Monday, December 22, 2014

63 Percent of Global Digital Ad Spend Will Go to Mobile by 2018

eMarketer predicts that next year, advertisers will spend $64.3 billion on mobile advertising, up 60 percent from 2014. And by 2018, mobile ad spend will reach $159 billion, or 63 percent of global digital ad spend.
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As 2014 winds to a close, everyone is looking forward to 2015, but eMarketer is jumping ahead a bit further with its new worldwide ad spend tool and predicting that from 2014 through 2018, digital ad spend will see a strong growth, primarily driven by mobile.
The interactive tool enables users to view ad spend across 22 countries. Users can select and filter shares by year (throughout the forecast period), by market, and by category (total media ad spending, digital ad spending, and mobile ad spending). It estimates that global digital ad spend will reach $171 billion in 2015, up 17 percent compared to 2014.
Digital will further represent more than 30 percent of total media ad spend in 2016 and forward.
Meanwhile, eMarketer predicts that mobile advertising will be a key growth driver worldwide through 2018. In 2015, advertisers will spend $64.3 billion on mobile, up 60 percent from 2014. Looking forward, mobile will reach $159 billion in 2018, representing a whopping 63 percent of total digital ad spend.
A look at different markets shows that the U.S. has a critical presence in digital media, especially in mobile, followed by China and the U.K. In 2015, mobile ad spend in the U.S. will increase by 50 percent from a year prior and reach $28.2 billion, representing 44 percent of global mobile ad spend.
China and the U.K. will also invest heavily in mobile, according to the prediction tool. Next year, both markets will account for 19 percent and 7 percent of the global mobile ad spend, respectively.
By 2018, the U.S., China and the U.K. combined will account for 66 percent of worldwide mobile ad spend.
In comparison, Japan and Germany rank fourth and fifth, respectively, for digital and mobile ad spend throughout the forecast period.
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Can Marketers Overcome Cross-Device Targeting Barriers?

Cross-device targeting is still in its early days, even as growing numbers of advertisers, publishers and ad platforms participate in the practice. Today, there’s no shortage of people promising cross-device targeting solutions, but the incompatibility of those solutions across publishers, platforms and devices can leave advertisers frustrated and their efforts fragmented, according to a new eMarketer report, “Cross-Device Targeting: Success Hinges on Device Identification Methods.” 
For years, the cookie served as the universal online advertising identifier, enabling buyers, sellers and third-party go-betweens to effectively recognize and reach individuals. But today, as non-web-based digital activities on mobile phones and apps, connected TVs, wearables, connected cars and other IP-enabled devices continue to compose an increasing portion of consumers’ digital media footprints, the cookie’s utility is waning. Yet the need for a universal identifier has never been greater.
Marketers’ interest in cross-device ad targeting is clear. In a January 2014 survey of US agency media professionals conducted by research firm Bovitz on behalf of digital marketing personalization firm Conversant, the greatest number of respondents (70%) cited cross-device advertising as the digital advertising topic they wanted to know more about.
An April 2014 survey, conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by demand-side platform (DSP) Simpli.fi, found 53% of US advertising and publishing decision-makers were already selling full cross-platform integrated programs. Significant numbers of respondents also said they sold cross-device advertising capabilities between pairs of screens, such as phones and tablets or desktop and video.
Inarguably, the biggest shift that both buyers and sellers must first undergo before making cross-device targeting a reality is to move from sole reliance on the cookie to some other identification tag capable of recognizing an individual across all digital screens, operating systems and browsers. In the absence of such technology, cross-device ad targeting just won’t work.
But accessing and applying that technology at scale can prove challenging, further complicating advertisers’ ability to track and target audiences across screens. In a Q2 2014 survey of US agency professionals conducted by digital display ad platform Jivox, more than half of respondents (54%) cited audience tracking and targeting as the biggest impediments to multiscreen advertising.
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

What's Mobile's Role in the Omnichannel Experience?

Consumers don’t think about online or offline—they’re shopping. Most retailers, on the other hand, are still having trouble providing a unified shopping experience. Omnichannel marketing as a term may be trendy, but there’s nothing ephemeral about the idea that customers prefer a seamless, cross-channel shopping experience, according to a new eMarketer report, “Omnichannel Trends 2015: Mobile Is the New Retail Hub.”

