How To Track Online Industry Layoffs!

We are in the final days of October, a month that will be remembered as “the time in which the credit crunch came to a head not only for the economy as a whole but for the tech community in particular.” (TechCrunch) Everybody in my office has been either asking or answering a very important question: “How does the current economic situation specifically effect the online sector?” And now we have a better idea…

Small Business and Startup Companies are being pushed to cut and focus on increasing their profit margin through better processes. Their “plan-of-action”? Layoffs!! Lots and lots of layoff, which keeps their bank accounts lasting a tad longer, especially for web companies that require little physical capital. VC firms like Sequoia Capital are urging their portfolio companies to cut costs and increase capital, with layoffs as the solution.

One of my co-workers at AC Lion made a great point, that as a recruiter you need to understand people should be more willing to hear about opportunities – in fact, they’d be crazy not to keep their ear to the ground about upcoming opportunities.  Layoffs are happening everywhere I look and I recently stumbled on a new site that effectively tracks these layoffs, company information, etc. – TechCrunch Layoff Tracker. They’ve begun tracking all of the relevant layoffs in the tech sector. They’ve mapped out…

  • Total Layoffs Since August 27, 2008: 220
  • Total Employees: 76,077

*These numbers are constantly growing. For an updated & comprehensive list Click Here.

A the end of the day, it’s important to know who’s laying off and why, and TechCrunch Layoffs is a great source for tracking firings…BUT I DO HAVE SOME GOOD NEWS!! I found another site,, where Jeremiah Owyang, Sr Analyst at Forrester Research: Social Computing, started this post series (see archives) to recognize and congratulate folks who get promoted, move, or accept new exciting positions. Check it out, you may find your name on that list some day 😉

Posted under Job Search

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 30, 2008

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The Future of Ad Spending During Financial Crisis – A MUST KNOW!

If you’re new to the Online and New Media space, then you need to understand how our current financial situation impacts our space. I myself see the future Ad Spending projections change on a quarterly basis, and with the current financial status of our economy, I can only expect to see these #’s change more often. US Online Advertising Revenues - US Online Advertising Revenues

If you are worried about the effects of the current financial crisis on the US Online Ad Revenues, then take a look at these stats. For newbies, I really enjoy graphs and information. They really help visually bring you up to speed while provide articles that are very informative and to the point. Novices and advanced alike, these graphs are worth it. (NOTE: You need to sign for their Free newsletter, otherwise all their info is archived for paid users after 30 days of publishing any article.)

Now, the 2 big collectors of stats in our space come from these top 2 sources: Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). [If you look at a lot of my Q1 Reports Article, that info was IAB and PWC based.]

I found it interesting how the the above graph shows the increase and decrease %’s of each sector.  “The negative growth for classifieds closely reflects economic weakness,” said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer. “Whether used on eBay to sell products, on job sites by employers, or for real-estate sales, classified ad buys tend to be short-term purchases with short-term objectives. In contrast, most display-related ads, such as banners or video, are contracted ahead of time. For that reason, they are less of a mirror of the current state of online advertising than classifieds,” Mr. Hallerman continued. I really enjoy how eMarketer breaks down the stats so you don’t have to jump to your own conclusions.

In a recent MediaPost article, “fears for the future will cause consumers to cut their spending, while companies carefully inspect their budgets to find cost savings.” In the October Issue of Inc. Magazine, there was an article Strategies for Tough Times, What the smarters business owners are doing to cut costs, find funds, and manage staff in a slow economy. They brought up 5 diverent ways to save money (layoffs not included). You should definitely check it out. They suggested trying “Do-It-Yourself Marketing” and potentially save your company up to $66,000. (WARNING: It promotes NOT hiring a marketing consultant!)

Jack Myers, (This “Media Futurist” is editor and publisher of several newsletters and websites targeting media, advertising and entertainment professionals) said it best “The media marketplace is transitioning from one in which demand has exceeded supply (even as supply has grown exponentially)…to a marketplace in which the availability of supply is outpacing demand.”

eMarketer - Online Advertising Spending

eMarketer - Online Advertising Spending

Here’s a projection based on IAB and PWC research that will give you a sense of where our space is predictedon heading in the next 4 years. Remember, this could change! But it is necessary you know today’s prediction of tomorrow. It’s part of your job as an internet marketing “ambassador”.

Posted under Online Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 11, 2008

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Recession Kills Brand Loyalty – Retailers Turn To Social Media!

Generic vs. Brand

"Generic" vs. "Brand"

For many individuals, money is tight these days and as the economy keeps slipping, so will brand name loyalty.

