IDG Enterprise via Mashable has some very telling numbers about the current state and the future of social media for buisness-to-business firms.
One report found that only 32% of B2B companies engage with their customers on a daily basis via social media. Another discovered that 46% of B2B marketers thought social media was irrelevant. And another found that 60% of B2B firms have no staff dedicated to social media and just 10% of B2B firms use outside agencies or consultants. While the vast majority (86%) of B2B companies use social media for marketing, it’s clear there’s considerable room for improvement.
Increased online investment is one sign of change. Forrester Research is betting that interactive spending will double from 2009 to 2014 to total $54 million. While it’s not clear how much of that money will go into social media, the report was bullish on the new tools provided they’re used correctly.
Wow, only 10% use an outside agency or consultants and 60% have no staff dedicated to social media. Looks like I need to be doing a little more business development in this area.
After months of controversy surrounding wireless companies, the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously on Thursday to launch a wide-ranging probe of the wireless industry.
“We are transitioning from a voice-centric world to a world of ubiquitous, mobile Internet access,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “This transition promises to increase the pace of innovation and investment, but only if we have an open and competitive marketplace that gives every great idea a chance to make its way to consumers so that the best products or services win.”
The investigation, which could pave the way for new regulations, will encompass a variety of matters, including spectrum availability, wireless networks, devices, applications, and business practices. In addition, the FCC said it’s seeking comments about “how the public has used wireless services and technology to solve real-world problems in areas such as health care, energy, education, and public safety.”
Google has opened its Content Network to other ad networks, allowing them to serve up ads. The Mountain View, Calif. company made the move after receiving requests for new ways to generate revenue in AdSense, and gain more control over the ads that appear on sites.
The service will roll out in the coming months as choice networks get certified. The goal of this launch is to increase AdSense publisher revenue by expanding the pool of quality display advertisers, according to a Google spokesperson. Ad networks did not previously participate in the auction. But with this change, Google certified ad networks will compete just as AdWords advertisers do today.
According to Heather Dougherty, Director, Research at Hitwise, Bing Shopping, in the 8 weeks since launch, grew its market share of comparison shopping 169% among key providers in the category.
The report shows that Bing Shopping entered a custom category of 12 Comparison Shopping Tools with an 8th place ranking and 4% of the visits within the category, jumping to 4th place and capturing nearly 11% of visits in the 8th week. As a result, there was a decline in visits to many of the comparison shopping tools.
A whopping 158 million U.S. Internet users — or 80% of the nation’s online population — watched online video in July, according to new data from comScore Video Metrix. A total of 21.4 billion videos were viewed during the month.
The duration of the average online video was 3.7 minutes, while the average online video viewer watched about 500 minutes of video, or 8.3 hours, according to the research company.
In July, Google Sites continued to rank as the top U.S. video property with a record 8.9 billion videos viewed, making up 42% of all videos viewed online. YouTube.com accounted for more than 99% of all videos viewed at the property.
According to a study conducted by Interpret, online video viewing patterns are more spread out during the day than traditional TV patterns, viewed during work and school time.
Jason Kramer, chief strategy officer of Interpret LLC, says that “…. unlike television consumption, which mostly happens during hours of 8 pm to 11 pm, people across all demographics are watching online videos consistently throughout the day and night, with the exception of dinnertime… this fundamental shift in consumer behavior opens up opportunities …. [to] leverage online video to reach target audiences more often than just once a week.”
Smaller online ads may just be more effective than their larger counterparts, a new study by Dynamic Logic found. The study shows that ad shape and placement may be more important than size. Half banners, at 234 x 60, and 180 x 150 rectangles were shown to be more effective than ads that frame the page, like high-profile leaderboards and skyscrapers. It is possible that users no longer see such framing ads because they have developed “banner blindness.”
The study also found that ads which used video had the best results in terms of branding goals such as brand favorability and purchase intent. Video campaigns worked best compared to campaigns using simple Flash (which worked the least well) and rich media without video. This is an issue which needs to be addressed at the agency level, Mallon says, as Flash campaigns are still the most popular with agencies and advertisers.
