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The Beatles once sang, "All you need is love" and thanks to the rise of social media, it's not just humans looking for it. Brands, once largely relegated to communicating with consumers through one-way mediums like television and radio, have flocked to services like Facebook and Twitter in search of long-term relationships.
If the millions of 'Likes' and followers some of them have attracted are any indication, social media could be the foundation of a happy marriage between brands and consumers. But under the surface, this relationship may not be as solid as it appears.
According to Gartner, brands are increasingly turning to paying for positive reviews, 'Likes' and followers on popular social networking sites and by 2014, the research firm estimates that over one in ten of these will be fake.
From infrastructure-as-a-service (Iaas) all the way up to software-as-a-service (SaaS), more and more companies are heading into the cloud.
There are plenty of good reasons. Using a cloud offering can often reduce a company's technology capex, and pay-as-you-go pricing is an attractive proposition for companies burned in the past by large, expensive technology initiatives.
There's a lot of talk about multichannel retail at the moment, and on the surface, most of the largest retailers in the U.S. seem to 'get it'.
But that might not be the case according to Gartner's newly released Multichannel Forecast for the US and the UK report. In fact, providing a seamless, consistent multichannel experience "business as usual" has retailers in the US "struggling" it says.
According to figures released today, Android has doubled its market share of worldwide smartphone sales in Q3 of 2011.
The stats from Gartner show quite astonishing growth, as 52.5% of all smartphones sold in this period were built on the Android OS, up from just over 25% in the same period a year ago.
Mobile applications have taken off in the past several years. Thanks in large part to the rise of the iPhone, millions upon millions of consumers treat their mobiles like computing devices. It's a trend that nobody expects to slow anytime soon.
But despite the rapid growth of mobile apps, when it comes to app sales, there's good news for everyone in the mobile ecosystem: the best is yet to come.
Apple may appear to be on top of the mobile world thanks to the iPhone and iPad. But according to analysts at Gartner, Apple iOS market share will peak at 17.1% in 2011 and drop to 14.9% by 2014.
At the same time, Android, which had just under 4% of the mobile OS market in 2009, will rise significantly this year to become the leading mobile operating system in North America. By 2014, Gartner believes Android will be just about neck and neck globally with Nokia's Symbian OS. Combined, Android and Symbian will have control of approximately 60% of the mobile OS market in 2014, leaving Apple and iOS in the dust.
Last week some of us from Econsultancy US had the pleasure of
traveling to London for the Digital Cream event (the equivalent of
September's Peer Summit
in New York). The day included a short talk on hot topics from the
US perspective. In Part One, we looked at social media in general. This post finishes up with social commerce and email.
Consumers will spend $6.2 billion this year on mobile apps, downloading 4.5 billion times from app stores. Yet eight out of 10 app downloads won't be sold at all, but rather be free to end users. Advertising and marketing will close the revenue gap.
These findings come from Gartner, which forecasts worldwide mobile app downloads will exceed 21.6 billion by 2013. Free downloads will account for 82 per cent of all downloads this year, 87 per cent three years hence.
It's been the year of mobile for about a decade now. But thanks to the iPhone (and other smartphones), it looks like mobile advertising is set to make some actual progress this year.
According to new study by Gartner, mobile ad spending worldwide will grow 74% this year to $913.5 million but not really accelerate until 2011, when advertisers are expected to commit to mobile as part of the digital shift in the ad market.
And what is bringing in the most money in mobile so far? The dreaded banner ad.
One of the most important changes in the world of content management systems over the last few years has been the movement of ownership from IT to business and marketing.
It's increasingly common for businesses to seek out feedback from consumers and their customers, both directly and indirectly. From email surveys to customer reviews to brand monitoring solutions, companies have no shortage of tools to try to find out what customers think of them.
The biggest challenge is collecting the data and analyzing it to gain actionable insights.