While B2B marketers are having some trouble measuring the ROI of their content marketing efforts, they’re fairly clear on which capabilities can best improve the revenue contributions of those efforts. The recently-released 2013 Lenskold Group/Pedowitz Group Lead Gen Marketing Effectiveness Study separated respondents into two groups: those who describe themselves as highly effective and efficient (13% of the sample) and the rest. Both groups were most likely to say that marketing automation systems are responsible for improving content marketing-derived revenues.
Among the highly effective and efficient marketers, 78% pointed to marketing automation systems’ effectiveness in this regard, while 68% said that lead scoring based on content and engagement was responsible for improving content marketing’s revenue contribution. Among the rest of the respondents, those 2 capabilities also ranked atop the list, cited by 54% and 43%, respectively.
This year, 58% of respondents said they use “full-featured marketing automation that is integrated with sales/CRM automation,” a significant uptick from 50% last year. Another 19% use full-featured marketing automation that is not integrated (fairly unchanged from 18% last year), while only 23% aren’t using marketing automation (down from 32% last year).
As expected given the continuing growth of e-commerce, this year’s Cyber Monday set new records, with numerous researchers proclaiming it to be the biggest e-commerce spending day in US history. Data from comScore indicates that retail e-commerce spending from desktop computers alone totaled $1.735 billion, representing a strong 18% increase from last year’s figure, and the biggest single-day total yet by comScore’s tabulations. Meanwhile, Adobe reports that total online sales grew 16% to hit a new high of $2.29 bill! ion.
What’s interesting to note – and what’s sometimes lost in the coverage – is that mobiles, which played such a big role on Thanksgiving weekend, were not as prevalent on Cyber Monday.
According to Adobe, mobile’s 18.3% share of total e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday was a step down from the previous few days, particularly from the 24% average across Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Even so, that 18.3% share of a growing pie means that smartphones ($129 million) and tablets ($290 million) together accounted for $419 million in sales.
Adobe notes that consumers seemed more comfortable shopping from their computers on Cyber Monday, and data from IBM supports that conclusion. IBM’s data demonstrates that mobile shopping did grow significantly from last year – with traffic increasing by 45% to 31.7% share of all online traffic, and total sales growing by 55.4% year-over-year to surpass 17% share. But, mobile’s share of traffic was down 20% from Black Friday while its share of sales was down 21%.
Finally, ChannelAdvisor data indicates that mobile’s share of traffic on Cyber Monday (32.4%) was down from Black Friday (39.6%), as was mobile’s share of orders (21% vs. 27%).
Mobile commerce is undoubtedly on the rise, and mobile devices are an increasingly important touch point for retailers. According to recent survey findings
from GE Capital Retail, 61% of respondents have performed at least a single shopping-related task on their mobile phone, and 36% have shopped on their smartphone at some point during the last 3 months. The research indicates that offers delivered to mobile devices can influence shopping behavior: 40% of respondents said they would shop a retailer more often if it delivered such offers.
Recent data from comScore has shown that online video ad viewers are seeing a growing frequency of ads this year. New research from FreeWheel confirms that the same trend is occurring when looking specifically at multichannel video programming distributors’ videos, as publishers try to replicate TV ad loads online without turning off viewers. During Q3, FreeWheel says that the typical long-form (20+ minutes) video view carried 11.6 ads, up from 9.1 on average during the corresponding period last year. Ad completion rates haven’t suffered.
At 91%, the video ad completion rate for long-form content is essentially unchanged from Q3 2012′s 90%, despite viewers seeing 30% more ads this year. Concurrent with these trends is a continuing move towards TV-length ads during long-form content, a shift first explored in FreeWheel’s Q2 report. According to this latest quarterly offering, 65% of ads during long-form content are now 30-second creative. Interestingly, 30-second ads now comprise 49% of ad views for short-form content, too. Separately, the research indicates that viewers are now seeing a pre-roll ad roughly for every other short-form video they watch.
Given the increase in ad loads, it’s not surprising that long-form ad views have grown the most on a year-over-year basis, up 56% in Q3, compared to 30% growth for video ad views during short-form content. With more TV Everywhere deployments occurring, the researchers note that authentication rates – the p! ercentage! of total ad views coming through MVPD video players or applications – are rising quickly. These authenticated ad views now represent 14.2% of total ad views during long-form content, up from 5% during Q4 2012.
There’s a growing body of research analyzing social’s influence on TV viewing behavior, with the general consensus being that social’s impact is small, but growing. A new study [download page] from Digitalsmiths supports that general trend, finding that more viewers are not only posting about their viewing habits on social networks, but also choosing to watch particular programs on account of the buzz they’re getting on social networks.
Specifically, during Q3, 15.4% of adult respondents in the US and Canada claimed to post about what they’re watching, up from 12.8% in Q2 and 11.5% in Q1. Those are still fairly small figures, to be sure, but they’re on the rise. While the Digitalsmiths survey doesn’t break the responses down into age brackets, a recent study from Horowitz Associates demonstrates that – as one might expect – this behavior is far more prevalent among younger age groups.
Social’s influence on program choices appears to be more extensive. During Q3, 30.8% of Digitalsmiths survey respondents said they had at some point chosen to watch a TV show or movie because of all the buzz it was getting on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. That represents a significant uptick from 22.2% of respondents in Q2 and 18.6% in Q1. Nielsen has measured this phenomenon on Twitter, finding that tweets in! fluenced ! ratings in 29% of TV episodes sampled. That’s led Nielsen to begin tracking the top TV programs on Twitter (charted weekly on MarketingCharts.com); as an example, during the week of November 25-December 1, almost 6 million Twitter accounts accrued at least a single impression of one or more tweets related to that week’s episode of “The Walking Dead.”
In the third quarter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter all had more active users in the 25 to 34 year-old age bracket than they did from teens and young twenty-somethings.
The findings are based on a GlobalWebIndex survey of 40,000 Internet users worldwide. GlobalWebIndex shared the data with BI Intelligence.
- Across all four of the social networks, the 25 to 34 year-old age bracket accounted for the largest number of active users; 36% of Twitter’s monthly active users and 31% of Facebook’s were in that age range.
- The 16- to 24-year-old age bracket was the second largest source of monthly active users across all four of the social networks.
Although still a sizeable audience, it’s evident that less than ten years after Facebook got its start among college and high school students, teens are no longer the most important age bracket to the largest social networks.
Also, it seems unrealistic for any of the social networks to expect to see future growth from teens. Piper Jaffray recently surveyed 8,650 U.S. teens with an average age of 16, and found that Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have all become less important to teens over the past year.
We suspect that as these larger social networks become more mature, so too will their user bases. Although GlobalWebIndex found that users between the ages of 45 and 54 accounted for the second least important source of active users, that’s where the growth is these days.
Facebook has said that it is its fastest growing user age bracket.
Download the charts and data in Excel.
Here is a previous chart we published, showing the dwindling importance of mainstream social networks to teens.