Latest research from Digital Strategy

Digital Strategy ConsultingDigital Intelligence

Latest research and digital marketing trends

March 2013

Traffic to websites by tablet users is overtaking smartphone traffic, 50% of mobile searches get actioned within an hour, and Nielsen shows where consumers are located when they're searching categories like 'food' or 'shopping' - all this just in the mobile section of this month's research round-up.

To keep you updated on how the digital markets are evolving, our strategists have included dozens of infographics, charts and research reports - as well as the top 100 full stories from our blogs and the DigiAcademy Twitter feed:

Stories are grouped around the big themes in digital - and full details, videos and high resolution charts on click through below.

If you'd like quick tips about what these mean for your team's plans in 2013, simply reply back to this email to have a digital strategist send you some extra advice. With advanced in-company training programmes running in 20 countries this year, it's easy than ever to boost your team's skills.

Best from all the digital strategists

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.

What happens in an internet minute? (infographic)

In just one minute, 204 million emails are sent, six million Facebook pages are viewed and 47,000 apps and 1.3 million YouTube clips are downloaded worldwide, according to new research.

Digital Intelligence - What happens in an internet minute?

20/03/2013 | Full story...

Tablets 'overtake smartphones' for global traffic - UK leads the way

Global websites are now getting more traffic from tablets than smartphones, at 8% and 7% of monthly page views respectably, according to new data.

Digital Intelligence - Tablets overtake smartphones for global traffic - UK leads the way

08/03/2013 | Full story...

Facebook 'Likes' reveal deeper personality clues- study

Seemingly innocuous behaviour on Facebook can reveal intimate details about a user’s personality- which could in turn help advertisers predict their sexuality, political views and religion, according to new research. 13/03/2013 | Full story...

The rise of Twitter tribes: Users 'forming groups with own language'

Twitter users are spontaneously forming tribe-like communities of like-minded people who even share their own distinct languages, according to new research.

Digital Intelligence - The rise of Twitter tribes: Users forming groups with own language

18/03/2013 | Full story...

The 20 bloggers running Britain in 2013: Top UK influencers revealed

Britain’s most influential bloggers, who are shaping the nation’s behaviour from what we eat to how we vote, have been revealed. 13/03/2013 | Full story...

Maker's Mark backlash- proof that a week's a long time in social media?

Last month, whisky brand Maker’s Mark reduced its alcohol proof from 90% to 84%, sparking outcry as customers flocked to Facebook and Twitter to discuss ‘watered-down whisky’ and switching to rival brands. 06/03/2013 | Full story...

Modern marketing in 2013: How has the profession evolved?

As technology advances and audiences become ever more fragmented, how has marketing changed, and what are the key skills for success? A new report attempts to define the role of the modern marketer, identifying analytics and resources as key areas for improvement. 07/03/2013 | Full story...

Facebook or corporate pages: Which is more important for brands?

Corporate websites are still the top priority for digital marketers, but a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is becoming more important, according to a new survey. 18/03/2013 | Full story...

Facebook finally buys Atlas to boost ad tools

After weeks of rumours, Facebook has bought Atlas from Microsoft for an undisclosed sum, as the social network looks to boost its ad targeting capabilities. 04/03/2013 | Full story...

Samsung Smart Watch plans confirmed- a companion device for the S4?

With wearable technology on the rise, Samsung has confirmed a Galaxy Smart Watch product is 'definitely' on its way, according to a news report. 20/03/2013 | 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!

Dove confronts beauty PhotoShoppers with hoax plugin

Dove took its 'Campaign for Real Beauty' up a notch this month, as the Unilever brand deployed a fake PhotoShop plugin to catch designers in the act of manipulating model images.
Digital Intelligence - Dove confronts beauty PhotoShoppers with hoax plugin

13/03/2013 | Full story...

