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Digital Strategy ConsultingDigital Intelligence

Latest research and digital marketing trends

February 2013

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.

Best from all @ Digital

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Danny Meadows-Klue
Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting Group

Top stories this monthTop stories this month

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

China overtakes US as top smartphone market

China has overtaken the US in terms of having the most active Android and iOS devices, according to new data.
02/02/2013 | Full story...

Mobile got '12% of video ad views in 2012'

Mobile video ad views in the US soared last year, growing to 12% in 2012 compared to 2% in 2011, with the majority coming from Apple's iOS devices, according to a new report.
18/02/2013 | Full story...

Google revamps AdWords - targets by situation, not device

Google has revamped its hugely popular search advertising system AdWords with 'Enhanced Campaigns', letting advertisers target people by 'situation' rather than device.

Watch a demonstration of how the service works below:
Digital Intelligence - Google revamps AdWords - targets by situation, not device

07/02/2013 | Full story...

Google begins first public trial of augmented reality glasses

Google has unveiled further details of its upcoming augmented reality eyewear, dubbed 'Google Glass', along with a competition allowing the public to test the device for the first time.
Digital Intelligence - Google begins first public trial of augmented reality glasses

21/02/2013 | Full story...

5 digital marketing trends for 2013: Social sharing, search portals and joined-up data

As technology develops apace, Experian has listed the 5 biggest trends in digital marketing for 2013, including the rise of search engines as portals, social metrics, and updating emails from within the recipients' inbox.
07/02/2013 | Full story...

Is Apple working on an iWatch?

Apple is working on an ' iWatch' follow-up to its phone and tablet range, but rival Samsung is also looking at wrist-based connectivity, according to the latest round of press rumours.
19/02/2013 | Full story...

All new cars 'to be web connected by next year' (BBC video report)

Web connected cars will soon become commonplace, with all new automobiles being built with features that will in some way connected to the internet, according to a new report from the BBC.
Watch the video report from the BBC below:
Digital Intelligence - All new cars to be web connected by next year (BBC video report)

14/02/2013 | Full story...

HMV tweets go rogue: Employees bite back over mass sackings

Disgruntled employees at HMV have turned to Twitter to report on mass sackings at the firm, hijacking an official account to describe a "mass execution of loyal employees who love the brand".
01/02/2013 | Full story...

Yahoo allows Google display ads on websites (but not search)

Yahoo! has struck a deal with Google to allow its mobile and display ads to appear on a selection of its websites, but not AdWords search ads.
08/02/2013 | Full story...

New Twitter ad platform links across web

Twitter has launched its API ad platform, as the micro-blogging service looks to boost revenue.
22/02/2013 | Full story...

Super Bowl blackout hands victory to Twitter

A 35 minute power outage on the pitch at this Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII led to a surge in traffic on social media, while Twitter thrashed Facebook in terms of advertising buzz, according to new figures.
05/02/2013 | Full story...

Global ad spend by sector: FMCG accounts for quarter of all spend

There has been moderate global growth in advertising spending, but fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies are bucking the trend by investing far more than other sectors, according to new research.
05/02/2013 | Full story...


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!

Google car wreck hoax gets book small shop 300% more visits

This clever little marketing campaign created a 13% sales boost for a small book shop in Switzerland. With more travel research being conducted online, the Travel Book Shop highlighted the limits of the internet with a video showing a crashed Google Streetview car - generating plenty of buzz in the process.
Digital Intelligence - Google car wreck hoax gets book small shop 300% more visits

20/02/2013 | Full story...

McDonald's app tracks origin of food

Amid growing uncertainty about the origin of mass-produced food, this timely McDonald's app turns users iPhone's into an ingredient tracker.
Digital Intelligence - McDonald's app tracks origin of food

13/02/2013 | Full story...

Case study: Sodimac uses 'Skip Ad' button as part of message

Home improvement store Sodimac teamed up with the government environmental care agency in Chile to run a smart YouTube ad to encourage eco-friendly habits, through innovative use of the 'skip this ad' button.
Digital Intelligence - Sodimac uses 'Skip Ad' button as part of message

05/02/2013 | Full story...

Banned Sodastream Super Bowl ad becomes Internet hit

A Sodastream commercial has become a hit on YouTube, after being banned from an upcoming Super Bowl spot by broadcaster CBS for mocking rivals Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Digital Intelligence - Banned Sodastream Super Bowl ad becomes Internet hit

01/02/2013 | Full story...

Lyons Tea gets first 'pause button' video ads on RTE player

Unilever Ireland is running a new 'on pause' video ad campaign for its Lyons Tea brand in Ireland - triggered every time a user pauses their video player on the RTE website.
18/02/2013 | Full story...


