Archive for November, 2013
Ad spending, particularly on mobile, to help push ecommerce sales to record levels this year
Bolstered by growing ecommerce sales and time spent across digital channels, the US retail industry will grow its digital ad spending more rapidly this year than in 2012, according to new figures from eMarketer.
By the end of this year, eMarketer predicts, US retailers will have increased digital ad budgets by 15.7% to $9.50 billion, following growth of 14.5% last year.
Much of that spending can be expected to focus on drawing holiday shoppers, as the last months of the year account for a disproportionate share of retail revenues. eMarketer predicts 23.5% of all US retail ecommerce sales this year, for example, will take place in November and December, amounting to $61.8 billion. eMarketer estimates US retail ecommerce sales will grow 16.4% to $262.3 billion this year.
Retailers already spend more than any other vertical industry on digital advertising, and this year’s increases are expected to give the industry a 22.3% share of total US digital ad spending—identical to last year’s share. This figure is expected to fall slightly in coming years as the overall market grows slightly faster than retail.
Tony King tells eMarketer, “I think it’s up to the brand to know what its customers are looking for based on what they’ve previously purchased or looked at online. If that’s known, customers can be offered something exactly suited to them—before the general public has access to it. A good salesperson at a luxury store will call to tell you an item you’re going to like will be available. That’s what ecommerce is lacking, and that has to improve.”
In the past week, Bitcoin prices have climbed as much as 80%.
We just told you why another cryptocurrency, Litecoin, has been able to ride Bitcoin’s digital coattails to a 400% gain over the same period.
But Litecoin is not alone. There are at least 30 other digital currencies vying for relevancy in 2013. The best list of the full galaxy of digital currencies comes from CoinMarketCap.com.
According to that site, Peercoin, which now has the third-largest market cap among digital currencies, is up 22% in the past 24 hours. Peercoin’s main feature is that it’s based on a protocol which, though different from Litecoin’s, achieves the same effect of preempting mining cartels from forming and gaining too much control over prices.
Namecoin, with the fourth-largest market cap, is up 70% in the past 24 hours. Its principal attribute is that it exists outside the regular Internet and therefore beyond control of The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet’s regulatory body.
As you can see, the gains among the rest have been similarly parabolic.
Social media can be a great way for brands to engage with customers. But when a campaign backfires, the meltdowns are painful and all too public. Here are the best of the worst social media campaigns.
Here’s our pick of the social media setbacks…
1. JP Morgan “Snarkpocalypse”
Wall Street bank JP Morgan was at the centre of a social media storm earlier this month when it invited Twitter users to send questions to an executive using the hashtag #AskJPM.
The Twitterverse responded with a storm of abuse. More than 8,000 responses were sent within a six-hour period, according to social media tracking service Topsy. Two out of every three comments sent were negative.
The original idea behind the tweet-up was to give students the opportunity to communicate directly with Jimmy Lee, one of JP Morgan’s most senior bankers and a key executive on the Twitter share sale.
The live Q&A was due to take place on November 14th, but by the previous afternoon, the company tweeted:“Tomorrow’s Q&A is cancelled. Bad Idea. Back to the drawing board.”
The bank has been in the spotlight this year over its $13bn settlement for mis-selling mortgage-backed securities and the $6bn London Whale trading losses.
Abusive tweets included: “Quick! You’re in a room with no key, a chair, two paper clips, and a lightbulb. How do you defraud investors?”, and “What’s your favourite type of whale? #AskJPM”.
Twitter: Layoff List – #askjpm Is it easier to purchase a congressional representative or a senator?
Twitter: Chris Lee – Why is it when the poor commit crimes we need more cops and mandatory sentences and when the rich commit crimes we need deregulation #askJPM
Twitter: Lindsey Sine – But really, we better stop making fun of #askJPM before they find a way to monetize the hillarity and charge us for our enjoyment at 33% APR
2. British Gatastrophe
JP Morgan is not alone in attracting the ire of social media users through an ill-advised online Q&A.
In October, British Gas decided to hold a “tweet-up” on the same day as it announced price rises of 10pc, prompting a huge social media backlash. Its #AskBG campaign, manned by Bert Pijls, the company’s customer service director, was hijacked by users asking questions like, “My office has a window where the sun comes in and makes the side of my head really hot. How much do I owe you?”
