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Consultancy and research
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The winning formula for digital strategies continues shifting, as this month Facebook finally kills free organic reach after 3 years of reducing the earned media brands enjoyed. Earned is still possible in many social platforms, but without paid budgets, most people will never see your content.
Here are other big developments:
- Christmas ecommerce sales set to break all records
- High street retailers like Walmart now match Amazon prices
- Effectiveness of pre-rolls are compared to banners
- Twitter's market value downgraded as it struggles to maintain audience
- Google tests an "ad-free" web
Email us back if your team could use extra support for their 2015 digital plans. All these themes are included in more depth in our 2015 digital training.
Mobile strategies got a boost this month as Facebook's Hyper Local ads took geo-targeting to a new level.
New research shows Europeans value their personal data at £140, but if you're a trusted brand looking to get access the price could be lower. For 2015 strategies, smartwatches are about to make intelligent homes even smarter, and connected cars will create a wealth of new touchpoints.
- Facebook's 'auto-play' video strategy pays, as video uploads set to surpass YouTube
- Apple Pay: Goes live in the US
- Mobile video ad spend: Triples in the UK
- YouTube: new 'Preferred' format shakes up media planning
- Twitter: TV ratings now offered through dual-screening
Email us back for extra tips on what this means for your 2015 strategy.
Marketing in the 20th century was characterised by mass media, broadcast television, and the rise of direct marketing. Marketing today in the 21st century is about leveraging those mass market channels to deliver messages targeted with such precision that zero media wastage is within reach. The Internet of Things is unlocking a new paradigm in relevancy of messages, and for brands and agencies that get it right, the rewards will be rich.
This month's round-up of the research, trends and case studies impacting digital marketing.
- Internet of Things gets real
- Ecommerce goes social with Twitter
- Digital marketing effectiveness
Take a look and get back in touch if there's anything you'd like advice on about how it could impact you and your team.
Big developments in social and mobile are shaping the digital media landscape as brands gear up for their end-of-year media spend.
- Facebook's ad frequency: How will consumers react to a doubling in newsfeeds?
- Ice Bucket Challenge: A meme and its tipping point
- Social fail? Retailer Gregg's spins a social fail into success
- Mobile ad spend: How Google is winning your budgets
Email us for how our strategists can help sharpen your digital strategy buy applying these latest trends.
Big trends this month
- Media buying gets smarter and better value with 'programmatic' ads
- SEO: More changes from Google are discovered
- Facebook and Snapchat plan 'buy' buttons in their ads
- Why people only have five 'best friend brands' online
- And we interview Google's leadership team for how real time ad bidding changes the market.
Videos, research and case studies on click through - and strategy development support available to help you apply these in your business.
Digital strategies needs to be strong and flexible - and this month's round-up of the big stories reminds you why:
- Facebook's ad targeting: How the cookie got (even) smarter
- "Internet of Things": Latest acquisition and launches as Apple attacks Google
- How much are you worth? Google and Facebook's latest revenue per user numbers
- Programmatic ad buying: Why P&G are now at 70% and saving media costs
Training workshops are available on all these topics, as well as programmes to sharpen your 2015 digital strategy.
Advanced training deep dives are available in all topics, as well as complete digital marketing skills training. Digital strategists are also now helping teams create their Digital Roadmaps for 2015 - simply contact the team to find out more.
3bn consumers are now online - another landmark moment in the development of the internet.
As digital becomes the lead media channel for many firms, strategies have become more sophisticated, embracing the full digital ecosystem.
That's why we're launching a series of new special reports to keep you up to date with each topic. Whether you're creating the strategy for Twitter or Facebook, content marketing or search, China or Russia, UK or USA, these new reports give you a weekly summary of what matters most.
And if you need support from a specialist, then simply email our team.
Another milestone in digital development: the month when online ad revenues overtook broadcast TV for the first time. Latest research from the US shows the shape of things to come in dozens more markets as the media mix continues to evolve.
In the same month 'traditional media' giants continued to build their digital portfolios with Disney buying Maker Studios, the largest channel on YouTube.
- Facebook: Profits triple as mobile now accounts for a staggering 60% of its ad revenue
- Google: Links online and offline behaviour with a new in-store mobile shopping trials
- Amazon: Latest PR activity turns kitchens into shopping carts with a digital wand to scans barcodes at home
Full research, case studies and videos on click through. If your team are replanning brand activity mid-year, need inputs for 2015 plans, then simply email us to connect with one of the digital strategists for your market.
With the stormy IPO fading into history, ad-revenues exploding, and saturation-level use in developed markets, Facebook’s continued growth looks strong. Danny Meadows-Klue, head of Digital Strategy Consulting, explains why the big leaps in mobile are still to come, and why more brands will be adding Facebook to their media plans.
Smart watches, flexible screens, geo-targeting and Google Glass - we know what the mid-term future looks like, and it couldn't get more exciting. So why is the present such a mess for most brands when it comes to "mobile first marketing"? Danny Meadows-Klue, President of the Digital Training Academy, explains why in the rush to innovate, most firms missed out on what was already mainstream.
As the web celebrates its 25th birthday, Tim Berners-Lee shares his thoughts about what's to come. To give you a window into the near future, Matt Cutts explains how Google voice search will remove keyboards, and wearable computers get another step closer.
New research this month showed that 1/5 of all ad spend globally now goes online. Facebook is trying to push that further, continuing to remove the free organic audiences brands enjoyed in the past, as they force companies to switch ad dollars to promote their posts.
This month's case studies that impressed us include Samsung's big win at the Oscars, McDonald's testing SnapChat and Garnier's social tactics in China.
The research is grouped in the sections matching digital channel strategies and training courses.
Need more about the implications of any of this research on the digital aspects of your marketing plan? Simply email us back.
The strategist's view: Stale cookies, hacked fridges, stolen credit cards - digital marketing rules and regulation in a post-Prism world
Most of the time marketers are in their comfort zone when it comes to marketing rules, regulations and company policies – but take one look at digital and it can feel easier to get things wrong than right. Danny Meadows-Klue is a Commissioner for the regulation of marketing in the UK, and helped create many of the industry codes on digital marketing. Here he guides marketers through a few easy steps they can take to avoid the common pitfalls.
Twitter's financial losses: look out for them chasing advertising dollars, and the traffic on your brand's Twitter page starting to erode. It will be Facebook's 'Edgerank' all over again.
Facebook buys WhatsApp, Comcast buys Time Warner: more digital media companies unlocking greater economies of scale, and a reminder that all young dotcoms like WhatsApp will in time become far more commercial.
Yahoo leverages Tumblr, in a smart way that will help brands through native advertising options, and Google opens a new set of ad exchange opportunities to target your media budgets.
And following requests from digital strategy clients, we now have new special research reports in place on Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Russia and South Africa.
From Amazon's upcoming 'pantry' food deliveries to Apple's iBeacons steering shoppers around stores - 2014 will mark a major leap forward for ecommerce. In this sector report, we summarise the biggest trends, research and stories that will shape online shopping in 2014.
If you're planning 2014 digital strategies for your brands, here's the latest inputs from our strategists:
- Long term trends: The 'Internet of Things' (physical objects getting connected) came closer with Google buying smart thermostat maker Nest and strengthening their 'Android for cars' scheme
- Ecommerce innovation: Drive-to-shelf is growing with tools such as Apple's iBeacon - which US retailers are rolling out to offer discounts and product information
- Media buying: Internet-style personalised targeting is going mainstream with Sky pioneering the new "AdSmart" format
If your brand needs a digital strategy healthcheck before the 2014 campaigns launch, then email us back Hello@DigitalStrategyConsulting.com. A strategist will be in touch with practical brand-specific advice on where to focus.