The opportunity for marketers to connect with online shoppers at point of research grew this month as Amazon introduced new display ads onto its website. And the effectiveness of affiliate marketing programmes - to capture and convert online shoppers - was clearly demonstrated in an IAB UK report. For brand advertisers the opportunities for impactful in-app advertising were demonstrated in some early case study examples from Microsoft's Windows 8 Ads-in-Apps platform.

US digital ad spend predictions for 2013

This chart shows the forecasted percentage breakdown of US brand's digital ad spend. The majority of brands surveyed will be spending between $1m and $10 million (30%). 10% of brands have predicted their digital spends to be over $100m.
Digital Intelligence - US digital ad spend predictions for 2013

18/02/2013 | Full story...

Digital ad budget breakdown: US

This chart shows where brands are planning on spending their digital ad budgets. The majority of digital ad spend will be on display ads (41%). Surprisingly more investment will be made on search (19%) and video (14%) than social ads (10%) this year.
Digital Intelligence - Digital ad budget breakdown: US

15/02/2013 | Full story...

Global ad spend change by sector 2011-2012

This chart shows the growth in percentage of ad spend by sector. Telecommunications saw the largest growth since 2011 (6.6%). Both Durables and the Healthcare sector reported decreases in ad spend for 2012 with-3.5% and -0.4%.
Digital Intelligence - Global ad spend change by sector 2011-2012

13/02/2013 | Full story...

Global ad spend by sector for Q3 2012

This chart shows the ad spend market share for 11 sectors. FMCG ad spend contributed to over a quarter of all ad dollars spent over the analysed period (25.1%). The sector with the lowest overall share was clothing and accessories with 3.3%.
Digital Intelligence - Global ad spend by sector for Q3 2012

13/02/2013 | Full story...

Amazon puts display ads on website

Amazon has launched display ads on its website, as the online retailer looks to rival ad networks and Google AdWords.
21/02/2013 | Full story...

Affiliate marketing can get '£11 return for every pound spent' - IAB

Affiliate marketing is generating £11 in sales for every pound spent for brands, according to a new report from the IAB.
04/02/2013 | Full story...

Windows 8 - how are brands using in-app advertising?

Following the launch of Windows 8 Ads-in-Apps (AiA) Microsoft has unveiled the latest campaigns to make use of its new cross-platform ad formats.
15/02/2013 | Full story...

More top Advertising stories from this month:

 - Email marketing trends: Budgets set to rise in 2013


Marketers were given further opportunities to connect with and convert the growing numbers of online shoppers from Google who launched Product Listing ads across Europe. This introduction of sponsored shopping ads, along with the purchase of e-commerce-related tech platform Channel Intelligence, will be a boost to the online retailing sector. And the options for mobile and situational targeting should be enhanced as Google is set to become the default search engine on Apple's iOS platform.

Google sponsored shopping ads launch across Europe

Google has revamped its shopping tool in Europe and beyond with a new service called 'Product Listing Ads', as the web giant looks to extend its hugely successful AdWords model to the world of ecommerce.
Digital Intelligence - Google sponsored shopping ads launch across Europe

Watch this 'Hangout' video from Jon Venverloh, Senior Manager-Google Shopping, offering a guide to creating and optimising product listings on Google.
14/02/2013 | Full story...

Google buys Channel Intelligence to boost ecommerce tools

Google has bought ecommerce marketing firm Channel Intelligence for $125m, the the internet giant looks to boost its online retail presence.
07/02/2013 | Full story...

Google 'pays Apple $1bn to be default search'

Google will start paying Apple up to $1 billion a year for the right to the be default search engine on iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch, according to a news report.
13/02/2013 | Full story...


The evolution of Facebook to being a mobile-delivered service hit a milestone this month with news that global mobile users had for the first time overtaken PC users. Its desire to compete with Google in the display advertising space became more apparent with their reported purchase of Atlas from Microsoft. And in a bid to ease privacy fears the platform agreed to start displaying the 'AdChoice' icon in behaviourally targeted Facebook Exchange ads.

Facebook mobile users overtake PC users for first time

Facebook's mobile users surpassed computer users for the first time, with mobile accounting for a quarter of all ad revenue for the social network, according to the company's latest financial results.
01/02/2013 | Full story...

Facebook to ramp up display ads with Atlas buy

Facebook is reportedly planning to buy advertising platform Atlas from Microsoft, as the social network looks to overtake Google in the display ad sector.
21/02/2013 | Full story...

Facebook to tell users which ads are behaviourally targeted

Facebook will start revealing which ads have been behaviourally targeted to users on the social network, in a bid to ease privacy fears.
07/02/2013 | Full story...

