Tuesday, November 25, 2014

India Rivals US as No. 2 Internet Audience

As of the end of 2014, eMarketer estimates, India is the world’s third-largest internet market. Nearly 216 million people in India have gone online at least monthly this year, up 28.9% over 2013 usage levels. Still, less than one-fifth of the country’s overall population is digitally connected this year.

eMarketer expects usage growth in India to continue in the double digits—but just barely. Growth rates like 2013’s 36.1% increase are in the past; by the end of our forecast period the internet population in the country will go up by barely 10% per year. That will still leave only around a quarter of residents with regular internet access by 2018. Still, even with such a low penetration rate, India’s sheer size means its online population will exceed that of the US by 2016, at 283.8 million vs. 264.9 million. In Indonesia, eMarketer already estimates penetration is higher than it will be in India by the end of our forecast period. But that also means slower growth in the country, which has the fourth-largest overall population and the sixth-largest internet population this year. 
Destined to outpace Japan, but not Brazil, in internet market size by 2017, Indonesia will continue to grow its internet penetration until reaching nearly 47% in 2018. Double-digit growth will be over, however, by 2016, when about two in five residents is online. While substantial compared to most other countries in the world, the Indian and Indonesian internet markets will continue to be dwarfed by China’s for the foreseeable future. 


Monday, November 24, 2014

The Rise of the User Experience Marketer

This week’s big mobile search news – that Google is adding mobile-friendly site labels in mobile SERPs – highlights the rising importance of user experience in search marketing. But this crossover goes beyond mobile search.
It’s happening everywhere. Agencies and in-house teams are beginning to realize that the overlap between digital marketing and user experience is significant. Both marketers and UX professionals provide valuable insights into user behavior before a site is developed. Both marketers and UX professionals have an interest in creating a user-friendly interface so that customers achieve the business’ end goal. Both marketers and UX professionals must focus on creating a positive customer experience in order for a website or product to be successful.
So why do we often work in silos? Perhaps its because UX focuses on how users feel and marketing concentrates on what users do. This may ruffle some feathers, but it’s time to find the intersection between user feelings and user action.
In particular, marketers can achieve great success by learning the tools our UX friends have mastered and embrace the overlap between the quantitative and qualitative sides of the customer experience.

UX Tools for Marketers

The strongest marketers will be those who are comfortable analyzing behavior data, while also conducting and incorporating qualitative research about users. Mastering these tools and ideas can help marketers understand their users’ feelings about a site or product.
UserTesting: Become an expert in creating and evaluating user tests. UserTesting allows you ask real users questions while they use your site or application. You receive their feedback in a video format. Whenever you’re updating a site’s content structure, building new product pages, or changing a conversion process UserTesting can help you better understand user pain points and make proactive adjustments. Never assume your users will feel how you feel. Get real-life feedback and apply a qualitative, test-and-learn approach to your marketing strategy.
Sketching: Whether you use an online sketch tool or a pen and paper, you should become comfortable creating basic sketches so you can contribute comfortably during design brainstorming sessions. Sketching can also help you think of a variety of solutions to one opportunity, which will give you a chance to test the best option.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mobile 2015: 4 Trends to Watch

The mobile space continues to see growth and innovation as 2014 winds to a close. What can marketers expect to see in 2015?
"Mobile is the front door of Target." That's what the senior vice president of Target.com and mobile said when he announced the company's enhanced mobile offerings, which include a two-tap checkout process and new pharmacy app. It's a sentiment that might have been expressed in any major brand headquarters over the course of this year. Now more than ever, mobile strategy is at the forefront of marketers' minds.
According to Target, mobile accounts for about two-thirds of the retailer's digital traffic - and rising. This isn't particularly uncommon. ESPN, the BBC, CNN, and Facebook have all seen their traffic swing from desktop to mobile. ComScore reports that 60 percent of all time spent with digital media now occurs on smartphones and tablets.
This year will mark the launch of Connection Day, an event devised by Verizon to give holiday travelers access to audiobooks, music, and apps from brands like Amazon, Audible, Pandora, and Apple. Companies everywhere are acknowledging and preparing for this revolution in the way that we consume media, work, play, and shop online. But what can we expect from the year to come?


One of the trends we're likely to see is a move toward creating "micro-moments" - customized mobile experiences that deliver in seconds flat. Earlier this month Forrester research released areport encompassing its mobile predictions for 2015 that was subtitled "Experience Creation Trumps App Creation." Those experiences are expected to incorporate contextual relevance and personalization. According to Forrester, though, brands shouldn't just plan to deliver micro-moments to their customers, but "extend them to wearable devices" as well.

Location-Based Marketing and Maps

Geo-location and geo-fencing that pinpoint users wherever they are, along with beacons and retailer-specific maps, are also likely to see an uptick in popularity among brands. Starwood Hotels and Resorts has begun experimenting with beacons to pre-identify hotel guests. Dairy Queen is testing an app that provides users with geo-targeted coupons. Among Target's mobile updates are "enhanced navigation," for which the company partnered with mapping technology provider Point Inside. Interactive store maps, including a Black Friday version, guide shoppers to their desired items.

Mobile Video

On the advertising front, video is still going strong, but increasingly those videos are being watched on mobile devices. Americans now spend some 33 minutes per day watching videos on their phones, and 62 percent of smartphone users are "OK with 15- to 30-second ads" in exchange for video content. The Mobile Marketing Association reports that non-skippable ads ranging from 15 to 30 seconds in length receive high completion rates, and that "excessive" mobile video ad frequency can drastically reduce completion and click-through rates.

Mobile Shopping, Holiday and Beyond

According to Juniper Research, more than 2 billion mobile users will make a mobile commerce transaction by the end of 2017. You can bet they plan to start this holiday season. A recent survey by shopping discovery company Wanderful Media found that 77 percent of shoppers now use their smartphones to help them compare prices, find nearby stores, and locate sales. Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation says that more than half of consumers will use their smartphones while shopping during the holidays, and about 63 percent of tablet owners will do the same.
Black Friday and holiday-specific mobile apps represent opportunities for retailers to connect with eager buyers and ease reluctant consumers into the mobile world. Mobile promotions, like a text-to-win sweepstakes launched by Old Navy that customers can play while waiting in line in-store, can offer inspiration for year-round campaigns.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Internet to Hit 3 Billion Users in 2015

Nearly half the world's population will have regular access to the web by 2018 - 

The number of internet users worldwide will surpass 3 billion in 2015, according to new figures from eMarketer, increasing 6.2% next year to reach 42.4% of the entire world's population.

This year, the internet will reach more than two in five people in the world for the first time as online audience hits 2.89 billion users globally. By 2018, eMarketer estimates, nearly half the world's population, or 3.6 billion people, will access the internet at least once each month.
"Inexpensive mobile phones and mobile broadband connections are driving internet access and usage in countries where fixed internet has been out of reach for consumers, whether that's due to lack of infrastructure or affordability," said Monica Peart, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. "While highly developed markets are nearly saturated in terms of internet users, there's significant room for growth in emerging ones; for example, India and Indonesia will both see double-digit growth in each year between now and 2018."