drag2share: 7 Retailers That Are Closing A Ton Of Stores


The growth in online shopping is forcing dozens of major retailers to close hundreds of unprofitable stores.

The trend is upending the traditional retail model and forcing many shopping malls out of business, as Business Insider Intelligence reported Thursday.

Here’s a graph from the report showing some top retailers’ plans to downsize.

BI Intelligence retail stores closing

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Thursday, March 27th, 2014 digital No Comments

This simple pricing strategy has driven the phenomenal growth of mobile gaming

With King, the London-based game maker behind the incredibly successful Candy Crush Saga, expected to price its initial public offering tonight, we’ve been given an ideal opportunity to look back at the sizzling growth of the digital and mobile gaming space.

In short, it’s gobsmacking.

While music, media and movie industries have all struggled to reconcile their business models to the digital age, video games have been a perfect fit. Consumers spent $34 billion on downloadable video games last year, according to App Annie, more than four times what they  spent on online movies, for example.

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And that $34 billion figure doesn’t even include the lion’s share of the $16 billion in spending on mobile apps that goes to games. Macquarie Equities analysts report that 91% of purchases in Google Play, 80% of iPhone app purchases and 72% of iPad app purchases in the iOS store were tied to games.

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Why has mobile gaming been so successful? A lot of it has to do with the “free-to-play” pricing model. Essentially, apps are free to download, but players then buy things within the game. Last month, nearly all of the top 100 grossing apps  on the major mobile platforms used this model.

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King’s games like Candy Crush Saga are free-to-play too. Essentially, if a user gets stuck on a certain level, they can pay to make progress, or to unlock new episodes. Only 5% of King’s users actually buy things when playing the game. But Candy Crush has a massive base of users.  (It was around 408 million average monthly average users in the December quarter). So even if a relatively small sliver of players make purchases, it still generates solid profits.

As we recently noted, King is profitable. The company made $568 million last year. That in itself is an achievement, given 56% of tech companies that went public last year were losing money, according to PwC.

The big question is whether King’s profits are sustainable. According to thecompany’s IPO filing (p5). both revenue and profit began to slow in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 digital No Comments

The NCAA Tournament Makes More Money On TV Ads Than The NFL Playoffs


The NFL is famous for its high-priced Super Bowl commercials. But when it comes to the bottom-line, no sport makes more money off of television ads than the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

In 2013, the NCAA Tournament generated $1.15 billion in ad revenue over 67 games, compared to $1.10 billion for the 11 games in the NFL playoffs according to data collected by Kantar Media.

The NBA is a close third while Major League Baseball and the NHL are way off the pace.

Postseason Sports TV Ad Revenue

Monday, March 24th, 2014 digital No Comments

Ecommerce As Percent of All Retail

Ecommerce As Percent of Retail by Augustine Fou from Dr Augustine Fou


Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 digital No Comments

US OutHome Ad Revenues Grow by 3.5% in Q4, Finish 2013 Up 4.2%


OAAA-US-OOH-Ad-Revenue-Growth-Q42013-Mar2014Source: Outdoor Advertising Association of America

Notes: Q4 2013 marks the 15th consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth, with restaurants (+11%) the fastest-growing category.


Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 digital No Comments

This is Why There are Tons of Fake Facebook Accounts

These are the Facebook accounts that “Liked” my company page.

Facebook Ad Fraud Corroborated by Augustine Fou Ad Fraud Forensics from Dr Augustine Fou

These are examples of fake Facebook accounts, created by bots using plagiarized images and other content, sometimes misspelled, incomplete words, etc.

Fake Facebook Profiles and Likes Investigation by Augustine Fou from Dr Augustine Fou
Thursday, March 13th, 2014 digital No Comments

Twitter’s Bot Problem Further Exposed via WSJ, BusinessInsider


TWITTER’S BOT PROBLEM: The online advertising world has been rocked by charges of prevalent fraud. All sorts of researchers have issued reports claiming that large portions of Web traffic does not come from humans, but from “bots,” i.e. programs operated by bad guys looking to fake traffic and rip off advertisers in the process. Typically, those charges have been limited to the fringes of the Web, though some big name digital media companies have been affected. Now, a really big one has a really big problem. Twitter has been infected by a botnet, reports Business Insider, which may affect millions of accounts. Twitter already has had issues with fake accounts. A botnet generating lots of bogus activity on the site is not welcome news, considering that in its recent earnings reports, it was clear that Twitter had a lot of work to do when it comes to user growth. Safe to say executives at the social media company are looking for real actual users.




