Saturday, March 31, 2012

iRony: Google heavies up on traditional advertising; iPad one hot item!

How B2B media will benefit

As we wind up Q1, jobless claims this week hit a 4 year low and the financial markets ended the first quarter up 12 percent (based on S&P 500 and Wilshire 5000). But gas prices are up again, 22 percent since December to a national average of $3.92. Rising energy prices have weighed on economic confidence and cut into household budgets. That’s a drag on media spending and will be a significant concern for the Obama administration seeking re-election.

On Friday, the Prez said there was enough oil in world markets to allow countries to reduce their Iranian imports significantly, clearing the way for Washington to impose severe new sanctions intended to slash Iran’s oil revenue and press Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. We’ll see how tough Obama stays as we get closer to the November elections with $5 per gallon gas prices, so expect more turbulence in the financial markets—and at the pump.

Google turns to traditional advertising

We got a kick out of this item in Tuesday’s Journal
that Google will spend tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars on TV, magazine and newspaper ads to promote new services, including its Google+ social network and Chrome Web browser. You’ve got to hand it to the kids from Silicon Valley. First kill traditional media, then dominate what’s left of it—and perpetuate the “don’t be evil” mantra. You can’t make this stuff up!

It’s official, new iPad runs hot and apps more fickle

Venerable Wall Street Journal tech columnist, Walter Mossberg says it’s true. c/Net and Huffington Post say it might be true. Let’s see what loyal Apple customers and support staff have to say in this thread

Business and technology media gaining momentum

On the B2B media side, we got “guidance” from PIB, min and other sources that business and technology magazine will show encouraging page gains when the first quarter ad tallies are released most likely next week. Stay tuned as these two sectors, which depends on long sales cycles and “sweaty palms” decision across multiple points of contact, may be finally poised for a rebound. Expect both sectors to benefit from the Google ad blitz and Apple reputation restoration campaigns.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Senate Approves Bill to Aid Startups

iToldYouSo. One in 5 tech firms rejected applicants because of social media. Total ad spending stagnates in 2011; search takes a hit, display hangs on

By a 3-to-1 margin, the Senate yesterday approved the JOBS Act—Jumpstart Our Business Startups-- which will make it easier for small companies to raise money for growth. It will also minimize corporate governance and disclosure requirements that typically slow the process for companies who are creating jobs and need the approvals the most. The legislation which was approved two weeks ago in the House, would create a new category of “emerging growth” companies that could conduct IPOs for a period of 5 years, without the red tape of certain corporate governance and financial disclosure requirements that fatten the wallets of underwriters and white shoe lawyers but few other people.

OUR TAKE: Of course there will be some fraud and overzealous use of new loopholes to the new rules, but we’re now a dozen years into the new millennium. We should be able to handle “crowd-funding” of promising new companies with a minimum amount of government oversight. The democratization of the “public” equity process—the sales of small amounts of stocks to many individuals through the Internet or elsewhere—excites us almost as much as the job creation opportunities. While Wall Street, white shoe law firms and union leaders may have some of their power dis-intermediated, the more people who can take part in productive capitalism, the faster we can spread the prosperity that’s starting to emerge from the half-decade long recession. A quick look at the equity markets, jobless numbers and housing starts will show that the tipping point has finally, albeit slowly, tipped for the better.

iToldYouSo: Tech firms rejecting job applicants due to social media posts

Not sure why it took so long for this research to come out, but it turns out nearly 20 percent of technology firms have rejected job applicants because of something they stupidly included on their social media profile, according to the 2012 annual technology market survey conducted by Eurocom Worldwide and its associated agencies. Our guess is that the figure is higher in other industries and will continue to teach millenials (and HR departments) about the distinction between sharing relevant content and over-sharing irresponsible or banal content.

Ad slowdown (or pause)during economic turnaround?

According to Kantar Media Intelligence 2011 Ad Expenditures Data, most major segments of the media market, including digital, but with the exception of TV, stagnated during the last quarter of 2011 and in 2011 overall.

Total advertising expenditures increased less than one percent (0.8%) in 2011 and finished the year at $144.0 billion, according to data released today by Kantar Media Ad spending. Since reaching a post-recession peak in Q3 2010, advertising growth rates have slowed for five consecutive quarters moving almost in the opposite direction of jobs and the overall economy.

For the entire year 2011, Paid Search declined 2.8 percent and Display increased 5.5 percent, researchers said. Consumer magazines declined 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter due to deep cutbacks in auto, food and pharmaceutical advertising, but finished the year 2011 about even with 2010. B2B magazines squeezed out a tiny gain of 0.8 percent.

We know that major public companies are sitting in record hordes of cash and Jon Swallen, Kantar’s senior vice president for research said in a statement that the largest advertisers have become increasingly conservative with their budgets, which has offset “the healthy spending growth occurring among midsize advertisers.”

Remember, you’re not going to get an official government notice that the path to prosperity is ALL CLEAR. The real recession is in the rearview mirror. With the exception of some housing overhang, most of our reticence to spend, hire and invest is based on phsychological rather than real-world factors. Don’t let the pent-up demand surge pass you buy. Good luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.