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Latest research and digital marketing trends

January 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. A strategist will be in touch with practical brand-specific advice on where to focus.

Full videos, case studies, and research on click-through.

Best from all the digital strategists and trainers,

Danny
Danny Meadows-Klue
Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting Group

Top stories this monthTop stories this month

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

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

Facebook to show fewer text posts from brands

Facebook has updated its newsfeed with a new algorithm that means users will see more text updates from their friends and less from brands. 23/01/2014 | Full story...

Smart fridge and gadgets hacked for first time

A fridge has been discovered sending out spam, following a web attack that compromised a vast array of compromise smart gadgets, marking a new threat to the much-hyped 'Internet of Things'. 20/01/2014 | Full story...

Sky AdSmart signs 40 brands for targeted live TV commercials

Sky has signed up more than 40 brands for the new Sky AdSmart targeted advertising service, as the broadcaster looks to transfer digital advertising's real-time bidding techniques to the more traditional live TV format. Watch this presentation from agency MC&C's TV seminar, where Jamie West (Sky Media) talks through Sky's new Adsmart platform below. 16/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Sky AdSmart signs 40 brands for targeted live TV commercials

Google partners auto giants to brings Android to cars

Google has struck a deal with General Motors, Honda, Audi, Hyundai and chipmaker Nvidia to integrate the Android mobile operating system for vehicles. 06/01/2014 | Full story...

Is guest blogging for SEO dead? Google's Matt Cutts calls time on 'spammy practice'

The popular practice of writing guest blog posts in the hope of boosting visibility on search engines has come under fire this week, with Matt Cutts, head of Google's webspam team, declaring the tactic as 'done'. Watch this video from Cutts explaining how to get the most out of blog posts here. 22/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Is guest blogging for SEO dead? Google's Matt Cutts calls time on 'spammy practice'

Global digital trends in 2014: Africa and South Asia biggest areas for growth

The true global scale of digital reach across the globe is hard to measure, but this new slide set from agency We Are Social attempts to create a worldwide snapshot of digital trends in 2014- showing that the North American audience still leads in most areas of web connectivity and access, while Africa lags behind. 22/01/2014 | Full story and data...

Digital Intelligence - Global digital trends in 2014: Africa and South Asia biggest areas for growth

The marketing technology landscape in one (huge) infographic

If more proof was needed that digital marketing is getting more complicated, this infographic from the Chief Marketing Technologist blog maps out some of the key players across the main disciplines- resulting in one huge chart. 13/01/2014 | Full story and data...

Digital Intelligence - The marketing technology landscape in one (huge) infographic

IPA Bellwether report: UK marketing "strongest in 13 years"

The latest IPA Bellwether survey indicates that marketing spend is at its "strongest rate in nearly 13 years" as worries about the larger economy fall and the internet spearheads growth. 17/01/2014 | Full story and data...

Digital Intelligence - IPA Bellwether report: UK marketing strongest in 13 years

Google buys gadget maker Nest Labs for $3.2bn

Google has bought technology firm Nest Labs, founded by iPod inventor Tony Fadell, in a $3.2bn deal that could help the internet giant rival Apple in terms of hardware. 14/01/2014 | Full story...

VideoVirals

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/viral-marketing

When videos go viral they cut through the communication clutter. Getting messages forwarded from friends is the most powerful marketing, and this is the best of what our friends sent us. Send us what impressed you!

Old Spice returns with 'intervention' prank websites

Old Spice has become famous for pioneering viral video ads, and its latest campaign sees the return of Isaiah Mustafa in a series of prank ads that look set to get consumers sharing in droves. 24/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Old Spice returns with 'intervention' prank websites

Devil Baby stunt terrorises New Yorkers to get 36m views

Following on from the success of Carrie's YouTube prank last year, the makers of 20th Century Fox's latest horror movie 'Devil's Due' have used a similar tactic to great effect- getting over 36m views in the process. See why it's our video viral of the week below... 22/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Devil Baby stunt terrorises New Yorkers to get 36m views

Lays expands 'Do Us A Flavour' into year-long social media campaign

Lay's is running a second campaign for its crowdsourced "Do Us A Flavour" ads, this time incorporating Instagram and Twitter, as Pepsico's crisp brand looks to boost its reach on smartphones and tablets. Watch this case study from the previous US campaign. 16/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Lays expands 'Do Us A Flavour' into year-long social media campaign

Most popular Vines of all time

Vine was one of the big social success stories of last year, as Twitter applied its short-form formula to video with rather addictive results. As the app celebrates one year anniversary, the video highlights the most popular Vines of the past year, compressed into 10 minutes of oddly compulsive viewing for the low-attention span generation. 28/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Most popular Vines of all time

AdvertisingAdvertising

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/online-advertising

More proof this month that digital is paying off for brands, with UK research showing that affiliate marketing pays out £14 for each pound invested by advertisers. However, brands are all too often failing to target their ads properly- with many consumers actively ditching brands (by unsubscribing or unfollowing) that serve irrelevant ads. Big moves in the agency sector saw Interpublic buy Profero- becoming one of the largest 'independent' agencies in the process. New global figures also show the scale of digital growth- outstripping TVs 4% with a huge 32% leap from last year.

Internet ad spend up 32% globally - TV up just 4%

Internet, outdoor and television advertising saw the greatest increases in spend throughout the first three quarters of 2013, while TV rose just 4%, according to new global figures. 27/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Internet ad spend up 32 globally TV up just 4

Top 10 US web brands for 2013

This chart shows the average US monthly visits for the top 10 web brands in 2013, as well as the percent change from the year before. Notably all 10 sites dropped in number of unique visits in 2013. Facebook, which has the second highest count of unique monthly visitors, dropped by 16% in 2013, signalling the waning popularity of the social network. 11/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Top 10 US web brands for 2013

Top food websites by unique audience: US

This chart shows the top food and cooking websites in the US by both unique monthly visitors and average time spent. During November 2013, All recipe and food sites saw around 86 million monthly visitors, with 25 minutes spent on these sites per month on average. Scripps Food Network is a media company that owns the Food Network channel, the site that received the highest unique monthly views for any food related website with over 22 million views. 22/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Top food websites by unique audience: US

Digital ROI: Affiliate marketing gets "£14 return on every pound spent"

Advertisers in the UK spent £1bn on online performance marketing (often referred to as affiliate marketing) in 2013; up 15% on 2012, with advertisers getting an average £14 return on every pound spent, according to new data looking at digital ROI. 22/01/2014 | Full story and data...

Digital Intelligence - Digital ROI: Affiliate marketing gets £14 return on every pound spent

Interpublic buys digital network Profero

Global ad giant Interpublic has bought Profero for an undisclosed sum, merging the digital network with Lowe and Partners to create a new agency Lowe Profero. 23/01/2014 | Full story...

Consumers ditch brands online out of 'frustration with mistargeting'

The vast majority (94%) of consumers acknowledge have taken steps to break off communication with brands that 'mistarget' them online, including automatically deleting emails, unsubscribing from lists and never visiting the site again, according to new research. 20/01/2014 | Full story...

More top advertising stories from this month:

 - Yahoo COO fired by boss Marissa Mayer as sales struggle
 - Health food marketing tips: Morning exposure to healthy images and text 'reduces junk food cravings'
 - Yahoo revamps ads, expands into 'food news'
 - Google buys UK artificial intelligence firm DeepMind
 - Global design trends for 2014 (Infographic)

SearchSearch

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/search-engine-marketing

Facebook ramped up its reach in Russia this month, linking with search giant Yandex. In fact, social search is becoming a major new area for the big players, with Twitter's founder launching 'Jelly' as a alternative search engine, letting users ask the network's 'Hive mind' of users for personalised answers to their questions. But these new investments are dwarfed by Google- this month it was revealed the web giant spends more on new markets than its 5 biggest rivals combined.