Clearasil runs Kinect X-Factor school competition

Reckitt Benkiser's skincare brand Clearasil and Microsoft Advertising have launched a campaign to offer teenagers the chance to win an exclusive performance for their school from X Factor finalist Amelia Lily. 12/03/2013 | Full story...

Khaleej Times 'banner that talks back' boosts subscriptions

As social media and blogging sites pull readers away from traditional newspapers and their websites, one publisher decided to fight back with this clever banner campaign that highlights how opinions shared on social media aren't always reliable.
Digital Intelligence - Khaleej Times banner that talks back boosts subscriptions

06/03/2013 | Full story...

Old Spice gets 4m YouTube views in a week with 'Mr Wolfdog' marketing mutt

On the back of its previous YouTube triumphs, Old Spice has continued its off-the-wall digital marketing with a new video series , following the exploits of its new marketing director 'Mr Wolfdog'- who just happens to be a wild animal.
Digital Intelligence - Old Spice gets 4m YouTube views in a week with Mr Wolfdog marketing mutt

19/03/2013 | Full story...


The rapid growth in Real Time Bidding across Europe was highlighted in a report from Adform. The emerging method of buying and selling online display advertising inventory in real time one impression at a time - driven by technology platforms - is now seeing demand outstrip supply and, as a result, ad rates rising. And the surreptitious practice of online audience behavioural tracking, that enables ad targeting, was put under the spotlight through Channel 4's 'data baby' initiative and Firefox's 'Do Not Track' stance.

Real time bidding soars: Ad rates 'double in a year'

The European real-time bidding industry is booming as demand overtakes supply for RTB-traded inventory and ad rates double, according to new research. 14/03/2013 | Full story...

Channel 4 'data baby' to expose modern ad tracking techniques

Channel 4 has launched 'Data Baby', a new experiment that will monitor how an individual web user's habits are tracked and used by online advertisers. The experiment will look at how technology such as Google's DoubleClick has become more sophisticated, moving from traditional cookie tracking to location, frequency and device monitoring techniques.

Digital Intelligence - Channel 4 data baby to expose modern ad tracking techniques

07/03/2013 | Full story...

Firefox 'Do Not Track' browser sparks advertising concerns

Mozilla's new Firefox browser cookie settings, which will come into effect in early April and will block third party cookies by default, have come under fire from the UK's digital advertising trade body. 06/03/2013 | Full story...

More top Advertising stories from this month:

 - Third of digital ads 'may never be seen' (Infographic)
 - Saucy subject lines seduce subscribers: 'Lust' trumps 'love' in email marketing
 - Australian digital ad trends: Mobile surge pushes spend past $3.3bn


Search advertisers were given some food for thought this month with the contentious announcement from eBay that paid search was 'a waste of money' for big brands. Having found little discernible impact on sales when they switched off paid search - they declared that most people who clicked were loyal customers already. Also, up to 40% of search users are unaware of the difference between the paid and organic listings. These findings might make the top investors consider their ROI even more closely.

Paid search 'a waste of money' for big brands (according to eBay)

eBay has courted controversy by claiming that paying for search ads has little effect on sales for large companies, according to its own research.

Digital Intelligence - Paid search a waste of money for big brands

15/03/2013 | Full story...

2 in 5 web users 'unaware that Google Adwords are adverts'

Up to 40% of web users are unaware that the Google Ads above their search results are paid-for advertisements, according to new research. 01/03/2013 | Full story...

Top 20 most visible paid search advertisers (and SEO brands) on Google UK

Amazon dominates the paid search ads on Google UK, by far more visible in results pages than its closest rivals Ask and, according to new research.
Digital Intelligence - Top 20 most visible paid search advertisers and SEO brands on Google UK

01/03/2013 | Full story...

More top Search stories from this month:

 - European web trends: Russia has biggest audience as Yandex captures 10% of search market
 - Google adds GIF search: Animated images get their own filter
 - UK car insurance: Go Compare tops Google ad listings


With the much-rumoured acquisition of Atlas finally taking place the buzz around Facebook this month has been mainly about what they are planning to do with the ad serving technology and whether a new ad network to rival Google's in on the cards. In the meantime they have developed the current ad targeting offer to allow advertisers to target audience 'lookalikes' and revamped the news feed.

