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In the realm of social media, the word 'listening' surfaces frequently. Thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, companies have an ability to listen to what consumers are saying about them in ways never before possible.
But when it comes to social media marketing, many businesses pay lip service to listening and instead focus their actions on words like 'conversation' and 'engagement', which are more exciting.
One global brand, however, is working to ensure that social media activities don't exclude the passive act of listening, and it's doing it in a big way.
Econsultancy has just released the latest version of its Digital Agency Rate Card Survey, which benchmarks average charge out rates for more than 50 different job roles.
The Rate Card Survey is produced on a triennial basis and this year 364 agencies participated in the research.
Average rates range from £465 a day for a junior media planner to £891 a day for a director / partner, though fees increase if an agency is based in London, and also rise in line with turnover.
The efficacy of Facebook advertising may still be yet to be determined for many advertisers, but that hasn't stopped brands from pouring big money into ads on the social network. With more than 750m users, Facebook is simply too appealing a platform to ignore.
When it comes to scaling ad campaigns on the social network, however, advertisers have had limited options. But that could soon be changing.
Despite the rise of digital advertising, advertisers still spent over $130bn last year on television advertising. Of the tens of billions of dollars advertisers are spending on digital ads, a very small portion, perhaps as little as $1bn, is being spent on mobile ads.
But those figures aren't stopping Razorfish's Mobile Practice Lead, Paul Gelb, from making a bold prediction: "I think mobile ad spend will overtake television." And he isn't talking about decades from now; he believes mobile could surpass television in the coming years.
When Steve Jobs introduced Apple's mobile advertising network, iAd, to the world, he effectively said it would be a game-changer for mobile advertising. Although some of us were skeptical, who would bet against him?
A year later, it appears that the skepticism was well-placed. iAd is, according to a new report by Bloomberg, floundering.
Google's relationship with Madison Avenue has been a tenuous one, but with a bit of outreach and a few olive branches, the search giant has managed to cozy up to major agencies and brand marketers.
But the company's massive deal with Heineken, one of the 100 largest digital advertisers, is raising new questions about Google's position in the market.
Is the third time the charm? Google is certainly hoping so following the beta launch of its latest attempt at building a social network, Google+.
And that hope may not be entirely misplaced. Many of those who have Google+ accounts have positive things to say about the search behemoth's social network.
David Ogilvy once said ‘clients get the advertising they deserve’.
Having been COO of a search agency for each of the last 10 years, I can tell you with some authority that Ogilvy’s quote is as true in the digital specialisms of SEO, PPC and Social Media as it is in the broader advertising discipline.
With 750m users and growing, Facebook is one of the most attractive platforms for brand advertisers to reach consumers.
But there's a problem: while it may be capturing more and more dollars from major brand advertisers, the efficacy of advertising on Facebook is still questionable.
If Facebook isn't able to change that, it will obviously face challenges long-term.
When it comes to how agencies are compensated, digital shops haven't always been treated like traditional shops. Retainers and performance incentives? Maybe, but project fees have been far more common.
That may be changing according to a study conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which found that the number of digital agencies being compensated with a combination of project fees and retainers jumped to two-thirds last year, up from just 37% in 2009.
Also on the increase: performance bonuses. Nearly quarter of those surveyed changed these last year, and nearly 30% plan to do this year.
Are demographics dead? Will marketers eventually buy most if not all media inventory, including television inventory, on performance-based models instead?
Executives from agency Initiative think so.
As internet channels have become more and more important to businesses, a new generation of digital agencies have sprung up to assist them.
The value proposition of the digital agency: at a time when technology is evolving so rapidly, it takes specialist knowledge to successfully navigate digital marketing channels.