Google 'spends more than 5 biggest rivals combined'

Google is spending more on expanding into new markets than Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and Yahoo combined, according to a new report. 23/01/2014 | Full story...

Facebook shares data with Russian search giant Yandex

Facebook has struck a deal with Russian web giant Yandex, that will see its visitors served relevant real-time public posts from Facebook alongside their usual search results. 15/01/2014 | Full story...

Twitter co-founder debuts app Jelly to search social 'hive mind'

Twitter founder Biz Stone has co-founded a new app that helps people to pose and answer questions illustrated by photographs. Watch this video explaining how the service works below. 09/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Twitter co-founder debuts app Jelly to search social hive mind

More top search stories from this month:

 - Google pushes encyclopaedia 'Knowledge Graph' higher in search results
 - Wolfram's Connected Devices Project records the 'internet of things'

FacebookFacebook

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/facebook-marketing

Facebook continues its efforts to dethrone Twitter as the leader for social news- this month saw the addition of trending topics on the social network. Despite rumbles that Zuckerberg's company is losing its audience, the site still dominates the US in terms of user engagement. Privacy issues still plague the company though, as this month Facebook was sued for allegedly mining data from private messages.

Top 10 web brands in the US Google leads but Facebook dominates user engagement

As online consumers prepared for the holiday shopping season, most surfed to search, social, and shopping sites in November. 15/01/2014 | Full story and data...

Digital Intelligence - Top 10 web brands in the US Google leads but Facebook dominates user engagement

Facebook rivals Twitter with trending topics

Facebook has launched a list of trending topics personalised to each user, as the social network continues to rival Twitter as the number one source for social news. 20/01/2014 | Full story...

Facebook sued for data mining private messages

Facebook users have sued the social network, claiming that private messages are read and mined for data to share with advertisers and marketers, according to reports. 07/01/2014 | Full story...

SocialSocial - beyond Facebook

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/social-media-marketing

Burberry has pioneered social media in the luxury sector with campaigns such as 'The Art of Trench', and it appears to be paying off. This month the brand revealed a 12% year-on-year sales increase. While Facebook use falls, new data reveals that its recent acquisition Instagram is actually the fastest growing social network, followed by Reddit. Meanwhile, Google appears to have learned nothing from its 'Buzz ' email privacy fiasco back in 2009.This month the web giant essentially made all Gmail contacts public by default via a simple Google+ search, as its shift towards social continues. We also look at the value of a social share - uncovering some surprising results (email is still the most valuable platform to share content).

Social media ROI: Burberry marketing drive pays off with 12% sales increase

Burberry's sales have risen sharply during 2013, crediting new marketing initiatives and improved social media ROI for the success. 17/01/2014 | Full story...

Fastest growing global social networks: Instagram and Reddit lead the way

Instagram is growing the fastest of all social media sites worldwide, followed by Reddit, while Facebook's global audience fell 3% in 2013, according to new data. 24/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Fastest growing global social networks Instagram and Reddit lead the way

Google sparks privacy fears after making Gmail contacts 'public'

Google has caused a privacy stir yet again, as Gmail contact lists will now include both the email addresses of their existing contacts, as well as the names of people on the Google+ social network. 10/01/2014 | Full story...

The value of a social share: How do Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and others compare?

A share on Google+ provides most value to retailers, valued at $% each, but email is still the most valuable channel for retailers, according to new research. 28/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - The value of a social share How do Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and others compare

More top social media stories from this month:

 - Twitter trends: Most brand tweeters 'also tweet about TV' (Infographic)
 - CES 2014: What caused the biggest social media buzz?
 - Samsung named 'social brand of the year'

MobileMobile and tablets

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/mobile-marketing

Mobile advertising is growing fast as consumers shift from PCs to tablets and smartphone-s but which formats are best to reach them on these highly personal devices? This month new research looks at some of the most effective (and least effective) ways of reaching consumers on the move or using a second screen. Other recent trends reveal that in-app adverting is set for big things in 2014, while text messages fell for the first time last year - replaced by the rise of chat apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage and WeChat.

