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Analyst Roundtable: New Mobile Forecast Data & Tough Love from New Hibu CEO

By: 15 April 2014

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On the latest installment of BIA/Kelsey’s analyst roundtable series, analyst Mike Boland explained why he is even more bullish on mobile ad revenue with his latest forecast and Managing Editor Charles Laughlin assessed recent actions of Hibu’s new CEO aimed at cutting costs and rationalizing the product set.

Boland outlined his 2013-18 mobile advertising forecast, which was published last week for BIA/Kelsey clients. Boland also provided a detailed forecast summary in a blog post last week.

One of the notable elements of the new mobile forecast is the projected growth in the share of total mobile ad revenue generated by location-targeted mobile ad campaigns, roughly from 40 percent to 51 percent over the forecast period.

“What is driving that growth is a lot more adoption from national advertisers to localize their campaigns in various ways,” Boland said.

Notably, this movement of greater local targeting by national advertisers is the central them of BIA/Kelsey’s upcoming Leading in Local: The National Impact conference, May 7-9 in Atlanta.

Laughlin then examined the flurry of recent developments at the global directory company Hibu under its new CEO (since March) David Eckert.

Eckert has imposed some heavy cost cutting, with hundreds of jobs eliminated and production sent offshore. In addition, Hibu will shut down its U.S. hyperlocal magazine initiative, citing no clear path to profitability. Laughlin detailed these developments in a blog post last week.

On the roundtable, Laughlin summed up Hibu’s recent actions this way, “Actions [Eckert] has taken in the short time he has been there suggest that he is going to be very aggressive not only in cutting costs but in making tough decisions about which products they are going to keep and which products they are not going to keep.”

Check out this video to listen to the full roundtable discussion, recorded on April 11.


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One Comment

One Comment »

  • Luis Amelinckx said:

    By moving hibu’s digital fulfillment area to Philippines, it reminds me when Dell moved its call centers to India/Philippines, the result was a catastrophe – market share and stock price declined.
    As Michael Dell later on confessed: “the team was managing cost instead
    of managing service and quality”, unfortunately that is the same syndrome hibu is facing.

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