More top Facebook stories from this month:

 - Child's play? BMW designs car based on 4-year-old's idea
 - Facebook facial recognition returns as default
 - Yahoo revamps homepage with Facebook content

SocialSocial - beyond Facebook

A report from Nielsen this month demonstrated that advertisers are now increasingly viewing paid social media advertising as an integrated, cross-platform tactic and running campaigns in conjunction with other online and offline media. However Technorati Media's 2013 Digital Influence Report suggested that these paid social media strategies are failing to reach the key brand influencers online. Also a study from inTV reminded us that only a small percentage (10%) of brand conversations actually happen on social media.

US social media budget breakdown

This chart shows which social portals will be attracting the most revenue from US marketers. Facebook is set to gain most, attracting 57% of the social media spend. Pinterest, which is a relatively new social space, will receive 2% of marketers' social spend.
Digital Intelligence - US social media budget breakdown

15/02/2013 | Full story...

Most paid social ads being used as part of integrated campaign

The majority of advertisers are using paid social media advertising in conjunction with other online and offline advertising (66% and 51%, respectively), according to new research.
18/02/2013 | Full story...

Social media strategies: Brands 'failing to reach key influencers online'

Just 11% of US corporate social media ad budgets are targeting blogs and influencers online, where 86% of their key influencers are found, according to new research.
08/02/2013 | Full story...

Word of mouth trends: How advertising influences real-world conversations (infographic)

Only 4% of conversations about products and services are carried out through social media channels, with most still taking place via regular face-to-face conversations, according to new research.
View a slideshare presentation looking at the results below:
Digital Intelligence - Word of mouth trends: How advertising influences real-world conversations (infographic)

11/02/2013 | Full story...

More top social media stories from this month:

 - LinkedIn profits smash forecasts - 200m users push shares up 10%
 - Magnum debuts Twitter coupon giveaway with #GrabaSpoon hashtag
 - Twitter boosts tracking tools with Bluefin Labs acquisition
 - Instagram debuts 'Facebook-style' desktop feed
 - Top 6 social networks in Japan
 - Social media in Russia: Top 4 social networks in Russia

MobileMobile and tablets

Another month and another report of the continuing shift towards mobile Internet access around the world. According to Comscore's 2013 UK Digital Future in Focus report one third of Internet traffic is now coming from smartphones or tablets in the market. The rapid growth in tablet usage is driving up Google's paid search ad clicks. And the roll out of faster 4G mobile connectivity will boost mobile Internet access and become a significant proportion of operator revenues.

Mobile trends - 'One third of UK traffic now from smartphones or tablets'

Brits spend more time online than any other European country, with one third of traffic now coming from smartphones or tablets, according to a new report from ComScore.
18/02/2013 | Full story...

Tablets 'to account for 20% of Google ad revenue in 2013'

A surge in tablet use will push Google's US mobile revenue to $9.9bn this year, a massive leap from the $5.8bn generated in 2012, according to a new report.
14/02/2013 | Full story...

4G 'to account for 30% of operator revenues by 2017'

4G LTE revenues are set to grow rapidly, reaching more than $340 billion by 2017 globally, compared to just over $75 billion this year, according to a new report.
14/02/2013 | Full story...

More top mobile and tablet stories from this month:

 - Yahoo to cut mobile apps from 75 to 12
 - UK 4G Auction raises £1bn less than expected: winners revealed
 - Everything Everywhere hit by £249m loss

Multimedia contentMultimedia content

BARB research on 2012 UK TV viewing figures shows that the digitisation of TV continues to drive ever greater audience viewing time. Linear TV viewing in the UK, at just over 4 hours a day on average, is now being supplemented by additional TV consumption on-demand, on tablet, on smartphone and on laptop. To capitalise on this Google signed a deal with Freesat to launch a YouTube TV channel on broadcast TV. And the impact of YouTube on music consumption is being recognised in the US music charts.

TV viewing habits: Brits watched 4 hours of TV a day in 2012

New figures show that TV viewing in the UK is continuing to expand as people watch additional TV on-demand via TV sets, tablets, smartphones and laptops.
21/02/2013 | Full story...

YouTube gets UK TV channel

Google has signed a deal with Freesat to launch a YouTube TV channel in the UK, as it looks to rival traditional broadcasters in terms of video ad revenue.
11/02/2013 | Full story...

US music charts to incorporate YouTube clicks for first time

For the first time, clicks on YouTube videos will count towards US singles chart, as the music industry acknowledges the growing influence of online videos in clinching success - such as Gangnam Style and the Harlem Shake.
22/02/2013 | Full story...

Top 10 websites in the Middle East and Africa

This chart shows the top 10 websites (by number of visitors) during October 2012.
Digital Intelligence - Top 10 websites in the Middle East and Africa

05/02/2013 | Full story...

Top 10 online newspapers worldwide

This chart shows the unique visitors for online newspapers for October 2012. During the measured period over 644 million people worldwide visited an online newspaper.
Digital Intelligence - Top 10 online newspapers worldwide

05/02/2013 | Full story...

More top multimedia content stories from this month:

 - Sky opens Premier League matches to non-subscribers for £9.99 a day online
 - Virgin Media sold for $23.3bn - becomes largest broadband firm in the world
 - Netflix 'cultural manifesto': Unlimited holidays... but zero job security
 - Reader's Digest files for bankruptcy


The gaming world was abuzz this month as Sony announced the first official details of its upcoming PS4 - the first upgrade to its Playstation console in 7 years - and details of Microsoft's new 720 console were revealed. Meanwhile a report from Juniper Research on the Mobile & Tablet games market highlighted the pivotal role of tablet devices in the future growth of the sector.

Sony PS4 specs: Social share button, streaming games and a Christmas launch

Sony has announced the first official details of its upcoming Playstation 4 console, featuring a social sharing button, touch screen features, mobile compatibility and the ability to stream games via the web.
Watch this BBC report on the PS4 below:
Digital Intelligence - Sony PS4 specs: Social share button, streaming games and a Christmas launch

21/02/2013 | Full story...

Xbox 720 to be online only?

Microsoft's upcoming Xbox 720 console could require an internet connection to fully function, according to a news report.
08/02/2013 | Full story...

Tablet gamers 'to spend over $3bn on in-app purchases in 2016'

The rapid take-up of tablets, combined with the growing acceptance of in-game purchasing and virtual currencies will result in an estimated $3.03 billion of sales in 2016, reaching over ten times the $301 million figure calculated for 2012.
22/02/2013 | Full story...

More top gaming stories from this month:

 - PS3 YouTube app goes live across Europe


The continuing need to offer multi-channel - integrated online and offline - retailing services was apparent this month with developments from two bulwarks of the industry. The department store John Lewis announced it was cutting over 300 in-store jobs to focus online. And Marks & Spencer launched a 'Digital Lab' in a bid to develop an 'omni-channel' service across its stores, web and mobile. Meanwhile the doomed high street photography specialist Jessops is to be reborn online. And now you can synch your Amex card with Twitter to take advantage of in-store deals.

John Lewis cuts 325 in-store jobs to focus online

John Lewis is to axe 325 department managers across its stores, as the retailers looks to focus more of its sales growth online.
15/02/2013 | Full story...

M&S debuts digital lab to boost mobile sales

Marks & Spencer has launched a 'Digital Lab' in a bid to develop an 'omni-channel' service across its stores, web and mobile.
07/02/2013 | Full story...

Jessops goes online-only retailer after BBC Dragon steps in

Photo retailer Jessops looks set to continue as an online-only brand, following the acquisition of its brand and other assets from a group of buyers including one of the stars of BBC's Dragon's Den.
04/02/2013 | Full story...

Twitter becomes shopping platform? American Express sells deals via hashtags

Twitter has partnered with America Express to launch a new service that lets users buy products if they use a special hashtag within their tweets.
Watch a video explaining how the service works below:
Digital Intelligence - TITLE

13/02/2013 | Full story...

More top ecommerce stories from this month:

 - BBC to link recipe site to Tesco
 - Brightcove cooks up online food TV channel with Waitrose
 - Amazon to sell second-hand digital music?
 - The price of love: Brits 'spend £119 on their Valentine' (Infographic)


The activities of hackers have been highlighted in the news this month - with a number of high profile attacks. Twitter was attack and passwords exposed, Facebook admits attack and Burger King's twitter account was hijacked and turned into a McDonalds page! This comes amongst growing fears that the Government of China sponsors hackers who work to discover not only the trade secrets of Western companies, but also discover details of critical journalists, Chinese dissidents, and delve into national defence and infrastructure systems.

Twitter passwords stolen as hackers hit social network

Twitter was hacked over the weekend, resulting in the passwords of up to 250,000 user accounts being exposed.
05/02/2013 | Full story...

Facebook admits hack attack - but no data stolen

Facebook was targeted by a "sophisticated attack" by hackers last month, but the social network said it has found no evidence any user data had been compromised.
19/02/2013 | Full story...

Hackers turn Burger King Twitter account into McDonalds

Burger King has become the latest high-profile brand to fall prey to hackers, as its Twitter account was hijacked, resulting in its logo being switched to McDonalds and a tirade of offensive tweets being sent out to its followers.
20/02/2013 | Full story...

More top regulation stories from this month:

 - Facebook deletes EU facial recognition data (as it re-launches in US)
 - Mega search engine courts more piracy fears
 - Facebook hit by 'like' button patent claim

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