Archive for Brad Berens

Look Carefully at the New Pew Number: 56% of Americans Have Smart Phones

Posted by Brad Berens on June 5th, 2013 at 11:29 am

Today the Pew Internet & American Life Project released a new mobile report stating that 56% of adult Americans now have smart phones, with between 70 to 80% penetration among younger demographics, college grads and the well-off. You can see the full report here.
Here's the thing to look twice at: it's not 56% of mobile phone users who have smart phones, according to Pew, it's 56% of all adult Americans.

Many research companies have tracked a greater than 50% penetration of smart phones among all mobile users, as you'll see here in this graphic from my friends at eMarketer:

However, the Pew number is a milestone along the lines of when Nielsen first claimed that greater than 50% of Americans had broadband access back in the fall of 2004.

Combining this Pew number with Monday's announcement of the "TV Untethered" study finding that 82% of tablet and 64% of smartphone mobile video consumption occurs in the home provokes some head-scratching, "what's going to happen next?" pondering.
Here are a few guesses for how the landscape will change in the next five to 10 years:
Mass proliferation of smart phones in combination with the acceleration of bandwidth and the increased ease of cloud computing... Read more

Don’t cold call me, Bro

Posted by Brad Berens on January 30th, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Here’s the top line take home: cold calling is lazy; if you’re still doing it then please stop.
I receive dozens of cold calls each week and a truly staggering number of cold emails. They leave me cold. I don’t respond to them. Nor do most of the folks like me who have found themselves gate keepers between you and the audiences you want: conferences, media properties and the like.
The second-to-worst ones are the folks who cold call me and then email to make sure that I received the cold call. Absolute worst are the people who use robots to call me.
Are you, the cold caller, hosed?
No. Just stop being lazy. Don’t know how? Keep reading.

Is your product a commodity?
A few months back I had the pleasure of leading an advanced networking class for a group of talented young entrepreneurs at PIE (the Portland Incubator Experiment). During this class I formulated an easy, one-question test to determine whether or not your offering has been in any way commoditized. It’s not a final test but it sure does give you an early indication:
Is your head of sales good looking?
If the answer to this question is “yes” -- or more dishearteningly “Dear Lord,... Read more

WSJ misses the point of "Recipe Rehab" going to ABC

Posted by Brad Berens on September 25th, 2012 at 9:08 am

This morning's Wall Street Journal has a informative piece by Amir Efrati about how Everyday Health's popular YouTube show "Recipe Rehab" is heading to syndication on ABC stations and how the YouTube and ABC incarnations of the show will cross-promote each other.
Most importantly, the Journal reports that YouTube is hoping that it's $150 million original content initiative "will challenge the supremacy of TV and cable in the minds of advertisers."
But today's news does nothing to challenge TV, and that's what the article misses.
While ABC grabbing a YouTube show -- the way Cartoon Network grabbed "Annoying Orange" earlier this year -- is a triumph for the content creators and (one hopes) an economic win for Google's YouTube as well, it reinforces that the big screen in the living room is still the big daddy when it comes to advertising.
Right now, YouTube functions as an effective and powerful farm team for TV content producers and an incredible set of data for Google's search algorithm, but the real win -- the magical "I Love Lucy" moment  for online video -- will only happen when advertisers flock to a series of online video content that can be measured in GRPs and offer TV dollars… and without... Read more

11 “Change Your Life” Productivity Apps & How to Use The

Posted by Brad Berens on July 6th, 2012 at 9:15 am

[Cross-posted with my personal blog.]
Over the last year or two I've been tweaking the suite of applications and services I use to keep my head above water-- here are my 11 "Change Your Life" apps and how I use them. Please tell me about new ones in the comments.
In alphabetical order...
Cozi: A shared family calendar that divvies up activities by family member, so if my wife and son are doing something it's easy to see. This is my least favorite of my daily productivity apps because it's hard to use and the UI is cluttered (the iPhone app is just icky) and it has zero interoperability with other calendars, but it's in the cloud, easy for either me or my wife to update and keeps the different strands of family activity separate and overlapping. The ads are intrusive on the free version, but I'm OK with that as it keeps them in business. Wayne Yamamoto, the CEO of Charity Blossom, recently quipped to me that calendaring technology is the hardest problem in computer science, and I think he's right.
Dropbox: Drop dead simple file sharing across my two computers, iPhone, iPad and the web. I saved the .txt document I used... Read more

Amazon.com answers your questions!

Posted by Brad Berens on March 28th, 2012 at 11:42 am

I'm thrilled that Amazon.com VP Lisa Utzschneider is opening ad:tech San Francisco next week with her keynote address, "Amazon: It’s Day 1 for Advertisers. " At the end of her session I'll ask Lisa questions posed by readers of this blog-- so ask away in the comments!
Background: Amazon first transformed book buying, then all retail, then the books themselves, then added cloud computing, and now they've set their sites on digital advertising. How will their combination of customer reach, technology and personalization to serve brands? To paraphrase Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton, can Amazon own the entire value chain?
Here's a sample question to get your juices flowing:
“How should marketers be thinking about Amazon in their media mix – can it be both brand and e-commerce?”
Can you ask a better one?
See you at ad:tech San Francisco!