As digital advertising moves beyond measuring clicks, this month saw the big players ramp up their display tools. Google reduced the value of adverts that are not seen by humans - potentially giving advertisers a better return on their display ad investment. Meanwhile Twitter now matches ads to users' browser history. Not to be outdone, Facebook was revealed to be working on artificial intelligence to mine its vast amount of user data.
Following its 'SEO apocalypse' - hiding all keyword data earlier this year - Google is now making email marketing analytics a little harder too, as Gmail starts caching images. This means major segment of consumers will 'disappear' from marketers stats. This month we look at what this means for email ads - and how to work around it.
With WhatsApp and Snapchat amongst the digital success stories of 2013, we also look at the 10 biggest instant messaging apps in the world and examine the implication of the Internet of Things' will have on marketing in the years to come.
Finally, gaze into the future with Amazon's flying delivery drones and Google's super-fast military robots. As digital and the real world merge, the next decade holds some exiting (and slightly scary) implications for us all...
Big developments in mobile and social are creating new ways you can reach people in 2014. Integration of retail into digital gets a boost as Pinterest opens up to retailers, and Google starts tracking in-store consumer behaviour.
What does it mean for your brand or market in 2014? Simply contact us with your questions to get practical tips from the digital strategists.
The digital channel mix changed massively in 2013, leaving many businesses using outmoded approaches in paid, owned and earned media. We can help keep you on track.
New global research shows brand leaders see the switch to digital marketing now "a matter of survival", and reputation management (thanks to attacks through social media) now more of a risk to brands than an unstable economy or competitors.
Google created more controversy this month, with its new "endorsement ads" placing people's faces next to products they have '+1'ed, and breaking an 8-year promise with huge banner ads appearing on its search results.
In ecommerce, Amazon tested its own PayPal-style buttons, as battles with eBay heat up. And if you're looking for the best value paid media, new data suggests Facebook ads could be 18 times more effective on iPhones than Androids.
Need more research, training support or strategy creation? Simply email us back.
The digital skills gap is back in the spotlight after a US study showed most marketers lacked knowledge and confidence - a massive gap that confirms new platforms and approaches are putting budgets at risk.
Several big changes came from Google as they push brands towards paid search by removing some of the free insights. We can show you the workarounds, but marketing with organic search will take a bit more thinking time from now on.
- Mobile: New iPhones, fingerprint ID, Android partners with Kit Kat, and former mobile kings Nokia and Blackberry get sold as the market restructures - big implications for mobile strategies for content and services.
- Social: Pinterest and Instagram begin their first forays into paid ad space, and Twitter announced its long-awaited flotation plans after buying MoPub (we're expecting a mobile ad exchange announcement next).
- Consumers: Think power is shifting to the giants? Then look at our story about one unhappy BA passenger who used 'Promoted Tweets' to complain about his service on a flight!
What does this mean for your marketing and digital strategies? What training do teams need to win in this space? Simply mail us back with your questions.
Most social strategies are no longer working. Facebook's filtering of posts has switched the platform to a paid channel, and now investigations in the UK reveal the extent of fake fans. Viral marketing is failing to travel without paid promotion, and although the audiences of YouTube and Facebook look massive, most businesses find real engagement with their content is tiny.
From China to the USA, Russia to South Africa - our strategists have seen the same patterns everywhere this month as we strengthen the digital strategies of global brands. Other stories we've been tracking:
- Path to purchase: New research on how digital impacts sales
- Digital ad budgets: P&G's big switch in the US
- New production tools: Why the DoubleClick tool for publishing rich media ads should cut agency costs
New advanced training courses are now in place for all main digital disciplines, so if your teams need a recap, then simply mail us back.
Looking for smart brands with strong digital ecosystems? Look at how the arrival of a royal baby in the UK became a media event for Oreo, Pampers and many more. With a strong always-on digital strategy, it's easy to unlock extra reach and cut-through.
This month's update also covers the latest mobile milestones: Samsung overtaking Apple in traffic, Smartphone growth leaping and global mobile ad revenue boosts.
For media strategists there's a summary of Facebook's mobile platform, Graph Search going live (with more ad targeting tools), and Twitter's new ad targeting.
If you're adapting your plans based on these trends then our digital strategists can support you, and if your team need new skills to be able to lead in this space then our Digital Training Academy in-company courses cover all these areas. Simply mail us back for more.
In this month's round-up, we look at advertising: Facebook's new ad formats, Amazon overtaking Twitter in ad revenue, and Google's new 'enhanced' campaigns. The continued evolution of these 3 media properties is covered in our Digital Acceleration training, so email us back if you need more.
For consumer marketers, new research on brand equity shows which brands are the winners among Generation Y, the digitally native 16-34 year-olds that are so tough to reach effectively. And there's more from Cannes, plus the latest online films that are driving the "earned" media many marketers are searching for. Stories are grouped around the big themes in digital - and full details, videos and high resolution charts on click through below.
If you'd like quick tips about what these mean for your team's plans, then simply reply back to this email for a digital strategist to send you extra advice. And with advanced in-company training programmes running in 20 countries this year, it's easy than ever to boost your team's skills.
With smartphones bridging the gap between physical and digital worlds, this month we take an in-depth look at how marketers can ensure their offline calls-to-action drive maximum mobile interaction.
In the display sector, Yahoo's new army of Tumblr bloggers gives it an extra 120 million daily impressions to sell targeted interest-based ads through its network- time for Google to be worried?
May also saw Facebook muscle in on YouTube's territory with plans for video ads, while Twitter's Vine videos are getting people sharing in droves- with savvy brands making smart use of the 6-second format.
Alongside a myriad of product launches at its developer conference, Google got tough on search spam with Penguin 2.0, while a 5-year feud between Interflora and M&S ended with a landmark ruling against bidding on trademarked terms in AdWords.
To round off the month, we have a special video report featuring Harper Reed, the genius behind the Obama 2012 campaign, and what marketers can learn from his 'micro-listening' techniques that helped win the US election.
As more and more consumers today come with smartphone attached, the opportunities for marketers to start a mobile dialogue with their consumers anywhere and anytime are ever expanding. While some are starting to successfully include an offline call-to-action as part of their mobile marketing strategy, many marketers still miss the opportunity.
We offer our top tips for connecting with your on-the-go consumers through mobile, amplifying their engagement across all channels and boosting the effectiveness of your integrated marketing assets.
Mobile ad spend leaps, taking 10% of all digital spend in the UK - one of the world's laboratory markets for digital. Smartphones outsold feature phones globally for the first time - and Facebook's 'Home' software for Android saw the social network declare the mobile gateway as their single biggest priority.
For brands, the key to successful engagement is still in having brilliant conversation and content ideas, but as the landscape changes expect Facebook, Google and Apple to all try squeezing more paid media budgets out of the marketing plan. Good news for brands as competition in the app store sector grows with Google's "Play" store rapidly catching up to Apple. Meanwhile Twitter lands a multi-agency deal that unlocks hundreds of millions of dollars of ad space, blurring the divisions between social paid, owned and earned media.
To support your always-on digital learning, we've also launched:
- New weekly microsites for all the sections below
- New advanced training for brands
- Deep dive workshops in content marketing
Traffic to websites by tablet users is overtaking smartphone traffic, 50% of mobile searches get actioned within an hour, and Nielsen shows where consumers are located when they're searching categories like 'food' or 'shopping' - all this just in the mobile section of this month's research round-up.
