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The websites of some of the UK's budget airlines are some of the worst to use, with four of them scoring 50% or less for usabilty, with Ryanair coming last with just 41%.
This is the verdict of Webcredible's Flights Online study, which looks at the websites of 20 airlines and travel agents in the UK. British Airways topped the table with 71%, closely followed by Expedia and Virgin Atlantic on 70%.
Econsultancy's third annual UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report was released last week; it profiles the UK search marketing environment, and covers paid search, SEO and social media.
One of the trends uncovered by the report, produced in association with Guava, is that social media is becoming a bigger part of the marketing mix, with 91% of search agencies already offering, or else planning to offer, advice and services to clients on how to make the most of social media.
Though online retail sales are still on the up, new figures from IMRG suggest that this growth may be slowing, as sales in March grew by 19%, less than the same month in 2008.
These are still encouraging figures in a recession though, and it shows the strength of the online retail sector; e-commerce offerings have improved in the last few years, while more shoppers recognise that the internet is the place to find value for money.
Last week, Easynet Connect commissioned a study of UK SMEs in order to try and gauge the impact that the recession has had upon online strategy in this sometimes overlooked, but important, area of UK industry.
Video and mobile search, as well as marketers' increased willingness to pay a premium for behavioral targeting and mobile search, are going to propel the search industry forward, according to the 2008 State of the Market survey of advertisers and agencies by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO).
Seventy-five percent of the 890 search engine advertisers and SEM agencies SEMPO polled say they'd pay more for clicks behaviorally targeted to in-market consumers. On average, advertisers say they'd pay 10 percent more for dayparted and demographic segmenting, and 13 percent more for behavioral search targeting.
Almost 20% of email marketers in the US have no idea on the results of their campaigns as they are neglecting to track ROI, according to a new survey.
This echoes the findings of Econsultancy's recent Email Marketing Industry Census, which found that 42% of companies surveyed didn't know what kind of return they were getting from their email marketing efforts.
It's commonly accepted in the online publishing world that internet users don't like ads. While 'hate' might be strong word, it's hard to argue that advertising is an internet user's best friend.
For publishers relying on ads to pay the bills, that usually means one thing: striking an appropriate balance. Enough ads to pay the bills, not so many ads that your users 'hate' you.
Neuromarketing. Neurometrics. In-store shopper insights. There's a lot to like about the bleeding edge of ecommerce these days, but the cold reality is this: it's time for basic internet marketing block-and-tackling strategies.
So many observers and front-line retailers are truly excited about this period of time that it is completely forgivable to race ahead with technology. Research about how consumers perceive and then buy that's coming to the fore from people like Paco Underhill is compelling, and new customer behavior data from companies like Nielsen and Microsoft is brilliant. All the in-store technology that will blend the in-store experience with the online experience needs to be quickly adopted. But let's face it. The bankruptcies and inconsistent discounts happening offline are creating a unique opportunity online. We see four very predictable ways to take advantage:
Growth forecasts for 2009 continue to be revised. Emarketer, following on the heels of the IAB's tentative outlook on 2009, has taken its internet ad spend projection down to 4.5 percent. It predicted an 8.9 percent bump last December.
And like the IAB, eMarketer analysts are hailing the projection as a good achievement in a terrible economy. That's for internet spending. On a global, multimedia level today WPP's GroupM revised U.S. spending this year to fall by 4.3 percent in 2009 to approximately $155 billion (versus the 3 percent drop predicted in December) and drop another 6.8 percent to about $144.5 billion next year.
The IAB presented its statistical and philosophical take on 2008 today, and while it tracked some surprising growth numbers it left more than a few questions unanswered for the balance of 2009.
The important numbers: total US internet advertising growth topped 10.6 percent in 2009 when offline media dropped 2.4 percent. The industry crossed the $6 billion plateau for the first time during the fourth quarter of last year, but it came on the heels of the lowest sequential quarter-to-quarter growth rate since 2002. Search was up 10.5 percent over 2007 and the much-maligned category of display ads bounced 8 percent. However, display ads contracted 4 percent in the fourth quarter.
No secret that performance-based advertising is dominating internet marketing. But brands are still trying to find the right mix for all those performance options, email, and a rapidly declining display market.
According to IDC research analyst Caroline Dangson, the display market contracted by 7 percent in Q4 of 2008, and will continue to see decreased spending until the end of this year. With this in mind, several brands are trying to find some balance for all the advertising options available.
Internet marketing analysts are finding more reasons to be cheerful. Presentations at yesterday's CPL Summit in New York supported the recent theme that conditions for a second half surge are starting to take shape.
The summit, sponsored by Pontiflex, focused on differing approaches to pay-for-performance advertising. Growth in PPC, search, and pay-per-lead are part of the reasons the second half of 2009 could be brighter than many projections that were revised downward over the past few weeks. Imran Khan, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan, singled out three more reasons for cautious optimism: