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As always, there was lots of comment-worthy developments in the world of digital marketing this year.
Here's my summation of 2013 in quotes, from changes at Google, to acquisitions and mergers, and developments across social networks.
Got other quotes worthy of inclusion? Do leave them in the comments section below.
Real Madrid, and its marketing, is very much in the news at the moment, with the club in talks with Microsoft to rename the Bernabeu stadium, on the back of the €100m mega-signing of Gareth Bale.
I thought I’d take a glance at Real Madrid’s activities in digital, to see whether it is indeed a Galáctico, or merely a pececillo (or minnow).
In May of this year, Forbes judged Real Madrid, despite being the world’s richest club, to be the third biggest brand in the world of football, with a brand value of £409m.
This was significantly behind Manchester United in second, whose social media presence we’ve previously identified on this blog as on the right track but nascent. So how does Madrid compare?
Is the club as successful online as in broader business? Are the digital assets of the club as good as its rivals?
Before we get into it, it's worth noting that we should perhaps expect the club to demonstrate best practice, as it has its own graduate school that runs a masters course in sports marketing.
Social commenting is hot, to the tune of $15m as evidenced by the latest funding round from LiveFyre, a dominant player in the space. This brings the startup’s total funding to $21m.
What exactly do the platforms LiveFyre and their competitor Disqus bring to your website or blog? Is one better than the other in any given area? Should comments even be “real-time” and “social?”
I did a bit of my own investigating, and these results are by no means scientific or conclusive.
I'd love to hear member thoughts (yes use our web 1.0 commenting system) if anyone out there has been using one or the other on their website for extended time and has feedback to share!
Against recent years’ difficult economic background, consumer buying behavior has changed dramatically, leading to an increase in customer acquisition costs via “traditional marketing”.
Today’s buying journey is more accurately represented by a walk of multiple paths as opposed to the still used but now outdated “purchase funnel”.
Today’s purchase journey combines in-store visits; research conducted online and via mobile web, search queries, visits to comparison websites, visits to brand and retail websites; and, critically, consulting trusted reference sources such as customer reviews and the opinions of friends and family.
Dominos has invested in the mobile channel in the UK over the past couple of years, and this has paid off, with £10m of sales generated by the iPhone app alone in eight months.
Now the pizza firm is following the launch of mobile sites and apps for Android and iPhone with an iPad version.
Following on from a successful iPhone app, Auto Trader released a version for the iPad last week.
The launch is in response to growing levels of traffic on autotrader.co.uk from Apple's tablets. In the last six months, traffic from these devices has grown by 133%.
I've been checking the new iPad app out...
Viator released a tours and activities apps for the iPhone and iPad this week, as the company aims to tap into the growing mobile commerce market.
I've been trying the app out...
The Economist recently launched a free iPad version of Intelligent Life, its quarterly lifestyle and culture magazine.
The user experience offered by many magazine apps has been the subject of criticism recently, with many resembling 'an interactive CD-Rom from the 90s'.
Publishers' iPad apps need to provide a credible and usable alternative to print editions, as well as adapting to the platform, if they are going to become successful. So, does the Intelligent Life do this?
Department store retailer House of Fraser has added another element to its multichannel strategy with a new mobile website, which has been optimised for a range of devices.
The mobile site has been developed by Usablenet, also behind the mobile sites of Tesco, M&S and John Lewis.
I've been trying the new mobile site...
Shopping comparison and review site Ciao announced a new and improved mobile site last week, which aims to capitalise on the increased usage of smartphones.
Ciao has experienced a 200% rise in mobile visitors over the last 15 months, so it makes sense to cater for this growing mobile audience.