“The Future of Search” over a bagel ‘n cream cheese!

Kevin Ryan & Me

Kevin Ryan & Me

Gotham Media Ventures recently hosted “Digital Media, Advertising: The E-Marketing Breakfast“, sponsored by Gridley and Company LLC, one event of a series of breakfasts that will take place over the next few weeks/months. The topic of this breakfast was laoded one – Searching for Dollars: The Future of Search Opportunities and Investment. The venue – Harvard Club of NY….

…at this point it becomes clear: Not a casual event! Unfortunately I didn’t think to wear a suit. I came expecting marketing executives and ended up finding a mixed, well-dressed crowd of VC’s, AE’s, CEO’s and SEM Guru’s. I was just happy I didn’t go with the Pink Polo. Either way, it was definitely a step up from the casual networking and entrepreneur events I’m used to attending. And I’m happy to say the panel was exceptional.

Moderating the event was Stan Sandberg, Principal at Gridley & Company LLC, the events sponsor. The panelists were as follows:

  • Adam Heimlich, Director of Search Marketing, Avenue A | Razorfish
  • Sarah Hofstetter, VP/Emerging Media & Client Strategy, 360i
  • Aimee Reker, SVP/Gobal Director of Search, MRM Worldwide
  • Kevin Ryan, CEO of Motivity Marketing & Global Content Director, SearchEngineWatch.com
  • Kevin Ryan Comments on Google

    Kevin Ryan Comments on Google

    Stan began his introduction with a lengthy happy birthday wish to search giant Google, though I’m not sure today was the right day as I discussed in my previous article  Google’s 10th Birthday! (But what day?). He mentioned 3 solid facts: Internet Marketing is growing fast (22.8%), Search is the biggest and fastest growing sector, and most shockingly in “99 was thr cup of the .com boom…99 was the breakout year.  248 IPOs in 99…0 Venture-Backed IPOs in Q2 2008”, (a point continuously repeated during Web2.0 Expo Panel “Starting up in Silicon Alley”, which I will blog about tomorrow).

    On that note, the panel began. There were many great points made covering a number of important areas in Online Marketing. To get them all out, I will format the rest in Q&A form:

    Stan: Your thoughts on the future of Search & Search Budgets?

    • Aimee: “Much longer investments in strategic planning.”
    • Adam: “A lot of growth in analytics in order to create value.”
    • Sarah: “There will always be more money in search because it is measurable.”
    • Kevin: “Data-mining is absolutely mission critical.”

    Stan: Role of the Search Agency today?

    • Aimee: “There is a change in process of how agencies are approaching companies.”
    • Adam: “Definitely interested in brand building with companies that have offline” (mentioning the possibility of partnering up with the offline agency the company chooses.
    • Sarah: “A lot more contingent on the marketer and collaborative efforts…collective brainstorming.”
    • Kevin: “The reality is – it is driven by the client. Agencies are driven by the P&L in the end of the day…the client has to drive it.”

    Stan: What are you seeing in terms of keyword trends and ROI?

    • Kevin: “Two issues -> Minimum click costs continue to increase & media channels are deciding whether or not your site is worthy and that is a BIG problem.

    Stan: Google = Better Results…your thoughts?

    • Kevin: “70% of search in the US is Google…90% in Western Europe”. Keep in mind geo-location.
    • Aimee: “Be aware of the other search engines and how they work. […] Google drives volume, but other sites can drive better conversions.”
    • Adam: “The volume is on Google. It has been a disappointing competition to watch…I am hoping somebody can compete with Google.”
    • Kevin: “Google Properties will eventual equal Government Intervention.” In reference to Chrome, “Google terms & conditions are crap”, but he finished off by saying “…maybe we would be better of joining Google.”

    Stan: Innovation – Where will it come from?

    • Kevin: “Cuil was the worst piece of sh*t search engine. What we saw at the end of that was VCs are now questioning ex-google employees. The press is second guessing the ex-googlers as well. […] The same journalists who said Cuil was big, also say Yahoo is going down”
    • Aimee: “Digital out of home is going to be huge…mobile, video online…also marketing tools”
    • Adam: “We need to use 3rd party analytics companies in order to make sense of it all”.
    • Sarah: “Google – they got the eyeballs”

    Random Quotes…

    • Sarah: “There are cases where search makes no-sense!
    • Aimee: “1+1=3”
    • Kevin: “We have to be careful how we use the word Study today” (referring to stats and case-studies).
    • Adam: The trend and timelines is as follows “Offline -> Website -> Mobile & E-mail”.

    The conference ended on a great note, and overall I feel the crowd was pleased.

