Hang on to your balance sheets. Advertising and consumer-generated revenues are on a steep dive that could take a devastating toll well into 2009. That's the challenge for many public companies: If you cannot accurately forecast revenues, valuations begin drifting.
As advertising migrates from the static traditional and print environment to the digital marketplace, it culminates in the final "sale" advertisers seek. If the growth of e-commerce is thrown off by a pullback in consumer spending, it could slow the evolution of advertising into an interactive dynamic and primary revenue source.
Contrary to popular belief, consumers are spending three-times the money on consumer-supported media as on ad-supported media--opting for convenient, cost-effective access through mobile TV, online streaming and downloads. Marketers will learn to respond to such media consumption with smart social media tools.
There is hope that countless individuals, companies and financiers are actively utilizing the Internet's vast applications and resources to foster good. The Internet provides the means for the well-intended and the broke to still make a positive difference in the world.
Microsoft and Yahoo are demonstrating the dismal results of becoming entangled in the economics of failure. Consider their most recent quarterly earnings and in management comments during meetings with analysts.
The success of social-marketing efforts should be assessed by speed and quality of community interaction and engagement as much as page views. Marketers must resign themselves to longer-term social-media efforts--rather than quick-hit campaigns in which they must continuously interact with consumers.
Facing its toughest uphill battle in decades, blue-chip king General Electric has created an $8 billion global partnership with Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Co., which is in the process of buying enough discounted GE shares on the open market to become one of the conglomerate's top 10 institutional investors.
It is not over by a long shot, but the surprising weekend turn of events in the continuing Yahoo saga raises the question of how founding CEO Jerry Yang has managed to skirt disaster, and still keep his company and his job.
Game-playing in all of its emerging digital forms appears to be the one media sector that could be impervious to economic malaise. It has even slowed the meteoric growth of online advertising and caused Google to miss some of its quarterly targets for the first time.
If the Yahoo-Google alliance passes regulatory muster, it will significantly close the monetization gap between the two companies and eventually generate at least $2 billion of new annual revenue. That's not bad for a deal that occurs as a result--and in spite of--Microsoft's exasperated pursuit of Yahoo, while skirting the hassles of a merger or acquisition.