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Archive for October, 2012

Social Video: The Next Wave in Digital Advertising

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Marketers move past interruptive pre-rolls to engaging branded content

New York, NY (October 31, 2012) – The power of social video represents an evolution in digital advertising, according to a new eMarketer report, “Social Video: The Next Wave in Digital Advertising.” Marketers are starting to move past the interruptive model of the 15- or 30-second pre-roll ad and toward a broader strategy that includes longer opt-in videos with built-in sharing capabilities. This branded content is designed to be consumed and shared on the social web, driving earned media and raising the potential for viral success.

The report answers key questions about the new role of social video in the digital marketing landscape, including:

  • How is social video changing the nature of digital advertising?
  • How are marketers using social video to amplify their messages and how are consumer-sharing behaviors informing marketers’ decisions about where, when and how to seed branded video content?
  • What metrics are marketers using to gauge the success of social video campaigns?

In some cases, social sharing has resulted in ad campaigns vastly exceeding their original audience targets. A Visible Measures report showed that user-initiated, English-language social video ad views served on its network reached 1.33 billion in Q1 2012, a 77.6% increase over the previous quarter’s total of 747 million.

David Segura, CEO of social video company Giant Media, said, “The difference between this and the previous online video model, which revolved around pre-roll, is you move from looking at the media to focusing on consumer behavior … So every form of advertising becomes an advertorial that accomplishes the brand’s goal but at the same time has a realistic chance of exciting the consumer to share content.”

Because of its dominance in the video space, YouTube remains the leading venue for social video campaigns. The site attracted more than 150 million unique viewers in the US in August 2012, according to comScore. By comparison, Facebook, the second-most-popular US social video destination, had nearly 48 million unique video viewers that month.

One of the added benefits for marketers that seed branded content through social channels is a rich set of metrics that often exceeds what they might get from site publishers for a traditional campaign. These include video views, a breakdown of venues where the clip ran, clicks to websites, visits to Facebook, store locator usage, coupon download information and softer metrics like consumer sentiment on social channels.

Posted on October 31, 2012.    

eMarketer New York Office Closed

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Email, newsletter, client and public sites running smoothly

Hurricane Sandy’s effects were felt hard in Manhattan’s Financial District, where eMarketer’s offices are located. Until further notice, our New York office will be closed, but most employees are available via email. Due to mass power outages, some employees are still experiencing difficulty accessing email remotely.

Both our client and public sites are running smoothly and our daily newsletter continues to go out every morning. If you run into any problems concerning our services and aren’t able to reach an eMarketer employee, please contact us via Twitter.

We sincerely hope everyone in the eMarketer community and their loved ones made it through Sandy safe and well.

Posted on October 31, 2012.    

Retailers Experiment with Varied, Personalized Pricing

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Personalized pricing based on consumer habits gaining traction

October 26, 2012 (New York, NY) – Personalization is permeating ecommerce in areas such as product recommendations and customer service. Now personalized pricing is the latest fertile area of focus for multichannel retailers, according to a new eMarketer report, “Multichannel Pricing Strategy.”

The report answers key questions about multichannel pricing strategies including:

  • What are the implications of price transparency for retailers?
  • When are prices generally lower in-store than online?
  • What digital tools help consumers decide where and when to buy?
  • How can retailers appease consumer concerns about price differences?

Retailers are looking to optimize what they charge based on shifting consumer demand and competitor moves. A recent RetailWire survey suggests that offering different prices across channels will become commonplace.

Although some consumers still want to see consistent multichannel pricing, the protracted economic slump has created legions of price-sensitive consumers whose purchase decisions are deeply influenced by price. The importance of price is evident from a March 2012 NPD Group survey. It showed that price and sales and special deals were by far the primary influences in deciding where online consumers shopped.

Price-conscious consumers know that they are more likely to find those special deals online than in stores. Deal-hunting online and comparison smartphone shopping have opened consumers’ eyes. It has made them less naive about price fluctuations and pricing differences across a retailer’s channels. Digital consumers are also smart enough to know that shopping channels offer different levels of service, and this will be reflected in price variations. And consumers have a growing arsenal of powerful digital tools to help them find where to get the best price for a particular product and determine when the best time is to buy it, whether online or in-store.

Seeing that many consumers want the best price, retailers that decide to optimize pricing across channels are moving toward a personalized pricing approach based on consumer shopping habits. This trend was reflected in the RetailWire survey. Personalized pricing or promotions ranked as the most important pricing practice for combatting price transparency.

Jason Goldberg, vice president of strategy and customer experience at CrossView advises retailers that want to offer different prices under any circumstance to use personalized prices specific to a particular customer instead of specific to a particular geographic location or retail touchpoint. Single-zone pricing—i.e., adopting a national pricing policy—ranked third on the RetailWire list of pricing practices.

