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Digital Intelligence
Your monthly review of new research and trends in digital marketing
April 2011

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Digital Strategy Consulting


Early analysis of Google's most recent UK search update is striking less for the list of sites that have benefited (including respected UK brands the Guardian, the Telegraph and Which), but primarily for the list of site that have seen their reach tumble. Some previously high-profile sites have had their search ranking decimated as the latest algorithm judges their content "low quality".


Over the years, Digital Intelligence has highlighted the key role of search and its importance in ensuring that any web marketing strategy is successful. The long-term trend towards convergence has been another of the themes we've tracked during the last decade, and the news this month that Blinkbox has been bought by the UK's biggest retailer Tesco is a sign that this trend is still in its infancy. Tesco can now add online film sales to a portfolio which goes beyond traditional supermarkets to include second-hand car sales, banking services, furniture and clothing. As brands offer ever-more complex mixes of products and points of sale, the importance of their digital strategies will only grow and success will depend on long-term planning and informed decision-making.


Best from all @ Digital



Danny Meadows-Klue
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting

 

Social networking
www.digitaltrainingacademy.com/socialmedia

YouTube to offer mainstream film rentals?
YouTube is reportedly set to launch launch a movie-on-demand service charging users to stream mainstream Hollywood movies. Hollywood news site TheWrap reports that the service may start as early as this week or next, and is expected to be announced soon by YouTube.
Keep reading...
26/04/2011

European Commission: Half of UK 9 to 12-year-olds have a social networking profile
Younger children are increasingly setting up their own pages on social networking sites such as Facebook, finds a new study. The report, Social Networking, Age and Privacy, reveals that one in three of 9-12-year-olds in the UK has a profile on Facebook, even though the network sets a minimum age of 13 to join. In total, 43 per cent of this age group in Britain has a profile on at least one social networking site, rising to 88 per cent among 13-16-year-olds.
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21/04/2011

Asda parent Walmart buys social networking firm Kosmix
Walmart, the owner of UK supermarket chain Asda, has acquired a social networking firm in a bid to grow its online and mobile shopping businesses. The world's largest retailer said it was acquiring Kosmix, a US-based company that has developed a platform to aggregate and organise data from social networking sites. The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but commentators are speculating that it was in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
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21/04/2011

Facebook 'Studio' site lets agencies share marketing ideas
Facebook has launched a stand-alone community site called 'Facebook Studio' where ad agency creatives can share ideas, comment on campaigns and learn what it takes to create a successful page for a brand. The community platform is aimed at agencies, PR firms and media strategy companies. The site will focus on best practices and highlight quality campaigns uploaded by the creators of the content.
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20/04/2011

Google Video to shut down this month
Google is closing its 'Google Video' site on 29th April, and deleting all the files that have been uploaded to it, as the search giant focuses its video strategy on YouTube. The platform began as a video-sharing site, but it became something of a lame duck when Google bought the web's leading video site, YouTube, in 2006. In 2009, Google stopped allowing people to upload their movies to Videos, but has continued to host the videos that are already there. That ends this month, when the videos will disappear and the service turns into a video search index.
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20/04/2011

Online video audiences: Over 4bn video ad views a month in the US alone
ComScore's latest US audience tracker is releasing some big numbers. A massive 4.3bn online video ads were watched by online audiences in the US this March. YouTube continues to dominate video viewing, but Hulu is climbing steeply with 1.2bn impressions and a penetration into 9% of US households. More on who is watching what...
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19/04/2011

Headhunters using social media profiles to fill top jobs
A new report compiled by InterExec has revealed that 84% of top UK senior executive headhunters agree that having a social media profile is important for senior executives seeking a new role. The report, which was conducted by InterExec, the Confidential Agent that represents senior executives seeking positions paying £200,000-£1m+, surveyed 100 of the top senior executive head-hunters across the UK.
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15/04/2011

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Trends
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Royal Wedding 'generating one mention every ten seconds online'
During last week, online media - including news sites, blogs, forums, Twitter and Facebook, saw an accelerated flurry of 'noise' around the Royal Wedding, with the majority of mentions being positive, according to new data. Data compiled by search marketing specialist and technology firm Greenlight, reveals it has risen a staggering 700% on March levels. Currently, there's an average of 9,000 posts a day on online media relating to the Royal Wedding. Internationally, those excited by it outweigh "haters" by 6:1.
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26/04/2011

UK court backs internet piracy act: BT and TalkTalk lose case
The Digital Economy Act, a controversial new law to tackle online piracy in the UK, has been backed by the High Court, despite complaints from ISPs. Telecoms providers BT and TalkTalk have lost an attempt to block aspects of the Digital Economy Act, which they see as placing undue responsibility on them for tackling illegal filesharing.
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21/04/2011

Are tablets cannibalising laptop sales? YouGov data says 'Yes'
Approximately one in twelve Tablet owners (8%) purchased a tablet instead of, or to replace a desktop computer, laptop or other computer, with 11% of Samsung Galaxy Tab and 7% of iPad owners doing so, according to new data. The research released from YouGov's latest TabletTrack study reveals that over three quarters of tablet owners (76%) purchased a tablet in addition to a computer.
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20/04/2011

Short .uk domains open for applications
The Landrush phase for the 2,640 remaining .uk short domains will begin on 23rd May 2011, it has been announced. Short .uk domains are classed as those with single numbers, single letters and two letters. Nominet, the not-for-profit organisation responsible for running the .uk Internet infrastructure, opened the registered rights application process for previously reserved, short .uk domain names on 1st December last year.
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20/04/2011

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Mobile
www.DigitalTrainingAcademy.com/mobilemarketing

