Yahoo! does something “new”

Marissa Mayer and some of her best recently acquired friends took to the CES  stage (this is a conference in the US somewhere) to tell us about what to expect from Yahoo! in 2014. She insists that Yahoo! has a few new tricks up their sleeves in terms of delivering news and media to your eager little eyeballs, and they just so happen to do an excellent job of delivering you ads, too. How nice.


The key way Yahoo! is doing this is through their new digital magazines (que trumpets)

Yahoo! Food

This delightful site brings you recipes, tips, tricks, and video from leading “food personalities” (whatever that is) . All of the information is presented in “small, manageable chunks” (just like your six, fist sized, daily food portions should be!!)

What I found most noticeable was the massive Knorr branding slap bang in the middle of the feed. Remember that buzz word marketers love to throw around “native advertising” (que dramatic music), we’ll this is a key example of it. Knorr have a range of recipes, showing the user how to use their various products, to make deliciously easy meals. I mean this is nothing new but I like how well suited the branded content is. Its does not look like an “ad.” Knorr shares useful info rather than intrusive flashing banners. Its subtle and speaks to the audience’s interest. Now I have my issues with native advertising but this is a goodish example of it… In my opinion.

Knorr contextual, native advertising example

Yahoo! Tech

This is apparently Yahoo!’s baby. And I like it the least.

Introduced by David Pogue, the former tech writer for the New York Times. He’ll be putting out daily articles onto Yahoo! Tech, which is very much meant to be a daily magazine, rather than an ongoing blog (I mean what’s this difference?). According to Pogue, their distinguishing factor of Yahoo! Tech is the nature of the articles; moulded to a broader audience, rather than just the techies form Silicon Valley. “Pogue and his friends will be doing straight-talk, no-nonsense tech reporting accessible to everyone, including daily and weekly features”

Pogue was also excited to mention the lack of banner ads on Yahoo! Tech. Instead, the ads will be more “well-hidden” (you mean more sneaky like a ninja!)

(In his words) – “they’ll be tiles that look like regular article tiles, but marked as sponsored.” In fact, a big part of the presentation was about how Yahoo! finally figured out how to make money off Tumblr. The sponsored ads are joined by entire corporate Tumblrs  – where companies can buy advertising Tumblrs, and use them to create more engaging campaigns that can be shared on Tumblr’s network.

So in short more native advertising opportunities. But when native advertising is used in a newspaper or magazine, my eye twitches a little.

If I was at this conference I’d have put up my hand and asked Miss Mayer the following question: “While native advertising is just fabulous for advertisers. What about the readers. Do you think its fair to publish a review on the new Mac Book Pro, for instance, that is written by an Apple employee?! I mean that’s just insulting. Can the integrity of journalism be preserved when an article is self serving”

And then as Mayor opens her mouth to answer I’d interrupt her and say: “Nevermind Ma’am, that question was rhetorical ” and walk out of the hall all dramatically.

References: basically the PR manager deserves a raise, I found a million of these “reviews” about Yahoo!’s ground breaking new oppertunities, pfft!


Newspapers forced to go digital

Another reminder that if you don’t have a digital presence, you are bound to be in a bit of poo!


In an article by the Advertisement Journal, this sentiment is once more reiterated as Newspaper publications struggle to meet their ad revenue targets, with is users opting to migrate to social networks for their taste of current events.

“The whole industry is looking to digital advertising to recover its fortunes. The future is digital, not print,” says benchmark analyst Edward Atorino

Read more:

Will Video Significantly Boost Facebook’s Revenue?

Recently, news broke that Facebook (NASDAQ: FB  is testing video advertisements that will show in its users’ news feeds. Management has stated that the ads will be shown on both the desktop and mobile versions of its website. If Facebook can successfully navigate this sector, it will have a powerful catalyst to generate revenue in 2014. Online video is becoming the preferred means to gain the attention of users. Mobile and video are leading the way, and the potential of online ads is enormous. Facebook will certainly use its auto-play feature to maximize charges for video. Here are three key reasons why video can significantly boost Facebook’s revenue: 

facebook money

What’s the big deal?
Online video advertising isn’t new, but it is becoming the way to get the attention of users. Video is attractive because online consumers are 27 times more likely to click video ads than traditional media. Facebook’s video would ensure that a prospective advertiser’s audience will view at least some part of the message. Consequently, Facebook will be able to generate revenue from video and potentially begin to steal a significant advertising share from television.

The potential is enormous
In July alone, there were approximately 48 million video ad views in the U.S. Facebook accounted for just 741 million. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) had 17.7 billion views and will generate $5.6 billion in revenue in 2014. How will Facebook benefit from video? Online advertising is expected to double, and digital ads will lead this astronomic growth. Facebook’s long-awaited video advertising solution should make revenue jump exponentially.

Possible impact on revenue
Facebook will certainly use its auto-play feature to maximize what it will charge for video ads. According to Bloomberg, Facebook will charge between $1 million-$2.5 million per day for 15-second video ads. This projection does not seem unrealistic, considering the fact that every night 88 million-100 million people in the U.S. actively use Facebook.

The video ads market is dominated by Google’s YouTube. The website is a pure video-sharing social platform with a huge content library. It began a partner program six years ago, with numerous creators from over 30 countries participating in the project. The company’s Helpouts is a new video service that connects individuals seeking help with experts via real-time online video. Through targeting, Facebook hopes to challenge Google. Facebook’s personal, demographic, and interest data regarding its user base make its targeted campaigns more accurate than the average online reach of its rivals.

Also, video is of great importance for Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO  ) . It is investing in a romance series for its video portal and owns video and photo-sharing sites. The company also recently acquired Evntlive and Ptch. Both companies cater to the expanding online video sector, but will be closed as their teams are assimilated into Yahoo!. Higher engagements through video content across Yahoo!’s platforms can lead to improvements in its performance metrics.

Final takeaway
Facebook made the right decision investing in video to grow its earnings in 2014. Online video is becoming the means to gain the attention of users. The potential in online ads is enormous, as it is expected to double shortly. Finally, Facebook will use its auto-play feature to maximize charges for video. Despite its recent entry into the video advertising sector, Facebook is worth a closer look. As always, Foolish investors should do their own research before making any investment decisions.

Facebook in hot water over privacy invasion


It may be a new year, but the world’s largest social network is still squaring off against last year’s claims of privacy invasion.

The latest comes from Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley, two Facebook users who filed a lawsuit against the company for allegedly invading the privacy of their Facebook messages for the purposes of sharing data with marketers.

“[Facebook] makes assurances of user control over privacy settings and messaging options. These assurances affirmatively state that only senders and intended recipients are privy to the contents of their non-public communications,” Campbell and Hurley said in a filing with the U.S. District Court of Northern California this week.

“In reality, Facebook never intended to provide this level of confidentiality. Instead, Facebook mines any and all transmissions across its network, including those it labels ‘private,’ in order to gather any and all morsels of information it can about its users,” the filing said.

That information was used to create more robust profiles of Facebook’s users in order to “improve its marketing algorithms and increase its ability to profit from its users,” according to the filing.

“We believe the allegations are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously,” a Facebook spokesperson told Re/code.

This is far from the first time Facebook has dealt with legal troubles from its users. Last year, Facebook settled a class-action suit that claimed that the company’s “Sponsored Stories” advertising products shared users’ “Like” data with friends without the ability to opt out of the program.


Weekly round up: 6 Jan 2014

Welcome to my blog 🙂

Here is a round up of what’s been happening in the digital marketing world !


Native Times

The New York Times is planning a redesign that will launch Wednesday to make way for its new native ad content, according to Adweek. The ads will only appear on the desktop site for now, and will be labeled as “Paid Posts” and have a blue border to differentiate them. There has been some contention over native advertising, especially the the confusion it could create for readers. Read more.

The Data War

When it comes to data, first-party is the best, but there is no shortage of companies willing to sell third-party data for a high price. Paul Rostkowski criticizes the practice on Ad Age, given that so little of the third-party data may actually be useful. If marketers aren’t diligent about testing the data they could end up wasting a lot of money. Not to mention first-party data is free along with other basic information such as geography and URL domains. Read more.

Tech Merger Billions

The world of mergers and acquisitions continues to pulse as some of the larger tech players add solutions and products to their marketing tech portfolio. With Oracle’s acquisition of Responsys, Marketo is rumored to be next among “the acquired.” IBM and SAP are considered among the potential “strategics.” Read more in Bloomberg. The stock market values Market at $1.6 billion+ on Friday with its “marketing tech” story. For comparison, ad network 2.0 Rocket Fuel and ecommerce retargeter Criteo were valued around $1.95 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively, as of Friday’s market close with their “ad-tech” stories. Increasingly, marketing and ad-tech stories are merging.

The Rise Of Mobile

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions aggregates mobile ad spend data in an article on Mashable. Mobile ad spend nearly tripled from 2012 to 2013, going from $1.2 billion to $3 billion. And, social is driving a lot of spend – in particular, native advertising, which could reach $4.3 billion in 2014, according to the article. An eMarketer graphic predicts that mobile and online ad spending will increase year-over-year, reaching $61.4 billion overall by 2017. Read more.

More posts to follow, keep reading and feel free to comment!