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Monthly Archives: October 2012

“Fit” is the Current Buzzword in Hiring Practices—Thoughts?

The #1 Thing Hiring Managers Are Looking For

by Kristin Flink Kranias — August 27, 2012 —

We’ve all been there before: You interview for the seemingly perfect job opportunity, and you make all the right moves, but somehow you’re passed up in the final round. Worse, the feedback you get is unsatisfying, too—you’re told there are just too many qualified applicants.

But what’s the real reason? And what really makes the difference between many equally competent candidates?

To find out, we thought about our experiences hiring at our start-up Hipiti and from previous careers in consulting and investing, then we asked 10 of the most prolific hirers we know. We talked to HR directors at billion dollar companies, founders of top recruiting firms, and hiring managers at fast-growing start-ups. And we heard similar advice from every one of them: Standing out from the equally-qualified pack and getting that job offer most often boils down to “fit.”

What does “fit” really mean? While there are nuances by role and industry, we found a lot of commonality in our experts’ definitions:

“It’s not about how similar you are to your interviewer. Fit is about having a unique perspective that enhances the team while also proving you’ll get along with the team.”

“All else equal, fit is someone who would make a seamless transition into the department from day one.”

“Fit is someone who has a genuine, demonstrated interest in the company and product on top of a creative approach to the role.”

“Fit is the person I would be most excited to have walk into the office the next day.”

“It’s finding someone that I’ll want to go have a beer or glass of wine with outside the office because they can keep me interested.”

Some of that seems pretty straightforward—you either fit in somewhere, or you don’t. But the truth is, there are some key things you can do to show the interviewer how you stand out from all of the other candidates. Here’s what we learned about making sure your “fit” shines through:

1. Understand the Culture

Sounds obvious, but in order to show you fit in, you need to know what, specifically, the company stands for. It especially helps to know how the firm stands out compared to the competitors in its industry. For example, one of our expert’s firms is known as the down-to-earth and laid back competitor in its field. And interviewers there are immediately turned off by hints of arrogance and boasting that might be viewed positively by other firms in their industry.

So do your research, and then show you understand the company and the position by weaving what you learn into your application and your interview.

2. Do Your Homework on Your Interviewer

Same goes with your interviewers. You won’t always know who you’re meeting with, but if you do, make sure you know their background and reputation to the extent possible—including what type of behavior might intrigue them or turn them off.

Then, prep some questions that are specific to each interviewer: Ask for details about her focus at the firm, discuss current events on her specialty, or bring up a common interest you know she has outside the office. When I interviewed candidates in my previous career, I always appreciated conversations where interviewees asked questions that showed they had read my bio—or, better yet, found a personal connection.

3. Talk to People at the Company (Before Your Interview)

It’s also important to show how you’ll fit in to the company outside of the official interview. Use your friends and acquaintances (think LinkedIn, BranchOut, alumni groups) to research any connections you have with current employees, then reach out to them for coffee or an informational interview. This is a great way not only to gather intelligence for your interview, but to show everyone there how interested you are in the position.

Just remember: Every interaction you have with someone at the company has the potential to be evaluated as part of the hiring process. Be prepared for this, and keep things interview-level professional, even on friendly introductory calls.

4. Show How Your Experience is Relevant

One of the most important ways to show you’re the right person for the job is to spell out for the interviewer how you would fit in to the position and the company’s goals. Giving a few examples of how your past experience is transferrable shows that you’ve thought through how you would fit in to the organization—and makes things crystal clear for the hiring manager, too.

And if you’re changing roles or industries? Don’t worry—this doesn’t have to be a direct connection. In fact, it’s often more impressive when a candidate can make seemingly irrelevant experience seem very relevant to the role he or she is interviewing for. One expert, who leads marketing at a retailer, explains how a recent hire came from technology and managed to totally impress her by sharing specific ways she could translate her tech marketing tools to retail. She got the job because of her fresh ideas and creativity.

5. Make Your Enthusiasm Known

If you really want to work at a particular company, let it be known in multiple ways. Write it in your cover letter, share it during the interview, reiterate it in a follow up email (or even a hand-written note!), and attend company or industry events. You never want an interviewer to second-guess your interest in a position (not to mention, every interviewer likes to think they work at a desirable place!). So, show them the love in all of your interactions.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice

Different firms use different interview formats—it’s part of their culture. For example, some companies will ask case questions or brain teasers while others will give a standard set of typical interview and leadership questions.

