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This social networking thing is gonna be big, man. Really big. Bigger than email.
A confirmation of the absolute "big bang" expansion theory of social networks came from Nielsen Online today. Its "Global Faces and Networked Places" report shows that by the end of 2008, 66.8 percent of internet users across the globe accessed “member communities” last year, compared to 65.1 percent for email.
Digital marketing will get a few disruptions in the near future, according to this version of Razorfish's Digital Outlook Report.
While most of the press attention has gone to the agency's bullish outlook on social media (surprise, surprise), the warm fuzzies stopped there. Consider the following predictions from Razorfish analysts and executives:
A study into the returns processes of 100 online retailers in the UK has found that returning goods bought online is becoming more difficult for customers.
When it comes to allowing customers to return goods without hassle, some retailers have a lot to learn, with five making it virtually impossible for shoppers to return goods.
Having looked at the use of Twitter by charities in the UK, and being impressed by number of organisations that have used it to promote their causes, I've decided to take a look at how many retailers are using the service.
There are some great examples of companies using Twitter in the US; Zappos has used it to communicate with customers and for marketing purposes, while Dell says it has made $1m in sales from using Twitter.
So how many UK retailers have signed up for a Twitter account?
Apple's iPhone is responsible for the vast majority of mobile internet browsing, but Google's Android, and Blackberry are beginning to pick up their share of the market.
Mobile web browsing as a percentage of total web browsing is also growing, and currently stands at 0.72%. Sales of smartphones accounted for a quarter of US mobile sales in Q4, while O2 recently announced that it had sold 1m iPhones in the UK, so this trend looks set to continue.
Maybe consumers really do want to read about toothpaste, paper towels, and soda. A new study from ROI Research and Epsilon claims that 62 percent of customers that receive permission- based emails are influenced by those emails, and 75 percent have read company or brand content as a direct result.
The survey was conducted in mid-October and measured 1,517 people. Not exactly a statistically projectable dynamo, (and it is, after all, sponsored) but even if half the numbers are on the money they are significant. They support the continued effectiveness of permission-based email, and they support the concept that content will attract consumer attention, which will increase engagement and then purchase intent.
Shop online and help end global warming? In this era of acute environmental awareness, that could be a powerful value proposition for etailers. Particularly with data to back up the claim.
Buy that gizmo online rather than drive to the all and you'll burn 35 percent less energy, finds a just-released Carnegie Mellon University Green Design Institute study.
The economy may be pushing prices lower, but when it comes to brand loyalty consumers still aspire to lofty expectations. That's the conclusion of the latest BrandKeys customer loyalty survey and it could portend a strategy change in internet marketing for brands that are trying to hold the high ground.
Brand value, according to BrandKeys CEO Robert Passikoff, means a lot more than brand pricing. The just-released index says that consumer expectations regarding brand value went up 20% this year versus last.
Is 90 percent of your online ad campaign invisible to your target audience? Nonsense.
Online advertising is all about razor-sharp targeting. Responsible advertisers and agencies stake their reputations and livliehoods on their ability to send the right message to the right person at the right time.
Except when they don't.
Can you hear me now? Probably.
Over 60 percent of the world's citizens have a cell phone. That's a lot of gadgets in a whole lot of hands. This very significant increase in penetration is largely due to mobile phone adoption in poor and developing countries. As recently as seven years ago, less than 15 percent of the world's population had cell phones.
We're looking at more than 4X growth in mobile subscriptions since 2002, when there were about one billion mobile subscriptions globally. By the end of last year, there were an estimated 4.1 billion subscriptions.
Worldwide Internet usage more than doubled in the same period. Currently, c. 23 percent of the population goes online, up from only 11 percent in 2002. But the poorer the country, the further that number drops. Only about 5 percent of Africans went online in 2007.
Some of the UK's top online retailers have made improvements to the accessibility of their websites over the last 12 months, with Boots and John Lewis the top performers in a Webcredible study.
The average accessibility score increased from 57% to 62%, but some online retailers' scores have slipped since last year, and there is still plenty of room for improvement.
It's not all doom and gloom when it comes to ad spend forecasts. The Kelsey Group is bullish on local mobile advertising over the next five years.
OK, so we've all heard this year will be "the year of mobile" for seemingly as long as "next year in Jerusalem" has been intoned at Passover seders. Nevertheless, Going Mobile: The Mobile Local Media Opportunity makes some interesting predictions.
US mobile ad revenues are predicted to grow from $160 million last year to $3.1 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate of 81.2 percent.
Kelsey splits ad spend into three distinct categories: display, search and SMS messaging. Last year, $21 million was spent on display; $39 million on search, and $100 million on SMS.
By 2013, search will reign supreme, according to the report, accounting for $2.3 billion in spending. Mobile display ads will account for $567 million, with SMS advertising accounting for $270 million in spending.
Other interesting findings include these tidbits: