My latest article: 6 Rules for Pay-per-click Ad Profits

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 28-01-2013-05-2008

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I often hear from merchants that have tried pay-per-click advertising, but it wasn’t profitable for them. So they abandoned it. In my experience, however, many merchants could turn unprofitable campaigns into profitable ones by adopting the six rules that follow.

Read full article on Practical Ecommerce

5 Steps to Prepare for Google Shopping

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 31-07-2012-05-2008

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My team and I have debated the potential of Google’s commercialization of Google Shopping. We see it as a game changer for merchants who rely on Google for traffic and sales. In the short-term it has the potential to substantially increase the percentage of revenue merchants generate through paid as opposed to organic listings. In the long term, it may set the stage for Google to build out a marketplace of its own, to compete with Amazon.

View full post on Practical ECommerce…

Monetizing Facebook

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 27-07-2012-05-2008

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Now that Facebook is a public company the world will see what many of us have known for a long-time…

It’s almost impossible to monetize social media.

Advertisers have taken note that one billion plus people have signed up to participate on social media websites (mostly Facebook), and as a result they have tried using it to generate traffic and sales through paid advertising.  But positive revenue and ROI results have eluded most advertisers.

As a public company Facebook will now be reporting their revenue on a quarterly basis, and each quarter we’ll have a report card on the monetization of social media through paid advertising. Facebook will no doubt experiment with different techniques, like letting advertisers feature sponsored stories, and it will be fun watching to see if they can discover the social media equivalent of Google AdWords. That is to say – discover a form of highly scalable paid advertising that is not obtrusive and that even creates value to users, while generating clicks that turn into revenue for advertisers at a rate that’s high enough to justify their ad dollars.

That will require inventing a new advertising model that goes beyond simply letting advertisers pay to position their ads within a user’s activity feed.

Watch it live or DVR?

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 23-04-2012-05-2008

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In Prime-Time Ratings Bring Speculation of a Shift in Habits, Bill Carter documents declines in prime-time programming viewership in the key 18-49 age demographic (both network and cable viewership). In the four weeks after March 19:

  • NBC lost 3%
  • CBS lost 8%
  • ABC lost 21%
  • Fox lost 20%

At the same time, playback of prerecorded shows is growing, and on the aggregate would amount to the second-highest rated show on television.

Former head of entertainment at NBC, Jeff Gaspin, thinks we have reached a “tipping point in how people are going to watch shows.”

If he’s right, the implications could be positive for smaller advertisers. I expect the following events to converge:

  • People learn a new behavior (watching TV from pre-recorded libraries)
  • Continued rapid adoption of “Smart” TVs (a TV experience highly integrated with the Internet)
  • More content creators bi-pass the traditional TV network model to serve television shows directly to end-users so they can watch what they want, when they want it, on any device
  • Digital advertising networks (like Google and perhaps Facebook) will make it increasingly easy and profitable for smaller advertisers to target the right customers while they watch TV

What do you think?

Just filmed: CMO Advantage

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 02-11-2011-05-2008

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I just filmed this 30 minute segment with Ed Gaskin for CMO Advantage.  I appeared on behalf of SEMPO and shared data from their State of Search Study.

 

It was a lot of fun, thanks Ed!

SEMPO Boston Event at HubSpot

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 26-10-2011-05-2008

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Thanks to everyone for coming out for today’s SEMPO Boston event at HubSpot, in Cambridge. This was, in my opinion, our best event since I became Chair of SEMPO Boston. The credit goes to Maggie Georgieva who planned the event, our great panel, and to the rest of the SEMPO Boston Working Group. Our social media chairs John Short, Tim Radwankski, and Pavel Khaykin have done a great job covering the event on SEMPO Boston’s Twitter account (@sempo_boston).

Here are a few photos. Go to SEMPO Boston’s Facebook Page for more.

Scott and Maggie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Maggie and I introducing the event

Our audience and panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View from the back

New Product Launched: Time2Buy

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 17-10-2011-05-2008

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After over a year of testing and iterating we launched Time2Buy, new hosted conversion improvement software. Time2Buy is offered through Conversions On Demand, which is an Exclusive Concepts brand.

Please go here to read my official post on the Exclusive Concepts blog.

Time2Buy helps merchants convert more browsers into buyers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s tested and proven:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more

Tax Small Business To Keep Government From Shrinking?

