Google’s Stock Price Hits $800 A Share. Facebook’s Stock Price Is $29 A Share.

There should be no question now on who the real internet juggernaut is.

Google shares are at an all time high for 3 reasons: It has the biggest marketing network on the internet by monstrous proportions. The rise of internet-connected TV’s which will increase the amount of searches. And the 600 millions smartphones that are out there in the world running free Android software, which creates advertising opportunities to Google.

Facebook on the other hand, is still trying to climb it’s way back up to what the $38 a share price it had at it’s IPO.

The stock prices are a clear indicator that investors believe Google is here to stay, whereas Facebook’s business model and viability as a marketing company is in question. Any talk of Facebook being in the same league as Google is foolish.

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NY Times Gets Innovative With Their Online Advertising

The New York Times recently has come out with a new platform for it’s online advertisers that has a few people buzzing. The way it works, is that if a story from it’s website is trending on Twitter, that’s where your ad would pop up. Only on trending stories.

The problem though is that display advertising is display advertising is display advertising. Whether it’s on Facebook,, or If a company generates 100 clicks from a story that’s trending on Twitter, those 100 clicks are not going to have any more value than 100 clicks from any other website.

If people purposefully went to the to look for something locally like people do on Google, that’d be different. Then those clicks would be worth a little more. But with display advertising, they’re spontaneous clicks. People clicking and looking at some company’s website they weren’t planning on looking. The ad made them curious and on the spur of the moment, they clicked. It doesn’t really matter what website they did the clicking on.

If I were the New York Times, I’d focus on figuring out ways to increase online website traffic as much as possible. Because more website visitors will drive the cost of the clicks down. If they can lower the cost of the click to below what the competition charges, now then there’s something valuable they can offer advertisers that other publishers can’t.

With display advertising, it’s all about the cost of the clicks and making sure those clicks are taking place in a relevant geo-targeted area. That’s it.

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No Steve Jobs = No More iPhone Dominance, Possibly No More Apple Dominance

I came across an article that has new data from a research company called Gartner that shows Apple has is being decimated by Android in the smartphone market.

Smartphone-Sales-to-End-Users-Feb-2013-GartnerObviously, the numbers that stick out are the ones showing the gigantic increase the Android has picked up in market share the last year.

Apple stock has been going down lately for a reason. Tim Cook is a solid CEO. A solid operations guy and leader within Apple. But he doesn’t capture the imagination or attention from people the same way Steve Jobs did. And he hasn’t proven that he can be a visionary and produce the next great product.

Apple’s top problem is not that they don’t produce great products. They do. The problem is just that the competition has caught up. And Apple is forever without the guy that lead them to such dominance in the first place. It’ll be interesting to see if sales start to decline in their other top products.






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Dish Network Chairman Admits “Cord Cutting” Is Real

Ask yourself this question: How many channels are there on my TV that i never watch? Probably lots. Probably hundreds. And guess what? You’re paying for all those channels you never watch in your dish or cable bundle.

For those new to the conversation, “cord cutting” is the term industry wonks like me have put on the process of consumers canceling their dish TV or cable TV and watching their TV content off the internet.

And it will happen once the majority of Americans learn to connect their TV to the internet and companies start offering channels “a la carte”. Pay only for the channels you want to watch.

So cord cutting would obviously be a big deal to dish and cable companies putting their business models in real peril similar to the record music industry. All of the heavy hitters in the industry thus far have been defiant saying cord cutting is exaggerated and won’t happen. People are set in their ways. They’re used to paying for TV and paying for a whole bunch of channels they never watch. Right. Just like people were used to paying for music CD’s. Just like people were used to paying for newspapers.

Then out of nowhere Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen of Dish Network has broken from the rest of the dish and cable industry in finally admitting that “cord cutting” is real. Interesting. Why all of a sudden publicly admit what you have previously denied?

My guess is that he realizes that if his company continues to bury it’s head in the sand, they’ll go extinct. The dish companies and cable companies need to reinvent themselves.


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Most Local Florists Are Leaving Money On The Table

It’s like this in almost every small business industry. There’s only so much supply of internet marketers and way too much demand of all the millions and millions of small businesses that need help in just the most basic internet marketing needs.

I read an infographic by vsplash that showed that despite the rough economy, valentine’s day brings in billions of dollars of business. But unfortunately the small business local florists are leaving money on the table by not being found on the first page of Google, making it difficult for potential customers looking for florists in the local area.

The research shows that 45% of florists websites don’t have an address on their website, an astounding 40% don’t have a local phone #, and a ghastly 90% don’t have at least one photo gallery showing on their flowers! Unbelievable!!

