- Online Marketing
Mobile devices, especially those with Web capabilities, are continuing to grow in popularity across the globe. In fact, at the beginning of 2012, there were more iPhones sold on average each day than people born on average each day. So, how does this surge in mobile device usage affect your local business? The continued growth of mobile device ownership highlights the significant shift from traditional desktop browsing to a mobile lifestyle that creates tremendous opportunity for local information.
Here are a few mobile statistics from our new ebook: “150 Smart Stats: Online Marketing Trends Every Business Needs to Know” that demonstrate why building and managing a mobile Web presence can help consumers find your local business when they are searching on the go for products and services like yours.
With the number of people own smartphones in the U.S. constantly growing, now is the time to make sure your Web presence is optimized for mobile. Having a mobile-optimized presence will help you stay ahead of the curve as more people use the mobile Web to look for local products and services.
Tablet usage is quickly growing among current Internet users. With tablets being lightweight and portable mobile devices, they give consumers more of an opportunity to engage with your business. And because they have larger screens than smartphones, tablets make it easy for consumers to view your videos and content. 85% of People Use a Tablet or Smartphone While Watching TV. And what’s even more surprising is that 66% of people use a tablet or phone while on a computer while watching TV. So, because consumers are spending a large percentage of time multitasking across various devices at the same time, it is essential for your business to market to people on all of the places they access the Web. It’s also critical to make your messaging consistent across all of your marketing, both online and offline, in order to effectively build your brand with consumers. By the Year 2016, Mobile will Overtake PC for Local Searches. Today, three out of five consumers use a smartphone to search for a local business.
By developing a mobile marketing strategy now, you can ensure that potential customers can find you when they search via mobile today, and help your business prepare for when mobile becomes even more prominent in the search for local business.
ReachLocal newest offer, Reach Retargeting. Keyword level retargeting coupled with site level retargeting.
The question went from “What is search retargeting?” to “Where can I get it?” and finally “How do I take my search retargeting campaign to the next level?” While there are far too many topics to address in one post, let’s take a look at the first, and most important, component: the keyword lists.
Since search retargeting relies heavily on keyword lists to determine which consumers to target and which to ignore, starting the campaign using the right keyword lists makes a world of difference in how fast a search retargeting campaign reaches desired performance.
Many advertisers think that matching their SEM list is the best way to generate a keyword list, and indeed, it’s a good place to start. However, it’s important for marketers to understand that search retargeting is an extension of SEM, and keyword lists must scale beyond SEM for search retargeting campaigns.
Let’s consider the consumer funnel compared to corresponding ad targeting strategies. Interest based targeting is at the top of the funnel and typically powers brand awareness campaigns. As we move down the funnel we come to the mid to lower funnel targeting strategies, which tend to support targeted brand awareness and direct response-based campaigns.
To run a search retargeting campaign, a search retargeting partner needs to cookie a user and then target them again once they find them across their display media.
This means that there could be a gap of minutes, hours or even days between when a user performs a search and when the search retargeting partner actually sees that user again and is able to show them the relevant ad.
Since SEM campaigns target users on the next page following the search, they need to drive them to the advertiser’s page right away. If they don’t, game over. As a result, SEM campaigns tend to target users who are ready to convert in the next few minutes.
Let’s take Best Buy, a large electronics retailer, as an example. An SEM campaign for Best Buy might be targeting the term “Best Buy 50 inch Sony plasma TV sale.” This user is likely to convert in a small window of time, as he/she clearly knows exactly what they’re looking for and even the store they’re looking to buy from.
Conclusion: If a search retargeting company were to target users who searched for this term, they’d be showing an ad to someone who has most likely already converted and would therefore be wasting ad impressions, and more importantly ad dollars.
To run a successful search retargeting campaign, the advertiser needs to target keywords that indicate when a user is in a purchase or consideration mindset, but hasn’t made up his or her mind just yet. As a result, it’s important to target terms that wouldn’t necessarily be included in an SEM campaign due to the example shown above.
