Friday, January 31, 2014

Tablet users expect desktop content and an optimized browsing experience

A new study into tablet usage found that two-thirds of US and UK tablet owners use their device for researching product information before buying online (66%), making it the most popular consumer activity.

This was closely followed by watching videos/browsing photos and checking prices or store information (both 63%).

The research by Usablenet confirms much of what we already know about tablets in that the devices are mainly used during ‘lean back’ leisure time in the home.

Only 5% of US and UK respondents stated that they use their tablet mostly for work compared to 73% 
who use their tablet primarily at home, either while watching TV or while in bed at night.

Paid Search Clicks Climb at the End of 2013, as Do CPCs

Decline in impressions a sign of increasing efficiency

Advertisers must be seeing a good return on investment from paid search advertising, because Q4 2013 ended up as the biggest quarter for paid search ever worldwide, according to a January 2014 study of ad spending conducted by digital marketing technology company Kenshoo.
The study found that in Q4 2013, clicks for paid search increased 12.3% year over year worldwide, although impressions had dropped by just over 10%. Cost per click (CPC), meanwhile, increased by almost 6%.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

J&J ad: Marketers wake up to the draw of sensory branding

J&J ad: Marketers wake up to the draw of sensory branding
Leading dailies turn up at doorsteps with their pages infused with the smell of Johnson & Johnson baby powder

Indian newspapers came out smelling like babies on Wednesday morning.
Leading dailies such as The Times of IndiaThe Hindu, Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi turned up at doorsteps with their pages infused with the smell of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) baby powder.
The idea was to use print media innovation to drive the thing that instantly marks out the company’s product—the baby smell.
The innovation showed that Indian marketers are slowly waking up to the draw of sensory branding—which appeals to the senses of scent, touch, sound and even taste.

Loyalty Program Members Demand More Personalized Experiences

Retailers turn to data and analytics to link consumer information

Membership in US retail loyalty programs has grown to more than 1 billion, up from less than half that figure in 2006. As their experience with such programs deepens, consumers have begun to expect more personalized offers and services—not just blanket discounts—in return for their participation. Thanks to the increasing sophistication of behavioral and demographic data that digitally enabled loyalty programs provide, retailers can satisfy those desires while also addressing their own data needs, according to a new eMarketer report, “Loyalty Marketing 2014: Lessons from the Drugstore Chains.”

Merchants have gotten the message about relevance in growing numbers. In April 2013, RIS News found that retailers in North America were eyeing up increased investment in a host of loyalty marketing-related areas. Many of those efforts would occur in data integration and analysis.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Social Media Response Rates, Times Dip as User Engagement Explodes

Social media has become a critical channel for brands looking to connect with consumers, but it looks like many followers aren’t getting the attention they expect, according to data released in December 2013 by Sprout Social.
Between Q3 2012 and Q3 2013, Twitter grew its Monthly Active User (MAU) base from 151 million to 218 million—a 44% year-over-year increase. Facebook saw a 17% rise in MAUs, from 955 million to 1.15 billion. Collectively, the two sites grew 20% to hit 1.42 billion MAUs.
However, user engagement, such as messages that required a response or attention, was growing nine times as fast as Twitter and Facebook combined. How are brands keeping up? Results indicated they were not: Average brand response rates for both Twitter and Facebook dipped below 20% year over year, and response times increased from 10.9 hours to 11.3 hours. On Facebook, response times came in at 15 hours, on average, while Twitter was at 7.9 hours.

Personalization Sees Payoffs in Marketing Emails

At least one element of Big Data’s potential is finally being realized in email marketing, which is one of the most effective means that brands and marketers have in reaching their audiences. Marketers can now take information gleaned from shopping habits and other preferences and then shape their messaging in order to have a greater impact on potential customers. But how do the customers themselves feel about these changes?