For the first time, the small and mid-sized businesses using online media for advertising/promotion has eclipsed the percentage using traditional media, reports The Kelsey Group and ConStat. The ongoing Local Commerce Monitor study examines SMBs and how they spend ad and promotional budgets.
Although word of mouth could always make or break a movie, it usually took days to affect the box office. But the rise of social networking tools such as Twitter might be narrowing that time frame to hours. And that has Hollywood on edge.
This summer, movies such as “Brüno” and “G.I. Joe” have had unexpected tumbles at the box office—just within their opening weekends—while “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” survived blistering critical reaction to become a blockbuster.
Box-office watchers say the dramatic swings might be caused by Twitter and other social networking sites that can blast instant raves—or pans—to hundreds of people just minutes after the credits roll.
New comScore figures report Gmail, the web mail service provided by Google, is now the third-largest in the US. In July, it eclipsed AOL Email with 37 million unique visitors to the latter’s 36.4 million. The second-most popular, Windows Live Hotmail, had 47 million visitors the same month.
No. 1 web mail player Yahoo Mail remains safely out of reach of Gmail’s long arm, having served 106 million unique visitors. Unique visitors to Gmail increased 25% so far in 2009; in contrast, unique visit
Advertisers often ask us how conversion rates vary with position. Everyone is aware that higher positions tend to get more clicks and therefore more conversions in total. The question of interest is how does the conversion rate (conversions/clicks) vary with position?
We have used a statistical model to account for these effects and found that, on average, there is very little variation in conversion rates by position for the same ad. For example, for pages where 11 ads are shown the conversion rate varies by less than 5% across positions. In other words, an ad that had a 1.0% conversion rate in the best position, would have about a 0.95% conversion rate in the worst position, on average. Ads above the search results have a conversion rate within ±2% of right-hand side positions.
The bottom line: conversion rates don’t vary much by position.
A year ago and six months ago the Association of National Advertisers polled its members to determine how marketing and advertising budgets were being impacted by the tough economic conditions. ANA repeated the survey again in late July/early August 2009 and found that marketers are still pressured to reduce costs and spending. Today, 87% of the respondents indicate they are identifying cost savings and reductions, the same as one year ago, and only slightly improved from 93% six months ago.
In what marks a dramatic shift away from a mainstream-media approach to public relations, PR hiring managers in the US now say it is nearly as important for prospective hires to have social media savvy as it is for them to have traditional media-relations skills, according to a survey by iPressroom.
The results of the study highlight the growing importance of social media in the PR profession and—with support from support from Korn/Ferry International, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Trendstream – have been compiled into the 2009 Digital Readiness Report, which is free for download.
Search market leader Google holds greater loyalty among its users, who conduct more searches a month than those on Yahoo and Microsoft, new data issued on Friday showed, posing a challenge for the new team of rivals to Google.
While Yahoo and Microsoft lag far behind Google in overall search share, their combined search penetration of 73 percent is not far behind Google, at 84 percent, according to research house comScore, Inc.
Yet Google searchers conduct an average of 54.5 searches a month—about double the number of searches that Yahoo! and Microsoft users conduct combined. They search on average 26.9 times a month, comScore reported.
ComScore also found that Google searchers have the most loyalty, making nearly 70 percent of their searches on Google sites. People who use Yahoo! and Microsoft sites combined search there about 33 percent of the time and also use Google heavily.
Out-of-home ad revenue will climb 4.9% from 2008 to 2013, compared to a 3.3% decline for traditional advertising, with growth driven by digital billboards, out-of-home digital video networks and alternative ambient advertising, which includes guerilla advertising, street teams and other nontraditional approaches.
Digital out-of-home spending will leap 13.2% from 2008 to 2013, and total spending will reach $4.53 billion, up from $2.6 billion this year, according to Media Life. Total out-of-home spending will reach $10.28 billion in 2013.
The marketing, advertising and public-opinion research services industry in the US saw its first drop in inflation-adjusted income in more than 20 years, and early indicators suggest that 2009 will be similarly grim, according to the American Marketing Association (AMA).
The AMA’s Marketing News, which published findings from the Honomichl Top 50 ranking of marketing research firms, reported that US research-industry revenue totaled $18.7 billion in 2008, compared with $17.6 billion in 2007.
