Offline channels still hold the reins in brand and product awareness, reports eMarketer, despite the talk of “viral marketing” and social media “influencers. eMarketer was quoting market research by AYTM, which found that 57.8% of US Facebook users had not any brand in a status updates as of October 2011. Similarly, 61.3% of Twitter users had never “tweeted” about a brand. Of those consumers who claimed to hear frequently about new brands, only 6.5% did so frequently, and 26% reported they never heard of new brands through social media.
Where they did hear about new brands, products and services: TV, radio, and offline print outlets. Sixteen percent did so “most frequently,” 34.9% did so often, 31.8% sometimes, 13% rarely, 4.2% never.
L.A. startup Maker Studios, which uses YouTube as a platform/network for a stable of independent contributors, is claiming viewership in the billions. The two-year-old startup is attracting advertisers like OfficeMax and Blizzard Entertainment (with a Chuck Norris World of Warcraft spot). Co-founder Danny Zappin told DigiDay that the company is focused on building its ad base, and in October hired one-time MySpace Music President Courtney Holt. Further, Maker is finding venture capital easy to come by, having raised $4 million from Greycroft Partners and GRP.
As Zappin told Digiday, advertisers are coming to find more predictable content, and guaranteed exposures. One of its videos, by contributor Nice Peter, pits pop culture icons Mr. T and Mr. Rogers in a “rap battle,” and has attracted 18.8 million views (as of January 3). While Digiday described Maker Studios as the “YouTube era’s HBO,” it bears a closer resemblance to Comedy Central, with short-hit items like Nice Peter’s rap battles, and interviews with porn stars by KassemG (on his cheekily-named talk show "In Deep”). ComScore tallied Maker Studios users at 9 million, as of October 2011.
- Sony's PlayStation Network is getting creative with in-game ad opportunites, reports Online Media Daily. In the battle for in-game ad dollars with Microsoft Xbox, there are about 35 Sony partners building content for PlayStation Home. About 20 million players worldwide have access to 8,000 virtual items in the site. The average time spent in home stands at 70 minutes. Popular spaces in Home have about 900,000 engagements per week. Brands such as Ford, Spring, Unilever, Toyota, and Wrigley are advertisers across PSN. In June, Ford became the first U.S. automaker to develop a "space," similar to a virtual area in Second Life, for PlayStation Home.
Research by two assistant professors of marketing at the London School of Business and MIT Sloan School of Management suggests that customized online ads are often ineffective. The study looked at whether it is always optimal for advertisers to provide more specific ad content based on consumers' earlier product interests, as well as when increased specificity of information in an ad is effective, writes Gulf News. When online shoppers were simply looking at a product category, ads that matched their prior web browsing interests were ineffective, the research shows.
Beginning in September, online video ad network Tremor Video will feature the privacy icon on virtually all of the ads that appear on its network, mostly 15- and 30-second commercial spots common to TV. Tremor is the largest video ad network, serving more than 700 million ads to more than 20% of the internet audience acccording to comScore’s May report, writes Ad Age.
A look at how significant mobile has become as a channel for online businesses is examined in a study from investment firm, Rutberg & Co. The results were shared with PaidContent.org ahead of the bank's annual Future:Mobile conference. Among its findings: Pandora sends more than 60% of its music streams to mobile devices, and more than 60% of new users are coming from the mobile platform. Also, Facebook’s mobile users are twice as active as those accessing from PCs.
AisleBuyer, a mobile self-checkout and mobile commerce solution, has another $7.5 million in funding to spruce up its shopping app. AisleBuyer added 19,000 store locations this year as well as shopping features such as multi-channel checkout that allows shoppers to purchase from a website while shopping in-store, and a scan feature for credit card data.
Mobile real-time bidding platform Tapad has raised $1.8 million as the company looks establish itself in the retargeting space. E-commerce and social shopping have boomed this past year, retargeting has become particularly attractive to marketer and publishers, reports PaidContent.
- "When a consumer 'likes' your page, she has performed an action similar to giving you her email address -- except now you can not only market to her, but also to her friends," writes Dave Williams in "The Key to an Effective Facebook Ad Formula: EdgeRank" for Ad Age Digital. The article takes a close look at Facebook marketing and the EdgeRank measure.
Prophet’s 2011 State of Marketing Study found that senior executives in both marketing and general management are grappling with a variety of pressures as they seek to drive growth and build brand equity.
A key finding of the study is that executives still believe, despite increasing evidence to the contrary, that the company (rather than the customer or other stakeholders) is the primary “owner” of the brand. Overall, 66% of respondents believe the company owns the brand. 71% of non-marketers were of the view that the company — not customers — is the primary “owner” of the brand. It was a view more prevalent in the business-to-consumer environment than in business-to–business, 65% and 59% respectively. 54% of the marketers surveyed had that view.
All respondents also recognize that the dramatically changing dynamics between company and customers and the broader network of influencers are causing their control over their brands to slip away. Brand relationships are now influenced by networked brand building, characterized by multiple channels and influencers, according to the Prophet analysis.
Given this reality, more than 40% of the business-to-consumer respondents said they believed they would have less control over their brands over the coming three years than today. By contrast, only 28% of business-to-business participants were of that view.