Monday, June 30, 2014

Poor Mobile Implementation Results in 68% Less Traffic [Study]

English: Huawei U8150 - Ideos Smartphone
A study from BrightEdge suggests that brands could be losing out on traffic and conversions due to badly implemented mobile sites.
Even if you've decided to "go mobile," you may be losing an average of 68 percent of smartphone traffic. Why? This is a result of incorrectly implemented mobile solutions, BrightEdge says, and new data coming from the company shows that 27 percent of sites studied have some sort of errors with mobile implementation. 
BrightEdge's Mobile Share Report looks at the various types of mobile solutions – responsive design, dynamic serving, and separate mobile URLs – to see which configuration has the most errors associated with it, and how that affects important outcomes like rankings and traffic. 

Google Tries to Steal How-To Traffic in Organic Search Results

Google
Think back to your childhood. You waited all year to dress up for Halloween and go door-to-door collecting sweet treats to add to your bag. You check all of your loot before going to bed just to see what you have. However, you wake up in the morning and half of your candy is gone.
That is how many publishers have felt about Google stealing their traffic by providing more and more answers to questions in their Knowledge Graph. Google is essentially stealing your hard-earned traffic and keeping it for themselves.
Now Google is going so far as to provide how-to step-by-step instructions on everything from boiling an egg to changing a tire. Below are some of the results that we've uncovered by way of some simple Google searches.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Marketers struggle with data fragmentation


  • Econsultancy’s new report, The Path to Unified Marketing, examines the difficulties that brands face in obtaining a single view of their customers, as well giving an overview of the state of the industry.
  • Almost three-quarters of respondents (72%) reported problems with data fragmentation, which can slow or stall processes and call validity into question.
  • The knock on effect is that fewer than 20% say they have a strong capability in viewing and using data from their marketing channel applications. 
What specific data issues does your organization currently encounter?
  • Published in association with Tealium, the report is based on a survey of 313 client-side marketers in Q2 2014.

How do marketers manage their mobile email channel effectively?

More than half (52%) of 18-34 year-olds have clicked through to a website from a mobile email, so it’s therefore imperative for email marketers to ensure their communications are suitably optimised for all mobile devices.
This stat comes from all the way back in 2012. Since then different studies by different companies have revealed similar numbers: 68% of people use their mobiles for email; 41% of emails are opened on mobile devices; the latest study I could find is by Litmus revealing that in 2013 48% of all emails were opened on mobile.
So how do marketers manage this progressively more popular channel effectively?

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Rising Tide of Mobile App Engagement

Android apk location commons upload tool
It’s happened to everyone: You download an app, use it once, and it ends up lost in a sea of icons, never to be used again. But based on data released in June 2014 by Localytics, this trend is waning as app retention improves. 

Looking at app retention rates—the average number of times an app was used during the first six months of ownership—among mobile app users worldwide, the research found that the percentage of apps opened just once dropped from 26% to 20% between March 2011 and March 2014. Even more impressive, the percentage of users launching an app 11 times or more jumped from 26% to 39% during the same timeframe.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

If you could know one thing about your customers, what would it be?

This question - what would you like to know about your customers? - is the simple challenge from Andrew Warren-Payne as he takes to the stage and bemoans previous hype around the tweeting fridge.
By the way, that header image is Colin Farrell in the 2012 reboot of Total Recall, reading a lovely message on his 'screen fridge'.
Andrew's point is that the internet of things is not about smart fridges (you would still run out of toilet roll, unless you kept it in the fridge) or a kettle you can turn on with your smartphone. The IoT is more a forthcoming reality for expanding data collection and communication, allowing brands to find out more about customers and how they interact with products and services.

Competitive Analysis in Search Is Linked to Higher Conversions [Data]

A percent sign.
Knowing what your competition is up to – how they are thinking about the market, the tactics they are utilizing – can make all the difference in the battle for share. This is an adage that holds true in virtually any vertical, but nowhere is it more true than in search.
The insight that thorough search competitive analysis can provide could fill several articles on their own, but a few examples include:
  • Backlinks: Where do your competitors have backlinks where you don't?
  • Content: How are your competitors reaching your audience through content?
  • Site Structure: How have your competitors structured their website? How do the search crawlers see their sites as compared to yours?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Using Customer Stories to Build Trust and Increase Conversions

User reviews, or social proof, can help build trust in your business, but there's a right way and a wrong way to apply social proof to your website. Here are some best practices for making the most of case studies and testimonials.
Buyers do a lot of independent research these days before making most purchases, and their research often consists of checking reviews written by previous buyers. Many businesses have leveraged this by posting success stories, testimonials, or case studies on their own websites. In fact, it is commonly believed that this type of social proof is an important element to building trust online, which is a critical first step in increasing conversions.

Consumers Choose Digital for Product Research, Purchases

Digital channels are now the method of choice for both product research and purchasing. According to a March 2014 study by UPS, comScore and the e-tailing group, 82% of US digital buyers preferred to research products from multichannel retailers on the internet via desktop/laptop (61%), tablet (11%) or smartphone (10%), compared with 13% who said they would rather research items in a physical store.


 In addition, digital devices were favored for purchasing products from multichannel retailers, with 55% of respondents preferring to use a desktop/laptop, tablet or smartphone when buying items, vs. 41% who liked to do so in brick-and-mortars. Though smartphones and tablets trailed PCs by a long shot for the preferred digital buying method, that didn’t mean they weren’t seeing any action: 46% of users had made a purchase on such devices. 

And while desktops and laptops were also the method of choice for research, mobile was gaining ground—both in and out of stores. One-quarter of respondents said they researched products on their mobile devices prior to visiting a store weekly, and 22% reported conducting research—and looking for alternatives—via mobile while at a store. 

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stats and insight: The Indian Digital Landscape

Our new India Digital Market Landscape Report is the fourth in a series of trends briefings about the BRIC markets.
The report offers an overview for marketers and investors looking to India for new digital business opportunities and draws on interviews from those within the market, as well as a range of secondary sources.

Digital growth in the wake of the global financial crisis


While the recent global financial crisis has had wide-ranging effects on the country’s economy, the OECD have forecasted growth in India’s GDP to average 4.7% in 2014 and 5.7% in 2015.
This is behind many of Asia’s fast-moving markets but ahead of BRIC peers Brazil and Russia.
Acknowledging this, the internet market has fared remarkably well. According to GlobalWebIndex, the internet population in India grew 230% in the last five years (it is the fourth fastest-growing market globally), and with 130m netizens it is the third largest internet population overall.

Infrastructure problems and room for expansion

Despite its fast-growing and already huge online universe, only 17% of the country’s overall population are online (We Are Social)]. 
The IAMAI recently reported that much of India’s internet user-base are located in urban areas (29m live in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai) but there are around 845m rural Indians living in areas where getting online is not so easy. 

10 retail and ecommerce stores integrating offline with online

From the experiential (read as ‘gimmicky’) to the practical (read as ‘will become standard practice’) there are many ways that retailers can integrate their offline stores on the high street with their online ecommerce businesses.
There’s lots of information on the blog already about digital technology in retail and a lot of it really should be thought of as the norm by now.
Unfortunately that’s not necessarily true. In a perfectly digitally integrated world the lack of services like Wi-Fi, contactless payment and click & collect would be the exception to the rule.
However there are still many trailblazers out there, not just offering the digital basics, but going above and beyond the duty of its bricks and mortar stores and offering a new world of interactivity and online integration.
Sure some of them will fail. Sure some of them you’ll barely hear about outside of a few speculative/curious articles like this (“huh, remember a few years ago when Google developed a self-driving car? What happened to that?”) 
Some won’t though. Some will go on to become exactly what’s expected from every consumer who visits your high street store.

Wahaca

The London based Mexican restaurant chain has teamed up with Flypay to drive mobile payments in its multiple locations.
There’s a little QR code on every table linked to a unique NFC tag underneath which you scan with your smartphone. 
Your itemised bill appears on screen. You can check it for accuracy and split the bill if required.
Using the service requires you to download the app and if the bill needs to be split, then everyone in your party would have to download the app too. 

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Outstanding Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Small businesses have historically been slow to adopt the content marketing strategies that corporate marketers use. But as SEO has evolved significantly in recent years, it has become clear that small businesses need to include how-tos, e-books, comparison guides, and other content marketing techniques to remain competitive in the rankings.
Whether the content is created in-house or outsourced to an agency, there will be a time when creative ideas for interesting new content become scarce. Here are seven tips for creating outstanding content.

1. Create a Content Marketing Calendar

Having a calendar that documents a content strategy is a great way to ensure timely content creation, but this strategy is too often overlooked. Sixty-one percent of marketers say that their biggest difficulty with content creation is that it takes too much time, but only 44 percent are reported to have a documented content marketing strategy.
Putting together a calendar of content scheduled for the month is a great first step that provides a set amount of time to strategize, brainstorm, create, and publish.