From Frost Prioleau, Search & Display, August 2011
Using the example above, a user searching for “plasma TV comparison” or “online plasma TV store” is someone Best Buy should definitely target. While the user might be a week away from converting, Best Buy should get in front of them during the consideration set, so that the brand is top of mind further down the purchasing funnel.
Conclusion: By limiting keywords to a brand’s SEM list, the advertiser might miss out on engaging consumers during the consideration phase, and pushing new customers through the funnel.
Marketers and their partners must work together to prune the advertiser’s SEM list and they must utilize a keyword generation tool that takes into account mid and upper funnel terms. It’s not just a semantic issue. This has ramifications for strategy.
Digital agencies and brand marketers need to be smarter about crafting and researching target terms that might be deemed too mid or upper funnel for an SEM campaign.
The goal of search retargeting is to take users at that stage in their decision-making and drive them to a specific advertiser or product. That means driving them down the funnel, and the right keywords can be the right fuel for the journey.
When you’re surfing the web and spot targeted ads based on your prior searches, it’s a jarring reminder that someone — companies, websites and search engines — is following your digital footsteps.
They are also following the money. The volume of personal digital data available is transforming everyday commerce, particularly marketing and advertising.
Companies want to engage and interact with you through multiple platforms that can include emails, mobile devices, social media and online video — and even use that new data trove to spawn new forms such as junk mail. They want you to linger, get to know your likes and dislikes and offer more targeted promotions.
In fact in four years, advertisers will spend $77 billion on digital interactive marketing — as much as they do on TV today, according to research firm Forrester.
With so much money at stake, it’s no wonder companies are retooling how they use metrics and analytics to achieve business goals. Other industries including financial services and health care are also working to capitalize on the data boom.
“In the span of just a couple of years, how we think about customer data has really changed,” says Fatemeh Khatibloo, senior analyst at Forrester, who specializes in customer intelligence, privacy and personal data issues.
The fast-changing industry is breeding startups, which are remaking existing models and platforms to lure more and more venture capital.
Naturally, the volume of personal information has privacy activists concerned about opaque companies and governments potentially abusing their power. Just a year ago in Egypt, then-President Hosni Mubarak shut down Internet access before his government began a crackdown on political protesters.
Lest you think the issue is confined to nondemocratic governments run by despots, protests erupted in January over anti-piracy legislation in the U.S. Congress.
Buying, Selling Your Personal Data
As individual consumers navigate the digital world, the advertising and marketing industry is busy maximizing the growing volume of online metrics and analysis.
Of course the exchange and use of customer user data have been around for decades. What’s changed is the depth of data gathered, and how far and quickly that information is being sold and shared among businesses.
“People have less understanding of what’s going on and how their information is being shared,” says Rebecca MacKinnon, an expert on global Internet policy.
In the next three years, consumers will likely see even more targeted promotions like those of Groupon [GRPN 18.50 0.22 (+1.2%) ], and mobile and video advertising, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group report on the evolution of online-user data.
For example, Time Warner Cable [TWC 81.23 -0.08 (-0.1%) ] allows some home-based customers to download videos from the cable operator. That kind of individual-use data gives advertisers more pointed digital advertising opportunities.
“It’s clear to everyone that the ability to understand more about an individual’s behavior pattern creates a huge amount of value,” says John Rose, a senior partner at BCG and co-author of the report.
Another trend is the emergence of a secondary market for buying and selling user profiles.
For example, if you visit a travel website and book a hotel room, that site can then sell your user profile to an ad network, according to the BCG report. Then the next time you visit a site supported by that ad network, surprise! You’ll get a hotel advertisement based on your prior web activity.
Health Care, Financial Services
Digital consumer intelligence is re-imagining other industries, including health care and financial services.
Managed health-care company Kaiser Permanente, for example, has about 3 million registered users on its website. Members schedule appointments, share data with healthcare providers and receive updates on appointments and prescription refills.
Forrester’s Khatibloo sees more health-care companies following Kaiser Permanente, partly because of the broad move to electronic medical records.
“I haven’t had a doctor take notes in a file folder in two years. All of my data is already online,” she says.
Consumers are also migrating toward financial management websites like Mint.com, which features 5 million registered users, according to Forrester. The site offers a single stop for banking, investments and credit data.
