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Social media is becoming a tough game to call for research companies. Several recent reports present divergent looks at ad spending projections and the potential size of key players, all pointing to the possibility that spending in this area is more spontaneous than search, display, or even traditional media.
Take, for example, two reports issued today on ad spending projections. The first, from eMarketer, predicts $2.3 billion in worldwide on social network advertising in 2009. In 2013, spending will reach an estimated $3.5 billion. Those numbers are positive on the surface, but they represent a 50 percent reduction from eMarketer's last projection, delivered in December 2008. The company, which culled research from Deloitte and comScore for its projections, says the limiting factor is the worldwide economic crisis.
If the latest CMO Council study translates into dollars, 2009 will be about five percent better for internet advertising than 2008. Last week was filled with analysts making downward adjustments to this year's internet ad spend outlook, but the more forward-looking CMO study is more optimistic. Consistent, but optimistic.
Specifically, the 650 CMOs surveyed said unanimously that they plan to cut or hold steady on traditional ad spend in TV, print, and radio. 43 percent of them plan to increase spending on interactive and web media by up to five percent this year, and 30 percent will increase internet budgets more than five percent. Last week Bernstein Research put internet ad growth at 5.9 percent after predicting more than 16 percent just five months ago.
Econsultancy has recently been highlighting the many uses of Twitter, which is a customer service solution, a marketing platform, and a brand monitoring tool.
Now, new research from O2 has found that smaller businesses are quickly adopting this online medium.
If there's a bastion of stodgy business thought, it's McKinsey & Company, where deep consulting reports have long ridden the leading edge of globalization, innovation, and management thought.
McKinsey has never been exactly dialed in to online innovation...until now. Without much fanfare, McKinsey has embraced social media, making it safe for MBAs around the world to tweet and retweet.
If you cry wolf too many times, people are apt to dismiss you. The mobile internet is the boy who cried wolf.
For years, many have predicted its rapid rise, and massive revenues. Yet by in large we've all been disappointed. Year after year new developments have been made but a mobile internet that's as important as many believed it would be hasn't shown up.
2008 was the year of the voucher code, however 2009 is starting to look like the year of looking after yourself and your property.
Kelkoo has seen a large increase in searches for home related items such as consumer electronics, household appliances, and garden products.
The online ad business was worse than thought last year, and it will be worse than projected this year. Brighter days will have to wait until 2010, according to recent data updates.
The first comes from Barclays Capital, which had already checked in with bad news last December. Over the past year the investment bank has gone from predicting 16 percent online ad spend growth (October report) to a six percent rise (December) and now pegs online ad spending calls for a 2.3 percent increase over last year to $23.7 billion. This joins recent reports from Bernstein Research's prediction that global online ad spend will grow only 5.9 percent, and Veronis Suhler's call of 4.9 percent
Lot of talk this week about who owns the digital marketing customer. Brands and ad agencies claim they own the customer's data. More than a few panelists at Thursday's Digiday sessions said that if the customer is paying a network or site for interaction privileges at that moment, then that site owns the customer. To all those who say they can own the customer, here's a newsflash: no one owns the customer.
Nor does anyone rent the customer or loan a customer. Any company that thinks they can own the customer, or the customer's data, or the customer's digital experience, has a weird type of business neuroticism. That neurosis might be best cured through a little reality therapy. The reality is, customers may pay you time, attention, and revenue, but they give you no more than that. The goal of internet marketing is to create the opportunities for that attention and revenue.
Yesterday I detailed my experience of trying to use Twitter as a search engine. It wasn't a good experience.
A lot of people have been trying to define and categorize Twitter lately with minimal success. That's probably due to the fact that Twitter is being used by lots of different people for lots of different things; it's hard to fit it in a neat little box.
The world's biggest companies are failing at more than their profit performance these days. A new report from SEO measurement company Conductor finds that organic search results from the Fortune 500 would hardly rate a good MBA project. In fact, the report says "as a whole, the group is still doing a very poor job of ensuring that their ‘money’ keywords are represented in natural search." It found that only 20.82 percent of Fortune 500 keywords rank within the top 100 search results, as measured during the fourth quarter of 2008.
The lesson Fortune 500 companies are learning is that paid search buys exactly that: paid results. The Fortune 500 as a group spent approximately $51 million per day on 88,792 keywords with relatively little to show on organic results, according to the report. And many of those keywords were consolidated in a few industry verticals and in a handful of companies.
Relevance. It is the key to success for email marketing, but still it continues to be a sore spot. Two separate but synchronous email studies shed new light on relevance, and the lack of it, in email marketing. One addresses the desires of the hyperconnected 18-24 year old generation. The other recognizes said relevance problem and identifies some solutions for online retailers.
The Gen Y study comes from the Participatory Marketing Network and Pace University's Interactive and Direct Marketing Lab. It shows that the majority of Gen Y consumers welcome direct brand interactions through email, but they want more ability to control, organize and manage the interactions. Only 28 percent of those surveyed believe the email they get from companies is relevant. But they are eager to see “innovative services” that increase that relevance. Specifically, 62 percent would communicate directly with retailers about their favorite products in exchange for getting preferential pricing. 44 percent would subscribe to an email service that collected and summarized multiple offers of interest to them. And in direct opposition to the Nielsen social media report issued on Tuesday, which painted a bleak picture for advertising within social networks, 32 percent would share promotional email offers with members inside a social network.
Customer engagement has been re-introduced into the internet marketing discussion, this time via an excellent report from Forrester Research.
Exactly what "engagement" means has been a murky proposition since it was introduced into the internet marketing lexicon in 2005. But Forrester has put forth a clear and concise take on it. It says: "customer engagement is the level of involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence that an individual has with a brand over time."