3. Mayday for British Airways
The rise of social media has created a new way for consumers to taunt corporate brands: complaintvertising. This is the method of buying prominent advertising space on Twitter or Facebook to air a grievance.
British Airways found out about this new trend the hard way earlier this year, when Hasan Syed used Twitter’s self-service ad platform to post a promoted tweet, which read: “Don’t fly @British_Airways. Their customer service is horrendous.”
Mr Syed, a hair-care entrepreneur based in Chicago, had flown business class on the airline with his father on a trip to Paris. When BA lost his father’s luggage and failed to respond to his complaint on Twitter, he took matters into his own hands.
Mr Syed spent over $1,000 on his smear campaign and his angry tweets were seen by more than 50,000 Twitter users in the UK and New York markets where his promoted tweet ran.
4. Twitter shouts itself hoarse at Tesco
The UK’s leading supermarket failed to update its auto-tweets when it was embroiled in the horse meat scandal earlier this year. The pre-scheduled tweet read: “It’s sleepy time so we’re off to hit the hay. See you at 8am for more #TescoTweets.”
Thousands of users complained about the tweet and @UKTesco later responded: “I’m terribly sorry. That tweet was s! cheduled before we knew of the current situation. We’d never intend to make light of it.”
The following day, Tesco placed full-page adverts in several national newspapers to apologise for the “unacceptable” situation, vowing to ensure it “never happens again”.
5. McDonald’s cautionary tale
McDonald’s sponsored the hashtag #McDStories in January 2012, asking users to tweet in about positive dining experiences at its restaurants. Instead, respondents joked about obesity and dog food.
The burger company pulled the campaign within two hours but users were still tweeting the abandoned hashtag a week after it was removed.
6. Counterfeit Burger King
In February, the popular burger franchise fell foul to some hacktivists who changed Burger King’s account name to McDonald’s and added a new bio that stated, “Just got sold to McDonalds because the whopper flopped =[ FREEDOM IS FAILURE.”
“Look for McDonald’s in a hood near you!”
This was followed by a string of fake tweets containing racial slurs, obscenities and references to drugs.
McDonald’s drew further attention to the plight of its rival by tweeting: “We empathize with our @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.”
7. Quantas Bashtag
British Airways isn’t the only airline to nosedive in the social media stakes. In 2011, Qantas Airways asked customers to write in about their dream in-flight experiences using the hashtag #QuantasLuxury. Instead of being sent wistful flights of fancy, the airline received a deluge of negative posts, mostly concerning the carrier’s industrial disputes with three unions, which resulted in the grounding of the entire Qantas fleet on October 29.
Quantas is a serial offender on the social media slip-up list. It once ran a Rugby Union competition that asked Wallabies fans to paint their faces black to win a prize.
8. Disobeying His Master’s Voice
In January this year, a social media exec for! music c hain HMV tweeted the mass firing of 190 staff live from HMV’s proprietary account. The first tweet announced: “”We’re tweeting live from HR where we’re all being fired! Exciting!!!”, follwed by: “There are over 60 of us being fired at once! Mass execution, of loyal employees who love the brand”.
Unfortunately for HMV, even its inability to lock the outgoing staff out of the social network was broadcast to the masses. The rogue @hmvtweets tweeter wrote: “Just overheard our Marketing Director (he’s staying, folks!) ask ‘How do I shut down Twitter?'”
9. Amy’s Baking Company gets burnt
Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona, was featured in an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, which aired on May 10th, 2013. It was the first time Mr Ramsay had walked off the show.
The episode prompted a surge of negative feedback on the restaurant’s Facebook page. The two owners Samy and Amy Bouzaglo reacted by posting a rant against the “haters” who were crippling their business. The social media storm spilled out onto Reddit and Yelp, with the Bouzaglos responding to disgruntled users using foul language and all-caps.
There were nearly 1,000 comments posted to Reddit before the thread was removed and commenting was disabled.
10. Home Depot
When Home Depot tweeted the image below to its 165,000 or so users in November, the US-based DIY store received hundreds of tweets accusing the chain of racism.
Home Depot tried to calm the wrathful Twittersphere with a series of apology tweets: “We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive. Deeply sorry. We terminated agency and individual who posted it” but the image was retweeted thousands of times nonetheless.
