Google to hit 900? Then what?

I was reading yesterday that Google increased it’s marketshare in search by about 1 percent to 64.5% of the searches done in the US each month. The up side of this is that they are gaining marketshare from the other few search competitors and are poised to continue being the leaders for a long time to come. The down side is that they may only be able to obtain around 80% of the market (without buying competitors) and that last 15% they have to go before topping out may only take another year to obtain or 2 at the most. That means that this Google run on stock is a limited time deal. The increase in stock price seems to follow the increase in market share and we now see the end in our sights. We know they are doing a lot to pursue getting google offline to cell phones via mobile advertising and maps on gas station pumps, but this is not the same as tapping a 180 million person online market by becoming everyone’s home page. It will take a lot longer and more technology develpment before google is relevant on phones. Most people have web access but if they are like me, they decline it now as a costly extra service that runs really slowly and is difficult to use on a cell phone screen. User interfaces have to become better. Screens have to become better. Unlimited Web access has to be free on your phone with your plan. I know that Google has overcome other challenges in the past but they are used to getting what they want quickly and this beyond the web growth is not going to happen as quickly as they would like and it may not arrive soon enough to pull us out of a recession in 09. It’s the 10 year curse and it’s coming back at the end of 09.

New Email Marketing Social Network Site

I am always interested in what other marketers have to say and are working on. There is always a lively debate about theory and practice of any marketing medium or method going on. Email marketing is also a huge success area for marketers and they debate heavily on what is best, worst and the new latest thing. Yes the email newsletter has still remained on top for providing push marketing messages out to consumers and creating conversions to purchase when there are sales goals to be met. We all get the “limited time only”, “huge sale” and “new product” emails from retailers and some of them actually work.

icontact logoThere is a new online social networking community just for email marketers now. It is from iContact. They are an email marketing management company. Someone you buy email management and sending services from to manage your email marketing process. They want marketers to not only use their management solutions, but to also log on and chat with other marketers. I think this will give both the marketers and iContact insight into what works and doesn’t work and what innovations are needed. The new iContact community is a lot like other social networks allowing people to rate and “digg” stories and content. There are also a lot of blogs and newsletters about email marketing that contribute there too. I have not done any email marketing for a while so I might go check it out just to keep up my knowledge up on this topic.

The web community service already has 120,000 registered members (so it is going strong) that are logged in and because it is a professional service they charge $9.95 per month. (this is something your company would most likely reimburse you for) Check it out to see what is new and working in email marketing right now. http://community.icontact.com

Decorating Ideas

Ugh I have been dragged along on so many trips for home decorating and furniture buying that I am almost happy that I have old furniture now. It really has been a bit much. Yes crate and barrel (what does that name mean anyway?) Macys and John M SMithe’s stores are fun initially but then you really just want to stop battling Saturday afternoon crowds for parking spaces especially since the holidays are coming up. But my friend is still trying to furnish her new home. (heh they bought before the market crashed this fall)

I have to wonder though what makes a good furniture store? Not many of these stores seem to have a lot of buyers when we are there. And at those prices I can see why. How many sofas do they have to sell to make a profit? How many different ways can you twist up posts to make styles of brass and metal beds? Why won’t they listen to me when I suggest hillsdale furniture shopping online instead? Oy! Anyway I have resigned  myself to the fact that I won’t be able to sell my condo any time soon and get a new house or place so it’s just a bit much right now to be spending this much of my weekends shopping with her. I think its time for a new hobby.

