Friday, January 30, 2009

Making Money With Facebook - ShoeMoney Show

By Jeremy Schoemaker

On yesterday's ShoeMoney Show we talked about making money with Facebook. Tim Kendall, Director of Monetization, was my guest during the show. Tim is in charge of monetizing the entire Facebook advertising system.

I started off the show by talking about the current state of affiliate marketing and some of my recent experiences. I also addressed some of the comments made on last Monday's post about my recent Facebook campaigns.

After the first break Tim came on the program, talked a little bit about his background and explained some general things about the Facebook advertising platform. Then we dove into users' questions!

Right off the bat, I blindsided Tim with some questions about the Beacon Project (mostly because I thought it was a ingenious way to make money). Although I did give Tim a list of questions before the show started, this question was not on the list. He was great, and I was glad he still answered my questions. I think you are somewhat seeing Beacon in a small amount through advertisements you can target by social actions. I have a feeling we have not seen the last of the Beacon Project.

During the show Tim answers many questions... I tackle a few also. We cover everything from how to get started with Facebook advertising to how to conduct split testing on your ads. Tim also addressed all the questions about their ad approval proccess (of which there were many).

Throughout the great interview, I thought one of the key points Tim made was that Facebook is still in the "start-up phase". The ad platform is only about 1 year old and people are already trying to compare it to Google Adwords which is about 9 years old.

I want to thank Tim for his time, great answers, and for coming on the show with very short notice. I thought he awesome.

You can listen to the show here on WebmasterRadio.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Remember Online Dating?


JANUARY 23, 2009

Usage is down, but revenues are up. Some consumers are still in love with Internet matchmaking.

Online dating seems like one of those things everyone did when the Web was new, then dropped after a while. In fact, the percentage of Internet users in the US who visit online dating sites is down, but online dating revenues are up.

Piper Jaffray estimated that online dating revenues will reach $1.65 billion in 2012, up from $1.18 billion in 2008. The company said growth would be steady, if not massive.

Only 5% of US Internet users surveyed by the Pew Internet & American Life Project said they used online dating sites in 2008—less than one-half the percentage who said so in 2002. The percentage of 18-to-29-year-olds who visited online dating sites in 2002 was generally double that of any other age group. Yet by 2008, usage had leveled out among adults ages 18 to 64. Only 1% of adults ages 65 and over use the sites.

So if usage is down, why are revenues up? Because online dating site marketers got smart about pricing and targeting. Monthly fees can be $30 or more, depending on the service. Dating sites are counting on the fact that a small percentage of Internet users are serious enough about dating to pay for services of this sort instead of meeting through social networks (or, you know, life).

Niche dating sites specialize in targeting specific types of daters, and the range of these services is now as diverse as Internet users themselves. As ConsumerSearch noted in July 2008:

“There are now hundreds of niche sites and the categories are endless, [including] JDate.com for Jewish singles and MuslimDating.net for Muslims. There’s also ChristianSingles.com. Seniors can try SeniorFriendFinder.com, and African-Americans can check out BlackSingles.com. Those with chronic diseases can try Prescription4Love.com. There is also AgeMatch.com for intergenerational dating. Richkiss.com only allows those who make more than $150,000 a year to join.”

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ad Network Prices Take a Hit


JANUARY 22, 2009

But past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

Ad network CPMs were down in Q4 2008 compared with Q4 2007, according to PubMatic. Prices for ads on Websites of all sizes had decreased; small, medium and large sites’ ad prices dropped 52%, 23% and 54%, respectively, from the previous year.

PubMatic reported pricing data for text and banner ads sold through advertising networks only. The data reflects publisher revenues, not total ad spending—it includes only advertiser spending on ad networks.

“Online ad pricing is a reflection of what is happening in the overall economy, and as a result, pricing has dropped significantly in almost all categories in the past year,” said Rajeev Goel, CEO of PubMatic, in a statement.

“However, with overall advertising budgets shrinking, the need for marketers to have more accountable advertising could bring more advertising dollars online in 2009 and start an upward trend as some vertical categories have already experienced,” Mr. Goel added.

Price drops leveled from Q3 2008 to Q4 2008. The company said that could have been because increased advertising during the holidays kept ad rates stable.

“These spending figures are best viewed in light of PubMatic’s sample bias,” said David Hallerman, eMarketer’s online advertising analyst. “As the company says, the data excludes inventory sold directly by publishers to ad agencies or advertisers.

“That exclusion is most apparent in the far higher CPMs for small versus large Websites, 61 cents versus 17 cents in Q4. That disparity seems counterintuitive. Shouldn’t sites with more traffic get higher CPMs? However, this research counts mainly inexpensive remnant inventory for large sites, while counting nearly all inventory for small sites.

“In fact, the direct sales of display ads by medium and large sites, along with performance-based deals—which exclude CPM pricing—means this research is only one snapshot of the current display ad market, and not the final picture,” Mr. Hallerman concluded.

The drops in ad network CPMs do not necessarily foretell a drop in total online display ad spending. eMarketer estimates that such spending will actually grow in 2009 by 6.6%.

If advertisers spend more on cheaper ads, that’s still a net increase. For those who buy ads on networks, that may mean getting more for their money. For publishers, it may mean working harder for it.


Media Firms Team Up to Test Online-Video Ad Formats - WSJ.com

Media Firms Team Up to Test Online-Video Ad Formats - WSJ.com
he recession is making for some strange ad fellows. Media companies including Microsoft, Yahoo, CBS's CBS Interactive and Hulu.com are joining forces to attract more money to the fledgling online-video advertising marketplace by testing ad formats.

The project, dubbed "the Pool," is the brainchild of Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest, which buys roughly $16 billion in U.S. ad time and space annually for big advertisers like Procter & Gamble.

Starcom MediaVest and sister agency VivaKi say they are trying to create standards in the online-video market, which is popular with consumers but hasn't turned into a serious money maker.

The Pool, ...

December's Top Sites: Retail, Shipping Traffic Soar - MarketingVOX

December's Top Sites: Retail, Shipping Traffic Soar - MarketingVOX

December saw increased traffic to retail sites, and gains for shipping and weather properties, as Americans pursued bargains and deals online, sent and waited for packages, and considered travel conditions, according to the monthly analysis of US online consumer activity from comScore Media Metrix (via MarketingCharts.

Retail Sites Realize Seasonal Traffic Gains

Despite soft online holiday sales, December traffic to retail sites grew as consumers searched for holiday gifts and discounts. Retail - Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories surged 30% to 25 million visitors and ranked as the top-gaining category for the month.

comscore-top-10-gaining-categories-percentage-change-unique-visitors-december-2008.jpg

Retail – Sports/Outdoor sites also posted strong growth for the month increasing 24% to more than 38 million visitors. The top 10 sites in the category all witnessed double-digit increases, including DicksSportingGoods.com (up 57% to 4.8 million visitors) and SportsAuthority.com (up 61% to 3.3 million visitors).

Other retail categories among the top-ten included Retail - Music (up 24% to 26 million visitors), Retail - Flowers/Gifts/Greeting (up 17% to 45.7 million visitors) and Retail - Computer Software (up 14% to 30.2 million visitors).

"The holiday shopping season continued to be the main driver of online activity in December, with retail sites being the primary beneficiaries," said Jack Flanagan, EVP of comScore Media Metrix.

"While enticing discounts and incentives were enough to attract holiday shoppers to browse online, consumers did not open their wallets as they have in past years as online sales declined three percent vs. last year amid the tougher economic climate."

Shipping Sites Surge on Rush to Send Holiday Gifts

Traffic to shipping sites climbed 27% to nearly 40 million visitors in December as Americans raced to ensure delivery of their packages in time for the holidays. The category was led by UPS Sites with 21.6 million visitors (up 47% from the previous month), which also ranked as one of the top-gaining properties in December. The US Post Office’s site, USPS.com, captured the second position with 16.6 million visitors (up 28%), followed by FedEx with 13.4 million visitors (up 38%).

comscore-top-10-gaining-properties-percentage-change-unique-visitors-december-2008.jpg

Severe Conditions Drive Visitors to Weather Sites

Wintry weather blasted the country in December, resulting in travel delays and cancellations, according to comScore. Consequently, the Weather category grew 17% to 76.8 million visitors as Americans chased weather updates. The Weather Channel led the category with 41.5 million visitors (up 28%), followed by Weatherbug Property with 27.1 million visitors (up 10%), and Yahoo Weather with 14.3 million visitors (up 36%).

Top 50 Properties

Google Sites, which now reach nearly 80% of online Americans, continued to lead as the most visited property in December with 149 million visitors, followed by Yahoo Sites with 145.7 million visitors and Microsoft Sites with 125.4 million visitors.

comscore-top-50-properties-unique-visitors-december-2008.png

Facebook and Apple Inc. climbed two spots to #11 and #12, respectively. The holiday shopping season caused sharp increases at several retail-related properties including Shopzilla.com Sites (up six spots to #27), Best Buy Sites (up 10 spots to #30), and JCPenney Sites (up eight spots to #42).

Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking

Platform-A led the December Ad Focus ranking, reaching 91% of the 190.7 million Americans online, comScore reported. Yahoo Network ranked second, reaching 87%, while ValueClick Networks captured the third position with an 84% reach. Adconion Media Group moved up three spots in the ranking to #9, Amazon.com moved up three spots to #37, and ITN Digital Networks - Potential Reach moved up five spots to #40.

comscore-ad-focus-ranking-top-50-unique-visitors-december-2008.jpg

Monday, January 19, 2009

Online Lead Gen Firm Go Internet Media Raises $10M


GoInternet.png
Go Internet Media has won a $10M Series A financing led by PE firm Kennet Partners. The startup has been bootstrapped since 2004 and sells leads to universities via sites like www.searchbydegree.com and www.freeeducationguide.com.

Santa Clara based Go Internet Media also runs RevenueLoop, a performance based ad network for leads. They have latched on to the buzzword 'crowdsourcing' to explain how they turn leads. The model is a bit odd for publishers where the charge you a fee, ranging from 25% to 15% if you make more than $10K per month.

Go Internet has plenty of other larger competitors and they are not very differentiated. The deal probably made sense to investors as performance is where its at in this down market and education leads have value as more laid-off worker head back to school.

Search Advertising Runs into the Recession

By Jessica E. Vascellaro

On Thursday, the public will find out how online search advertising – the biggest chunk of the Internet ad market – weathered the rocky fourth quarter when Google reports its results for the period.

The signals from one study, set to be released Tuesday, aren’t pretty.

recessionU.S. search advertising spending fell 8% in the fourth quarter of 2008 from the same period in 2007, according to a new study from search advertising firm Efficient Frontier, which had been tracking mostly flat growth for 2008. The study — which covers an undisclosed portion the $750 million in annual spending the company manages globally — marks the first quarter of negative annual growth in the several years Efficient Frontier has been gathering such data, says James Beriker, president and CEO of the firm.

It’s difficult to predict exactly what the study might mean for earnings reports from Google and other tech giants that sell search advertising, like Yahoo and Microsoft. Google held its 76% market share from the third quarter, while Yahoo increased its market share during the quarter half a percentage point to 20%, Efficient Frontier found. Microsoft Live Search’s share dropped from 4.9 percent to 4.2 percent.

Analysts, who have been slashing their estimates, are still predicting that Google notched double-digit revenue growth in the fourth quarter. Industry research firm eMarketer recently projected that, despite the recession, U.S. search advertising will still grow 14.9% in 2009, down from a 2008 growth rate of 21.4%.

The Efficient Frontier study also found that retail marketers increased their spending 9% in the fourth quarter, compared to 2007, lending support to Google’s theory that some customers will respond to the recession by leaning more heavily on search advertising, widely considered one of the most cost-effective advertising methods.

Mr. Beriker says it is tough to predict whether next quarter will be better or worse but said there are some encouraging signs. He notes that many clients cut their budgets during the beginning of the fourth quarter after noticing fewer ads were converting to sales.

But he says spending started to pick up again towards the end of the quarter after clients adjusted their bidding strategies, modifying how much they were bidding for certain words and when. The last quarter “reconditioned the way advertisers think about the channel,” he says. “It could have been much worse.”

Some other highlights from the study:

Advertisers who spend less than $50,000 on search ads cut their spending by 23% year-over-year, while advertisers that spend more than $200,000 on search per month cut spending by 9% during that time. Purchases by advertisers who spend between $50,000 and $200,000 were relatively flat.

Finance and automotive advertising continued to deteriorate. Search-ad spending among financial advertisers fell 20% compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. Search spending from automotive advertisers declined 15% during that period.

Juniper Research: There’s Money In Mobile Dating Services

Juniper Research has just released a new report that claims the value of the mobile dating and chatroom market will grow to nearly $1.4 billion by 2013, and also pegs the total UGC market to reach $7.3 billion by the same time. The estimate is up almost half from a report by the research agency that was presented in May 2008, which said revenues from mobile dating and chat services were expected to exceed $1 billion by 2010.

The predictions are a bit optimistic in my opinion, but the suggested growth should make startups like the UK-based Flirtomatic, MeetMoi, PlutoLife and IceBrkr hopeful, although the big dating sites like Match.com and WebDate are heavily experimenting with expanding their dating services to mobile platforms as well.

With 3G-enabled video chat and 24/7 access, mobile phones definitely offer a potentially strong medium for dating services, although I consider a great user interface that matches with its fixed counterpart and security two major hurdles to overcome. Also, the business model remains largely unproven; besides mobile advertising, some services charge a fixed fee for membership, others per message sent, and others provide free access but generate revenue from selling mobile virtual goods in addition. Juniper Research says the bulk of revenues will come from the subscription model, but the other models are definitely growing in number and weight.

