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Digital Intelligence
Your monthly review of new research and trends in digital marketing

January 2010

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Digital Strategy Consulting


It's 'make or break' time for digital marketing. The stories we've tracked as the year kicks off show the focus switching to ROI and getting digital marketing to drive real business results. Out goes 'reach', in comes 'engagement'; out goes 'buzz' and back comes 'conversion'; out goes 'last-click' thinking and in its place is 'lifetime value'. The recession has clearly forced through smarter thinking.

This should come as a great relief, because it wipes away the 'shiny object' obsession over the latest social media or iPhone app, and replaces it with a dose of sound business logic. Behind the scenes we're finding this in the digital marketing effectiveness audits we run for large brands. Often only small changes in process are needed to unlock much bigger shifts in results.

The Digital Training Academy team are seeing the same trends, but also removing ROI risks by getting the right capability in place. Their focus is giving teams the edge with competitive training that targets weakness in a rival's strategy.

And in terms of channels, mobile marketing and engagement is finally everywhere; it will dominate our digests this year.

Click through headlines for more, and on key issues simply reply to this mail (it's routed to my private account).

Wishing you a great 2010 from all @ Digital


Danny Meadows-Klue
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting

 

Data and statistics
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Here are the latest stats and figures from the past month.

Internet audience: UK
Time per person for top 10 parent companies, UK, December 2010

Digital Strategy - Internet audience: UK. Time per person for top 10 parent companies, UK, December 2010

Largest UK internet sites
UK audience reach for top 10 parent companies, December 2009

Digital Strategy - Largest UK internet sites. UK audience reach for top 10 parent companies, December 2009

Consumer internet behaviour: UK
Monthly internet use: key indicators for UK web users, December 2009

Digital Strategy - Consumer internet behaviour: UK. Monthly internet use: key indicators for UK web users, December 2009

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Trends
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

UK government data: Open access for developers at data.gov.uk
The government is today launching data.gov.uk, a website it hopes will enable developers to create new applications by offering free access to data collected by public bodies. The site will offer reams of public sector data, ranging from traffic statistics to crime figures, for private or commercial use. Keep reading...
22/01/2010

UK's first file sharing trial: mixed messages from copyright court
The former founder of file-sharing site OiNK was last week found not guilty of "conspiracy to defraud" by the Teesside Crown Court. Alan Ellis, aged 26, was the defendant in the UK's first file sharing trial. He set up Oink in 2004 as a BitTorrent (P2P) file sharing tracker website that hosted links to copyright content such as music and films. Keep reading...
18/01/2010

9 in 10 Brits tick third party opt out box for emails
Nine in ten (90%) of Brits always tick the opt out box on marketing communications to prevent their data from being passed to third party, according to a new survey. The study, from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), shows that marketers are continuing to underestimate the percentage of consumers who readily welcome items of direct marketing. Keep reading...
15/01/2010

Low income families to get free computer and internet
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Schools Secretary Ed Balls have announced that 270,000 low income families are to get free computers and broadband access. The £300 million investment in the 'Home Access' programme is designed to give young people access to a computer and internet at home for their education, and help get parents better involved and keep in touch with their child's progress. Keep reading...
13/01/2010

France plans 'Google tax' on internet searches
France is planning a tax on search engine ad revenue to raise money to invest into creative industries weakened by the digital revolution. Besides Google, the tax would target other large operators in Europe such as Microsoft and Yahoo! whether or not their offices are in France. Google's European headquarters are in Ireland, but under the proposal, the operator would pay a levy every time a French internet user clicks on an advertising banner or sponsored link on its sites. The proposal is outlined in a government-commissioned survey, and forms part of the counties latest drive to regulate the internet, which has seen it enact some of the world's toughest anti-piracy legislation. Keep reading...
11/01/2010

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Digital marketing audits
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Getting the best ROI from your websites, emails and online ads? Sure?

Our digital marketing audits review your current and planned campaigns to find ways of cutting budgets without cutting impacts.
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Social networking
www.digitaltrainingacademy.com/socialmedia

YouTube tests online video rental market
YouTube is launching a video rental service, initially featuring five movies shown at this year's Sundance Festival, with plans to expand later in the year. The first five films for rent are "The Cove," "Bass Ackwards," "One Too Many Mornings," "Homewrecker" and "Children of Invention." The service will go live on 22 January and will only be available in the US. Keep reading...
21/01/2010

YouTube seeks sponsor for first live sports coverage
YouTube is to begin streaming live cricket from India's premier league, seeking sponsors in the process. The move marks the video sharing site's first foray into live sport streaming, and is the result of a partnership between Google and Cricket's IPL (India Premier League). Keep reading...
20/01/2010

