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Latest research and digital marketing trends

May 2013

With smartphones bridging the gap between physical and digital worlds, this month we take an in-depth look at how marketers can ensure their offline calls-to-action drive maximum mobile interaction.

As mobile habits change, marketers have to pick their channels wisely. Android is now catching Apple in terms of user engagement, while chat apps are now more popular than texts as people switch to WhatsApp, iMessage and BBM to avoid hefty mobile bills.

In the display sector, Yahoo's new army of Tumblr bloggers gives it an extra 120 million daily impressions to sell targeted interest-based ads through its network- time for Google to be worried?

May also saw Facebook muscle in on YouTube's territory with plans for video ads, while Twitter's Vine videos are getting people sharing in droves- with savvy brands making smart use of the 6-second format.

Alongside a myriad of product launches at its developer conference, Google got tough on search spam with Penguin 2.0, while a 5-year feud between Interflora and M&S ended with a landmark ruling against bidding on trademarked terms in AdWords.

To round off the month, we have a special video report featuring Harper Reed, the genius behind the Obama 2012 campaign, and what marketers can learn from his 'micro-listening' techniques that helped win the US election.

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.

Direct marketing trends: What Obama 2012 can teach us (video)

The Obama 2012 presidential campaign produced one of the most sophisticated direct marketing systems ever seen, pinpointing potential voters with the right messages delivered in the right format at crucial moments (helping to win the US election as a result). At last month's DMA Technology Summit in London, Harper Reed, the campaign's chief architect, revealed how modern direct marketing trends such as 'micro-listening' can have wider applications for marketers.
Watch Reed's presentation below:

Digital Intelligence - Direct marketing trends: What Obama 2012 can teach us

14/05/2013 | Full story...

"We promise not to screw it up": Yahoo buys Tumblr for $1.1bn

Yahoo has bought blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1bn (£725m) in cash, with CEO Marisa Mayer pledging "not to screw it up" in a blog post.
Watch Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales speak to the BBC about what the deal could mean for Tumblr:

Digital Intelligence - We promise not to screw it up: Yahoo buys Tumblr for $1.1bn

21/05/2013 | Full story...

Smartphone wars: Android has shipped 4 times more than Apple in 2013 (so far)

Android continued its dominance of the global smartphone market in the first quarter of 2013, accounting for 3 out of 4 smartphones sold, according to new data.
17/05/2013 | Full story...

Android vs Apple: Which gets the most downloads and revenue?

There are now 900 million Android devices in the world, compared to around 500 million iOS devices, but which is generating the most engagement (and cash)? New data indicates that Apple still leads the way, but Android is catching fast in terms of downloads and revenue.
20/05/2013 | Full story...

Chat apps 'now more popular than texting'

Chat apps such as WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage are now more popular than text messaging, according to a news report.
01/05/2013 | Full story...

Facebook planning video ads to rival YouTube?

Facebook is planning to put video ads in newsfeeds from July, as the social network looks to rival Google's YouTube.
09/05/2013 | Full story...

Branded Vine videos '4 times more likely to be shared than standard videos'

Twitter's 6 second video platform Vine is becoming a hot new channel for marketers, according to new research from Unruly media.
21/05/2013 | Full story...

Mobile advertising tools and technology - AdMob network gets boost from AdWords and other Google tools

Google has started rolling out a major upgrade to the AdMob mobile advertising sales network in a major upgrade for mobile advertising tools and technology that leverages a suite of Google tools including AdWords and conversion optimisation techniques.
Watch the video promo explaining how the new service works here:

Digital Intelligence - Mobile advertising tools and technology - AdMob network gets boost from AdWords and other Google tools

21/05/2013 | Full story...

Interflora wins 5-year search keyword battle with M&S

Interflora has won a high court battle over Marks and Spencer in the UK, ruling that the supermarket chain could not use the florists' trademark as a Google AdWord to boost its visibility on the search engine.
22/05/2013 | Full story...

Google gets tough on search spam with Penguin 2.0 update (video)

Google has made a major update to its Penguin search algorithm this week, as the internet giant looks to improve its search results by eliminating web spam.
In a Google Webmaster Help video (see below), Cutts goes into more detail on what Penguin 2.0 would bring, along with what new changes webmasters can expect over the coming months with regards to Google search results.

Digital Intelligence - Google gets tough on search spam with Penguin 2.0 update

24/05/2013 | Full story...

Top 20 sites in Russia by visitors and time spent is the largest free email service in Russia and leads in terms of visits and average time spent on the site.

Digital Intelligence - Top 20 sites in Russia by visitors and time spent

17/05/2013 | 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 'Real Beauty' sketches becomes most viewed online ad of the year

Dove's latest viral marketing video 'Real Beauty Sketches' has racked up over 114 million views since its launch in April 2013.

Digital Intelligence - Dove 'Real Beauty' sketches becomes most viewed online ad of the year

23/05/2013 | Full story...

'Share a Coke' campaign replaces iconic packaging with people's names

Coca-Cola has launched a campaign replacing its packaging with 150 of the most popular names using the brand's iconic typeface.

Digital Intelligence - 'Share a Coke' campaign replaces iconic packaging with people's names

01/05/2013 | Full story...

Case study: Persil 'Garden of Freshness' game drives brand engagement

Is the internet the right medium to advertise a low involvement product like laundry detergent? This slide presentation case study from Alexandra Zadoya from OMD Russia looks at how a Persil campaign in Russia used social gaming in innovative ways to drive brand engagement and sales.

Digital Intelligence - Case study: Persil 'Garden of Freshness' game drives brand engagement

08/05/2013 | Full story...

Huggies 'TweetPee' app tells parents to change baby's diaper

Diaper manufacturer Huggies has teamed up with creative agency Ogilvy Brazil to create 'Huggies TweetPee'; a gadget and app that lets parents know when their baby needs a change in diaper.
The Brazilian TV advert for TweetPee (in Portugese) is below:

Digital Intelligence - Huggies 'TweetPee' app tells parents to change baby's diaper

10/05/2013 | Full story...

Video viral of the week: Evian's dancing babies return to get 45m YouTube views

Evian has refreshed its hugely successful "Evian babies" campaign, with a new viral video that matches dancing adults to their toddler counterparts. Supported by baby face-changing app, the ad has notched up over 45 million views on YouTube. See why it's our video viral of the week below...
16/05/2013 | Full story...


A report this month shows that UK advertising spend is back in good health as the total for 2012 bounced back to a pre-recession high of £17bn. This was fuelled mainly by the digital operations of traditional media owners as well as the Olympic effect on OOH. Amongst online publishers its video ad formats that are fuelling most growth according to the AOP. Microsoft continued to woo consumers away from Google (and alienate advertisers) by pushing its 'Do Not Track' IE defaults in its latest video ad.

US digital ad revenue by format: 2012

In the US, total digital ad revenue for 2012 was $36.6bn, up by 15% from 2011. Mobile digital ad revenue grew by 4.2% since 2011, making it the format with the highest growth.

Digital Intelligence - US digital ad revenue by format: 2012

23/05/2013 | Full story...

US digital ad revenues by format: 2011

In 2011, the US generated $31.7bn in revenue from digital advertising, at the time the highest recorded.

Digital Intelligence - US digital ad revenues by format: 2011

23/05/2013 | Full story...

UK adspend hits £17bn - first time since 2007

Total advertising spend in the UK reached £17.172bn in 2012, up 2.3% on 2011 according to figures released this week in the AA/Warc Expenditure Report.
10/05/2013 | Full story...

UK digital publishing ad revenues rise 16% - video fuels growth

UK digital publisher advertising revenues were up 16.2% in Q1 2013, versus the same period of the previous year, according to new research.
17/05/2013 | Full story...

Microsoft boasts of 'Do Not Track' defaults in latest IE ad

Microsoft is running an ad campaign touting its controversial "Do Not Track" function in its latest versions of Internet Explorer, in a move that is firmly aimed at Google.

Digital Intelligence - Microsoft boasts of 'Do Not Track' defaults in latest IE ad

24/05/2013 | Full story...

Digital ad spend in Latin America: Brazil to lead growth

Digital ad spend in Latin America is set to double by 2016, with Brazil leading the way, according to new research.
08/05/2013 | Full story...

More top Advertising stories from this month:

 - Most 18-25s 'find online advertising simplistic' and skip video ads
 - Digital Marketing in Russia: Yandex, VK and Mail.RU lead the way (Infographic)


Google released an upgrade to its popular Maps search service this month. While offering users more details and personalisation options behind a location it offers local businesses more advertising and promotional opportunities. They also released an updated search app for the iOS platform - that with improved predictive search features and enhanced voice search - now rivals Apple's native Siri service. Meanwhile it closed down an SMS search tool for mobile users without a data plan - presumably due to a lack of demand and revenue potential.

Google woos local advertisers with Map ad icons

Google has overhauled its popular Maps web service with more personalisation features and icons highlighting businesses running ads and promotions.
Watch a Google video explaining how the service works below:

Digital Intelligence - Google woos local advertisers with Map ad icons

16/05/2013 | Full story...

Siri rival Google Now comes to iPad and iPhone users

Google's predictive search tool Google Now has launched on Apple's iOS, giving iPhone and iPad users access to the Siri rival for the first time.
01/05/2013 | Full story...

Google axes SMS search portal

Google has shut down its SMS search tool for mobile users without a data plan.
15/05/2013 | Full story...

 - Top 10 news sites on Google: Patch and Huffington Post lead way
 - Top 10 most visible news sites on Google UK: BBC and Guardian ahead of Daily Mail


Facebook's increasing mobile usage was highlighted this month in their latest financial results. Global mobile monthly active users were up 54% year-on-year to 751 million. Mobile advertising is making up an ever larger proportion of their ad income, now representing nearly a third. The social network expanded its 'structured status update' to encourage more detailed mobile user updates, and provide more targeting potential to advertisers. Objectives that could also be achieved if the rumoured purchase a sat-nav mapping service Waze goes ahead.

Facebook mobile revenue leaps as users reach 1.1 billion

Facebook revenues have risen to $219m during the first 3 months of the year, with mobile ads now accounting for nearly a third of all its advertising, according to the social network's latest financial results.
Watch this video report from the BBC looking to the future of Facebook:

Digital Intelligence - Facebook mobile revenue leaps as users reach 1.1 billion

03/05/2013 | Full story...

Facebook extends 'structured updates' to mobiles to boost targeting

Facebook is expanding its 'structured status updates' to its mobile service, letting people add emotions and actions to their posts while on the move.
16/05/2013 | Full story...

Facebook to buy mobile mapping firm Waze for $1bn?

Facebook is in talks to buy Israeli mobile satellite navigation start-up Waze for $800m to $1bn, according to a news report.
Watch this video report from Bloomberg discussing the rumoured deal:

Digital Intelligence - Facebook to buy mobile mapping firm Waze for $1bn?

10/05/2013 | Full story...

 - Facebook offers simpler ad targeting with 'Promoted Page Likes'
 - Is Facebook really losing millions of users? Socialbakers says 'there is no story'

SocialSocial - beyond Facebook

Success in social marketing lies in supporting your owned social channels with paid media investment according to research conducted by Forrester. Twitter continues to offer advertisers more opportunities with the launch of their keyword targeting service - and extends its reach with a new Yahoo deal. Meanwhile the death knell rings for Bebo.

Top 20 social networks in Latin America

Facebook is by far the most used social network in Latin America, growing by 7,915 million users between 2011 and 2012.

Digital Intelligence - Top 20 social networks in Latin America

29/05/2013 | Full story...

Top 10 countries for social media engagement: Time spent

The average time spent on social networks worldwide in 5.2 hours per month. The country with the highest average time spent on social networks is Argentina with 9.8 hours.

Digital Intelligence - Top 10 countries for social media engagement: Time spent

29/05/2013 | Full story...

Organic posting most popular social media tactic... but paid ads are most successful

Branded pages and organic posts on social media sites are not enough to produce an effective social marketing strategy, according to a new study.
20/05/2013 | Full story...

Extending reach of Twitter messages - new deal with Yahoo

In the social media battle between Facebook and all other providers, this deal between Yahoo and Twitter is the latest alliance - and it's good news for marketers wanting to extend the reach of Twitter messages.
20/05/2013 | Full story...

Bebo files for bankruptcy as shareholder battle continues

Social networking site Bebo has filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in California, following an ongoing battle between shareholders.
13/05/2013 | Full story...

Real friends and family 'twenty times more influential than social media friends'

When it comes to influencing purchase decisions, real friends and family are more than twenty times more influential than social media friends, according to a new study.
22/05/2013 | Full story...

Twitter debuts keyword targeting

Twitter has launched a feature that lets advertisers place Promoted Tweets in users' timelines based on words they type in tweets.
30/04/2013 | Full story...

More top social media stories from this month:

 - Social mums: Online 'thumbs up' crucial to parent purchasing decisions (infographic)
 - Infographic: What does the ideal social media campaign look like?
 - Top 10 countries for social media engagement: Argentina and Brazil lead the way
 - Top 20 social networks in Latin America

MobileMobile and tablets

As the adoption of both mobiles and tablets grows significantly across the developed world a 4 screen household is emerging with implications for multi-device media consumption and retail. One of the impacts is the rise of mobile web traffic, led by the UK in Europe. Another growing trend in mobile is the use of free chat apps with the likes of Google 'Hangouts' app competing against WhatsApp, Skype, BBM, Tango and Facebook's own Chat Heads service for dominance.

The rise of the 4 screen household: Tablet sharing creates new channel for media and retail

Nearly one-quarter of the GB population (23%) has access to four screens at home (TV, computer, smartphone and tablet) compared to only 11% six months ago, according to a new report.
20/05/2013 | Full story...

European mobile traffic trends: UK, Ireland and Russia lead the way

In Europe, the computer is no longer the only access point for digital content. New data from comScore indicates that the UK, Ireland and Russia lead Europe for mobile traffic.
14/05/2013 | Full story...

Google rivals WhatsApp with 'Hangouts' cross platform chat app

Google has launched a cross-platform messaging app, letting users to have video chats, send text messages and swap pictures between Android and iOS devices as well its Chrome web browser.
Watch the app in action below:

Digital Intelligence - Google rivals WhatsApp with 'Hangouts' cross platform chat app

16/05/2013 | Full story...

Blackberry extends free BBM chat app to Android and iOS

BlackBerry's popular chat app BBM is to launch on rival platforms for the first time, as the phone maker looks to capitalise on the growing demand for wi-fi alternatives to text messages.
Watch this video explaining how BBM works on the Blackberry platform:

Digital Intelligence - Blackberry extends free BBM chat app to Android and iOS

15/05/2013 | Full story...

 - Roll over 4G? Samsung makes 5G mobile broadband breakthrough
 - Amazon sells apps in China for first time
 - Google Glass gets first video user guide
 - Creating a successful mobile app - an infographic guide

Multimedia contentMultimedia content

YouTube continues to becoming more and more like a broadcast subscription TV channel as it offers paid channels to rival Amazon and Netflix. Its parent Google expands its content offering into streaming music to take on Spotify and Pandora. And Yahoo tries to compete in the TV content game by looking at the Hulu service as a potential purchase.

YouTube takes on Amazon and Netflix with paid TV channels

YouTube is testing paid channels on its website, charging user from $0.99 a month to watch select content such as full Sesame Street episodes or the National Geographic Kids channel.
10/05/2013 | Full story...

Google takes on Spotify with $10 music streaming service

Google has launched a streaming music subscription service, taking on the likes of Spotify and Pandora.
16/05/2013 | Full story...

Yahoo mulling Hulu bid?

Yahoo is considering another bid for video streaming service Hulu, after negotiations with rival Dailymotion failed, according to reports.
14/05/2013 | Full story...

More top multimedia content stories from this month:

 - Why email still matters (infographic)
 - Google unites 15GB of free storage on Gmail, Drive and Google+
 - The Sun '£2 a week' paywall coming in August?