It’ll be interesting if and how mobile social networks and applications that leverage devices’ location awareness (or a combination of both) will integrate mobile dating services into their offerings.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Salesforce keeps ahead of the conversation

Salesforce keeps ahead of the conversation: "Salesforce keeps ahead of the conversation
Marc Benioff has an uncanny sense of how to stitch together the multitude of social media and Web service resources that dominate the technology space. While many of the audience decry the notion of the enterprise applicability of these tools, Benioff and Salesforce think they’re on the way to what he calls “the next billion dollar opportunity” on top of this realtime platform.

On stage at Salesforce’s announcement of its Service Cloud, vendors like Google, Facebook, Plantronics, and even the Obama/Biden transition team are solving business problems with existing services. Salesforce spaces these announcements out over time at about one every two months. Sometimes the progress seems substantial, other times more incremental. Stitched together into a CRM service spanning Google Search, social media communities, and best practices databases, the net result delivers real value at just the time corporations are looking for leapfrog technology.

Benioff has always understood the marketing value of talking the Web services talk, the Web 2.0 walk, the social media move away from the public portal to the enterprise service fabric. But what is even more strategic is his ability to orchestrate those same promises of the future into leading edge value propositions that he can upsell as part of the multi-tenant architecture. Somehow, Salesforce has used Web technologies to turn liabilities into assets, from a site that provides user-managed reports on uptime to a Salesforce to Salesforce private channel between subscribing companies — a kind of Sam’s Club for data.

Oddly, Salesforce’s successes don’t undercut its competitors, at least not directly. Benioff touts connectors to Amazon Web Services and Google App Engine to extend the Force.com offerings, all the while enhancing developer allegiance with a form of incentivised buy in instead of lock in. Although Benioff loves bashing Microsoft, the time will soon come when Azure will interoperate. And watch Microsoft build connectors in the opposite direction to make switching costs a marginal part of the investment in the Cloud.

It may seem like a strange choice to latch onto the “conversation” brand well after that Cluetrain seems to have left the station, but Benioff understands the power of delivering on the science fiction of the last rev of disruption. In the process, he sells the next set of iterative announcements, overlapping them with customer wins and the slow build of coordinated endpoints and the harnessing of Web standards. Salesforce has moved beyond the failed promise of code reuse to the provable premise of platform reuse.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Online Video Growth Continues



JANUARY 15, 2009

Is all of it monetizable?

As more data about 2008 Internet usage in the US is released, online video increasingly looks like one of the year’s big winners. US Internet users viewed 12.7 billion online videos during November 2008 alone, up more than one-third over November 2007, according to data released in January 2009 by comScore Video Metrix.

comScore said more than 146 million US Internet users watched an average of 87 videos per viewer in November 2008—that’s 77% of the total US Internet audience.

eMarketer also puts online video viewers at more than three-quarters of US Internet users, and estimates that percentage will rise to 88% by 2012.

For marketers, this growth raises the question of how much online video can be monetized.

“Although many consumers are loath to sit through ads when watching online video, they seem even less willing to pay directly for content,” said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer.

“As a result, content owners and publishers are focusing on ad-funded models. Except for movies, some premium TV fare and select sports content—which remain attached to transactional models—most TV-oriented programming has migrated to advertising-based formats,” Mr. Hallerman continued.

eMarketer estimates online video ad spending will reach $4.6 billion in 2013, up from $587 million in 2008.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Internet as News Central



JANUARY 13, 2009

Only TV is a more popular source.

In yet another sign that news readers are dropping print for digital, the Internet has now surpassed all media except television as a news source, according to consumers surveyed in December 2008 by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

In December 2008, 40% of respondents said they got most of their news about national and international issues from the Internet, up from just 24% in September 2007.

Pew said it was the first time since it started surveying that consumers relied more on the Internet for news than on newspapers.

Television was still the main source for national and international news, at 70%.

For young people, however, the Internet now rivals TV as a news source. Nearly six out of 10 Americans younger than 30 said they got most of their national and international news online; the exact same percentage said TV was the main way they got their news.

Another indicator that print newspaper readers are shifting to online comes from the Readership Institute. Although two-thirds of Internet users surveyed in July 2008 said they still used print newspapers about as much as they did before they started visiting news sites, more than one-quarter said they were reading print less as a result. That figure has grown significantly in the past five years.