Twitter has long been plagued by fake accounts. The company previously said 5% of its user base is fake. There is also considerable speculation about the number of inactive accounts on Twitter: Some estimates have four out of five new Twitter signups not actually using the service, numbering perhaps 697 million accounts. They are not necessarily bots, however.




That was not surprising. Business Insider asked Twitter the same question back in November but the company declined to comment. However, Twitter signups are monitored by Twopcharts, a company that — as the name suggests — generates data about Twitter users. According to Twopcharts, there are currently 938.4 million total registered user accounts.

Put another way, nearly 1 billion people have tried Twitter, but currently only a quarter of them actually log in once per month.

That would mean that about 697 million people have signed up for Twitter but do not use it in any given month (i.e. 938 million – 241 million ).

And the number of inactive accounts is rising: When Business Insider checked this data last November, there were 883 million total Twitter accounts, of which 651 million were inactive. In three months, the number of dead accounts has gone up by about 46 million (i.e. 697 million – 651 million). Some back-of-the-napkin math tells us that for every five new Twitter signups, four don’t go on to use the service even once per month, on average. (i.e. 46 million inactives + 9 million actives = 55 million total signups, divided by 9 million actives = 6.1. So one in six users are active.)


Fake Twitter Accounts Followers Are Multi Million Dollar Business from Dr Augustine Fou

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Thursday, March 13th, 2014 digital No Comments

Snapchat Seen More Popular Than Twitter Among 12Year-Olds


Some 46% of Americans aged 12-24 claim to have ever used Snapchat, making it a more popular choice for this demographic than Twitter (36%), if survey results [pdf] from Edison Research and Triton Digital are to be trusted. The study – which measured adoption of 10 different social networking platforms – also found that 30% of 12-24-year-olds have used Vine. But it’s still Facebook-owned properties that take the lead among youth: 80% have a personal profile on Facebook, while 53% have a personal account on Instagram.

The results are interesting given recent research into adoption of these various platforms. While a recent Piper Jaffray study found that Twitter had moved ahead of Facebook as teens’ “most important” social network, Instagram was actually the fastest-moving platform on that measure, and could emerge as teens’ most important platform in Piper Jaffray’s next bi-annual study.

Meanwhile, it’s no secret that both Instagram and Snapchat are especially popular among youth – as shown by a recent study from the Pew Research Center outlining the demographics of the user population of each network (among adults aged 18 and up).

And of course, despite all the hullaballoo regarding Facebook and youth (specifically teens), it’s clearly still the dominant platform among 12-24-year-olds, as this latest study demonstrates.

Not surprisingly, given that youth have a greater adoption rate of social networking than other generations, the 12-24-year-old population tends to over-index in the use of most social platforms relative to the total 12+ population. In fact, they are more likely to use 9 of the 10 platforms measured, with LinkedIn the only exception.

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Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 digital No Comments

Auto Marketers Drive Future With Mobile Video


Much of this opportunity lies in new tactics, specifically mobile and digital video, which have been revolutionized since the last time middle-tier borrowers were buying at 2014 levels.

At the start of the purchase path, mobile, tablet and video ads each laid claim to prompting 34% of buyers to start researching vehicles, according to a May 2013 survey from Google, Millward Brown Digital and Polk.

From there, video continues to prove itself as an influential part of automotive marketing. Among other measures, auto led all global industries in terms of video completions of mobile banner ads in 2013, according to DG MediaMind (recently rebranded to Sizmek).

Friday, March 7th, 2014 digital No Comments

Most Projects Still Aren’t Using Marketing Analytics


Most projects fail to use available or requested marketing analytics, report American CMOs responding to the latest CMO Survey conducted by the Duke Fuqua School of Business. The study’s results indicate that on average, only 32.5% of projects use analytics – and that’s actually a slight improvement from the past couple of biannual studies, where […]

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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