A December 2013 survey of US digital shoppers conducted by Harris Interactive found that the majority of recipients of emails containing personalization drawing from previous shopping behaviors and preferences would be more likely to increase their purchases as a result. In fact, 81% of respondents said they were at least somewhat likely to make additional purchases, either online or in-store, as a result of targeted emails.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

3 Actionable Data Points Every Marketer Needs in 2014

Creating and distributing high-quality marketing collateral comes at a price. It requires the investment of precious time, energy, and resources, so it's a shame that a lot of organizations don't have the tools in place to measure the more telling engagement indicators that provide insight into how well (or not well) certain marketing initiatives are performing. With access to the data points that carry more potential for action, marketers have the opportunity to revise and perfect marketing messages, delivery vehicles, and overall strategies.
Think About It
You want your content to be shared and disseminated freely, but you also don't want to lose track of analytics along the way. Neither do you want to dissuade people from engaging with or sharing content by hiding it behind a lead-gen form.

CPG brands score on mobile’s hypertargeted marketing promise

As more consumer-packaged marketers build up their mobile know-how, big brands are ditching traditional mass marketing approaches for smaller scale efforts that single out specific groups of consumers.

CPG brands have historically relied on mass marketing tactics with big budgets akin to TV and print advertising that hit the majority of consumers. However, the appeal with mobile is significantly different for CPG marketers around influencing purchases at the point-of-sale, which is causing some to scout out specific demographics of consumers who are increasingly spending more time within mobile applications and sites.
“Mobile is still the most personal advertising vehicle in the world, and sophisticated brands are really starting to understand that,” said Tim Jenkins, CEO of 4Info, San Mateo, CA.

Monday, January 27, 2014

6 SEO Predictions for 2014

2014 Predictions

1. Hummingbird Rising

Now it's time for six predictions again this year, and the first one sets the stage for the remaining five! Once you're done checking these out, let me know your predictions in the comments, or argue with mine if you like!
Just ahead of their 15th birthday, Google let the world know that it had released a new platform called Hummingbird. In fact, it had been live for three months or so at that point and few people had noticed. This all changes in 2014.
Hummingbird was in fact a rewrite of Google's search engine. Note that this doesn't mean a rewrite of all of Google's code, just the function that executes searches.
Three Parts to Google's Product

5 Critical Factors for Optimized Mobile PPC Targeting

Mobile Targeting
There's no denying that your target audience is incorporating mobile devices into their lives more with each passing day. Capturing the most value out of mobile can be a challenge – but as a PPC campaign manager, you can't ignore this huge opportunity.
Before you pay for one click via mobile PPC, you need to have a specific, detailed strategy in place. It's OK to run some initial tests via mobile to get your feet wet; but mature campaigns need a thoughtful, purposeful mobile strategy in order to win big.
There are numerous factors that help or hinder your mobile PPC performance. Below are five items to consider when you're crafting your mobile strategy. Some of these tactics are contained within AdWords and a few of them discuss your mobile website experience in general.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Google's Product Listing Ads: Adoption, Clicks, Mobile Continue Surge [Study]

Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLA) took over the Google Shopping experience in October of 2012. The close of 2013 represented just over a year of the service running in full, and advertising management platform provider Marin sought to uncover its progress in the retail space, including rate of adoption, advertising spend, click-through rate and more; the results showed percentages up in all categories.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

How Do You Stack Up Against Top Brands on Twitter? [Study]

Interested in some baseline data for Twitter that will help you gauge how your brand stacks up against others in the microblogging platform? Social analytics company Simply Measured analyzed Twitter accounts of the Interbrand 2013 Top 100 Brands (“Interbrand”) and the Forbes 100 Best Small Companies in America ("Forbes”) to get a picture of what enterprise brands and small businesses are doing on Twitter.
Here’s a snapshot of how large brands and small companies fare on Twitter comparatively:

Alternative payments used for 43% of online transactions

Alternative payments only account for a small proportion of ecommerce transactions in the US and UK, however methods such as e-wallets, direct debits and cash on delivery continue to show strong growth in other regions.

A new report from WorldPay highlights the way in which the use of alternative payments differs across global markets, with PayPal shown to be the most popular AP method globally, though Chinese companies Alipay and Tenpay are also popular and growing at a faster rate.

It’s estimated that alternative payments accounted for 43% of all online transactions in 2012, a figure that is predicted to rise to 59% by 2017 (though predictions should always be treated with some scepticism).
Leading alternative payments - size and growth

Customer experience and mobile seen as most exciting business opportunities in 2014

Customer experience, mobile and content marketing are among the three most important business opportunities in 2014, according to a new report from Econsultancy and Adobe.