In addition, newspaper visitors are typically older, wealthier and better-educated than the average US Internet user. However, young Internet users are getting their news online more often than from print—a trend that bodes well for newspaper sites as these visitors age and, it is to be hoped, maintain their online news habits.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Inventory: Moving Product Online


JANUARY 9, 2009






Jeff Hoffman, CEO, Enable Holdings










Jeff Hoffman is CEO of Enable Holdings, dedicated to helping manufacturers and retailers get the maximum value for their excess inventory. Enable Holdings includes auction Website uBid.com, fixed-price Website RedTag.com, business-to-business trading division Dibu Trading Corp., offline excess inventory solution RedTag Live! and private auction software company Commerce Innovations. He also serves as entrepreneur-in-residence at the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech.

eMarketer: A lot of people are talking about how rough this economic environment is. But is bad news for everybody else good news for your business?

Jeff Hoffman: Yes, it certainly is. When retail is slumping—since we are in the business of picking up unsold retail and selling that off—we are the after-retail channel of excess inventory. We tend to get more inventory during slow times, which means we have more products and better prices. So, it’s definitely a benefit to our company.

eMarketer: At one time your business was referred to as the liquidation industry. Terms like “distressed merchandise,” “odd lots” and “steep discounts” were common. But now it’s called “asset recovery,” and it’s become a big part of the economy. What changed?

Mr. Hoffman: Two things. First of all, there was a recognition by manufacturers and retailers that asset recovery—recovering the cash you’ve invested, getting products out of the warehouse and off the books after the retail run—was actually an important part of their business and could generate respectable revenues.

There was a recognition by manufacturers that they need this function—they need to pay attention to it.

“The advent of new tool sets and new Internet technologies enabled this sales channel to become much more mature.”

And, additionally, with the development of new tools, especially on the Internet, it became easier to sell that merchandise and make money on it. The advent of new tool sets and new Internet technologies enabled this sales channel to become much more mature.

eMarketer: Could you explain how the Internet has affected your category?

Mr. Hoffman: We can obviously move a lot more products a lot faster. For example, on uBid.com, we get 2.1 million visitors a month typically to the Website. So we can expose the product to a large consumer base in a very short period of time and move products out of warehouses quickly—which is the name of the game in retail rotations.

The full version of this interview is available on eMarketer’s Total Access subscription site.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Advertising on UK Social Networks - eMarketer

Advertising on UK Social Networks - eMarketer: "Advertising on UK Social Networks
JANUARY 8, 2009

Advertising on UK Social Networks

JANUARY 8, 2009

MySpace, Bebo and Facebook jostle for market share, ad pounds.

In mid-2008, eMarketer calculated that UK social network ad spending would reach £175 million ($322 million) in 2009. Changes in the market have led to revisions of the 2009 estimate downward by about 20%, although that would still be a healthy increase over the £115 million ($212 million) total estimated for 2008.

Some of this adjustment is due to the general economic climate. But it also reflects the fact that MySpace, the world’s most popular social network among English speakers, has had difficulty gaining traction in the UK. Hitwise found that in its social networks category, the UK market share of MySpace had fallen by one-half in the year to June 2008, from over 29% to less than 15%.

FREE Whitepaper from Geoff Ramsey, eMarketer CEO: “Digital Marketing NOW: Seven Strategies for Surviving the Downturn” Download Now.

The popularity of Bebo, with its younger audience profile, is falling too. Nielsen Online data from August 2008 showed Bebo ousted from second place in its UK social site rankings by Blogger. Bebo fell to fourth place, according to Nielsen, and achieved just 14.1% audience reach.

Facebook, by contrast, has done well in recent months. Its UK unique user base grew from 12.4 million in December 2007 to 18.4 million in September 2008, according to comScore World Metrix. Yet Facebook continues to struggle with ad sales in the UK, as in the US.

Such shifts in audience loyalty are bound to make some advertisers think twice before using social networks as central elements of their marketing strategies.

Nonetheless, social network ads in the UK will represent about 4.4% of total online ad spending in 2009. That spending recognizes the growing percentage of the online population that uses social networks. More than one-third of UK Internet users ages 18 to 55 had visited such sites in the past month as of December 2008, according to TNS, and more than one-half of teens have a social networking profile.

Online Activities* of UK Internet Users, 2008 (% of respondents)

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.

Advertising on UK Social Networks - eMarketer

Advertising on UK Social Networks - eMarketer

Advertising on UK Social Networks

JANUARY 8, 2009

MySpace, Bebo and Facebook jostle for market share, ad pounds.

In mid-2008, eMarketer calculated that UK social network ad spending would reach £175 million ($322 million) in 2009. Changes in the market have led to revisions of the 2009 estimate downward by about 20%, although that would still be a healthy increase over the £115 million ($212 million) total estimated for 2008.

Some of this adjustment is due to the general economic climate. But it also reflects the fact that MySpace, the world’s most popular social network among English speakers, has had difficulty gaining traction in the UK. Hitwise found that in its social networks category, the UK market share of MySpace had fallen by one-half in the year to June 2008, from over 29% to less than 15%.

FREE Whitepaper from Geoff Ramsey, eMarketer CEO: “Digital Marketing NOW: Seven Strategies for Surviving the Downturn” Download Now.

The popularity of Bebo, with its younger audience profile, is falling too. Nielsen Online data from August 2008 showed Bebo ousted from second place in its UK social site rankings by Blogger. Bebo fell to fourth place, according to Nielsen, and achieved just 14.1% audience reach.

Facebook, by contrast, has done well in recent months. Its UK unique user base grew from 12.4 million in December 2007 to 18.4 million in September 2008, according to comScore World Metrix. Yet Facebook continues to struggle with ad sales in the UK, as in the US.

Such shifts in audience loyalty are bound to make some advertisers think twice before using social networks as central elements of their marketing strategies.

Nonetheless, social network ads in the UK will represent about 4.4% of total online ad spending in 2009. That spending recognizes the growing percentage of the online population that uses social networks. More than one-third of UK Internet users ages 18 to 55 had visited such sites in the past month as of December 2008, according to TNS, and more than one-half of teens have a social networking profile.

Online Activities* of UK Internet Users, 2008 (% of respondents)

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.

Chantelle White Featured in Digital Moses Today

If anyone else would like to submit an Aff Tip, let me know! - Leila

http://www.dmconfidential.com/backissues/2009/01/08/newsletter.01082009.html

Chantelle White

Advaliant

Affiliate marketers start your engines as Affiliate Summit West is less than a week away! Remember to thoroughly review the speaker list and proactively arrange to meet with these individuals/firms. The majority of speakers are the decision makers of an organization therefore take advantage of the opportunity to open up some dialogue and drum up new business for 2009. Please visit us on Sun 1/11 at Meet Market Booth # 93!

212 NYC Interactive Advertising Club

212 Home
212 is the galvanizing force for the interactive advertising community in New York City, by providing a forum for ad agencies and publishers to interact, network and learn.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sparkplugging :: Work at Home Resources & Community for the Web 2.0 Generation (Formerly eMoms at Home)

Sparkplugging :: Work at Home Resources & Community for the Web 2.0 Generation (Formerly eMoms at Home)

What's So New About Working at Home?

More businesses are starting at home now than ever before. Technology is transforming marketing, sales, & life balance. Sparkplugging supports today's home office workers - where life, work, & purpose are one.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

KILLER LIST::Top 100 Marketers of 2008 | 2008 | Conversion rate optimization by Invesp

MT
this is a very very good list to go thru. I highly recommend this list for building partnerships.

Top 100 Marketers of 2008 | 2008 | Conversion rate optimization by Invesp

The INVESP 100

Most Influential Online Marketers of 2008

This is our first annual list of the world's most influential online marketers: leaders, thinkers:

Who are your top marketers of the year?

Do you think we missed someone from our list? Tell us who agree or disagree with from our picks.

How did we rank the top 100 marketers of 2008?

The process of selecting the top marketers of the year started 6 weeks ago. Learn how the team started collecting the names of the nominees.

Top 100 Influential Online Marketers List | Small Business Trends

Top 100 Influential Online Marketers List | Small Business Trends

Invesp Consulting has released their first annual list of the Top 100 Most Influential Online Marketers for 2008. Among the top 10 are Jackie Huba, Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, Aaron Wall, and Guy Kawasaki.

Oh, and number 1? That would be Chris Hughes, creator of Barack Obama’s social networking site.

Sometimes the best part is reading what others have to say about such lists. For instance, there is the comment of Lyndon Antcliff who sums it up by saying, “I love these lists, if I am not on them they are rubbish and if …on them they represent the fountain from where all truth can be found.” :)

Yours truly - moi — was surprised to find myself included on the list, and in the top 50 too (number 47 to be exact). I was surprised because I don’t think of myself as a marketer. Mainly I just know how to hire good marketing people and pick their brains and learn from them. It’s an honor to be included and I want to thank all those who nominated me.

Read the Top 100 Most Influential Online Marketers list for 2008. There’s also a blog post about how they chose the top 100 marketers.

Seven Predictions for 2009

Seven Predictions for 2009

JANUARY 5, 2009


Geoff Ramsey—CEO, Co-Founder


As we step tentatively into the new year, prospects look pretty grim. With unemployment predicted to top 9%, industry bailouts looming, a massive retrenchment in the stock market and a generally accepted view that things aren’t likely to get better any time soon, it will be all too easy to slide into a state of cynicism, or even despair.

Uncertainty and pessimism color attitudes toward predictions, too, particularly those that dare to suggest resumed growth ahead. Some will have a tendency to regard such forecasts as wishful thinking, or, worse, woefully out of touch.

Shall we throw all predictions out the window?

Certainly visibility is low right now, and it’s probably better to err on the side of stone-cold sobriety than blithe optimism, but I think we can count on several things in 2009. Not all of them are positive, mind you, but there can be some comfort in quantifying the pain we all know is coming.

1. No doubt about it, marketers will be cutting back on advertising spending this year. All the industry pundits, media firms, Wall Street analysts and bloggers are predicting slashed budgets across the board. A look at the latest projections for total US ad spending growth in 2009 reveals a consistently downward trend, and that’s after negative growth in both 2007 and 2008.

It’s worth noting in the chart below that the lowest number, the -10% growth rate from Barclays Capital, is also the most recent prediction. Previously, Barclays had forecast a decline of only 5.5%.

2. Among traditional media, newspapers, radio and magazines will see the worst declines. There is a double whammy in effect here, too. The economic recession, while severe, is only exacerbating an existing trend. The ad buying, measurement and reporting systems of traditional media are being systematically rewired for the digital age. As I wrote in Digital Marketing Now (my recent white paper about the strength of digital in a downturn), even before the financial meltdown started, analog media was undergoing wrenching changes. Reasons included audience fragmentation, the fundamental shift in power from marketers to consumers and a slew of digital technologies enabled by the Internet.

Consider the plight of newspapers, whose collective revenues will plummet nearly 16% in 2009, after an even more brutal 16.4% decline in 2008, according to eMarketer.

While advertising on television has held up remarkably well so far, the cracks will begin to appear in 2009, with most researchers predicting a 5% or greater decline in spending.

Similarly, radio is expected to see an ad revenue dip of between 5% and 8%, depending which source you look at.

3. Advertisers’ pull-back in overall marketing spending, coupled with a serious re-examination of traditional media, will set in motion a series of permanent changes that will affect how media is planned and measured, as well as the media mix itself. In short, things will not revert back to “normal” in 2009, 2010 or whenever the economy pulls out of its current malaise.

Look at the recent layoffs taking place at large media firms such as Viacom, Gannett and NBC Universal. Under the smoke screen of an obviously troubled economy, many traditional media companies have pre-emptively slashed their head counts—even while profits are still coming in. While the press releases point to the economy and the need to downsize in preparation for worse times to come, I can’t help but wonder whether some selective pruning is going on to remove the digital laggards, thereby making room for new talent with digital chops.

There is also a relentless fixation on accountability and measurement. As an old colleague of mine, Steve Lanzano, chief operating officer at MPG, recently said in an interview with Jack Myers, “The best we can do is deal with reality...and not put our heads in the sand and just do what we have in the past. We need to see what is driving the most return-on-investment and identify where we think the communications business is going.”

4. Throughout all this economic shrinkage, the Internet will continue to grow, though at a far more constrained pace. eMarketer projects online ad spending will rise 8.9% in 2009, after an already ratcheted-down rate of 11.3% in 2008. That’s considerably lower than 25.6% growth in 2007.

eMarketer’s 2009 growth estimate of nearly 9% is relatively conservative; projections from many researchers, analysts and media shops are far more bullish.

With the online advertising growth rate dipping below 10%, many will declare 2009 the end of the Internet’s glory days. That would be a mistake. Compared with the double- or single-digit declines seen with newspapers, radio, magazines and broadcast television, the Internet will continue to outperform. As they say, “Flat is the new up.”

With online, some ad formats will fare better than others. Marketers will continue to use search and e-mail heavily this year, because of both their familiarity and ease of measurement. eMarketer estimates growth of nearly 15% for search and 3.5% for e-mail. Growth for online video, a nascent but hot area, will be even steeper, though it will slow from 81% in 2008 to 45% in 2009.

5. Despite the general consensus that online will ride out the storm, expect to see a growing contingent of bearish forecasters disparaging its prospects. Ironically, many of these doom-mongers will hail from the Internet space.

By November 2008, we had already begun to hear scary, almost apocalyptic predictions from the fringes of the blogosphere, which were soon echoed by more-mainstream analysts such as Silicon Alley Insider’s Henry Blodget and ThinkEquity’s William Morrison. They argue that not only is traditional media tanking (due to the aforementioned double-whammy effect), but the Internet is doomed to see a free fall as well. These naysayers almost seem to be trying to outdo each other with negative predictions—“I’ll see your number, and lower it by 5 percentage points.”

