Why depth matters in digital marketplaces

  Last week I used Openbay—a relatively new marketplace for auto maintenance—to research coolant system service. Within a couple hours I had over a dozen offers from feedback-rated auto shops with prices between $50 and $140. Whether I chose to accept those offers or not, my experience was directly linked to those suppliers. More specifically,…
Read more

Marketplaces on the internet

Underlying some of the internet age’s most prominent success stories are marketplaces. These range from actual marketplaces like Uber—platforms that bring together previously disconnected supply and demand audiences—to business models that leverage markets to increase efficiency. From a business and venture perspective, marketplaces capture the imagination both rationally and emotionally. In this series of posts we…
Read more

Viewable impressions and out-of-home measurement

For advertisers, all impressions are not created equal. This is as true for TV and radio as it is for digital media. For several years, display advertisers have discussed, debated and disagreed upon the topic of viewable impressions, with new standards set to take effect next year. While online advertisers often tout the superiority of digital over…
Read more

Brand search as an optimization problem

Last year, researchers at Google released a meta-study quantifying paid search’s incremental value based on organic rank. They found that, on average, even when an advertiser ranked in the first organic position, 50% of ad clicks were incremental. More recently, Google made available paid and organic reporting giving marketers a tool to measure their own…
Read more

Biz dev done right

Via Andrew Parker of Spark Capital, the key to business development is understanding your audience: You need to recognize that the person sitting across from you at the table represents their company but will not necessarily act in their company’s best interests… Be brash enough to ask how that person is bonused. Be creative enough…
Read more

Analytics and digital decision makers in marketing

HBR sums up the trajectory and redefinition of Analytics, the capital-A version: Analytics, once a back-of-the-house research function, is becoming entwined in daily strategy development and operations. Executives who were pioneering early digital marketing teams 10 years ago are advancing to the CMO office. Already wired for measurement, they are often amazed at the analytics…
Read more

Startup stages and growth through unit economics

Startups go through phases just like people—you have to crawl before you walk before you run. Fred Wilson divides the startup lifecycle into three stages: While building product your team is singularly focused on executing vision and ensuring your product meets customers’ needs. You hear this called product-market fit or customer development but the process is basically the…
Read more

Yelp management on competition in the market for local ads

Yelp COO Geoff Donaker and CFO Robert Krolik spoke yesterday at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media & Telecom conference. Their comments reinforced data from their recent 10-K (embedded below) about consumer growth and competition for local ad dollars. On the market opportunity and competition: Something like 50 million local businesses in the western world, most of whom advertise…
Read more

Changes in advertising, attribution and offline retail

Earlier this week I joined Google’s telecom team at their Atlanta offsite to talk about mobile, attribution and related topics. My presentation is embedded at the bottom of this post but we actually spent the entire hour doing q&a. Attribution continues to be a central theme in advertising; more specifically, how do you build models…
Read more