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What Makes Us Spend On Valentine’s Day?

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/infographic-these-things-make-people-spend-the-most-on-valentines-day-2012-2


 J. Lo’s love may not cost a thing — but she’s probably not your Valentine.

In our latest infographic, we break down the dollars behind Valentine’s Day romance: how much are people spending on flowers, candy, greeting cards and sparkly baubles? What should you buy for your Valentine this year? And what’s going on with Virginia Beach?

Pre-order a bouquet, chill a bottle of champers and start building your candy stash. VDay is on its way.

Click image to see a larger version.

Valentine's Day

This post originally appeared at HR Block’s Block Talk Blog.

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Will Groupon Thrive Or Tank In Q4? This Chart Holds The Key (GRPN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/this-chart-tells-you-whether-groupon-will-thrive-or-tank-in-q4-2011-12


groupon girl

Groupon’s Q4 2011 couldn’t be more crucial: Will it see the revenue bump it needs from holiday shoppers to justify its business model? Or will sales collapse following CEO Andrew Mason’s promised pullback on marketing and customer acquisition spending?

The Wall Street Journal reports that gross billings at the company rose just 1.5 percent from September to October, and not 22 percent as previously estimated.

Has the company reached a plateau before falling of a cliff? Or is it merely taking a pre-Thanksgiving breather before continuing its climb up the Christmas sales ladder?

The company could go either way. Until recently, the company has been dependent on a cash float (and the money it raised in its IPO, of course) to stay in business. Groupon generally makes a loss each quarter. It funds its operations by taking revenues from customers’ credit cards immediately and then delaying for 30 days or so the share of those sales it owes to the merchants who made the offers. As long as there is a greater amount of new money coming in than old money owed, Groupon continues to function.

But what happens if Groupon enters a period in which its revenues decline? At most companies that isn’t too problematic — management can cut expenses to remain profitable. But at Groupon the company’s marketing and customer acquisition expenses are closely related to its revenues. It is not at all clear whether Groupon’s revenues will continue to rise if Mason cuts costs. ! Here’s a chart showing Groupon’s net revenues plotted against its total operating expenses:

groupon

As you can see, in Q3 Mason pulled back on expenses (the green line) in hopes of seeing a profit, but revenue growth (the red line) began to lose steam. The WSJ report suggests it hasn’t regained momentum since, but the October sales period doesn’t include the Christmas run-up.

In Q4, this chart is all you will need to understand whether Groupon can mature into a business that isn’t funded by stock sales. If Mason can get the red line above the green line, or if he can keep the red line moving upward, then he should be congratulated.

If he cannot, then the company — and its investors — will need to do some serious thinking about whether their daily deal business model is viable or not.

SEE ALSO: Groupon Allegedly Hacked Merchant’s Email To Alter Contract

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Monday, December 12th, 2011 news No Comments

Sean Parker Invests In Music Startup StageIt

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/boonsri-dickinson-sean-parker-invests-in-a-hot-music-startup-stageit-2011-12


Sean Parker web 2.0

We’ve learned that billionaire Sean Parker of Napster and Facebook fame has invested in StageIt, an online platform for live concerts.

The investment makes sense, as Parker has been focused on shaking up the music industry.

While Parker disrupted the music industry in the late 1990’s when he created Napster, he may soon do the same with his latest involvement in Spotify. We reported earlier that Parker said Spotify will finish what Napster started — deliver instant gratification to music fans.

The Los Angeles-based startup StageIt can deliver a different type of gratification. The platform lets artists set up digital concerts and gives them a way to make money without ever having to leave their house.

Two years ago, StageIt founder Evan Lowenstein founded the company based on the idea people that would pay for a unique experience.

Not long ago, Lowenstein came into play for me to demo the service: As a singer himself, he played “Crazy for This Girl” to show how fans purchase tickets to watch him live and use a chat feature to talk to him during the performance.

“You can’t pirate intimacy and you can’t pirate an experience,” Lowenstein said.

 

 

 

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 news No Comments

Cyber Monday E-Commerce Makes History

Source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/cyber-monday-e-commerce-makes-history-20215/

Cyber Monday reached $1.25 billion in online spending this year, rising 22% from 2010 and representing the heaviest online spending day in history, and just the second day on record to surpass the billion-dollar threshold, according to November 2011 research from comScore. Data from comScore‚Äôs analysis indicates that for the holiday season-to-date (November 1-28), $15 […]


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Thursday, December 1st, 2011 news No Comments

How Sony Actually Makes Money Is Very Surprising (SNE)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-sony-operating-income-september-2011-2011-11


Sony is a company famous for its consumer electronics like flat screen tvs, computers, and the PlayStation. But, incredibly, that’s not how it makes money. 

Dan Frommer of SplatF points out the company loses hundreds of millions from consumer electronics. It actually makes money from its “financial services” division, which is made up of insurance and banking services.

Below is a breakdown of the operating income for each of its divisions in the most recent quarter.

chart of the day, sai, sony earned income, november 11, 2011

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 news No Comments

Everything Wrong With The Steve Ballmer Era On Display At D8

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5554787/everything-wrong-with-the-steve-ballmer-era-on-display-at-d8

Everything Wrong With The Steve Ballmer Era On Display At D8Today at the All Things D conference we saw a snapshot of what’s wrong with Microsoft under Steve Ballmer’s tenure.

Walt Mossberg asked Steve Ballmer and Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, what they thought of Google, Android, and Chrome.

Everything Wrong With The Steve Ballmer Era On Display At D8Ballmer yammered away about how Google’s strategy of having two operating systems doesn’t make any sense. Why have Android and Chrome? Why do two operating systems like that? Makes no sense, he says,

After Ballmer is done, Ray Ozzie says, Chrome is a bet on the future, Android is a bet on the past.

We can’t think of a better illustration of the Ballmer-era.

A competitor announces something innovative. Ballmer goes out in public, plays dumb, trashes it, acts like he doesn’t think it makes any sense, even though it does.

Remember his quote on the $500 iPhone? On Android being free? Ballmer likes to laugh at his rivals, only to become the laughingstock years later.

Chrome doesn’t make sense today. But it will make a lot of sense in the future when browsers are more powerful and web-based applications are more robust.

Obviously Ray Ozzie gets this. Why doesn’t Steve Ballmer?

Interestingly, before the interview started Ina Fried at CNet wrote that Ray and Steve don’t talk very much. Clearly, that needs to change.

Everything Wrong With The Steve Ballmer Era On Display At D8

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Friday, June 4th, 2010 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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