Tag Archives: FACEBOOK

Marketing Predictions for 2013

bandwagon

In 2012, there were increased developments for marketers. Social media sites, such as Facebook, created a massive mobile advertising business. Now the question is, what does 2013 have to offer? Advertising experts got together to show marketing predictions for the year to come.

The first strategy experts explored was “Mobile-First Strategy.” Facebook and Google are two sites responsible for the mobile ad spending tripling to $4 billion in 2012. According to eMarketer, “we expect mobile ads to increasingly become the top priority for advertisers on digital, rather than desktop.” This is the result of consumers spending more time and money on mobile devices.

Next experts explored the revision of “Banner Ads.” Banner ads do not work well on mobile devices, which has lead companies to reconsider using them. However, the ads will not be going away for good, instead businesses are working on a more creative way to post them and become user friendly.

Advertisements

Creating a Well-Rounded Marketing Media Strategy

If you find yourself questioning the value of traditional media in your marketing strategy because:

  • Digital investment is generating lots of clicks to your website,
  • Your competition recently launched a web or mobile campaign,
  • And your inbox is flooded with promises from digital media vendors to deliver engaged consumers, premium content and targeting technologies at an unbelievably low cost?

The digital age has had an unquestionable positive impact on the ability of advertisers to zero in on consumers fitting their ideal demographic, geographic and psychographic profiles, with the proficiency of a star athelete like Lebron James or Eli Manning to hit their respective targets. But, just as you can’t put Eli Manning on the basketball court or put Lebron James on a football field and get the same results, you can’t expect digital media alone to accomplish all of the media goals and objectives in your marketing media strategy.

The purchase cycle
Big ticket purchases like cars, furniture, jewelry, and medical services are some of the most important retail investments affecting individuals—and the consumer doesn’t want to make a mistake.

Digital marketing is great at attracting audiences concerned with making the best decisions—people who are proactive about their purchasing decisions. And often, those who are proactive about searching are also proactive about engaging. This likelihood to engage means digital should be a core component of any well-balanced media plan. But marketers have a long purchase cycle to consider, during which awareness, information, reassurance and loyalty must be established and sustained to help the consumer confidently choose to invest in your brand above all others offering similar services. That’s where traditional media shines.

A good media strategy takes all kinds
Traditional media and their digital counterparts are vital media engines, and through the basic mechanics of media mix theory1, are inclined to fuel each other in the long purchase cycle.

Here’s a quick breakdown media mix theory, from Media Planning:

  • To reach people not reached with the first medium.
  • To provide additional repeat exposure in a less expensive, secondary medium after optimum reach is obtained in the first medium.
  • To leverage the intrinsic values of a medium to extend the creative effectiveness of the campaign (such as sight and sound on TV, intimate conversation on radio, long copy in print media and precise targeting in digital mediums).
  • Synergism, where an effect produced by the sum of the parts is greater than expected by adding together the individual components.

Traditional and digital media are equally and uniquely important in your media strategy mix and you build an effective media mix that contributes to profitable growth, that includes both traditional and digital media.

Here are the latest online video advertising numbers

December 29, 2011
image

Though advertisers and agencies are often increasing their investments in digital video advertising at the expense of offline/traditional branding/advertising efforts, findings from DIGIDAY and Adap.tv suggest funding also comes at the expense of current display advertising budgets.

According to a November study, advertisers were more likely to fund their online video advertising efforts from offline channels such as print and broadcast TV than their agency counterparts. Advertisers most often planned to shift budget from print (41%), while 29% said they would take dollars from broadcast TV to fund their digital video advertising efforts. Just 24% planned to pull from display.

Agencies said boosts to online video budgets would most come at the expense of display (43%), indicating a general move away from less dynamic ad formats, such as banner ads, in favor of those with greater engagement potential.

Channels Their Clients Plan to Shift Budget from to Fund Online Video Ads According to Agencies and Advertisers in North America, 2010 & 2011 (% of respondents)

In addition, 39% of agencies said they would fund video from broadcast TV budgets. Though findings appear to suggest advertisers and agencies are shifting budgets away from TV toward video ads, more than half (56%) of respondents viewed online video as a direct complement to—and not a replacement for—their TV ad programs. Just 11% looked to online video to replace their TV ads, reported eMarketer.

In the past year, both advertisers and agencies have shifted their primary video advertising objectives from brand awareness to brand engagement, perhaps suggesting marketers are moving away from viewing digital video as a mere extension of TV ads and moving toward embracing online video for its ability to more directly engage viewers in a dynamic way.

