What do we all have in store – marketing wise – for 2014 …. Adobe predicts with the help of 2500 marketing people and Econsultancy

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Recently Adobe, in partnership with Econsultancy, kicked off a global survey of more than 2,500 marketers and Internet professionals, in hopes of better understanding what companies and agencies alike are prioritising in 2014.

The 60 page report made for some interesting reading – here are the main points of it all compiled by a digital media, digital marketing, and analytics strategist, Mark is president of Adobe EMEA and resides in the UK with his wife and two children.

Here’s a sneak peek at the meat inside this report: For the whole thing click here. 

  • Customer experience is the single most exciting opportunity for in-house marketers in 2014, above mobile and content marketing.
  • In the world of B2B, content marketing is king. For B2C marketers, however, mobile sits in at the top of the priority pile. We say AMEN to this – not only as I am now working for a taxi fare comparison app (which is 100% mobile) but as I have been ranting about mobile for many a year.
  • 2014 is a year of experimentation and agility. Does your company culture instil a fear of failure? The inability to test, learn, and rejigger an approach is holding many companies back from digital success.
  • Consumer expectations outpace corporate innovations. There is no doubt about it—consumers are in control. And aside from grabbing consumer attention, customer stickiness has become increasingly difficult as personalized offers and information from other brands increases at a staggering rate.
  • Evolving role for email as marketers seek to engage with millennials. Over 90% of businesses use email as a cheap and powerful way of both broadcasting news and providing personal, 1:1 communication. However the debate of emails effectiveness in reaching a younger, social-minded audience continues.
  • Technology brings efficiency and immediacy to display advertising in what has been a historically chaotic landscape for media buying. And as the efficiency of television advertising dwindles, brands should be able to effectively cobble together large audiences comprised of the right people—albeit from many different sources.
  • Marketers fit for the future need to find the balance between extremes. More so than ever, marketing has become a combination of art and science—and the need for left-brained engineers who will eat, sleep and breathe technology into their marketing teams is just as prevalent as the call for creative geniuses. Breaking down organisational silos and balancing these two extremes continues to be a challenge.
  • Companies focus on harmonising cross-channel messaging and experience. As technology evolves so too do marketing channels—consider Vine, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and other channels that have surged into popularity. Managing these multiple channels with consistency has become an increasingly crucial discipline for marketers. (And finding the time…)
  • Mobile has won—the time for procrastination is over. There couldn’t be a safer bet than to predict that mobile will continue to grow in significance for businesses, as more customers adopt tablets, smartphones and wearable technology. 2014 will continue to see businesses work harder to improve the mobile experience, and to understand what mobile means for their customers.
  • Content, mobile and social will become business as usual. While the vast majority of marketers understand that improving the customer experience must be one of the sole focuses of digital marketing, most companies are still gathering the right tools for their toolbox in order to create such experiences. But as marketing technology moves into a more integrated set of solutions, these functions should bring greater value in the year to come.

May this full report help enable us all to better understand the mindset, needs and concerns of today’s digital marketing professionals—so that the technology, process and people will continue to evolve.

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Is Miss MM (Marissa Mayers) buying for talent or buying for fun?

It may not sound like a serious question but it is one with a serious answer and one that could show us all where the internet (and commerce) with it is going.

As no matter what you say large companies don’t get rid of billions of pounds or dollars without good reason (ok HP could be an exception, and for the record they bought into an area of growth, just perhaps the wrong company or the right company at the wrong time.) 

So it “could be” telling where they put their money. Yahoo under MM is going for location and mobile and a little bit of social too. And doing so relatively quickly and aggressively.

Not surprising as they got a LOT of catching up to do.

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Benchmark your investment in online media with other organisations in the UK.

The IAB and PwC published their full-year figures for online advertising in 2012 this week. We recommend using this annual research on online advertising to benchmark your investment in online media with other organisations in the UK.

But do remember that you should also look at your own organic traffic from your analytics as well – as you might be surprised how many visitors you are getting now a days from tablet and mobile devices – especially if you are yet to optimise your pages 😉

Anyhoo, if European figures are more relevant to your business then do check the IAB Europe Adspend figures.  And a huge thanks to Smart Insights for these smart insights,

The stats:

Percentage of overall ad spend on digital media advertising?

