Mobile Marketing by the numbers

As if you needed a reason to pull your head out of the sand other than to breathe, you might want to consider what will be happening with mobile marketing within the next 4 years. According to a recent study by the Kelsey Group, the US mobile ad market will grow from it’s current level of $32 million to $1.4 billion. That’s Billion.

This can be attributed to some obvious trends that swirl in, out and around the online world as we know it right now. In other words, there will come a point where online ad spending will become saturated to the point that it levels off and marketers and advertisers will be looking ( as if they have not already targeted) new ways to reach consumers. Look no further than the next frontier. Mobile devices. Picture if you will Vegas, about 50 years ago.  Now look at Vegas today. Now, multiply the speed of growth of the mobile marketing industry and compartmentalize that into 4 years.

Additionally, advertisers and marketers can look to the mobile universe as a place where they can see growth exponentially. Why? where else can they grab their dempgraphic, know everything there is to know about them and then target an ad directly to them based on the data? Why? because mobile and search will be walking down this aisle hand in hand. Believe me, Google knows this, Microsoft knows this and they are doing everything they can to prepare for it. If you don’t believe me just look towards the G phone. A Google phone. What does Google do best? Search.  How does Google make money? Paid search. So now they will have a phone thats best feature will be it’s ability to search. And what will you see while searching? Paid advertising. Thank you.

So if you’re asking who the players will be in the next 4 years, you don’t have to look any further than Google, Microsoft and Apple for obvious reasons and the usual players in the carrier industry. If you want to see this burgeoning new market in play right now, then all you have to do is look to Japan. Japan is in play. If a marketer wants to get their feet wet and prepare themselves for what will happen here in the US as well as the UK, then Japan would be a good test since they are accustomed to mobile marketing as an accepted form of advertising.

So is this an emerging market? No. We are beyond that. It has emerged, just not here, not yet. In the same breath, we are behind as well.  Hard to believe I know, but watch what happens within the next 4 years. You will see the emergence and convergence of devices and media like you have never seen before.


Lets see, lets pay people to use our site.  What a novel idea! Thus is the premise of Boomvote.Boomvote awards cash and prizes to the most frequent voters and vote recipients. They also  award cash for random reasons like the best video, most viewed, lowest votes, and best picture of BoomVote wear.

 According to the site, all you have to do is register. Once you are registered and your profile is approved, you can start getting credit for votes and voting for other members. They claim to offer variety of contests each month as well, to keep you coming back of course.

Every month BoomVote awards $500 to $1,000 in cash and prizes through many fun and random contests. Past contests include: “Most Interesting Essay,” “Cool CollegeGuy/Girl,” “Best Sporty Photo,” “Hip High School Guy/Girl,” “Hot Young Professional” and “Best Newcomer.” Coming soon, BoomVote will reward a $1,000 cash prize to the member with the most Boom Votes on January 31st.

 The more you vote, the more you increase your chances of winning. They award cash  based on votes given and votes received.  In order to win, you have to check the site each day and look for their Win/Win day promotion in which they give you a vote for each vote you give to another member.

BoomVote is quickly growing, and estimates active membership to reach 1 million by the end of 2008.


It’s official, social networking has got religion. GodTube the website which set the record as the #1 fastest growing website in the U.S. according to ComScore during its first official launch month, continues to break new ground by announcing an innovative new partnership which, for the first time in history, brings together 50 diverse, faith-based organizations that span across the wide array of denominations, ranging from Protestant to Catholic.

These Ministry Partners will join with to extend the website’s reach to 300,000 out of the 360,000 US churches and a global/domestic audience of more than 1.2 Billion. Thomas Nelson Publishers, American Bible Society, Liberty University and the Crystal Cathedral are among the initial leaders on this distinguished roster which
includes some of the most respected and renowned faith-based organizations in the world.

The website has attracted 4 Million visitors per month, and is currently on track to attract 5-7 Million unique visitors per month for the month of November. recently launched its Social Network and already has over 200,000 registered users and approximately 25,000 churches with active profiles.

With more than 38,000 videos representing over 800,000 hours of footage offering a wide array of content and its live and interactive technology, provides users face-to-face interaction in virtual Bible studies, chats, and live broadcasts, as well as opportunities to connect through messaging, email, and video blogs.

So social networks have now reached into the US churches and can now connect with its flock on a more one to one level.   We wonder how open the door is to other religious beliefs? Only time will tell, but could this end up being the largest social network on the planet? If it makes the world a more peaceful place then bring it on.

Cyber Monday Results, How Big Was It?

So, perhaps Cyber Monday is more myth than Black Friday is reality. Is Cyber Monday really this rockem-sockem day where we all come in and the first thing we want to do on monday morning is hit the “sales” offered online?   I say that because I just don’t think it’s nearly as big for online retailers as Black Friday is for traditional retailers in the malls.

 The stats bear this out. Though the numbers have improved from year to year, this would make sense since the possibility of a computer in the home has risen to a level that rivals the washer and dryer. It’s not the first big spike in traffic or sales for the holiday season, nor the last. It’s actually not even close to the biggest of the year. Here’s the proof in the pudding. ComScore Networks showed only a slight 9% increase in sales yesterday from the previous Tuesday, which was in actuality, the real start of the holiday retail season. Why you ask? Merely because sales had spiked 55%.  Thats right, 55%.

Likewise, Nielsen//NetRatings said Cyber Monday traffic from people shopping at work rose 18% from the week before. But that’s far below the 39% week-over-week spike on Black Friday from home shoppers. In fact, it’s even below the 25% at-work jump in traffic on  the Saturday following Black friday. And you thought most people didn’t work on the weekends? night.

As we stated earler,  the Cyber Monday numbers each sucessive year should grow as access to pc’s grows. Thus this year, Cyber Monday once again saw the highest unique audience of any day so far this holiday season with 29.5 million unique visits to Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday eShopping Index, according to the metrics firm.

Sixteen million of those visits came from the workplace, Neilsen//NetRatings said. That’s up 7 percent over last year. Of that, eBay, Amazon and Wal-Mart again took the top three spots, drawing 5.6 million, 4.2 million and 2.5 million unique visitors, respectively. The top shopping search engine was with 959,000 unique visitors. Customer spending on Cyber Monday totaled $608 million, up 26 percent versus the same day last year, according to ComScore.  That number is not etched in stone since it does not take into context all e-tailers.

So the point is,  though Cyber Monday has a cool moniker the fact of the matter is that it merely is just one of the more busy online shopping days of the year. In the grand scheme of things it’s merely another active day of online shopping.

Cyber Monday is coming, load up the bandwith!

Come November 26th, offices across the US will struggle to get their work done. Why?Because their employees will be shopping online for deals.  If you are an internet retailer then you better have your shopping carts polished and ready to rock. If you are a large e-tailer than you better have enough bandwidth to endure the crush. And if you are a Wii dealer, forget it you’re screwed.

A recent survey revealed that 46 percent of working Americans expect to shop for bargains online the Monday following Thanksgiving, while they are at work. The study, conducted by Decision Analyst ,  stated that although more than 11 percent said they had been caught shopping by their boss while on the job, the survey showed that the temptation to find a great bargain is so strong, they would spend nearly an hour on average shopping online this Monday instead of working coupled with the risk of being caught again.

Cyber Monday was coined to identify the online activity that happens on the Monday immediately following Black Friday, which is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year for “brick and mortar” stores. Cyber Monday is considered the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday online shopping season. Like Black Friday, many e-retailers offer some of the most exceptional deals of the year on Cyber Monday.

Shopping online during the holidays is a trend that has grown beyond a novel thing to do. It is now an accepted and expected form of Christmas Shopping. With that, comes the expectation that all e-tailers deliver on their end of the deal. Online Christmas shopping
allows shoppers to take advantage of  broadband speeds within their offces, veritable privacy, as well as the ability to possibly surf the web for deals for extended periods of time. It also provides a way to save on purchases that would normally cost more in the brick and mortar world as well as a way to avoid crowds, traffic and long lines.

In the words of of Mr. Michael Buffer,”Are you readdddddy to rumble?”

Top Toy and Game searches for Black Friday

Since it’s a short week and we know that this Friday is the “THE” day in regards to whether marketers and retailers have done their jobs properly, we figured the proof would be in the pudding. Or more succinctly, the Lycos 50. So below are the top searches in regards to toys and games for the upcoming yuletide season.

Poker and specific poker-related items like poker chips, poker cards and poker sets top the 2007 list of most-searched toys with web users for the third consecutive year. I beg of you, what does this say of our society? In my wildest dreams I would have never thought that online poker, which is what we are really talking about here, would be so pervasive in our society. But then again, Vegas is just a dusty little cabaret town too…

Online interest in poker generates only three percent more searches than the second most popular toy of 2007, Naruto. Pokemon (#3) makes the Lycos Top Toys list for the second year in a row, while Yu-Gi-Oh continues to drop in search popularity, making its last appearance on the list in 2004.

Harry Potter (#4) makes its fourth consecutive appearance this year, with the most popular Harry Potter-themed searches centering on Harry Potter games, books, DVDs and Harry Potter puppets.  Not really a surprise here given the uber-popularity surrounding the bespectacled one.

Two newcomers enter the Top Toys list of 2007, including Webkinz (#5), doubling in search popularity over the past year, generating 10 times more interest online than Neopets (#9).  Webkinz predominantly are a stop gap or holding tank for children who are poised to move into more interactive toys such as Xbox and Play Station.

Also making her debut on this year’s list is Hannah Montana (#10). If web search activity is any indication, the most popular Hannah Montana-related gifts this holiday season will include Hannah Montana Dolls. Given the incredible demand for tickets to het sold out shows, it’s no surprise that HM Merch is also in equal demand as well.

Barbie (#7)(Yawwwn…) continues her run on the annual Lycos list of Top Toys and Video Games, making the Top 10 for the eighth consecutive year. Interestingly, while search interest in Barbie actually dropped in 2007, she still edged ahead of the Bratz (#8) Dolls, generating nearly twice as much interest online.  This is probablly in large part to Baby Boomers wanting to relive the past through the eyes of their daughters, and thus are snapping up Barbies left and right.

Gaming consoles like Playstation 3, Wii, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Gamecube continue to decrease in search activity for the second straight year, losing more than half of their online search popularity, while the iPod (#6) makes its third consecutive appearance on the Lycos Top Toys list, with the iPod Nano generating the bulk of the search activity. What this tells you is a) the gaming consoles are too damn expensive after all is said and done. b) You can just walk over to your neighbor’s and use theirs and c) music rules.

 So here they are, “The Top 10 Most-Searched Toys this holiday season”:

  1. Poker
  2. Naruto
  3. Pokemon
  4. Harry Potter
  5. Webkinz
  6. iPod
  7. Barbie
  8. Bratz
  9. Neopets
  10. Hannah Montana 

Google Magazine; Another off-road attempt.

Google filed a patent back in May of 2006. The patent essentially says that Google wants to give users the ability to search and browse their own content, and receive an electronic or hard copy version of the final product. And that final product will include advertisements highly relevant to the user.

…the customer interface documents may be provided via a kiosk. For example, kiosks containing the customer interface documents may be provided in stores (e.g., Target, supermarkets, retail stores, etc.) in a similar way as picture kiosks are currently provided in such stores.

So instead of buying your current niche based magazine, which I thought was fairly targeted. Google thinks that they can provide a publication that is so targeted that advertisers and readers will stumble over each other to advertise and buy it respectively.

So  Mens Health, Cosmo, Road and Track, Playboy, etc etc. are essentially missing the boat according to Google. But what I am not sure of is, how does Google plan on carrying this out? Do I go to a Google Kiosk and instead of grabbing the magazine of choice, I go to a screen pick out the articles that interest me and print? And with that, I get a very targeted group of advertisers geared right towards my articles’ subject matter and my general interests? How long would this take? What if I have to grab a train?

In theory I can understand it, because in most magazines, very seldom does the publication meet the complete needs and the criteria of the reader. Now some may read it cover to cover, but for the most part we thumb through the ads (some of which may not be geared towards you) and we go to the articles that interest us. Can you imagine? Our own personal magazines with all the content developed for us and by us and packaged by Google; with advertisers using a Google interface selling the things that would totally interest us and us only? All I can think is a) freaky scarry and b) cool.

So it’s not too far off now in the sense that our social bookmarks are essentially the content that we like, or the sites that we like, ordered, and condensed and available to us 24/7/365. Taking this to the next level would be creating a hard-copy of  your social bookmarks; that would NOT require a reader or a laptop or a PDA.

Amazingly enough, doesn’t this sort of fly in the face of technology in that we are reverting back to paper environment? In a time when newspapers are folding and consolidating, and magazines are relying more and more on advertisers to stay alive,  perhaps this is the type of lifeline that they have needed all along. Though the final iteration will not be close to what we’re talking about here, it seems certain that something, to the extent that you will  build your own “magazine”, seems right around the corner. Your content and your advertisers. And why not? If someone asked you to name the type of products you wanted to be pitched on, you could do it. It happens all the time now with cross promotional items and websites and double opt-ins and every other piece of online marketing out there. The more they know about you, the more targeted the offer!

Chew on that for a bit. Building you own magazine with your own preferred content and your own preferred advertisers. The only thing standing in the way is speed and ease of use. I sense another slipstream opportunity here for the remora like companies who build their products on the basis of other companies products. So let’s just see what happens. Either way, Google is certainly keeping it interesting. deserves to succeed

I’ll tell you why. Last week I checked out their site and was impressed by their product, their site and their plan of action. What I didn’t like was the business model. It wasn’t solely based on affiliate marketing but enough of it was to throw it in that direction. I wasn’t so much railing on their business model as I was the whole notion of affiliate marketing in general as a business model. I just have never been wild about having to rely on other peoples traffic for the success of my product or business.

Well after saying as much, about an hour later or so I received the following email from Thomas Zawacki the Co-founder and CEO of

I read your blog and appreciate your opinion. Like you, I have been in the internet marketing industry for a long time. I agree with you that relying on an affiliate program as your sole source of income is a very difficult business to be in. That is exactly why we have built the Lemonade Social Commerce Server to be able to receive data feeds from a variety of revenue generating opportunities. Currently, we have integrated revenue from commissions from sales (affiliate deals), cost per acquisition offers (CPA deals), cost per click ads (CPC) and cost per thousand online advertising offers (CPM deals). The Lemonade Social Commerce Server also has the flexibility to add auction based revenue streams (e.g., Ebay) and revenue a user might get from selling their own products. All coming soon. In addition to aggregating revenue streams in our flexible back-end, the user experience must allow for three things to happen: 1) easy to join and set up the application (e.g., widget or Lemonade Stand); 2) easy for the consumer find what they want and interact with; and 3) the Lemonade Stand owner must make a significant amount of money per month to make it worth while – this is a combination of impression levels, click-through rates, conversion rates, etc.It takes under 3 minutes to set up a Lemonade Stand. Lemonade Stands live at and/or as a widget/application on Facebook, Blogger, and other key distribution points. This means that there is a built in amount of traffic to the stands that our users can monetize. Lemonade Stand owners can then make money via four different revenue streams, commissions from sales, CPA deals, CPC or CPM ads. This aggregated revenue is what makes it worth it to the user, not solely the returns from affiliate deals.Thank you for validating our model. We hope millions of people have fun setting up their Lemonade Stands, enjoy the social community aspects of, and make a bit of money along the way to pay their cell phone bills, donate to a good cause, or buy that gift for the holidays that their loved one really wants.


So riddle me this. Here is the CEO of a company, taking time out from his busy daily schedule to actually reply with thought, meaning and honesty on a) why I was partially right and b) why I might be wrong. And yet, he feels that it is worth his while to respond.

This tells me a few things. First, here is someone that knows what the viral effect of blogs can have on a company. Second, rather than getting defensive, he decides to point out why he thinks their product will bet better. So now, instead of me saying, “boy what a jerk”, he gets, “Boy, what a class act”!

I don’t know if his widget will set Web 2.0 on it’s ear, but if I were to teach how to be the CEO of a company, what he did would certainly be a lesson.  he took the time to address a blog that mentioned his company, spun it in his favor and didn’t burn a bridge in the process. He made an ally.  So what if he only responds to one a day, or whatever. The fact is, he took time out, to handle a little guerilla marketing on his own. A little hand to hand, if you will. Good Job TZ.

Top 15 search results this past week…

Here is what we as a society care about, according to the Lycos 50.


Thats great, Poker, Paris Hilton, Golf Clubs, Project Runway, Britney, MySpace, and Clay Aiken (wtf?). Interestingly enough, stretching beyond the top 15 and looking at the next 10, there is absolutely nothing in there about, global warming, world hunger, the Iraq war, the presidential election or the oil spill in S.F.,  Though in the 20 spot we do have something about pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness-finally a web search about something with meaning and substance. Without going any further, I can assure you that all we care about are things that stimulate us one way or the other.