Of course, if enough of us in marketing departments and ad agencies listen to these downbeat forecasts, and take heed through our own actions (or rather lack of action), we will end up fulfilling their prophecy. We must try to resist the siren’s call.

“How bad will the online display ad market fare over the next couple of years? At this point, we would estimate at least a 10% drop next year and probably more.”
—Henry Blodget, CEO, Silicon Alley Insider, October 20, 2008

6. Growth in online display advertising will languish—but only in terms of absolute-dollar spending, and the effects will be temporary. While eMarketer predicts display ad dollars will grow by a relatively anemic 6.6% in 2009, behind the scenes there will be much innovation as the industry figures out how to creatively deploy, integrate and measure the value of display ads for branding purposes. New data is providing solid evidence for what we already intuitively knew, but couldn’t before measure: When display ads are combined with search, marketers can expect a significant increase in sales conversions, whether those take place online or offline. And beyond conversions, display advertising can boost brand awareness, purchase intent and the likelihood of a person to visit a Website or take other actions that indicate engagement with a brand.

comScore, for one, has released study results showing conclusively that the combination of search and display ads leads to a greater sales lift. Specifically, search and display ads together produced a 119% sales conversion increase, versus 82% for search alone and 16% for display alone.

“The only reason we have the focus on clicks is that they can be measured.”
—Gian Fulgoni, chairman, comScore, speaking at the University of South Australia, December 2008

7. E-commerce, already hammered in 2008, will see growth slip even further, from 7.2% in 2008 to a measly 4.1% in 2009. There likely won’t be a decline in the number of online buyers, but rather a pronounced decrease in their average annual spend as consumers cling ever tighter to their purse strings. Look for retailers, as a result, to whack prices, push deals and flood the Internet with digital coupons.

According to comScore, coupons were the fastest-growing Website category in November 2008. Unique visitors to coupon sites were up 32% over October 2008, way ahead of the next-fastest category, jewelry and luxury goods, which grew only 25%, and toys, which grew 24%.

A study by Packaged Facts found that 87% of consumers now prefer to shop at retailers that offer coupons, and 89% said they’re more likely to use coupons in a recession. Expect mobile to get in on the digital coupon craze, too, as consumers seek deals on their phone right at the point of purchase.

Beyond the seven predictions discussed above, the most important theme to keep in mind is that things will get better, eventually. Whether the curtain lifts in late 2009 or some time after, the economy will most assuredly come out of hibernation. And when it does, it will be the stronger for it.

Many companies will emerge stronger, too. As Penn State research professor Gary Lilien put it, those that have “the skill, the will and the till” will be able to market their way through these tough times and end up on the other side with a stronger market share and a more powerful brand position.

“‘The skill’ means they have the marketing expertise. ‘The will’ means they have a culture to go against what seems to be a tough trend. And ‘the till’ means that they have some resources to be able to invest.”
—Gary L. Lilien, research professor of management science, Pennsylvania State University, as cited in Knowledge@Wharton, October 29, 2008

2008 Top SEO Blogs by RSS Subscribers | Online Marketing Blog

2008 Top SEO Blogs by RSS Subscribers | Online Marketing Blog
Lee Odden

2008 Top SEO Blogs by RSS Subscribers

Posted by Lee Odden on Dec 31st, 2008 in Blogging, Online Marketing, SEO |

As part of maintaining the BIGLIST of search engine marketing blogs, we’ve posted a list of the top SEO blogs that publish their RSS feed subscriber counts and on this last day of 2008, I thought I’d put up just one more.

A few more SEO blogs have been added to this list from the last two times and a few blogs have switched places as the old guard makes way for the up and coming. Fire up your feed reader and start subscribing:

Matt Cutts

SEOmoz

Search Engine Land

Search Engine Watch

Search Engine Journal

Search Engine Roundtable

Online Marketing Blog

Search Engine Guide

Marketing Pilgrim

Pronet Advertising

Graywolf’s SEO Blog

Get Elastic

HubSpot

Yoast

BlogStorm

Small Business SEM

Web Analytics World

Sugarrae

SEO Pedia

Net Business Blog

PPC Hero

Conversation Marketing

SEO Scoop

SEO 2.0

StepForth SEO News Blog

Cre8pc Blog

aimClear Blog

It would be great of SEOBook, WeBuildPages and similar popular SEO focused blogs could be on this list, but they don’t publish their subscriber counts through Feedburner’s FeedCount. There are a few others we’re waiting for as well.

If you’re aware of other SEO related blogs that publish their feeds through Feedburner and have the FeedCount feature turned on, please drop the URL in the comments.