Internet Marketing on the Go

Mobile Internet connectivity improvements through upgraded networks, smart phones, better data plans and more content are the main reasons why mobile advertising is starting to shift from “What’s all the hype about?” to “Finally, it’s catching up to the hype” mode. eMarketer reports that 2008 was where hype and reality crossed paths and now the future of the mobile advertising industry is poised to explode.

Regular readers of Marketing Pilgrim may be familiar with my disdain for predictions of how an industry will grow 5 years from now. These prognostications are educated guesses at best and wild eyed speculation at worst. Though they can be fun to gawk over they often times look ridiculous when seen through the rear view mirror of reality. The following chart shows just eMarketer sees the growth of US mobile advertising spend for the foreseeable future.

Spammers Show Resilience

Spammers are stepping up their efforts as the “industry” recovers from the loss of McColo, a web hosting google-mail-iconcompany whose clients generated some 75% of the spam e-mail we get to enjoy on a daily basis. It seems that these folks are back up to their old levels again according to a report from Postini, which provides the security for the approximately 15 million users of Google’s enterprise e-mail offering.

The rate of growth for spam is higher than ever

Overall spam growth is the highest it’s ever been, increasing 1.2 percent a day in the first quarter of 2009 (compared with 1 percent a day in the first quarter of 2008, which was a record at the time).

Google Settles Up and Lawyers Cash Out

A lawsuit that was originally filed in Santa Clara in 2005 which claimed Google overcharged search marketers by charging over their google-logodaily spend limit was settled for about $20 million as reported by MediaPost.

The two plaintiffs in the case, printing company CLRB Hanson Industries of Minnesota and Howard Stern of New Jersey (not the shock jock) will receive $20,000 each. The class action suit is based on the claim that Google charged 120% of the daily budgeted amount on AdWords campaigns.

U.S. District Court Judge James Ware in San Jose had earlier ruled that only search marketers who advertised for fewer than 30 days could proceed with the lawsuit.

Google had argued in court papers that it sometimes charged up to 120% of marketers’ budgets, but only to make up for days when it under-delivered ads.

Facebook CFO Moves On

In the latest episode of “How the Facebook Turns” CFO Gideon Yu has been sent packing. The report at All Things Digital says the move appears facebook-logoto be in preparation of an initial public offering (IPO). There are other rumblings that the Good Ship Zuckerberg has a captain that isn’t afraid to make someone walk the plank if there is enough push back on the captain’s orders.

This apparent friction that exists in Facebook keeps coming up in story after story concerning the company and its latest actions. Some, like Robert Scoble, seem to be firmly in Zuckerberg’s corner as he continues to push against conventional wisdom and pressure to do things other than his way. For others this type of behavior raises concerns about what is actually going on at Facebook and if any of the other approximately 799 employees will be little more than Zuckerberg “yes-people” in order to keep their positions. Dissenters being shown the door is certainly becoming a pattern so it may be more likely that folks will “fall in line” because this economy is not exactly overflowing with opportunities.

Wikia Search Bows Out for Now

It’s hard enough to go up against the like of Google when the economy is humming along. Add in the fact wikiasearchthat Google is so far in the lead in search it may just be downright discouraging to potential competitors due to the mountain they need to climb to compete. Giving a nod to the economy, it was announced today that Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia fame was shutting the effort down for now.

Designed to be a search engine of the people the Wikia Search service was developed with the idea of allowing users to determine the rankings of sites and pages for all other users. As reported at cnet, Wales was prepared to look at this as a long term project but usability for the public was one or two years away from reality. Considering the state of the economy it was decided to put the project to rest but Wales said that he would return to it when the economy got better.

MySpace and Citysearch Join Forces

MySpace is still huge despite not getting the degree of attention that other social media outlets get. myspaceAccording to Compete.com from January ’09 it slipped to second behind Facebook when ranked by number of monthly visits. Despite the huge numbers (810 million visits in Jan. ’09) there is little talk about the business applications beyond the music world and products that skew very young. With as much talk as there is about Twitter, you would think it’s getting just as big as MySpace but in January Twitter is getting just 7% of the monthly visits that MySpace does.

In a similar position is Citysearch. As we have discussed here in the recent past Citysearch is working to updatecitysearch-logo and expand its offerings to a much larger audience. The competition that is coming up in the rear view mirror for these guys are the likes of Yelp!.

Does Social Media Really Have the Pulse of the People?

Advertising Age has an interesting position in the business world these days. The publication is sometimes representative of the old guard. I ad-age-logoremember at PubCon in Las Vegas where that point was made in a video that Rance Crain, AdAge’s editor-in-chief, was shown saying that Blendtec simply needed to take out print ads to accomplish what was done with its “Will It Blend” campaign. Ouch. He didn’t appear to be on top the one of more impressive stories of the social media marketing age.