Looking ahead, Khatibloo sees the emergence of personal data lockers that store consumer information and can be linked to multiple retailers, banks and other businesses.
The idea is to create a simpler digital life. For example, when you buy a car, the purchase, registration and insurance paperwork will be connected online to make your life easier.
Data lockers may also potentially shift the onus of data security to consumers from businesses. But Khatibloo argues in the new digital landscape, responsibility for data security will be shared by individuals and companies.
Businesses “are still responsible for keeping data secure. They’re still not off the hook,” she says.
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
Google, on Tuesday, was awarded a patent for “advertising based on environmental conditions.” In other words, Google has patented the technique of using environmental factors gathered through a device’s sensors to target ads at users.
“When determining what ads to serve to end users, the environmental factors can be used independently or in combination with matching of keywords associated with the advertisements and keywords in user search queries,” the patent reads.
“A web browser or search engine located at the user’s site may obtain information on the environment (e.g., temperature, humidity, light, sound, air composition) from sensors. Advertisers may specify that the ads are shown to users whose environmental conditions meet certain criteria.”
So Google can now deliver targeted ads to users based on their surrounding environment. For example, the patent notes, temperature information gathered by a phone’s sensors can be used to flash ads for air conditioners (if temperatures exceed a certain thresholds), or winter coats (if the temperatures fall below a certain benchmark).
Sensor info isn’t the only environmental information Google wants to analyze with the patent. Google also wants to analyze background information:
“An audio signal that includes a voice instruction from a user of the remote device can be received, and the environmental condition can be determined based on background sounds in the audio signal,” the patent reads.
In other words, if you’re at a sports event and you call GOOG-411 for info about a nearby restaurant, Google will be able to identify the sporting event based on background noise heard through the handset’s microphone, and ads related to fans of that sport will be pumped to your phone.
A new article from eMarketer about QR codes and their slow but continuous integration into marketing programs.
Half of smartphone users have now scanned a QR code at least once, according to research from Chadwick Martin Bailey, but findings suggest marketers have still not proven their value to consumers.
As QR codes pop up in more places, awareness of them is growing, and many users seem to learn what they do before learning what they are called. Chadwick Martin Bailey found that while just 21% of internet users surveyed had heard of QR codes before, more than four in five knew one when they saw one.
QR codes are becoming hard to miss, even for those without a smartphone. Data from mobile marketing firm Nellymoser indicates that well over 90% of the top 100 magazines in the US have featured at least one mobile barcode since May 2011; as recently as November 2010, just 9% had. The proportion of ad pages in those magazines that now feature mobile barcodes hovers around 5%.
That doesn’t even touch on the presence of QR codes in outdoor advertising, in-store signage and packaging, or business cards—all among the top places smartphone users have scanned QR codes from, according to Chadwick Martin Bailey. With QR codes seemingly all around them, smartphone users’ top reason to scan one was out of simple curiosity (46%), followed by the hope for more information (41%).
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
Another great article on the effects that technology on online marketing.
The number of paid search clicks being made by tablet and smartphone users has soared over the last six months, new figures show. Mobile and tablet users accounted for ten per cent of all US search ad clicks in the fourth quarter of last year, representing a doubling in click share since Q3.
Furthermore, the research from Marin Software, shows the click through rate (CTR) of search ads served on tablets was 38 per cent higher than the CTR of ads on desktops. The US Online Advertising Report is made of key findings from the firm’s Global Online Advertising Index, which is itself comprised of data from more than 1,000 large advertisers and agencies.
“In Q4 2011, we saw paid search marketers allocate a larger portion of budgets to mobile devices than ever before,” said Matt Lawson, vice-president of marketing and partnerships at Marin Software.
“Given the favourable performance characteristics of mobile advertising today, we expect this trend to continue as advertising dollars begin to chase consumer behaviour.”
However, research from Econsultancy has shown that 70 per cent of firms have not optimised their website for tablet and smartphone use, while 84 per cent are not designing marketing emails for mobile.
