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Ah, December. For many media folks it is a month of fat lunches and the parties. It used to be like that for me too, until we launched our Innovation Awards a couple of years ago.
Since then December has turned into a month of hardcore reading. Our in-house judging panel (me, CEO Ashley Friedlein and Research Director Linus Gregoriadis) spent the majority of the month poring over the 350+ entries, checking out sites and apps, and generally trying to make sense of things.
Last year was a great year for innovation, based on what we read. There are some amazing things going on in our industry.
Thanks to the popularity of social networks and online communities, the social gaming industry is booming. It's no longer a niche sector, and online games are now popular with people of all ages and demographics.
In fact, contrary to long-standing stereotypes, a survey published earlier this year revealed that the average social gamer is a 43-year-old woman.
Social gaming is a fast-moving landscape, and becoming increasingly significant as consumers are spending a greater proportion of their time playing online games. As evidence of this, London hosted the first European Social Gaming Summit at Chelsea Football Club recently, which explored the evolution of this rapidly emerging sector.
Say what you will about Hollywood's lack of creativity, but the industry is decidedly innovative when it comes to movie promotion. Take augmented reality, for example. At the AR Immersion 2010 event in Los Angeles, execs rattled off examples of movie and TV studios using augmented reality (AR) to drive ticket sales, video on-demand purchases, and DVD sales at retail.
AR development firm Total Immersion hosted the event. Jason Smith, the company's manager of pre-sales and product marketing for North America, outlined three ways these movie and TV studios are making AR part of their marketing plans.
Will any company ever be able to compete effectively against Google in the search market? Microsoft is trying, and spending a lot of money in doing so.
But Steve Ballmer might want to have a chat with IAC's Barry Diller. That's because Diller, who spent close to $2bn buying Ask.com in the belief that it might one day compete with Google, has come to the conclusion that Google just can't be beat in search.
One of the tech industry's favorite words is 'disruption'. You hear it all the time. Company X is disrupting some industry. Or Company Y has been disrupted and because of that, is on the brink of going bust.
On the surface, the concept of disruption seems fairly straightforward: young companies, many propelled by new technologies, enter markets and make a huge impact, often sending larger, entrenched players into a tailspin.
There’s a tug-of-war going on between location-based technology advocates and, well, the rest of the online population. Just 4% of online Americans are actually using location-based services, according to new data from Pew Internet. That paltry adoption hasn’t stopped startups like Foursquare and Gowalla from trying to entice advertisers to offer deals on their location-based platforms.
Now Facebook has entered the fray with its new “Deals” offering, which gives users exclusive deals when they check in at stores. Is it premature?
One of Econsultancy’s core brand values is innovation. As observers we are spoilt for choice, sitting as we do in the middle of the internet industry, admiring innovation on a daily basis.
We regularly produce an Innovation Report, where we compile some of the cooler things we’ve seen lately. And there is the Econsultancy Innovation Awards, which you must enter if you have been doing amazing things in 2010 (just nine days left until the deadline!).
As such it made a lot of sense to create the role of Director of Innovation at Econsultancy, which I stepped into a few months ago (after eight years as editor). I’m here to encourage, harness and support innovation, among other things. We’ve rolled out a few small projects that are already making a difference, and more are in the pipeline.
What then, are the common characteristics of an innovative organisation? What are the things you need to put in place if you want innovation to thrive from within? How can you encourage your staff to share ideas and contribute to your innovation programme? What is innovation anyway? Here are 25 thoughts / mantras / ideas on innovation…
Google Instant is designed to make search faster and easier for users, but what effect will it have on search marketing?
I've been asking a number of search experts for their predictions on the impact of Google Instant and what marketers can do to adapt to the changes...
Today Google unveiled a new product called Google Instant, which predicts users' search queries and delivers results as they're typing. The news immediately got people talking. While it will make search faster, not everyone is excited about this new feature. Some, in fact, are worried it will kill SEO and harm paid search advertising results.
Google, however, knows better than to kill off its cash cow with a new consumer friendly feature. Rumors of Google Instant killing the art of SEO are greatly exaggerated.
Google may be king of search, but the company's executives aren't satisfied to reign over the current search market. They want to redefine it. Speaking at Berlin’s IFA home electronics event on Tuesday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt explained the next phase of search that Google is working on: automatic search.
In the near future, Google is hoping to deliver answers to questions you haven't answered yet. Done correctly, that could be great for consumers - and even better for brands.
The internet is an entrepreneur's dream. Thanks to the web, a greater number of individuals around the world have been given the opportunity to start a new business.
But while the internet has helped bring entrepreneurship to the masses, the internet hasn't changed the difficulties entrepreneurs face in starting a company, and arguably, it hasn't improved the odds of success.
Affiliate marketing is thriving, with the sector expected to drive an estimated £4.62 billion in online retail sales during 2010 in the UK alone, according to Econsultancy's annual buyer's guide published last week.
It is important for publishers, merchants, networks and agencies alike to continue to innovate to add value to the customer journey and drive further growth in the sector. This post explores some of the latest trends in the industry covered in the report.