While the vast majority of retail purchases still take place in stores, the purchase decision process increasingly flows through smartphones. There are a few exceptions: Most groceries and packaged goods aren’t reconsidered each time. But for considered purchases, people are researching online before and during their time in a store.
Mobile is the catalyst for sales captured elsewhere. eMarketer estimates that there were 145.9 million mobile shoppers in the US this year, up 23 million from 2013. Only about half of smartphone shoppers, however, will buy anything on their phones. In 2015, we expect mobile to account for only 1.6% of total US retail sales.
A Placecast survey conducted by Harris Poll in October 2014 confirmed the multifaceted role of smartphones in shopping. Only 14% of US smartphone owners said they planned to make a purchase on such devices this holiday season. Far more consumers intended to use their phones to find a local retailer (39%), get social feedback on a potential gift (38%) or find a coupon in-store (33%).
Even so, most mobile research leads to a purchase, just not on the smartphone. In a March 2014 survey conducted by Nielsen for xAd and Telmetrics, between 70% and 80% of US smartphone or tablet users said they had completed or would soon complete a purchase related to their smartphone search. The study also found that more than 40% of consumers considered a smartphone or tablet their most important media resource for a purchase decision.
In-store mobile use is prevalent across age groups. comScore reported that in April 2014, 35% of US internet users showroomed, including nearly half of millennials and even 28% of seniors 65 and older. In a more recent Q3 2014 comScore survey, 44% of smartphone owners said they participated in showrooming.
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Buy Buttons to Soar in Asia in 2015

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram began trialing Buy buttons in the U.S. this year, but the real promise could be in Asia.
"Buy" buttons are set to take off in Asia in 2015, as e-commerce becomes increasingly popular in the region, industry experts say. 
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The call-to-action functionality lets users make purchases from online platforms without leaving the site, giving them the option to store their payment information for future checkouts and giving marketers increased access to consumer data. 

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram unveiled Buy button trial services in the U.S. earlier this year and rumors that search giant Google will be introducing its own Buy button were revealed just earlier today. But burgeoning e-commerce sales coupled with high smartphone penetration rates across Asia mean the real potential could lie in this region, experts believe. 

"The Click will be replaced with the Buy," says Paul Srivorakul, regional chief executive (CEO) for aCommerce – a Bangkok-based e-commerce business. "All the major platforms are moving to it, including Apple Pay, Google Wallet, eBay with PayPal, and Alibaba with Alipay." 

Asia already boasts some of the world's highest social media penetration rates, and is tipped to surpass North America as global leader in e-commerce sales next year, according to eMarketer

China in particular will make up more than half of the region's e-commerce sales this year, and 70 percent by 2018. 

"Asia is a lot more e-commerce-focused than other parts of the world and Buy buttons will bode well here, especially markets like China – where they will buy anything at all and the platforms are enabled already to facilitate buying," says Andy Radovic, regional director for digital (APAC) at Maxus.

Radovic advises brands already in e-commerce to also get on platforms offering Buy buttons, as they eliminate some steps in the purchase journey. 

Companies who are moving in this direction include Korean instant messaging app Line. The firm boasts more than 560 million global users, with concentrated markets in Korea, Japan, and parts of Southeast Asia including Thailand, and recently announced plans for its new payment service, Line Pay. This comes shortly after China's WeChat launched its WeChat Pay in March. 

"I think people in this region are already ahead of the curve," Radovic says. "Twitter has almost come in a little late." 

Mobile devices are expected to further accelerate Buy button use across Asia, by allowing users access to the technology on the go. 

In China alone, mobile payments for the first 10 months of the year accounted for 54 percent of all transactions conducted over Alipay, according to the company's annual spending report.  

"Mobile is making purchasing even faster," says Srivorakul. "You see an advertisement, and you are now 30 seconds away from a purchase. You now have a cash register and a research tool in the palm of your hand with mobile." 

"The Buy button revolution will be led by Facebook as it continues to experiment with its e-commerce offerings, but once they open it up, every company will be asking which other platforms they can be on." 

Ohad Hecht, the chief operating officer for digital marketing agency Emarsys, believes Buy buttons will be particularly popular in China, where the market is controlled by e-commerce giant Alibaba with its Taobao and Tmall platforms. 

"There is an ability to influence the market quite quickly. If Twitter and Amazon do it, China will do it as well," he says. 

Hecht predicts that after China, Buy button use in Asia will be followed by Korea and Japan. New Zealand and Australia, with existing strong e-commerce infrastructure in place, will also join this group of early adopters. India will catch up in the second half of 2015, alongside other countries in Southeast Asia. 

The challenges for brands in Asia will be around infrastructure and ensuring the entire e-commerce ecosystem is in place from customer service to deliveries, Hecht says, adding that privacy could be the make or break with consumers. 

"We will see a reality of Buy buttons, but at the same time, companies will be able to gather more data. The technology will be there but not all buyers will like it." 

As Buy buttons become more popular, brands will also need to consider their points of differentiation. 

"It's going to be more competitive to get people to click on that Buy button. The challenge will be the ability to stand out and this will be around the message, the creative, the timeliness, the brand's reputation, and the content," says Radovic. 

"For any platform to be successful in this region, there needs to be an instant ability for e-commerce. I feel we are already here, already buying, and any platform that wants to be successful in Asia must have a Buy button."

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Extra Mile: Customer Service and the Sharing Economy

customersWith the growth of the sharing economy, brands must be ready to respond to customers' grievances and issues in a timely manner, or face losing valuable market share.