One-fifth (20%) of client-side respondents said that the customer experience was the most exciting opportunity for their organisation, making it the most popular answer. Among agency respondents mobile came out on top (21%) for the same question.

Which one area is the single most exciting opportunity for your organisation (or for your client) in 2014?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Do Facebook ads drive 60% increase in sales revenue

Q4 2013 saw a spike in quarter-on-quarter impressions and click-through rates on paid Facebook ads.

The latest report from Kenshoo seems to bolster the logic in this possible change in direction for Facebook into a more ad driven marketing landscape, rather than a content driven one.
Core impression and click volume metrics rose more than 50% in Q4 vs. Q3.

Increased engagement drove click-through rate up 10% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ).

Most interesting mobile loyalty apps

frontflip app
When a good idea comes along in retail and digital there are soon many, many start-ups getting in on the action.

Take loyalty apps for example. Loyalty is a big beast. Many types of company may consider it part of their remit, from digital payment solutions, to social-style check-ins, to group buying sites, or indeed a retailer’s own app.
Whether customers will settle on retailers’ own apps or on a generic loyalty scheme provider (perhaps lumped with payment) remains to be seen.
But of those tens of consolidated loyalty apps, which are the best? Here’s the list of five I think are most interesting. Whether mobile wallets such as PayPal and Google Wallet will buy them up remains to be seen but the space seems set to get richer before it gets poorer.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Three reasons why digital marketers should revisit augmented reality in 2014

Image by Turkletom (
AR (augmented reality) gets a tough rap in digital marketing circles. To date, the technology is still most visible powering children’s games and providing 3D thrills that use your tablet or smartphone to layer digital information or graphics over real-world objects. 

With wearable tech exploding off the tradeshow floor at CES, and Google Glass finally infiltrating mainstream press, it’s time to take a serious look at augmented reality in modern marketing and the enterprise.
Here are three reasons why I’m betting on seeing more use of AR from savvy brands and agencies in the year(s) to come.

AR in retail and enterprise is a no-brainer

Do big retailers need to create social value to succeed?

big supermarket
The high street debate is one that attracts comment on the Econsultancy blog.

Feelings run high when it comes to ensuring the survival of stores in our towns. The situation has yet to crystallise, though it’s clear there are business models that aren’t best suited to bricks and mortar any more. 
Alongside the trend towards experiential retail (shops doing more than simply selling stuff that consumers can buy cheaper online), a trend towards creating social value in the community may be emerging. 
High Street vacancy rates are steady in the UK at 14% in 2013 and independent stores such as cafes are on the increase. Part of the reason for this is social and local. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Was 2013 the year of conversion optimization?

An arrow pointing upwards
What were the key challenges in 2013?

We are privileged to work with a range of major worldwide brands, many of which operate a multichannel operation.
The reality for many brands is that with legacy systems in place, a truly packed development schedule, and a company philosophy which has historically focused on traffic acquisition rather than on-site conversion, changing to a culture of on-going on-site optimisation is no easy task.
Another key challenge we saw in 2013 is the reality that change isn’t everyone’s best friend – although there could well be people within a business who have really bought in to the benefits of developing a testing culture, until you have buy-in from senior management and in some cases the CEO, the changes needed to really make on-going optimisation work are hard to introduce.
Having robust visitor behaviour data from a well configured web analytics set-up to help inform and support on-going testing and optimization efforts is of course a key requirement.

Opportunities in 2014

Based on our experiences from what have been our most progressive and successful client collaborations over the last 12 months, I’d like to share with you a few key opportunities we see for brands in 2014, whether in retail, financial services, education, travel or any other sector that uses online as part of their revenue generating process.

Don’t get too carried away with testing

Testing can be a game changer for businesses, but you have to continue gaining voice of customer insights to help deliver higher impact testing which really addresses user needs.
Ensure you allocate budget and resourceto continually use your analytics solution to provide data insights as part of your on-going testing efforts – once your configuration is fit for purpose.