Following up on the recent topic of “Brand” vs. “Generic” during an economic downturn (Article: Financial Bailout leaves Tech & Media Behind…), I felt compelled to continue covering this direction after reading a very compelling report by In their article, Social Media and Shopping Behavior , they touch on the topic of consumers using social-media as a source for making product purchasing decisions. Quoting eMarketer, “To stay relevant, retailers must determine how to incorporate social media, such as social networks and blogs, into their marketing strategies.” Considering the cost-effectiveness of social media marketing, smaller and more generic brands have the chance to swoop in and compete with the “Big Brands” in targeting the consumers.

There are a lot of free marketing technology options for retailers, and in the online space, their target audience is continuously growing. “Generation Y (those born after 1979) online buyers are more immersed in online and mobile activities than any other generation, according to 2008 research from shopping comparison site PriceGrabber. Some 85% of Gen Y respondents said they participated in social networking, and 57% reported involvement with blogs.” (eMarketer) And Generation Y also represents the consumers with constantly updated retailer and product ratings.

A 2008 study conducted by the Society for New Communications Research found “nearly three-quarters of respondents choose retailers and products based on others’ customer care experiences shared online.” (eMarketer)

Search engines like, are going to make a profit off during this “economic downturn” as well. They developed a custom search engine dedicated to forums and online communities. Powered by their proprietary technology, Buzz Graph, they help brand managers gain insight into product and company discussions helping improve both targeting and product quality. Their sight was doing well back in July and I’m predicting they will see a boost in the near-future as Brand Advertisers start pumping more dollars into targeting their customers. Also, PriceGrabber will see more business as consumers will consult customer reviews to help in their decision buying process.

keep a close eye on how much Retailers are going to spend on “Brand Loyalty” this quarter, and how much of that is online!

Posted under Online Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 2, 2008

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Financial Bailout leaves Tech & Media Behind…

Front-and-center on the Yahoo! homepage: Citigroup to buy Wachovia banking operations!  Bear, Lehman and WaMu…now we have arrived at Wachovia!? “In the latest byproduct of the widening global financial crisis, Citigroup Inc. will acquire the banking operations of Wachovia Corp. in a deal facilitated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.” How will this effect the Technology Sector and Digital Growth?

The financial markets have been on edge since Friday following the proposal for a $700 billion banking bailout hit a roadblock of opposition. (Read the $700 Billion Bailout Plan or the Alley Insider Summary.)  Surprisingly, big financial companies raised the Dow Jones more than 120 points on hopes lawmakers would hammer out the bailout rescue plan this weekend.  The Technology sector suffered a different fate, quoting Reuter’s article on Friday: Dow, S&P gain on bailout hopes, Nasdaq slips , “Tech shares took it on the chin, keeping the Nasdaq in the red, after a disappointing outlook from BlackBerry maker Research in Motion. considered a bellwether for the sector. […] The fate of the rescue plan pushed nearly everything else to the background on Friday.” The Technology Heavy Nasdaq was down almost 4 points on Friday!

Research in Motion wasn’t entirely to blame. Apple Inc, shed 2.8%, also hurting the Nasdaq. Apple is really feeling really the pain. In ZDNet article, Apple: Is It Really Recession Proof?, “Morgan Stanley analyst Kathryn Huberty thinks that Apple can’t outrun a slowing economy. And she’s betting her estimates on it.” PC’s are coming out on top  because “Apple doesn’t play the sub-$1,000 game.” The cheaper option prevails during a recession! This is going to be a recurring theme in our economy! Want proof? My girlfriend was just given the assignment to write a 5 page essay on the effects on the purchasing of Brand-Names during a recession. I will gladly post that paper on my blog as soon as it is completed.

Source: Ad Age 100 - Leading Media Companies reports

To make things seems even worse, AdAge just published the article: Revenue Growth Slowest Since 2001! “The nation’s top 100 media companies saw a 4.6% revenue boost in 2007, their slowest growth since the recession year of 2001.” Though on the bright-side of things “Media’s biggest winner is no surprise: digital, with revenue up 10.8%.” Could we be headed back to

That doesn’t change the fact that for the Media Sector, mergers-and-acquisition activity has slowed dramatically this year undoubtedly due to the  credit and capital markets current situation. “There have been only five announced U.S. media acquisitions valued above $250 million so far this year.  […] In contrast, there were 14 announced media acquisitions above $250 million by this time last year.” (AdAge)

All these facts do not mean the tech sector is suffering entirely. According to article FiSpace.Net: One Company’s Recession, Another Company’s Opportunity, “some businesses find that the economic malaise has created a greater need for their technology and services. One such company, Zippi Networks, Inc. (Pink Sheets:ZIPI), may well be in the right place at the right time as they assist individuals in successfully selling items on eBay, creating a revenue stream for their customers and the company.” The article continues to explain how many tech companies are reaping the benefit of our current economic situation.

The title for this article may be a bit misleading, but the point is simple: This is a very mixed-up place to be for the tech and online media space and I’m interested to see how this will play out in the next few months (or weeks pending any new surprises from the financial sector).

Posted under Online Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on September 29, 2008

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