More than £1 in £4 of ad budgets were spent online  for the first time and online ad spend is now closer to 30% of all spend although the figures weren’t disclosed in the latest announcement.

However with £3 in £4 still spent offline in traditional media like TV and print advertising it underlines the continued effectiveness of traditional media and the need to integrate these with online media.

Mobile advertising shows strong growth as we would expect – and myself personally love – as predicted this many moons ago – whilst others thought me mad 🙂

Mobile now accounts for 9.7% of all digital advertising spend compared to 1.1% three years ago

Total mobile display advertising (including video) increased like-for-like by 121% to £150.0 million in 2012. Mobile search grew like-for-like by 164% to £365.0 million – accounting for 69% of mobile ad spend.

The remaining £11million of mobile ad revenue is primarily accounted for by classifieds, SMS/MMS and other smaller advertising formats.

The research shows the most popular online advertising tactics, but beware the methodology – spend on other digital marketing channels such as affiliate marketing, SEO and online PR/Social media aren’t included – it’s pure media spend only..

This is the breakdown of different Internet advertising types:

Paid search advertising: Paid for sponsored listings such as AdWords  maintained their position as the largest single format with a 58% share of digital advertising.

Display advertising: Display advertising accounted for 24% of spend, similar to previous years. But within this there were larger increases for social media advertising which grew 24% to represent 25% of online display budget and video advertising which grew 46% to account for 12% of online display budget.

Classifieds : Online classified ads important in recruitment and auto for example, but less relevant to other advertisers grew by 7.6% to account for 16% of spending.

Some interesting stuff here to consider when you are planning your or your clients next year of digital ad spend.

Who influencers your influencers – shouldnt you be doing it? And how…

All about social and something I talk about in my workshop – the simply fact that – “You can buy your advertising, but you can’t buy your friends.” And you can never, ever buy a community or a blogger, or for that matter a community blogger.

So how do we do it?

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There are more ways than perhaps you think that Google is socially tracking stuff

This is an excellent blog piece about social and social tracking – it isn’t by me (Spoiler alert) but those lovely peeps at Social media tracking.

 

I have joined, probably the best, mobile augmented reality company called Blippar. And I am lucky enough to be an ambassador for them. Part of my job is creating content and persuading them to be more social.

So I pop this here to remind myself (and those that read it) how powerful social tracking is becoming and how important it is, especially for Google (not just SEO wise) but it’s own Google+ pages.

I also pop it here as a date stamp – which people can look back at – and if I am wrong about Google Plus Pages for Business they can laugh at me 😉

Thinking about time it was a LONG time ago, back in June 2011, that Google made quite a contribution to the social media scene with the launch of its own social network Google+. Google+ is still a fledgling community when compared to social networking giants Facebook and Twitter, but its social signals have the most impact on search ranking results. Factors that you should look at:

1. Amount of +1s – You need to start distinguishing +1 to your site in general and +1 to each pieces of your content. I’d suggest working on increasing +1 to your brand/your authorship profile. This also applies to +1 on Local+ pages.

2. Authority of +1s – If your brand/profile gets more +1, you will get to rank higher and easier for the future content you produce.

3. Growth rate of +1s – Strategize a plan that will increase your +1 steadily over an extended period of time.

4. Amount of Adds and Shares – How many people are following you tells about how authoritative you are.

5. Authority of Adds and Shares – Who is following you is important too. Network with people with great profiles, it helps you to establish a voice.

6. Spread rate of Adds and Shares – This is the reason why you need to network, share great stuff and get people to Add you and +your stuffs.