Atlas acquisition: Is Facebook planning a 'DoubleClick for social media'?

After its rocky IPO last year, Facebook has started to see success with its mobile and web ad revenues- and Atlas could help it develop an ad network for social media to rival Google's DoubleClick. 18/03/2013 | Full story...

Facebook lets advertisers target audience 'lookalikes'

Facebook has launched 'Lookalike Audiences', a new tool that lets advertisers reach users similar to those already in their targeting lists. 21/03/2013 | Full story...

Facebook News Feed revamp unifies mobile and web (with larger ads)

Facebook News Feed revamp unifies mobile and web (with larger ads)

Digital Intelligence - Facebook News Feed revamp unifies mobile and web (with larger ads)

08/03/2013 | Full story...

More top Facebook stories from this month:

 - Facebook free voice call app hits UK: a threat to mobile networks?
 - Facebook to add hashtags to boost ad targeting?

SocialSocial - beyond Facebook

The growing interest in Pinterest has been supported with the launch of analytics tools to monitor user behaviour on the online scrapbooking site. The move is seen as being part of the platform's strategy to forge closer ties with businesses and build a base for increased monetisation. LinkedIn purchased the news reader app Pulse as part of its strategy to become a one-stop business news and communications destination. And the social media analytics firm Klout launched an advanced service to offer businesses more insight into how and where online influencers are engaging with their brands in social.

Social media ROI: Which platforms generate the most revenue?

This chart shows which platforms offer the most referrals, shares and generated revenue for influencers. Facebook generates the most equal spread across all the levels of engagement.
Digital Intelligence - Social media ROI: Which platforms generate the most revenue?

21/03/2013 | Full story...

Social media measurement: Pinterest debuts analytics tools

Pinterest has launched new social media measurement tools to help businesses monitor user behaviour on the popular online scrapbooking site. 12/03/2013 | Full story...

LinkedIn expands news feed with Pulse buy

LinkedIn is to buy news reader app Pulse, as the business-based social network continues its strategy to become a one-stop business news and communications destination. 14/03/2013 | Full story...

Klout finally debuts business tools for social media measurement

Social analytics firm Klout's is launching a new platform for businesses, looking to tap into the lucrative 'big data' market as brands seek a better understanding of their audiences online. 21/03/2013 | Full story...

More top social media stories from this month:

 - Social media crisis management: Following 3 brands on the 'fail trail'
 - Are social media sales a myth? Coca-Cola claims no impact from online buzz
 - Twitter tool lets advertisers target live TV broadcasts
 - Tumblr introduces mobile ads for first time
 - Twitter shuts down TweetDeck mobile and Facebook apps
 - Musicians 'buying Facebook and YouTube fans' for just £30 - report

MobileMobile and tablets

The smartphone wars between Apple and Samsung hotted up this month with the reveal of the new Samsung Galaxy S4 - a rival to the iPhone - at a glitzy New York event. And in the platform battle between Android and iOS it looks like the latter will win out according to research from IDC. As consumers increasingly adopt sophisticated hand-held devices, they use mobile search for instant shopping gratification, they prefer apps to websites, and are accepting of mobile ads.

Mobile search habits by location and context

Conducting mobile searches whilst in store is the most popular action taken by the sample group. The opportunity to conduct searches whilst shopping provides people with the opportunity to make more informed decisions.
Digital Intelligence - Mobile search habits by location and context

22/03/2013 | Full story...

Actions taken after mobile search

73% of mobile searchers trigger additional actions and conversions. This data shows that the most popular action after conducting a mobile search is to continue researching (36%).
Digital Intelligence - Actions taken after mobile search

22/03/2013 | Full story...

