presume, MediaTrust’s clients) with certain finance and credit pressures. The site already provides auto loans, cash advances and will help you repair your poor credit. Apparently health insurance, debt consolidation and auto refinance are on the way. The sites seem a bit predatory at first, but MediaTrust is an established company, and heck, it’s an ugly truth that such services will be needed in tough times.

Meet the UK Digital Nation - eMarketer

Meet the UK Digital Nation - eMarketer: "Meet the UK Digital Nation

Does anyone go out to the pubs anymore?

Online life is thriving in the UK.

“And online behavior has become me more complex and sophisticated,” says Karin von Abrams, senior analyst at eMarketer and author of the new report, UK Internet Users and Usage Update. “UK residents increasingly use the Internet as a tool for social and political action, as well as e-mail, shopping, watching videos and keeping up with the latest news.”

eMarketer estimates that the number of Internet users in the UK reached 36.8 million in 2007, and will pass 38 million in 2008—equivalent to 62.6% of the entire population.

“With only one exception,” Ms. von Abrams says. “eMarketer estimates are higher than the available figures suggested by other research firms for 2007 and 2008.”

“The main reason for the discrepancy,” Ms. von Abrams, explains, “is that eMarketer is the only one that takes all ages and all access locations into account—and includes mobile Internet access.”

Though the mobile Web market has been slow to take off, the number of mobile UK Web users is increasingly significant and will play a stronger role in future years. According to Entertainment Media Research, less than 10% of adult Internet users in the UK were regularly"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Clearspring Takes Top Spot Among Widget Networks - MarketingVOX

Clearspring Takes Top Spot Among Widget Networks - MarketingVOX: "Clearspring Takes Top Spot Among Widget Networks

'Your content. Everywhere'

Widget syndicator Clearspring Technologies is now the top widget network, bumping one-time leader Gigya, according to comScore's Widget Metrix.

In September, Clearspring served 254 million unique visitors worldwide, a 60% audience growth since August. In contrast, Gigya visitors fell from 174 million to 161 million from August to September.

Clearspring attributed its growth to its recent acquisition of AddThis, a bookmarking and content-sharing widget maker. It also inked partnerships with MetroLyrics and SnagFilms, adding to existing ones with KickApps, the Washington Post and the University of California, San Francisco.

Clearspring's service enables brands to disseminate their widgets across over 80 social networks, bookmarking services and blogs. In tandem with KickApps it launched a tracking service; and like rival Gigya, it launched an ad network to help content-sharing publishers monetize the platform.

Total US visitors in September numbered 101 million, a 43% gain from August. In June, Clearspring became the first widget network to win approval from the Audit Bureau of Circulations' Digital Technology initiative."

Online Ad Spend up 21% in UK; Could Overtake TV by '09

Online Ad Spend up 21% in UK; Could Overtake TV by '09

Internet ad spending in the UK grew to £1,682.5 million in the first half of 2008, a 21% year-over-year increase, according to the latest figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB-UK) in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), writes MarketingCharts.


The biannual internet advertising spend study found that the total advertising market was £8982.5 million, down 0.7% year-over-year, during the period from January to June 2008. The advertising market would have experienced a 4.6% decline without the internet’s growth.


In real terms, internet advertising added £348.2 million to its bottom line when compared with the same period in 2007. Online spending exceeded expectations to increase its market share by four points to 18.7%, only 0.6% behind total press display (19.3%) and 3% behind TV (21.7%).


The study suggests strong advertiser confidence in online media - including search, classifieds, rich media and video - at a time when TV, print, outdoor and radio, are experiencing declines.

Online formats surpassed expectations

  • Paid search spending grew 28% year-over-year and was worth £981 million in the first half of 2008, with its market share marginally up to 58.3% of total online advertising (57.8% in first half of 2007).
  • Total internet display advertising spending rose 16.3% year-over-year to £333.8 million. This was boosted by a 36.6% increase in spending on embedded formats such as banners, rich media and video. Internet display ads are still the only major display medium to be growing.
  • The majority of online display ad spending is still via major portals and online publishers, but sales networks - representing thousands of smaller sites - have increased their volumes and account for 41% of all display expenditures. Sales houses and networks are growing the 'long tail' of internet advertising - smaller and niche websites - and offer advertisers a streamlined 'quick sell' for direct response campaigns.

Technology, finance and entertainment & media top categories

  • In terms of revenues for specific sectors, technology is the top category with a 17.3% market share, followed by finance at 11.9%, entertainment & media at 10.7% and Recruitment at 9.9%.
  • Classifieds grew by 30.2% year-on-year to £361.6 million as recruitment, property, automotive and small ads continued their migration to the internet from print classifieds, which declined 10% year-on-year.


Key growth drivers:

Advertising networks: The rapid rise of advertising networks as efficient, streamlined warehouses that sell display advertising to the internet's 'long tail' are opening up the internet to more advertisers.

Online audiences: The online population now reflects the demographic make-up of the UK as a whole, with a 52%/48% male/female split. 21% of internet users are 25 to 34 years and at the other end of the spectrum, the over-50s now represent 30% of total time spend online.

3G, wireless and inexpensive laptops: Wireless and laptops are no longer a luxury item or confined to business. Mobile network '3' sells more 3G dongles than mobile phones, T-Mobile offers a £10 per month 3G dongle, which coupled with a powerful inexpensive laptop, substitutes for a traditional broadband contract on a fixed-based PC. In Q1 2008, 6% of adults used mobile broadband and in the five months from February 2008, 511,000 mobile broadband connections were sold by the UK's five mobile network operators. 75% of those with access to mobile broadband use it at home, 18% do so at work and 27% while elsewhere/on the move.

Broadband as commodity: Faster, cheaper broadband, with deals as low as £4.50 per month from Virgin Media are attracting more people online. The proportion of homes taking broadband services grew to 58% by Q1 2008, a rise of six percentage points on a year earlier. By the end of 2007, 58% of UK households had a broadband connection, up from 52% a year previously and from 41% two years ago.

Catch-up TV: Launch of services such as BBC iPlayer and Channel 4’s 4oD are breaking the barrier between video entertainment and the internet as a communications or shopping tool. The Beijing Olympics was the tipping point for BBC iPlayer with a broader demographic profile using the online service. Consumers are responding to this increased supply. Some 27% of those age 15-24 claim to use the internet for watching TV programs in 2008, up by 17 percentage points in 12 months. 45% used it for watching video clips/webcasts, also up by 18 percentage points over the same period.

Social networking websites: Social media continues to have a large impact on the market, especially as an audience driver, the research said. In the first half of 2008 ad spending for this area was relatively low and coming off a small base, but is expected to grow steadily in the coming years. CPM values for user-generated content are lower in this sector and they are generally bought through networks. However, the premium channels such as MySpace Music and MySpace Film are sold at a higher CPM rate.

"Online is not immune from the economic downturn, but while other sectors see falls in expenditure the internet is still experiencing an incredible increase and is propping up the entire advertising market," said Guy Phillipson, CEO of the IAB UK. "The growth in internet advertising spend is beating all expectations as advertisers look to maximize their budgets, and take advantage of new display advertising formats such as video. They are also increasing their investment in paid-for search marketing because it delivers measurable returns on investment."

Digital Tactics for Reaching Young Adults - eMarketer

Digital Tactics for Reaching Young Adults - eMarketer: "Digital Tactics for Reaching Young Adults
OCTOBER 28, 2008

Social network ads can seem intrusive.

Responding young adults in the US said e-mail and direct mail were bigger influencers on their purchasing decisions than social networks, according to recently released data from an ExactTarget-sponsored survey conducted by the Ball State University Center for Media Design.

Mike Bloxham, research director at Ball State, noted in a statement that just because 18-to-34-year-olds like to spend time on social networks does not mean advertisers should try to reach them there.

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“It is too easy to assume that the media consumers choose for their own news, information and entertainment are, by default, the best media to use for marketing messages,” Mr. Bloxham said."

UGC advertising celebrity cretaed::Finding a Gold Mine in Digital Ditties -

Finding a Gold Mine in Digital Ditties - "Joel Moss Levinson always knew he had a calling in life. But it took cheap video cameras, YouTube and some desperate corporations to show him what it was.
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Nicholas Roberts for The New York Times

Joel Moss Levinson has won nearly a dozen sponsor contests for commercials.
My Water Cooler Loves to Dance All Night (
My Water Cooler Loves to Dance All Night (
Mr. Watermelon, Party Fruit (
Mr. Watermelon, Party Fruit (
Joel Moss Levinson's YouTube Page (External link)

Among Mr. Levinson's entries were YouTube videos about how much he loved Israel, above, and his water cooler.

Mr. Levinson’s skill is turning out homemade corporate commercials — what advertisers call a form of “user-generated content.” Companies, frantic to connect with younger consumers, sponsor contests seeking these commercials to find new ways to advertise their products, often attracting hundreds of entries and lots of attention.

So far, Mr. Levinson, a college dropout with dozens of failed jobs on his résumé, has won 11 contests — earning more than $200,000 in money and prizes. His success has made him into the digital age version of Evelyn Ryan, the woman from Defiance, Ohio, who supported her fam"

One Easy Fix Could Cure Email Marketers' Impotence - MarketingVOX

One Easy Fix Could Cure Email Marketers' Impotence - MarketingVOX: "Home » Archives » 2008 » Oct » 27 » One Easy Fix Could Cure Email Marketers' Impotence...
One Easy Fix Could Cure Email Marketers' Impotence

An ideeli handbag promotion
-- in an inbox near you

As wallets slacken and consumers grow more conscious of where their money is going, online retailers have become more aggressive about using email to promote discounts.

A recent report found online shopping is more appealing as gas prices increase. Armed with this and other optimistic forecasts, nearly three-fourths of internet retailers are prepared to survive the economic climate — and a full 35% expect to profit.

Email is cheap, and in some ways is the perfect vehicle to precipitate online profit growth. Forrester analyst Julie M. Katz says it costs about $2 to send a thousand emails. Better yet, marketers get an average $45.06 ROI for every dollar spent on email campaigns, says the Direct Marketers Association (DMA).

And while intentions may be noble, consumers are wary. Cory Porter, a web shopper from Washington DC, confessed, 'I find them annoying.' He receives about seven email offers per day — nearly twice as many as two months ago, reports the Associated Press.

Given "all the economic uncertainty," Porter slashed discretionary spend from $500 per month to $200. Half of his buying now occurs online. Overzealous email marketers, however, are increasingly relegated to the spam bin.

In a survey of 174 online retailers, Internet Retailer found nearly half increased the number of monthly emails sent, compared to last year. The DMA reports an 8% increase in the number of emails that stores sent for the week ending October 17, compared to the same week a year earlier.

All told, Forrester forecasts over 158 billion marketing emails will be sent this year — expected to increase 63%, to 258 billion in 2013. As volume rises, consumers seek new ways to evade the wave of what they consider to be spam.

The problem, in part, is relevance. "I am a 32-year-old guy who lives in an urban area with no kids," Porter said. "In other words, I don't need blouses, high heels, or kid's juice boxes."

Less than 20% of retailer emails are tailored to consumers' individual needs, even though targeted messages are easier to produce than they were a handful of years ago, says VP Stephanie Miller of market development at Return Path.

But Miller also believes this lazy attitude will evolve, because merely increasing email frequency won't work in an environment this noisy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Online Ad Clicker Demographics

OCTOBER 22, 2008

Different ad types appeal to different users.

Age, income and visit frequency are closely related to US Internet users’ likelihood to click on ads, according to an August 2008 study by iPerceptions.

Four out of 10 US Internet users surveyed who were likely to click on any type of online ad made less than $50,000 per year, and and only 15% made over $150,000. Video ads drew even more respondents with lower incomes: 49% of those likely to click on video ads made less than $50,000 per year and only 13% made over $150,000.

Although likely clickers of text and banner ads were generally evenly distributed by age, dropping off sharply only after age 64, likely video ad clickers skewed especially young.

Nearly two-thirds of Internet users likely to click on online ads were weekly or daily visitors to the Website where the ad appeared; only 15% were first-time visitors and 6% went to the site sporadically.

It is no surprise that younger Internet users are more likely to click video ads, since they are far heavier online video consumers than those who are older—and far heavier Internet users overall.

A January 2008 study conducted for the Television Bureau of Advertising by Nielsen Media Research confirmed this trend yet again.

As for income, ad exposure and consumption by the wealthy are typically a mixed bag.

“Consumers with higher incomes are targeted for more ads, but they also use more tools to avoid ads such as DVRs and ad-blocking software,” said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer.

Agencies and brands from all verticals rely on eMarketer Total Access for analysis and data. Daily articles are just the tip of the iceberg. Find out what you are missing. Learn more about Total Access today.

Online Holiday Sales Forecast

OCTOBER 22, 2008

Jeffrey Grau, Senior Analyst

This year online holiday sales (excluding travel) will total $32.1 billion, up 10.1% over 2007. This is a sharp decline from growth rates in the low-to-mid 20% range seen over the past few years.

The weak economy is placing downward pressure on e-commerce sales this season. That pressure accentuates the already declining sales growth, which is a sign of the inevitable maturation of the online shopping channel.

Financially strapped consumers will use a variety of strategies to save money on holiday gifts. More than ever, they will turn to the Internet to get gift ideas, find bargains and locate retailers that stock desired products. Shoppers will shift a larger share of their purchases from stores to the Internet to save gas money and avail themselves of retailers’ free shipping offers.

The main engine of e-commerce growth is incumbent online buyers who are shifting a greater percentage of their total spending from stores to the Internet.

The spending shift from stores to Websites is expected to continue this holiday season, according to a recent survey sponsored by ATG and conducted by the e-tailing group. This year 49% of holiday gift spending among US Internet users will occur online, compared with 44% in stores—making this the first time the Web has surpassed the store as the preferred channel for Internet users to purchase holiday gifts.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Online ads defy slowing global economy

Market expected to grow by 23% this year to $43.3 bil

By Leo Cendrowicz

Oct 9, 2008, 11:13 AM ET

BRUSSELS -- Defying a slowing global economy, the online advertising market is expected to grow by 23% this year to $43.3 billion, according to the Berlin-based European Information Technology Observatory.

Despite the damage inflicted by the financial crisis, turnover with advertisement banners, sponsored links and other online advertising format will grow 13% to $18.6 billion in the U.S., still by far the largest market in the world.

Although the Internet economy in Europe is growing from a smaller base, it is developing fast and is forecast to grow 31% in 2008 to $12.4 billion. The next biggest market, Japan, will surge 15% to $4.5 billion, while China will leap forward 46% to $1.6 billion.

The 2008 forecasts come on top of a 26% jump in 2007 to $35 billion, and before that, a 33% rise in 2006 to $27.8 billion.

The figures showed that the Internet had established itself as an advertising medium and is increasing in importance compared to classic TV, radio and print advertising, EITO chairman Bruno Lamborghini said. He pointed to forecasts for television advertising for 2008 -- up only 8% to $189.6 billion -- that offered far more modest growth.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is Online Safe from the Meltdown?

OCTOBER 9, 2008

The economy and online ad spending

Online ad spending data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for the first half of 2008 is in.

The numbers seem generally strong, showing double-digit growth compared with the first half of 2007 in several categories: search, display—which includes banners, rich media and video—and e-mail ad spending. And the total US online ad growth rate of 15.2% is nearly the same as eMarketer’s 17.4% projection for all of 2008.

Yet online classified ad spending was down by more than 5% and may turn out to be a canary in the coal mine, showing the first signs of dizziness in an increasingly toxic environment.

“The negative growth for classifieds closely reflects economic weakness,” said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer. “Whether used on eBay to sell products, on job sites by employers, or for real-estate sales, classified ad buys tend to be short-term purchases with short-term objectives.

“In contrast, most display-related ads, such as banners or video, are contracted ahead of time. For that reason, they are less of a mirror of the current state of online advertising than classifieds,” Mr. Hallerman continued.

The problem is not that banks spend so much on ads themselves. In a recent MediaPost article, ZenithOptimedia said, “The bank failures will have a fairly small direct effect on ad expenditure, since financial advertising contributes only about 4% of global ad expenditure, but fears for the future will cause consumers to cut their spending, while companies carefully inspect their budgets to find cost savings.”

Jack Myers also noted that the ad industry was undergoing a major transformation even before the crisis hit.

“The danger of ascribing downward spiraling economics of ad spending to the economy alone is that it camouflages several more endemic causes for ad spending declines,” Mr. Meyers wrote earlier this week. “The media marketplace is transitioning from one in which demand has exceeded supply (even as supply has grown exponentially) a marketplace in which the availability of supply is outpacing demand.”

The IAB does not forecast the future, but many companies that do have recast their numbers in recent months.

As detailed in a recent roundup:

  • Barclays changed its US online ad forecast for 2008 through 2012 to $24.79 billion (+16.9%), below its previous forecast of $26.17 billion (+23.4%), in May. They expect online advertising to rise at a 14.3% three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR), resulting in the Web accounting for 13% of total US ad dollars by 2011.
  • J.P. Morgan lowered its 2008 US display market estimate to $8.2 billion from $8.6 billion. MediaPost said that represented 14% year-over-year growth, compared with its previous estimate of 20% growth. J.P. Morgan now expects online display to reach $9.4 billion in 2009, down from its previous estimate of $10.0 billion (16% growth compared with a previous estimate of 17%).
  • Cowen said in July 2008 that 2008 US online ad market growth would be 16% year-over-year, a drop from its previous estimate of 19%.
  • MAGNA also reduced its 2008 online ad spending estimates in July 2008 to 12% growth, down from the 16.5% it predicted in December 2007.

eMarketer estimated in August 2008 that online ad spending would reach $24.9 billion this year, down slightly from its March forecast. That still represents 17.4% growth over 2007.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Marketing Spending Priorities Shift

OCTOBER 7, 2008

Digital looking good. Traditional may take a hit.

More than six out of 10 (63%) of marketing executives surveyed said they had increased their digital marketing spending in 2008. Just slightly less (59%) said they had decreased traditional marketing spending.

These were two of the main findings of a study of 175 CMOs and marketing executives released in September 2008 by Epsilon.

There are far more than 175 CMOs in the US (not to mention the world), but the survey does provide directional confirmation of an ongoing trend: Digital ad and marketing spending are increasing even as traditional ad and marketing spending shrink.

Total ad spending seemed poised for a hit, with nearly two-thirds of respondents saying it would fall as a result of the economy.

Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers surveyed by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business for the American Marketing Association in July 2008 likewise predicted double-digit growth for Internet marketing spending and low growth for traditional ad spending through the following 12 months.

Friday, October 3, 2008

CMO Ad Budgets Shrivel, Money Shifts toward Digital - MarketingVOX

CMO Ad Budgets Shrivel, Money Shifts toward Digital - MarketingVOX: "Home » Archives » 2008 » Oct » 03 » CMO Ad Budgets Shrivel, Money Shifts toward Digital...
CMO Ad Budgets Shrivel, Money Shifts toward Digital

Always a bummer

Two-thirds (65 percent) of CMOs and marketing execs say their ad budgets will decrease because of the troubled economy, but more of their money will go toward digital/interactive marketing than before, according to a survey (pdf) from Epsilon, writes MarketingCharts.


Roughly the same percentage (63 percent) of the 175 CMOs and marketing execs surveyed report that their spending on interactive/digital marketing has risen, while 59 percent report a decrease in traditional marketing spend.


The study also finds that though CMOs are facing tough challenges in the current economic climate, 94 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement, 'A tough economic period is precisely the time when marketing plays a key role.'

To offsest budget cuts, CMOs are shifting to more targeted and measurable marketing strategies. When asked how their firm determines target market for each channel, 50 percent said they use data-driven marketing techniques: 31 percent stated they use sophisticated"