Facebook

Facebook is the king of social networking sites. It has an active community of over 900 million(!) users which makes it a perfect platform for generating social signals (which is great if you are into content and social media marketing). Researches have shown that Facebook influences more search rankings than G+ or Twitter. The factors are:

7. Amount of Shares and Likes – with “shares” carrying more weight than “likes”.

8. Amount of Comments – The collective amount of shares, likes and comments correlate the closest with search ranking.

9. Growth Rate of Shares and Likes

10. Authority of Shares, Likes and Comments

Twitter

Second only to Facebook, Twitter boasts 500 million users that are constantly “tweeting” status updates and events in real time. Just recently, Twitter played a huge role in political protests across the globe which clearly showcases the huge sphere of influence that Twitter has the potential to generate. Twitter users (also known as “tweeps”) puts more premium on a tweet’s authority rather than sheer amount; though the overall social signals generated by it lags just a little behind Facebook. Searchmetrics.com have placed Twitter at the 6th spot in a list of top factors that have a positive correlation in regards to Google search rankings. At SocialMetricsPro.com, our data shows tweeting activity is positively affecting search ranking.

11. Authority of Followers, Mentions and Retweets

12. Number of Followers, Mentions and Retweets

13. Speed and intensity of tweets and RT over time – On the real-time web, if something gets on a trending topic, it usually gets shown on top of search results. For example, if there is a rising tweeting activity about an earth-quake happening somewhere in the world, and when you search “earth quake” on Google, you will find that incident on the first page of SERP. During normal days without any earth-quake news however, searching for earth quake will find you wikipedia or scientific information about it. Twitter contributes signals to the real-time web.

Other social websites (Pinterest, Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon, FourSquare)

The big 3 (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) are the movers and shakers when it comes to social ranking factors. But website owners should not ignore the potential of other user-driven social websites. Pinterest currently has a very active community, and its following is steadily increasing day by day (in the period of January to February 2012, it reported a user base growth rate of 85%, one of the speediest, if not, the fastest of its kind that was recorded in recent Internet history).

FourSquare is particularly useful in Google Places (formerly Google Local) where search results are arranged according to location. Meanwhile, the communities in social news aggregate websites like Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon can be a great starting point for an online viral marketing campaign.

14. Amount of Pins and Re-pins on Pinterest

15. Growth rate of Pins and Re-pins

16. Comments on Pinterest

17. Check-ins on Foursquare

18. Spread rate of check-ins at FourSquare

19. Upvotes on Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon

20. Comments on Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon

Other not-so-obvious factors.

There exists a number of factors that can affect a social signal’s influence on Google’s search rankings. Website owners must also take these into account to make the most out of their social media campaigns.

21. Clickthrough rate (note: CTR is the ratio of the number of times a user clicks on a link over the times it appears). We know by having great title and description we are able to improve CTR of our listing on SERP, having great texts for tweets, #hashtagging them, great image for Pinterest and Facebook shares/updates are all important. There hasn’t been evidences showing CTR for social signals influence your ranking, but optimizing on CTR definitely brings more people to your site.

22. Account backlinks (backlinks still play a part in Google rankings, but not as prominent as before) – Anchor text, the proximity of context between 2 interlinking documents, position of the links are still descriptive about a piece of content. Backlinks are still affecting search ranking, just that they are now sharing a stage with social signals.

23. Account age – this is related to authority; trusted individuals usually earn their reputation over a period of time.

Negative Social Factors To Avoid

Some ranking factors can even affect a website’s ranking negatively. This happens when a webpage is deemed to be irrelevant and low-quality by a dissatisfied visitor. Website owners and developers should always make an effort to avoid trigerring these factors.

24. Amount of user blocks a page receives – Some times when you search for something, hit on the result and click the back button, Google shows an option to “block this result” for you. It’s personalised, but it tells Google that site isn’t up to expectation.

25. Sentiment – Since before we even knew it, computers can already understand the sentiment of a piece of content. Is it recommending the object, criticising it, giving it a positive or negative view…the algorithm understands sentiment. It’s part of information extraction.

Interesting for Pinteresting – not great for sales…. hmmm tell me something we don’t know ;)

Ok now this might not come as a big surprise however the piece from Business Zone does contatin some wonder stats and figures for all you pinners 😉

As the peeps behind Zappos brand which has achieved huge success through use of social media says its presence on Pinterest has been much less financially fruitful than on Twitter and Facebook.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Will Young, director of Zappos Labs, the research arm of clothing company Zappos, said its customers were 13 times more likely to share a purchase on Pinterest than on Twitter and eight times more likely to share on Facebook than Twitter.