    Me, Aimee Reker & Adam Heimlich

    Me, Aimee Reker & Adam Heimlich

    Posted under Events

    This post was written by Joshua Russak on September 22, 2008

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    The Rich Spend More Time Online

    eMarketer.com published an article today that may affect the world of online in a whole new way. In the article Affluent Spend the Most Time Online, a study conducted from March through July 2008 by Ipsos Mendelsohn suggests that “among US affluent heads of household surveyed, those with annual household incomes of $250,000 and over spend the most time online.”

    eMarketer Graph

    Strong link between income and Web time

    This will influence where advertisers go to research the impact of their campaigns. The rich could one day define the “perfect ad” and the poor will get stuck with last years Banner ads. This is all speculation, but one thing is for sure. Ad Networks and social communities like aSmallWorld.com,  that advertise to the Rich will see an increase in income if these stats continue.
    I find it interesting to note that TV and Radio time decreases as you get richer. Now, when you sit down and think about, everything here makes sense. The rich are more likely to rely on the Web as a source of news and information simply because the RADIO and TV are too slow and cluttered with ads. There are endless correlations and reasons, but I’ll leave those assumptions up to you…

    Posted under Online Marketing

    This post was written by Joshua Russak on September 16, 2008

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    AC Lion has the Online Space covered, and then some…

    AC Lion specializes in sales and technology recruitment and in particular the nexus between the two. I recruited there for close to a year before I was promoted to Marketing/Sales Coordinator handling PM, WebDev, DBA, Social Media and other Marketing aspects. Really, it’s a high level of leg-work combined with flexible schedules and great sources of motivation and collaboration.

    Over the past decade, AC Lion has developed a leading reputation in the marketplace by helping the industries’ most innovative companies maintain their competitive edge by sourcing and placing superior talent.

    In our industry, knowing people delivers results. Whether building a new sales team, replacing a corporate executive, transitioning to the interactive world or augmenting the technology team – our clients come to AC Lion because we know the people that know the industry.

    Our vertical (industry) specialists work with top corporate executives from a variety of firms within the media (traditional and interactive agencies, publishers, and client side), 3rd party technology/software providers, emerging technology (mobile wireless/PDA, IPTV), e-commerce, and financial industries.

    In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing environments, it is critical to have a specialized recruiter with an established track record and a broad network who truly understands your needs. Here at AC Lion, our vertical specialists focus all of their efforts in your space. Because of this philosophy, we know your company, your competitors and your clients.

    Check out our Areas of Expertise:

    Posted under Online Marketing

    This post was written by Joshua Russak on August 5, 2008

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    Best of the Blogs

    It is my job to track the online interactive advertising community. Unfortunately, I have no formal training and everything I know, I simply picked up from both recruiting for the space and endless hours of preparation.

    As a result, I have put together a great “starter pack” of Blogs that I find essential in keeping up with all the major changes in the online advertising and technology space. Here’s just a handful and I’ll be sure to continue adding more as the posts become more frequent.

    Best of the Blogs:

    …Now that is not to say these are the only resources out there! There are many other blogs as well, but I’ve been able to “get by” sounding up-to-speed at work. I would suggest The Alley Insider over the rest just because they are in full-steam. They are a fairly new business site, produced by and for the New York digital business community. They started publishing for real on Friday, July 19, 2007. And for being in Beta, they’re doing quite well.

    They cover the intersection of the technology, media, and communications industries, with a focus on companies and people making waves in New York. Specifically digital publishing, entertainment, news, music, social networking, mobile, and gaming.

    Wow, I guess the real title for this blog entry should be “Why I love Silicon Alley Insider!” Oh well, enjoy.


    Posted under Online Marketing

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

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    Digital Media Venture Capital Update

    Written for Mike Adler:

    I am the Managing Partner at AC Lion and I bring over 12 years of investment banking, venture capital and sales experience to AC Lion. I recently received a newsletter from Rutberg & Company that so perfectly laid out a concise summary and perspective on the key digital media industry events relevant to private equity firms and companies. The newsletter implications included Rutberg & Company’s perspectives, adding their own observations, hypotheses, and investment theses. A lot of that information should be respected as exclusive Business Intelligence of which they have requested to remain confidential. Below, I’ve included some of the more relevant info to our space and leave room for you to formulate your own hypothesis:

    • During the one month period from June 1 through June 30, 62 private digital media companies announced $416.7 million in venture capital financings.
    • Investments were primarily in the Applications, Content Publishers, and Advertising Infrastructure sectors.
    • There were also 37 M&A transactions announced during the period, including Verizon Wireless’ acquisition of Alltel, Bain Capital’s acquisition of D&M Holdings, and Microsoft’s acquisition of Navic Networks.

    Here are a few graphs that depict and analyze venture capital and M&A activity for digital media during the first half of 2008….

    Posted under Online Marketing

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

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