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Digital Strategy ConsultingDigital Intelligence

Latest research and digital marketing trends

January 2013

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 - 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.

Best from all @ Digital

Danny signature
Danny Meadows-Klue
Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting Group

Market dataKey market data

 - Worldwide internet population reaches 2.4 billion
 - UK leads mobile ad spend

Global Internet use: 634m websites and 2.4bn users

During 2012, there were 2.4 billion web users and 1.3bn smartphones, recording 2.7bn Facebook likes and 175m tweets per day, according to new data.
21/01/2013 | Full story...

Global mobile ad spend: UK leads world

Global digital ad spending passed the $100-billion mark for the first time in 2012, with the UK leading the way, according to new research.
18/01/2013 | Full story...

Twitter's ad revenue: yearly growth

This chart shows the estimated growth of Twitter's ad revenue. Projections show that by 2014 ad revenues will be over 800 million US dollars. The chart also shows year-on-year percentage growth.
Digital Intelligence - Twitter's ad revenue: yearly growth

16/01/2013 | Full story...

Impact of social ads: Actions taken (US demographics)

This chart shows the actions taken after seeing social ads. Asian consumers in the US are the most engaged with social ads, and are the most likely to share, like or purchase after seeing an ad.
11/01/2013 | Full story...

Impact of social ads: Purchase behaviour (US demographics)

The most popular action after seeing social ads is to obtain a coupon. Asian consumers are the demographic that is most likely to make a purchase, while white US consumers are the least likely to make any purchases.
10/01/2013 | Full story...

Top stories this monthTop stories this month

The biggest stories that show how your markets and audiences are changing.

HMV goes into administration: Over 4,000 jobs at risk

HMV has gone into administration, as the entertainment retail giant succumbs to increased competition from online retailers and supermarkets.
15/01/2013 | Full story...

Blockbuster goes into administration: 4,190 jobs in doubt

Rental chain Blockbuster has become the latest UK high street store to go into administration, amid growing pressure from online rivals such as LoveFilm and Netflix.
17/01/2013 | Full story...

Apple App Store hits 40bn downloads

Consumers have downloaded more than 40 billion apps from the Apple App Store in just over four years, with almost half of them happening during 2012, according to new figures.
08/01/2013 | Full story...

UK digital download sales surpass £1bn

Digital sales of music, games and films have broken the £1 billion barrier for the first time in the UK, according to new data. The study, from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) indicates that shoppers spent £1.033 billion - an 11.4% rise - on downloads, with video games accounting for more than half that figure with sales of £552.2 million.
08/01/2013 | Full story...

Facebook takes on Google with 'Graph Search'

Facebook has overhauled its search engine in a bid to take on Google, letting users search for people, photos, places and other content that has already been shared on the social network. At a 'mystery event' from the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the service, dubbed Graph Search.
Watch Zuckerberg talk about the new service here:
Digital Intelligence - Facebook takes on Google with Graph Search

16/01/2013 | Full story...

Apple shares fall as iPhone sales disappoint

Apple shares dropped 10% overnight on Wednesday, as the firm announced iPhone sales figures missing its previous forecast of 50m units.
25/01/2013 | Full story...

Twitter to go public in 2014?

Twitter could be worth up to £7 billion as the company prepares to go public in 2014 according to a news report.
07/01/2013 | Full story...

TweetDeck 'sent closure letter'... but will app continue under Twitter?

UK-based social media app TweetDeck has been sent a letter from the UK companies registrar, warning that the company will be struck off in three months and forcibly dissolved unless it files accounts.
23/01/2013 | Full story...

Internet of things: 3 factors that will 'transform our lives'

Self-driving cars, app-controlled thermostats and fridges that order food are some real examples of 'The Internet of Things - a world of interconnected devices beyond computers and smartphones that could change the way we live dramatically.
11/01/2013 | Full story...

Kim Dotcom MegaUpload sequel rivals Dropbox with 50GB free storage

MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom has launched a new cloud storage service called Mega, offering users a massive 50GB of file storage online for free.
View a BBC report on Kim Dotcom's new venture here:

Digital Intelligence - Kim Dotcom MegaUpload sequel rivals Dropbox with 50GB free storage

21/01/2013 | Full story...