But despite that, posts on Pinterest lead to the lowest sales for the company.

Posts on Twitter generate an average of $33.66 an order, Facebook posts amount to $2.08 with sales from Pinterest an average 75 cents. Which is AMAZING for Twitter – I just wonder with their new interest and trending promotion how much the ROI would be!

“Even if a person has 100,000 followers on Pinterest and she pins something to a board called ‘Stuff I Love’, that’s not as big a deal as an endorsement tweeted to 10,000 followers,” Young told the broadcaster.

Pinterest is the latest social network to attract attention and has seen a huge increase in users since its launch in 2010. Earlier this year it raised $100m in financing that valued the company at around $1.5bn.

But a lot of this pinning interest action isnt about selling. In fact, like much of social its about the awareness and the interest and about customer engagement and much. much more (or less depending how you look at it) than sales.

However, Pinterest will move into advertising, be that demographic or keywords alignment, be that data from pics or images promoted. It will do a lot more than most in this realm (I guess) and link into ipad and the psychology of it’s prime target market.

VC backers may have over inflated the offer but I can see how Pinterest will soon do very well in the money making departements – it is doing #greatmarketing – it allows others to do the same and it’s user base is growing virally. All they need to do now is make sure they have mobile on their minds… but that’s another story.

Know I love gaming…and business. So perhaps I should launch a mobile gaming business..

Know I love gaming…and business. So perhaps I should launch a mobile gaming business..

I would be in good company if I did. As Zynga seems to be doing rather well.

Zynga Game Network is the #1 social gaming company on the Web. Zynga was founded specifically to add a social element to casual online games.

A great principle. Which I think I can take into the Business to Business realm with a novel twist. Because people  love games, and people (even business people) love them most when were playing with / against friends! Social games provide a more fun, competitive and contagious experience. Zynga delivers on the promise of social networks, making it easy to connect with old friends and make new ones. But what it doesnt do is allow brands to make games mini promotional tools for them…. It also has rather needed Facebook to be successful.

However, Zynga has just unveiled a new platform intended to eliminate fragmentation and allow gamers to play Zynga games across different operating systems and portals such as Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android,  Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, Facebook, Google+ and the Web.

During its Zynga Unleashed event today, the company introduced the multiplayer feature that lets multiple gamers across a variety of devices play with, or against, one another simultaneously.

In addition, the company hopes to grow its collection of games, especially for mobile, with a new Zynga API that allows third-party developers to create games for Zynga. In conjunction with this initiative, Zynga introduced a partner program to bring more developers into the ecosystem and social network, separate from Facebook.

Zynga’s announcements today aren’t surprising considering the company has repeatedly said it wanted to reduce its reliance on Facebook and grow its presence in mobile  Zynga accounted for 15 percent of Facebook’s first quarter revenue.

The company also reported that it has 292 million users and 22 million mobile users.

So the growth area is mobile with a nod to social.

As i blogged about many years ago – it’s all going to go LosoMopho.

It’s just what bits will go first. i.e. Location, Social, Mobile and Photo.

Perhaps it is more PhoMoSolo 😉

Some very interesting facts and stats about Social.

16.9 billion – If social media – i.e., social gaming, advertising and commerce – were an industry sector this would be its value in 2012.

£9 billion – The amount in lost revenues retailers are missing out on by failing to offer customers a simple, now-standard feature on their sites: customer recommendations/reviews.

1.5 million – The number of new followers Coca-Cola, a sponsor of the London Summer Games, picked up during the Olympics.

53 – The percentage of survey respondents who said they view Facebook’s sponsored posts, brand pages and ads as too intrusive. Still, Facebook is plotting a new aggressive ad format for newsfeeds.

1 in 8 – The ratio defining the number of companies that are integrating their social media approach into their overall corporate strategy, a new study on social-readiness shows. 15% are mid integration, while 29% are doing nothing. Zilch.

3.6 – ASOS’s Facebook fans were 3.6x as likely to visit the ASOS website than non-fans, a new study shows, a new measure into what a person’s stated affinity means for a brand.