Posted on October 26, 2012.    

Video Plays Important Role in Path to Online Apparel Purchase

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Strategies include incorporating user-generated and product page videos

New York, NY (October 24, 2012) – In the early days of online shopping, consumers gravitated towards buying books, movies and music online—safe, inexpensive products that were easy to ship and easy to decide upon. Consumers now have enough information and tools at their fingertips to make purchasing products like shoes and clothing a richer experience. A new eMarketer report, “Online Apparel Shopping: How Video Boosts Shopper Confidence and Drives Sales” explores one of the most promising platforms for apparel marketers looking to advance brand awareness and build shopper confidence.

The apparel and accessories category is one of the fastest-growing segments in the retail industry, in terms of ecommerce sales. According to eMarketer estimates, online category sales will grow 20% in 2012, outpacing the 15.4% growth rate for retail ecommerce in general. Online apparel and accessories sales will reach $41 billion in 2012, representing 18.3% of total retail ecommerce sales. By 2016, eMarketer anticipates US online apparel sales—which includes footwear and accessories—will generate $73 billion.

Although factors like convenience and free shipping are benefiting the online apparel shopping category, online video also appears to be nudging it in the right direction. Not specific to apparel, March 2012 data from Invodo found that more than half of internet users surveyed believed that online product videos helped increase confidence in their purchase. Additionally, 45% said they might be willing to stay on a website longer if it offered online product videos, and roughly one-third said they might feel compelled to purchase products on a website as a result of watching videos on that site.

Aside from content created by brands, consumers are increasingly turning to user-generated content for research, such as customer testimonials and reviews, or “haul” videos, in which a shopper (often a teen) shows off recent purchases and explains how she might wear those items. One 2012 study, from Google and Compete, indicated that 36% of US online shoppers watched customer testimonial videos while shopping for apparel.

The report offers strategies for retailers looking to take advantage of online video and answers key questions including:

  • What role does online video play in the online apparel shopper’s path to purchase?
  • How are apparel marketers using online video to drive more purchases online?
  • What are the biggest challenges in the online video space for apparel marketers?

The full report, “Online Apparel Shopping: How Video Boosts Shopper Confidence and Drives Sales ,” is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.

Posted on October 25, 2012.    

Mobile Technology at the Center of Debate between Travel Managers and Business Travelers

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Business travelers say they lack knowledge of company booking guidelines

Mobile devices have made life easier and more productive for business travelers, allowing them to stay in touch and adjust schedules on the fly, among many other benefits. But mobile technology can create headaches for travel managers trying to keep tabs on employees and expenses. As a result, a new eMarketer report, “Digital Disruptions Redefine Corporate Travel Policy,” finds that many travel managers are making travel policies tougher to ensure travel budgets stay in line.

“The gap between travel policies and actual usage of mobile tools is causing tension on both sides,” said eMarketer. “Marketers and service providers looking to engage the corporate travel sector will need to be alert to the competing demands of travelers and travel policies.”

That tension is not expected to abate any time soon. According to AirPlus International’s “International Travel Management Study 2012,” 95% of travel managers worldwide said they were either making policies more stringent or keeping them the same going forward.

Mobile technology is at the center of this debate because, in general, travel marketers are focused on creating mobile apps and solutions for the end user vs. for someone managing bulk travel planning. These consumer solutions often operate in contrast to the needs of corporate travel managers.

According to Google and Ipsos MediaCT’s August 2012 study “The 2012 Traveler,” 57% of US business travelers reported using mobile devices to access travel information this year, whereas just 38% of US leisure travelers did.

These new mobile touchpoints give travel managers the opportunity to connect with their employees at any given point in their business trip. At the same time, more devices means an increasing likelihood that business travelers will use non-sanctioned, consumer-oriented tools, such as last-minute booking apps.

The main reason travelers give for engaging in activities contrary to corporate policy is lack of awareness of company guidelines. And many managers are doing little to define how mobile bookings fit within their company’s policies. According to the GBTA Foundation’s July 2012 report, “Travel Policy Trends: ‘Control’ —What Does It Mean and Who Has It,” only 18% of travel professionals worldwide had integrated information designed to educate travelers on travel policy into mobile booking tools.

Since mobile policy creation and compliance is predicated on communication between corporate travel managers and company employees, marketers that develop solutions addressing the needs of each side will have significant opportunities to stake their claim in this sector.

The report addresses key questions both managers and travelers should consider when planning business travel strategy, including:

  • To what degree are business travelers using mobile technology during their trips?
  • What types of mobile technologies disrupt corporate travel policies, and in what ways?
  • How frequently are specific guidelines for mobile technologies communicated through corporate travel policies?

The full report, “Digital Disruptions Redefine Corporate Travel Policy,” is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.

Posted on October 24, 2012.    