Though revenue actually rose 1.6% from 2007 to 2008, adjustment for inflation revealed negative “real growth” of -2.2%, according to Jack Honomichl, who compiled the rankings.
According to a new study by Engine Ready, based on traffic to 26 e-retail sites in a 12-month period that ended June 30, visitors who arrive at a retailer’s site from paid search ads are 50% more likely to buy than those who come from clicking on a natural search link. The conversion rate from paid search is 2.03% versus 1.26% from organic search, according to the study as reported by Internet Retailer.
More than six in 10 (61%) US marketing and advertising executives believe that marketing teams within organizations have greater influence on business decisions now than they did three years ago, in part because of their leading-edge use of social media, according to a survey by the Creative Group.
The number of respondents who think marketing is more influential now compares with 23% who believe marketing professionals hold less sway, the national survey found.
Total US searches increased 5% from June 2009 to July 2009, though Google’s share of the total search market decreased from 66.1% to 64.8%, according to search-share rankings from The Nielsen Company—compiled using a new methodology.
Nielsen reported that online Americans conducted a total of 10.5 billion searches in July 2009, up from 10 billion in June. Despite Google’s loss of overall market share, the number of Google searches grew 3%, from 6.6 billion searches to 6.8 billion.
Just weeks after warning its ad agencies that they needed to “move the needle,” General Motors Co.’s marketing chief Bob Lutz announced an increase in advertising budgets for the automaker’s remaining brands.
Lutz sees a shift in spend from the loss of some of its brands like Hummer and Pontiac back to its core brands, which will be promoted over the main GM name. “No one can buy a GM, anyway. They can buy a Chevy.”
It’s too soon to tell if this will see GM return to its pre-Super Bowl spending levels of this past year, but it does send a signal to agencies on the account that they may not be in as much trouble as once thought.
Internet video-viewing patterns are dramatically different from traditional TV-watching patterns and require a different approach to advertising and a new model for measuring video engagement online, according to a study conducted by Interpret LLC.
The study—which was commissioned by Yahoo, Havas Digital, Warner Bros. Media Research, and PHD—found that online video viewing patterns are more spread out during the day than TV patterns and online video is more likely to be shared with others. It also suggested that online videos are watched during work and school time.
Marketers continue to be under heavy pressure to reduce costs, and agencies are feeling the squeeze even more than a year ago, confirms the latest recession-driven trends survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).
This time, 87% of respondents indicated that they are focused on cost savings and spending reductions—the same percentage as a year ago, and only a small improvement over the 93% who reported this focus six months ago.
Cost-reduction measures being employed have remained consistent. In the latest survey, 81% reported that they are reducing department travel and expenses; 74% that they are reducing advertising media budgets, 71% that they are challenging agencies to reduce internal expenses and/or identify cost reductions; and 64% that they are reducing advertising production budgets.
The federal government is spending $7.2 billion over the next year to bring better broadband to the masses, a lofty goal by any measure. But the feds are making it loftier than it needs to be in that it has no idea where people without broadband live—which is like planning targeted radiation therapy for a cancer without knowing where the cancer is.
There’s an entire 100-plus-page document noting the rules around who can apply for grants and how those grant applications will be judged. The grant recipients will be judged primarily on whether or not they plan to provide broadband to people who don’t have any. There’s even $350 million set aside to help the government determine who those people are, but there’s no way it will figure that out by Friday—which is when the first round of broadband grant applications are due.
General Motors is launching its own eBay Motors microsite for California consumers to shop Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Pontiac vehicles. The promotion is also the first from an automaker that takes consumers all the way from research to online purchase. The effort, at GM.eBay.com, launches Tuesday and stays live until September 8. The Detroit automaker says its 250 California dealers were asked to “opt-in” to participate in the program by August 4th; 225 of them are participating, and determine what prices to offer on new-vehicle inventory.
The program allows consumers to negotiate, compare prices between participating dealerships, and ask questions—just like on a regular eBay site, but without the bidding. Like eBay, consumers have a “Buy It Now” option, as well as a “Best Offer” alternative where they can indicate the price they are willing to pay and negotiate online with the dealer for the vehicle.