eBay Buys Local Shopping Site Milo.com

eBay took another step today toward becoming Amazon.com and away from the collectibles auction site we all fell for more than ten years ago when they bought Milo.com, a website that locates in-stock merchandise on the local level.

According to Business Insider, eBay payed $75 million for the company and they seem to think it’s a good buy. It may be because, as we all know,  when it comes to deals and shopping, local is everything these days. Local isn’t even a buzzword anymore, it’s a god marketers must bow down to every morning and I don’t like it.

Advertising on iPad: Clean and Simple is Key

Appearing at Advertising Age’s Media Evolved Conference today, UM and Time Inc, presented their results of a biometric study on iPad advertising.

In order to test the effectivness of different types of advertising,  EmSense hooked 180 iPad owners up to an EEG and eye tracking software then exposed them to ads embedded in different Time Inc. publications on iPad.  The system allowed them to track not only visual and motor response to the ads but the emotional response as well.

Says Elissa Moses, Chief Analytics Officer for EmSense;

“The combination of EmSense Neurometrics and mobile eye tracking enabled us to learn about the iPad users’ visceral experience as they navigated through magazines swiping, button pressing, and enjoying the ride.  We learned that iPad advertising can be highly engaging and gained great insight on how advertisers can best leverage this new media.”

FTC Online Privacy Report Endorses Do Not Track

The FTC issued a report today that outlines their plan to deal with privacy issues on the internet. Even though online advertisers are working on a self-policing program,it looks like the federal government is going to have their say and their say trumps anything from the private sector.

The report states that industry efforts have been “too slow, and up to now have failed to provide adequate and meaningful protection.” The FTC says that current privacy policies, which are long and full of legalize, are confusing to consumers if they can find the policy and they take the time to read it. The report wants to shift the responsibility away from the consumer and on to the advertisers. They call it “privacy by design,” suggesting that companies build “privacy protections into their everyday business practices.”

Facebook Drops Contest Pre-Approval, Hooray Says SMBs

Contests, giveaways, sweepstakes, promotions — what ever you call them, offering consumers a chance at a prize has always been an excellent way for small business to acquire email addresses and drive traffic to their sites. But not on Facebook. Up until now, Facebook insisted on pre-approving all on-site promos and restricted access to only those spending more than $10,000 on advertising.

Facebook said this was necessary to protect themselves in case of a law suit but apparently they are no longer afraid because the restriction is about to be lifted.

According to Inside Facebook, the social media site is removing the pre-approval and financial commitment, thereby opening up the contest option to anyone running a fan page.

Cyber Monday Sales Resulted in Smart Spending

Yesterday, while shoppers were clogging the internet with holiday transaction, reporters at CNN were waxing on about how Cyber Monday is a myth. More to the point, they said it was a marketing ploy (gasp!) and is erroneously labeled “the biggest online shopping day of the year.”

It might not turn out to be the biggest day, but retailers aren’t complaining this morning after seeing a 19.4% increase over last year. The numbers come from Coremetrics, an IBM Company’s third annual Cyber Monday Benchmark Report and here’s how it adds up.

Cyber Monday 2010 Compared to Black Friday 2010

  • Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales were up 31.1 percent, with consumers pushing the average order value (AOV) up from $190.80 to $194.89 for an increase of 2.1 percent.

On Facebook: Is Random Relevant?

“Spent the morning making prank bird calls. The sparrows are not amused.”

See the numbers in the graphic? Those are the stats on that random Facebook wall post made by Skittles. And that’s not a fluke. Everyday, there’s an equally random and nonsensical post on the candy’s fan page and every post draws a similar number of “likes” and comments. Most companies would be thrilled to see those kinds of social media stats, but do those high numbers equal marketing success? Depends on who you ask.

AdvertisingAge contents that Facebook is going to redefine the term relevant when it comes to online marketing. In traditional terms, relevant means supplying consumers with copy that discusses the features and benefits of the product or service. Skittles taste fruity. Oreo is a quality cookie. This vacuum sucks better than that one. But those kinds of blurbs don’t spark conversation on Facebook and that’s a problem.

Celebs Stage a Twitter Walkout for Charity

Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga are staging a Twitter walkout tomorrow and quite a few of their celebrity friends will be joining them. They’re calling it the Digital Life Sacrifice and it’s being held on behalf of Keys’ charity Keep a Child Alive on the occasion of World AIDS Day. (The press release says this is happening Tuesday, but World AIDS Day is Wednesday.)

Tomorrow, Keys, Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Ryan Seacrest, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Elijah Wood, Serena Williams and others will step away from Twitter and Facebook and they’ll stay gone until the charity collects one million in donations. Knowing Lady Gaga fans, this could be a short boycott.

Says Leigh Blake, the president and co-founder of Keep a Child Alive;