To keep you updated on how the digital markets are evolving, our strategists have included dozens of infographics, charts and research reports - as well as the top 100 full stories from our blogs and the DigiAcademy Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/DigiAcademy.
Stories are grouped around the big themes in digital - and full details, videos and high resolution charts on click through below.
If you'd like quick tips about what these mean for your team's plans in 2013, simply get in touch to have a digital strategist send you some extra advice. With advanced in-company training programmes running in 20 countries this year, it's easy than ever to boost your team's skills.
This month we see the growing global tide of smartphone adoption shift to the East as for the first time the number of Chinese users is due to overtake US users. And with rapidly increasing smartphone adoption the volume of mobile video and mobile video advertising consumed on-the-go grows.
The rise of the smartphone has also had an impact on Google's Paid Search offering which this month was updated to offer 'Enhanced campaigns' - allowing marketers to target by situation and context (related to mobile devices) for the first time.
Evidence that high street retailers can no longer afford not to offer fully integrated, multi-channel offering came to light this month with John Lewis planning to cut in-store staff to focus on online channels and Marks & Spencer launching a 'Digital Lab' to become more 'omni-channel'.
Google begins first public trial of its augmented reality googles, Google Glass. And rumours abound that Apple is working on an 'iWatch'.
And the Superbowl blackout provides an opportunity for quick-witted marketers to capitalise with clever Twitter messages.
The beginning of 2013 saw more evidence of the death of the high street as consumers increasingly flocked to the web for their shopping needs. In particular the shift from buying entertainment in solid-state form to digital form was put into sharp focus as the closure of the HMV and Blockbuster were announced alongside the record numbers of digital downloads.
The power of social media to instigate and amplify bad press was brought into sharp relief yet again with the tale of two retailers - Sellitonline.com and Tesco - who both suffered at the hands of online consumers.
Facebook launched their 'Graph Search' as their first major step into social search as well as continuing its evolution into a mobile service.
Sony launched their latest Xperia to compete in the smartphone marketplace. While Apple's share price fell sharply on disappointing iPhone sales.
And the annual CES show in Vegas was abuzz with automatic cars, new TV formats and gaming innovations.
To round off 2012, we bring you our collection of top stories that shaped the digital landscape. It was an amazing year, with the continued speed of change towards a more digitally centric society: the rise and rise of social, the migration to mobile, the rising value of online businesses and the growing regulation to manage the digital economy. The stories show big rewards for getting the strategy right - and brutal realities of failing to innovate.
As the digital sector has grown, this year we’re examining the big stories of 2012 across a 9 different sectors, including search, social, mobile and advertising.
We’ve also collected our favourite viral videos of the year, and taken an irreverent look back at some of the stranger stories and biggest blunders of the year. Enjoy!
We consider the growing buzz around the ‘viewable impression’ metric and reasons why for most in the industry it seems like a natural step in the evolution and growing maturity of online advertising.
SMS marketing regulations became tougher this week as the UK government’s Information Commissioner shows its teeth, writes Danny Meadows-Klue. The ICO unleashes the first of the heavy fines for spammers using text messaging, as across Europe the focus of digital marketing regulation broadens to include texts. Here’s what they did…
As we come towards the end of 2012, research shows that this year really has been the year of the smartphone. According to Gartner, global sales have risen 47% year-on-year, much to the benefit of Samsung and the Android platform primarily. But Apple has still managed to capture more of the investment in mobile advertising. Indeed, mobile advertising is looking increasingly attractive as research shows that viewer ad recall is much higher on the handheld device than on TV or the web. A great benefit as more consumer start to research and purchase physical goods through the mobile channel.
And as the developed world equip themselves with the latest devices for the poorer developing markets Google is starting to offer a simple Free Zone mobile service to capture the 'next billion' Internet users.
It also looks like Facebook has weathered the potential storm of its third stage of share sales with a rising stock and increasingly healthy looking business as the year draws to an end.
Getting your content discovered in search engines has been the battle digital marketers have been fighting for almost 20 years. It’s a combination of both art and science, and there are simple steps that should be on every marketers’ agenda. Danny Meadows-Klue - founder of the Digital Training Academy - has been teaching Search Engine Optimisation since the late 90s, and here he explains how consumer brands should approach content marketing and SEO.
After its IPO woes, Facebook finally turned a corner this month - but at what price to advertisers? Reports suggest that the social network is lowering the reach of 'likes' in favour of paid-for advertising such as newsfeed ads and an upcoming 'want' button. Shares in Facebook rose on the back of increased revenues and new ad schemes, but brands are left once again pondering the true value of their 'likes'.
As Christmas looms, mini-tablets look set to be the gift of choice, with the iPad mini unveiled (albeit with a hefty price tag) meaning tablet-friendly sites will become more essential in 2013. As desktop and laptop use wanes, Microsoft's newly-launched Windows 8 is the company's biggest gamble yet, as the software giant looks to challenge Apple and Google in the mobile OS market.
Worst mistake of the month goes to Google, which saw nearly $20bn wiped off its market value in minutes, after Q3 earnings figures released prematurely by mistake revealed a surprise drop in profit growth. Larry Page can take some solace in YouTube's revenues, which are now rivalling US TV networks.
Our video viral highlight of the month is Bodyform's spoof CEO response to a Facebook posting. A master class in viral marketing, the video was created within days and attracted over 3 million views within a week. Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter for more examples of 'digital done right' in our viral videos section.
With more brands turning to Facebook as a way to reach their audiences, Gavin Sinden looks at practical ways you can ensure more of your brand's posts get seen by fans and their wider circles of friends.
Apple's high-profile iPhone 5 launch was marred by problems with its mapping technology and a hactivist leak of 1 million Apple IDs. Despite negative press, Apple once again broke records, selling 7m handsets over the opening weekend alone- evidence of the growing importance of smartphones in the consumer journey, and hinting that the market is becoming a 2 horse race between Apple and Google.
September was also a big month for Twitter, as it expanded its ad targeting offering, put restrictions on its use of APIs, revamped its profile page design to allow Facebook-style header photos and proved to be more successful than Facebook in its ability to generate mobile ad revenues.
In an eye-opening report, Gartner revealed that marketers are increasingly trying to game the social media system by paying for positive reviews.
This month also saw video ads entering the print world, with Marie Claire's media first of incorporating video into the printed magazine.
After years on the sidelines in digital, it seems grocery ecommerce looks like it has a bright future, with consumers willing to try it, but etailers need to minimise the abandoned shopper baskets.
What's a 'like' really worth? About 24% more than non-fans, according to Play.com. With Facebook under pressure to turn clicks into cash, Play's data certainly help Zuckerberg make his case that 'likes' equal high-value customers.
It's been another tough month for the Facebook founder, with an Australian judge ruling that fan comments are now ads, while plans to run newsfeed ads for non-fans met further user grumbles. News that nearly 9% of Facebook profiles 'could be fake' also set alarm bells ringing with advertisers.
The challenge of preserving user's privacy in an increasingly commercial Internet space reared its head again this month. Google was whacked with a record fine for misrepresenting their use of Safari users' data, Facebook had its knuckles wrapped by a judge for using personal photos in ads, and Microsoft caused a stir with advertisers by setting 'Do Not Track' to default in their latest version of IE.
Also this month:
- Mobile: Paypal tests McDonalds mobile payments
- Social: Pinterest opens registration, the top 20 Twitter countries, and a review of the first 'social Olympics'
- Video: YouTube is removed from Apple devices
- Search: How search keyphrases are getting longer and SEO tips from Google on 5 biggest mistakes in SEO
Key data this month reveals that search keyphrases are getting longer, the Top 20 Twitter countries and a look back at how brands fared in the 'social Olympics'. As a bonus, we've also got SEO tips from Google on 5 biggest mistakes in SEO (and 6 good ideas!).
As the first 'social' Olympics gets underway, some over-zealous sponsors are already feeling the wrath of Twitter users, and this month we look at why brands are succeeding (and failing) at the games.
July was another tough month for Facebook, as its ad revenue growth dipped and shares fell. The social network has come under fire for allegations that bots are creating fake 'likes' - ramping up the prices for ads. Can Facebook stem the flow of bad publicity and turn its mobile growth into profits? We've got Zuckerberg's latest attempts at monetisation below, including job boards, a 'want' button and social search ads.
Google and Apple's rivalry has intensified, as the £159 Nexus 7 goes on sale to undercut the iPad. Leaked videos and reports suggest Apple will respond with a majorly revamped iPhone and iPad Mini this September - we've got the video below, (possibly) offering the first glimpse of the iPhone 5.
Top data this month looks at ad spend growth around the world, with digital leading the way in all territories. We also compare mobile ad revenues from Facebook and Twitter, and have the latest infographics on social media ROI along with the best times to post brand messages on Facebook and Twitter - can you guess the top weekly time slot to reach your audience?
Across Latin America, the growth of online marketing continues to be rapid as brands unlock a smarter communications mix.
This briefing gives a snapshot of market growth across Latin America. In digital training programmes we explain how to read the landscape, identify priority digital channels and apply 'tipping point' thinking...
It all starts with understanding the channel mix of your consumers and reading the landscape correctly.
The Cannes Cyber Lions showed why owned media is key and how not to simply add to the clutter of the web.
In digital advertising the big players battled hard, with Google opening AdWords to 300,000 apps via its AdMob integration, while preparing for the European rollout of its web TV service. Facebook launched a major ad push, creating deeper ties with Apple, Zynga and WordPress, scrapping 'credits' for local currencies and opening to third party ad platforms for first time. Twitter upped its game with its first TV commercial and curated hashtags for brands, while revealing it's mobile ad revenue have overtaken desktop PCs. Microsoft showcased its iPad rival 'Surface', but was forced into an embarrassing U-Turn on its proposed plans to make 'Do Not Track' the default option for its next IE browser, after much outcry from advertisers.
The were some major acquisitions this month, with Facebook buying a facial recognition firm, Salesforce buying Buddy Media and WPP snapping up AKQA.
This month we include a guide to Pinterest, Mary Meeker's 'State of the Web' presentation and the DMA's implications of the new EU cookie laws for email and mobile marketing. We also take a look at Social media SEO, with growing evidence that Facebook and Twitter now play a key role in determining Google search rankings. Full stories and charts below and on click through.
Facebook has revolutionised social media, changed the way marketers communicate and blended paid, owned and earn media into one platform.
Successful social conversation strategies demand the right consumer insights and effective reading of the social landscape.
To keep you on top of how Facebook is changing, this special report lists key developments, research and case studies from the last year - full stories and data on click-through.
Digital regulation came into the spotlight with the controversial EU cookie law, and then the UK last minute watering-down (video below). It's an approach we expect several other countries to copy - the U-turn saw the wording shift from 'explicit consent' to 'implied consent'.
Google's entry into the mobile device market completes, with the green light for its $12.5bn Motorola Mobility deal, and we show how Google+ was beefed-up with a 'Hangouts' webcam community.
Your data charts this month include top Apps, the true cost of a Facebook Sponsored Story, the (ridiculously complicated) social media landscape and as always full stories and videos on click, and a survey for what you'd like in next month's edition.
As India becomes more digitally connected, this special edition of Digital Intelligence shows the way Indian consumers are going online, and on mobile. It covers the key trends you need to know to healthcheck your digital strategy and question whether digital has the right weight in your marketing mix.
Full stories and videos on click-through, and our strategists can guide you on what this means for your brand and your business plan.
Industry themes we're tracking this month? The importance of innovation in your strategy: build it or buy it?
Instagram's $1bn price tag makes sense for Facebook's 'buy' strategy because it blocked Twitter, Google, Apple or MSN from leaping ahead.
In cloud storage, the trend seems to be to 'build' your own: April saw Google unveil a cloud storage service to undercut Dropbox, SkyDrive and iCloud. Our money is on Dropbox getting bought soon, as late entrants realise 'buy' will be the only option left.
Meanwhile in digital marketing, the choices grew further:
- Measuring brand campaigns? Google's new TV-style metrics could be the answer
- Needing new ad platforms? Tumblr finally opens up
- Approaches for tackling Pinterest? Amazon and eBay's social shopping tools just started pinning
This month's Digital Intelligence includes data on: top Facebook brands in the UK, Asia overtaking the west for online video, China's internet growth, and which days of the week work best on social.
As always full stories at the end of the click, and a great video of Google's 'goggles' - the planned augmented reality glasses straight from a sci-fi film.
March proved another big month for social media. Dotcom star of the moment Pinterest revealed impressive audience stats for engagement. Now that the social media 'pinboard' for pictures and videos has found smart ways to help brands market themselves and drive traffic into stores, it's certainly one to watch.
Facebook unleashed 'timeline' and 8 million brands 'liked' it, instantly making the switch. But the new format is a wake-up call for marketers who saw Facebook as stable and simple: the new format means new challenges for marketers in how to use content posts effectively. Twitter unlocked 2 years of its archive, creating an incredible resource for market research - but only brands with the right social media listening strategy will make sense of the deafening noise. Consumer insight just got trickier.
Also in this month's round-up: real-life 'Minority Report' ads, fridge magnets that order pizzas, the worst QR code campaigns, the best digital April fools jokes, mobile ads based on the weather, and top performing apps and ads.
Read March 2012
We're set for another record-breaking Christmas for ecommerce (14% sales growth in the UK alone), and data behind the headlines confirms major shifts in the way people shop. After many years of hype, mobile finally looks set to contribute a significant portion of sales. The growth of pods, pads, apps and iTunes helped Apple become the second biggest online retailer in the UK and in the scramble for festive shoppers' cash, eBay opened its first high street shop. 20th Century Fox started selling DVDs via QR codes on posters, and Google's strengthened its mobile wallet service as it makes the 2012 play for owning the online transaction space.
This month's news was dominated by Google. Latest expansion plans include focusing on Chrome, cloud music and social networking. With 50% of smartphones now powered by Android, the growth will help Google capture the elusive 'single sign-on'. The internet giant also offered a rare peek into how it ranks search results - with big implications for anyone planning 2012 SEO strategies. Meanwhile Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo finally managed to agree an advertising alliance; as they square up to Facebook, Apple and Google.
In social media there's new research about the phrases that boost Twitter clicks (and don't) and why people do (or don't) follow brands on social media - plus the 5 firms that control 65% of all global ad spend: can you guess who they are before reading further?
Read November 2011
This month’s research roundup gives more proof about the speed of mobile growth and rising social use. Worldwide mobile access is outpacing fixed-line internet access, and as India's new $40 tablet shows, the economic barriers to technology are tumbling. Global ad revenues from social media are exploding, set to surpass $5bn this year, and doubling to $10bn in 2013. In the UK, web adspend overtook TV - forcing many media agencies to rethink the weight of online vs TV in the mix for FMCG brands.
Below you’ll find how Google ramped up its analytics and encrypted user's searches by default and how Facebook beefed up its conversation management reporting, helping demystify that elusive return on social media investment. Microsoft finalised its own big social media play by securing the Skype acquisition, while Yahoo’s recovery looks unclear – lacking the budgets to acquire.
This month’s loss of Steve Jobs touched us all and united the digital industry. As chief architect of ground-breakers like Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad, Jobs had a knack for knowing what consumers wanted, before they did. He leaves a huge void not just in Apple, but in digital innovation.
Is Facebook destined to become the next AOL? This month saw the social network transform into a media hub, realising Zuckerberg's strategy of positioning Facebook as an "Internet within the Internet". The move has worked for games, providing huge ad revenues and rich demographic data yields, but will users be happy to watch Netflix films, stream Spotify playlists and read eBooks within Facebook's site? Or is it too similar to AOL's doomed "walled garden" strategy of the early noughties?
This month saw Google take the revamped Google+ public, buying Groupon rival Daily Deal and unveiling its potentially revolutionary Wallet service in the US. Meanwhile, Twitter's new analytics tool could help marketers shed light on the dark art of social media ROI, and the relationship between retweets and revenue on the micro-blogging site.
September also provided some prime examples of how not to get ahead in digital media. Yahoo fired fiery boss Bartz over the phone, leaving the former dotcom darling looking for a buyer. RIM saw its profits collapse as Blackberry lost its grip on the mobile market, and newly bought MySpace has been forced to postpone its grand launch. Award for worst CRM of the month goes to Netflix, which fumbled a re-branding and re-pricing strategy that outraged customers and forced a humble YouTube apology from the CEO, which you can view in all its wince-inducing glory below.
On the research side, we've got some telling stats on mobile broadband this month. 1 in 10 of eBay's customers now buy via mobiles, while the UN found that over 10% world population now has mobile broadband. Food for thought for anyone doubting the potential of mobile...
As Yahoo ousts another CEO, it’s clear that problem is with the portal and not the person…
It’s a smart use of digital from an increasingly cutting edge team: UK Parliament’s latest online game invites young people to put themselves in the Prime Ministerial hot-seat and find out if they have what it takes to run the country. Danny Meadows-Klue reckons it’s a perfect example of right media channel, right content, driven from the right communications objectives. Here’s why…
Who says August's the quiet month for news? Here in the UK, riots revealed the worst and best of social media: large-scale looting was organised at least in part via secure Blackberry Messenger, while large-scale clean-ups were enabled through Twitter hashtags. Watching criminals exploit the privacy of BBM was as depressing as the relief felt from watching the publicly spirited clean-up. All a strong reminder that social activism through social media and messenger tools will be a permanent feature of society from now on whether in Libya or London.
Digital media battle lines continue to shift, as Google became a fully-fledged mobile maker after the Motorola acquisition, and a fully-fledged TV platform with the UK announcement of Google TV. Facebook got serious about location, dropping 'Places' for a universal location tagging system, adding mobile messaging in its bid to stifle Twitter and FourSquare, and ramping up its privacy along the way.
On a sad note, Apple lost its 'rock star nerd', as Steve Jobs stepped away from the helm. Jobs is a true digital revolutionary who pioneered game-changers like the iPod, iPhone and iPad - a real icon of our times who has materially affected all of us. While Apple's strategy looks confident to continue, we're still unconvinced by the shock moves at heavyweight tech firm Hewlett-Packard to ditch mobiles, tablets and PCs to become a standalone software maker.
Also in this month's edition, some eye-opening stats we think you'll enjoy: Amazon accounts for 1 in 5 of all web visits, the UK's Daily Mail became the second most read news site in the world. Which paper came first? You'll have to read on...
With online sales now 10% of retail here in the UK and 1.5m jobs linked to this within a few years, July has been a month of ecommerce innovation. Contrast that to over 10 years back, when we started the Digital Intelligence newswire, and online retail was barely 0.1% of retail spend. This month the whole retail supply chain is innovating fast.
Online retailer Tescos is piloting Wi-Fi access in-store that could unlock a cheaper and easier blended ecommerce with the product acting as a trigger to website downloads without consumers paying for mobile data. And also shows they’re CIO is clearly not frightened about price comparison.
Google debuted ‘AdWords Express’ and shook up small business marketing – yep, they made the simple even simpler and in doing so make a strong pitch to go client-direct rather than through agencies.
The digital strategies of the retail giant Asos (for marketing), Groupon (for auto sales), Google (for product dev) and Facebook (online gaming revenues and sales partnerships) also caught our attention.
Has Google finally got social right? Early signs from our research indicate that the more nuanced approach of Google+ more to social might finally give Facebook something to worry about, after the failures of Buzz and Wave. Our trackers show Google now attracts 1 billion visitors a month- the audience is there if the product is good enough. And if Facebook needs any reminding that the mighty can fall, this month saw News Corp offload former social media king MySpace for a pittance.
As opportunities for digital marketers grow, so do the legal pitfalls. This month saw ICANN approve '.anything domains'. We're split on whether this helps brands or leaves them exposed to squatters - but without a clear online brand strategy it will be an uncomfortable year for marketing directors. Meanwhile the new EU cookie law, which effectively makes most UK websites illegal without an opt-in for tracking, has been deferred for a year. Are your strategies in place?
Headlines below, full stories at the end of the click, and if you'd like a deep dive briefing on a key theme then let us know what you'd like researched by setting your choices here: http://www.digitalstrategyconsulting.com/updatemydetails.
Another announcement looms from domain name regulators at ICANN, and the cybersquatters are salivating. Let’s hope this time there’s some sense behind the approach and stronger self-regulation for what will follow. The prospect of potentially thousands more top-level domain names is far from something to celebrate given the way the process is managed.
The thing you first notice is the scale of mobile use. When it comes to the internet in Italy, mobile is the key platform, and as mobiles get smarter and connections get faster, internet access in Italy is undergoing a step-change from the web to mobile. Online use in Italy gives a window into mobile social networking that other markets will adopt and as Danny Meadows-Klue discovers in Milan, Italians are hungry for even more time on Facebook.
Internet radio network Pandora helped define social music online. Using the Amazon model of ‘people who like this also like this’, Pandora build a global audience franchise. But while Shazam stole the crowds in clubs, and iTunes captured the downloads markets, Danny Meadows-Klue argues that Pandora’s growth lacks the scalability of a smart internet business model. That’s why $16 a share feels like investors are paying over the odds…
Digital networked society: New cookies law reminds direct marketers to understand and respect data trails
The rise of internet use in marketing is happening much faster in Mexico. From the pavement cafes of Polanco to the glass box skyscrapers of Santa Fe, in Mexico City Danny Meadows-Klue finds a growing internet economy and ambitious marketers readily using online tools from search to mobile and keen to exploit everything social media has to offer in Mexico.
Social media strategies are back at the top of the news agenda, with continued explosive growth among Facebook, Twitter and YouTube reminding every company it needs to evolve its strategy to keep place with the what the platforms offer.
Facebook's facial recognition software sent European privacy advocates leaping for their email. Watch this play out through the summer and remember it was only a year ago that Zuckerberg landed the message that 'privacy is no longer a social norm'.
The energy of the Chinese internet industry is as loud and ceaseless as the building work in Shanghai’s skyscraper forest. China’s internet market is vast, and growing. More than 470m people are online in China, accounting for around 35% of the country’s 1.3billion citizens. In the net bars and offices of Shanghai, Danny Meadows-Klue discovers a hunger to use the web that spans from business to education. The urban landscape in China is changing fast, but the digital landscape many times faster. Most Western firms have no idea what’s coming…
Singapore’s general election proves to be the most democratic in 40 years as the PAP ruling party’s share of vote tumbles to 60%, with opposition members joining to parliament in the big regional wards for the first time. In Singapore, Danny Meadows-Klue finds out how Twitter, Facebook and independent online media have changed voter expectations and the political mandate forever.
Early analysis of Google's most recent UK search update is striking less for the list of sites that have benefited (including respected UK brands the Guardian, the Telegraph and Which), but primarily for the list of site that have seen their reach tumble. Some previously high-profile sites have had their search ranking decimated as the latest algorithm judges their content "low quality".
Over the years, Digital Intelligence has highlighted the key role of search and its importance in ensuring that any web marketing strategy is successful. The long-term trend towards convergence has been another of the themes we've tracked during the last decade, and the news this month that Blinkbox has been bought by the UK's biggest retailer Tesco is a sign that this trend is still in its infancy. Tesco can now add online film sales to a portfolio which goes beyond traditional supermarkets to include second-hand car sales, banking services, furniture and clothing. As brands offer ever-more complex mixes of products and points of sale, the importance of their digital strategies will only grow and success will depend on long-term planning and informed decision-making.
As the web swells to take a quarter of all ad spend here in the UK, the mix of online marketing is evolving. In the last two weeks we've been tracking how the use of Facebook engagement ads is exploding, and how online coupons are rising.
Brand strategies are sharpening up as Ford bolsters its online entertainment offers with comedy talent, Twitter plans to launch brand pages, and if kids hangout Habbo is anything to go by then virtual worlds are heading for a genuine second life - but this time with first place for audiences.
Headlines below, full stories at the end of the click, and if you'd like a deep dive briefing on a key theme then let us know what you'd like researched by setting your choices here http://www.digitalstrategyconsulting.com/updatemydetails.
If measuring online ad effectiveness was just about counting clicks, life would be simple. Alas, what most consumer marketers are interested in is the brand uplift effect and the reach of the campaign among the target audience. Both are vital for getting marketing effectiveness insights about a campaign and the budget - but both prove elusive most of the time. As ComScore’s AdEffx Campaign Essentials tool reaches Europe, Danny Meadows-Klue argues they might be one step closer to solving the problem. Here’s why…
This month's shift in the Google algorithm saw massive swings in the rankings of many brand and retail sites, cleaning up much of the spam but creating a few surprises along the way. Good news for the white-hat techniques of best practice, but bad news for many agencies who had been using link farms to bolster the clients' rankings. Getting search right is such a fundamental of web marketing that without it nothing else in the digital mix works properly. It's a core part of the always-on in digital marketing. And other engines are going even further in the war on spam and simply banning sites that don't make the grade.
This month's digital strategy healthcheck? Think beyond the brand and look for your new position on the category terms you need to be famous for. Track the movement, see where your competitors are and make a plan to climb higher up the listings.
For the movie rental industry, the news of closure at Blockbusters' 609 stores this month marks the end of an era. In the same week Amazon took on Netflix with streaming service for Prime customers, and online music streaming giant Spotify landed a $1bn valuation (thanks to the Russian Facebook backers). Channels are changing and most brands are well behind getting their own channel mix lined up with what consumers are asking for.
No surprise then that Google is taking on Apple with the 'One Pass' system - a one-stop destination where users can pay for publications online. Listen out for this becoming fused with YouTube to enable the migration of pay-TV; a step that will destabilise part of the value chain and economics in the pay-TV markets. And with new research showing almost three-quarters of European web users download or watch online video there will be no shortage of viewers.
Whatever your digital content strategy, the shift to video needs attention. So if you missed our online video special report, then here's the link.
Valentine's day is looking expensive for Twitter's suitors. Google and Facebook have bid up the value of the young social tool to a staggering $10bn. Valuations from Huffington Post to Pandora are running far ahead of revenue multiples, and there's an echo of the late 90s dotcom panic, but what is the price of an acceleration really worth?
Whoever buys Twitter gets to leap forward in integrated mobile and social networking. They'll also get a massive, vibrant network as well as a technology base and challenger brand. Added to that are the insights, goodwill and expertise of some of the best minds in mobile and social networking. And on top they get to lock out the competitor from accessing any of this. In an emerging market, this type of strategy can be game changing.
Accelerating digital brands has become a theme for 2011. Alas, most firms don't have the luxury of pockets deep enough to buy technology or social start-ups. They rely on building their own strategies, content and social approach. The stories in this edition can help inform your digital strategy, and there's more at the end of the links. And in case you fancy a last minute Twitter bid, we've made a history of Twitter's rise here in our archive.
... a few of the questions so far this year from marketing teams we're supporting on the digital strategy coaching programmes. That's why we collated this round-up of research and stories we've been following.
In most developed markets smartphones have seduced consumers and shifted expectations. If brands are not available on mobile they lose out: this could be a search in the supermarket, planning the evening out from a cafe, or a supplier web page review on the way to a meeting. With Steve Jobs on leave Apple's innovation will slow; iAds will be matched by competitors, and the first mover advantage of iPads will fade in the flood of tablet alternatives entering the market.
The space has moved so fast that few marketers are creating truly effective integrated mobile strategies. Like social media two years ago, most are still missing the basics and can't forecast the ROI from what their agencies are pitching.
Digital capability is a key driver of competitiveness, and with Facebook and relationship marketing moving to the heart of the digital mix, most firms need to be more hands-on in producing their content and managing their social relationships. It's not only a cost saving and a leap in ROI, but gives a far greater economy of scope having the digital expertise inside the team rather than at the end of an email.
Success strategies are shifting, and the stories we're tracking as the year started echo this. Watch out for key functions moving in house, including relationship marketing, social media management, website content creation and support. There is still a role for specialists for the more advanced issues and the creative big idea, but team structures by the end of 2011 should look significantly different from those today.
In our review of the year, Facebook and Google dominated our headlines with weekly product development announcements. They played key roles in the UK election - as digital political strategies step-changed - and influenced the fortunes of every firm online. Social media strategies became critical for consumer brands, with the digital media mix broadening for most organisations into: sites, search, social and sales.
The Times launched its paywall (and lost most of its readers), while Twitter explored ads for its digital revenue strategy. Apple entered the ad market with $60m of pre-bookings for the launch of iAds, and both online and mobile adspend set new records. Digital content strategies embraced video - forcing firms large and small to look for video assets - and YouTube reached new heights in audiences.
The key trends we predicted a year ago in mobile, social, privacy and video all proved true, yet many firms still waste much of their budgets by not having the right digital strategies in place. The ROI of digital is often less than half what it should be in most organisations, and that's why digital talent - the digital calibre of teams across a business - will be just as critical next year.
2010 was the year video mainstreamed on the web in Western Europe, so
when YouTube released their top 10 clips, we thought it time to
collate some of the video stories from the last year. Together they
provide an important reminder of the scale online video has grown to.
So as you plan your web strategies for 2011, if video is not already
high on the agenda, then be sure to review its potential. Online
video can tell stories as powerfully as television, create
interaction as strong as games, showcase products as well as an
in-store demo, and engage your audiences as deeply as social media.
Get set for another online retail record-breaker: next Monday is
'Mega-Monday' when online stores hit meltdown in the shopping frenzy.
£6.4bn is the UK forecast for December, with over £20m/hr spent on
Monday. Recessionary 2009 saw a 25% leap on 2008 for total online
sales (here in the UK) so expect similar this year. Christmas retail
triggered a frenzy of last minute traffic grabbing with Search Ad Buys
pushing bid prices up and squeezing retail margins - left me thinking
that smarter SEO strategies in the summer could have saved a few
million dollars on paid ads. All too common to see firefighting rather
than getting the strategy in place at the start.
For 2011 we're encouraging consumer brands to evaluate greater roles
for marketing through gaming, so we've included video games and
console platform sales in the US. And this edition also covers top
sites in Russia, Mobile Phone Moms in the US, Finance and Retailer
sites in the UK because that's what brands asked us for.
After years of anticipating the mobile web, it seems most marketers are struggling to make it work for them. Latest research here in the UK revealed half of firms don't check their sites on mobiles - and we'd speculate that for those that do the findings can be pretty uncomfortable. Most brands fail to ensure their sites work well on mobile browsers, and fail to give consumers what they're most likely to be looking for on the move. Digital strategies need to play to the consumer's mindset as well as the strengths of the channel, and like the early days of the web, more brands get it wrong than right.
Exceptions include Gap in the US, where this month their Facebook places promotion (10,000 jeans for the first 10,000 consumers to use their mobiles to 'check-in' at their checkouts) was clearly a great route to crowd-sourcing in mobile social spaces, creating 10,000 signposts for other consumers to follow.
Facebook also had us adding more 'fan' badges as their online ad targeting propelled them to take nearly a quarter of US web display ads. For media planners the offer of campaigns with almost no media wastage is intoxicating, and even the British Royal Family are now targetable - embracing Facebook with the launch of their first monarchy page; time to become 'Friends' maybe?
And finally if you're a busy digital exec planning to escape off the grid this Christmas, rest assured you can now check your emails even while climbing Everest - thanks to the Nepalese telco planting the mountain's first 3G base station. You never need be away from email again!
Privacy issues made headlines this week as Google's Streetview cars were found to be capturing more than just photos. Data about local wi-fi hotspots went far beyond the hotspot location, raising concerns across government and business, while at the same time exposing how little most people know about the data clouds that fill their street. It's time to wake-up to privacy.
The week before it was Facebook's turn, with social media games uncovered as the gateway to a wealth of personal data for advertisers to target against. Nothing wrong with trading free games for seeing targeted advertising, but most consumers seemed completely unaware of what they'd agreed to. The key takeout? Read the small print.
Younger internet users were also found to be having a tough time. Across Europe 1 in 8 children have 'had upsetting experiences online', making clear the need to teach more in schools about privacy, social networking and trust.
And here in the UK the government may be deep in the most brutal spending cuts in history, but it still found £650m for a new initiative to fight cybercrime and protect personal data.
The internet is defining the culture of our generation, but new behaviours need to be taught to companies and individuals alike if we are to handle these tools responsibly. Digital strategies and data strategies are essential to all organisations, so I hope you enjoy the stories below and the clicks behind them.
The web let anyone publish anything, but Google let people find what they were looking for. The rise and rise of the world’s largest web media business is something we've tracked since testing out the early versions in the late 90s.
As search engines have become the connectors between marketing in any media and people finding what they’re after on the web, getting Google right has become critical for brands and the teams that support them. That’s why in this edition of Digital Intelligence we collated some of the recent stories our team were researching, packaging them into one bite-sized email you could forward on to your colleagues.
When exciting new research landed from TNS, we thought we'd share it straight away rather than wait till the end of the month. Here are the topline points, with more on research and announcements from the global giants that caught our eye over the last two weeks.
Digital Life is a global study into people's online behaviour. TNS interviewed around 50,000 people from over 45 countries to explore the different ways internet behaviours are evolving. They used consistent questions and built an interactive dashboard that lets you compare the data.
Other stories we've been tracking include the race to TV (launches from Google and Apple), UK online adspend rising 10% (to just under £2bn in the first half of 2010), YouTube winning the copyright case in Spain, and in Antarctica Google's Streetview making its debut.
As you plan your 2011 digital strategy, let us know if you need more on any of these areas, or support from the management coaches at the Digital Training Academy to ensure you choose the right digital channels for your audience.
All these impact on how digital strategies work for brands - and that's why to get them working well the strategy needs to be flexible to deal with the constant evolution of the landscape. Technology and business horizons are constantly expanding, the attention of customers is migrating, and brands need to be agile enough to deliver what their customers need today, not yesterday.
Among the social networks Facebook gave social media metrics a much needed boost with their new analytics tools (ROI gradually creeping into social media), Twitter started looking even more like a Facebook-lite, and Facebook launched location tools to prevent young socnets like FourSquare gaining the traction of Twitter.
Mobile device wars intensified with Blackberry and Samsung lining up tablet launches, and the largest smartphone maker - Nokia - reorganising 'in preparation for the next billion mobile web users' and its upcoming high-end device launches. The online video world was equally hectic with product development announcements from Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo and Google, proving that the video platforms have much more yet to deliver.
From March next year, online marketing will come under even greater scrutiny as the UK’s ad watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), extends its remit to cover brand websites and social media activity. As part of our Digital Minds series, Guy Parker, CEO at the ASA, spoke to Netimperative about the challenges of extending the remit, the role of behavioural advertising and the merits of cricket websites...
Facebook has become synonymous with social networking. In many countries the two words have become interchangeable, and with Facebook's audiences continuing to grow in numbers - as well as time spent - every brand has to consider a Facebook strategy or an integrated social and relationship marketing strategy.
In this special edition we've drawn together research, news and background to highlight the growth, evolution and key issues. Full stories from our team are at the end of the clicks, and this summary packages them into one bite-sized email you can share with colleagues.
Let us know what you find useful - and what you'd like us to cover in future special editions on other topics.
As part of a major shake-up in UK marketing regulation, UK firms will soon have to ensure content on their websites and social network pages comply with the same rules as their paid-for advertising. But how will this be policed? And with brand sites now carrying their own press releases and staff blogs, just what’s the difference between ads and editorial these days?
In the latest addition to our Director’s Dinner series, Netimperative invited Guy Parker, CEO of the Advertising Standards Authority, to outline the extension of the regulator’s remit, which places online marketing under greater scrutiny than ever before. Robin Langford, Editor at Netimperative, reports.
If you ran a global social network and could have gone back in time to the launch of Twitter, what would you have done differently? That's the recurring question in more than a few dotcom boardrooms. So as Facebook announces ‘Places’ that let its 500m users check-in and become location enabled, it could be time for location pioneer Foursquare to check out.
YouTube has become the world's online video player. Following numerous attempts from other platforms, YouTube emerged as front runner - then gained the critical mass to deliver video to the world. Google's acquisition boosted the platform's audience reach, and rolling the results into Google Search accelerated discoverability. Google also gave YouTube all the brilliance of Google Search to ensure content would be more effectively discovered.
With video moving to the mainstream in digital comms strategies for consumer brands and business services as well as online media, YouTube needs high consideration in every firm's digital strategy.
The pace of Google's acquisitions is astonishing: Jambool, Social Gold and social apps maker Slide all became GOOG, and there's clear interest in visual search firm Like.com - the new frontier in search. Add to that their PayPal integration with Android and its clear Google's focus today is as much about social, apps, and the web on the move as it is about Search.
Facebook matched the pace with the launch of their Q&A service and the bedding in of CEOP, both of which are strategically core. Facebook clocked up record access levels at work here in the UK, moved into top place in India, and no doubt its stickiness will rise even higher as TV networks like the UK's Channel 5 start to embed their top shows into FB's TV on-demand platform. As Google gears up for Social, Facebook is gearing up for Search and Video.
In the mobile space, the acceleration echoes the late 90s' Tipping Point when the web mainstreamed. All brands we spoke with this month now put mobile into the digital plan - even if only at small levels - and media owners are finally seeing mobile as a core platform. Innovation from device manufacturers continued - especially Nokia and Apple - while Blackberry's network came under the long-expected scrutiny by governments across the Middle East and India, no doubt triggering a massive loss of customers along the way.
Social media reached out to a new generation and told them to vote. The Electoral Commission used simple digital marketing tactics to reach the right people (youngsters not yet registered), in the right media space (Facebook), with the right offer (one click to register). Simple, brilliant, game-changing.
Secondly, digital analytics came into their own for the first time. Old-style telephone polling and street surveys are over. Instead social media monitoring provided granular insights into every sound-bite and every gesture from the leaders of the three main political parties. Online polls from YouGov have been fighting with new social media monitoring tools, while live social media trackers run alongside TV debates. They’ve given politicians an unprecedented window into their own electability - and like all good marketers, politicians have quickly applied those lessons.
Collating this month’s research and news for you reminded me that the right digital strategy isn’t just about advertising. Digital strategies work throughout the marketing mix - from researching customer insights, to changing brand preference, through building buzz and engagement, sale and ongoing support.
by Danny Meadows-Klue
The use of the web by UK politicians has been underwhelming. Instead of an Obama-style social media groundswell bringing policy debate into living rooms and bars, the British electorate has had to suffer waves of negative campaigning, an explosion of pointless blogging by anyone running for office, and a focus on Facebook fans or Twitter followers that mistakes raw numbers for engagement. And yet Election 2010 has been the most digital the UK’s ever seen; here’s why...
Former managing director of 24/7 Real Media Pierre Naggar now leads Yahoo!’s direct response operations in the UK. In this interview, he talks to Danny Meadows-Klue about how far we’ve come since the dotcom bubble burst, why ‘last click wins’ metrics are soon to be a thing of the past, and the best ways for advertisers to reach their target audience.
Reuters is the grandfather in the news business. For over 150 years its correspondents have fed media and markets with the essential raw news and data. Over 2500 reporters (and many more stringers and freelancers) ensure whatever happens and whenever it happens, Reuters is there. On the eve of the launch of the new consumer facing Reuters UK website, Danny Meadows-Klue caught up with Tim Faircliff – driver of the Thomson Reuters consumer media brand - to find out what’s driving him.
by Danny Meadows-Klue
Reuters’ decision to throw its weight behind a mainstream consumer facing news property is shrewd, strategic and significant.
This month saw the power players marking out their turf: Facebook leapfrogged Google into pole position (at least on a couple of metrics in the US), Microsoft pushed deeper into video players, the BBC gave shape to the cut backs, and China and search went head to head in that long awaited showdown. Everything's to play for as the online media market matures, and the flurry of lawsuits over IP is another fixture on the landscape.
As we head into election season in the UK, voters want to vote online and every political heavyweight now wants to 'do an Obama', moving their message through social media. Sadly neither voters nor politicians stand any hope of getting their wishes this time around, and while the Obama campaign is a case study in social marketing the Digital Training Academy will be using for years, most of the tweets, blogposts and email spam being thrown at British voters will remain quietly unopened thanks to their wholehearted failure to apply customer insight and engage their audience. Politicians are yet to learn the first rule of social media strategies: it's not how loud you shout, it's how much your audience want to listen!
MSN created the concept of the portal, and with a new man at the helm of their international business, the portal is changing again. Danny Meadows-Klue challenges Geoff Sutton on the future of portals, media, advertising and consumer connections.
We collated this edition of Digital Intelligence to give clients and Academy Graduates a picture of internet use in the UK today - what is arguably the world's leading country when it comes to online marketing.
If your colleagues would like copies sent to them directly then we can arrange a guest account through www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/digitalbriefings.
As we research other markets and sectors, email me back to let us know what would be interesting for you.
Affiliate marketing veteran Todd Crawford helped launched Commission Junction back in 1998. Now the founder of new performance-based ad platform Impact Radius, he talks to Danny Meadows-Klue about the growth of cloud computing, the need for better mobile connectivity and why social media can never fully replace face-to-face meetings.
Trends in digital marketing, opportunities and risks in data | Keynote lecture
These are the references from a strategy discussion with data and direct marketers at the annual congress in the Direct Marketing Association in the UK. The DMA asked us to examine five areas and conclude with practical tips for the questions marketing directors should ask themselves and their teams to ensure digital marketing is being maximized and data protection risks minimized.
- How to use split-run testing to rebuild websites and web marketing
- Decoding online behaviour to create next generation customer data profiles
- How to select that next best offer
- Essential strategies for today’s tough markets
- How to build smarter learning throughout your organisation
The Digital Strategy Consulting group has been a reader and supporter of the ICO’s work in the drafting of the new guidelines on personal information. Our team have worked as government policy advisors on data protection for the UK and European government, chaired the ad industry’s online behavioural advertising taskforces for many years and chaired the internet advertising industries standards group across Europe for 5 years and in the UK for 10 years. While we spend much of our time coaching marketing teams from leading brands about how to unlock the impact of digital marketing, we remain concerned that many organizations do not protect their customers’ data in the appropriate ways, creating risks for their brands and their teams.
Marketing optimisation workshops are available from the Digital Strategy team in the UK, Europe and North America.
To talk more about these ideas, developing products like this, changing your business, or coaching your management teams contact Digital's Chief Executive Danny Meadows-Klue -
Pepsi ditched the Superbowl, The Guardian newspaper ditched its regionals, TV adspend took another nail in the coffin, and UK politicians decided to make 100meg broadband an election issue. Brands, media and policy makers: channel switches are everywhere.
The mobile channels will dominate this year's switch the way social media did last year. Mobile wars are intensifying with Nokia's Ovi Maps set to decimate TomTom, Blackberry getting Kindle, and Google refocusing on the small screen ahead of a fusion with social media. But mobile isn't just for global giants - every brand needs a mobile digital strategy to reach customers in the right places through the routes they want. Building the technology and platforms is the easy bit; translating customer needs into the right services is way tougher.
In this extended interview, former Telegraph Group Managing Director Hugo Drayton talks with Danny Meadows-Klue about the changing business models of online publishers, the weaknesses of the paywall model, his move into the video ad industry a year ago, and why video could be a critical revenue stream for web publishers…
With more than 20 years of advertising and digital experience, Dean Donaldson is passionate about how creative technology is combined with brand messages to engage consumers. Now Director of Digital Experience at EyeBlaster, Dean speaks to Danny Meadows-Klue about intelligent fridges, the failings of CPC and how physical tags could soon be replacing cooki...
Blogging from the North Pole, polar explorer and record-breaker Ben Saunders attracted millions of fans straight away. Using a simple PDA and a satellite phone, he proves the power great content has, and as a one man publishing business he shows how simple web media can be. Danny Meadows-Klue caught up with him in warmer climates to ask about blogs, technology and the role of the web in the most remote place on earth.
Industry veteran Jim Brigden is reknown for taking The Search Works from a £1m to £100m turnover business in just 3 years. Now working at I Spy Marketing, Jim talks to Danny Meadows-Klue about the growth of mobile, why marketers should treasure product reviews and the perils of embarrassing Facebook photos…
What impresses the man in charge of BBC’s worldwide ad sales? As part of our new Digital Minds series, we caught up with Tom Bowman, VP of strategy and operations at BBC Advertising Sales. Here, he talks with Danny Meadows-Klue about the emotional connection we have with mobiles, the possibilities of a Rwandan tech support team and Man City’s chances next season...