By enabling video ads with social sharing and other calls to action, marketers can use digital video as a springboard to additional online engagement on social networks, their website and even mobile apps.

Online Video Ad Objectives According to Advertisers in North America, 2010 & 2011 (% of respondents)

Mobile is a growing area of interest for video advertisers, yet publisher offerings lag brand adoption. For example, 42% of advertisers and agencies have purchased iPhone-compatible video ads, yet only 35% of publishers supported such ads. Differences for Android video ads (31% vs. 28%, respectively) and iPad ads (41% vs. 35%) were similar.

300+ million users now access Facebook via mobile apps

Facebook is being boosted by app use, with it being reported in the last couple of days the world’s largest social network saw monthly active users of its mobile apps pass 300 million users.

Enders Analysis analyst Benedict Evans writes that the figure is correct as of 27 December, with iOS and Android applications accounting for more than two-thirds of mobile app use on the social network.

Evans uses Facebook’s own mobile data, comparing iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian and featurephone use, to the network’s 800 million total users and 350 million mobile users, which the company announced at the end of September.

fb Report: 300 million users now access Facebook via its mobile apps

Evans writes:

Quite unsurprisingly, these are dominated by the two platforms that have traction, iOS and Android. As Techcrunch pointed out a few days ago, Android has now passed iOS in DAUs, though Apple has passed the round 100m MAU figure.

Windows Phone remains quite insignificant, though that may change next year as Nokia’s efforts come fully on stream. Meanwhile around 70% of RIM’s 70m active users have installed the Facebook app. That’s a high penetration rate (it comes to around 50% for Android and iOS) on what is supposed to be a corporate product, pointing to RIM’s strength in messaging, but also to the way that the mix is shifting away from business customers and towards emerging markets and teenaged girls (in the UK at least).

From his breakdown, Evans deduces that 70% of mobile users and more than 30% of all users used apps to access Facebook.

Facebook has worked hard to rebuild its mobile websites, partnering with operators worldwide to offer free access to its service. The company also introduced social app discovery on its mobile website, making it almost as feature-rich as its apps.

Apple Devices Dominate Mobile Online Shopping

The holiday season came a little early for Apple this year, but it’s not as if the company didn’t already know what it was getting. New statistics released this week from retail analysis firm RichRelevance indicate that iPads and iPhones are the top mobile devices that consumers use to make retail purchases.

By just how much, you ask? According to RichRelevance, 92 percent of all “online non-desktop sales” came from an iOS-friendly device during December. Better still (for retailers), those using their iPhones, iPads, and other iOS devices to shop online spent more, on average, than those shopping via other mobile platforms like Android: $123 for iOS devices versus $101 for Android devices. Even though desktop-based sales crushed mobile-based purchases in volume, the average order value of these purchases only reached $87.

“The numbers across our retailing partners sites demonstrate just how powerful the iOS platform is enabling mobile web shopping and, while still below 5 percent in total conversion, mobile traffic’s doubling in eight months is a trend we only see accelerating,” said David Selinger, RichRelevance CEO, in a statement.

In total, mobile device-based shopping hit around 3 percent of all online sales analyzed by RichRelevance—more than 3.4 billion sales in total, stretched across the months of April to mid-December. Translated out to raw dollars, mobile-based sales jumped from 1.87 percent of all U.S. online retail spending in April to 3.74 percent in December.

As mentioned, this news should come as little surprise to Apple, as the company has already seen snapshots of iOS mobile shopping dominance. Take, for example, Black Friday: According to IBM, the iPhone and iPad ranked first and second for consumer shopping on mobile devices on Black Friday itself (5.4 percent and 4.8 percent, with Android-based devices taking up third at 4.1 percent). That totals just over 10 percent of the mobile shopping market for Apple’s flagship products.

IBM also indicated that the specific Black Friday conversion rates for the iPad—a comparison of online visits versus purchases made—were double those of the mobile device category as a whole (4.6 percent to 2.8 percent.)

Even though Android enjoys a healthy lead in overall global market share for smartphones versus the iPhone—no doubt a result of Android’s ability to exist on multiple devices versus the single iOS smartphone product line—it seems that iOS users continue to carry the day for mobile shopping.

Apple’s Siri Could Destroy Local SEO

It’s worth taking the time to learn more about the iPhone 4S’s digital ambassador Siri , as it could represent the future direction of local search engine optimization.

On the surface, Siri — the voice recognition app that allows iPhone users to control their cell phones verbally — seems like a cool party trick, sending text messages from your spoken instructions, checking the weather and setting up calendar reminders. But does this added functionality really mean the end of traditional local SEO as some experts are predicting?

In some ways, yes. The real impact of Siri isn’t just that she acts like a personal assistant. The potentially huge ramifications for local SEO come from the depth of information Siri is able to access and the range of actions she can perform.

For example, Siri can call you a cab after a night on the town by automatically processing information about local cab companies in response to the query, “Call me a cab.” Automating the search process means you never look up “cab companies in your area” in the search engines, avoiding the traditional search engine results pages and pay-per-click advertisements entirely, therefore limiting their importance and influence.


Little is known about how exactly Siri collects and processes information, although it’s reasonable to assume that the program is drawing on well-cultivated public data sources, including Google Places, Yelp and similar sites. If Siri is eventually able to pull information from third party apps — as many predict she will be — she could effectively eliminate traffic to some traditional websites. As an example, automatically checking people in to Facebook places eliminates the need to visit those places’ websites.

 And when you take into consideration that the iPhone 4S has become the company’s best-selling iPhone in just a few short weeks, due in large part to the innovative Siri technology, localbusiness owners should take note of this trend and invest time in optimizing their sites for mobile discovery.

Here’s what you need to do to make your business website as accessible as possible to Siri and related voice recognition tools:

Optimize your website for mobile. This isn’t new advice, as the rules for mobile SEO — and the idea of local SEO in general — have been around for years. But as some sources estimate that 30 percent of all searches could include a local component by 2015, it’s more important than ever to make local SEO a priority for your business.



In addition to thinking about how consumers access your website while on the go, consider whether or not Siri can access important information about your business as well. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Add a mobile site template. Having users land on a mobile version of your website willmake them much happier, and it isn’t difficult to do, as mobile-ready themes already exist for publishing platforms including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
  • Enhance your local SEO. Prominently feature your physical address, local phone number and operating hours on the home page of your site for maximum local SEO benefits.
  • Remove data obstructions. Yes, Flash graphics and Javascript are already “no-no’s” when it comes to mobile optimization, but also consider how easily Siri can access the information on your site. Burying pertinent information in PDFs and sub-pages could put your site at a disadvantage.

Enhance your digital presence. It’s no longer enough to simply set up profiles on Facebook and Twitter and call it a day. Instead, establish a profile on any of the following directories and review sites and encourage customers to rate your business there for maximum exposure.

• Foursquare
• Savings.com
• Retailmenot
• Judy’s Book
• Citysearch
• Superpages
• Yellow Pages

To determine which of these options are the best fit for your business, do a quick search to see which business sites in your geographic area and industry are ranking well in Google and create profiles on whichever of the following sites they’re using.

Implement microdata. If you’re savvy in the ways of SEO or have an IT manager who is you’ll want to consider adding “schema tags” to your website. Schema tags allow your site to incorporate relevant microdata — local business, address, telephone and open hours, for example — that could help Siri and the search engines process important information about your site more quickly.

While Siri on her own doesn’t necessarily spell the end of local SEO it’s worth taking note of the popularity this mobile data management system has gained in a relatively short period of time. As Siri evolves and other operating systems adopt similar technology, the businesses that benefit most will be those that best understand how their customers interact in a mobile environment and optimize their sites to engage them.

 

Getting a Clearer Picture of the Digital Consumer and Your Customer

Most marketers and advertisers still don’t have a clear view of customer behavior. For every metric related to click-throughs, conversions and engagement, much of the data does not present a unified view of the customer. Instead, decisions are being made based on separate and distinct actions.

Consider the number of touchpoints a consumer has with a typical brand. Are they finding information or interacting with the brand on its website, via its Facebook page, on its Twitter feed, using a Groupon deal or through a mobile app? What about an in-person visit to a store or a call to customer service?

The challenge for marketers is not to track this data—they already do—but to aggregate it so they get a consistent view across all online channels and also account for offline behavior.

In fact, many marketers who believe they’re making decisions based on a unified view don’t
really have one. A survey from IBM found that among marketers that said they had an integrated view of customer behavior, only 30 percent were viewing mobile behavior and just 34 percent were looking at social media behavior.

The industry should continue to go toward enhanced audience data,  Offline data should begin to play a bigger role.”