Habbo Hotels syncs users up with Facebook
Habbo Hotel, a virtual world for teens, has signed up to Facebook's Connect service to bring users of both services together. Sulake's 15 million regular unique users of Habbo Hotel can now use Facebook Connect to find their Facebook friends in Habbo Hotel.
Established in 31 countries and generally popular with a teenage audience, Habbo Hotel offers a more gaming orientated environment than Facebook, and encourages users to customise rooms, train pets and even invent social games. Founded in Finland, Sulake has also been exceedingly successful in courting big brands, which regularly invest in a virtual presence in Habbo Hotel.
Keep reading...
14/01/2010

Ford launches first 'Twitter car' with web apps
Ford has unveiled new technology that could allow drivers to use Twitter, stream online radio and search the web from behind the wheel. The technology, Called MyFord Touch, the system is powered by Ford's SYNC technology and has been designed with Microsoft. It was revealed last week by Ford's chief executive Alan Mulally at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Keep reading...
11/01/2010

Facebook enlists users for 'online safety council'
Facebook is testing a new application that allows its users to moderate content posted by others on the social network. The Facebook Community Council application is currently being tested with a very small number of users, selected on an invite-only basis. An FCC member can check items published on Facebook for offensiveness along the lines of personal attacks, violence, drug abuse and so on. FCC members are only allowed to click on one of the following alert flags inside a special FCC members-only app if they find something objectionable: Spam, Acceptable, Not English, Nudity, Drugs, Attacking, Violence. Keep reading...
07/01/2010

YouTube debuts own short URL service
YouTube has launched a new URL shortening service, putting the video sharing platform in direct competition with market leaders bit.ly and TinyURL. In a blog posting, Google engineering manager Vijay Karunamurthy announced youtu.be as a shortener for all YouTube video links, and nothing but YouTube links. Keep reading...
01/01/2010

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Digital regulatory compliance - get it right, right now
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com

Regulation of web content, advertising and personal data is now stronger than ever. Is your firm compliant? And are you truly sure? Have our consultants join your team to troubleshoot and give you the real picture. Compliance health checks completed in just 2 weeks.

Email our team for more information: TheTeam@DigitalStrategyConsulting.com
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Advertising
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Internet advertising trends: Bellwether shows how recession drove switch to web

Marketing budgets at UK companies were cut for the ninth quarter running at the end of 2009, but the rate of decline was the slowest for two years as marketers switched their budgets to the web, according to a new report. The latest Bellwether Report, released by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and accountancy group BDO, also found that companies were at their most optimistic for five years. The report said 25 per cent of companies reported a fall in total spending, while 18 per cent reported an increase. The balance of -7 is a marked improvement from the -15 the previous quarter and was "the highest since the first quarter of 2008, and well above the record lows seen in late 2008 and early 2009". Keep reading...
18/01/2010

CompareTheMarket: Upbeat findings for TV ad campaigns
The huge success of comparethemarket.com's ad campaign featuring meerkat character Aleksandr Orlov has given a boost to the TV ad sector, according to a news report.
Speaking to the Guardian this weekend, Ian Millner, co-founder of ad agency Iris, said price comparison websites are "ploughing money into TV advertising, where agencies can make their name with creative ideas, because with no real-world presence these websites win or lose on their brand marketing".
Keep reading...
18/01/2010

FT subscription revenues 'to overtake ad income for first time'
The FT expects the revenue from subscriptions to overtake the money it makes from print ads for the first time this year. FT Group chief executive, John Ridding attributed the growth to cover price rises, online charging and a rising number of corporate clients. Keep reading...
05/01/2010

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Accelerating Digital Brands: Could we help your team achieve more?
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It's never mattered more. The web, search, email and social media have become the critical tools every firm has to get right. Yet most digital strategies deliver less than half their potential. Why?

We've spent ten years helping agencies, brands, business services and governments find the right digital strategy for them. From building new online entertainment sites to finding new ways to connect with customers, we're front-line practitioners who share our knowledge and skills with others.

Not only do we help companies get this right we also coach their teams to build their knowledge and intuition.

Let us help you make 2010 the year digital strategy becomes the strategy.

