Express

Hard To See How Howard Schultz Quitting Groupon’s Board Is Anything But Lousy

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/howard-schultz-quits-groupons-board-2012-5

Howard Schultz

Groupon’s stock continued its implosion yesterday, as two high-profile board members quit the board.

Howard Schultz of Starbucks and Kevin Efrusy of investor Accel Partners bolted. Groupon replaced them with financial types from American Express and Deloitte.

Although the moves were spun as “adding financial experts to the board,” the real story is the departure of Schultz, who, at best, feels he has better things to do. (At worst, he’s fleeing a sinking ship before it takes him down with it.)

Another potentially interesting data point: The first Groupon executive quoted in the press release was not CEO Andrew Mason but Chairman Eric Lefkofksy. Perhaps Lefkofsky is reasserting control over the company?

Groupon’s stock crashed through $11 on the news, hitting a post-IPO low of ~$10.70. That gives it a market cap of about $7 billion, or about 3X this year’s revenue. That’s a far more reasonable valuation than the ridiculous $28 the stock hit on the morning of the IPO, but it’s still not a bargain-basement price. Given the uncertainty about what Groupon’s profit margin will eventually be, the stock could presumably trade at an even lower multiple.

We continue to think Groupon is building a real, viable business, and we expect that at some point it will move past this constantly-shooting-itself-in-the-foot phase. But Schultz’s departure is not encouraging.

SEE ALSO: No, I Still Wouldn’t Buy Groupon Stock

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Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 news No Comments

Every Major Credit Card is Potentially Hacked

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5897872/every-major-credit-card-is-potentially-hacked-right-now

Every Major Credit Card Provider Is Potentially Hacked Right NowGlobal Payments, a major credit card processing company, has reportedly been hacked. That means each of the four major credit card companies, and according to reports, as many as 10 million customers are at risk.

The story has been developing throughout the morning. Right now, it goes like this: Hackers gained access to an administrative-privileged account at a New York City taxi company and, over the course of several months, stole 10 million credit card numbers. They’ve been sitting on them, waiting to spend all at once to maximize the time before they’re shut down.

The Wall Street Journal puts the number of compromised accounts around 50,000, which is a far cry from 10 million. The massive number had originally been sourced to a post from a Gartner analyst, and while it seems a little far fetched that a cab company would have millions of numbers, we’d still err to caution.

Visa and Mastercard have both issued statements explaining the breach, but stressed that their networks were not specifically breached. Though that doesn’t really matter if you’re affected by the hack of “third-party processor” Global Payments. No word yet from American Express or Discover, but both are accepted by official NYC cabs.

Third-party processors like Global Payments or PayPal simplify accepting credit cards for small or spread out merchants. So a cab using GP is about the same as an eBay seller using PayPal, and this hack affects users the same way a PayPal hack would. Which is to say, very seriously.

Everyone seems to be scrambling to figure out what’s going on here, including credit card companies. What we’re going on right now is that this is probably based out of New York, and probably confined to those who’ve paid for a cab with a credit card. If you fit that description, think about preemptively checking in with your card company to protect yourself. [Gartner, PhysOrg, CNN, WSJ]

Update: Bank of America and Chase have apparently been alerting their customers about this breach for weeks, but not providing specifics beyond their individual accounts. And in some cases, alerted customers received fraudulent charges even after a card had supposedly been shut down.

Thanks Lauren & iomegaman5

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Friday, March 30th, 2012 news No Comments

Cee Lo Was More Popular Than Madonna In The Super Bowl Halftime Show

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/stats-cee-lo-was-more-popular-than-madonna-in-the-super-bowl-halftime-show-2012-2


Ceelo Madonna

Think headliner Madonna was the highlight of Sunday night’s Super Bowl halftime show performance?

Think again.

According to ClearSpring, the most tweeted about/Facebooked/e-mailed/printed/overall social-media’s most clicked upon celeb of the night was none other than Cee Lo Green.

Cee Lo beat out not only Madonna as the most talked about on the internet during the big game, but also Kelly Clarkson, M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj.

After taking the stage dressed as a band leader and dueting with Madonna on “Express Yourself” and the grand finale, “Like a Prayer,” Cee Lo fans freaked, causing his online presence to surge to over 2,000 percent above normal—and nearly double any other Super Bowl act.

Cee Lo couldn’t be reached for comment but we have a feeling we know what he would say to his competition and haters: “Forget You.”

Check out the chart below that proves Cee Lo’s online popularity:

Super Bowl Chart

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

John Bell, Managing Director, Oglivy 360

Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/11/14/digital-cmo-series-john-bell-managing-director-oglivy-360/

“Even Social Media needs brand management.”

At the 2011 Digital CMO Summit, John Bell, Managing Director at Ogilvy 360 shared his thought provoking presentation – Overcoming the CMO’s Dilemma. John discussed a number of key questions and challenges that CMO’s are facing as brands begin to move from experimentation into operationalizing” social media.  It’s not as simple as senior marketing executives finally “getting it.” CMOs and their immediate teams are faced with some organizational issues, capability gaps, and the unforeseen consequences of embracing social media marketing and communications. Below are the 7 big challenges that must be overcome in order to reap the largest business value from social media:

1. Challenge: The Curse of the Channel Mindset

Solution: Plan around owned, earned and paid ‘engagement’
____________________________________________________________

2. Challenge: Understanding what to value

Solution: Adopt a new model that values behavior
____________________________________________________________

3. Challenge: Uncontrolled growth

Solution: Social Brand Management
____________________________________________________________

4. Challenge: What do I do with my Web site

Solution: Develop a content strategy
____________________________________________________________

5. Challenge: Assigning the right roles

Solution: Form a “center for excellence”
____________________________________________________________

6. Challenge: Building knowledge and capacity

Solution: Train, train, train
____________________________________________________________

7. Challenge: How else does social media drive value?

Solution: Develop a social business strategy
____________________________________________________________

Hear from John as he discusses the 7 big challenges and more on the CMO’s Dilemma on the Compete YouTube Channel.

About John: John Bell, managing director at Ogilvy, developed and leads 360° Digital Influence, the world’s largest, award-winning network of social media strategists, with team members in more than 27 countries. Bell and his team have designed integrated social media strategy and programs for B2B and B2C businesses as diverse as Unilever, American Express, Dupont, LG, and Lenovo. Bell has also received recognition for his enterprise social media strategy for The Ford Motor Company.


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Thursday, November 17th, 2011 news No Comments

Are Daily Deal Credit Cards On The Way?

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/are-daily-deal-credit-cards-on-the-way-2011-10


Groupon

With the daily deal market exploding, what’s next for sites like Groupon and LivingSocial?

Groupon Goods might be the answer on some expert’s lips, but according to CardHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou, branded credit cards look more likely. 

That’s because credit cards are easier for shoppers to use. Unlike a coupon, they work automatically and you can always store the cards in your wallet.

Credit cards would also simplify the redemption process in that consumers could easily swipe and credit 2, 3, or even 5% cash back to their account, for example. Plus the cards present a lucrative stream of revenue that only stands to be threatened by sophisticated card companies like American Express and Visa.

The demand is there, as a survey of 1,500 consumers conducted by Lightspeed Research revealed last month. More than a quarter (27%) of LivingSocial customers said they would be interested in a branded card, while more than a third (34%) of Groupon’s customers want one too.

But would daily deal credit cards be a boon to cash-strapped consumers or just passed off as a trend among the sites’ spendthrift regulars?

“Most likely it’s going to be something high end consumers who are spenders will want,” says Papadimitriou. “They won’t be making them their primary cards across the board, but people don’t usually make store-brand cards their primary cards anyway.”

This makes sense: Lightspeed found that relative to the overall U.S. credit cardholder population, Groupon and LivingSocial regulars tend to have better credit scores, are twice as likely to pay off their monthly card balances in full, and are three times as likely to make purchases with them. What’s more, about half are earning $75,000, so they can afford it. 

So while the cards wouldn’t do much to spark the economy on the whole—or soothe the millions of Americans desperate for a deal—they might do plenty to stoke spending among the credit elite. Which is exactly what Groupon or LivingSocial want, since most affinity cards are hard up to take on risky credit holders.

If you’re in the high end, however, think twice before signing up if a card is released, says Papadimitriou. 

“As with all co-branded cards, if you’re already a loyal customer and are spending a lot of money—say more than $2,000 to $3,000 a year, then get that branded card because it will likely be useful. But if you’re not a loyal customer or a frequent spender with that company, then don’t worry about it.”

 

 

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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 news No Comments

lift in search due to paid TV advertising

List of 2009 Superbowl spots on AdAge.com

http://adage.com/superbowl09/article?article_id=134136

Lift in search is a great indicator of interest. Modern consumers may be inspired by TV ads, but they usually go online to do more research for themselves, to inform their own purchase decision. The following examples show the lift in search after Superbowl commercials or for launch of products like Subway Footlongs. The use of unique, made-up words makes it easier to detect lift in search (see related post: made up words are great for tracking buzz and search volume ). There is now a correlation between offline paid advertising and online behaviors of modern consumers that can be tracked and ultimately related to sales.

What is harder to do is track lift in search from smaller TV media buys or from terms which are generic — e.g. American Express OPEN, Proctor & Gamble’s TAG (men’s deoorant), etc. And furthermore, people may or may not remember the brand name itself and may type in a more general search query — e.g. “talking baby” instead of” e-Trade” or “dancing lizards” instead of “SoBe LifeWater.” And most people usually forget to type in special URLs specified in the ads. So the opportunity is to 1) use made-up words which can be used to detect lift in search and 2) search-optimize around other more generic terms that people may search for if they remembered the ad, but did not remember the brand name itself.

key learnings include:

1. only the superbowl TV ads generates enough awareness to drive lift in search volume detectable above the noise or normal levels

2. made up words are useful in correlating paid advertising and subsequent online actions (e.g. search) because most users forget or are too lazy to type special URLs

3. is is always better to have real analytics from the site to see when paid campaigns hit; site analytics will also reveal more information about users including demographic information, what they are looking for, and even whether they “convert” to a sale or a desired action — like print off a coupon, etc.

Notice the January spikes for several of the examples below — these are their Superbowl ads in action. But also notice how sharp the spikes are — most of them go back to prior levels within 1 – 3 days (see related post: the ephemerality of the Superbowl halo )

Source: Google Insights for Search

footlongs

jackinthebox

dennys

ecoimagination

godaddy1

lifewater

drinkability

etrade

cash4gold

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made up words are great for tracking blog buzz and search volume

can anyone tell when Subway launched their new ad campaign?

footlongs

and GE’s Ecoimagination brand campaign?

ecoimagination

compare this to American Express, which chose the word “Open” for their small business credit card.

open-trend

if users DID type in “american express open” it might be easier to detect.

amex-open

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Monday, January 19th, 2009 digital, marketing 2 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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