3 Must-Have Traits to Thrive in an Agile Marketing Environment

Market
Being able to move quickly to adjust an approach or fix a campaign that isn't working is a vital skill set for today's marketing leaders.

What Is Agile Marketing?

Agile marketing is an approach to marketing based on a style of production planning that emphasizes adaptability. For years, engineers and developers have been using agile development methods to stay focused and work efficiently.
Agile techniques keep teams zeroed in on one short sprint cycle at a time, with each sprint revolving around a common theme. All members of the team dedicate their efforts to that theme and the tasks assigned to them for that sprint.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Videos Dominate Universal Search Results 65% of the Time [Study]

universal-search-results-example
Since its inception in 2007, Universal Search results have have morphed to show a multitude of choices for searchers to choose from, like videos, images, maps, shopping results and news.

In its latest research, Searchmetrics studied the Universal Search results for millions of keywords over the course of one year (2013) to gauge what has recently changed in Universal Search and how. 
Searchmetrics looked at the overall percentage that each type of Universal Search result garnered in the SERPs ("market share"), as well as the composition of each type of individual integration.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

65% of Google searches are enhanced with video intrgrations

English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...
Google delivers blended or Universal Search results for around 81% of all searches according to a new study from Searchmetrics. 

During 2013, Universal Search Integrations featuring video results appeared for 65% of keyword searches, while the total count of 

Google Shopping Product Listing Ads (PLAs) appearing within Universal Search grew by nearly 200%.
The number of PLAs grew by almost 500% between May and September.

Advertisers still uncertain about real-time advertising

A variety of advertising tissue packages.
Most advertisers in the UK are still uncertain about real-time advertising (RTA), according to an ISBA survey. 

More than a third of respondents are unaware of what proportion of their own online campaigns involve RTA, although a similar proportion admit to having a ‘positive perception’ of RTA and Programmatic Trading.

The vast majority (76%) believe RTA will feature more strongly in future campaigns.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Analytics budgets on the rise

  • The new Measurement and Analytics report published by Econsultancy and Lynchpin shows that budgets for digital analytics technology and consultancy services are rising, with 61% of companies are increasing budgets for analytics technology, up from 35% in 2013. 
  • The report is based on a survey of 1,000 marketing professionals.
Proportion of companies planning to increase their analytics budgets in the following areas over the next 12 months:

Five new realities of the buyer's journey

Book Buyers
The buyer's journey isn't what it used to be. Thanks to the transformational nature of the digital world, the buyer's journey has been radically changed.
In order to reach today's buyer, marketers must understand the new realities of this journey and align their digital and content strategies to them.
We've all heard of the 'buyer’s journey.' It’s that mystical, CandyLand-esque pathway that buyers take on their way to purchasing a product or service.
And we’ve been taught that it’s a pretty standard process, regardless of industry. Discovery, consideration, and decision…or something like that.
But digital is a very disrupting influence. Not only have digital processes rewired entire industries, they have fundamentally transformed the way that people purchase (i.e., the buyer's journey).
In order for organizations to maximize their opportunity to convert shoppers into buyers, marketers must understand the new realities of these changes and align their digital and content strategies accordingly.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Facebook's New Focus Changes the Game for Brand Advertisers

Facebook’s recent focus on direct-response advertising is leaving fewer options for marketers with branding goals, according to a new eMarketer report, “Facebook Advertising: Next Steps for Brand Advertisers.”  Not so long ago, the common belief was that Facebook—and social media in general—would be best suited for building awareness and engagement, not for influencing conversion or sales. However, the majority of Facebook’s most recent ad initiatives are aimed at marketers with performance goals, while the company has de-emphasized ads aimed at driving social interaction and engagement, a concept that brought many brand advertisers onto the platform.
“Companies still see Facebook as a platform for social brand interactions, but that’s no longer the way Facebook is presenting itself,” said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst of social media at eMarketer. “Facebook has moved on, but many brands are still marketing there the same way they did two years ago.”
Full article here

Making the most of ‘mobile moments’ to transform the customer experience

Windows Mobile Device Center
There has been a ‘mobile mind shift’ in customers. Customers now expect to get what they want in their immediate context and moments of need.
Increasingly, when they need something, anything, they turn to their mobile device and ask for help: “Do I need to wear a coat today?”, “Who won the French Open?”, “Is my prescription ready?”
The mobile is becoming the customer’s problem-solver, and a shift of this magnitude has dramatically transformed customer expectations.
Rising mobile customer expectations are backed up by our own research which found that 75% of online adults believe there is no reason why a mobile transaction cannot be completed on the first try.
In addition, the research found that customers are intolerant of any faults. If they do encounter problems, 16% admit they would become more likely to buy from a competitor, while 13% would abandon the transaction altogether and try a competitor’s website or app instead.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Programmatic mobile: what trends does it reveal?

