Buying

The Scariest Thing For Anyone Thinking About Buying The Facebook IPO

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-revenue-growth-ahead-of-ipo-2012-4

Here’s the scariest thing to come out of Facebook’s updated financials yesterday: The company’s growth is rapidly decelerating.

Last quarter it was only up 45%. The quarter before that it was 55%, and the quarter before that it was 104%. 45% is good for most companies, but for a company that’s supposed to be a hot IPO it’s underwhelming, as is the growth trend.

chart of the day, facebook revenue growth ahead of ipo, april 2012

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Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 news No Comments

What You Need To Know About The Technology Driving Advertising Right Now

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-technology-driving-advertising-right-now-2012-3

 

your ad here, advertising, marketing

Media buying today is no easy task – it has to be simple, effective, and relevant.

Ask any buyer and they will tell you there are seemingly infinite choices available to them in selecting media for their clients.

How do they reach a final decision?  Price? Relationship? Brand? Environment? Big idea?

All of these are good reasons, but I’d postulate that information or insights that can be learned from the partner are increasingly an important part of the final buying process.

Buyers want and need to learn more about what is and isn’t working for their clients across all media channels in order to best optimize existing and future campaigns.

Many vendors and start-ups are trying to apply new technology to media in an effort to make inventory more valuable and effective for publishers and advertisers alike.

And, ideally, they are trying to use technology to fuse data with inventory, not only to differentiate themselves from the crowd pre-sale but also to generate post-campaign “learnings” to share with the client.

Top media and technology companies have long been optimizing campaigns from the start (the day the campaign goes live) to ensure clients get the results they are looking for.

Additionally, they are working with an array of technologies and partners, such as Compete and Dimestore, to provide actionable “learnings” during the campaign and afterwards.

By integrating post-buy reports with most branding programs, these companies are able to give marketers a view of their audience they rarely see and, more importantly, work hand and hand with them to build repeatable programs that work for clients.

Using data and technology to improve media effectiveness can be very rewarding – often clients see a tremendous lift in key brand measures.

But the application of technology takes patience, experience and a bit of art to find the right mix of capabilities to work for each client.   When media meets technology the impact can be impressive, but don’t assume just because you apply data or technology to media that you will get the desired result.

You need to work with a partner that has the people, platform and knowledge to apply technology appropriately and deliver the insights and results you expect.

What do you think?

The views expressed here reflect the views of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of 24/7 Real Media, its affiliates, subsidiaries or its parent company, WPP plc.

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Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 news No Comments

The Owner Of Flash Sales Site Rue La La Is Laying Off A Big Chunk Of Its Staff

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-owner-of-flash-sales-site-rue-la-la-is-losing-up-to-half-its-staff-2012-1


rue la la

UPDATE: Rue La La has reached out to us to update the story with some additional information.

Rue La La just laid off 11 percent of its 500-person staff, according to the company.

The Boston Business Journal first reported the layoffs.

Site owner Retail Convergence is also shutting down SmartBargains.com, a discount shopping site, according to the report.

Some employees were offered other positions in the company, and everyone was offered some kind of severance package, a source close to the company told us.

“It was a mess upstairs. People were crying all over the place,” one unnamed employee told the Boston Business Journal. 

Rue La La operator Retail Convergence raised about $25 million from General Catalyst Partners and Breakaway Partners before being acquired by a company called GSI Commerce for $350 million, reports The Boston Business Journal.

eBay then bought GSI Commerce in 2009, and Rue La La got $500 million in debt and equity financing as part of the deal, according to the report. Retail Convergence, the owner of Rue La La and SmartBargains.com was spun out as part of that deal.

Here’s the full statement from Rue La La:

Since launching in 2008, Rue La La has transformed online shopping and has become a leader in the “private sale” shopping space.  In a continued effort to revolutionize off-price shopping, we have made the strategic decision to double down on our core business.  This heightened focus on our core includes the restructuring of our Rue Local business by outsourcing our sales force and consolidating SmartBargains.com into Rue La La. SmartBargains.com was originally launched 1999.  These moves unfortunately resulted in the elimination of some staff positions.  Rue La La has continued to see dramatic growth with nearly $300MM in sales in 2011 and similar growth planned for 2012 and beyond.

