Die Story von WannaCry: eine Verkettung von Unfähigkeit, Ignoranz und bösen Absichten

Die Story der aktuellen Trojaner-, Wurm- und Ransomsoftware WannyCry ist so hanebüchen, man möchte heulen:

Das Resultat konnte jeder an teilweise sehr öffentlich Plätzen sehen:

 

Wer kann im Jahr 2017 also noch daran zweifeln, dass IT Security eines der wichtigsten Themen für Unternehmen und Politik ist?

Mittlerweile sind über 200.000 Menschen in 150 Ländern davon betroffen. Weitere Wellen werden morgen früh erwartet, wenn sich Millionen Arbeitnehmer weltweit nach dem Wochenende zum ersten Mal wieder einloggen. Zudem werden neue Attacken mit Varianten ohne Kill-Switch erwartet. Die nächste Woche kann spannend werden.

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Toyota launches Yaris Advergame

Toyota published an Xbox advergame, says an article on the NY Times:

The shooting car is the central character of a new Xbox game called Yaris that Toyota will introduce today. The game will be offered free to all Xbox 360 console owners in the United States and Canada, who can download it from Xbox Live’s service. It is also the first Xbox game created by an advertiser to be distributed over Xbox Live.

They were not the first to launch such a game, but again, this is a good example of a growing trend:

Advertisers in the United States will spend $502 million on video game advertising this year, up from $346 million last year, according to eMarketer, a research firm. Just over half of that is in the form of ads placed within games, and the rest is for marketers to create their own games, known in the industry as advergames.

That this can bei highly successful is proven by Burger King for example, who sold an advergame for the Xbox for $3.5 which despite the price showed a considerable amount of time spent with the game:

Using Xbox data on game use, the Burger King game equates in time spent to more than 1.4 billion 30-second commercials, the fast-food company says.

Imagine that. 1.4 billion voluntary 30 second long contacts – It will be hard for „classical“ advertising to beat that! Both in terms of quantity, as well as quality:

Interacting with our characters in the games is actually more engaging than just sitting back in your chair and watching a Super Bowl commercial,” said Russ Klein, president for global marketing for Burger King.

(On a side note: how does Microsoft track that, anyway? This is scary, once again…)

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Facebook widgets: mini-bubbles in a bubble?

Sometimes it feels like there never is a single day without news about Facebook. Today, the New York Times published an article about „investing in a theory“ – the fact that there is a hype about participating on Facebook, programming widgets, earning revenues in any way possible. But nobody really found out how just yet:

Now it appears that such exuberance has infused the expanding Facebook universe, even though no one has yet proved it is possible to build a profitable business with sustainable revenues on the site. Some developers report earning tens of thousands of dollars in advertising with the applications they have created. Yet their applications are mostly running ads promoting other Facebook applications — a situation that recalls the earliest Gold Rush miners, who earned a living selling shovels to other miners. And developers must cover the cost of hosting the applications on their own Web servers.

Nevertheless, people are as optimistic about this as they were about the whole industry some 7 years ago.

This summer, Lee Lorenzen, a venture capitalist in Monterey, Calif., who describes himself as “the first Facebook-only V.C.,” started a $25 million Facebook investment fund and introduced a Web tool, at Adanomics.com, that assigns a monetary value to Facebook applications.

And here is a quick facts summary taken from adanomics:

  • There are 348,289,583 installs across 5,160 apps on Facebook.
  • These applications were used 25,756,704 times in the last 24 hours and have a combined valuation of $286,885,848.
  • Facebook has approximately 40 million Unique Active Users in the past 30 days and a valuation between $10Bn and $15Bn.
  • This translates to between $250 and $375 per active user.

… a combined valuation of $285 million! $250 valuation per user! Hard to believe, but that seems to be the reason why Microsoft decided to invest in Facebook. (A small amount that will dent their annual report like a rounding error.) So is this a real deal, or is it a hype?

The optimism of some of the widgets programming marketeers are so optimistic, that it makes me sceptical.

„We have the potential opportunity to create the new MTV,” (iLike)

Mr. Lorenzen values popular Facebook applications like Where I’ve Been (lets users show which countries and states they have visited), Texas Hold ’Em Poker and What’s Your Stripper Name (suggests what you and your friends would call yourselves on stage) at around $2 million each.

Most hope to either attract Facebook-users to their website and offers, some might publish ads on their widget canvas. But will that really be enough to sustain these valuations?