IAB Media: Marketing for Results

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IAB Media: Marketing for Results

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012


eMarketer’s Thiago Guimaraes will be delivering a presentation dealing with  the Evolution of Brazil’s digital market and media investing.

Posted on October 24, 2012.    

Learning the Rules of Content Marketing

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New eMarketer report examines best practices for engaging customers across multiple digital channels

Brands are looking to content marketing both to deepen engagement with their customers and prospects and to break through digital marketing’s clutter and audience indifference, according to a new eMarketer report, “Best Practices for Content Marketing: Engaging Consumers Across Multiple Digital Channels.”

With the rise of content marketing, some brands are now behaving like media companies, producing content across various media, including video, photography, infographics and articles. Video is increasingly the prime outlet for content marketing. Nearly 87% of US brand and agency marketers polled in January 2012 by Outbrain said they created video for content marketing.

However, many brands find this shift of perspective difficult, since effective content marketing demands turning away from conventional self-promotion. The lack of overt promotion helps attract an audience to consume the content, share it, comment on it, and even create it.

The report examines the 11 most important rules for content marketing, such as “Lose your ego,” and answers key questions including:

  • What makes content marketing different from the rest of a company’s advertising and marketing?
  • What are the core best practices for effective content marketing?
  • Can content marketing be measured well enough to convince more brands to up their investment in it?

By approaching content marketing through the best practices outlined in the report, brands will be able to improve their existing content strategies or, for those brands newer to the tactic, find practical entry points or better ways to ramp up their efforts.

“Successful content marketing requires that ‘marketing’ be minimized,” said eMarketer. “The content needs to inform, entertain, educate, inspire—but it cannot sell, because today’s sophisticated consumer will quickly detect that.”

Posted on October 23, 2012.    

eMarketer: Consumers Spending More Time with Mobile as Growth Slows for Time Online

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NEW YORK, NY (October 22, 2012)—The shift to mobile is on. According to new estimates by eMarketer, time spent using mobile devices for activities such as internet and app use, gaming, music and others has more than doubled in the past two years among US consumers.

This year, the amount of time consumers spent using mobile devices—excluding talk time—will grow 51.9% to an average 82 minutes per day, up from just 34 minutes in 2010, eMarketer estimates.

Mobile growth comes as time spent online, which includes desktop and laptop computers, internet-connected TVs and other nonmobile connected devices, sees its own growth rates decline—though it is still growing. This year, eMarketer estimates time spent online will grow just 3.6% to an average 173 minutes per day, compared to 7.7% growth in 2011 to 167 minutes per day.

Since online already accounts for an average of nearly three hours of time spent with media each day, double-digit growth rates are unlikely even as consumers continue to do more activities and spend more time with their desktop and laptop computers.

Mobile, by contrast, is growing quickly from a small base—and growth in time spent is also being boosted by fast uptake of smartphones and tablets, which have still penetrated only a minority of all consumers. As more continue to acquire these devices, and current owners shift more of their digital activities to mobile and portable devices, mobile is grabbing an ever-greater share of consumer time with all media—potentially at the expense of faster online growth.

This shift has been problematic for some advertising publishers who have not necessarily seen ad dollars follow suit. Even on the desktop web, ad dollars are still playing catch-up to time spent with the medium—and that game is even further behind on mobile, which will see just 1.6% of US ad spending this year even as adults spend an average of 11.7% of their media time with their phones and tablets.

While mobile advertising is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years—eMarketer estimated in September that overall US mobile advertising spending will reach $2.61 billion this year before rising to nearly $12 billion in 2016—there are some significant barriers that both marketers and ad publishers will have to overcome before the mobile ad spending will achieve parity with the share of time spent by consumers on mobile devices.

In the case of search advertising, for example, the lower likelihood of consumers making purchases on mobile devices—which is reflected by the small footprint that mobile commerce holds in the overall ecommerce market—has forced companies like Google to charge lower rates for mobile search ads.

In the case of display advertising, small screen sizes have limited the ability of display ad publishers like Facebook to serve as many impressions per page view as they might to desktop users.

As outlined in eMarketer’s mobile advertising spending forecast from September, both advertisers and publishers are still working to develop the infrastructure necessary to support larger mobile ad buys.

By contrast, consumers spend an average of 24.8% of their media time online with desktop and other nonmobile internet devices, while spending on advertisements on those same devices accounts for 20.9% of total media ad spending in the US.

Despite continued concerns about cord-cutting, time spent watching television continues to increase—growing to an average 278 minutes per day in 2012, up from 274 minutes in 2011—though TV’s share of the total pie will decrease marginally, by less than 1 percentage point, over the same period.

The largest shift downward continues to come from the print media sector. Time spent with print media will drop to an average 38 minutes per day this year, eMarketer estimates, down from an average 44 minutes per day in 2011. Newspapers will see a drop to an average 22 minutes per day this year, while time spent with print magazines will fall to 16 minutes per day.

