Mid-Market Products

Knowledge@Wharton writes:

“In the U.S. and around the world, the consumer markets are bifurcating into two fast-growing pools of spending,” writes author Michael J. Silverstein in his new book, Treasure Hunt: Inside the Mind of the New Consumer. “At the high end, consumers are trading up, paying a premium for high-quality, emotionally rich, high-margin products and services. At the low end, consumers are relentlessly trading down, spending as little as possible to buy basic, low-cost goods and services.” Between both piles lies a vast range of mediocre, medium-range products that Silverstein claims is doomed to decline.

Mobile Search

WSJ writes:

Advertising on cellphones is still in its infancy, generating just about $100 million last year, analysts say. And, mobile searching generates little if any revenue.

Mobile searches also provide Internet search firms with a tantalizing opportunity to increase the consumer reach of their services and advertising. Success on cellphones could potentially translate into increased market share for Internet services accessed from PCs.

Search companies still are trying to figure out the business model for mobile searches. Traditionally, Internet search engines have made money by selling ads linked to specific keyword queries; advertisers pay to have their ads, typically a few lines of text, displayed alongside search results. But, whether advertising on one inch-by-one inch screens will appeal to advertisers — and consumers — remains to be seen. Some Internet companies believe click-to-call ads, which use the consumer’s cellphone to directly dial the advertiser when clicked on, will become a primary model for advertising on phones.

Google Press Day

John Battelle writes:

1. A renewed focus on search. This was a clear message: We differentiate on search, we lead in search, we live by search. Clearly, the competitive differentiation was important to get across.

2. An expansion of what search means. With Trends, Google is finally starting to mine the Database of Intentions for the obvious value it contains. With Co-Op, it’s starting to mine intentional clickstream. These two signals are critical to advances in search.

3. An attempt to remind an increasingly querlous press corps of what makes Google special. The corny video, the explanation of how Google works, the reminders about the founder’s letter, the homey anecdotes about innovation in omlette preparation – all designed to strengthen the company’s image as unique in the field.

4. A clear nod toward increased competition and a move into the messy world of people over machines.