There are many, many more industries in the small business community hurting and really needing help marketing themselves online. This, along with people more and more using their TV with the internet, is why most Wall St. and business analysts predict that the internet marketing industry is going to be seeing rapid growth in the next 5-10 years.

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Video Ads On Facebook The Solution For Advertisers?

The short answer: Nope. All Facebook is doing here is putting lipstick on a pig.

I’ve said this many times. Facebook’s problem is that it’s website is not a destination for where people go when they’re looking for things. Google is one of them. Even is one of them.

Facebook’s main problem is that the clicks cost way too much money. People advertise on Facebook paying for the clicks because they’re told they need to. That Facebook is the next big thing. But the clicks to calls conversion is too low for advertisers to make money.

In reality, Facebook is no different than any other display advertising network that charges $0.05 for a click when Facebook charges $1.00. Google can get away with charging $2.00 to as high as $10.00 a click because the clicks to calls conversion rate is way higher. Why? Because people purposefully go to Google to get something done. People click on the Facebook ads out of happenstance.

Now Facebook wants to bring video in the mix thinking that this may be the next big thing, but the same problem remains. People will watch the video and may click the ad out of curiousity, but it doesn’t mean they have a need for what the advertiser is selling.

If you’re a small business, don’t give your money to Facebook. Please. Let the bigger companies figure out how to use Facebook to increase sales. You might as well flush your money down the toilet! At least using the toilet won’t waste your time like Facebook will.

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Where Should Your Internet Marketing Dollars Go Right Now?

I wanted to make a quick summary on what internet marketing techniques are perfect to invest in right now. Which ones are too experimental and would be better to invest in the future. And which marketing techniques you’ve missed the boat on and you’re too late.

It’s Too Late

-SEO: People had gangbuster success with SEO in the 2000’s. If you got in early, you not only got loads of free website traffic that generated sales leads, but you also got very valuable real estate on the 1st page of Google. In 2013, the people that are currently on the 1st page of Google usually don’t go anywhere. So if you want to crack the 1st page for keywords that are very competitive, maybe after a lot of hard work, maybe you can reach the 1st page after a year or so. Maybe. No guarantees. To spend a bunch of money in SEO these days with the hope of getting 2005-like results is like spending money on going to California because you think the gold rush is still going on.

-Shopping Carts: For small businesses that have shopping carts, they live and die off organic, seo traffic. They can’t afford to pay what large companies pay per click because the large company will almost always have a higher conversion rate. Why? It will take a large company less clicks to produce a sale on average because consumers are already familiar and will be more likely to trust the big company than some small company they’ve never heard of before. And because brand new SEO campaigns are almost impossible to be successful, the ship has sailed on shopping carts. The only exception would be if you’ve found a niche market and there’s no competition. Then the possibility for seo success and shopping cart success is out there.

Maybe Later

-Social Media: The past 5 years have shown that Facebook doesn’t drive up referral and word of mouth business. People just don’t do it. They use Facebook and other social media sites to socialize. Paying for clicks on Facebook is no different than any other form of display advertising, it’s just more expensive. If you’re a small business, you’re way better off letting someone else figure out the social media puzzle.

-Display Advertising: It’s on the rise and looks more appealing, but affiliate networks like Google need to do a better job localizing and properly segmenting the traffic. The conversion rates from clicks to sales leads is still ridiculously low because the location net is too wide and the segmenting isn’t specific enough. But I think Google will eventually get to where they need to be and that display will be a viable form of internet marketing by maybe 2015.

Internet Radio Advertising: I almost put this in the do it now category, but here at Customwave, we’re probably going to wait another year before completely jumping in and recommending it to clients. Too experimental right now, but it definitely has a future. I wrote a separate blog on it here.


Do It Now

-Pay Per Click: This is our bread and butter at Customwave. If you know what you’re doing, it works like gangbusters! You should have to know how to make sure the clicks you’re paying for convert into calls.

-Reputation Management: Lots of demand, not enough competent supply. Business owners are starting to pick up on the importance of their reputation online and it’s very do-able to help people with it.

-Email Marketing: An old school approach that still works as long as the people that are receiving your emails are familiar with you and interested in what you’re selling.

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Advertising on Internet Radio Looks Promising

There’s lots of different ways to market and advertise on the internet these days. Today I looked at an article on emarketer about avertising on internet radio shows. It indeed looks promising. There’s tons of internet radio shows that are out there looking for advertisers. And for some reason, us in the internet marketing industry have been ignoring it.

