Looking back on the 83rd-Annual INMA World Congress and its lessons on mobile, which really are lessons in audience more than technology: augmented reality, small screen, audience habits, and profit opportunities. Where do we go from here?
When on the lookout for new advertising and marketing clients, don’t forget business segments in the midst of their own transformation. They are the ones most in need of fresh thinking around advertising and business services.
Newspapers’ commanding — and continuing — hold on audiences across platforms hints that the medium’s future will be secure for years to come.
Facebook's IPO could have been a rocket launch instead of a face plant
Allow me to gloat since it’s not often I get to say “I told you so.” In February, I wrote a blog Facebook IPO: Going public with your privacy for the INMA website. My unsolicited advice to Mark Zuckerberg and company was keep your shareholders close but your friends closer. Facebook’s enterprise value has been built on the backs of its audience of 800 million members and their willingness to work in a global volunteer sales force. My main point was: “Unless Zuckerberg borrows the Dutch auction trick from the Google IPO playbook, the average Facebook user is not likely to participate in their IPO. Morgan Stanley has been chosen to lead the IPO, and the big institutional investors will be at the front of the line to gobble up the ‘FB’ shares on Day 1.”
That’s how it played out. Facebook’s IPO was an inside deal conceived by their underwriters for institutional investors. Initial Public Offerings are supposed to be a means of getting stock to outsiders. With Facebook, those who were not sold/assigned/granted shares could only buy shares once they reached the public markets. That’s the Wall Street equivalent of being unfriended!
As we witnessed first hand, the IPO and the immediate aftermath was a mess. As the initial share value dropped more than 25%, news came out that Facebook had made last minute updates to its SEC filing statements. The changes – which were negative – were only communicated to the insider analysts while the man on the street was cut out of the loop. Facebook is facing more than 40 class action suits while it points the finger to technical problems at NASDAQ. GM declared that Facebook advertising was ineffective. On top of everything else, the Facebook site even crashed the day after the IPO.
The FB IPO debut has even harmed users’ perceptions of Facebook. In a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 44 percent of respondents said the market debut of Facebook has made them less favorable towards the company.
Will Facebook survive this string of self-inflicted bad luck? Probably. Their audience of 800 million can sustain the business for quite a while. The sad thing is that Facebook had a chance to be both rich and popular – like Apple. Instead they’ve become the poster child for incompetence and I never would have predicted that.