Video viral of the week: Tiger Woods returns to Nike... and gets 7m YouTube views

As Lance Armstrong falls from grace (and Nike's sponsorship roster), another controversial sporting figure has made a return to the sports brand's video ads. Tiger Woods battles Rory McIlroy in this humorous golfing tee-off where 'no cup is safe'. See why it's our video viral of the week below...

Digital Intelligence - Video viral of the week: Tiger Woods returns to Nike... and gets 7m YouTube views

22/01/2013 | Full story...

Video viral of the week: Skittles grants mind control with 'Telekenize the Rainbow'

Skittles has become known for their off the wall advertising, but this new Australian ad boggles the mind (quite literally). The 'Telekinize The Rainbow' Facebook app lets users control a single Skittle with their mind... or does it? Find out why its our video viral of the week below…

Digital Intelligence - Video viral of the week: Skittles grants mind control with 'Telekenize the Rainbow'

14/01/2013 | Full story...

FunnyorDie gets 5 million followers - Will Ferrell celebrates by firing intern (video)

US comedy website Funny or Die has surpassed 5 million Twitter followers, marking the occasion with a spoof video from co-creator and Anchorman star Will Ferrell. Funny Or Die combines user-generated content with original, exclusive content.

Digital Intelligence - FunnyorDie gets 5 million followers - Will Ferrell celebrates by firing intern (video)

11/01/2013 | Full story...

Video viral of the week: Heineken uses Facebook to 'Meet The World In One City'

Dutch beer giant Heineken went social with this campaign, challenging two men to meet someone from every country in the world in one city, Amsterdam- all with a little help from Facebook volunteers of course. See why its is our video viral of the week below…

Digital Intelligence - Video viral of the week: Heineken uses Facebook to 'Meet The World In One City'

10/01/2013 | Full story...

Coca-Cola uses mobile and social to get Olympic gold

Coca-Cola launched its largest digital effort ever this year with its “Move to the Beat” campaign for the Summer Olympics across 100 countries. M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment talks through its year-long campaign for Coca-Cola, designed to bring teens closer to the London 2012 Games. This case study looks at a campaign which generated in112 million impressions around the world.

Digital Intelligence - Coca-Cola uses mobile and social to get Olympic gold

09/01/2013 | Full story...

Case study: Heineken turns 'likes' into balloons... and gets thousands of fans in a day

Going beyond the usual 'like us a we'll give you a discount' tactic of many brands, last year Heineken offered to inflate one green balloon in its office for every new 'like' it got on its Brazilian fan page. The simple execution proved to be incredibly effective- gaining thousands fans in just one day.

Digital Intelligence - Case study: Heineken turns 'likes' into balloons... and gets thousands of fans in a day

23/01/2013 | Full story...


The year started with yet another report finding that online advertising lacks the influence or impact of traditional advertising. However with consumers increasingly seeking out promotions when planning their weekly shop, it remains important for marketers to connect with shoppers at point of research online. And with web self-service now the main channel for customer care, digital channels have never been more important for building customer loyalty and retention.

Traditional marketing 'still far more influential than digital ads'

Despite the apparent growth in digital advertising, physical advertising still exerts a far greater influence when it comes to consumer purchasing decisions, according to new research.
11/01/2013 | Full story...

Brands need to target consumers online 'before they do their weekly shop'

A new survey indicates that brand marketers need to reach shoppers before the store as consumers actively seek promotions when planning their weekly shops.
14/12/2013 | Full story...

Web self-service 'now main channel for customer care'

Web self-service has become the primary channel for customers sourcing information for after-sales service, according to new research.
10/01/2013 | Full story...

More top Advertising stories from this month:

 - Short video clips 'better for ad placement' - study
 - ties with Big Brother with 'click-to-buy' page


The trend towards leveraging more social data within search continued this month with Facebook's launch of 'Graph Search'. The social network overhauled its search engine to enable users to search for people, photos, places and other content types. In a related move their search partners Microsoft updated their Bing social sidebar to add more results from Facebook. This collaboration might be starting to have some impact on Google's search dominance - as results showed its UK market share was the lowest in 5 years. However this did not impact its overall revenues - that hit a record high in Q3 2012.

Bing revamps Facebook 'social sidebar' search results

Microsoft has updated its Bing social sidebar to add more results from Facebook timelines, following the launch of the social network's new 'graph search' tool.
22/01/2013 | Full story...