On a side note: If advertising is the model for generating any revenue, Facebook might actually perform much worse than other sites, because people are so familiar and engaged with the existing contents/widgets, that ad banner blindness will be much more common amongst these users than visitors of other media sites. That’s at least what some people say, and I think that is a reasonable assumption.

However, it could also imply that any click on a banner on Facebook is probably much more valuable than clicks on other networks. Simply because it wasn’t an accident or pure boredom. The user is actually interested in whatever the banner offered.

Soon enough, apparently, Facebook will start targetting ads using information they take from the profiles (makes sense, doesn’t it?), so ads should also become much more relevant.

The whole phenomenon of Facebook widgets definitely needs to be watched carefully, and I don’t think it would hurt for companies to test the water publishing small widgets and measuring the effects. But I am still sceptical about this exuberant optimism. Prove me wrong, I would be very much delighted to report on successful tactics any time!

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Learning Marketing from Apple.

Apple’s handling of the iPhone price issue raises many questions about what Apple can get away with unscathed.

A recent PcWorld article is asking whether Apple is the new Microsoft. Will Apple be the new bully on the IT playground?

Don’t look now, but the role of the industry’s biggest bully is increasingly played by Apple, not Microsoft. Here’s a look at how Apple has shoved Microsoft aside as the company with the worst reputation as a monopolist, copycat and a bully.

Here is the best statement:

iTunes for Windows‘ popularity isn’t driven by software product quality. ITunes is the slowest, clunkiest, most nonintuitive application on my system. But I need it because I love my iPods.

That is sooo true!

Of course Apple is far away from being a monopoly, unlike Microsoft is or at least was. But the monopolistic behaviour is similar.

Amazing, but considering the fact that the Apple brand is almost religiously embraced by its fans to an extent that could make the catholic church jealous, we can clearly see what makes Apple so successful:

Fantastic marketing.

While Microsoft always focused on either purchasing small(er) software shops to extend their portfolio or to dictate terms on their partners, Apple focused on marketing. Hey, it also worked for Nike in their battle against Adidas.

It all comes down to a simple rule: People don’t purchase products. People buy ideas, dreams or beliefs. And Apple sells exactly this. Apparently, they were rareley the first to launch certain types of products

Off the Record, a German advertising blog, pointed me to a site called MarketingApple by Steve Chazin, uncovering the secrets to Apple-style-marketing.

There you can find a PDF with „the five secrets of Apple Marketing„:

1. Don’t sell products. People buy what other people have.

2. Never be first to Market. Make something good greater.

3. Empower early adopters. Help your customer help you.

4. Make your message memorable. Boil the story down to its syrupy goodness.

5. Go one step futher. Surprise and delight your customers.

So there will be two good reasons for continuing to watch Apple: the fascinating products and how the fascination is nurtured by Apple Marketing.

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Gates and Jobs interviewed during the D5

This is one of those most amazing setups: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are being interviewd during the „All Things Digital“ conference this year. They talk about the computer, software and internet industry, some thoughts about the history but also the future, etc. Well worth watching, also very entertaining!

steveandbill.jpg

It already starts with a prologue of other incidents in the last few decades, when the two met for discussions.

Watch Steve talk about things he can’t talk about yet, but „they are beautiful, so amazing, they will blow you away“. Again and again. And Bill trying to tell fascinating stories by stating facts.

If you don’t have the time to watch it all the way, make sure you watch at least the „highlights reel

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Zune on Ellen: Microsoft’s new leaking campaign

Just found this on Adjab: Zune on Ellen: Microsoft’s new leaking campaign.

Not bad going for Microsoft. With this kind of advertising they might actually invade the iPod space. I guess they had already practised. At least that’s what it looks like in this video, that was supposed to be „internal“ but then hit YouTube nevertheless. (That must have been a well-orchastrated publicity stunt.)

Now they sent the Zune Player (couldn’t they have chosen a better name?) to so called influentiers and opinion leaders, such as Ellen, who presented the player in her TV show.

What I particularly like about the Zune Player, though (without actually having seen one myself – is the landscape display for movies, which probably makes it more fun to watch movies on this thing than on the iPod Video!

But back to my point: it seems like Microsoft might actually get their marketing right this time AND apply it for a good product. These two things were rarely seen before on their own, if at all – and almost never in combination.

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