Here are the venture capital update fundings for the second week of March 2013.
The FTC has updated their guidelines and you can find the updated file here: FTC Staff Revises Online Advertising Disclosure Guidelines. From the page:
“The Federal Trade Commission today released new guidance for mobile and other online advertisers that explains how to make disclosures clear and conspicuous to avoid deception.”
Did you know that the FTC has a blog? Here is a post entitled FTC Reboots .com Disclosures: Four Key Points and One Possible Way to Bypass the Issue Altogether
Essentially they updated the guidelines to make is crystal clear that disclosures are needed no matter where the advertisement is. Here is an excellent article discussing how it applies to twitter entitled FTC Lays Down the Law on Endorsed Tweets.
On venture capital update we list Internet and new media fundings every day. Once a week we create a video show the quickly runs through all of the fundings and what each one does while showing a snapshot of their website. This is a quick way to see who is receiving funding in what industry. Particularly if you’re an entrepreneur you will be interested to see which types of sites and businesses are getting funded.
Many times I’m impressed with the companies that receive money. However, like you, I often see companies that surprise me in terms of how much money they raise. It is also interesting to see sites that are in various forms of development. It really goes to show that you never know who will fund what. Below is the latest video as well as a link to the companies discussed in each funding and a link to the venture capital update website to read more about each.
There are also coupons provided at the site for hosting and domains. In case you want to get started with your own online site this March. The March deals provide economical hosting and domains at an unheard of price.
Venture capital update fundings for the week of March 1st to March 7th.
Graduway : Alumni Platform
Thinkful : Learn to code in 3 months
Personal.com : Store information on your mobile phone securely
Bright Bytes : Measure impact of technology spending in schools
Personal Matter : People management for service industries
Playnomics : Monetize your mobile games
TutorSpree : Find a tutor in your area
The Business of Fashion : Online Fashion Magazine
ArtSpace.com : High-end art sales
Blottr : People Powered News
I always enjoy the PEW research on various topics. The PEW research Center looked at various events over the course of a year to determine if twitter trends with the overall public opinion of the US or does not. In other words when a statistically valid sample is taken from individuals in the United States and the gauge opinions on various topics how does Twitter compare. I think they were trying to determine if they could use the discussions on twitter as a barometer of public opinion. It appears from this research the answer is no.
Go here to see the entire study. It is a very good read and well done. The result was essentially that when comparing a statistically valid sample across United States to twitter the results were not the same. Many people would probably already have guessed that twitter and a valid sample determining public opinion would be different. When you take a poll they attempt to take an even sample in a statistically valid sample.
When you look at the reactions on twitter you are not taking a statistically valid sample you are just looking at all of the people on twitter. If the demographic of the individuals on twitter happen to match what a cross-section of America would look like when a poll is conducted than it would’ve worked fine. However that is not the case. I do not know exactly what or how the demographic skews on twitter but it definitely skews. Most importantly it is only 13% or so of the United States according to the research. That in and of itself does not mean it is invalid if of course the demographics matched up appropriately.
I think it is good for news outlets and others to understand that they cannot rely on twitter data to determine what the overall public opinion is. Another interesting thing they found is that regardless of the issue people or more likely to talk negatively about something and positively. Most of the tweets in some of their scenarios were negative tweets. I guess the old adage that people prefer to complain holds true even for those that use twitter.
Take a look at the pew research on this particular versus public opinion and take a look at the rest of their information as it is always informative and on many various topics.
We often work with companies to decrease their cost per acquisition (CPA) and optimize their lifetime value (LTV). Many companies do not quite understand how to obtain either the CPA or the LTV nor understand how to optimize them. Those companies that do understand how to track them and how their efforts can impact them seem to optimize their marketing better and be much more forward thinking.
Those are the two major customer metrics, the cost per acquisition and the lifetime value. Lifetime value can be much more valuable than you might imagine yet few companies seem to track it. From what I have see GoDaddy understands the importance of life time value very well. More below.
Understanding Cost Per Acquisition
Quite simply the cost per acquisition is the cost it takes to acquire a new customer. In monetary terms it would be a dollar value. When it comes to online marketing let’s assume you spend $1,000 in a month on banner advertisements and you have used tracking links to associate customers to that marketing campaign. You then query your database and realize that 50 new customers came via the marketing link. Through simple division it is determined that the cost per acquisition is $20 per customer. This cost is a sunk cost and fairly simple to determine with respect to each marketing campaign. It is straightforward to calculate and to understand why it is so valuable to calculate. A smart business understands this. Now let’s discuss Lifetime Value.
Cost per acquisition can be looked at as a sunk cost when it comes to marketing. That cost relates to the cost of first obtaining a customer. Additional costs after you have acquired a customer a related to retaining the customer. How much you want to spend on acquisition and retention combined depends on the overall lifetime value. If the LTV is $80 you obviously do not want to spend more than a combined $80 or you are losing money, not to mention all the other costs and you ideally do not want to spend more than your net profit per customer.
Here is an example of how a company attempts to decrease their LTV and customer retention by providing a godaddy promo code found here http://godaddy-coupons.longest.com/ for new and current customers. The key is to provide the coupons for current customers. Many companies only provide deals to new customers. Their idea is to decrease their cost per acquisition by increasing the likelihood of conversion when they offer a discount. That is been shown over time to work very well. However very few companies consider decreasing their cost of retaining customers to increase the overall lifetime value. The longer you can keep a customer and the more they purchase your service or products the greater your overall lifetime value and hopefully your profits increase.
GoDaddy Understands LTV and How it Effects their Bottom Line
By providing godaddy promo codes that current customers can use shows Go Daddy understands how to effect their LTV positively. If you can keep current customers happy they will continue to be a customer. It has often been shown that it is much cheaper to sell to a current customer than it is to obtain a new customer. We should all take notice of those companies that are at the top of their industries and market online. These are excellent case studies, studying those that are successful can be very enlightening.