Holy Jebus Google Stock hits $700.00 per share

I thought that the Google stock had to top out at 3 or 4 hundred dollars. Apparently the $700.00 price proves I was wrong. What I wonder is why does it keep climbing? Are Google revenues still climbing that much? They aren’t doing that much more now than they did when they went public. Why is it still forecasting such growth? I have heard that stocks don’t represent present or past revenue and growth they represent what these forecasters and market traders think will happen over the next 6-12 months. So what’s in store that drove up the share price $100 bucks in less than a month? I work with google media and I have no idea. they lost out on facebook ad serving and selling and adwords is getting too expensive for some small and medium size businesses. And some forecasters still think it will hit $900 by years end in 2 months. I can’t possibly see that as a justifiable price. It so buzzy though and it does drive all other online media to be perceived as more successful right now. Is it a bubble ala 1999-2000 all over again? I am not sure, but I personally think there will be another recession around 2010. The old 30 year boom bust cycle has been condensed into 10 years by companies shortening the lifespan of products and maximizing their growth methods to grow revenue the same amounts in less time than it took pre- internet. If it becomes less than 10 years in each cycle it will be a really scary roller coaster ride. So lets not be all speculative and buzzy about everything on the net. Look at what drives revenue and converts into sales and don’t take too much buzz into account as far as what media to buy and what companies to invest in.

Baby Boomer Marketing

Everyone in the business world is a buzz about marketing their products to U.S. Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964 after WWII and in that big baby boom that happened post war in peacetime) They are a hot target for companies these days for the following reasons:

1. There are far more of them than in coming younger generations.

2. They have money. They have been ardent savers for their retirement and now need somewhere to spend it.

3. They are mostly in better health than past retired generations because of advances in medicine and will live longer too.

4. They still have energy and are interested in new fun things, provided it’s not too out there.

 So, how do you find out if your product or service is a good fit for the Baby Boomer generation? Well a new survey report is out today that has some answers to what Boomers like and dislike and how different they are in these categories from other generations. From the center for Meida research; See below:

BoomerView Snapshot Percent of Baby Boomers who…
% of Boomers % More/Less Likely than All Adults
Personally carry any medical, hospital or accident insurance

76.8%

+6%

Voted in a federal, state or local election in the last 12 months

55.0

+22%

Have a regular (2+ times weekly) exercise program

42.4

+2%

Played the Lottery in the last 12 months

41.0

+18%

Say “Preserving the Environment” is a very important guiding principle in their lives

40.7

+11%

Believe they will be better off financially in the next 12 months than they are now

39.1

-5%

Live in a household that owns or leases at least 3 vehicles

35.6

+31%

Did home remodeling in last 12 months

30.8

+21%

Signed a petition in the last 12 months

21.7

+21%

Own a Giant Screen TV (>42″)

13.9

+10%

Source: MRI’s Spring ’07 Survey of the American Consumer

Additionally, the summary notes that:

  • Almost four in 10 Boomers believe that they and their household will be better off financially one year from now. And, close to 90% believe they will be either financially “better off” or “the same” one year from now.
  • A fairly large portion of Boomers are potentially unprotected financially should they face serious medical issues. Almost one-quarter (23.3%) report that they have no personal medical, hospital or accident insurance.

Kodak drops Olympic Sponsorship After Beijing 2008

beijing olympics 2008The 2008 Beijing Olympics are less than a year away. NBC is shaking in their boots though because so many advertisers are baling out right after and have probably reduced their advertising and commercial media spend on this upcoming 2008 Olympic Games. A few things seem to have changed with the Olympics over the past 10-15 years. They used to be the talk of the town and what everyone was watching each night on television for 2 weeks. Now we are not so sure where the Olympics fall in popularity in the U.S. Today they announced that Kodak along with GM and probably a few more United States companies that aren’t as popular, won’t be advertising in the Olympics after the Bejing 2008 Games. Here are several reasons why I think this evolutionary media and company changeover is happening:

1. The Olympic Mystique is waning. In a world of video games, social networking and texting these big deal once every 4 year Games that an athlete works their entire life for somehow seem disconnected. To work for that long on something and not get paid is somehow against our current consumer culture’s ideals. If you work that long you should surely get a Million dollar contract and a promotional deal with Nike right? The “for the love of the sport and glory of winning to bring peace to the world” idea isn’t really that popular with today’s youth or yuppies. They believe in sell to your neighbor, network with your friends and only work towards one goal: Money. So the Olympics are just not relevant anymore and somehow boring.

