It’s Incredible How Much Reputation Matters For Brands


In a time where trust in companies is at an all time low, it’s more valuable than ever. That’s not a moral or values based statement, it’s about the impact on the bottom line.

This chart, from a presentation at McKinsey’s Chief Marketing And Sales Officer Forum, shows how much investors and consumers reward an outstanding reputation: 


Despite the incredible value of reputation, according to McKinsey’s Betsy Holden, companies aren’t taking full advantage of their opportunities to increase it:

McKinsey reputation

One thing they can do to improve their reputation is bolster their social media presence. They can publish material related to the above, like information about transparency or environmental efforts, and can use it as a customer service tool. Being accessible and accountable increases trust.

That route may be particularly effective because social media is trusted by consumers at a rapidly increasing rate:

Social trust

NOW READ: McK insey Predicts The War For Talent Will Go Nuts By 2020

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Monday, December 17th, 2012 news No Comments

The Windows 8 Sales Data Is In, And It’s Horrible News For Microsoft (MSFT)


Steve Ballmer facepalmNPD research published some horrible news for Microsoft yesterday.

  • Despite releasing an entirely new operating system on October 22 of this year, Windows PC sales shrank 21% between 10/21 and 11/17 versus the same period last year.
  • Windows 8 tablet sales during that period were “almost nonesistent” – just 1% of all Windows 8 sales.

“It hasn’t made the market any worse, but it hasn’t stimulated things either,” Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD, told the New York Times. “It hasn’t provided the impetus to sales everybody hoped for.”

No kidding.

Yesterday, we reported other bad news:

  • Asus CFO David Chang’s comments that “demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now.”
  • Microsoft cut its order of Surface tablets for the year to two million units, down from four million.

This is a very scary time for Microsoft.

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Friday, November 30th, 2012 news No Comments

Guess What Percent Of Black Friday Online Sales Came From Twitter Referrals?


New Twitter Logo

What percent of online sales on Black Friday do you think came from Twitter referrals?

How about Facebook?

While you’re pondering those questions, here are some other factoids from a report on Black Friday online sales by IBM:

  • The average Black Friday online shopper bought 5.6 items per order. That’s down 13% from last year. It’s also down 40% from Friday, November 16th, a week earlier. Hard to know what to make of that.
  • The average shopping “session” length was 6 minutes and 39 seconds. That’s down about 10% from last year. Compare that to the average hellish shopping session in a physical store, and you’ll see why ecommerce is continuing to grow as a percent over overall retail sales.
  • The “conversion rate” of online shoppers–the percentage of those who visited the site who actually bought something–was 4.58%. That’s up 9% from last year.
  • Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) accounted for 16% of sales. That’s up from 10% last year.
  • Mobile devices accounted for 24% of site traffic. That’s up from 14% last year.
  • iPads accounted for 10% of site traffic, up from 5% last year.
  • iPhones accounted for 9% of site traffic, up from 5% last year.
  • Android phones and tablets accounted for 5.5% of site traffic, up from 4% last year.

The key observations here would seem to be:

  • Mobile is ! continui ng to grow rapidly as a percentage of traffic and sales, but it’s not taking over by any means.  6 years into the smartphone era, with smartphones now accounting for more than 55% of U.S. handsets, traffic to mobile sites (including traffic from tablets) is still less than 25% of overall traffic.
  • Apple devices continue to crush Android devices in terms of commerce engagement. Android users just don’t seem to do all that much with their gadgets.

And now to social referrals…

It wasn’t long ago that many people were arguing that Facebook was eventually going to be bigger than Google. Word of mouth, after all, is the most powerful form of marketing known to man. And people lived on Facebook, so they would soon be shopping on Facebook. And so forth.

Well, so far, anyway, that ain’t happening.

  • Only 0.68% of Black Friday online sales came from Facebook referrals–two-thirds of one percent. That was a decline of 1% from last year.

And how about Twitter?

A couple of years ago, people were excited about Twitter’s potential as a commerce platform, too.

But Twitter’s impact on ecommerce, it seems, is zero.

Not “basically zero.”


  • Commerce site traffic from Twitter accounted for exactly 0.00% of Black Friday traffic. That was down from 0.02% last year.

So much for the idea that Twitter or Facebook’s business models are going to have much to do with commerce.

SEE ALSO: Here’s Why You Will Instantly Dump Your Cable Company To Get Google Fiber

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Monday, November 26th, 2012 news No Comments

Field Sales Reps Seen Underrepresented In B2B Content, Message Creation


Just one-third of business-to-business (B2B) companies report involving field sales representatives in messaging and tool creation, according to [pdf] October 2012 findings from Corporate Visions. Marketing management personnel (75%) are the most likely to be involved, followed by product managers and sales management (60%) and marketing associates (54%), while C-level executives (27%) mostly stay uninvolved. The […]

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Thursday, October 4th, 2012 news No Comments

Another Top Groupon Sales Executive Is Leaving


Andrew Mason

The head of Groupon’s national sales, Lee Brown, is leaving the company.

Reuters first broke the news last night after obtaining an internal memo and Groupon has since confirmed Brown’s departure.

The memo was written by Groupon’s head of operations, Kal Raman.

Raj Ruparell, head of Groupon Goods, will be taking over Brown’s position.

Brown joined Groupon in 2010 from Yahoo and formed Groupon’s first national sales division. The memo did not say where Brown is headed next, but AllThingsD says his leaving may be Raman’s doing. Raman was recently appointed to his SVP role and is reportedly “cleaning house.”

Brown is the second top sales executive to depart Groupon this week. Jayna Cooke’s departure was made known three days ago; she was one of the company’s top salespeople who led the charge on major corporate accounts like Gap.

“Under Lee’s management, the team has secured a number of key customers, and I’d like to personally thank Lee for his contributions and wish him the best in his next opportunity,” Raman wrote.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 news No Comments

One Theory On Why The iPhone Is Dominating Flash Sales Site Traffic


Doug Mack, One Kings Lane CEO

At, a flash sales site, 95 percent of its mobile visits (which make up a third of its overall visits) come from the iPhone.

At OneKingsLane, another designer flash sales site specializing in home decor, iPhone and iPad owners stand far above other mobile devices among mobile shoppers (who make up more than 20 percent of OneKingsLane’s revenue).


We sat down with Doug Mack, CEO of OneKingsLane, to find out why. Here’s one theory:

  • Before the iPad came out, very few shoppers came from the iPhone — or any mobile device. Very few of the site’s sales came from the iPhone just 18 months ago. There wasn’t enough screen real estate to trigger a shopper to buy something on OneKingsLane, Mack said.
  • After the iPad came out, mobile sales shot up like crazy across the board. They now account for more than 20 percent of OneKingsLane’s revenue. There’s more screen real estate on the iPad, so it removed a mental block on shopping on a mobile device.
  • iPad owners are probably more likely to own an iPhone. So it’s natural to expect that the sales would translate to the iPhone from the iPad. The iPad version of the website is now the second-most visited version of OneKingsLane, behind the desktop website.

There is a little bit of cross-over for OneKingsLane’s audience, though, since most of its users use Mac computers, Mack said.

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Sunday, May 13th, 2012 news No Comments

Zynga Is About To Lose Its Global Director Of Brand Advertising


manny anekalManny Anekal, the global director of brand advertising at Zynga, is leaving the company to become COO of Kiip, a firm that operates a network that places branded rewards inside mobile games for advertisers, according to two sources.

Anekal’s Linkedin page currently states he has been on extended medical leave from Zynga. He is expected at Kiip next week.

Kiip has 20 employees, is based in San Francisco, and its clients include Best Buy, Disney and Sony. The company inserts branded rewards inside mobile games for advertisers. When players reach a new level, for instance, Kiip can reward them with free merchandise from advertisers.

Anekal leaves Zynga after its sales and marketing budget rose to $234 million, according to its Q4 2011 results.

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Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Superbowl Ads Already Aired Before Superbowl 46



Honda: 'Matthew's Day Off' Super Bowl spot
Honda: "Matthew's Day Off"
RPA , Santa Monica
Acura: 'Transactions' Super Bowl spot
Acura: "Transactions"
RP& , Santa Monica


Audi: 'Vampire Party' Super Bowl spot
Audi: "Vampire Party"
Venables , Bell & Partners, San Francisco


CareerBuilder: 'Business Trip'
CareerBuilder: "Business Trip"

CARS.COM 'Neck' "Neck"
DDB, Chicago


Century 21: 'Smarter. Bolder. Faster.'
Century 21: "Smarter. Bolder. Faster."
Red Tettemer & Partners, Philadelphia


Coca-Cola: 'The Catch'
Coca-Cola: "The Catch"
Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Coca-Cola: 'Superstition'
Coca-Cola: "Superstition"
Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Coca-Cola: 'Arggghhh'
Coca-Cola: "Arggghhh"
Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.


Oikos Yogurt: 'The Tease'
Oikos Yogurt: "The Tease"
Poptent, Y&R


E-Trade: 'Fatherhood'
E-Trade: "Fatherhood"
Grey, New York


GE: 'Building Something Big in Louisville'
GE: "Building Something Big in Louisville"
BBDO , New York
GE: 'Power and Beer'
GE: "Power and Beer"
BBDO , New York


Cadillac: 'Sneak Peek'
Cadillac: "Sneak Peek"
Fallon , Minneapolis
Chevy: 'Happy Grad'
Chevrolet: "Happy Grad"
Chevy: 'Stunt Anthem'
Chevrolet: "Stunt Anthem"
Goodby , Silverstein and Partners
Silverado: '2012'
Silverado: "2012"
Goodby , Silverstein and Partners

GODADDY.COM 'Body Paint' "Body Paint"
In-house 'Cloud' "Cloud"


H& 'David Beckham'
H& "David Beckham"


History Channel: 'Swamp People: This Is Your Boss'
History Channel: "Swamp People: This Is Your Boss"


Hyundai: 'Think Fast'
Hyundai: "Think Fast"
Hyundai: 'Cheetah'
Hyundai: "Cheetah"


Kia: 'A Dream Car. For Real Life'
Kia: "A Dream Car. For Real Life"
David & Goliath, Los Angeles


PepsiMax: 'Check-Out'
PepsiMax: "Check-Out"
TBWA /Chiat/Day
Pepsi: 'Kings Court'
Pepsi: "King's Court"
TBWA /Chiat/Day


Skechers: 'Go Run'
Skechers: "Go Run"


Teleflora: 'Give and Receive'
Teleflora: "Give and Receive"


<a href='' class='directory_entry' title='Ad Age Directory'>Toyota Motor Corp.</a>: 'Reinvented'
Toyota : "Reinvented"
Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles
Lexus: 'The Beast'
Lexus: "The Beast"
Attik, Team One


Volkswagen : 'Dog Strikes Back'
Volkswagen : "Dog Strikes Back"
Deutsch , Los Angeles

Augustine Fou, PhD
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Sunday, February 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Layoffs Underway At Two Of New York’s Biggest Flash Sales Sites, Gilt Groupe and Lot18



Last week BetaBeat’s Nitasha Tiku first reported impending layoffs at Gilt Groupe. We confirmed the rumor from a source who said 50-60 people would be let go in the next week or so.

Some of those cuts happened yesterday.  A source told Betabeat the experience was “super uncomfortable” and the “general atmosphere was terrifying.”

Gilt Groupe isn’t the only flash sales site that has been trimming some of its fat.  RueLaLa let go of many employees and Lot18, the one-year-old flash sales site for wine and gourmet food, also made cuts yesterday.

BetaBeat’s Adrianne Jeffries reported 15% of Lot18’s staff was let go after she spoke with co-founder Philip James. That comes out to about 14 people.

James called the layoffs “a natural part of the way a business grows and evolves.” James, like Gilt Groupe’s Kevin Ryan, indicated the layoffs were happening in places where the site was over-staffed, but said hiring would continue.  “We’re hiring heavily in areas that do make sense for us,” James told BetaBeat.

For Gilt Groupe, the layoffs seem to be a part of the plan to get to cash-flow break-even by Q2.  Best of luck to everyone at the companies.

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Sunday, January 22nd, 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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