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Thursday, January 12th, 2012 news No Comments

There’s Only One Way To Make A Ton Of Money And Be Happy Selling Your Start Up

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/theres-only-one-way-to-male-a-ton-of-money-selling-your-start-up-2012-1


Venture Capital Ad

There is a common belief that venture capital has become a necessity to get start-ups off the ground.

The seemingly endless flow of funds is very appealing to the up-and-coming company looking to sling-shot themselves to instant growth.

While VC funding can give an important vote of confidence and is absolutely necessary for large infrastructure projects, there’s another side to VC funding— it can actually become a huge hindrance. As I’ve discussed before, skipping venture capital can leave your company with the freedom to grow in a sustainable way, creating more value for all stakeholders.

This means when you do sell – as my company AdoTube did recently— you are able to reap all the rewards of selling a healthy profitable company while being a big part of its future. Read below for the 5 reasons why skipping the VC can leave you with more money and probably more importantly a better company legacy.

1.       VCs just want their return

Venture capitalists have a portfolio of investments consisting of multiple start-ups, and therefore only care about average portfolio results. On the other hand, founders have all their eggs in one basket. Not only is this company their brainchild, but it is also their savings on the line. While founders are interested in the eventual payout, providing a product or service that consumers are excited about can be even more important. This focus on the long-term can lead to a greater eventual pay-out as well as a better company legacy.

2.       It’s easy to waste VC money, diminishing overall value

It is easy to overspend when it is not your money. When a small company comes across millions of venture capital, a lot of that cash can get thrown out with the bath water. Keeping the company small and growing it with your own sweat, blood and hard earned cash can lead you to be thriftier in your decisions. When AdoTube started, we made sure every purchase would earn us back revenue, otherwise why waste the money? Ultimately, this allowed us more value for our investment and helped us get a better return.

3.       VCs go big or go bust

Multiple rounds of VC can put founders in a situation where the company either becomes extremely successful or goes bust. Venture Capitalists’ are looking for the big payday, and if the instant pay-out is not immediately apparent, the company can come to a screeching halt. Founders, on the other hand, can take their time building the company up growing it organically. Without venture capitalists looking for their end return, there is still a lot of middle ground available to time a company’s growth spurt with the market.

4.       VCs don’t care about company culture

VCs aren’t incentivized to make deals that are best for the company and the founders. They are incentivized to sell for the most money. The problem is that while every founder dreams of retiring to the Caribbean after they sell, the reality is that their role with the company is often far from over. Founders are often needed to stay on board to steer transitions or integrations are also often the best person to run the newly acquired company. Culture is paramount in making sure all of this happens smoothly and benefits everyone.

5.       VCs don’t know what’s best for the company

Venture Capitalists don’t understand your business like you do. They study revenues and look for synergies with other companies. VCs can even value companies differently depending on how they might merge with another. Valuing a company based on this can take away from the goals of founders, forcing companies to work more like a widget factory than a company. A simple sale could also mean the instant death of your company, destroying all the value that you created (just talk with the guys at Foursquare). While the VCs walk away with a pay-day the company that you spent years creating is gone in an instant.

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Thursday, January 12th, 2012 news No Comments

Hulu’s 2011 Revenue Comes In At $420 Million (NWS, CMCSA, DIS)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/hulu-revenue-2012-1


Hulu revenues

Hulu CEO Jason Kilar just revealed some big numbers from 2011 on the company’s blog.

The web video startup generated $420 million in revenue, up 60% from the year prior.

Other key stats from Kilar:

  • Hulu Plus has 1.5 million paying subscribers and is gaining at double the rate it was last year. It reached 1.5 million faster than any other video subscription service.
  • Since 2010, Hulu’s content offering has grown 40% and Hulu Plus’ has grown 105%.
  • Hulu’s business model allows them to compensate content providers 50% more per subscriber in licensing fees than its competitors.
  • The service plans to invest $500 million in content in 2012.

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Thursday, January 12th, 2012 news No Comments

The Pants You’re Buying At Big Retailers Are Actually WAY Larger Than The Size Advertised

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/pants-size-advertised-2011-12


Your pant size is probably lying to you to make you feel better about yourself, reports Abram Sauer at Esquire.

