LivingSocial vs. Groupon: The coupon wars escalate.
In their efforts to dominate the online coupon space, both LivingSocial and Groupon have upped the ante by moving from local deals to national ones. First Groupon offered a deal for merchandise at the Gap, and now LivingSocial has offered an aggressive deal selling Amazon $20 gift cards for $10. Amazon has a $175 million investment in LivingSocial.
The New York Times
Changes at the top at Google, but with an emphasis on continuity.
Google has changed its CEO, but in a manner calculated to signal as little substantive change as possible. Co-founder Larry Page will move into the CEO role as of April 4, while current CEO Eric Schmidt will become executive chairman. In his new role, Schmidt will focus on strategic relationships and product development.
Google will launch a daily deals program to compete with Groupon, etc.
Google may have the last laugh after having been turned down in its quest to acquire Groupon last month. Google is reportedly set to launch a platform called Google Offers, which will present users with a mix of local and national discount offers.
Twitter's ad revenues are projected to gain traction during this year and next.
A compilation of estimates from various sources has yielded a projection that Twitter's ad revenue will climb to $150 million this year, and reach $250 million next year. Twitter is still in the early stages of finding and implementing ways to capitalize on the meteoric rise in its popularity.
Small businesses think big online.
Although Groupon has been the e-commerce site generally associated with local deals, a recent study by Ad-ology found that small business managers think that massive, multi-national sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are most helpful to their marketing efforts. Google led the way, with 55.1 percent of survey respondents saying that it was either very or somewhat beneficial to their businesses. Groupon ranked sixth, with just 16.2 percent of respondents identifying it as very or somewhat beneficial.
Young parents are a key target for social media marketing.
According to Media Audit, 60.1 percent of US social media users have children living at home, but what really makes parents--and especially parents of very young children--a key target market for social media marketing is their propensity to buy big-ticket items. People with children living at home are more likely than other social media users to be planning a major purchase, with these percentages being especially high among parents of children under six.
Growth of social gaming makes it a promising advertising market.
According to a forecast by eMarketer, social gaming revenues could reach $1 billion in 2011. Fueling this emerging ad market is the continued growth of the social gaming audience. Last year, there were 53 million social gamers in the US, representing 24 percent of the Internet audience. In 2011, these figures are projected to grow to $61.9 million and 27 percent, and in 2012 they are projected to reach $68.7 million and 29 percent.
Troubling financial results from Yahoo.
Yahoo's financial results showed a four percent overall decline in revenue for the fourth quarter, compared with the same period a year earlier. While they did have a 16 percent gain in display revenue, Yahoo's search revenue dropped 18 percent. CEO Carol Bartz said the negative results were overstated due to Yahoo's search alliance with Microsoft.
Google and Mozilla to provide anti-tracking options.
Both Google and Mozilla announced that they would be offering consumers an anti-tracking option on their browsers. This addresses consumer concerns over behavioral advertising, but also helps the industry in its attempt to head off any regulatory efforts to restrict such advertising.