Global mobile trends: Fastest growing iOS and Android markets

This chart shows the growth of iOS and Android devices from January 2012 and January 2013. China no longer leads in terms of growth but still grew by 209% over the year. Colombia (278%), Vietnam (266%) and Turkey (247%) saw the highest amounts of growth over the period.
Digital Intelligence - Global mobile trends: Fastest growing iOS and Android markets

13/03/2013 | Full story...

Countries with the most iOS and Android devices

The US and China have more than 5 times the active installed users than that of the UK, the world's third largest market. iOS and Android device adoption is also very high for both China and the US, China added 150 million devices to its base between January 2012 and January 2013, while the US added 55 million.
Digital Intelligence - Countries with the most iOS and Android devices

13/03/2013 | Full story...

Android 'to overtake iPad tablet market share this year'

The tablet market is set to boom over the next few years, with Android devices poised to overtake Apple as the leading operating system during 2013, according to new research.
Digital Intelligence - Android to overtake iPad tablet market share this year

14/03/2013 | Full story...

Most mobile searches 'convert in first hour'

Over half (55%) of mobile searches that resulted in a conversion happened in less than an hour, according to new research from Nielsen and Google. View the embedded report below:

Digital Intelligence - Most mobile searches convert in first hour
15/03/2013 | Full story...

Consumers 'prefer apps to mobile websites'... but have very high expectations

The majority of mobile users (85%) favour mobile apps over mobile websites, but they have very high expectations of them, according to new research. 14/03/2013 | Full story...

Smartphone 'now in majority in top European countries'

The number of smartphone users in the EU5 countries (Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the UK) grew by 30 percent over the year, reaching 136.2 million in the three month average ending December 2012, according to new data.

Digital Intelligence - Smartphone now in majority in top European countries

19/03/2013 | Full story...

More top mobile and tablet stories from this month:

 - Mobile search trends: Hashtags 'motivate users to explore online'
 - Yahoo! buys news feed start-up Summly from 17-year-old founder
 - UK mobile advertising trends: Size doesn't matter anymore?
 - Samsung Galaxy S4 revealed: Eye controls, simultaneous translation and fitness monitors ramp up iPhone challenge
 - Mobile users 'getting used to ads'
 - Three quarters of US teens accessing mobile web

Multimedia contentMultimedia content

YouTube launched its 'One Channel' this month, a new look channel design for video content creators, as the firm looks to boost its online video advertising revenues. This happens amid rumours that the popular video platform might be considering launching a music subscription service. And whilst the Google-owned platform remains dominant, Yahoo might be looking at a competitive play with a potential purchase of Dailymotion.

YouTube gives all content creators a new-look channel

YouTube's 'One Channel', a new look channel design for video content creators, has gone live after a short beta test, as the firm looks to boost its online video advertising revenues.
Watch YouTube's One Channel introduction video below:

Digital Intelligence - YouTube gives all content creators a new-look channel

11/03/2013 | Full story...

YouTube to launch music subscription service?

Google is reportedly planning two music subscriptions services for YouTube and Google Play. 07/03/2013 | Full story...

Yahoo mulling Dailymotion buy?

Yahoo is reportedly in talks to acquire a controlling stake in popular video sharing platform Dailymotion, in a move that would put it in closer competition with YouTube. 21/03/2013 | Full story...

More top multimedia content stories from this month:

 - The Sun goes behind paywall later this year
 - Daily Telegraph paywall coming to UK
 - The rise of online learning: Apple's iTunes U hits 1 billion downloads
 - BSkyB buys O2's broadband services for £180m
 - Google Reader users flock to Feedly: RSS tool gets 500,000 new users in two days


The once-lucrative relationship between Facebook and Zynga continues to crumble, with the games publisher ditching mandatory social network logins for the first time to focus more on ad revenues. Meanwhile, EA came unstuck when overwhelming demand for their new Sim City online game caused server crashes. This forced an apology from the company and the offer of compensation to users. And the rumour mill surrounding the new Xbox 720 continues to spin.