It’s called “vanity sizing,” and it’s the reason why you find out your size is different at the various stores in the mall. It’s an infamous way marketers use to influence women buyers, but they do it for men as well.

The folks at Esquire’s Style blog put together this nifty graphic on the real size of pants, compared with what the brands advertise (for men’s pants):

esquire pants sizes

Apparently marketers think that the vanity factor outweighs the confusion the sizes create for customers.

One solution out there for consumers is a body scanner called MyBestFit, which can tell you your size in various brands. It’s kind of creepy and airport-like, but it works.

What do you think of this practice? Do you want brands to make you feel better about yourself, or do you think they’re just lying to you?

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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 news No Comments

Guess What The Biggest Topic On Facebook Was This Year

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/boonsri-dickinson-guess-what-the-biggest-topic-on-facebook-was-this-year-2011-12


The death of Osama bin Laden.

10 percent of all status updates (in English) mentioned Osama bin Laden in the days following his death, according to a Facebook blog outlining the top ten global trends in 2011.

Coming in second was Green Bay Packers beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.

Charlie Sheen was winning in March, if you recall.

Each month engagement centered around the hottest current events. For instance, conversations about the Royal Wedding were really popular during April. Mentions of the marriage shot up 600-fold, according to the Facebook post.

This is what your status updates revealed:

Facebook Top Ten trends

The blog post also looked at the memes that emerged this year.

In it, you’ll see planking — you know, where people lie down in an unusual place. It hit a spike after Max Key, the son of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key uploaded a photo to Facebook, then celebrities gave the meme a second wind, but then it just sort of disappeared.

If you don’t know what “lms” is or “tbh” — then you’re clearly not spending enough time on Facebook.

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 news No Comments

A Really Scary Chart For Yahoo (YHOO)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-2011-11

This chart shows why Yahoo quickly needs to figure out a new path for itself.

For all of its success, at its core, Yahoo is still an email business. People use Yahoo email and then from there land on its other properties.

The rise of smartphones and iPads is a problem for Yahoo. On those devices, email is a native application that doesn’t encourage people to checkout Yahoo’s pages.

As you can see in this chart, web-based email usage is cratering for people aged 12-34. Unless Yahoo figures out a way to wean itself from email dependence, it’s going to be in trouble.

What is the future of Yahoo? Our own Nicholas Carlson has a bold idea

chart of the day, web-based email use by age year over year, nov. 18, 2011

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Saturday, November 19th, 2011 news No Comments

The Best Days of the Week to Buy Big-Ticket Items Online [Buying]

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5855776/the-best-days-of-the-week-to-buy-big+ticket-items-online

The Best Days of the Week to Buy Big-Ticket Items OnlineWe’ve looked at the best times to buy throughout the year, but when shopping online prices tend to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis. Discounts, deals, and price-comparison site Extrabux calculated the statistics and figured out when certain items are cheaper during the week.

Computers are cheapest on Mondays because manufacturers apply their rebates early in the week. This means online retailers can purchase computers for less and pass the savings on to you. This is not the case with every manufacturer, but Dell and Sony are among the companies that do this with their computers.

Mondays are also cheap days for TVs (and Tuesdays aren’t bad either) not only because of the same rebate situation, but because big sales days tend to be earlier in the week. This gives retailers an opportunity to draw more buyers in, and lower prices are a good way to do that. Cameras and video games also benefit from lower prices earlier in the week for the same reasons.

Major appliances tend to be cheapest on Sundays because that’s when the majority of people are searching for them. Washers, dryers, ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, and more are all Googled like crazy at the end of the week, so online retailers adjust their prices to draw people in.

Jewelry prices drop down on Wednesdays because that’s when searches take place as well. Apparently women tend to shop online most often in the middle of the week, and since women are the target market for most jewelry we see price drops to help attract buyers.

Books are at their lowest on Saturdays, although there isn’t a solid reason why. Perhaps people read more on Saturdays, or at least thing they should be reading more when the weekend finally rolls around.

For more information on why these prices fluctuate online on certain days, plus lots of pretty graphs, check out the full post over on Extrabux.

The Cheapest Days of the Week to Shop Online | Extrabux Blog


You can follow Adam Dachis, the author of this post, on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.  Twitter’s the best way to contact him, too.


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Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 news 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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