Tag Archive for: Studie

Ad Effectiveness – Mixing Apples & Eggs?

Sometimes you read a study and think: “Ah, this is interesting information”. So, you write about it in a News Update.

And then, you stumble upon it again, and think twice about the research. This happened to me with the ‘Ad Effectiveness study’ conducted by Forbes. And browsing through it again, my feeling was that the title of this eMarketer article reflected the result, but the study itself mixes apples and eggs in some way…

Still, the main statement of the study remains an important trend in online marketing, and is an even more important praise for the work of online publishers (yes, probably a bit self-referential for Forbes).

“Respondents were by far the least happy with ad networks, with half saying that the results did not meet expectations” (…) “Ad network spending is all about demand fulfillment while direct-to-publisher display is much aligned with the traditional advertising goals of demand creation,” said Forbes.com president and CEO Jim Spanfeller.

However, it has to be said that ‘ad networks’ is not a tactic for generating conversion. It is a supplier that offers ‘cheap space’ by bundling platforms into offers in most cases. Platform owners have a much deeper understanding of their target group and can definitely do a better consulting in terms of converting their target group into potentials for their clients. Absolutely, I agree with that statement, having done this for years…

BUT: Taking my view on the study, the set up of the study is in some way irritating. When the marketing executives were asked on budget allocations the results were these…

…and what they see as most effective tactics for generating conversion? Site or page sponsorship and SEO were considered the most effective ways online.

Thinking about the answering options (and bearing in mind my brand theme ‘tools, tactics, trends’) that were given to the responding marketers though, these options need to be separated from each other…

The question, I was asking myself is… Is viral marketing really an ad tactic? In my eyes it is not. It is a strategic communication tactic which integrates viral ads as some relevant online marketing tool.

So, this study set up seems to be a comparison of apple and eggs. Viral marketing is done in social networks. It is the way in which brand awareness other marketing objectives can be increased. Viral ads is the tool that may be spread like a computer virus by the users. It cannot be influenced like banner or text ads. Nor can it be bought. So, it is a modern marketing trend with little historical definition or proven success.

And, maybe such a study should think about: What can be bought by marketers, and what cannot in our times of social media.

Spot on!
The following summary is meant to make clear what steps have to be done first by marketers to create the conversation results their bosses appreciate… and it is a guideline for the chronology of setting up an online marketing strategy.

1.) Tactics
At first, marketers have to think about the tactics they can choose from…
SEO, e-mail and e-newsletter, site and page sponsorship, corporate web TV or viral marketing.

2.) Tools
Then, they have to decide on the tools that can be used to make these tactics efficient…
good texts (I am missing this most interesting option), banners, or viral ads.

3.) Trends
And finally, we have options that might create powerful conversion…
The use of ad networks, behavioral targeting and pay per ‘x’ models (x=impression, unique user, sales, click etc.)

If the online industry continues to publish studies that mix apples and eggs, it is no wonder that 57% of respondents said they still spend less than 25% of their marketing budgets online.

It is still early days in online marketing, it seems…

News Update – Best of the Day

Alarm on the American local SEM advertising front… 50% of Google’s self-serve advertisers get lost as clients the following year, reports Silicon Alley Insider based on a study by Clickable.

If you are from the advertising industry, then there is no way around this makeover of Don McLean’s American Pie about media and advertising…

The new iphone was presented yesterday at San Francisco’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2009…

Report says, social networks not used for purchase decisions

Social networks ‘rule’ our days. Nevertheless, their monetization outlooks may be hit by some news, I came across yesterday. A recent study by Knowledge Networks reveals that only 5% of users enter social networks for guidance on purchase decisions in any of nine product/service categories.

Everybody is talking about ways for companies to promote their services, products and brands. It seems that companies cannot exist anymore if they don’t integrate social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc.) into their web strategy. And seeing the results of the study this seems to make sense. It shows that 83% of all internet users between 13-45 use social networks (47% regularly).

However, only 5% of the respondents say they are influenced in their purchasing decisions and seek guidance from social networks. Also, only 16% are more likely to purchase products from companies that advertise on social networking sites.

“Our findings show that marketers need to be prudent and people-centric in how they approach social media,” said David Tice, vice president and group account director, Knowledge Networks. “Social media users do not have a strong association between these sites and purchase decisions; they see them as being more about personal connection – so finding ways to embrace that powerful function is key. The fact that they are using social media more now than a year ago is a strong indicator that the influence of these sites and features is here to stay.”

Spot On!
The private aspect and the main intention of “staying connected” with friends and family is still the most important feature of social media. When people log in social networks it seems as if they switch to an atmosphere of privacy – and they don’t want intensive ads to interfere with peer interaction. Although the majority of users believe that ads on social networking sites are a “fair price to pay” in return to use the services for free.

People on social networks need to understand that operating a social network costs money and is not altruism business – and social networks operator should make this clear to their target group. Maybe the social networks should give people the option to either pay for access or accept ads, right from the registration process (or group together like the Social Globe). This might be a way to stop the ‘cost free web’ atmosphere…

Companies, to my experience, know that it makes definitely sense engaging in social networks. Nevertheless, there is still not enough knowledge and expertise on why, how and in which way to use social networks. Finding the right web strategy and the appropriate approach on how many and which social network activity makes sense, becomes the biggest challenge for them in the future. Rethinking their marketing, PR and sales processes is a must have to make way for an integration of social media into their company strategy. And Dell has proven that social networks are used for purchase decisions…

News Update – Best of the Day

The difference between Facebook pages and Facebook groups is…? Well, if you still don’t have the proper answer… OK, here is one of the finest explanations by Howard Greenstein that I found on the web for those companies that evaluate on smaller or bigger interaction on Facebook.

Companies still ask what the return for investing in social media is. Beth Perdue summarizes some great suggestions from experts at the New England Xpo for Business at Boston in terms of how marketing mentality is shifting. Definitely an interesting read…

Finding good case studies for social media marketing is not easy. Del Monte Foods has created a great example in just six weeks. Adage focuses a speech by Forrester Research’s Josh Bernoff. Watch it and learn from it…

Study: How women use blogs and social networking…

A recent study Women in Social Media from BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners, shows that the motivation of women using blogs and social networking differs. