Daily Roundup for 2008-04-10

  • Even as some marketers rein in spending to hedge against further economic problems, search engine marketing (SEM) is in great shape—at least for the moment.  Search engine advertisers and agencies surveyed for the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)-sponsored "2007 State of the Market" survey listed multiple reasons for the SEM spending growth, including advertiser demand, rising keyword and pay-per-click campaign costs, small-to-midsized business SEM use and increased behavioral and demographic targeting.  The study was conducted by Radar Research online using an IntelliSurvey panel.
  • Many job seekers are blithely unaware that their former employers all too often say things that can damage or halt their career prospects. Most of this is due to the erroneous belief that it’s somehow illegal to ask about things other than title and dates of employment during a reference check.  This is simply not true.  Today’s courts have literally invented a whole new body of law called "Employment Law." Bundled in this tangle of law is employment pre-screening, otherwise known as reference checking.

  • As a Yahoo shareholder, I have reviewed your most recent letter with regard to the unsolicited proposal you made to acquire Yahoo on Jan. 31.  I have carefully considered your unsolicited proposal and have concluded that it is in the best interest of Yahoo shareholders for Microsoft to buy Yahoo.  I understand that our board has been actively and expeditiously exploring strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value. Frankly, that effort has been a big disappointment to many of us. After hitting $30, Yahoo shares have drifted to $27 and change this week. Despite Yahoo’s 305 million unique monthly users, no one else has stepped up with an offer. No one is more disappointed than I am that no bidding war erupted.
  • Recommendations from family and friends trump all other consumer touchpoints when it comes to influencing purchases, according to new data from Publicis media network ZenithOptimedia.  The data comes from ZenithOptimedia’s Touchpoints ROI Tracker, a comprehensive project comprising over 300,000 interviews across 34 countries and covering more than 4,000 brands in 126 product and service categories.  ZenithOptimedia is making the data available publicly for the first time this month.
  • For online retailers, search and e-mail marketing continue to be the most popular tactics, though they are becoming increasingly interested in social networks and video, a new study indicates. That shift in tactics could be a risky endeavor, however, caution executives involved with the study. According to a Shop.org survey of 125 online retailers conducted by Forrester Research, 90% of them participate in paid search and 92% rely on e-mail marketing. By comparison, just 26% use social networks or micro-sites, while only 21% employ online videos. The coming year could see a shift to new advertising tactics.

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