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Latest research and digital marketing trends

July 2012

As the first 'social' Olympics gets underway, some over-zealous sponsors are already feeling the wrath of Twitter users, and this month we look at why brands are succeeding (and failing) at the games.

July was another tough month for Facebook, as its ad revenue growth dipped and shares fell. The social network has come under fire for allegations that bots are creating fake 'likes' - ramping up the prices for ads. Can Facebook stem the flow of bad publicity and turn its mobile growth into profits? We've got Zuckerberg's latest attempts at monetisation below, including job boards, a 'want' button and social search ads.

Google and Apple's rivalry has intensified, as the £159 Nexus 7 goes on sale to undercut the iPad. Leaked videos and reports suggest Apple will respond with a majorly revamped iPhone and iPad Mini this September - we've got the video below, (possibly) offering the first glimpse of the iPhone 5.

Top data this month looks at ad spend growth around the world, with digital leading the way in all territories. We also compare mobile ad revenues from Facebook and Twitter, and have the latest infographics on social media ROI along with the best times to post brand messages on Facebook and Twitter - can you guess the top weekly time slot to reach your audience?

Best from all @ Digital

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Danny Meadows-Klue
Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting Group

Top 25 Olympic brands - McDonald's bottom of social media league

As the Olympics begins, McDonald's languishes at the bottom of the official sponsor's league table in terms of Twitter buzz, according to new data.
30/07/2012 | Full story...

Global ad spend 2012- Internet outpaces other media with 12% growth

Global internet ad spend growth has outpaced all other media by a large margin this year, while magazines have seen the only fall, according to new research. The findings, from Nielsen's quarterly Global AdView Pulse report, indicate that TV continues to attract the majority of advertising dollars. However, Internet advertising saw the biggest increases, with advertisers spending 12.1 percent more in Q1 2012 than one year prior.
11/07/2012 | Full story...

Google ad revenue soars as profits hit $2.79bn

Google has reported a profit of $2.79 billion in the second quarter, up 11% over the same period of last year, as its search ad clicks increased by a massive 42%. The details were announced in the company's first financial statement since it finalised its acquisition of Motorola Mobility in May.
20/07/2012 | Full story...

Google £159 iPad rival Nexus 7 goes on sale

Google Nexus 7 goes on sale across a number of territories today including the UK, as the firm looks to rival Apple's iPad in the growing tablet market. Google Nexus 7 is Google's first branded tablet, priced from £127 for the standard version which makes it more affordable than the iPad. The 8GB version costs £159 while the 16GB memory gadget costs £199.
18/07/2012 | Full story...

Facebook tests sponsored search results to rival Google

Facebook is testing new "Sponsored Results" ads that will let advertisers promote their businesses in the social network's drop-down search results, according to a new report. TechCrunch reports that the service will let advertisers bid against specific pages, apps or places (rather than just keywords).
23/07/2012 | Full story...

Facebook: 955m active users but shares still fall

Facebook has announced Q2 revenues of $1.18bn (£750m), a 32% year-on-year increase from $895m (£570m) a year ago. Despite this, payments to staff share schemes following its IPO meant that the firm posted a total loss of $157m (£100m). If taken into account, adjusted figures would have shown earnings of $295m (£188m).
27/07/2012 | Full story...

Microsoft takes $6.2bn hit for online ad flop

Microsoft has posted a loss of $492 million in the past quarter, the first ever for the software giant, as results were hit by a previously announced write-off for its online ad business aQuantive. The software company, which was launched 26 years ago, had warned two weeks ago that it would take a $6.2bn (£3.9bn) charge in the April to June quarter because its 2007 purchase of online ad service aQuantive had failed to help it compete with Google.
20/07/2012 | Full story...

Yahoo hires Google exec Marissa Mayer as new CEO

Yahoo has appointed Google executive Marissa Mayer as its chief executive, becoming the firm's third boss in a year. Mayer, 37, was Google's 20th employee and first female engineer, has led a number of its businesses, and was credited for envisioning the clean, simple Google search interface still in use today. In a statement released by Yahoo, Mayer said she was "honoured and delighted" to lead the company.
17/07/2012 | Full story...

Most UK businesses 'still ignoring EU cookie laws'

EU laws requiring websites to obtain 'informed consent' from users before employing cookies to store information from a computer or mobile device came into force at the end of May. According to Gary David Smith, co-founder of Prism Total IT Support as many as 90% of UK website owners are currently ignoring the legislation.
26/07/2012 | Full story...