The Marin Software report also found that across Google, Yahoo! and Bing, paid search spend increased 35 per cent, while click volume increased 56 per cent. Most importantly for brands using mobile advertising, CTR increased 23 per cent and cost per click (CPC) decreased 14 per cent during Q4 2011 compared to the same period a year ago.
According to the authors: “The combination of improving CTRs and declining CPC, point to significant efficiency gains for advertisers over the past year.”
In addition, search advertisers on Google saw a 48 per cent increase in clicks compared to last year, without an accompanying increase in impressions. CTR on Google also increased 48 per cent, while CPC decreased seven per cent. The authors say this suggests large-scale advertisers were able to realise “efficiency gains through improved matching and more effective bidding”.
Mashable posted another great article about marketing trends for 2012.
As new technologies emerge that seek to bridge the real world with the digital, the offline-to-online marketing learning curve only gets steeper.
For instance, what is the future of the QR code, and should we prepare to be wowed by augmented reality? Read on for my mobile marketing predictions of 2012.
The Good: We’ll witness the disappearance of non-standard formats, an exponential rise in capable mobile devices, and a steady march toward improved calls-to-action spurred by more accountable analytics.
The Bad: Even though the arrival of native QR scanning in Android and/or iOS would be a boon for mainstream adoption, the move would elbow out increasingly popular third-party scanning apps and draw the ire of developers.
The Ugly: Overwhelmed by the variety of QR uses in marketing campaigns, bad “carpenters” keep blaming their tools, and repeat simple mistakes that disappoint many first-time consumer scanners.
Whether you love or hate QR codes, they’ll become progressively more ubiquitous and useful as they mature from hype to marketing line item.
The Good: Thanks to the exponential rise of capable mobile devices, a few AR campaigns will successfully break through to capture mainstream imaginations. And despite the highly proprietary nature of most AR, efforts like Aurasma‘s will continue striving to build scalable platforms.
The Bad: Similar to QR’s initial reception, the wider availability of easy AR creation tools will result in many more uninspired efforts, disappointing first-time users. The situation is further exacerbated by the broad definition of what “augmented reality” is and by uncertain consumer expectations.
The Ugly: The challenge of consistently retaining consumer attention beyond initial novelty (especially if a leading provider doesn’t emerge) threatens to relegate AR marketing to a modern flop.
In the absence of a dominant AR mobile marketing app, a plurality of contenders will fight to attain precious network effects, all the while searching for the “sticky” use cases and supporting performance metrics that result in repeat usage.
The Good: Even though mobile wallets have held the spotlight, competition among providers hastens hardware penetration for mobile marketing opportunities, like the ability to swap SIM cards for NFC in lieu of upgrading one’s entire device. Early campaigns will appear in tandem with QR codes.
The Bad: Total NFC mobile penetration will remain below critical mass for mainstream deployments, constraining good campaigns to tightly focused areas, while exposing poorly conceived campaigns with less reach to critical scorn.
The Ugly: As competition escalates among mobile wallet hopefuls like Google Wallet, ISIS, and their respectively exclusive carriers, cross-compatibility of NFC standards across mobile devices will be threatened.
The competitive landscape of mobile payments in 2012 will play a large role in either accelerating or forestalling NFC’s mobile marketing future.
Mobile advertising is continuously growing as more people use smart phones and depend on their mobile phones for just about every source of entertainment. As mobile advertising grows and matures, it seems to be undergoing the same evolution that online advertising once went through as well. However, it seems that mobile advertising is going through such an evolution at an accelerate rate, much faster than online advertising.
One of the recent developments has been a launch of private advertisement exchanges which help publishers work with some of the top brand advertisers and create an arena in which both parties are able to do business with one another.
Medialets, a mobile media advertising firm, is launching Medialets Private Marketplace, which is a platform that allows advertisers to plan out and buy from the collection of top publishers off of the Midealets’ services instead of having to go toward the traditional advertising networks instead. This marketplace was designed with convenience in mind because it makes it easier for those who buy ads to purchase certain impressions and know exactly where their advertisements will be placed.