Apple iOS market 'twice the size of Android' in Europe
In Europe, Apple's mobile operating system (iOS) market is twice the size of Android, when accounting for mobiles, tablets and other connected media devices, according to new research from comScore. comScore has released the results of an EU5 (UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy) study of media tablet owners, based on data from the comScore MobiLens service.
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26/04/2011

App usability study: Newspapers come out on top
News and Media Apps have topped the first ever App benchmark study from eDigitalResearch, assessing the usability and customer journey across almost 50 of the most popular mobile Apps across a variety of categories. The Sky Sports News App rated highest overall with a top score of 89.9%.
Keep reading...
21/04/2011

Android ad market share 'overtakes iPhone globally for first time'
Google's Android global ad impression share has surpassed iPhone OS for the first time, according to new data from mobile ad network InMObi. Although iPhone OS and Android both continue to capture share on a global basis, over the last few months Android growth has been increasing and has now surpassed that of iPhone OS. The InMobi network serves 31.9 billion monthly mobile advertising impressions to over 220 million consumers.
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16/04/2011

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Advertising
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Global web ad poll: Emerging markets 'more open to online ads than mature markets'
Consumers in mature markets (including the UK) are less receptive to online advertising than those in emerging markets, while all users prefer integrated ad formats, according to a new global study. The research, conducted by Microsoft Advertising, MEC and Mindshare Worldwide, revealed a contrast in receptiveness to online advertising between the more mature markets - UK, France, Spain, Canada, Japan and US - and emerging markets like Brazil, China, Mexico, Russia and India.
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21/04/2011

Cookies, online ad regulation and the 'you've been targeted button'
Latest news on the cookie saga comes from UK Communications Minister Ed Vaizey who is pushing for a two-tier approach to the new EU regulations on the use of cookies in online marketing. They're looking at working with browser manufacturers to get one-click approval for cookie downloads, while pushing the ad industry to group together to serve behavioural advertising cookies with more structure. Would a 'behavioural targeting' icon in the ad work for either the publisher or advertiser? Great that DCMS is being more pragmatic and sympathetic to the UK marketing industry and talking of "flexibility is essential for innovation and new business models." But will this really give the result advertisers need, or will it boost opt-outs? Judge for yourself, here...
Keep reading...
19/04/2011

IPA Bellwether: Marketing budgets cut, online looking strong
The latest quarterly attitude tracker from the UK's Institute of Practitioners in Advertising finds 25% of marketing executives suffering budget cuts in Q1, and close to 40% more pessimistic than in the previous quarter. There's a sprinkling of good news about the marketing industry, but it's clear that ROI and cutting overheads is high on the finance director's list in most companies. If it's about proving ROI in marketing then in the past the web has come through with flying colours. Deep insights from the research...
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19/04/2011

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Ecommerce
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Argos web and mobile sales account for half of revenue
Online and mobile app-based sales at Argos, alongside orders through customers' TVs, have hit nearly half of the company's total revenue, delivering £1.9 billion in the last year. The news came as Home Retail Group, which includes that retailer as well as Homebase, announced major progress in its multi-channel retail strategy as part of annual results. The group said it would "continue to develop an integrated shopping experience that encompasses the latest technology" for internet and mobile channels.
Keep reading...
26/04/2011

UK online retail report: Mobile and Web driving changes to high street
Online retail is growing six times faster than high street sales and is predicted to exceed £37 billion by 2014, according to new research. The Webloyalty Online Retail Report by Verdict Research predicts that current internet spending will grow by £14 billion (61%) from 2010 to 2014.
Keep reading...
21/04/2011

UK online retail sector enjoys 'strongest growth in 3 years'
As the high street reports the worst drop in sales for 15 years, the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveal that online sales are bucking the trend by recording continued growth. In March, shoppers in the UK spent a total of £5.1 billion online, 14% more than March 2010 and equivalent to £82 per person. Significantly, the Index has seen 18% growth during Q1 compared with the same period last year, which confirms it as the strongest first quarter performance in three years.
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18/04/2011

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

We've spent ten years helping agencies, brands, business services and governments find the right digital strategy for them. From building new online entertainment sites to finding new ways to connect with customers, we're front-line practitioners who share our knowledge and skills with others. Not only do we help companies get this right we also coach their teams to build their knowledge and intuition. Email the trainers at Admissions@DigitalTrainingAcademy.com
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Companies making the news
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Hackers bring down Playstation Network: 70 million gamers affected
Sony has confirmed that hackers are to blame for its PlayStation Network being taken offline over the Easter weekend, an attack that could have put the details of 73 million gamers worldwide at risk. The outage of Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Network has now run into its sixth day as the company said it has no timeframe for restoring the Internet-based system that links users in live game play worldwide.
Keep reading...
26/04/2011

Tesco buys movie streaming service Blinkbox
Tesco has taken majority control of online movie-streaming service Blinkbox, as the supermarket giant looks to take on the likes of Lovefilm and iTunes in the online film market. Tesco now has an 80% share in Blinkbox, which offers around 9,000 movies to stream over the internet and has around two million visitors a month.
Keep reading...
21/04/2011

Google's new search rankings: Winners and losers revealed
Well-known news sites such as The Guardian and The Telegraph, have benefited most from Google's latest UK search update, known as 'Panda', according to new research. Early data from search marketing specialist and technology firm Greenlight, reveals big winners and losers, visibility-wise, from Google's Panda algorithm update - designed to improve Google's ability to detect and devalue "low quality content", which it has now rolled out across all English language websites.
Keep reading...
15/04/2011

Spotify cuts free listening time in half
Spotify is cutting the amount of free music it allows users to listen to in half, from 20 hours to just 10, as the Swedish firm attempts to make its popular music streaming service profitable. Free users will also be limited to playing a song five times before either having to buy the track, or sign up to Spotify's subscription service. Previously listeners could play songs an unlimited amount of times.
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15/04/2011

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