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The way we search for things is changing. We don’t use keywords on their own anymore; we ask questions of Google in a more conversational way.
Google is getting better at understanding the context of what we’re looking for, and developments like Knowledge Graph and enhanced campaigns are a direct result of that contextual understanding.
As a result, what advertisers do in AdWords is changing too.
If Facebook is to ever rival Google's dominance in the online advertising market, many believe that the world's largest social network will need to figure out how to take advantage of its treasure trove of user data.
That treasure trove includes significant amounts of personal information that users have provide about themselves, and it grows by the day as users upload and tag photos, share content with their friends and 'Like' brand Facebook Pages.
A business can't survive and thrive without customers, but when it comes to understanding customers, many companies feel like there's a huge gap between what they know and what they need and want to know.
In fact, companies "are desperate to understand more about their customer" according to Yesmail Interactive president Michael Fisher.
Amazon may be the world's online consumer retail giant, but don't let that fool you: the company isn't content with being the Walmart of the web.
Already, Amazon has become a leading player in the cloud computing space, and in 2013, it's coming to Madison Avenue, perhaps in a big way.
Some investors and analysts are increasingly bullish on Facebook's prospects for solving the social networking monetization riddle, something reflected in the recent increase in the company's share price.
Assuming that they're right, one thing remains to be seen: what Facebook's cash cow will be. One thing is not in question, however: there is no shortage of monetization ideas the company could conceivably pursue.
With consumers posting countless pieces of content each and every day on popular social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it's no surprise that much of the attention of the social media ecosystem has been focused on 'real-time.'
But for brands trying to reach consumers on these platforms, is there room for a back-to-the-future approach?
Amazon is the master of online retailing, and is proving that it's capable of making it easy for consumers to find and buy whatever they're looking for across digital channels.
But don't let Amazon's ecommerce dominance fool you: the company's ambitions extend well beyond simply selling product. Increasingly, the company is looking to take advantage of its position to extend its reach into new markets, including, now, advertising.
How Facebook will make the type of money it needs to make to satisfy Wall Street is yet to be determined, but one thing is certain: if Facebook is going to make the type of money it needs to make to satisfy Wall Street, mobile will have to be a big part of it.
Facebook's mobile usage has skyrocketed in the past year, and the common wisdom is that Facebook will have to find a way to monetize its users on mobile. But capitalizing on the mobile opportunity may not fully require Facebook to monetize them directly.
Big news recently from Facebook: companies can now link their customer data, including phone numbers and email addresses to those provided by people on Facebook.
It mightn’t seem like much, but this move, initially for ad targeting only, could be huge.
For advertisers obsessed with racking up 'Likes' on the world's largest social network, reality can be harsh: not every consumer you're targeting is going seek you out and like you on Facebook.
So what are advertisers to do? Facebook may have the answer.
Before the advent of the internet and mobile phones, if you wanted to "reach out and touch someone" it often meant picking up the telephone.
Today, despite the fact that we have more ways to communicate than ever, many companies continue to pick up the phone in hopes that the person they're reaching out and touching will eventually become a customer. In fact, although it may be one of the least sexy marketing channels, telemarketing is for some companies still one of the most effective direct marketing techniques employed.
Between Facebook and Twitter, marketers have access to hundreds of millions of consumers around the world.
That, for obvious reasons, has helped make social media one of the hottest areas for marketing investment in the past several years.
But social media marketing isn't without its challenges. Audience doesn't always equate to reach, and reach doesn't always produce ROI.