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Monotasking Vs. Multitasking

18 Oct

In today’s high-tech, immersive society, “multitasking” has become B-I-G.  And many people frown on “monotasking.” But is this good? Can you really text and pay attention to your professor simultaneously? (LOL 🙂 )

According to study after study, no we can’t really multitask well. Here are four examples:

12 Reasons to Stop Multitasking Now!

Multitasking Is Killing Your Brain

Neuroscientists Say Multitasking Literally Drains the Energy Reserves of Your Brain

Why Humans Are Bad at Multitasking


Now consider these observations by Verena von Pfetten (a freelance writer, editor, and consultant with 10 years of digital publishing experience) for the New York Times:

“Stop what you’re doing. Well, keep reading. Just stop everything else that you’re doing. Mute your music. Turn off your television. Put down your sandwich and ignore that text message. While you’re at it, put your phone away entirely. (Unless you’re reading this on your phone. In which case, don’t. But the other rules still apply.) Just read. You are now monotasking.”

“Maybe this doesn’t feel like a big deal. Doing one thing at a time isn’t a new idea. Indeed, multitasking, that bulwark of anemic rĂ©sumĂ©s everywhere, has come under fire in recent years. A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that interruptions as brief as two to three seconds — which is to say, less than the amount of time it would take you to toggle from this article to your E-mail and back again — were enough to double the number of errors participants made in an assigned task.”

“Monotasking is a 21st-century term for what your high school English teacher probably just called ‘paying attention.’ As much as people would like to believe otherwise, humans have finite neural resources that are depleted every time we switch between tasks, which, especially for those who work online, can happen upward of 400 times a day, according to a 2016 University of California, Irvine study.”

“The term ‘brain dead’ suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.”


Click the image to read more from von Pfetten.

Art by Andy Rash

Art by Andy Rash


Is Yahoo a Good Buy for Verizon?

17 Oct

When it began in 1994 and for many years thereafter, Yahoo was a Web dynamo with tons of viewers, a leading search engine, lots of content, multiple points of contact, and more. But in recent years, Yahoo has fallen on really tough times. Hopefully, it will still have something to offer Verizon after the latter’s recent purchase of Yahoo (click here to see the current URL).

Consider the title of this Forbes article by Brian Solomon — “Yahoo Sells To Verizon In Saddest $5 Billion Deal In Tech History”:

“Yahoo was once the king of the Internet, a $125 billion behemoth as big in its time as Facebook or Google are today. Now it’s being sold to Verizon for comparative chump change. But the biggest story is how Yahoo squandered its massive head start and let each wave of new technology in search, social, and mobile pass it by. Yahoo remains largely the same company it was a decade ago — a portal that hundreds of millions of users rely on for everything from news and weather to key functions like E-mail and games like fantasy football. Yet Yahoo missed the opportunity of a generation to convert its early lead and millions of users into more than just a portal. As the attention of the world shifted to smartphone apps, Yahoo’s last advantage in the desktop world has faded.”

“The one thing that kept Yahoo afloat for this long is Jerry Yang’s risky $1 billion bet on Alibaba in 2005. That bought 40% in what would become China’s E-commerce king. Yahoo sold parts of that holding over time, but its current stake is still worth more than $30 billion at today’s prices. However, the investment was so successful that it became worth far more than Yahoo’s flagging core business.”

Now, eMarketer reports still more bad news for Yahoo and new parent Verizon:

“Yahoo is looking at sizeable decreases in ad revenues according to eMarketer’s latest forecast of worldwide ad spending. And recent news about issues with the company’s E-mail service, including both hacked passwords and news of an undisclosed surveillance program, isn’t helping. eMarketer expects Yahoo’s ad business to decrease in size this year—and not for the first time. After a 3.5% drop in worldwide ad revenues in 2015, in September, eMarketer predicted a further 10.2% decrease for 2016. We expect growth of under 1% next year, and 1% in 2018.”


Enhance Your Career Credentials

14 Oct

I regularly ask my undergraduate and graduate students: Why should an employer want to hire YOU? What can YOU offer that is distinctive?

One good way to answer to these questions is by publishing material online through your own blog or at other Web sites. By doing this, you can show off your Web-related related skills, highlight your own expertise on a specific topic, and demonstrate how well you write.

Recently, Mark Miller presented some great observations on this subject for Business 2 Community.

“Writing is one of the most productive things you can do for your career. You don’t have to be seeking attention from creative recruitment agencies in order to benefit from it, either. On a personal level, you grow your personal brand and get an opportunity to show off your communication skills–something that’s valuable no matter your field. From a job perspective, it can help you draw attention to your employer’s company, drive traffic to its site, and have a positive impact on SEO.”

“The advantages to being a published author are many, but getting started isn’t easy. That’s something I found out the hard way working closely with content marketing recruitment. I’ve spent much of 2016 developing my authorship profile, developing relationships, and creating opportunities for myself and others in my business to share our ideas and insights. Now that I finally have some momentum going, I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned so you can avoid making the same mistakes and get a head start!”

Here are a few of Miller’s suggestions:

  • Know “what you bring to the table that’s unique enough to justify being read over dozens of similar articles and posts.”
  • “If you’re first starting out, begin with smaller publications even if they have much smaller readership. You can even self-publish on a personal blog or on a site that allows anyone to self-publish like LinkedIn.”
  • “Most blogs and Web sites that publish regularly and accept external contributions will have easy-to-find, publicly accessible editorial guidelines and directions to submit content.”
  • “Building up a portfolio of published articles and opinions takes time, and a lot of it. And submitting content, communicating with editors, and finally getting published will probably take longer than you think.”

Click the image to read a lot more tips from Miller. And look at the links below the image.



Your Text Messages ARE Being Spammed

13 Oct

If you are under the impression that spamming is confined to the Web and E-mail, you are wrong. Very wrong! According to recent research, text spamming is now a big problem. So, we all need to be more careful with our cell phones and one way to do so is to use stronger passwords and turn off your location tracker.

As eMarketer reports:

“Spam messages coming from SMS and messaging apps are becoming more widespread. Indeed, more than half of text message users worldwide receive an unsolicited message via SMS at least once a week, and more than a quarter say they’re spammed every day. Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), a global trade body that addresses issues facing the mobile industry, and CLX Communications, a provider of cloud-based communication solutions for enterprises and mobile operates, surveyed 5,850 mobile media users in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Nigeria, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. Most are being spammed frequently. In addition to the 28% of SMS users who are receiving unsolicited messages via SMS every day, 26% of mobile messaging app users are getting spam on their over-the-top (OTT) messaging apps just as frequently.”

Click the image to learn more.


Here Yesterday, Gone (OR Declining Today)

11 Oct

In the early 2000s, a number of new Web and social sites emerged. Despite a lot of hype, many of them did no hit expectations and/or are not as popular today. Here are some examples of the latter.

As reported by Clinton Nguyen for Business Insider:

“Much of the internet in the early 2000s was defined by Web sites that ushered people into a new age of social media and online entertainment. Take Friendster for example — the massively popular site became a household name before MySpace, and then Facebook overtook both of them as the most popular social network. Friendster is no longer in service, but plenty of the sites that defined the early 2000s are still around, albeit in somewhat different forms. Here’s what they’re doing now.”

  • “MySpace was massively popular in the mid-2000s, before Facebook came out. [It is now a shell of its former self in terms of popularity.] Like Facebook, every user had their own wall, where strangers and friends could post comments. The draw was customization.  MySpace has completely changed since then. The company rebranded and relaunched in 2013, with an emphasis on hitting catering to musicians and record labels. Unlike Facebook, users make “connections,” not friends, and radio stations and music videos are given the spotlight on the site.”