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 27-06-2011-05-2008

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Last week the Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, said that small businesses must be taxed more in order to keep government from shrinking.

He defended his comments by saying that only 3% of small businesses would see an increase in taxes, to which he was informed that those 3% created 64% of the new jobs in this country over the past 15 years. Further, the graph below from Heritage shows that 8% of small businesses pay 82% of all small business taxes.

This is a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. The United States government may be the nation’s single largest employer, but according to the SBA, small businesses:

- Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
- Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
- Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
- Create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
- Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 30.2 percent of the known export value in FY 2007.

Small businesses don’t have the political power that large enterprises do (including the Federal Government), but any policy that creates more impediments to small business success is sure to have a negative impact on the U.S. economy at large.

If the United States government needs to increase taxes on small businesses to finance its payroll, perhaps its payroll is too big. Politicians will essentially be shifting jobs away from the private sector in favor of the public sector. Given that private enterprise gets a greater return on the dollars it invests than the United States government does, it should be clear that policies like this one will hold back the economic recovery in the United States.

Growth Rate of U.S. E-Commerce Sales Hits 3-Year High

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 26-03-2011-05-2008

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According to data published on Census.gov, the growth rate of e-commerce sales in the U.S. hit a 3-year high in the fourth quarter of 2010 (seasonally adjusted). E-commerce sales in Q4 of 2010, compared to Q4 of 2009, were up 16.1%, the highest increase since Q4 of 2007 when year over year growth was 18.4%. The graph below shows year over year quarterly growth rates for each quarter since 2002.

Growth of Total U.S. Retail Sales versus E-Commerce
E-commerce sales have now grown by double-digits for 5 quarters in a row, following 6 quarters of low single-digit or negative growth in 2008 and 2009.

That’s good news for online retailers, but consider Amazon’s sales growth in 2010 of 40% compared to total e-commerce growth of less than half of that. Amazon has grown due to a number of shrewd strategic initiatives, like persuading its competitors to sell products through its marketplace, launching its own products like Kindle, and mastering the blocking and tackling necessary to outrank and outperform competitors (like conversion optimization, site performance optimization, content optimization, and achieving vast operational efficiencies).

The rising tide will continue to lift all boats in e-commerce, and I expect e-commerce as a whole to continue to grow at an accelerated pace. The long-term winners will be those who go beyond best-practices and recognize that innovation and creative thinking is well-rewarded in e-commerce.

Talking Entrepreneurship at Bentley University

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 16-10-2010-05-2008

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Given how much I dreaded what I perceived to be the slow pace of high school, the idea of spending 4 more years in “higher education” to get my Bachelor of Science was downright sickening. But I knew I would do it anyway because it was an important step in my growth.

So I searched, and I searched – in order to find a College that would allow me to thrive as an entrepreneur. Eventually I found Bentley, a small private business university outside of Boston in Massachusetts, and it was a great fit. I majored in Finance, built my business from my dorm room, and by the time I graduated I had a thriving company with an office in Burlington, Mass.

Going back to Bentley

Every year since graduating, i’ve been invited to return to Bentley by Professor Jeff Shuman (www.rhythmofbusiness.com), to talk to his MBA students about my path to entrepreneurship.

In my most recent visit (Monday of last week), I realized just how valuable these visits have been for me because they give me an opportunity each year to stop and reflect on my entrepreneurial journey. During this year’s reflection, I recalled how excited I was when I started the multiple businesses that created the foundation for my company. The sky was the limit, and creativity, hard-work, and honesty were the only mandates I created for myself.

When I polled the students in attendance to see how many of them planned to join the entrepreneurial journey, either by starting a company, or by joining a smaller company early in its lifecycle (like mine!), 75% of those in attendance raised their hands. I’ve done similar polling in the past and only a handful of students raised their hands. This really fired me up. I wish I had the time to sit down with each one of them to start business planning.

Alignment of Values and Reality

As I left Bentley on Monday I thought that I should pinch myself because every time I walk into my office, I have the opportunity to be surrounded by people who are creative, hard-working, honest, and entrepreneurial in spirit… From our internal team… to our clients. Those are things I learned to value very highly in high school, and today, they are my reality. It was good to know that my values and my reality are in alignment.

I would highly recommend that everyone find time each year to do their own values/realities check-in.