$1 – The cost per click (CPC), or, the cost paid by advertisers to Facebook, has hit the dollar mark for the first time in the US and Canada, which saw a rise of 13% and 12% respectively.

Why Smartphones Won’t Be Replacing Wallets Anytime Soon

The thoughts below of those of Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

I think he is quite right so I post his comments below.

For quite some time, we’ve heard that smartphones will replace wallets. Instead of using cash or plastic, the day will come, likely soon, when consumers will simply wave, tap, or swipe their phones for payment.

The Olympians have been using them – and we are having quite the time of it in the UK.

While there are some technological and organizational hurdles holding back the advent of mobile payments, there’s another, more basic problem that’s likely to slow the rise of the smartphone wallet.

The problem is that the mobile payment is a solution to a problem that most people don’t really view as a problem.

A Boston Globe story reviewing the latest options for payment via smartphone ends with these observations:

“There’s one problem with all of these services: Nobody needs them. Traditional credit cards work fine. And the new apps are another way for businesses to collect more personal data about us, in an effort to sell more stuff. The bank already knows everything I buy; should Google know, too? Something to think about before your next smartphone shopping spree.”

Similarly, while testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs, Michael Katz, an economics professor at UC-Berkeley, said, “Today, merchants and consumers already have access to a wide range of payment options, including cash, checks, and various payment cards. These options are easy to use, widely accepted, and trusted.”

That hardly sounds like consumers are clamoring for another option, particularly one that brings with it a host of new concerns about security and privacy.

“Cool technology alone will not be enough” to change how people buy things, said Katz. What’s more, Katz disputed the predictions that near-field communications (NFC), the technology that allows shoppers to pay with smartphones, will completely revolutionize retail payment systems. “I believe the changes associated with NFC and so-called digital wallets will be evolutionary, not revolutionary.”

Adoption of the technology will occur slowly because of the chicken-egg situation in which: 1) brick-and-mortar stores don’t want to pay to upgrade their checkout processes for a system few consumers will use; and 2) few consumers will bother signing up for mobile payment systems because so few retailers accept them.

Even if consumers could pay for most or everything they buy with a smartphone, the wallet won’t be disappearing anytime soon. “Most of us are going to have to carry conventional wallets anyway, at least until drivers’ licenses and insurance cards and the like also go digital,” said Katz. And if you’re already carrying a wallet, how hard is it to carry a few credit cards and some cash inside?

Sometimes a bit like with augmented reality – technology does something cool – but do people really need it?

Do we answer or give a solution to a problem with all this new technology and new innovation?

Massmob our new idea is a soft way brands can engage with their target market on mobile phones with minimal investment. It’s a  platform for brand focused mobile competitions. And a portal for pay as you go brand able mobile games. We want to be able to create an ecosystem to help part time freelance mobile game creators make more money. So we are hoping that marketing people want to get into mobile marketing – but they can’t as yet afford mobile games….perhaps?

Time to do some more market research me thinks.

Facebook Ads do they work – a 400% ROI from Gaming says …. hmmm they do…

Ever wonder how effective Facebook ads are? According to the data game developers and publishers have supplied to the social networking site, they’re incredibly effective… at least at selling games.

So it looks like that’s where I will be looking at engaging with ;0 – sponsored stories for massmob anyone 🙂

What’s particularly interesting is that the games sold the most by advertising are not the games you’d necessarily expect. Yes, social and casual games were demonstrated to sell pretty well, but Facebook can surprisingly also push console games to the hardcore.

A case in point: EA bought $2.75 million worth of advertising for Battlefield 3 and attributes $12.1 million worth of sales of the popular shooter to its Facebook ads. For those keeping track at home, that works out to about 200,000 copies sold. That isn’t a huge number of sales overall for a game that’s moved millions of copies, but financially that’s a lot of return for a relatively small marketing investment.

Of course determining the effectiveness of any type of ad is, at best, an inexact science. But just the fact that EA thinks it works demonstrates that if nothing else, there’s one type of audience Facebook can reach. And if you’re a gamer you can expect a lot more Facebook game ads on your Feed in the future.

Hey, if it gets political ads off our Feed, so much the better.