In the meantime, publishers will have the opportunity to sell much more of their inventory, aside from direct sales and they will still have control over which brands they plan to buy. The publishers will be able to set a specific price for impression and make sure they are associated with some of the top quality brands. At least 40 premium publishers are already signed up on Medialets Private Marketplace with plans of selling inventory.
The CEO of Medialets, Eric Litman, has said, “The intent is this helps publisher hold onto the value of their inventory better because inventory is fully transparent to buyers. Advertisers know they’re buying on one publication as opposed to another, and it allows publications to distinguish themselves rather than being aggregated.”
During the month of December, Nexage managed to launch a private advertisement exchange for mobile which is supposed to help the premium publishers with selling inventory and selecting certain brand advertisers. Because private mobile advertisement exchanges are taking place, it shows that mobile advertising is definitely maturing and growing. Online advertising tools are being easily utilized for mobile advertising as well.
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
Another great article from Search Engine Watch, about the use of tablets. If you are considering online marketing, or are currently involved in online marketing, think about the platforms that you need consider in your online marketing program.
New data suggests that tablet computers are changing the way we search, shop, and play online. If you advertise on AdWords, more and more of your prospects will be finding you via iPads and other tablets. To reach and influence these prospects, you need to understand when, where and how they use the Internet – and adjust your advertising strategies to accommodate them.
Google search data released in September, 2011 shows that search volume on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers varies by time of day. As tablets gain in popularity to become our “third screen”, our browsing habits on smartphones and desktops shifts to accommodate the new medium.
Desktops are used predominantly during business hours. Usage rises at 9am and falls at 6pm, with a small spike around 8pm. Smartphone usage increases throughout the day, spiking during the morning and evening commute and in the evening. Tablets get a rest during the day, but are used intensively in the evening.
The Google Mobile Ads team then conducted and reported the results of a 2-week-long diary study that explored how, when, and where users interacted with their tablets. The unsurprising punch line: tablets are overwhelmingly for for personal use.
But that’s not the only difference. Tablets appear to be the ultimate multi-task device, with over 40% of tablet use coinciding with some other activity like watching TV, cooking, eating, and even getting dressed (thankfully, the published study did not get into personal hygiene or amorous activities).
During the week, tablet use tends to be “short burst”; checking email, playing a game, and watching YouTube “video snacks”, to borrow Vidsense.com CEO Jaffer Ali’s memorable phrase. On weekends, the activities expand to fit the larger chunks of free time: watching whole movies and TV shows.
Tablets are not as mobile as mobile phones outside the home; most respondents report leaving their tablets at home when they go to work (tablets do go on vacations and business trips, however).
Within the home, tablets seem to follow us everywhere; the couch, the kitchen, the table, the bedroom. Respondents listen to music and search (for recipes?) in the kitchen. They check email on the couch and in bed, and Facebook everywhere but the kitchen.
More and more consumers are using tablets as “real world interface devices”; browsing and shopping online, searching for local businesses, and managing finances. Almost 20% of tablet-based activities are also carried out on desktops and smartphones, suggesting that the search funnel has just become hyper-dimensional. A consumer might begin browsing on their desktop and complete the purchase on their tablet in the privacy and convenience of their living room.
If you advertise on Google, assume that your prospects are seeing your ads on tablets as well as desktops and phones. If you’re running campaigns according to Google’s default settings, you’re already showing ads on all three devices so you can see actual data for each device.
From the All Campaigns view in AdWords, click the Segment button and select Device from the drop-down list:
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
ComScore released its latest mobile subscriber market share report for November. What it shows is that Android continued to gain (3.1 share points vs. August). But so did the iPhone, likely powered by sales of the iPhone 4S. All other platforms lost ground.
Android handsets now represent nearly 47 percent of the US smartphone market, while the iPhone is just under 30 percent. The comScore data doesn’t reflect iPod Touch or iPad devices.
The firm also said that 39 percent of the US mobile population owned smartphones. This stands in contrast to Nielsen’s 44 percent estimate, which puts the actual number at more than 100 million people.
What’s perhaps most interesting, however, about the data in the report is the fact that it shows (I believe for the first time) more people used apps than used the mobile browser.