Analysts project that the internet radio audience is going to growing rapidly over the next 3 years because the internet offers way more options of what to listen to then the radio. Plus, you don’t have to listen live and can download the podcast or mp3. For people that are currently advertising on internet radio, they say the sales bump they get is modest, but that’s it’s beneficial in the long run because they get to attach their brand to the particular show.

Just as there are companies and programs out there that track website stats and call tracking, there will be companies that emerge that are able to track stats on internet radio and what happens when the ad is played. The more data and stats advertisers have access to, the more they can make adjustments and help increase sales.

Ultimately I think internet radio is an untapped niche that not a lot of people know about and if you have any marketing dollars you can afford to experiment with, internet radio could be way more appealing than social media or seo or something like that.

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YouTube Would Like You To Pay To Watch It’s Videos

Google, which owns YouTube, isn’t having too much success selling ads on their videos. Probably because they don’t sell as many ads as they’d like and because the ads aren’t that successful for the advertisers that pay for them (otherwise word would get around that people are making all this money advertising on youtube, which isn’t the case)

So Google is looking to execute a new strategy: getting people to pay for the most popular video content on the website. The idea is that if people pay Directv, Time Warner, etc, if they pay for on demand movies, pay per views and if people pay Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime, maybe Google could get in on the action with the right video content. I think it’s a great idea and that with Google’s money, they could definitely compete with Netflix and Amazon. And they could especially start having big success if in 5-10 years from now, people stop paying satellite dish and cable companies for TV and just watch TV shows, movies and sports online.

But they have to get around the brand they’ve created for themselves which is that YouTube is the home for free internet video. That will be a difficult task that will take some time.

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I’m Sorry, But It’s Too Late To Build Your Shopping Cart

I’m going to make this short and simple. Every now and then, people ask me to help them with their shopping carts. And you need to understand that with shopping carts, not only do they take a long time to build, but it takes a long time to get all the content together. Like the pictures. The text. Market research to figure out the pricing. Setting up the merchant account that processes credit cards when a product is bought. I want to be clear. Building a shopping cart is a big investment of time and money.

And on top of all that, it’s too late. It’s 2012. You missed the boat.

Here’s why. Marketing locally works. Local small businesses compete within 10 mile to 25 mile radius. They’re not going to compete with big, national companies. With shopping carts, you compete with other small businesses all across the country and even the world. And you compete with big business. Why is that important? Because for big companies, the cost to acquire the sale will be a lot lower than yours.

SEO for shopping carts? Forget about it. Too late. Maybe, maybe a company can start doing SEO now and maybe in 1-2 years pick up organic rankings LOCALLY. But nationally? Unless you’re inventing a new product, you’re out of luck.

So the only option is paying for traffic. Here’s the most important part of my post: Let’s say, it takes you 50 clicks to get a sale. Well guess what? The big, national companies, it’s going to take them a lot less clicks to produce a sale. Why? Trust. Brand recognition. For Target, they probably only need maybe 15 clicks to produce a sale. Maybe less. Because people know Target. If they have problems, they’re confident Target will resolve them. But people have no clue who Joe’s Shoes is. They don’t have much confidence there. So Therefore, if Target only needs 15 clicks to make a sale and you need 50, Target will be willing to bid a lot more per click than a small business would. And big business drives the cost per click up so high to where the small business can’t compete. Like even when they make a sale, the cost to acquire it is so high, they don’t make any money.

Is it impossible to build a shopping cart right now and have success with it? No. It is possible. How can you do it? You need to build up your brand online. You need to spread positive reviews about your company like wildfire. All the forums and blogs the potential customers in your market go to, you need to advertise there. Give people time to get familiar with you. You need to be on Facebook like no other and evangelize your brand. You need to make friends, get to know people. Build relationships with people. Hopefully they’ll spread word of mouth about your shopping cart. You would need to build up your brand so much, that if someone typed in your company name into Google to do background research on you, they find all this positive stuff. Then maybe, just maybe, it could take you 30 clicks, 25 clicks, 20 clicks on average to produce a sale. And that’s when your shopping cart can possibly, financially become a viable business.

But building a brand up takes a long time. I’m not talking about it taking a few weeks. Or months. I’m talking about at least a year, if not two or three. Maybe even five. It should be viewed as a long term investment.

So my conclusion is that most small business owners shouldn’t waste their time with shopping carts. Because they won’t have the patience or skill to build up their brand. It’s too late. Building a shopping cart and having success with it was very do-able back in 2001. Maybe 2005. You waited too long and missed the boat. For those of you who are going to do it anyway, may the force be with you. You’re going to need it.

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