UK search data: Google market share 'lowest in five years'

December 2012 was the biggest ever month for UK search, with Google dropping to 88% market share, marking its lowest point in five years, according to new data.
23/01/2013 | Full story...

Google breaks records with $50bn revenues

Google's profits are back on track, reporting $50bn in revenues for 2012 and a rise in profits during the fourth quarter of last year.
24/01/2013 | Full story...

More top search stories from this month:

 - What the Google settlement means for SEO (infographic)
 - One in three US adults go online to diagnose medical condition
 - Google develops £1bn London HQ in King's Cross


The social network took another step in its evolution to becoming a more mobile-delivered service by adding a voice recording feature to its Messenger app and, in a challenge to traditional mobile operators, enabling iPhone users in the US to make free VoIP calls. And the fact that one in every 5 dollars spent on Facebook ads are now delivered via mobile devices demonstrates the trend towards increasing mobile access.

Facebook adds voice record function to Messenger app

Facebook has added a voice record feature to its Messenger apps for Android and iOS, with plans to introduce full voice calls in the near future.
07/01/2013 | Full story...

Facebook offers free calls for US iPhone users

In a challenge to traditional mobile operators, Facebook is letting iPhone users in the US make free calls via its messenger app, provided they have wi-fi or mobile data access.
18/01/2013 | Full story...

Mobile 'now represents 20% of Facebook ad spend'

Mobile now represents 20.3% of overall Facebook ad spend, with Apple dominating tablet spend and Android dominating smartphone spend, according to new research.
09/01/2013 | Full story...

More top Facebook stories from this month:

 - Facebook's new 'local' ranking: Winners and losers revealed
 - Facebook debuts conversion tracking tool

SocialSocial - beyond Facebook

The power of social media to instigate and amplify bad PR was highlighted again this month in the case of two retailers on the opposite sides of the world. An Australian online retailer got into hot water when trying to capitalise on the bush fires raging across the country and Tescos in the UK would have wished Twitter did not exist as it came in for a barrage of jokes at the expense of their horsemeat in burgers scandal. Meanwhile the argument of who owns copyright on Twitter was resolved in a landmark case.

Social media fail: Retailer faces backlash after trading bush fire donations for 'likes'

An Australian online shopping site has apologised for using the bush fire crisis in Tasmania to try to build the number of followers for its Facebook page.
15/01/2013 | Full story...

My Lidl Pony? Twitter reacts to Tesco meat scandal with horseplay

Tesco has become the butt of social media jokes this week, after it was revealed the supermarket was among several to stock burgers containing horse meat.
17/01/2013 | Full story...

Twitter user wins photo copyright battle against newspapers

In a landmark copyright judgment, a US judge has ruled that two major news outlets infringed on the copyrights of a twitter user for publishing their photos without permission.
22/01/2013 | Full story...

More top social media stories from this month:

 - 'Fake war' on Wikipedia deleted after five years

MobileMobile and tablets

The continuing shift towards mobile Internet access around the world was highlighted this month with news that 75% of the 564 million Chinese online now access via mobile devices. And in the battle of the smartphone marketplace, Sony staked its claim with the launch of their latest Xperia handset. The growth in consumer mobile connectivity has also led to the rise of a new job function - the mobile strategist.

China internet use hits 564m with 75% logging on from mobile

The number of people using the internet in China rose by 10% last year to 564m last year, with 75% of those having access via mobile devices, according to new figures.
16/01/2013 | Full story...

Sony rivals iPhone and Samsung with waterproof 5-inch smartphone

Sony has unveiled its latest smartphone, the Xperia Z, as the technology giant looks to rival Apple and Samsung in the smartphone wars.
11/01/2013 | Full story...

The rise of the mobile strategist (Infographic)

As mobile becomes an increasingly important part of marketing, this infographic from Antenna Software focuses on the rise of 'mobile' specific job roles, which is particularly timely as 2 out of 5 people are thought to look for a new job in January.
15/01/2013 | Full story...