Global mobile makers' sales share over 3 months: 2013

This chart shows the breakdown of mobile phone sales by manufacturer over a 3 month period to October 2013 globally. Across the 12 countries analysed, Apple and Samsung lead the way with a 21% and 38% share of the market respectively. Apple's dominance over other mobile makers can be attributed to its incremental release of iPhone models. 14/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Global mobile makers sales share over 3 months 2013

Top 10 smartphone apps of 2013

This chart shows the average monthly unique users for the top 10 smartphone apps in 2013. The Facebook app, which tops the chart, saw little growth over the year with a 27% increase from 2012. However, Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram grew the most in 2013, with an increase of 66%. 15/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Top 10 smartphone apps of 2013

US mums with young kids spend longest on mobile

This chart shows the average time spent in minutes per-month for different demographics in the US. Mothers use their smartphones 11.4% more often than the average adult. This is especially true of mothers of children aged between 0 and 5 who spend 2,260 minutes on average a month on their smartphone. Surprisingly, mothers of young children spend 22% more time per month on their mobile devices than the 'millennial' demographic. 21/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - US mums with young kids spend longest on mobile

Mobile trends: Text messages fall in 2013 as chat apps rise

The number of text messages being sent in the UK has fallen for the first time ever as more people turn to Whatsapp and iMessage, according to new research looking into mobile trends. 13/01/2014 | Full story...

More top mobile stories from this month:

 - Mayer expects most Yahoo users will come from mobile in 2014
 - Global mobile ad spend to hit $18bn in 2014 - report
 - Apple smartphone market share down in 2013, despite 5S boost
 - Google links ads to discounted taxi rides
 - Top tips: 3 Things CIOs Can Learn from Snapchat

Multimedia contentMultimedia content

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/content-marketing

Managing YouTube comments has always been a chore, but new tools this month set out to make it easier for channel owners and brands to manage user generated content across their video portfolio. We also look at UK consumer trends for 2014, and Spotify's latest move to bring unlimited free (ad-funded) music streaming to browsers.

Top 10 online video brands for 2013

This chart shows the top 10 video brands in the US based on their average unique monthly visitors. YouTube comes out on top by a long way with almost 130 million unique views a month for 2013. Perform Group is a digital sports media site that started in 2007 and saw the highest increase of monthly visitors with a 58% increase since 2012. 20/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Top 10 online video brands for 2013

Managing social media comments: YouTube users get new community controls

YouTube has brought back tools to help uploaders control comments on their videos via a central system, in a bid to make manage social media comments better. 14/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Managing social media comments: YouTube users get new community controls

UK digital consumer trends for 2014: video and mobile increase

The online video and mobile audience in the UK continues to grow, with Google, Amazon and Facebook continuing to prove the most popular sites across all platforms, according to the latest data from comScore and UKOM. 22/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - UK digital consumer trends for 2014: video and mobile increase

Spotify offers unlimited free browser music streaming

Spotify has removed yet another restriction to its free offering, as competition continues to bite at the heels of one of the leading streaming music services. 20/01/2014 |

More top multimedia content stories from this month:

 - BBC tests 15-second video news for Instagram users

GamingGaming

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/marketing-through-gaming/

The days of the physical console look numbered, in favour of cloud-based gaming. The introduction of 'Playstation Now' this month- were consumers can play the likes of 'The Last of Us' via a smart TV without a console, looks set to usher in a new era of disc-free gaming. Chip maker Nvidia also boosted the potential of mobile games with a new smartphone chip capable of producing 'PS3 level' graphics. Bitcoin continues to attract attention, with big names including Zynga starting to accept the virtual currency for its games.

PlayStation unveils 'console-free' cloud gaming

Sony has unveiled 'Playstation Now' a cloud gaming service that lets users play console quality games via a web connection- and without the need for an actual console. Watch the full, hour-long presentation below. 08/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - PlayStation unveils 'console-free' cloud gaming

Zynga starts accepting Bitcoin virtual currency for games

Social gaming firm Zynga is to start accepting the virtual currency Bitcoin as a payment option. 06/01/2014 | Full story...

Nvidia chip boosts smartphone graphics to 'PS3' levels

Mobile gaming made a leap this week, as chip-maker Nvidia announced a new processor for mobile devices that it claims will offer better graphics than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Watch this video explaining how the new graphics chip works below. 06/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Nvidia chip boosts smartphone graphics to PS3 levels

EcommerceEcommerce

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/ecommerce-and-eretailing

Apple has staunchly avoided using Near Field Communication (NFC) on its iPhone and iPads, instead developing its own Bluetooth technology iBeacon to guide people in-store - rewarding them for checking specific products and offering exclusive discounts. The strategy appears to have paid off, with numerous retailers and brands (including Coca-Cola) adopting the technology. This month, Paypal also made it easier to buy from merchant sites without being diverted to a different site, and we look at the 10 biggest reasons why websites lose sales.

Grocery stores start using iBeacon to guide shoppers in store

Two supermarket retailers in the US have started using the latest iPhone technology to guide shoppers around the store, sending them reminders, rewarding them for browsing certain items and offering deals. Watch this video explaining how the service works. 07/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Grocery stores start using iBeacon to guide shoppers in store

iBeacon in retail: Coca-Cola guides mobile users for World Cup marketing

Coca-Cola has become the latest brand to use Apple's iBeacon in retail, a new tool that that can track and guide shoppers in-store. Watch this demo of how ShopKick is using iBeacon in retail below. 17/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - iBeacon in retail: Coca-Cola guides mobile users for World Cup marketing

Top 10 reasons why websites are losing sales

Price and product range are consumers' top complaints when it comes to retail websites, with rising expectations driving complaints, according to new research looking into the main reasons why websites are losing sales. 21/01/2014 | Full story and data...

Digital Intelligence - Top 10 reasons why websites are losing sales

PayPal lets shoppers buy direct from merchant's sites

PayPal has redesigned its online checkout process to let shoppers complete their payment on merchants' websites, rather than go to a separate PayPal site, as the eBay owned firm ramps up competition with rival Amazon. 20/01/2014 | Full story...

More top ecommerce stories from this month:

 - Retail apps: How are consumers shopping on mobiles?
 - Online accounts for 20% of Christmas shopping in the UK
 - Ecommerce trends in the UK: £91bn spent online in 2013

RegulationRegulation

www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence/digital-marketing-regulation

High-profile hacks in South Korea and Germany saw large parts of the population have their details stolen- as online privacy and security become ever-more important issues. Meanwhile, a landmark case this month saw a Google Glass 'explorer' cleared of motoring offences after being caught wearing the augmented reality eyewear while driving. As wearable tech takes hold, expect to see legal boundaries tested further this year.

Online advertising traffic data fraud - explanation and guidelines

If you're a media planner using online advertising traffic data, you'll know all about the challenges and the need for guidelines - so this simple explanation tells you more. 27/01/2014 | Full story...

Google Glass motorist cleared in landmark case

A California woman has been cleared of dangerously driving while wearing a Google Glass as the judge rejected the case. Watch this video from Reuters outlining the case below. 20/01/2014 | Full story...

Digital Intelligence - Google Glass motorist cleared in landmark case

Half of South Korea has credit card details hacked... and sold to marketing firms

Credit card details from nearly half of all South Koreans have been stolen and sold to marketing firms, it has been revealed. 21/01/2014 | Full story...

More top regulation stories from this month:

 - Digital privacy trends: Google to face trial in UK for safari privacy breach
 - Snapchat hack exposes 4.6m user names and phone numbers

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