Asking the recruiter or HR contact about the interview format ahead of time is totally fair game. And once you know, investing time to become familiar with this style can make a huge difference. Part of the practice is hearing yourself answer the questions you think you’ll be asked out loud. So grab your roommate, call your parents, or find anyone you can who will listen. Then, have them ask you the questions, listen to your answers, and give honest feedback. Did you sound genuine? Excited? Relaxed? Professional? All of these things will help show that you’re the right person for the job.

Take it from our experts: Following these tips can put you well on your way to getting your dream job. Yes, you’ll have to spend time preparing and practicing, but it’ll all be worth it when it comes time to show that you’re the best fit.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Twitter’s Shares

Dearest followers,

I read the post about Facebook and Twitter, and I have my doubts about it. I was not surprised to read that the stocks prices dropped so significantly low. Honestly, with anything, the interest and appreciation of it will always diminish.. I believe anyways. Twitter states it does not want to go public, but I have serious doubts about it staying a private company. I do believe Facebook said the same thing, and here we see that they clearly have and see the results. I believe that Twitter will too become public some day. It’s shares, no doubt, will be quite pricey, but I believe the same thing will probably happen. I believe the prices will drop rapidly and will find a point where they will stay constant, just as Facebook’s did. It is neither fair nor appropriate to say something that they can’t know for sure, especially if they have no idea if it would happen to Twitter if they did the same thing. There is only one way for us to find out what is going to happen, and that is for Twitter to become public, and that my dear friends is only a matter of time. Or am I wrong? Could everything happen the way the writer of the previous post stated? Who is to say for sure? What do you all think? Let me know:D

Signing off,

The Adventurer

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Twitter–What is your perception of this social media platform?

Twitter’s IPO, not Facebook’s, will define social

October 22, 2012: 6:54 AM

Too much has been made of Facebook’s botched offering. Here’s why Twitter’s will matter more.

By Don Reisinger, contributor

FORTUNE — The hype surrounding Facebook’s initial public offering in May was overwhelming. Nearly every investment bank was clamoring to get its hands on the company’s shares. Analysts were calling the event the defining moment of a new Internet IPO movement. After Facebook’s offering, some said, countless Web companies would join the stock frenzy and start offering their shares. Valhalla was in sight.

Unfortunately, reality hit. Like Icarus, Facebook’s share price tumbled down from its $38 opening price to around $20. There it has lingered. Naturally, other Web companies that might have gone public put their plans on ice. Perhaps worse, the IPO that was to be a clear clarion call defining a new Web era marked by massive growth in social networks, news aggregation, and location-based services. Instead,, Facebook’s IPO became a black mark. (Facebook will announce its second earnings this week.)

But there might just be a saving grace out there: Twitter.

At this point, Twitter has become one of the most important social networks on the Web. The site doesn’t have Facebook’s 1 billion users, but it has cemented itself as global, always-on, always-active global forum. Consider this: When Osama Bin Laden was killed last year, it was a Twitter user in Pakistan that broke the news first. Examples like this abound.

All of that has helped Twitter usage soar. In May, Pew found that overall usage has doubled over the last two years, with 15% of all online users surfing to Twitter. Just a month later, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed that his company had hit 400 million tweets per day, up from 200 million just 11 months earlier. That growth has prompted financial gains, even as the company’s revenue model remains a work in progress. According to research firm eMarketer, Twitter’s revenue will likely hit $288.3 million this year, and then jump to $545.2 million in 2013. By the end of 2014, the figure will soar to $807.5 million.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter has found a way to monetize mobile users. So-called sponsored Tweets — messages paid for by advertisers — are more easily present on tiny cell phones screens. By 2014, it could generate $444.1 million from smartphones and tablets, according to eMarketer. In contrast, Facebook’s plan to make money from mobile users has not convinced investors. Twitter doesn’t rely on other social companies to generate a large chunk of its revenue the way another once-hot stock Zynga did. (Its woes are another matter.)

Ultimately, that is why a Twitter might be the validation this generation of Web companies need. The site has the same public appeal as Facebook, with a better — if smaller — financial yarn to spin investors.

The niggling problem? Twitter seemingly has no desire to go public. In a host of interviews over the last several months, Twitter’s top executives have said that they don’t see an IPO in the near future. Earlier this year, in fact, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told Bloomberg that his company’s IPO is still “way out.” He echoed that sentiment in September, telling CNBC in an interview that Twitter has “every hope and belief that we will be a successful — independent — company.”

It will happen some day. Early backers and employees alike are attracted to startups by possibly lucrative equity. An IPO is the best way to cash out. Twitter has received significant venture-capital investment — over $1 billion at last count.  When that happens, expect a different scenario to play out than that what happened with Facebook. Twitter has a more stable business model that combines heavy usage with strong user engagement. The social network is woven into the events of the day, and doesn’t rely so heavily on partners to succeed.  Facebook might get all of the attention as the world’s largest social network. But it might just be Twitter that comes to define this wave of Web IPOs.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Starbucks Evangelism–What do you think about this approach to promotion?

Inside Starbucks’s $35 Million Mission To Make Brand Evangelists Of Its Front-Line Workers

By Sarah Kessler

October 22, 2012

To Starbucks, baristas are not just baristas–they are ambassadors of brand, merchants of romance, disciples of delight. The company recently invested millions in a “Leadership Lab” designed to drill that message in for 9,600 store managers. So did it work?

“It makes me proud,” declares Fawnya Ramirez, a Starbucks store manager from San Mateo, Calif. We’re standing in a 400,000-square-foot conference center in Houston that currently feels more like a Starbucks theme park.

Nearby, amid 5,000 live coffee trees, are photos of smiling farmers along with information about Starbucks’s ethical sourcing initiatives. Ramirez’s voice suddenly cracks, and she breaks into tears. “There’s just so much good that goes into a little bag of coffee,” she says, wiping off her cheek.

She still has about 300,000 square feet and 20 exhibits to go in what Starbucks calls its “Leadership Lab,” a high-gloss, two-hour, theatrical experience that was the highlight of the company’s recent conference for about 9,600 Starbucks managers, each of whom,  the company notes, “essentially run $1 million+ small businesses.”
The lights are dim, with an occasional accent ray of orange or green. And an awe-inspiring soundtrack–something you might layer over B-roll of a majestic mountainscape–completes the reverent ambiance. It’s like being immersed in a Starbucks commercial.
Of course, Starbucks doesn’t generally run commercials. What it does do, and what makes this three-day spectacle practical, is to mobilize its employees to be brand evangelists.

“[Employees] are the true ambassadors of our brand, the real merchants of romance and theater, and as such the primary catalysts for delighting customers,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wrote in his book, Onward. Give them reasons to believe in their work and that they’re part of a larger mission, the theory goes, and they’ll in turn personally elevate the experience for each customer–something you can hardly accomplish with a billboard or a 30-second spot.

U.S. companies spent an estimated $67 billion on training in 2011. Some have been more creative about it than others. P&G CEO Bob McDonald, for instance, says he invites 150 leaders each year to a training center like West Point or the Center for Creative Leadership. General Electric spends about $1 billion annually on training through its corporate university in Crotonville, N.Y.  PepsiCo enrolls its high-potential leaders in a program that includes a week at Wharton Business School and an immersion experience in an emerging market. General Mills has described one of its leadership courses as “a combination of mindfulness meditation, yoga and dialogue.”

Starbucks’s Leadership Lab is, as its name implies, part leadership training, with a station that walks store managers through a problem-solving framework. It’s also part trade show, with demonstrations of new products and signs with helpful sales suggestions, such as “tea has the highest profit margins.” The majority of experiences are meant to be educational, including several that give store managers access to top managers of the company’s roasting process, blend development, and customer service.

But what makes the Leadership Lab different than a typical corporate trade show is the production surrounding all of this. The lights, the music, and the dramatic big screens all help Starbucks marinate its store managers in its brand and culture. It’s theater–a concept that Starbucks itself is built on.

“The merchant’s success depends on his or her ability to tell a story,” writes Schultz. “What people see or hear or smell or do when they enter a space guides their feelings, enticing them to celebrate whatever the seller has to offer.”

In this case, Starbucks is selling its employees the Starbucks brand. And it has given the Leadership Lab the same attention to detail as its store ambiance.

As Valerie O’Neil, Starbucks’ VP of global communications, puts it: “[The experiences] are wrapped in a very inspirational journey, so partners can walk away not only understanding and informed, but feeling it.”

Of course, making employees feel something is much more difficult than making them understand it. That’s why at the end of the Lab, Starbucks doesn’t just have its employees write down something they’ll commit to do in their stores and tuck it away. It has them enter it on a laptop and pulls the strongest themes into a ceiling-high word cloud, a panoply of customer-friendly verbs: Connect. Inspire. Smile. Ask.

