Want to hear what’s been going on in the world of digital marketing this week? 

We’ve got your back, and yet another stellar roundup of stats for you to enjoy.

This week’s includes news about Google, travel ads, global internet usage, and lots more to boot. Check out the Internet Statistics Compendium for further statistical goodness.

Google Shopping dominated by its own ads

Last year, the European Commission accused Google of gaining an unfair advantage over other price comparison sites, leading to Google pledging to make changes to allow competitors to bid on equal terms.

However, a study by Searchmetrics suggest that this has made little difference, as it found just 0.4% of the product listing ads (PLA) that appear in desktop searches in UK Google Shopping are from rival comparison services. 

Overall, just 6.1% of Shopping Units include at least one PLA from a competing comparison site. When taking into consideration the fact that many Shopping Units include a carousel of up to 29 PLAs (and some formats can include up to a 100), the overall rate of rival ads is still very limited.

More on Google:

Digital ads play a huge role in travel decisions 

A new report from Phocuswright has revealed how digital media is playing a huge role in travel-related decisions, with 72% of US consumers saying they recall having seen an online ad while planning their last trip. What’s more, over half of travellers who recalled those online ads said they were both helpful and influential. This comes from a survey of over 1,600 US business and leisure travellers in September 2017.

Elsewhere, the report highlights the rise of mobile, as well as the ingrained reliance on desktop for booking. Despite 37% and 43% of travellers having used their smartphone to shop for flights and accommodation respectively, less than half of flight shoppers and slightly more than half of hotel shoppers went on to book on their phones.

For the time being, it seems that travel brands are mirroring this behaviour, with companies allocating under half of their digital marketing budgets to mobile-specific platforms, and the rest still being focused on desktop.

More travel articles:

Number of global internet users surpasses 4bn

The Digital 2018 report from We Are Social and Hootsuite has revealed that the number of internet users in the world has surpassed the 4 billion mark, putting more than half the global population online. Global social media usage has also increased by 13% in the last 12 months, reaching nearly 3.2 billion users.

Meanwhile, 95% of the UK population now uses the internet, which is an increase of 5% from 2017. Similarly, Brits now spend almost six hours online every day, with a third of that time spent using social media.

The report also found that global growth of the internet is fuelling ecommerce, with 1.77 billion internet users purchasing consumer goods online in 2017 - an increase of 8% compared to the previous year. Collectively, consumers spent a total of USD $1.474 trillion on ecommerce platforms in the past 12 months, which is 16% more than in 2016.

Younger children are adopting voice recognition technology

From a survey of more than 2,000 children in schools across the UK, Childwise Monitor has discovered that four in 10 kids aged nine to 16 are already using voice recognition technology.

42% of children aged nine to 16 access voice recognition gadgets at home - 36% use Apple’s Siri, 20% use Microsoft’s Cortana, 15% use Amazon’s Alexa at home and 7% use Google Assistant.

So, what are this new ‘Alexa generation’ using the tech for? The research suggests that the majority of children use it to search for information, with one in seven typically asking for help with their homework. One in nine ask their digital assistants to play music.

Interestingly, it seems that younger children are more comfortable with the technology than those who are older. Fewer than half of teenagers aged 15 to 16 who have the technology at home say they use it at all – perhaps due to the fact that they haven’t grown up with it (and therefore feel less accustomed). 

More on voice tech:

89% of marketers are prioritising email in 2018

Despite the growing popularity of mobile apps and social media channels, the majority of marketing professionals still view email as primary focus. This news comes from Yes Lifecycle Marketing, who surveyed over 300 marketers to find out their priorities for 2018.

89% of marketers said that email is one of their top three priorities for the year ahead, while 45% ranked it as number one overall. This is likely to be due to proven and somewhat reliable ROI of email marketing. Elsewhere, 71% of marketers ranked website and 56% ranked social media channels as one of their top three priorities for 2018. In comparison, just 27% and 17% of marketers included channels like push notifications and direct mail in the ranking.

Interestingly, just 10% of marketers said they will prioritise the in-store experience in 2018, despite a separate study showing the majority of consumers rank this as influential.

You can read more on how Lush is raising the bar for in-store experience here.

More on email:

Study suggests brands should measure attention

A new study highlighted by Admap suggests that it could be worthwhile for brands to look beyond typical metrics to measure consumer attention.

In a study that used gaze technology to measure the effects of attention, a strong correlation between higher levels of attention and sales was found. In other words, active attention was seen to drive more sales than less conscious levels of passive attention. 

The study also considered whether high-arousal emotions deliver more attention (and therefore the potential for sales). Interestingly, however, this was not the case, as the uplift in sales and attention gained from an ad that generated a positive and high-arousal response was less than that gained from the ad simply being visible. This suggests that while quality is important, overall visibility is crucial.

Top travel ads suggest Brits are keen to holiday at home

4C has revealed the top 10 travel TV ads for January 2018 by measuring each ad in terms of the amount of social conversation it generated. 

Center Parcs and Haven achieved joint fifth place in the ranking, with a TV social lift score of 89%. Additionally, Butlins show a 76% social lift, perhaps suggesting that 2018 will see yet another increase in staycations in the UK.

That being said, bigger airlines still came out on top, with Virgin Holidays topping the list with its “screw it, let’s do it” ad. The brand’s TV spot saw it achieve a TV social lift score of 109%. Elsewhere, Jet2holidays came in at 3rd place with a TV social lift of 103%, while British Airways fared pretty well with a score of 90% - despite the brand suffering from notable controversy throughout 2017.

Interestingly, TUI (formerly Thomson) was entirely absent from the list, suggesting that its recent rebrand failed to connect with consumers.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 2 February, 2018 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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