Big news in the world of gaming this month was Microsoft's launch of its next generation console Xbox One. Designed to become "the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system" it is looking to compete not only with its traditional rival, Sony's PlayStation, but with the likes of Sky and Virgin Media, in the TV arena. EA Sport had to backtrack on its controversial programme that stifled trade in second-hand games. And World of Warcraft is losing users to free-to-play alternatives.

Microsoft Xbox One revealed with online entertainment focus

Microsoft has unveiled its next generation console Xbox One, designed to become "the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system" that competes with only with its traditional rival, Sony's PlayStation, but with the likes of Sky and Virgin Media, in the TV arena.
Watch this video from the Daily Telegraph showing highlights from the launch event:

Digital Intelligence - Microsoft Xbox One revealed with online entertainment focus

22/05/2013 | Full story...

EA drops online pass for used games after player complaints

Electronic Arts is axing a controversial program that stifled trade in second-hand games.
23/05/2013 | Full story...

World of Warcraft 'lost a million users' in 2013 so far

World of Warcraft has lost more than one million subscribers in the first three months of 2013, as gamers leave for free to play alternatives.
13/05/2013 | Full story...

More top gaming stories from this month:

 - Consumers 'now spending more on Apple iPhone games than handheld console games'
 - Nintendo to profit from ads on user generated YouTube videos


As more and more UK consumers buy their groceries online the supermarket chain Morrisons is finally set to launch their own ecommerce venture in partnership with Ocado. The catalogue business Argos expects 75% of its sales to come from the web by 2016. It's on fashion where most young men spend their money online. As social media increasingly influences the purchase decision. And in another development Google now lets you send money across the web through Gmail using its Google Wallet service.

Morrisons to launch online shopping with Ocado next year

UK supermarket chain Morrisons has struck a deal with Ocado to launch an online grocery service by January 2014.
20/05/2013 | Full story...

75% of Argos sales to come from web by 2016

Argos is expecting internet sales to make up three quarters of its sales by 2016, as sales both online and instore continue to rise at the high street retailer.
07/05/2013 | Full story...

Fashion 'accounts for around 83% of young men's online spend'

Whilst women may normally be perceived as shopaholics, new research from leading CPA network, Rakuten LinkShare, shows that men spend over three quarters of their average annual online spend on fashion.
07/05/2013 | Full story...

UK social media trends: Half of Brits use social for purchase decisions

Nearly half (46%) of UK consumers use social media for online purchasing decisions and over a third (35%) use it to vent about bad customer service, according to new research.
14/05/2013 | Full story...

Google lets users send money via Gmail

Google has introduced a new dollar-sign icon for Gmail attachments, letting users transfer money via its Google Wallet service.
17/05/2013 | Full story...

More top ecommerce stories from this month:

 - Pfizer to sell Viagra online to compete with fraudsters
 - Warm weather boosts April ecommerce sales 16% as shoppers flock to travel sites


The question of how much tax the giants of the Internet age should be paying was a hot topic of discussion this month. Google's tax affairs in the UK were under close scrutiny from the public accounts committee. In France the authorities were pondering whether the like of Google and Apple should pay a tax to fund the arts and content creators. And at the same time Google has a go at Microsoft for removing its ads from its Windows Phone video app.

Is Google doing 'evil' over UK tax? (video)

Google has been accused of ignoring its own mantra and doing "evil in using smoke and mirrors to avoid paying tax" by UK MPs this week.
Watch a video from Channel 4 showing Google Vice President Matt Brittin being questioned by the committee here:

Digital Intelligence - Is Google doing 'evil' over UK tax?

17/05/2013 | Full story...

France mulls 'culture tax' on Google and Apple

France is preparing to impose taxes on Apple and Google to finance the production of art, films and music in the country.
16/05/2013 | Full story...

YouTube tells Microsoft to remove ad-free Windows Phone video app

YouTube has warned Microsoft that it needs to remove a video app from its Windows Phone store that blocks Google's ads.
20/05/2013 | Full story...

More top regulation stories from this month:

 - BitTorrent 'Bundle' offers legal downloads for customer contacts
 - Dawn of 'wiki weapons'? First 3D printable gun hits internet
 - Kids warned off Google Glass for health reasons
 - Microsoft revamps Windows 8 after user complaints

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