I just couldn’t help but coming back on Google (GOOG) latest news, accelerating innovation and dominance — read Google expands office software for more on businessweek.com — attacking both Yahoo and Microsoft at the same time :
“Google announced Friday it would pay $3.1 billion to acquire ad-management technology company DoubleClick Inc….Google announced the acquisition Tuesday of Tonic Systems Inc., a startup based in San Francisco and Melbourne, Australia. The company specializes in collaborative presentation software and is expected to contribute to future versions to Google’s productivity suite.” — businessweek.com
This InformationWeek Google’s Deal For DoubleClick Could Be The End Of Yahoo article emphasizes the advertising acquisition even more, and finally here is what reported on earthtimes.org about the Google Clear Channel deal:
“Google Inc. and broadcaster Clear Channel Communications Inc. have signed a multi-year advertising sales agreement under which Google will start selling its advertising on radio stations, thereby making its entry into what is described as offline media — radio, TV and even print publications.”
If you didn’t realize that Google is clearly moving on two fronts at the same time, SaaS dominance together with entering end-to-end advertising via the on-line door, you’ve just been living on an island without any kind of media access since January! No later than today, MediaDailyNews reports about how the ad industry major players are reacting about it: Google Looms Over Ad Research Summit, Seen More As Friend Than Enemy.
What business are we in folks? Software or advertising … it may be both.
It’s been around for quite a while, the late 90’s. But as privacy and technical issues are going away, marketers should consider behavioral targeting in their on-line advertising campaigns.
For those who just missed it, behavioral targeting is the ability to deliver ads to consumers based upon their recent behavior viewing web pages, shopping online for products and services, typing keywords into a search engine or a combination of all three. You can have some more details on behavioraltargeting.com and behavioral targeting 101 on iMedia Connection.
Microsoft recently added it to its offering — read Microsoft adds behavioral targeting – Tech News & Reviews – MSNBC.com — as Yahoo did before as well — read Yahoo! behavioral targeting.
Interestingly enough, AdAge Digital highlights that Behavioral Targeting becomes The New Killer App for Research. Some even put forward some effectiveness performance:
“The behavioral targeting ads increased ad awareness by 51%, while content targeting resulted in only a 33% boost.” — Snapple
As Marketing 2.0 is all about considering your customers and prospects literally as Stars, this should be no surprise to you that I wanted to stress the use of it as a “must have” advertising tactic. Relevant context is king.
Following my last post, just a quick heads-up note on Yahoo (YHOO) rebound. Apparently things are moving in the right direction again for Yahoo , reports Business Week, as Merrill Lynch changed their rating. The stock rose 3.3% in one day.
Assumptions are mixed from a possible AOL acquisition, Project Panama, designed to better match ads with search results, expected to generate over $500 million in revenue (25 cents in EPS) over two years and the pure speculation on Yahoo’s stock which lost 35% year to date.
Following our question about where Microsoft business model was going – read Hey Microsoft, are you becoming Googled? – and now that all 3 Internet titans have published their quarterly results, let’s stop for a while and understand who is ahead of the curve.
Assuming financial analysts and investors are doing their due diligence properly, we could rely first on their feel for it. So, looking at the comparison chart between all three stocks Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), and Yahoo (YHOO) for the last 6 months, Google seems to ride the wave, Microsoft catching up and Yahoo heading south. Google even afforded to reach a new stock price all time high of $484.64 on 23 October, briefly surpassing $150 Billions for the first time! Remember, they acquired YouTube for $1.6B in stock… that’s a dime.
I’m pretty in line with this view of the world as it reflects today’s perception of who are the leaders in the on-line business. Here is a quote from AP on Monday supporting it:
“The third-quarter performance underscored the substantial advantage that Google has built over chief Internet rivals Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp., leading most analysts to conclude that the company will continue to dominate the online advertising market while it explores other potentially lucrative opportunities.” — Michael Liedtke, AP Business Writer
But one should also keep in mind that very few players in this industry have the financial muscle to create and maintain huge architectures supporting Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery to the masses. We’re talking $Billions fellow marketers, not VC money (sorry Netvibes fellows 😉 ).
Why should WE care? Well, if you only rely on search engine market shares to place your search marketing bets, the game is pretty simple: Google 49.2%, Yahoo 23.8%, MSN 9.6% according to Nielsen Netratings. Google market share surges even to more than 80% in some countries like France. The reason why we should care is Marketing 2.0 again. Search Advertising is powerful but not enough. Why would all these major players invest in Web 2.0 emerging companies otherwise? The question is for us to understand what are tomorrow’s business models in a variety of industries like software, music, videos and what have you. If revenue is bound to come from on-line advertising in the future, it clearly means all other advertising form factors will decrease. Our marketing-mix, in a Marketing 2.0 era, will then significantly change and above all, marketing performance will be heavily impacted. To be digged.
Out of a busy week for me, I wanted to share these numbers released by IAB and PwC about Online advertising investment in the US for the first half of 2006.
The US online advertising spend over H1 2006 totaled $7.9 Billions growing 37% from H1 2005, exceeding for the first time $4 Billions in Q2 2006. This marks the 7th quarter of consecutive growth for online advertising, reinforcing the growing importance of online focus for our marketing spend compared to traditional media.
As you can see in this table, paid search accounts for 40% of total online spend, still the mainstream online advertising technique. One of the major advantage of online advertising is performance based pricing i.e. you pay for the click through (CPA) rather than the impression (CPM). The split between CPM and CPA is still very much balanced, respectively 48% and 47% of total investment. My advice: you should weigh on your media planning agency to favor performance based pricing deals as this is the way of measuring your campaign impact and adjust it in real-time.
However, and following Yahoo CEO Terry Semel speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference on Sept 19th and warning about a slower online ad growth, overall slowing of the U.S. economy impacts advertising and its online part for the remaining part of 2006, reports Ad Age Digital. eMarketer has lowered its ad-spending forecast this year from $16.7 billion to $15.9 Billion.
The missing one here? Marketing 2.0 of course. No one talks about the share of investment that brands are putting in viral marketing and user generated content techniques. This of course does not account for many dollars, but can reinforce significantly synchronized traditional campaigns results. After all, we are more interested in business results than pure awareness when it gets down to reporting to our CEO.
I was attending yesterday a comprehensive conference in Paris about e-commerce, looking for a solid update on e-marketing techniques. All major players in the on-line industry were represented – Yahoo, eBay, Google, and Microsoft – and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) shared with us the latest development of on-line consumers behavior. To let you discover how passionate these individuals were, I’m sharing with you one of the snapshots I took during the keynote. No obvious passion right?
I was expecting some breaking announcement about Web 2.0 related new techniques, even some marketing 2.0 concepts to flourish. Not only was I disappointed but furthermore, Yahoo’s France General Manager just told us how he thought Web 2.0 was just a fad, no new news here he said. He referred to a Tim Berners-Lee statement to explain that he would call it Internet t.c, t.c. meaning “tout court”, which would translate as something like “Internet period” as Tim defined the Internet as a way for individuals to communicate. Wow! I don’t know how much corporate folks at Yahoo would appreciate it.
During the breakout sessions about sponsored links, I even heard professional marketers, especially from the major TV network in France, take some distance with blogging, coining it to a private non influential activity. I had to ask if he was afraid of blogs regarding his advertising business. You don’t want to hear his corporate answer, believe me.
Fellow marketers, this is really the time for a marketing 2.0 manifesto to avoid for these wandering executives to ignore the paradigm shift we clearly are going through. As it always does during such eras — read Innovator’s Dilemma if you didn’t already — incumbents are trying to deny or ignore reality. This usually is announcing their business model fade if not their company’s. As a result, brilliant and dynamic small companies are becoming the new category gorillas.
All these individuals might have missed this very interesting venture at spiceworks, providing an IT Management Software for … FREE! What is their business model? They let you install and use their solution for free, recouping on sponsored links clicks– especially Google’s –. Yes: advertising is now funding software. They have attracted more than 5,000 companies since launch on July 31st. Read this for more. And this is not isolated, as Universal recently announced music was going to be free as advertising was funding it as well. Universal is backing SpiralFrog, a start-up we already mentioned before here.
Bite Marketing 2.0 before it bites you!