  • Live Journal was a haven for adolescent blogging in the late 2000s. The site became popular for having both personal blogs (which could be private or public) and “communities” where users could congregate to discuss their fandoms and pop culture obsessions. Today, the site retains much of the same look, including its popular discussion sections and blog layout. The front page now has a spots for promoted posts, which users can purchase by buying tokens with real money. Most of those spots are now occupied by gossip blogs, like ohnotheydidnt.”

  • “For a while, Xanga was also used as a blogging platform, mostly by high school students, though it faced competition from similar blogging services like LiveJournal and Blogger. It had many of the same features as its competitors: a blogging space, comments section, and a “props” feature (the 2000’s equivalent of a like). Today, user accounts don’t seem to exist on the site, and the homepage displays the development team’s last note, announcing server on Xanga 2.0, though that was posted in February 2015.”

  • “eBaum’s World became popular for posting viral videos, cartoon animations, and celebrity soundboards. People essentially visited the site for the same reason they’d visit other humor/game sites — to watch crudely animated Flash videos and to play with humorous soundbites cut from interviews. Today, the site publishes user-shared photo galleries and posts with embedded YouTube videos to garner traffic. Most of the videos come with one-sentence descriptions and slightly modified headlines, and photo galleries feature images and captions lifted from unattributed sources.”

  • “Ask Jeeves was a popular search engine before Google rose to the top. The site provided basic Web searches, but its real selling point was that users could pose questions in natural language (like, “What’s the weather today?” or “Has MSFT stock risen today?” etc). The service was notable for its butler mascot, Jeeves, but he was phased out in 2006 when the service became Jeeves was brought back to’s UK site for a brief moment in 2009. But today, he’s absent from all of Ask’s search engine sites.”

  • “Before Google became the world’s most popular search engine, AltaVista was a leading search engine of choice. The site featured many of the services Google offers now — Web, image, and video search options. It also featured channels with news about entertainment, travel, and more. But when you visit AltaVista today, you’re redirected to Yahoo Search. The site went through a number of hands before it was consolidated into Yahoo Search.”

Click on the image to read more from Nguyen.


Improving E-Commerce Results

30 Sep

Would you be surprised to learn that only a small percentage of E-commerce sites gain any traction at all? Most dwell in obscurity.

Consider these observations from Cent Muruganandam, writing for and check out the infographic shown below his quote:

“You might be astounded to know that there are between 12-24 million E-Commerce websites online. But what’s even more intriguing is the fact that only about 3% of them (650,000) ever make it past $1,000 in annual sales, according to Internet Retailer. What’s the point I am trying to establish here, you might wonder? Well, from where I see it, a whopping majority of E-Commerce outlets fail to make a significant amount of money. It’s not that there’s no money in the E-commerce industry. It means is that majority of online retailers are not doing things right, because if they had been successful in doing them right, the number of outlets making more than $1,000/year would have been way more than a mere 650,000.”



How to Get Digital Media Right

29 Sep

MillardBrown Digital has produced an excellent report and Webinar on how to best engage in digital marketing:

It’s no longer about traditional or digital. It’s all marketing. Digital marketing has emerged as a vital part of the marketing landscape, forcing marketers to grapple with scaling across a variety of engagements. And while there’s a surplus of data available to help inform decisions, selecting the right data, and combining, analyzing, and creating actions from that data is challenging. With input from over 300 senior executives across advertisers, agencies, and media companies, our 3rd annual Getting Digital Right study identified four key findings for getting digital right and creating extraordinary marketing in a connected world.”

Click here to access the full report. A free login is required.

Click here to view/hear the Webinar.

Here are two charts from MillardBrown Digital.  To view a larger version, click on each chart. The first chart identifies the steps necessary to undertake a great digital strategy.


The second chart highlights the ease/difficulty of measuring ROI (return on investment) with various media platforms.  [This shows why E-mail marketing is NOT dead. It ranks first in measuring ROI.]


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