Daily Roundup for 2008-04-16

  • It’s a question marketers are still grappling with years after the first waves of corporate blogging flooded the web. But for better or worse, it seems corporate blogging — and the title of chief blogger — is beginning to hit its stride. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Marriott and Kodak all have recently recruited chief bloggers, with or without the actual title, to tell their stories and engage consumers.
  • These days, online consumers and companies are collaborating on a range of activities, including R&D, marketing and after-sales support.  Here are a few examples of how brands and consumers are working together online.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-04-14

  • Yahoo’s resistance to a takeover by Microsoft looks foolhardy to some investors and Wall Street analysts. But the push-back may prove effective in the end—at least by forcing the suitor to cough up a few more bucks a share.  Executives from Yahoo (YHOO) on Apr. 7 reiterated the reasons for their opposition. The $31-a-share offer, made public Feb. 1, "substantially undervalues" Yahoo, and its stock component is even less attractive in light of Microsoft’s (MSFT) slumping share price. "We have continued to launch new products and to take actions which leverage our scale, technology, people, and platforms as we execute on the strategy we publicly articulated," Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang and Chairman Roy Bostock wrote.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) just dropped the bomb on Yahoo (YHOO). Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Apr. 5 sent a letter giving Yahoo’s board three weeks before it initiates a proxy fight, including nomination of a new slate of directors likely to approve the deal.

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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.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-04-07

  • Of the many blogs born last May, Patent Troll Tracker seemed as innocuous as any. Its focus: the obscure but controversial subject of "patent trolls," a derogatory term used to describe businesses that make money by purchasing patents and then suing big companies for infringement. The author was clearly no fan of the practice, but his or her identity was a mystery. The "about me" section of the blog noted that the writer was simply "a patent lawyer trying to gather and organize information about patent litigation."  Through regular, copious posts, Troll Tracker quickly drew a devoted following in patent law circles, even among those who disagreed with its point of view. What readers didn’t know, however, was that the blogger was Rick Frenkel, in-house patent counsel at Cisco Systems (CSCO), the Internet infrastructure giant.
  • Ad spending on newspaper Web sites increased to $3.2 billion in 2007, up 18.8% over 2006, according to preliminary estimates released by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) in late March.  The trade group said that online ad spending accounted for 7.5% of all newspaper ad spending in 2007, up from 5.7% in 2006.

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Daily Roundup for 2008-03-13

  • US direct marketers may reduce their media budgets this year, judging by Target Marketing’s "Media Usage Forecast" report. Nearly one-quarter of respondents surveyed in January 2008 said they would reduce their media budgets compared with last year. The n
  • Yahoo Inc, still fending off a $41 billion takeover bid by Microsoft Corp, unveiled a cell phone tool on Tuesday that lets users keep up with their favorite topics using dynamic bookmarks. OnePlace, to be launched in the second quarter, allows users to ma

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Microsoft offers to buy Yahoo! for $44.6 billion in cash, stock

Microsoft has decided to step it up!  Today, Microsoft offered to acquire Yahoo! for $44.6 billion.  This is a 62% premium over yesterday’s closing price.

Many industry experts, including Scot Wingo, have long rumored that both Microsoft and Yahoo! were both considering acquiring eBay whose battered stock price has increasingly made it an attractive acquisition target.  As recently as three weeks ago, Yahoo! was rumored to be in discussions to buy eBay.

With Yahoo!’s recent challenges, Yahoo!’s stock has continued to slide, and therefore, it has become a more attractive target as well.  Microsoft’s bid is very bold, but to be quite honest, it was inevitable.  Microsoft and Yahoo! have both fallen woefully behind Google in the search game, and they both need to find a way to shake it up.  Today, Microsoft took a leadership position in that effort.

I will do a more in depth analysis in a subsequent post.

Google is an advertising cheapskate!

What is the most valuable brand in the world?  Google_logo_2Google is the number one brand in the world with an estimated value of $66 billion according consulting firm Millward Brown Optimor. 
This got me thinking… How did Google become the most valuable brand in the world in just a short nine years?  As the Founder of a consumer-focused internet company, I find this question very interesting.  Conventional wisdom would suggest that Google must spend billions of dollars in advertising every year to accomplish such an impressive feat.

Well after a bit of research, one thing becomes clear… Google is an advertising cheapskate!

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