Social networks continue to grow, and increasingly they're becoming a core part of Americans' online lives. This according to a just-released Experian study rife with interesting numbers, but also with misleading terminology surrounding consumer social media habits, most notably the loaded (and misapplied) term "addiction".
Recession? What recession? Online customers are searching for luxury brands, spending more on them and buying them faster than they were a year ago.
These finding come from an 18 month study of Range Online Media's 424 luxury retail brand clients. The study looks at impressions, clicks, click through rate, CPC, cost, revenue, orders, conversion rates and average order value for the period ranging from November 2008 through April 2010.
Online news sites may get fewer impressions, but they command the highest online advertising CPM, according to data just released by comScore's Ad Metrix. The average online newspaper
site CPM was $7 in April, higher than each of the other top site categories and
nearly three times the $2.52 average CPM for the total U.S. internet.
These hardnumbers underscore more concretly findings released simultaneously by the Online Publishers Association. In a report entitled "A Sense of Place: Why Environments Matter," the OPA, in conjunction with Harris Interactive, finds higher consumer trust and loyalty to content sites as compared to portals and social media sites.
We caught up with Hsieh to find out how e-commerce has changed since he founded Zappos 11 years ago, and why companies should be fearless about social media and infusing their organizations with strong corporate values.
It seems all anyone's talking about in terms of online policy these days is Facebook's privacy kerfluffle. Which is kind of a big deal, but small potatoes, really, when compared to the really big, burning, important issue of the day: net neutrality.
This critical issue may not be at the forefront of news, opinion columns and debate in the media, but the fact that digital marketers and e-commerce providers are ignoring it is as baffling as it is inexcusable. The major broadband providers: Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner want to tax content providers. They want to determine what sites their subscribers can access, and how quickly - giving priority, of course, to their own products and services.
Last year, Google generated $54 billion of economic activity for American businesses, website publishers
and non–profits. That's according to a study released today by the search giant, which has embarked upon a campaign to show Google is not only creating value for Google, but for American businesses, the economy, and job-seekers as well.
And now that Google is an active presence on Capital Hill, it's a move doubtless calculated to portray the company as an economic engine to lawmakers, too, as privacy regulation activity comes slowly into focus. Google is telling its story through the stories of its small business advertisers - a tactic adopted by the IAB in its recent lobbying efforts as well. To underscore the political motivation behind the study, Google breaks down, on a state-by-state basis, which politicians are leveraging Google to communicate with constituents. For example, in New Jersey they name Governor Chris Christie and 11 state Senators and Representatives who communicate with constituents through official YouTube channels.
Still running focus groups? How very 20th century. An increasing number of organizations have moved consumer research online. Major brands including Godiva, ABC Studios, InterContinental Hotels, and Kodak, are conducting both qualitative and quantitative research digitally in private online communities. Sometimes, these initiatives extend offline as well, but the web is the core of the initiative.
We caught up with Joe Stauble who runs corporate strategy and market research for Mercedes-Benz USA to learn more about how the company is leveraging two online communities: Generation Benz, launched in 2008 and comprised of Gen Y consumers; and Mercedes Benz Advisors, a community of 1,795 baby boomers. Both community platforms were built by Passenger.
Foursquare is on a roll. It's got heathly user adoption and very desirable demos, a growing roster of major brands who want to team up for promotions, and plenty of love from the media (not to mention endless speculation about potential suitors?
Now, the white-hot location-based social service is facing problems very much in keeping with the ones Twitter faced at this stage in its development: scale. A word that rhymes with both "fail" and "whale", perhaps the most infamous error page in recent internet memory, and an emblem of how difficult it can be for small start-ups to keep up with rapid growth.
If you're a local merchant with a bricks-and-mortar presence, it's time to kiss the yellow pages goodbye. There's no longer any excuse for not having a web presence or for ignoring digital marketing. Eighty-two percent of people use search engines to find information about local businesses - more than any other media. Even if you don't have a website (you should, but that's another story), there are six sites no local business can afford to ignore.
Not only is getting listed dead simple, it's a great leveler. If you own a pizza place, you can compete head-to-head with national chains like Dominos. Hardware? Go up against Home Depot and Lowes. You get the idea.
Claiming your business and getting listed and on all five of the Big Six should only take an hour or so (though most require you wait for a postcard or phone call o verify that you are who you say you are). Once you've enlisted, and taken advantage of some of the special features these sites offer (mostly for free), you'll reap many advantages. You'll have a presence in organic search results, not only on the web, but also on mobile platforms.
You can offer special deals and inducements to lure new business, you can encourage positive reviews and, to a degree, manage your online reputation. You can precisely map your location and help people to find it, and broadcast your hours of operation. And you'll have access to analytics that can inform you of the keywords used to find your business, the time of day people search for you and other data that can help improve your online presence, offers and advertising and promotional campaigns.
With a near-zero investment of time and money, there's absolutely no excuse to not get started with The Big Six.