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

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


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

Thinking differently is not a strategy. It’s a habit.

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 28-09-2012-05-2008


I was 13 years-old when the jury came back with a “not guilty” verdict in the OJ Simpson trial. The verdict came in around lunch time and the entire school – teachers and students alike –aligned themselves in collective outrage.

As for me? I was outraged at their outrage. Sure, I believed that OJ deserved to be convicted, but what did I know? I was 13 years-old. Everything I knew about the case came from indirect sources, and at such a young age I was certainly not a seasoned jurist.

Truth be told, I enjoyed zigging while everyone else zagged. Thinking differently became a habit for me. I loved challenging people to step outside themselves to dispassionately observe the forest for the trees, and I took the minority position in almost every classroom debate because… well… following the crowd never seemed interesting to me.

I was a weird kid, with a weird habit.

That habit, however, has served me well. It’s the reason that I attended a charter high school for aspiring doctors. And it’s the reason that I all but ignored the curriculum during those 4 years to learn everything I could about doing business over the Internet while starting Exclusive Concepts.

I know I’m not alone. Every day I have the good fortune to work with coworkers and clients who think differently. For them – for you – thinking differently isn’t something you can easily turn on or off. And you can’t fake it. To achieve its full benefit, you must give in to the habit of thinking differently as a matter of instinct.


5 Steps to Prepare for Google Shopping

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


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…

Optimizing 56% of my day…

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


A few months ago I gave myself a 30-day challenge to substitute “traditional computing devices” in favor of my iPhone and iPad 25% of the time. My chief concern was that I wouldn’t be as productive on mobile devices as I could be on a traditional computer, where my time is typically divided between Outlook (email), Excel, and my Web Browser. What I learned, however, is that I could be just as productive – but in a different way…

Read full post on the Exclusive Concepts blog

Monetizing Facebook

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


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


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?

A thought…

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 30-11-2011-05-2008


Everyone should be paying attention to what is going on in Europe right now. It was announced today that the United States Treasury will ramp-up its printing presses as part of a global effort to flood Europe with cheap dollars. Why? Because several European Union countries are on the verge of fiscal collapse, and if they fail the impact on healthier European Union countries and the world at large will be significant. Central planners believe that flooding Europe with cheap dollars will go a long way towards averting (or in my opinion postponing) the deepening of the current financial crisis.

How did we get here? Good intentions. Voters in Europe had good intentions when they supported the entry of their countries into the European Union. Voters also had good intentions when they voted to grow the size and scope of government in response to the needs of its citizens. But when voters make decisions without applying reason and logic, big mistakes like this can happen. Read: They should have listened to Milton Friedman.

Why should we (Americans) care about what’s happening in Europe? For one, you are facing a retroactive tax. The value of every dollar you have in your wallet or bank account will decrease. Yes, in order to bail out the voters in Europe who made bad decisions, you, your families, your friends, and your companies will see a decline in the purchasing power of their dollars. Read: inflation. The other reason you should care about this is that the ratio of debt to gross domestic product in the United States is now 100% and growing. That’s alarming.

European countries like Greece and Italy are imposing drastic cuts on the services its government provides to its citizens, but they are too late. That’s why we are bailing them out. But who will be there to bail out the United States if we fail to shrink the size and scope of government before it’s too late?

I don’t see this as a political issue – the blame should be shared universally among political parties and voters alike. It’s a common sense issue. The United States is $15 trillion in debt, and what we have learned from Europe is that there is only one practical way to reduce that debt over the long-term: Spend less.

Just filmed: CMO Advantage

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


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!

Most recent articles

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


I updated my “my articles” page to include 6 or 7 new articles i’ve written recently.

The most recent ones:

Pay-Per-Click Ads: 5 Tips for Higher Clicks this Holiday Season

To online retailers, Google’s surge in revenue may be yet another sign that the marketplace is becoming more competitive. Such competition normally translates into smaller margins, and that’s bad news for online retailers. I would, however, like to share a different perspective.

Ramping Up Your Holiday Pay-Per-Click Advertising

The holidays are coming. For many online merchants, this means dramatically increased revenue and conversion rates. Start ramping up for holiday pay-per-click advertising now to ensure that you maximize your profits — and build momentum for 2012.

Becoming a Data-Driven Company

Surviving and thriving in ecommerce requires a more sophisticated approach to marketing, branding, merchandising, and operations than it ever has before. Ecommerce is growing up from its adolescence, and the reward for growing past your competition has never been bigger.

View all recent articles here. Also, please follow me on Twitter, where I will announce new articles as I write them.

SEMPO Boston Event at HubSpot

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


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