Top mobile phone manufacturers: US

This chart represents the popularity of phone manufacturers among 234 million US mobile phone subscribers. Samsung was the most popular manufacturer at the end of May 2012 with a 25.7% market share. Apple increased its market share between February and May 2012 by 1.5%.
Digital Intelligence - Top mobile phone manufacturers: US. This chart represents the popularity of phone manufacturers among 234 million US mobile phone subscribers

04/07/2012 | Full story...

Top smartphone platforms: US

Nearly 110 million people owned a smartphone in the US at the end of May 2012. Google Android is the most popular platform for smartphone owners with 50.(% share of users. 5 years after the first iPhone release, Apple now holds a 31.9% share of the smartphone market.
Digital Intelligence - Top smartphone platforms: US. Nearly 110 million people owned a smartphone in the US at the end of May 2012

04/07/2012 | Full story...

Social networking via smartphone: EU5

Over 45% of European smartphone owners access a social network or blog via their device. The highest penetration of users occur min the UK with 61%.

Digital Intelligence - Social networking via smartphone: EU5. Over 45% of European smartphone owners access a social network or blog via their device.

03/07/2012 | Full story...

More key market data from this month:

 - Average Facebook engagement rate by industry: Global
 - Mobile content usage: US

The internet continues to be the main channel of growth for advertising investment, although radio and outdoor are in rude health and TV still remains the dominant advertising vehicle. Within online display advertising video is becoming an increasingly used format. Research shows that mobile tablet users are receptive to advertising particularly if it is interactive and multimedia. Advertisers' attention on Facebook is starting to wane as they understand that the platform is only one of a number of social media opportunities online.

Ad spend growth 2011-2012: Global

This chart depicts the yearly growth of media in terms of advertising spend. Global internet ad spend outpaced other media formats between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012 with over 12% growth.
Digital Intelligence - Ad spend growth 2011-2012: Global

26/07/2012 | Full story...

Online video ad trends- 8% of European online display ad revenue came from video

Online video ads made up 8% of online display ad revenue in Europe during 2011 according to new research. The research - a collaboration between sell side video ad management platform, Videoplaza and analyst house IHS Screen Digest - found that TV remains first choice for reaching audiences at a national scale for building brand awareness.
17/07/2012 | Full story...

Viral of the week: Uniqlo hijacks Pinterest channels with 'animated' images

Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo has run a Pinterest campaign aimed at catching user's interest on popular channels of the social media pinboard. The "Uniqlo Dry Mesh Project," was a simultaneous pinning event that created the effect of animated images on Pinterest as pages where updated. See why it's our viral of the week below...
Digital Intelligence - Uniqlo hijacks Pinterest channels with animated images

03/07/2012 | Full story...

Video viral of the week: Coca-Cola 'security camera' ad gets 5m YouTube views in one month

This heart-warming video from Coca-Cola continues the beverage giant's 'Happiness' brand message, turning the negative perception of security cameras into something much more positive- boosting customers perception of Coke in the process. See why it's our video viral of the week below...

Digital Intelligence - Coca-Cola security camera ad gets 5m YouTube views in one month

12/07/2012 | Full story...

Video viral of the week: British Airways encourages Brits to stay home to support team GB

Olympic sponsor British Airways is asking supporters of the British Olympics team not to fly during the games in order to help British athletes. See why it's our video viral of the week below...

Digital Intelligence - British Airways encourages Brits to stay home to support team GB

27/07/2012 | Full story...

Video viral of the week: Kraft saves food with macaroni art app

This iPad app and video campaign from Kraft harks back to school days and macaroni art. See why it's our video viral of the week below...

Digital Intelligence - Kraft saves food with macaroni art app

16/07/2012 | Full story...

More top Advertising stories from this month:

 - IAB research: Tablet users want interactive ads
 - Advertisers 'shifting spend from Facebook to rest of web'

Google has a spring clean to focus on its core products and key business drivers - such as intertwining social and search more closely (via Google +) and making searching even more easy and intuitive - through handwriting recognition. In China Baidu sees strong revenue growth as sales soar and in the UK searchers are looking for 'mummy porn', funny men and summer events.

Google axes 5 more products: Video and iGoogle disappear in 'summer clean'

Google has shut down 5 more products and the internet giant continues to streamline its operations to focus on its core products. The services on the way out include Google Mini, Talk Chatback, Google Video, iGoogle and the Symbian Search App. Since September 2011, the company has shut down a number of products and merged others into existing products as features.
05/07/2012 | Full story...

Google tests social link sharing in search results

Google is testing a new feature that lets users share links in their search results on the social network, as the web giant looks to boost the reach and influence of its Google+ social network.
23/07/2012 | Full story...

More top search stories from this month:

 - Google adds handwriting feature to mobile search
 - Baidu Q2 profits grow 70% as search ad sales soar
 - Top UK search terms - "50 Shades of Grey" and "Jimmy Carr" fastest risers

Despite a falling share price and dropping ad revenue Facebook continues to innovate and evolve to offer its audiences and advertisers new opportunities to engage. Launching a jobs board takes them more into the recruitment space, testing a "want" button opens the door for more social shopping and growing their mobile app and advertising offering will be appealing to advertisers.

Facebook 'to launch job board'- a threat to LinkedIn?

Facebook is preparing to launch its own job board this summer, in a move that could pose a threat to LinkedIn, according to a new report. The Wall Street Journal cites 'people familiar with the matter' that the job board could launch as early as next month, and could work by aggregating job postings from third-party providers.
12/07/2012 | Full story...

Facebook tests 'Want' buttons - boost for social shopping?

Facebook is testing a new "Want" button in a move that could make the social network much more attractive to ecommerce sites, according to a new report. Inside Facebook reports that the plug-in would function in a similar way to Facebook's iconic "Like" button. The blog said that developer Tom Waddington discovered that the "Want" button added to the Facebook Javascript SDK as an XFBML tag. Waddington also said the button will only work on Open Graph objects marked as "products", indicating it may be used for marketing.
02/07/2012 | Full story...

More top Facebook stories from this month:

 - Facebook rolls out App Centre to 8 countries
 - Facebook planning new mobile ad technology?
 - Facebook closes down less than a month after buying it
 - Are Facebook 'likes' being faked? BBC spoof bagel firm gets 3000 fans
 - Facebook to open first international engineering office in London
 - Best times to post on Facebook and Twitter (Infographic)

Within the rest of the social media sphere it's Twitter that is grabbing headlines. It's where most of the conversations about companies tend to take place (according to research by Burson Marsteller). Its growing popularity is starting to get noticed by potential suitors (ie Apple) and is giving them the confidence to end a distribution partnership with Linked-in. This business social networking platform is itself innovating to compete.

Measuring social media buzz: Most user chatter about companies 'happens on Twitter'

Companies in the Fortune Global 100 were mentioned a total of 10,400,132 times online during a month-long period, with the majority of these mentions appearing on Twitter, according to a new report. The Burson-Marsteller Global Social Media Check-up 2012 examined the Fortune Global 100's use of popular social networking platforms including: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, for the first time, Google Plus and Pinterest. This year, Visible Technologies provided data on social media users' discussions of companies online.
18/07/2012 | Full story...

Apple 'held talks with Twitter' over partnership

Apple considered investing in Twitter, in a deal that would have valued Twitter at around $10bn (£6.4bn) and it would also have signalled the technology giant's eventual intention to take on Facebook. The investment would also have shown that Apple boss Tim Cook, left, was keen to step out of the shadow of his predecessor, Steve Jobs, who died last year.
30/07/2012 | Full story...

More top social media stories from this month:

 - LinkedIn and Twitter end 3-year partnership
 - LinkedIn adds owns 'like', 'comment' and 'share' buttons
 - Tips for better brand engagement on Twitter from Buddy Media
 - How to measure Facebook and Twitter ROI (Infographic)

In the mobile world while the one-time global leader in mobile devices - Nokia - still struggles, Apple goes from strength to strength, with growing anticipation of a new iPhone release, and the fact that the iOS platform leads the way for ad monetisation. Facebook is doing well in mobile ad monetisation also with a strong CPM but whether or not they will develop their own smartphone remains uncertain. Meanwhile mobile internet and data access continues to grow around the world as voice sees a decline.

iPhone 5 and iPad Mini 'unveiled Sept 12th' as video leaked

Apple is set to unveil its much-anticipated iPhone 5 and iPad Mini on September 12th and will be in the shops nine days later, according to a news report. Apple fansite iMore, which sites 'credible sources within Apple' (and is often proved accurate with predictions) reports that Apple will debut the new iPhone - technically the sixth iPhone, but regularly referred to as the 'iPhone 5' - at a special event on Wednesday, September 12. The news comes as a video has leaked online showing the iPhone 5's outer shell and components, shown below:

Digital Intelligence - iPhone 5 and iPad Mini unveiled Sept 12th as video leaked
31/07/2012 | Full story...

Nokia handset sales drop 19%; smartphone sales down 34%

Nokia has posted worse than expected Q2 results, including a drop in smartphone sales of 34% as the number of devices sold fell 39% year-on-year.
The firm, which was until recently the world's biggest mobile phone maker, posted a net loss of 1.41 billion euros - about four times the 368 million euro loss posted during the same period a year ago, and more than double the loss anticipated by analysts.
23/07/2012 | Full story...

More top mobile and tablet stories from this month:

 - Mobile ad trends - iOS on top for ad monetisation
 - Mobile ad revenue: Facebook 'more effective than Twitter'
 - Zuckerberg dampens Facebook smartphone rumours
 - China mobile internet use - Tipping point as internet use shifts to mobile
 - Half of all Brits 'make less than 1 phone call a day'
 - Adobe drops Flash support for Android
 - Top 5 sources where QR Codes are scanned: EU5

The web is set to become an even more interactive and engaging environment as the popularity and adoption of HTML5 continues to rise. Also the ongoing growth in online film will be spurred by Sky's new Now TV. And the shift to eBooks continues.

HTML5- What marketers need to know (Infographic)

HTML5 is being used by almost 50% of developers, and is projected to grow to 80% within the next three years. This infographic below from Uberflip provides a guide to the technology that will be powering the majority of apps, video and rich media content viewed on mobiles and PCs over the next few years...
06/07/2012 | Full story...

Sky debuts pay-as-you-go online movie service

Sky has launched Now TV, its pay -as-you-go online TV service Now TV, offering movies from 99p or £15 for a month's subscription. The service will initially be available for PC, Mac, and selected Android devices, with iOS devices due to get it later in July. It will come to Xbox, PS3, and Roku before the end of the year.
17/07/2012 | Full story...

More top multimedia content stories from this month:

 - YouView goes on sale this month - Will it be the next 'Freeview'?
 - YouTube adds "Face-Blur" tool to protect privacy
 - eBooks overtake hardcovers in adult fiction

Connected console gaming continues to gain popularity to the benefit of Microsoft. And the popularity of Zynga games is encouraging it to branch out and create its own social network.

Xbox Live subscriptions up 15%

Subscriptions to Microsoft's Xbox Live online gaming service have risen 15% over the last year. The figure follows Microsoft's revelation in February that total membership numbers had reached over 40m members.
25/07/2012 | Full story...

Zynga debuts social network for gamers

Zynga has launched a social network aimed at gamers, dubbed Zynga With Friends, as the firm looks to branch out from its relationship with Facebook. The new site will pair gamers with opponents and make features like player profiles, activity streams and chats available for all users, regardless of whether they play the games on mobile devices or desktop computers.
02/07/2012 | Full story...

The growing ecommerce powerhouse Amazon has been hitting the news again this month - as it looks to improve its customer experience by offering same day delivery and test the development of its own smartphone. And Rakuten issues some interesting findings from its proprietary behavioural data on different online shopping patterns around the world.

Amazon plans same day delivery- a threat to the high street?

Amazon is planning on offering a premium 'same day delivery' option for its US customers, in a move that could put further pressures on ecommerce firms and high street retailers alike. The online retail giant is looking to expand its network of US warehouses so it can place its merchandise nearer to big markets and offer same-day delivery to more consumers. The firm currently has 34 in the US.
13/07/2012 | Full story...

Amazon 'working on own smartphone'

Amazon is reportedly developing its own smartphone in conjunction with manufacturing partner Foxcon. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is working with component suppliers in Asia to test a smartphone, citing 'people familiar with the situation'. Officials at some of Amazon's parts suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Seattle-based company is testing a smartphone and mass production of the new device may start late this year or early next year.
11/07/2012 | Full story...

More top ecommerce stories from this month:

 - Amazon to open creative centre in London
 - Global ecommerce trends- How online shopping varies around the world

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