By Eric Goldman
In its quarterly earnings call in October 2013, Google beat analysts’ predictions yet again. But the downward trend in its return on the cost per click (CPC) of its Adwords program continued. The trend began several years ago and appears to be steepening its descent.
Google’s total advertising revenues continue to increase (new clients giving it more inventory), but profit from what used to be its core business – online advertising – continues downward.
The decline in online advertising’s revenue potential is not limited to Google. As Technology Review’s Michael Wolff said: ”The nature of people’s behavior on the Web and of how they interact with advertising, as well as the character of those ads themselves and their inability to command attention, has meant a marked decline in advertising’s impact.”
If I ran Facebook, I’d be pondering this one big time – Google at least has diversified away from one source of revenue. Online ads are becoming less effective, producing lower returns, forcing their media price down further to attract and keep advertisers enough to use them. Bad news for the media that run the ads but it does explain why I keep getting $100 Google Adwords gift vouchers in the mail.
By Francis Moran
The biggest mistake Canadian angel investors could make if and when equity crowdfunding is made more widely available in Canada “is to sit on the sidelines and do nothing and let crowdfunding pass them by,” says one of this country’s leading legal experts on the subject.
Lawyer Brian Koscak, who will be part of a crowdfunding panel discussion at next week’s National Angel Capital Organization national summit in Banff, said in an interview that the potential broadening of equity crowdfunding in parts of Canada “is a wonderful opportunity for angels to step up and show what they’ve got.” Angels, he said, have a wealth of expertise both in the specific sectors in which they invest and in the investment process itself, making them invaluable participants in any crowdfunding portals that are established.
Angel investors are often the first external source of funding that startups and young companies receive. (A survey of 20 out of NACO’s 24 angel group members reported that angels made 139 investments worth $40.5-million in 2012.) In Canada, as in most other countries, angels must have a minimum income or net worth before being allowed to invest, criteria that shuts out most investors. Securities regulators in Ontario and Saskatchewan have proposed expanding the opportunity for early-stage private investment by allowing companies to solicit small investments from larger pools of individual investors. Even if these proposals never become law, ordinary investors can already, under certain circumstances, participate in early-stage investing everywhere in Canada except Ontario.
By Maurice Smith
Define the term “digital media.”
Easy, right? It’s all about tablets and smartphones and the super-duper things we can do with them.
No, it’s all about the content that flows through and to these devices and many more. You know, apps and all that. Video…
Wrong. Digital media is an entire industry that defies definition because it is completely nebulous. It resides within the term “creative” yet it’s technical at the same time. It sits across many disciplines, from publishing to e-commerce.
Such is the debate I am grappling with right now. As chairman of the somewhat grandly-titled Industry Leadership Group on Digital Media in Scotland, I should know the answer to the definition question above in my sleep. Yes?
Well, actually no. As a group, we are attempting such definition at the moment. Or, more accurately, whenever two or more of us have any dialogue.
By Leo Valiquette
It’s been top of mind for me the past couple of weeks while wearing one of my other hats – editor of the Ottawa Chamber magazine, The Voice.
The next issue of The Voice will serve as a takeaway for the Best Ottawa Business Awards gala taking place in Nov. 21. The awards, previously known as the Ottawa Business Achievement Awards, recognize local business excellence in a number of categories. I’ve been busy interviewing this year’s Lifetime Achievement recipient (Wes Nicol), the CEO of the Year, Halogen Software’s Paul Loucks, and a host of other business achievers.
From this, I thought I would share some of the gems I’ve picked up that speak to legacy, which, from a business standpoint, I define as creating something that endures and has a distinct identity and reputation in the marketplace.
I have to start with a quote from Wes Nicol. This isn’t something he said to me when we spoke recently, but was part of a convocation speech he gave at Carleton University in 2006. It says a lot about the man himself and what has led to his business success:
By Daylin Mantyka
Last month’s contents were newsworthy and informative. Leading the pack was Maurice Smith’s post on the ultimate marketing challenge followed by Leo Valiquette’s piece on phone etiquette. As always, we had some great contributions from our guest bloggers on presentation skills, measuring Facebook contest ROI, the neurobiology of marketing, and filing patent applications, among others.
In case you missed any of it, here is a handy recap of our posts, as ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:
October 9: The ultimate marketing challenge: Final Fling helps plan your own death, by Maurice Smith
October 29: Don’t let your phone skills atrophy, by Leo Valiquette
October 23: When a good presentation isn’t good enough, by Anil Dilawri