Every foot of the five-football-field-sized event space is infused with dramatic theatrical flourish. A customer service manager teams up with two local improv actors to act out difficult in-store scenarios. Tazo tea gets a sky-high display (or is that an altar?) distinguished with purple and orange lights. You can even rake real coffee beans, if you want more hands-on knowledge of how beans are harvested.

The whole shebang ends in a pristine white room where benches face a massive Starbucks logo, inviting you contemplate the company’s mission statement: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit–one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

It feels more like a chapel than the exit space for a conference trade show.

Starbucks’s mission statement, which at one point in our interview O’Neil and Starbucks’s senior VP of global coffee recite in singsong unison, was the sole focus of a similar exhibit at Starbucks’s 2008 conference in New Orleans. At the time, the company was struggling. Sales were, as Schultz puts it, in “free fall,” and shares had lost 42% of their value the year before. It was not, investors thought, a good time to invest $30 million in a conference.

Starbucks is a different company today, its leaders claim, in part because of that “galvanizing” conference. For the last 11 consecutive quarters, it has reported either record earnings or revenue or both. But the $35 million it invested this time around is still not a small chunk of change. Some might view this elegant, glitzed-up exhibit as, well, a bit excessive.

But not the employees, who appear to have fully bought into the Starbucks story. At several points in the exhibit, tables intended for journaling are actually being used for journaling. One exhibit displays the shoes of typical Starbucks customers along with snippets of feedback designed to inspire empathy (Red madras flats: “My toddler accidentally kicked my cup of coffee off the table. They were immediately there helping me clean up and bringing me a new cup….they made me feel special, not embarrassed.”) One woman picks up a patent leather pump and looks at the bottom for a price tag, but another group exchanges fond stories about customers in their own stores, based on various shoe types.

A wall instructs managers to pick up a Sharpie and share problems they are facing in their stores. It is covered in frustration. But the managers say the experience made them feel important to Starbucks. Even inspired.

“When your company invests in you like this, if you say [this is silly] you should be kicked off the island,” Karissa Sullivan, a store manager from California, tells me.

“I’m not rah-rah about anything,” another store manager tells me later that day, after he’s had a few hours to soak in the exhibit. But he has an excuse. “I’m Canadian, we’re a little more subdued.”

The manager, who wished not to be named because he likes his job, says that some of Starbucks’s well-meaning vocabulary can be hard to swallow by the time it filters from the company’s executives into each of its 18,000 stores worldwide. For instance, the habit of referring to all employees as “partners” can sometimes feel like so much marketing whitewash.

He didn’t feel that way about the Leadership Lab, though. He said it made him feel more passionate about what he does.  Tim Messer, a district manager from Scotts Valley, Calif., also assures me that “The investment the company is making will see a great return in terms of inspiration.”

After spending two and a half hours in the exhibit, even I am swimming in Starbucks feel-good. I’m not crying. Nor am I ready to make the Starbucks’ mission statement my personal mantra. But I feel darn fuzzy about the broader, positive social implications of venti lattes.

If Starbucks can give all of its managers, and by extension, their store employees, the same feeling, it might not ever need commercials. Even if it does need 1,000 lighting instruments, 445 chain motors, 120 speakers, 21 projection screens, a three-week-long installation process, and 5,000 live coffee plants to pull it off.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Have Voters Already Made Up Their Minds?

Presidential Debate and the Media

By Suzanne Spurgeon, Founder, Women Media Pros

An estimated 60 million Americans were expected to watch the first Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. And now we’re all debating the debate. Was there a clear-cut winner? A CNN/ORC telephone poll gives it to Romney by a landslide. I think later polling will be more divided.

From Fox News to ABC to CNN, many political commentators are giving Governor Romney high marks—some saying it was his best debate ever, and he did a lot of debating through the GOP primary season. We definitely saw a more assertive Romney in a real fight for undecided voters. He attacked the President on big tax breaks for failed, green energy firms, an area where the President is vulnerable. And he held his own, on some key issues.

The President didn’t implode in Denver, but to me, he seemed off his game. He began by wishing his wife a “happy anniversary”, and then he talked about his late grandmother, and how important Social Security and Medicare were to her. This should play well with female voters and seniors. But was it enough?

