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This month the latest edition of our Internet Statistics Compendium includes the usual updates across its 12 data documents – including mobile, ecommerce, online advertising and all areas of digital marketing.
It’s a recent development, this rash of digital advancements resulting in America’s new high-tech society has really only boomed over the last twenty years.
Products that wowed developers in the 1980s now fit firmly into your front pocket.
So what does a connected life cost these days? Your privacy, for starters.
The past few years have seen innovative technologies crop up in the market, with an influx of new devices and services aimed at keeping up with consumer demand for the next must-have gadget.
It is increasingly evident that mobile is changing everything at a rapid rate, and this now includes both new ways of working and new ways of interacting with our everyday devices.
As new systems are launched, the rise of personalised data is poised to be a hot topic as companies seek to deliver real benefits from the information gathered on consumers.
Yet, as always, to succeed in today’s digital business landscape, people will have to come first.
Are you being a creep? If you're a digital marketer working with mobile then unless you've got your privacy plans sussed there's a good chance that your customers will think you are.
As awareness of location data use increases (alongside the revelation that data might not be as anonymous as previously thought), consumers are becoming more and more wary about being tracked over their phones and other mobile devices. They also want to be reassured that any personal and financial data they input will be kept safely and securely.
Research earlier this year found that 66% of smartphone users are more concerned about their privacy on their phones than they were a year ago, while 79% avoid using apps that they don't believe protect their privacy online.
Regulators are also taking a stand on mobile creeps. The European Union's privacy watchdogs have warned that users "must be in control of their own personal data" and those involved in developing mobile apps have a responsibility "to create a safe, secure and data-protection-compliant app environment".
Certain data protection bodies, who are authorised by their national laws to take action, can even impose fines on organisations that they believe are not fulfilling their mobile privacy responsibilities.
Faced with this consumer and regulatory climate, how can you avoid being a mobile privacy creep?
Successful email marketing relies on a large customer database, so attracting new signups should be a high priority for most businesses.
Research shows that around half (49%) of consumers are signed up to receive emails from between one and 10 brands, while 8% don’t receive any at all, so one of the main challenges for email marketers is getting into the inbox in the first place.
There are several tactics that brands can use to encourage consumers to signup to email newsletters, including explicitly highlighting the value of the emails through testimonials or a clear statement of subscription benefits, and using a clear signup process.
We’ve previously looked at best practices for improving email deliverability, as well as highlighting seven tips for managing email marketing campaigns.
And here are 10 tips and examples of how to improve your email signups...
Online advertising continues to grow by leaps and bounds, but that doesn't mean that life is easy for players in the digital ad ecosystem. In fact, the thriving online ad economy is increasingly complicated.
Unfortunately, things are only going to get more complicated. Need evidence? Look no further than last week's announcement that one of the most popular browser makers, Mozilla, will begin blocking cookies from third-party ad networks by default in Firefox 22.
If Facebook is to ever rival Google's dominance in the online advertising market, many believe that the world's largest social network will need to figure out how to take advantage of its treasure trove of user data.
That treasure trove includes significant amounts of personal information that users have provide about themselves, and it grows by the day as users upload and tag photos, share content with their friends and 'Like' brand Facebook Pages.
With consumers increasingly expecting seamless experiences across channels, brick-and-mortar retailers are recognizing they may have an advantage over online competitors which have, thus far, countered only with delivery lockers and improved shipping capabilities.
Physical stores, of course, may be an advantage, but they don't guarantee success. To seize the omnichannel advantage, retailers of all shapes and sizes will need to do more to bridge the gap between the online and offline words.
The question of permission and customers rights regarding marketing material is one that has privacy evangelists and marketers head to head. Many forms of direct marketing can be seen by the recipients as intrusive and disturbing and this has led to a bit of a backlash.
In some cases, this has spawned legislation (as in TPS in the UK) and in others, poor publicity via the national media and threats of further control from politicians.
But, out of all of the different direct marketing channels, email seems to be the quietest when it comes to public outrage.
Last week, Facebook made what could prove to be one of its most important announcements ever.
After years of discussion, speculation and debate, the world's largest social network is finally executing on a search strategy, and while it doesn't look like a threat to Google, at least initially, Facebook's Graph Search is no less interesting.
This month, photo-sharing app/hipster lifestyle accessory Instagram is changing its terms of service, and as expected, it’s caused the usual round of shouting and boycott threats to emanate from users.
Personally I don't think it's any great shock or cause for outcry, but I do think it may be indicative of a deeper problem within the marketing and advertising industries: underestimating our customers...