Posts Tagged ‘wall st. journal’



June 4, 2015

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I am a big fan of over-the-air (broadcast) TV. It still needs to be a part of every ad budget for local businesses that want to reach a mass market of potential customers. But the assault on its once “cash cow” market is never-ending. Now Yahoo has won the rights to the NFL’s first streaming-only broadcast of a football game.

The Sunday, Oct. 25, matchup between the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars in London, England will ONLY BE AVAILABLE on a Yahoo digital platform —whether in a Web browser, within a Yahoo app on a mobile phone, or on a television equipped for streaming video.

As reported in the Wall St. Journal, “Basically any digitally connected user will get it, for free,” said Adam Cahan, Yahoo’s senior vice president of mobile and emerging products.

This marks a drastic shift in the league’s broadcast strategy, which has depended on traditional TV networks or cable channels to air regular-season games. How will viewers, advertisers and technology companies respond to games only on digital platforms? Will it allow the league to reach so-called cord cutters, viewers who have dropped their pay-tv connections?

So sports fans, will we look back at October 25th as the day traditional TV became obsolete? I would love to hear your comments and thoughts.



July 16, 2014

Recently, Amazon unveiled a new phone, the Fire, packed with a range of fun but not necessarily useful features. Wall St. Journal’s Christopher Mims (DIGITAL) penned an editorial that I think has some great words of wisdom for any firm bringing out a new product. Here’s my take on the factors that Chris believes, “will kill Fire sales as surely as they have held Windows Phone to single digit market share in North America…”

People are loath to switch from the phones they already have, and in the process abandon all the apps and media they’ve bought.”  If you think you have a better product, make sure it is not a hassle to switch. For most of us, changing phones is a big hassle. In fact, I am surprised how many people I talk to who don’t have smartphones because they don’t want to go through the pain of changing something so personal to their lifestyle.

The North American market for smartphones–and especially the market for high-end smartphones like the Fire — is heavily saturated, which means there are hardly any new users out there who might adopt the Fire as their first phone.” One of my core POWERSHIFT MARKETING principles is if you are first to market, you make a ton of money. If you are last, it will take a ton of money to buy market share when a market is saturated.

Fire can’t access the existing pool of Android apps. It’s missing critical ones like Uber (Bezos says it’s coming) and Snapchat (no word on when it will appear).” If you are introducing a new product it is essential that you understand how people use the existing product(s) that you want to replace.



July 3, 2014

If you advertise in magazines (print or online), you will want to take note of a Wall St. Journal story that reported that ads delivered on tablets work just about as well as, or sometimes better than, ads in print magazines.

GfK MRI Starch Advertising Research quizzed readers on their reactions to  28,624 magazine ads in 805 tablet magazines and they found the average level of reader recall for both print and digital ads last year was 52%. Of course, tablet magazines still make up a small percentage of circulation for even the most successful magazines.

But here’s the big takeaway: Why can’t 48% of readers recall any ad? It is because most ads are bad. Taking creative chances and making sure you communicate a benefit in your ad would help.  Reading my book (it is free) that shares ways to make every ad more memorable would also be a good idea.

But, let’s do that after the 4th of July! Have a great time with family and friends over the next few days. And because I live in a forest, please be extra careful with fireworks. 



June 2, 2014


Apple likes to use its annual developer conference (coming this week) to announce new products. Recently, these product announcements haven’t been game-changers. But according to a Wall St. Journal report, Apple could really jump-start local mobile advertising with its new iBeacon.

Yes, the idea of you walking by a store and immediately receiving an offer on cell phones as they walk through airports. Any good marketer can see all sorts of uses–such beaming coupons to people as they browse aisles at retail stores, or restaurants offering specials. Of course, many ad folks don’t want mobile to be just a “coupon medium.” And, as the Wall St. Journal article points out, there are always privacy pitfalls with any location-based intrusions on personal devices.

Bottom-line: We might be seeing the real future of mobile this week.



March 12, 2014

When a business is losing money, instead of investing in solving a broken business or marketing model, many businesses rush to cut costs, starting with marketing.  This can work for a while. Barnes & Noble returned to profitability in their recent third quarter, “thanks to new steps taken by its cost-conscious CEO, but a decline of its e-book sales and stagnant retail performance renewed questions about its future,”  reported the Wall St. Journal. Best Buy also returned to a profit in their fourth quarter and topped Wall Street expectations as it cut costs to offset declining sales. 

Now, why should you care about Best Buy or Barnes & Noble?  Because it is a classic tale of businesses focusing on short-term profits (thanks to the power of the stock market), than long-term solutions. Are you just trying to make a profit without regard to long-term strategies to make your business grow? If so, as Bob Newhart said in a classic TV skit, “Just stop it!”.



February 5, 2014

With millions of people making “Facebook Movies” to hype Facebook’s 10th anniversary, is Facebook a good business marketing tool for your business? How do the 1.2 billion users interact with the giant social media site? A new Pew Research study provides some insights.

57% of all adults and 73% of all those ages 12-17 use Facebook, but only 1 out of 10 users (10%) share details about their lives daily.  Facebook is primarily a one-way conversation driven by younger users who love sharing their lives with their friends or the public. Many users (36%) dislike it when people share “too much information about themselves.”

Facebook is about sharing and laughs, not learning about your company. Users say they appreciate photos and videos from friends (47% say that’s a major reason they use Facebook), the ability to share with many people at once (46% cite that as a major reason), updates from others (39% cite that), and humorous content (39%). Other aspects of Facebook—such as keeping up with news, or receiving support from the people in one’s network—are less appealing.

Only 4% update Facebook info more than once a day, about 15% of users comment on photos more than once a day. 25% of users share nothing at all on Facebook.  44% said they click on the “like” button on content posted by their friends.

The average adult on Facebook has 338 friends. As the Wall St Journal pointed out, “That number underscores a radical idea. A decade ago, the concept of being in constant touch with hundreds of friends would have seemed impossible, if not incredibly annoying. Now, it seems normal.”  The same could be said about you being in constant contact with your customers.

The study was based on telephone interviews in the fall of 2013 with 1,802 adults, all 18 or older. Engagement, the amount of time each user spends on Facebook, is a critical metric in Facebook marketing. Unfortunately, the Pew study didn’t provide much insight into this.  Here’s a link to some of the dataHere is a link to the actual survey.

Marketing assignment: Print out the survey and at your next marketing meeting compare key statistics to the profile of your best customer. If they match, do more Facebook marketing. If they don’t, spend more time and money marketing with other social media.



January 13, 2014

Recently I was asked by a nonprofit to help them raise funds at their annual event. In thinking of ways of increasing donations, I found a recent Wall St. Journal column (Mind and Matter) by Robert M. Sapolsky offered a fascinating out-of-the-box thought. Sapolsky is a professor of biology, neuroscience, and neurosurgery at Stanford University. In his WSJ column he presented years of independent studies that show one thing: When women are present or when men are prompted to think about women, they act differently. Well, duh, don’t we all know that?  Well, yes, but we may never have thought about how it could impact nonprofit fundraising.

As Sapolsky pointed out, numerous studies show that when sexually attractive women are in attendance, men are more prone to take risks, to discount the future when making economic decisions and to spend on conspicuous luxury items. Typically, the effects are strongest in single men. By contrast, these studies uniformly report that males have no such effects on women.

Now comes research in the British Journal of Psychology that shows that in the presence of women, men made more contributions for the public good and volunteered more time for charitable causes. In fact, the size of their charitable contributions increased in the presence of women they rated as more attractive. As summarized in the title of the Journal’s paper, this seems a case of “Men Behaving Nicely: Public Goods as Peacock Tails.”

So, if you want more donations at your fundraising events, perhaps you need to make sure that there are plenty of well-heeled single men in the audience and that the room is filled with Victoria’s Secret models. Yes, it is pretty pathetic that men are so easy to read.



January 2, 2014

Happy New Year. As I look back on 2013 headlines, which I plan to do in the next few posts, I’m pleased that American Airlines and US Airways are finally merging. Having participated in a merger (Western Airlines and Delta Air Lines) I know that many employees will lose benefits, retirement funds, and promotional opportunities, but at least most people will have a job in 2014.

But the big question for 2014: Will the new American make more money? The profit question might be one you need to be asking too. This merger will leave just four airlines controlling more than 80 percent of the U.S. air-travel market. But the basic challenge in the airline industry hasn’t changed: Airlines only have a profit margin of 1-2%.

Compare this to the smartphone industry. According to a WSJ report, Samsung records roughly a 20% operating margin on their mid-tier Galaxy S3 Mini, and a 28% margin on its high-end Galaxy S4. Apple’s operating-profit margins on its new iPhone 5S and 5C phones are reported to be 30% to 35%.

What is your profit margin? It should be the top question you are asking yourself going into a new year. Does your company have its cost in line so you can make more in 2014? Tough question.



October 28, 2013

Twitter is planning on raising $1 billion or more in a public offering. While they have lots of growth, they are losing more money ($69 million, pace of its user growth is slowing, and ad prices are coming down. So will the world of retweets, hashtags and decks ever by a great marketing tool for your business? Plus, how much traffic on Twitter is real, and what’s being driven by computerized fake accounts?

As reported by the Wall St. Journal, Twitter is populated by millions of accounts of questionable legitimacy. “They range from entirely robotic (and often incomprehensible) spammers to more cleverly programmed accounts spitting out tweets designed to find their way into the occasional search results or discussion thread.”

Main reason these bots exist is the fast growing market of buying and selling Twitter accounts. Just like email addresses, junk mail marketers can buy Twitter accounts. Another reason for fake tweets is that it so easy to create and automate tweets, thanks to the way Twitter allows automatic posting using third-party applications.

So the question for the week: Let me know how many followers you have and if you have found that your Twitter account is creating real business.



October 24, 2013

Online advertising has grown to a $120 billion market. The ability to target specific consumers has driven this growth. The driving technology for this approach is “cookies” – tiny trackers that companies attach to your website to monitor people’s browsing.

That’s why Google’s announcement that they are considering a switch to a system that would create its own anonymous identifier for each individual would be a huge game changer. As reported by the Wall St. Journal, Mike Anderson, chief technology officer of Tealium, a software company that helps advertisers track users, said advertisers might be willing to trade in cookies for an identifier because it could help them create more detailed portraits of consumers. Right now, advertisers may place cookies on websites, but each uses a different code, so they can’t tell whether they’re tracking the same user.

Mozilla has already announced plans to launch an automatic cookie blocking feature on its Firefox browser. Microsoft has also launched a “Do Not Track” feature on its latest Internet Explorer browser. Apple Safari browser has blocked cookies since 2003.

Bottom-line: By this time next year, the world of online tracking will be vastly different and so will online advertising.