More top mobile and tablet stories from this month:

 - Apple 'halves orders for iPhone 5 components'
 - Apple dampens 'cheap' iPhone rumours
 - Mobile advertising tools: Google tackles 'fat fingers' by ruling out accidental clicks on mobile ads
 - First Firefox smartphone unveiled
 - EE slashes 4G prices to £31 per month

Multimedia contentMultimedia content

Amazon further challenged Apple in the digital music space this month by opening up its MP3 store to Apple users and offering free digital copies of purchased CDs saved to its cloud storage service via 'AutoRip'. Meanwhile with online video streaming on the rise, Netflix and Lovefilm are locked in a battle for UK dominance.

Amazon opens MP3 store to Apple users

Amazon has updated its MP3 download app to work on iPhone and iPod Touch devices, letting Apple users buy music from Amazon's digital store for the first time.
21/01/2013 | Full story...

Amazon 'AutoRip' takes on iTunes with free digital copies of purchased CDs

Amazon is offering customers that purchase CDs a free digital version saved to its cloud storage service. The AutoRip feature allows customers to receive digital copies of new purchases for more than 50,000 albums.
14/01/2013 | Full story...

Netflix Vs Lovefilm - which has the best streaming service?

With video streaming on the rise, Netflix and Lovefilm are locked in battle for UK domination. A new report looks at the services offered by both.
21/01/2013 | Full story...

More top multimedia content stories from this month:

 - A Dip into the Future: Swim with Your Smartphone, Print Your Dinner
 - Google to buy stake in Vevo?


Most of the major developments in the gaming sector were revealed at the annual CES show in Las Vegas - with 21% of the online buzz around the show being gaming-related according to a study by Forsight. Meanwhile Microsoft proudly revealed the high levels of engagement with their 'Nuads' Xbox interactive ad format.

CES 2013: Cars and gaming top social media buzz

With the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) wrapping up for another year, attendees, consumers and experts are sharing their thoughts on technologies unveiled across social media.
14/01/2013 | Full story...

Xbox reveals 37% engagement with 'Nuads' video format

Microsoft has unveiled the engagement results of its NUads interactive video poll format, indicating that more than a third of viewers engaged with the ads when prompted.
Digital Intelligence - TITLE

09/01/2013 | Full story...

Microsoft 'to switch Xbox Live voice chat to Skype'

Microsoft is to replace Xbox live voice chat feature with Skype, as it aims to put the internet telephony service at the centre of its communications.
18/01/2013 | Full story...


The Christmas period again gave its traditional boost to the online retail sector with Boxing day being the biggest and busiest day ever for ecommerce in the UK - demonstrating consumers growing reliance on online shopping to pick up a bargain. Recognising the need to modernise and catch-up with its retailer rivals, Morrisons announced plans to set up online. And a rejected Apprentice star might have had the last laugh as he launched his @whisk' recipe shopping app.

Boxing Day was 'biggest day ever for online retail in UK'

UK consumers made 113 million visits to retail websites on Boxing Day, a 17% increase on last year, while Brits spent a combined total of 14 million hours shopping online the day after Christmas, according to new research.
08/01/2013 | Full story...

Morrisons plans food website after disappointing Xmas sales

Supermarket Morrisons is planning an online food as part of a "modernising" drive to recover from poor Christmas sales.
09/01/2013 | Full story...

Apprentice star debuts 'Whisk' recipe shopping app

Nick Holzherr, a runner-up from last year's Apprentice final has launched an online food app, based on his losing business plan from the BBC show.
15/01/2013 | Full story...

More top ecommerce stories from this month:

 - Jack Ma steps down from Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba


The EU's competition chief continued the pressure on Google to make its search results less biased in favour of their own services. Google itself urged the North Korean authorities to allow more Internet freedom in their country. And, following the suicide of the young Aaron Swartz, hacktivists in US put pressure on the US Department of Justice and the MIT.

Google forced to change search results in Europe?

Google could be forced to alter its search results in Europe, after accusations that it is favouring its own services over rivals, according to a new report.
14/01/2013 | Full story...

Google boss urges more web access for North Koreans

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has urged North Korea to allow more open Internet access and mobiles to benefit its citizens.
10/01/2013 | Full story...

Reddit co-founder's death sparks rise in Hacktivist attacks

The death of Reddit co-creator and online rights activist Aaron Swartz has sparked a rise in politically-motivated hack attacks, often dubbed 'Hacktivism'.
16/01/2013 | Full story...

More top regulation stories from this month:

 - UK government reveals new digital services
 - Google mulls ID ring to replace passwords

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