No place is this holistic view more crucial than the retail industry, where customers may exist across almost every online and offline channel. In her keynote at the Shop.org Annual Summit in Boston, Stephanie Tilenius, VP of commerce for Google, said that for retail, “The lines between online and offline are going to blur and become one…The addition of the smartphone and new technology like geo-targeting and near field communication technology is going to enable new dialogue between retailers and their customers—much more of a one-on-one dialogue.”

The growth of smartphones and tablets is further muddying how advertisers and brands reach consumers, since much of the action mobile users take is done in an “offline” environment. For example, Nielsen found that roughly 40 percent of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices daily while watching TV. What are they doing? Checking email was the top activity, followed by surfing for unrelated information, and visiting social networks. Interestingly, these actions were done consistently during programs and during commercials.

Which is one reason apps related to TV shows have seen solid results on mobile devices. HBO, for example, created a rich media mobile ad campaign to promote the premiere of the third season of True Blood. The ad, developed by Medialets, was placed in iPhone apps from Flixster, Variety and inventory on Jumptap’s mobile ad network. The apps were populated with bloody fingerprints, which led to the messaging for the show. Both auto-expand and user-expand versions of the ad ran, and despite it being an interruptive experience, 7.9 percent of users watched the video in the auto-expand version, and 2.9 percent who received the user-initiated ad watched the trailer.

Watching buyer behavior

A clearer picture of how mobile and offline behaviors are beginning to merge comes from Tesco, the global supermarket chain. In South Korea, Tesco rolled out a virtual supermarket in the Seoul subway system. The pillars and screen doors of the Sonreung station became virtual displays of more than 500 of the market’s most popular products, including milk, apples, pet food and stationery. Commuters could scan the QR code beneath the desired item into their smartphones and the items would be delivered directly to their homes.

In fact, buying behavior is not just a multichannel issue, but the full decision-making process typically crosses between online and offline resources. A 2011 analysis that examines consumer behavior during the purchase path;  Smart consumers, they note, move frequently between online and offline options during research, decision-making and purchase.

Consider, for example, what consumers told them about shopping for clothing and footwear. Since it is mostly about look and feel, “going to a store to look at products and try them on is the most helpful thing people do.” However, they will go to the manufacturer’s website to see what is available, and once a purchase decision is made, they will use a price comparison engine to get the best price. Issues such as “speaking to specialized sales personnel” have lost favor, since many customers feel they have more expertise than the staff, they noted.

Other companies are looking to move offline behavior online in an effort to get a clearer measure of what customers are doing. It’s old hat for stores to ask for a customer’s email address at the moment of sale, or to have a place for customers to sign up for special offers. Today, these same stores are turning to mobile devices to empower their customers to share their experiences because these engagements can be tracked. “The mobile device is increasingly blurring the lines between online and offline integration,” said the CEO of a frozen dessert chain. “We are actively working on innovating mobile technologies that will allow our customer to engage online as part of the in-store experience.”

At Lucky Brand Jeans, online and offline are integrated to provide more of a unified view. The chain operates more than 170 retail stores across the U.S., and it also operates a well-trafficked webstore. Yet its customers exhibit different behaviors depending on which segment they come from, according to Charlie Cole, Lucky Brand. The company has an email list of 1.1 million names, of which more than half are verified Lucky Brand purchasers. Cole notes that 500,000 of the names are from people who typically buy in-store, and 100,000 buy only online. Offers vary depending on that buying behavior–it would be silly to tempt an in-store buyer with free shipping, for example. “There’s surprisingly little cross-over,” Cole says. “People are creatures of habit. I don’t want to pound them with offers [that are not appropriate].”

In-store customers can be notified of specials via email, and on the flip side, Lucky Brand also wants to be sure to have in-store offers that can be delivered in-person to online buyers. Lucky Brand is able to identify online customers if they make a purchase in a brick-and-mortar store (based on CRM data), and can provide them with offers that can be redeemed online at the point of sale. “We have some online exclusives such as shoes and we will give an offer such as free shipping at the point of register to shop for those exclusives online,” Cole says. The key, he notes, is to maximize the value and service given to these cross-channel customers, who are Lucky Brand’s most valuable.

Lucky Brand also tries to segment its offers based on other online and offline behavior metrics. For example, customers that buy its jeans at full price behave quite differently from those who only respond to discounts. The company is willing to retarget full price shoppers who have visted its site, but does not do this when a person is identified as a discount purchaser. “It’s really about pushing someone across the finish line,” says Cole.

Ultimately, it all may come down to adapting Web analytics to a multichannel world. Marketers will need to think about how they are tracking offline behavior and how those actions can be incorporated into online systems, and vice versa.