Programmatic advertising has been around since 2009. On mobile though, it's only recently started to take off
Penetration and performance of the smartphone has increased and programmatic buying companies have seen the opportunity. Whilst Facebook and Google are taking most of the mobile advertising dollar, programmatic is certainly on the rise as it seeks to deliver quality and quantity.
Talking with RTB.com's Mike Miller, it struck me that the factors making for the success of programmatic mobile are those we see as trends across marketing. So what are these trends?

Data integration

data
Companies are getting more and more accustomed to handing over data, whether it be 'up' into the cloud for CRM or over to an agency.
Part of what makes programmatic buying powerful is that the technology is, according to RTB.com's Mike Miller, "data hungry". It's not just the use of first and third party data to match inventory to a desired audience. The more data available from the advertiser, the better.
That means that if a company is purchasing ad inventory on a performance basis (some form of ROI, be it cost per acquisition or even lifetime customer value), it makes sense to feed 'success events' back into the system. This data can be used to further optimise spend.
So, for example, if a gaming company is using programmatic mobile ads to encourage app download, looking at events post-install (such as in-app spend) can provide data to feed back into the advertising company's data management platform. Mike commented that more and more of RTB.com's customers are willing to share this kind of data as they understand how it could benefit them.
Part of this test and learn philosophy comes from the the heritage of conversion optimisation on desktop that is well established. Approaches for mobile should be just as accountable.

Agency disruption

Many RTB bidders are transparent about handing budget back to advertisers if they can't fulfill. Whereas some brands may be becoming sceptical about the way in which media agencies charge. This is a big area for debate and some people may be starting to feel there are too many middle men when buying media- media agency to trading desk to DSP.
Whilst I don't want to start too heated a debate, it's clear agencies are still working in their and their client's best interest, but that some brands may be thinking about moving some spend direct to DSPs. As Google's DoubleClick gets easier to use and companies employ more digital staff, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Machine learning

Algortihmic bidding and machine learning is behind the optimisation of real-time bidding. Machine learning is already powering companies such as AgilOne, provider of software that is automating segmentation of a customer base to improve marketing efficacy.



Video

Video advertising online (increasingly digital-first) is well-established. A lot of money is spent by brands on video advertising on desktop.
videoThe performance of smartphones, both CPU and data speeds, is enabling more and more watching of video on mobile. Many are also using mobiles at home in the morning and evening, particularly younger audiences.
Video is therefore an emerging area in programmatic mobile. As advertisers realise that just as on desktop, compelling display ads, particularly for brand advertising, are difficult to get right, more brands will push video. These video ads are often complementary to TV campaigns.
As mobile programmatic companies also buy tablet inventory, a device on which many watch large amounts of video, it's a good channel for video ads.

Native

A similar point to the increase in video advertising, more and more ads are going native. In the context of mobile advertising this, as on desktop, means no pop-ups, interstitials or ads at the side of articles. Native means ads that fit into the form and rough theme of of a site's content. These are often images and text combined.
Although one might think it's harder to sell native advertising programmatically, with publishers wary of underselling their best inventory, it is increasingly happening. And, as is the nature of programmatic, publishers are making the most of their longer tail inventory where dwell time is good and native ads can have impact.

Tablets

tablets
A recent survey by Rakuten suggested that tablet use for shopping has increased by almost 42% across 14 markets from 2013 to 2014, compared to only around 10% increase on mobile. Tablets certainly played a big part in the 2013 holiday season.

Mike told me that iOS tablet owners represent the most valuable demographic (above iPhones, which can be matched by higher value Android handsets) and many brands are spending on mobile programmatic in order to target tablets. This is better than spending money on traditional RTB aross desktop, paying higher CPMs and hitting tablets, too.

Volume and quality

The goal of programmatic, like that of all advertising efforts is to get the best quality and quantity for your money. This will undoubtedly improve as advertisers continue to understand users better, give up more of their data, improve mobile ad experiences and concentrate on the bottom line.
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