niche

Top Activities for Smartphone vs Tablet

source: http://www.theagencysd.com/2013/04/top-activities-for-smartphone-vs-tablet-2/

What people do on their smartphone is different than what they would do on a tablet. Not surprisingly, people use their phones more for texting and taking pictures, whereas tablets are used more for search and email. Below you will see the top 10 uses for each device. Notice that there is some overlap, but each has it’s own niche items as well.

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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 news No Comments

Zulily Joins The Billion-Dollar Club

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/zulily-andreessen-horowitz-2012-11

Levels of Discovery, a Zulily-carried brand

There’s another startup worth a billion dollars.

Zulily, a Seattle-based daily-deals site for moms and kids, just raised $85 million from Andreessen Horowitz, a venture-capital firm that backed Instagram and Skype.

In a blog post, Andreessen Horowitz partner Jeff Jordan, the former CEO of OpenTable and president of eBay’s PayPal division, called Zulily an example of “e-commerce 2.0.”

Specifically, Jordan praised Zulily for finding a niche where it could successfully compete with Amazon.com, by carrying goods from lesser-known designers who lacked broad distribution.

Zulily also broadened from carrying children’s apparel typically bought by moms to offering women’s apparel and housewares of interest to that customer base. It has attracted 10 million shoppers to date.

A year ago, Zulily raised $43 million in a deal that valued the company at $750 million. The company didn’t disclose its valuation in this round, but Fortune’s Dan Primack says his sources tell him the company’s now valued at $1 billion.

Don’t ! miss: 11 Startups Worth A Billion Dollars >

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Sunday, January 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Google acquires ITA for $700m, dives headfirst into airline ticket search

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/02/google-acquires-ita-for-700m-dives-headfirst-into-airline-tick/

Look out, Kayak / Bing Travel — you both are about to have your respective worlds rocked. While Google has managed to stay on top (or close to the top) when it comes to almost everything search related, the company has curiously allowed smaller niche brands to handle the travel side. Even amongst the hardcore Googlers, avid flyers typically head to a place like Kayak to weigh their options, while vacation planners either do likewise or turn to Bing Travel. In a few months time, we suspect some of that traffic will be diverted back to El Goog. The company has just announced plans to acquire Cambridge-based ITA Software for a cool $700 million, which will put one of the world’s most sophisticated QPX software tools for organizing flight information into the hands of the planet’s most dangerous search ally. According to Google, the pickup will allow consumers to search and buy airline tickets with less hassle and frustration, though it’s quick to point out that it has “no plans to sell airline tickets [directly] to consumers.” For the travel junkies in attendance, there’s a high probability that you won’t find any better news coming your way today than this.

[Thanks, Matthew]

Continue reading Google acquires ITA for $700m, dives headfirst into airline ticket search

Google acquires ITA for $700m, dives headfirst into airline ticket search originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 02 Jul 2010 13:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Gadling  |  sourceOfficial Google Blog, Google  | Email this | Comments

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010 news No Comments

The iPad Is The Gadget We Never Knew We Needed

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/MJm1kyfrSFM/why-the-ipad-will-crush-netbooks-and-ebook-readers

Now that we’ve seen the iPad in the light of day, there’s a lot of chatter about what it can’t do. But Apple is now a massive threat to netbooks and ebook readers. Here’s why:

Generally speaking, the iPad’s goal is not to replace your netbook, assuming you own and love one. It’s not about replacing your Kindle either, assuming you cashed in for that as well. We have reviewed plenty of both, and know there’s plenty to like. If you derive pleasure out of using either, then Apple might have a hard time convincing you to switch to the iPad. But for the millions of people who aren’t on either bandwagon, yet have the money and interest in a “third” device between the phone and the computer, the iPad will have greater appeal.

250 Million iPods Earlier…

When the first iPod came out, its goal was not to grab the customers who Creative and Archos were fighting over, with their dueling 6GB “jukeboxes.” It was to grab everyone else. I remember listening to arguments about why Archos had a better device than Creative or even Apple. Lot of good that early-adopter love got them in the long run. The pocket media player market exploded, with Apple eating over half the pie consistently for almost a decade.

When the iPhone came out, BlackBerry users were like, “No flippin’ way.” And guess what, those people still buy BlackBerries. (And why shouldn’t they? Today’s BlackBerry is still great, and hardly distinguishable from the BB of 2007.) The point is, the iPhone wasn’t designed to win the hearts and minds of people who already knew their way around a smartphone. It came to convince people walking around with Samsung and LG flip phones that there was more to life. And it worked.

iPhones now account for more than half of AT&T’s phone sales. You can bet that WinMo, Palm and BB combined weren’t doing that kind of share pre-iPhone. Globally, the smartphone business grew from a niche thing for people in suits to being a 180-million unit per year business, says Gartner, eclipsing the entire notebook business—about 20% of which, I might add, are netbooks. The iPhone isn’t the sole driver of this growth, of course, but its popularity has opened many new doors for the category. Just ask anyone in the business of developing/marketing/selling Droids or Palm Pres.

You could say, “Those were Apple’s successes, what about their failures?” In the second age of Steve Jobs, there aren’t a whole lot. Apple TV is the standout—quite possibly because Apple discovered, after releasing the product, that there wasn’t a big enough market for it, or any of its competitors. Apple TV may be crowded out by connected Blu-ray players, home-theater PCs and HD video players, but Apple TV’s niche is, to this day, almost frustratingly unique.

So how do you know if a market exists? You ask the “other” Steve, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

It’s Business Time

There’s a famous Ballmerism, one he’s even said to me, that goes something like, “A business isn’t worth entering unless the sales potential is 50 million units or more.” 50 million. That’s why Ballmer is happy to go into the portable media player business and the game console business, but laughs about ebook readers. Microsoft may not sell 50 million Zunes, but it’s worth being a contender.

You can bet Apple thinks this way. You can easily argue that, despite its sheen of innovation, Apple is far more conservative than Microsoft. Apple TV is a bit of an anomaly, but with no major hardware refreshes and a few small-minded software updates, you can hardly accuse Apple of throwing good money after bad. Presumably Apple TV was a learning experience for Jobs & Co., one they’re not likely to repeat.

With that in mind, let’s look particularly at netbooks and ebook readers.

Like Notebooks, Only Littler

Netbooks are cooking, but it’s well known they’re cooking because notebooks are not. A netbook was originally conceived as something miraculously small and simple, running Linux with a warm fuzzy interface that dear old gran could use to bone up on pinochle before Friday’s showdown with the Rosenfelds. But instead of growing outward to this new audience (always with the grandmothers, it seems), it grew inward, cannibalizing real PC sales.

The Linux fell away, mostly because it was ill-conceived, and these simply became tiny, cheap, limited-function Windows PCs. They may have been a 40-million-unit business last year, according to DisplaySearch, but they only got cheaper, and the rest of the business was so depressed nobody was happy. (And just ask Ballmer how much he makes on those XP licenses, or even the “low-powered OS” that is Windows 7 Starter.)

Point is, nerds may love their netbooks, but the market that the netbook originally set out to reach is too far away, running farther away and screaming louder with every blog post about what chipset and graphics processor a netbook is rumored to have, or whether or not it is, indeed, a netbook at all. Clearly the audience is cheap geeks, and while that may be a good market to be in (just read Giz comments), it’s definitively not Steve Jobs’ market.

Easy on the Eyes

Now, about that Kindle. Best ebook reader out there. Every time we say that, we say it with a wink. We totally respect the Kindle (and I for one have hopes for Nook once it pulls itself out of the firmware mess it’s in), but we think e-ink is a limited medium.

Its functionality is ideal for a very specific task—simulating printed words on paper—and for that I have always sung its praise. The Kindle is ideal for delivering and serving up those kinds of books, and as a voracious reader of those kinds of books, I am grateful for its existence. But there are other kinds of books of which I am a consumer: Cookbooks, children’s books and comic books. (Notice, they all end in “book.”) The Kindle can’t do any of those categories well at all, because they are highly graphical. E-ink’s slow-refreshing, difficult-to-resize grayscale images are pretty much hideous. No big deal for the compleat Dickens, but too feeble to take on my dog-eared, saffron-stained Best-Ever Curry Cookbook.

So, e-ink’s known weaknesses aside, let’s talk again about Ballmer’s favorite number, 50 million. Guess how many Kindles are estimated to have been sold ever since the very first one launched? 2.5 million. Nobody knows for sure because Amazon won’t release the actual figures. Guess how many ebook readers are supposedly going to sell this year, according to Forrester? Roughly 6 million. In a year. Compare that to 21 million iPods sold last quarter, along with 9 million iPhones.

I am not suggesting that the iPod or iPhone is a worthwhile replacement for reading, but I am saying that, for better or worse, there are probably at least 2.5 million iPod or iPhone users who read books on those devices.

Are you starting to see the larger picture here? I am not trying to convince you to buy an Apple iPad, I am trying to explain to you why you probably will anyway. As the Kindle fights just to differentiate itself while drowning in a milk-white e-ink sea of God-awful knockoffs, you’ll see that color screen shining in the distance.

Sure the iPad may not be as easy on the eyes as a Kindle. But you will be able to read in bed without an additional light source. You will be able to read things online without banging your head against a wall to get to the right page. And, once the publishers get their acts together, you will be able to enjoy comics, cookbooks, and children’s books, with colorful images. Even before you set them into motion, dancing around the screen, they’ll look way better than they would on e-ink. (I haven’t even mentioned magazines, but once that biz figures out what to do with this thing, they will make it work, because they need color screens, preferably touchscreens.)

Tide Rollin’ In

So we have this new device, carefully planned by a company with a unique ability to reach new markets. And we have two types of products that have effectively failed to reach those markets. And you’re going to bet on the failures? The iPad has shortcomings, but they only betray Apple’s caution, just like what happened with iPhone No. 1. Now every 15-year-old kid asks for an iPhone, and the ones that don’t get them get iPod Touches.

We can sit here in our geeky little dorkosphere arguing about it all day, but as much as Apple clearly enjoys our participation, the people Jobs wants to sell this to don’t read our rants. They can’t even understand them. My step-mother refuses to touch computers, but nowadays checks email, reads newspapers and plays Solitaire on an iPod Touch, after basically picking it up by accident one day. That’s a future iPad user if I ever saw one.

Jobs doesn’t care about the netbook business, or the ebook business. He’s just aiming for the same people they were aiming at. The difference is, he’s going to reach them. And the fight will be with whoever enters into the tablet business with him. Paging Mr. Ballmer…

PS – If I’ve gotten to the end of this lengthy piece without telling you much about the iPad at all, it’s because other Giz staffers have already done such a handsome job of that already. If you missed out, here are the best four links to get you up to speed:

Apple iPad: Everything You Need To Know

Apple iPad First Hands On

Apple iPad Just Tried to Assassinate Laptops

8 Things That Suck About Apple iPad

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Thursday, January 28th, 2010 digital No Comments

Even Major Sites are Not Yet Benefiting From the Full Power of Search

@glenngabe‘s post on  FaceYahoogle – The Impact of Facebook, Yahoo, and Google on Website Traffic inspired me to also look at the search terms driving traffic.  Most sites, even major ones have their own brand terms driving traffic. This is OK, but it is taking significantly less advantage of the full power of search.A more ideal scenario for sites is that they have a large number of non-brand terms driving traffic — i.e. the keywords they want to be known for are driving traffic to them.  The premise is that if the user already knew the brand or brand name, it would be redundant for the advertiser to spend awareness ad dollars on them. The advertiser wants to get users to their site who do not already know their brand name.  This is especially true for pharma drug websites, as you will see in the following examples.

GENERAL SITES

These sites have such a diverse set of products, services, or topics, we don’t expect the top search terms driving traffic to be anything other than their brand terms.  But they should have a long tail of thousands of keywords driving traffic (and they are, in the following examples).

NYTimes.com

nytimes

LinkedIn.com

linkedin

Weather.com

weather

CATEGORY SPECIFIC SITES

These sites focus on specific product categories, so one would expect that they should have keywords around their product category driving traffic — e.g. clothing, chocolate, wine, etc.  But as you can see, most don’t and the total number of keywords driving traffic could be larger than it is now (implying more long tail keywords).

JCrew.com – clothing

jcrew

Apple.com – computers, consumer electronics, iPod, music

apple

Godiva.com – chocolate

godiva

AnnTaylor.com – clothing, women’s

anntaylor

SINGLE NICHE SITES

Such sites should be all over search terms that surround the topic areas that they want to be known for. But as you see from the analytics, most don’t. Instead, the top terms driving traffic are their own brand name. Again, if the user already knew the brand, additional advertising would be wasted on them. The sites need to make efforts to “own” additional keywords (or at least “show up at the party”) so people who don’t know the brand name might still have a chance finding them when they type in other keywords surrounding the specific niche.

Sutent (Pfizer) – cancer drug

sutent

Nucynta (J0hnson & Johnson) – pain drug

nucynta

Spiriva (Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer) – COPD drug

NOTE: This is the best of the bunch of drug sites.  COPD, the disease area they want to be known for, does actually show up in the first 5 search terms driving traffic, along with emphysema and their product name handihaler. Also, notice they have nearly 10 times the number of keywords driving traffic compared to the other 2 drugs cited (65 vs 7 or 8 )

spiriva

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Sunday, December 6th, 2009 digital 1 Comment

RTB – real-time bidding may make ad exchanges more efficient, but it still won’t save display (ads)

in response to this mediapost article
http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=113621

While RTB will make ad exchanges even more efficient, it may not be that necessary.

RTB depends on 3 things: 1) inventory, which depends on how many people hit the page to generate an impression, 2) clicks, which depend on people clicking something, and 3) bidders, the more niche you get, the fewer bidders there will be.  Inventory does not change rapidly. Clicks take time to accumulate (to yield click rates, which are a necessary ingredient in the RTB calculation). And if there are too few bidders the price of the auction “item” won’t appreciate or depreciate much or rapidly. Because of these 3 things, making bidding real-time versus non-real-time (i.e. overnight) may not make it significantly better or move the needle much on efficiency and ROI.

And RTB will still not save “display” ads. The golden age of display was in the mid 90s when people tolerated ads when they read content. They are now trained to avoid looking at the top and right of web pages So while RTB may increase the ROI of display ads by increasing click rates from a percentage with too many zeros to count to something sligtly higher, display ads are still ignored by users and will still not generate measurable business impact for advertisers.

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Saturday, September 19th, 2009 display advertising 1 Comment

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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