Affiliate marketers tripped up by effort to collect state taxes on Internet sales.
Affiliate marketers, which drive shoppers to larger retailers, may be a victim of the growing efforts by states to collect taxes on Internet sales. The location of those affiliate marketers may be a key factor in determining which sales are subject to taxes.
The New York Times
Netflix overcomes its past to post revenue gains.
Netflix showed a 47% year-over-year increase in revenue, thanks to higher streaming video sales, and overcame some past troubles -- the shrinking DVD-by-mail business and a public relations stumble when it tried to segment services and raise fees last year. The growth did come at a cost, as rising investments in content and customer acquisition resulted in lower net earnings-per-share.
The New York Times
Google's consolidation of marketing policies could mean changes for marketers.
Google has consolidated 60 separate privacy policies on its various Internet properties into one universal policy. This also means that data on users from across those different properties can be consolidated. The change should enable marketers to track user activities across those properties, for potentially more detailed and coordinated ad targeting.
FTC cracks down on fake news sites.
In a move that should help raise standards for content-based marketing, the Federal Trade Commission is requiring six companies that were marketing acai berry extracts and other supplements to stop using fabricated news sites. In addition to financial penalties, the settlement states that the defendants must no longer represent marketing content as objective news, and must disclose relationships between merchants and websites.
Smaller companies blog more, but the rate of growth is slowing.
A study by the University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth found that companies in the Inc. 500 have been adopting blogging faster than their larger Fortune 500 counterparts. In 2011, blogging increased by 37% among firms from the Inc. 500 list of high-growth privately held U.S. companies, compared with 23% at Fortune 500 companies. However, that Inc. 500 growth rate is down from 50% in 2010, whereas blogging growth at Fortune 500 companies held steady between 2010 and 2011.
Internet heavyweights band together to fight phishing.
Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook are among the online powerhouses that have created an alliance designed to crack down on the practice of phishing, or sending bogus emails in an attempt to draw sensitive financial information out of people. This effort, which is called Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, or DMARC, aims to establish new standards for emails.
Diversified approaches and mobile are keys to reaching business executives online.
As cost-per-click continues to rise in the B2B space -- up 29% year-over-year in the 4th quarter of 2011, according to Marin Software -- marketers must remember that it can take a diversified approach to reach executives. While search is important, with 73% of executives using it to find information, significant numbers also use websites focused on brands, professional associations and trade publications to conduct research. C-level executives are more likely than junior executives to use smartphones and tablets to research business purchases.
Mobile ad spending grew faster than expected in 2011; strong growth expected to continue.
An estimate by eMarketer puts mobile ad spending in the U.S. at $1.45 billion in 2011, representing growth of 89% over 2010. This exceeded eMarketer's earlier projection of $1.2 billion, resulting in a higher forecast for 2012 of $2.61 billion, up from $1.8 billion. If achieved, the new estimate would represent 80% growth over last year.
Twitter and LinkedIn are expected to maintain strong ad growth in 2012.
While the fastest expansion may be behind them, Twitter and LinkedIn are still expected to log fairly robust increases in ad revenues in the years ahead. eMarketer projects 2012 ad growth rates of 83% for Twitter, compared to 46.1% for LinkedIn. Neither is expected to see ad growth fall below 30% in 2013 or 2014.
Mozilla's mobile delays may cost it relevance.
With Mozilla's beta launch for its Android browser still as much as six weeks away, experts are speculating that it may have missed the boat on becoming a force in mobile. The transition to smartphones and tablets has happened fast enough for habits to have already formed, and Android's built-in browser appears to perform adequately, so Mozilla might not get a chance to make a dent in the mobile market.