For me, the biggest surprise was what we didn’t hear from the President. What happened to the “47%” attack? In ninety minutes the President didn’t say one word about it. Could he be saving it for the next debate, or did his team opt to take the high road? I think we will see a different President Obama in the next debate. A good deal of Governor Romney’s debate prep time was dedicated to countering an attack that never came.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act got lots of play during this debate. Certainly an important topic, but I wonder how many viewers know exactly what it is, or will admit to having only a basic understanding of it?

From the spin rooms to the anchor desks, every word will be sliced and diced for days. Behind the scenes the fact-checkers have perhaps the hardest job, separating fact from fiction. But long before the fact checking and poll results, viewers make up their own minds. No surprise that citizen journalists share their views immediately on every conceivable social media site. This may be an even better barometer in 2012 than any official polling.

I found the non-verbals rather telling. The President looked annoyed at times, but loosened up and smiled more as the debate went on. He chose not to look at Governor Romney much of the time. He did look directly into his head-on camera and spoke straight to the American public, which can be effective. Governor Romney chose to look at the President often, but I think I detected a bit of a smirk at one point. Still, these pale by comparison to past Presidential debates. Remember?

Al Gore sighed, Richard Nixon sweated, and George HW Bush checked his watch. The media made a big deal out of all those non-verbal missteps. And the public listened.

As close as this election is, this debate and those to follow later this month, may actually sway some voters. Conventional wisdom says, most of the millions who watch Presidential debates, have already made up their minds and are simply cheerleaders for their candidate at this stage. I believe the media, traditional and new, have an obligation to the public to report both sides of the issues. We see too many journalists giving us their opinions. I am not against political commentators, but solid, “just the facts” reporting is important.

Stayed tuned for the next debate and the media’s dissection of the messaging and the messengers.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Starbucks

This fund is suppossed to create and sustain jobs for people in  communitites in and around the United States, which according to the Starbucks CEO is the sole reason for creating this fund.  However i only feel as if he is doing this to better the posistion of his company, he isn’t doing it just beause its the right thing to do.  It’s really an enlightened self-interest.  I do feel as if he is just “campaining” to gain publicity and attention for the Starbucks brand and name.  People can’t buy coffee without a job, and I feel like this thought is most certainly in the CEO’s head.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

How Do You Think Mobile Technology’s Ad Struggles Could Affect PR?

From Ad Age| Digital

Will Mobile’s Massive Growth Ever Equal Real Revenue?

Media Companies Once Lamented That Ads Worth Dollars Offline Were Only Worth Dimes on the Web. It’s Even Worse on Mobile

By:Jason Del Rey
 Published:10/1/2012

Three years ago Andy Wasef, head of mobile and emerging platforms at media agency MEC, sat on a panel exploring how to drive mobile ad growth. He issued a charge to his fellow panelists — executives at ad agencies, marketing trade groups and publishers: Let’s learn from the mistakes of how advertising appears and is measured online and not duplicate them on mobile phones.

So much for that.

“Despite our best efforts, the industry has mostly just followed the online model,” said Mr. Wasef. “And so much of what is offered from publishers is really an online replication, but at a poorer level.”

 

Poorer is the key word. If publishers once lamented that offline dollars turned into “digital dimes” as content and audiences moved to the web, here’s what might be keeping them up at night: Digital dimes are turning into mobile pennies. The effective cost per thousand impressions on the desktop web is about $3.50, according to data crunched by Mary Meeker, partner at Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. On the mobile internet? A whopping 75¢.

That should be of particular concern to publishers, given the rise in media consumption via mobile devices.

In interviews, media companies from Condé Nast to Gawker Media say visits from mobile phones and tablets have more than doubled in the past 12 months and now account for 20% to 30% of the overall traffic to their content. In many cases, this growth has caught publishers unprepared, with sales staffs often lacking the necessary training or clear strategies to monetize mobile audiences. Some media companies are taking a wait-and-see approach. In a rush to cash in on this shift, others are often relying on what they know best: the banner ad, which is proving to not be much better.

The ad experience on mobile phones is challenging for a number of reasons. The smaller screen sizes make most ads unattractive, privacy settings restrict targeting and short user sessions make providing more than one ad in front of a user nearly impossible. Meanwhile, encouraging readers to pay for mobile content has been an equally tough battle for many media companies. “There’s no easy way to push 300 by 50 [pixel] ads and build big money off of it,” said Mandar Shinde, AOL’s senior director of mobile and mail monetization.