By 2017, advertisers will spend more than $9 billion on RTB
Advertisers are spending more than expected on real-time bidding, which is expected to account for a significant share of all display ad spending in the US this year and in the near future, according to a new eMarketer report, “Programmatic Advertising: Forecast and Future Growth Trends.”
The growth comes as programmatic advertising—which includes RTB—continues its rapid transition from infancy to a well-established display purchase method in just a few years.
eMarketer projects RTB digital display ad spending in the US will account for 29.0% of total US digital display ad spending by 2017, or $9.03 billion. In 2013, it will account for 19.0%, or $3.37 billion. These estimates are revised slightly upward from our previous forecast in August 2013, which expected $3.34 billion in RTB spending this year. The revisions are due to an overall increase in projected digital display advertising.
RTB’s maturity as a purchase channel is evidenced in the closely aligned estimates from multiple research firms. MAGNA GLOBAL, for example, forecasts $3.9 billion in US RTB digital display ad spending for 2013—the highest of all firms. Forecasts from JMP Securities and International Data Corporation (IDC) are in line with eMarketer’s projections, at $3.4 billion and $3.1 billion, respectively.
eMarketer anticipates RTB ad spending will see healthy gains over the next few years, thanks to continued interest in improving the quality of digital display ad inventory, as well as continued a! doption among publishers and media buyers seeking greater advertising efficiency.
It recently came to light that the NSA snooped on the communications of Google and Yahoo users without ever breaking into a data center. Now, the New York Times is reporting, it appears that could be because it penetrated fiber optic cables.
This weekend, Business Insider wrote a long, detailed piece covering all the ways cable is losing subscribers and television advertising dollars are poised to move to digital media.
A recent analyst note from Macquarie Capital should also be worrisome for those making money in the TV advertising ecosystem, but for a different reason. While the pay-TV industry is hurting from losing more subscribers than it ever has before, this chart shows Facebook and Google are reaching more people than ever. It measures monthly reach in millions of users:
What the chart shows is that while television still holds the title of most pervasive mass medium by reaching 294 million Americans, Facebook and Google aren’t too far behind at 200 and 235 million, respectively.
Combined, they’re actually bigger than TV — although of course there is plenty of overlap.
It’s especially noteworthy given that U.S. marketers are currently spending about 50% more money on television than they are on all digital media (digital gets 27.9% of ad dollars while TV gets 42.1%, per Macquarie). That’s a significant “overspend” on TV:
You know how, when you download a new app, at some point your phone tells you, “this app wants permission to …” and the app tell you that it wants to track your whereabouts, or access you contact list, etc.
Say no, and you might not get to use the app.
In the last version of Android, Google had included a feature called App Ops. It let you decide what you wanted to allow each app to do. Were you cool with the app waking up the device? Tracking your location? Accessing your camera? You got to choose.
And then, in the newest version, KitKat, it looked like Google removed App Ops.
It turns out, Google didn’t remove it, it hid it.
A new free app called App Ops by developer Color Tiger launched today taps into that hidden feature and brings it back.
If you are a savvy enough Android user to have root access to your phone, there’s also a pro version of App Ops that lets you control even more things. Root access is when you break into the phone’s software, to control the parts of it that normal users aren’t supposed to mess with.
The Pro version of App Ops lets you do things like change permissions for multiple apps at once.
For more than five years, 23andMe has sent out personalized DNA test kits, offering consumers hundreds of clinical reports on their genetic risk for everything from diabetes to prostate cancer. It’s mission to educate customers about their health and ancestry appears to have been dealt a blow, however, after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the company needs its approval. It’s told 23andMe to stop advertising its DNA-testing product until it gets the medical device classification it needs, which involves conducting studies of the kits to gain documented proof of their accuracy.
The agency is also worried that customers might take action, or not, based on test results that may or may not be correct. 23andMe has attempted to gain clearance in the past, but hasn’t done everything it needs to get the green light. Make no mistake, a run-in with the FDA is not to be taken lightly: satisfying the agency’s requirements is going to be a long and expensive process. 23andMe now has to tell the agency exactly how it intends to gain marketing authorization for the device, or it could face regulatory action (which includes injunctions, seizures and hefty fines).
Filed under: Internet
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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