AOL Shifts from Freelance to Full-Time

Freelancers have been turning out copy for magazines, TV and online sites for many, many years. Some of the copy isn’t the best, but there are plenty of great freelancers out there who know how to craft a great story and can do it from inside the walls of their own home (or the local Starbucks.)

Arianna Huffington doesn’t agree. That’s the rumor, anyway. According to Business Insider, AOL, under the leadership of Huffington, is doing away with freelancers. Not only are they looking to work with only full-time employees, but one source says, those employees are expected to be at their desks at 9:00 am.

Business Insider posted an email that was sent to them from a former freelancer and I found this paragraph particularly interesting.

Internet Ad Spending Not Equal to Internet Usage

Internet ad spending is on the rise, but according to those statistical geniuses at eMarketer, the rise isn’t equal to the rise in actual internet usage.

What they did was look at the amount of time the average adult spends watching TV, reading the paper, surfing on the internet, etc. Then they matched those percentages to the percentage of the overall ad spending dollars by category.

Here’s what they got.

As you can see, people spend most of their media time watching television. By a strange coincidence, the percentage of ad dollars spent on TV is nearly identical. Pretty neat. But after that, things get funky.

Millennial Media Shows Growth in Local Market Targeting

Mobile advertising platform, Millennial Media has released their SMART Lite report for February which gives you a quick look at key stats.

Most notable for this month is a 22% increase month-over-month in local market targeting which was driven mostly by Telecommunications, Restaurant, and Insurance advertisers. As you can see from the chart, nearly half of all mobile ads are now targeted as opposed to a broad reach.

The report also shows that campaigns driving application downloads rose 14% and watch a video grew 13%.

Finally, the report notes that it’s not too early to start planning for back-to-school. Millennial says that back-to-school is the second largest retail period of the year, and 38% of shoppers intended to use their mobile device for price comparisons. 30% of mobile shoppers want coupons and deals on supplies for their kids and if you’re in the shoe biz, then this is your number one time of the year.

Facebook Wants Businesses to Convert!

If you accidentally (or on purpose) created a Facebook profile instead of a page for your business, Facebook is giving you a chance to make it right. Actually, it’s more than a chance, it’s kind of an ultimatum as using a profile page for your money-making or non-profit entity is a violation of their terms of service.

Prior to now, you could get away with it because switching from profile to page meant losing all your followers and starting from scratch. To quote Inspector Clouseau, “not anymore!” You can now use the fancy dancy migration tool to automatically convert.

Once you complete the process, your friends will become fans (I like the sound of that) and you’ll have access to a larger number of tools and stats. It also means that you’ll be able to cross the 5000 friend threshold because there’s no such limit on fans.

Smartphones Are a Mommy Must Have

Moms are the original multi-taskers. They’re geniuses when it comes to getting things done in small chunks of time and from the bleachers during a Little League game. So it’s not surprising to find that mommy smartphone usage is on the rise.

BabyCenter says;

Overall adoption of smartphones among moms has risen 64% over the past two years, and 51% of moms say they are “addicted” to their smartphone.

The pregnancy and parenting website surveyed 5,000 US moms to find out how and when they use their smartphones. More than half the women said that they bought a smartphone “as a direct result of becoming a mom.” Once they became a mom, the camera became the most important feature, followed by the video option and then apps. The survey said that before becoming a mom, apps didn’t even make the top ten list of important phone features.

Nearly Half of All Mobile Users Use Their Phone to Shop

While 89.7 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 to 64 have mobile phones, only 49.1 percent are using their phones to shop.

That fact comes from a recent study conducted by Arc Worldwide that was reported on by Reuters. They took a close look at the behaviors of 1,800 mobile shoppers and found that 80% of them fell into the “light” category leaving 20% on the heavy side.

Here’s the graphic from Reuters that explains it all.

Not surprisingly, the iPhone was the preferred phone for mobile shopping and the heaviest shoppers are younger people who tend to be “in the know.” It is surprising to see that men are the heaviest mobile shoppers. That could be because they don’t see shopping as a fun activity as many women do, so they just want to get what they need and be done with it.

Marketing Lessons from the BronxZoosCobra

On Monday, a cobra engineered a jail break at the Bronx Zoo and became an instant celebrity when she started a Twitter account to document his freedom flight.

That may sound like the plot of the latest Pixar animal adventure, but it’s actually a true story — to some extent. (Says the Cobra: I want to thank those animals from the movie “Madagascar.” They were a real inspiration.)

The cobra really did escape, though zookeepers say they’re confident the critter didn’t leave the creepy confines of the reptile house. And someone or something did begin Twittering. “The Wall Street Journal” says that the owner of the Twitter account can’t be the snake because snakes can’t type. But I say, they have fangs and a tail, either of which could be used to pound out the messages, though I’m not sure where they’d keep their iPhone while on the prowl.