2. The evening entertainment options for people now are fragmented and overwhelming. Before you could watch TV (5 channels) or go out to dinner and a movie, listen to the radio, read a book or talk on the phone. An example of a simple 1980’s night. Now in 2007 you could do all those things plus, go online, email, text, IM, blog, twitter, MySpace/Facebook, watch dvds, DVR, Tivo, download something to watch illegally, listen to satellite radio, NPR, Google, read and comment on online news, watch cable’s any number of billions of channels, talk on the cell phone, listen to CDs, your iPod, choose new music on Itunes, go to a virtual world like second life or WoW, play video games on your TV or online, or possibly several of these combined. You can see why kids have such trouble sitting down and studying with a book these days. You can also see why the 1980’s seemed quaint and the 1950’s seemed unthinkable. People have so much selection to choose from, they just switch entertainment as soon as they get bored and which ever gets the excitement going wins. The Olympics haven’t really been able to capture the excitement for a while now.

3. The face of American Business is changing. Companies that manufacture and produce actual products in America are dying. That is just the way it is. Our Japanese competitors were formidable in the 1980’s and Our Chinese competitors in the 90’s and 00’s are killing us softly. Notice that Bank of America will be Advertising in the Olympics and GM and Kodak won’t. No American company can afford to manufacture anything in America anymore and be a world power. We’ve gotten too rich and demanding as employees (especially executives), and it’s too expensive to manufacture here. If a company transfers production to Chinese factories (for cheaper labor to be competitive) by default they teach the Chinese companies how to do their work and run the business. And then they Chinese have been known to start their own company and take over. There is a conscious effort by the Chinese to take US knowledge to build businesses in China and bring greatness and world economic power back to China like it used to have centuries ago. (from the book One Billion Customers) Hosting the Beijing Olympics is part of that Grand Plan to showcase how modern and westernized they are now while they win all the medals. The U.S. on the other hand seems to not really plan for the future, and doesn’t see that we are being put out of business. So, companies like Kodak and GM can’t advertise in the Olympics because they can’t afford to anymore, they are shrinking companies that are being beat out of the market at every turn. It is sad that we will all be driving Japanese and Chinese cars and using Chinese and Japanese cameras made in Singapore, Nepal and Malaysia soon and we won’t have any jobs here because we don’t produce anything. Manufacturing is power and we have given that up for big profits short term manufacturing in China and long term business loss and job loss here in America. The executives and board members that have decided that for this country should be put in Jail. The damage they have done to the U.S. Economy for their own personal gain is disgusting.

Email Marketing and Newsletters How To

emailI am a huge fan of email marketing in general for it’s success in bringing in site traffic and conversions, but I am also a huge fan of email newsletters as a consumer. I subscribe to everything from google news alerts to newsletters about every service and site I use. I think they are just as great of a way to stay informed as they are to reach customers about news your company has to share and products you would like to sell.

email newsletter Email Marketing is still one of the best way to cultivate an audience for your company, product or service. It is the original online relationship marketing method and it has been working well for all types of businesses since the beginning of the internet. Even Craigslist started as an email newsletter, the possiblities for your business could be endless. Two things you will need to get in order to start a newsletter for your customers: An email marketing service provider (like iContact, which has a free 15 day trial on now that I got an email about) and some content and an editorial calendar for your writing. Your email solution provider is of utmost importance because they are the one that will be storing all the email messages, dealing with bounce receipts, helping revise email lists, archiving your emails, helping you design the format and layout of the email and sending them out for you through the service. That is a lot of stuff from a company and it is best to use them rather than trying to manage this all out of a Yahoo account on your own. Plus they make it easier to manage, that is why it justifies the cost.

Your content is also very important. Try and tailor the  content seasonally or around products and services that have genuine news or fresh article content about them. If you have different sales every year updates and news about them is great. Also try and give email subscribers an incentive to sign up. Maybe a email entry box on the home page with the incentive to receive special email notices of new products before they are released to the public? The possibilities are endless as long as it is tailored to your business and your customer’s needs.