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For Advertisers And Investors, Social Network User Numbers Often Don’t Add Up

Source: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/can_advertisers_and_investors_trust_social_network.php

 

When does 845 million not equal 845 million?

When it’s the number of active users Facebook claims in its initial public offering filing. Last week the social networking giant amended that filing and conceded it may not be so giant. While still massive, Facebook said as many as 6% of those accounts may be fakes and another 5% may be from people who downloaded Facebook’s mobile app and have it running in the background of their device even though they no longer use the site.

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Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 news No Comments

Hospitals Are Using Confidential Medical Records To Target High-Paying Patients

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/hospitals-are-using-confidential-medical-records-to-target-high-paying-patients-2012-2


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Hospitals are increasingly milling their patients’ confidential medical records to target their promotional mailings for services, reported Phil Galewitz of USA Today.

It’s not illegal, but the practice doesn’t sit well with consumer advocacy groups who point out that many health care providers are choosing to ping patients with better insurance coverage.

That creates a sort of indirect discrimination, as hospitals make it harder for consumers with less insurance to learn about services they may very well need.

To target the ads, hospitals determine the likelihood that patients would need certain services based on age, income and insurance status. Hospitals have said they target patients with private insurance because the companies tend to pay higher rates than government-backed plans like Medicare and Medicaid.

The mailings also advertise a variety of tests, such as screenings for cancers and cholesterol, which are generally more expensive.

As record numbers of Americans go without health insurance, hospitals targeting consumers who are more capable of shelling out money for services has been an inevitable outcome, along with soaring health insurance premiums (Read why the rich are building their own hospitals.)

To make matters worse, employers are also reducing health insurance benefits in the workplace.

As we recently reported, one in five Americans are experiencing difficulty paying off their medical debt, while 25 percent have considered filing for bankruptcy because of rising medical bills. 

Though targeted mailings might place others without insurance at a disadvantage, hospital officials insist they target patients who pay more to make enough profit to serve everyone.

Now learn 6 ways to arm yourself against rising health insurance costs >

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 news No Comments

Hate To Be Rude, But Facebook Is Not The Next Google. It’s Not Even Close (GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-hate-to-be-rude-but-facebook-is-not-the-next-google-its-not-even-close-2012-1

Information about Facebook’s 2011 revenues and operating profits leaked last week, just ahead of this week’s expected IPO filing.

If CNBC’s reporting is accurate, the numbers are disappointing for a company that’s supposed to be valued at $75 billion to $100 billion when its shares start trading.

Revenues came in at $3.8 billion, less than an expected $4+ billion. Operating profits were $1.5 billion, less than an expected $2 billion.

Facebook’s results look particularly disappointing in comparison to Google’s first seven years of business. We’ve drawn out that comparison below. 

The comparison is actually worse than it looks. Remember, Google was born at time when Internet usage, and online ad spending, wasn’t even half of what it is today. 

The fact is, Facebook is a huge consumer hit – 850 million people us the site each month – but it’s ad products are not, really. 

Google’s ad products are business magic. Consumers see ads for products that they literally want to see. 

So far, Facebook hasn’t found that kind of magic. Investors looking at Facebook’s S1 filing this week will have to wonder if it ever will.

chart of the day, revenue after launch for tech companies, 01/31/12

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 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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