Time spent listening to radio will remain above mobile, though its share of total time spent with media continues to gradually decline.

Estimates of average time spent with media are based on the total US adult population according to the US Census 2008 release, not the number of users of each medium. Mobile includes all nonvoice activities on all mobile devices, including VOIP and video chat services such as Skype. Online includes all internet activities on desktop and laptop computers and other nonmobile connected devices such as internet-connected TVs. Print includes offline magazines and newspapers. Radio excludes online radio. TV includes live, DVR and other prerecorded video such as video downloaded from the internet but saved locally. Other includes video gaming, cinema, outdoor, etc.

METHODOLOGY: eMarketer forms its estimates for time spent with media through a meta-analysis of estimates from other research firms, consumer media consumption and device adoption trends.

Posted on October 22, 2012.    

eMarketer Chairman Geoff Ramsey on Today’s Biggest Digital Marketing Challenges

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eMarketer chairman Geoff Ramsey discusses key trends in digital advertising spending, mobile ad spending, time spent, and social growth, specifically, Facebook’s continuing dominance of the market and Twitter’s steady growth. He also highlights what he sees as one of the biggest challenges in digital marketing: measurement.

“The biggest challenge in digital marketing is measurement and a key problem is integration,” said Ramsey. “Only 20% of marketers claim they have competency when it comes to integrating social with other platforms. Very few marketers are integrating mobile. If we can get the pieces tied together and optimize digital ad spend, we’ll be much farther along.”

As for the future of digital marketing, Ramsey doesn’t purport to have all the answers, but he believes integration will continue to grow in importance.

“Nobody can predict the future, but I do think that we will see more open source solutions and more players will enter the game,” he continued. “We will see a lot more integration, a lot more channels tied into each other. We will be able to demonstrate to our CMO and CEO, when I do these things over time, it leads to better results and eventually sales.”

This interview was filmed at the Digital Collective “Back to School” event. Senior digital marketers visited companies including Twitter, Google, Facebook, YouTube, and IDEO, and participated in high-level discussions about finance, technology, and digital marketing trends.

If you are interested in having Geoff Ramsey speak at an event, please contact Clark Fredricksen at

Posted on October 18, 2012.    

Tablet Ads Deliver Results, but Barriers Remain

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By 2015, more than half of US internet users will use a tablet

October 18, 2012 (New York, NY) – Tablet ad campaigns are outperforming mobile norms on key brand metrics, according to a new eMarketer report, “Tablet Advertising: Volume and Engagement Levels Jump Up.” Paid search ads targeting tablets are delivering better results than desktop search.

The report answers key questions for marketers interested in exploring the opportunities tablet advertising offers including:

  • What role do tablets play in the growth of mobile ad spending?
  • How is the volume of tablet ads changing?
  • How do tablet ads compare to other digital channels?
  • How are brands leveraging rich media ad units?
  • What progress is being made to link television and tablet ads?

By the end of this year, eMarketer estimates the number of US tablet users—defined as anyone who uses a tablet at least once a month—will reach nearly 70 million, up from 34 million in 2011. At that point, roughly 30% of internet users will use a tablet at least once a month.

By 2015, over half of internet users will log onto the web via their tablet.

The rapid growth of the tablet media audience has delivered a wealth of opportunity for advertisers. Tablet ads are proving to be more engaging than typical mobile campaigns and, at times, more effective than ads on a PC.

According to Marin Software, a digital ad management platform, the share of paid clicks from tablet devices increased 33% on their platform between Q1 and Q2 of 2012. The Marin study showed those conducting a search on a tablet were 42% more likely to click on ads compared to those searching on a traditional computer.

Data from InsightExpress, a research firm that measures the impact of marketing campaigns on mobile devices, showed tablet display ads delivered better results on nearly every brand metric compared to mobile norms. These conclusions were drawn based on a comparison of results from six tablet campaigns run in 2012 against 240 mobile campaigns conducted between November 2007 and June 2012. In aggregate, consumers were keenly aware of ads served to their tablet devices and those ads were twice as likely to raise purchase intent as typical mobile ad campaigns.

An analysis of clickthrough rates for display ads served on the Jumptap mobile ad network showed tablets generated the highest response rates of all mobile devices in the first quarter of the year.

Indeed, the response rates for tablet display ads are eye-catching but so are the cost per thousands (CPMs). Limited supply and high demand are keeping display ad prices at premium levels. “In general, tablet CPMs are 33% to 55% higher than that of mobile because of the larger screen size, more limited reach and high demand,” said Paran Johar, CMO of Jumptap.

While tablets offer significant new opportunity to marketers, some remain hesitant to go all in, as they wait for the number of tablet users to go up and the cost of tablet ad development and buys to go down.

Posted on October 18, 2012.