Zynga ditches Facebook logins for first time

Zynga has revamped its website, letting players sign in without needing a Facebook account, as the games publisher continues its drive for independence from the social network. The new platform will see Zynga incorporate more ads, signing deals with LG Electronics, McDonalds, Honda and NBC in recent weeks as brands seek to reach gamers online. 27/03/2013 | Full story...

EA apologises for Sim City online-only blunder

Games giant Electronics Arts has been forced to apologise for a disastrous launch of the latest version of town-planning title SimCity, offering a free game as a means of compensation. 14/03/2013 | Full story...

Xbox 720 leaks hint at online-only system

Microsoft's upcoming Xbox 720 is rumoured to be always online, meaning players will not be able to play games from a disc, but will instead force you to install each game first. 21/03/2013 | Full story...


The burgeoning adoption of mobile and social channels is having an ever greater impact on our shopping habits. The volume of purchases taking place via smartphones has doubled year-on-year - as consumer expectations and acceptance of mobile as a means of browsing and goods online grows. And the behaviour of giving and taking product recommendation via social media grows according to Rakuten's E-commerce Index. For the first time e-books have been added to the basket of goods and services used to calculate inflation rates by the UK ONS.

Online services most likely to influence a purchase

The data shows that blogs are more likely to influence a consumer more than Facebook and YouTube. Bloggers tend to be more honest in their reviews, providing potential customers with impartial advice.
Digital Intelligence - Online services most likely to influence a purchase
21/03/2013 | Full story...

Mobile shopping trends: Smartphone purchases doubled in 2012

Sophisticated consumers are more accepting than ever of mobile as a shopping channel, with 59% of smartphone owners shopping during 2012, according to new research. 21/03/2013 | Full story...

Global social shopping trends: Third of Brits 'recommend products via social media'

UK confidence in social shopping is up 11%, with a third of Brits confessing they've recommended a product on social media, according to a new study. 01/03/2013 | Full story...

Ebooks added to UK's 'basket of goods'

Ebooks have been added to the basket of goods and services used to calculate inflation rates, reflecting the growing trend of buying digital versions of books on electronic readers such as the Kindle and Sony E-Reader. 13/03/2013 | Full story...

More top ecommerce stories from this month:

 - Morrisons to sell food online, plans Ocado partnership
 - Groupon founder fired after shares plummet


Web and mobile app TVCatchup suffered a setback this month, after the European Court of Justice ruled that broadcasters can block Internet platforms from streaming their output on the web. The court ruled that that transmission of broadcast materials 'must, in principle, be individually authorised by the author' or rights owner. Microsoft was fined in Europe for failing to promote a range of browsers, rather than just IE. And Google were hit for £4.6m by US authorities for its unapproved collection of personal information for its Street View mapping service.

TVCatchup under threat? European court rules against retransmission sites

Web and mobile app TVCatchup suffered a setback this week, after the European Court of Justice ruled that broadcasters can block Internet platforms from streaming their output on the web. 08/03/2013 | Full story...

Microsoft fined £484m for breaching browser antitrust deal

Microsoft has been fined €561m (£484m) in Europe for failing to promote a range of web browsers, rather than just Internet Explorer. 07/03/2013 | Full story...

Google fined £4.6m for Street View data snooping

Google has been forced to pay £4.6m to US authorities after it collected people's personal information, including emails, passwords, web histories as it compiled data for its Street View mapping service. 14/03/2013 | Full story...

Apple patent wars: Samsung fine slashed

The patent wars between Samsung and Apple are continuing, with Samsung aiming to its US copyright fine further, after a judge decided to reduce the original sum from $1.05bn to $600m. 06/03/2013 | Full story...

More top regulation stories from this month:

 - Internet Explorer 10 'will run Flash' after surprise U-turn
 - South Korea TV and banks paralysed by hack attack
 - Google Glass gets first ban from 'secretive' Seattle bar
 - Plans for '.uk' domains put on hold

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