In general, advertisers haven’t specially prepared their messages for mobile and are retrofitting what they know from desktop-web marketing — with some ugly consequences. As Mr. Wasef and several other media executives noted, one doesn’t have to look far to find big brands whose campaigns and ad experiences aren’t optimized for the phone. Often they link to broken pages and frustrate users. (On one major mobile publisher’s app, this reporter was greeted by an ad for a retailer that sent him to a webpage with an error message; another ad from a popular beauty-products company directed people to a Facebook mobile log-in.) Accidental clicks on touch-screen phones can also add to user frustration.

CANNIBALIZING PRICING

Meanwhile, media companies have inadvertently cannibalized mobile pricing by pawning off ad sales to mobile ad networks. These networks have gotten their hands on mobile-ad inventory much faster than ad networks did with desktop-browser inventory. As a result, they have been able to build high-volume businesses that sell mobile ads for prices below what many top-tier media companies such as NBC Sports believe is fair market value.

“As you go to market and look to bring really interesting sponsorship opportunities to buyers, the objection that does come up a fair amount is the great pricing disparity,” said Nick Johnson, head of national sales for NBC Sports Digital. “And that tends to be an objection that is difficult to overcome, which prevents you from having a very strategic conversation.”

For their part, representatives of mobile ad networks say it’s not their fault that they beat many publishers to the opportunity. “Consumer adoption is there, but the reality is many publishers haven’t caught up in selling it,” Jumptap CMO Paran Johar said.

As a result, companies such as Gawker Media and Atlantic Media, owner of the The Atlantic magazine and the new business site Quartz, are banking on building their mobile businesses around branded content more than advertising. Both companies are selling small ads on some mobile properties — either directly or through a network — but each have sites where the only monetization is coming via brand-sponsored posts, according to business executives at the companies.

“[Mobile] advertising right now, from a pure creative standpoint, leaves so much to be desired,” said Gawker Media’s chief advertising officer, Andrew Gorenstein. “I don’t see that as a huge opportunity.”

OPPORTUNITY LOST

But it’s not all doom and gloom — yet. Mobile content consumption, for the most part, is additive and not yet cannibalizing desktop consumption, making its low revenue per user more of an opportunity lost than a business crisis. Mr. Shinde estimates that about half of all the people who visit AOL sites do so both from a desktop and tablets or mobile phones. AOL is trying to figure out how to show more ads to these users without scaring them away. But Mr. Shinde said that’s hardly a singular solution.

AOL will begin adding e-commerce to mobile ad units over the next six months and is working on mobile-commerce opportunities that won’t be connected to ad units. And some mobile experiments are showing initial success. The New York Times — a media property that occupies a unique position in having proved people will pay for its digital offerings — continues to focus on a combination of digital subscription revenue and revenue from mobile advertising, according to Denise Warren, chief advertising officer of the Times and general manager of NYTimes.com.

Ms. Warren said that 24% of all the Times’ views in August happened on phones or tablets, with about two-thirds of those specifically coming from phones. While the Times sells much of its mobile-ad inventory through custom cross-platform purchases at premium prices, it also sells ads on its mobile apps through Google and Apple’s ad networks. Ms. Warren said the company also plans to work out more relationships similar to its recent deal with Flipboard, which allows Flipboard users to access a certain amount of Times content for free and lets Times subscribers sign in to get its content within the Flipboard app. The Times and Flipboard then split ad revenue for that content. “We want to replicate this kind of arrangement with others and create scale,” Ms. Warren said, adding that she’s also thinking about mobile e-commerce opportunities.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau is pushing a slate of more inspired mobile-ad units, and young companies such as PlaceIQ are trying to bring greater precision to geographically targeted mobile ads. Startups such as Session M have gained some early traction by rewarding mobile users for taking certain actions such as sharing an article, watching a video highlight or viewing an ad. Still, most media companies don’t seem ready to make the leap.

There is no right strategy yet.

“Whenever a medium develops like this, there are solutions not foreseen in the beginning that, I think, may win the day,” said Jay Lauf, group publisher of Atlantic Media and publisher of Quartz.

It may take time. Nearly two decades after the first banner ad surfaced, executives still debate that format’s effectiveness, with Twitter, BuzzFeed and others recently pushing the conversation around “native advertising,” a phrase increasingly used as a catch-all for anything that’s not a traditional display ad.

So if the evolution of the web is any indication, a solution for mobile may not arrive anytime soon.

And when it does, it very well may not be ads.

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Posted by on October 2, 2012 in Uncategorized