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Ecommerce and online retailing
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Online retail sales up 14% in 2009
UK shoppers spent £5.46 billion online in December - an equivalent of £88.93 per person, 17% up on December 2008, according to new research from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. Sales rose by 3.8% compared to November 2009, demonstrating typical growth for the month of December.
The peak week for online Christmas shopping was the second week in December. This was one week later than in 2008, as a combination of November postal strikes; shoppers holding out for bargains; increased confidence in delivery services; and Christmas falling on a Friday delayed the annual spending spree.
Keep reading...
26/01/2009
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Country focus: Spain
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Largest internet sites: Spain

Spanish audience reach for top 10 parent companies, December 2009

Digital Strategy - Largest internet sites: Spain. Spanish audience reach for top 10 parent companies, December 2009

Internet audience: Spain
Time per person for top 10 parent companies, Spain, December 2009

Digital Strategy - Internet audience: Spain. Time per person for top 10 parent companies, Spain, December 2009

Consumer internet behaviour: Spain
Monthly internet use: key indicators for Spanish web users, December 2009

Digital Strategy - Consumer internet behaviour: Spain. Monthly internet use: key indicators for Spanish web users, December 2009

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Mobile
www.DigitalTrainingAcademy.com/mobilemarketing


Global smartphone handset use: Apple and Nokia lead in different regions
Mobile ad network AdMob has released its December 2009 AdMob Mobile Metrics Report, looking at regional changes in manufacturer and smartphone Operating System (OS) share. The report found that Apple and the iPhone OS leads in Western Europe, North America, Latin American and Oceania behind strength of millions of iPhones and iPod touches sold this year and heavy application usage. Keep reading...
26/01/2009

Apple to make Bing default search engine for iPhone?
Apple is reportedly in talks with Microsoft to turn Bing into the default search engine on the iPhone, as the company's rivalry with Google deepens.
Google is currently the default search engine on the iPhone. A deal between Apple and Microsoft may mean iPhone owners would automatically get Microsoft's Bing as the main search engine, possibly requiring users to actively change phone settings if they want to search via Google. BusinessWeek magazine reports that the talks between Apple and Microsoft have been underway for weeks, citing 'two people familiar with the matter'.
Keep reading...
21/01/2010

Apple buys mobile ad network
Apple has acquired Quattro Wireless for a reported $275m, as the iPhone maker looks to challenge Google in the mobile advertising arena. Quattro announced the deal in a blog posting Tuesday by Andy Miller, now vice president of mobile advertising at Apple. "We are thrilled to let you know that Apple has acquired Quattro," Miller wrote. "We want to share with you our excitement about this news and what it means for our customers. Keep reading...
07/01/2010

Google starts selling first-ever mobile handset 'Nexus One'
Google has finally launched its much-anticipated smartphone, Nexus One, which aims to rival Apple's iPhone. The device, made by Taiwanese company HTC, will be sold through Google's website from today and initially be available on T-mobile in the US followed by Vodafone in the UK in the first quarter of 2010. Keep reading...
06/01/2010

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Broadcasting
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence


BBC allowed to take part in internet TV service 'Project Canvas'

The BBC Trust has provisionally approved the BBC's involvement in Project Canvas, a service that will allow UK viewers to watch free-to-air broadcasts and Internet content on television.
The trust, an independent body that oversees the license-fee funded BBC, said that "the likely public value of the proposal justifies any potential negative market impact," after it faced criticism from pay-TV companies, in particular British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC (BSY.LN).
Keep reading...
01/01/2010
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Companies making the news
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Google in China: Hackers, politics, strategy and new security patches for Internet Explorer
Google has stressed it wants to continue to have a strong presence in the Chinese market, following its threats last week to pull out of the country altogether, amid security concerns and a sweeping cyber attack. CEO Eric Schmidt spoke to analysts after the Q4 results were announced, saying Google remains "quite committed to being in China." But he reiterated that it would stop censoring its search results there, in "a reasonably short time from now. We like the Chinese people and our Chinese employees. We like the business opportunities there and we'd like to do that on somewhat different terms than we have." Keep reading...
22/01/2010

iTunes planning Spotify-style streaming service?
Apple is reportedly planning a subscription style music streaming service for iTunes, offering a rival to Spotify's business model. The Wall Street Journal reports that the rumoured move would follow Apple's $85m acquisition of music streaming site LaLa in December. Keep reading...
22/01/2010

Amazon drops payments to affiliates using search ads
Amazon is to stop paying commission to UK affiliates using paid and natural search techniques to drive customers to the retailer's website. The move follows similar action taken on the retail giants US affiliates several months ago. Amazon has sent an email to their UK affiliates preventing them from using certain paid search techniques and search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to drive sales to Amazon. Keep reading...
20/01/2010

Search privacy: Microsoft cuts IP address storage to 6 months
Microsoft is to shorten the time it stores users' addresses from its Bing search queries from 18 months to six months, following a request from a European Union data privacy panel. It said the change would make its Bing search a better choice for privacy-conscious users than the world's leading search engine Google Inc., because Microsoft will delete the entire Internet Protocol address from search queries - the string of numbers that shows a computer's location. Keep reading...
20/01/2010

Yahoo under fire from own Chinese affiliate network after cyber attack claim
Yahoo has claimed to become another victim of cyber-attacks in China, losing support from its own affiliate network Alibaba in the process. Last week Google issued a surprise challenge to the government in Beijing, threatening to pull out of China, after it suffered sophisticated cyber attacks on its network. Now its US rival, Yahoo, has been pulled into the dispute. Yahoo said that like Google, it too, had been a target of similar attacks in China. Keep reading...
19/01/2010

Google and China: Hackers, government and a stormy 2010
Google plans to submit a formal request to the Chinese government "in the coming days" for information about the hacking attacks launched from the country. The world's most popular search engine said last week it was thinking of pulling out of China after a "sophisticated" attack on its network that resulted in theft of its intellectual property. Keep reading...
19/01/2010

Google threatens to quit China over censorship rules
Google has announced that it will no longer abide by China's censorship laws, and may shut it's 'google.cn' website altogether, following a cyber attack aimed at gathering information on human rights activists.
In a company statement, David Drummond, Google senior v.p., corporate development and chief legal officer, said: "We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China." The search giant attributed its change in stance to cyber attacks from China on dissidents using its Gmail service and on companies.
Keep reading...
13/01/2010

AOL to cut more UK jobs as German and French offices close
AOL plans to slash a third of its workforce will lead to a significant reduction in UK jobs, as the Internet media giant looks to cut 1,200 jobs worldwide. AOL, which spun of from Time Warner last month, announced in November it would be cutting 2,300 jobs around the world.
Since then, 1,100 employees have taken voluntary redundancies. AOL still needs to cut some 1,200 jobs to reach its goal of slashing its workforce by a third. In a statement, AOL said it would be announcing redundancies in the US tomorrow, and had begun meeting with European employees.
Keep reading...
13/01/2010

Latitude jobs safe after MBO
Digital marketing group Latitude has been bought out of administration by its management team, following funding issues dating back to its acquisition in 2007. The Daily Telegraph reports that the move will write off millions of pounds in loans from Barclays as part of the 'pre-pack deal' to Latitude. The bank provided a £10m loan to Vitruvian in 2007 to aid the acquisition of the company. Latitude management has team has now increased its stake in the company and has raised additional capital to accelerate the growth of the business. Keep reading...
13/01/2010

Carphone Warehouse phases out Tiscali brand name in UK
Carphone Warehouse is to drop the Tiscali name for its broadband service following its purchase of the company back in may last year. The move will see Carphone's Talk Talk brand replace all Tiscali services. Carphone Warehouse paid £236m for Tiscali UK, making TalkTalk the largest ISP in the country, with 4.25 million residential customers. Tiscali UK's business customers are now subscribers to Opal, Carphone Warehouse's business ISP. Keep reading...
12/01/2010

Disney to launch online storage scheme 'KeyChest' by end of year
Disney has unveiled plans for its online storage service, called 'Keychest', that will give users access to the studio's movies and TV shows online, offering an alternative to DVDs and Blu-rays. Using Keychest, consumers would purchase access rights to a film or TV show, rather than have physical ownership of material on a disc. Keep reading...
07/01/2010

Coming to a TV near you: Skype goes high definition
Skype is now offering video calls on PCs in 720p high definition (HD), as well as Skype software embedded into Internet-connected widescreen televisions from its consumer electronics manufacturer partners. The latest version of Skype for Windows can deliver up to 720p HD-quality video calling at 1280 x 720 resolution, at up to 30 frames per second. Keep reading...
07/01/2010

Tories to offer web developers £1m prize for user-generated policy site
The Conservatives are planning on running a competition for web developers to create a website that would allow large groups of people to help shape new policies- provided they win the next general election. The £1m taxpayer-funded prize would be rewarded to the online platform deemed by the Tories to best harness 'the collective wisdom of the British people'. Keep reading...
05/01/2010

Google Chrome now third most popular browser
Google's Chrome web browser has overtaken Apple's Safari to become the third most popular web browser, according to new research. The data, from Net Applications, puts Chrome in third place with 4.63% of the market, ahead of safari with 4.46%. Google's browser, which launched just over a year ago, still has a lot of ground to make up to match market leaders Microsoft's Internet Explorer (63%) and Mozilla's Firefox (25%). Chrome's 0.7 percent jump from November to December can partly be attributed to the beta launch versions of the Chrome Web browser for Mac OS X and Linux. Keep reading...
04/01/2010

Watchdog slams Ryanair over 'puerile' internet charges
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has criticised Ryanair for introducing a new online fee on its customers, calling it "quite puerile," according to a newspaper report. The low-cost airline last month started charging the five-pound (5.6 euro) fee per passenger for a ticket bought using a commonly-used Electron card, which had previously been free. Keep reading...
01/04/2010

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