Why did Yahoo Buy Summly Part Two

Today we found another likely driver for Yahoo’s Summly acquisition. In an article titled Citrix: Windows Phone is barely making a dent in the Workplace, Yahoo actually presents no more than a condensed summary of the cited article, which provides the title to this content. But the article is actually published on someone else’s site. Cool.

By the way, the condensed summary is bracketed with paid display advertising, which brings in some serious cash. Not bad when one considers that software produces the condensed summary and some more software builds a display ad rotation schedule for the sidebars. Little human intervention here. We knew that content annotation was promising, but this system is content management on steroids.

We found this out, accidentally, by using one of the content curation tools that we use daily, newsisfree, on one of our daily searches for news on “enterprise computing”. The article was correctly attributed to Mr. Brad G. Reed, but the link went to Yahoo, not Mr. Reed’s web publisher. More on this one in a coming post to this blog.

With Summly waiting in the wings, the Yahoo annotation engine stands to benefit from a better algorithm, producing shorter summaries and more display ad space. When one considers that Summly brings to Yahoo an established leading position in the small mobile device market for the same type of service (see our first post on this topic, published yesterday, March 27, 2013 for more on this last point) the purchase price looks to be a bargain.

Early stage ISVs with the potential to produce competitive, or at least related, products for the content curation, annotation or aggregation markets should study the Summly story. We think each of these three markets have good legs. People are on the go and need near immediate access to information whether for a very wide range of needs. There is certainly a lot of room in these markets for new players, not to mention a key ingredient — further innovation.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved


Why did Yahoo Buy Summly? Part One

On the 25th of March, 2013, Yahoo publicly announced a purchase. Yahoo bought a small ISV by the name of Summly. The acquisition made the front page of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and lots of other publications. The most interesting point about the acquisition for the general public is the age of the CEO of Summly. The CEO, Mr. Nick D’Alosio, is 17 years old and, as of now, likely a millionaire.

But we didn’t find much interesting about this point. The US and most of the western world is rather taken up by youth, but we don’t share their fascination. We were after a real answer to the question of what Yahoo found so compelling about this company to justify an acquisition.

A visit to the Summly web site produces no information of any significance. But a visit to the cached web page for the company with Google did reveal a lot of useful information:

  1. Summly won the “Innovative Touch” award for 2012 from Apple for iPhone Apps. But what does “innovative touch” mean? We found some equally obscure descriptive information on this topic at iPhoneLife, something about ” . . . apps that use new forms of gestures and unusual ways of interacting with content.” (quoted from the iPhoneLife web site)
  2. The Headline banner on the old Summly site reads “Pocket sized news for the iPhone” and, just below, “News you want. Now” — OK, but what’s the big deal about these benefits? After all, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of news apps for iOS to choose from, almost all of which offer a summary feature

There is even a video on the cached site, and, yes, it does work.

This short video told us a lot.

Summly is a curation tool like Newsisfree, or one we liked a whole lot but can’t use lately, Eqentia. We like these tools quite a bit. We also agree with the point made in the short video: there is just too much “drivel” (quoted from the video) out there to put two and two together, successfully, on most topics. Curation tools are useful to get to the point you’re after at a more rapid pace than pushing through a lot of useless content.

In the next post to this blog we’ll dig further on this one.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved


Cost to Benefit Realities for Drip eMail Marketing may be Attractive for Smaller Businesses

It may make sense for truly small businesses to implement drip email marketing campaigns to try to resuscitate dead leads.

Email campaigns for small businesses usually amount to a sales pitch directed to specific recipients. But the process of sifting through contacts to find leads with genuine interest in products and services, which is what drip email marketing is all about, should be as productive for very small businesses as it is for their larger counterparts.

What is the cost of developing a set of 24 email messages, usually with less than 100 words per message? Even at $1.00 per word, a one-time fixed expense of $2400.00 can buy a very small business a six month campaign of timed emails on a specific product or service. This type of campaign can certainly be applied to an unlimited number of contacts.

If we expand on this idea, for a small business with 5 core products, then the cost of developing a drip email marketing campaign for each product amounts to $9200.00. If the average price of a product is $100.00, then the total cost of all of the campaigns is entirely recouped with 92 sales.

There is no limit to the number of contacts who can be scheduled to receive the emails. As long as products are not changed, the same investment can pay for itself over and over again. Human intervention is only required to review the results of campaigns and to make adjustments to improve performance. Autoresponders can be used with complete success to send out emails to contact lists on specific dates.

A cost per click online advertising campaign does not represent a fixed expense for a very small business and cannot be reused without additional expense. A significant amount of management time is required to optimize CPC campaigns, especially when advertisers need to use display networks.

The success of neither a drip email marketing campaign, nor for a CPC search engine advertising effort can be guaranteed by anyone. But the cost of drip email marketing campaigns may be within the reach of established very small businesses.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved


Content Marketing Delivers Valuable Results for Online Product Promotion

We have achieved high search engine rankings over a comparatively short period of time through regular online content marketing for client products and services. In a recent case we have taken a corporate blog from a PageRank of 0 to 3 in approximately 6 months. This same blog magnetized 1465 unique visits over 3 mos, from January 1, 2012 to April 1, 2012. Our missing piece (and we think a pervasive missing piece for online product marketing in general) is attracting visits for the right keywords. Not all key words are created the same. Identifying keywords that will stimulate promising visits from an appropriate segment of enterprise visitors is, therefore, a very important activity that will deliver valuable cost savings as compared to lost revenue or time lost ineptly pursuing weaker, less promising keywords.

An excellent first step with regard to choosing the right keywords is to locate the websites of market competitors. Of course, even this process of identifying the websites of market competitors is not as simple as it seems. In our experience, at the point at which we engage with clients few of them have correctly framed their value proposition for the market. In fact, many clients opt to work with us specifically around the task of framing their value proposition. We help them establish 3 critical assumptions:

  1. Just what their unique value proposal happens to be for the market and
  2. What is their average product production cost and
  3. What their competition looks like and promises to look like in the near term future

Assuming for argument’s sake that steps 1 through 3 have been correctly completed, then the accompanying websites, blogs and online mention (with the exclusion of social media, which should be studied separately) need to be analyzed to glean a set of relevant keywords. The final collection of targeted keywords becomes, thereby, a combination of unique keywords suggested for a specific client, together with related keywords targeted by competitors.

Once a set of keywords have been collected we embark on an intense daily campaign of content production, usually through a blog. Each blog post includes a text call to action to provide site visitors with an accessible means of engaging with us directly from a blog post to learn further or, where it makes sense, to place an order for a client’s product and/or service.

Based on at least a month’s blog activity we decide which key words are working and adjust content creation plans accordingly. If you are considering an online content creation program to stimulate incoming prospect contact, then you should speak with us. Please contact Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved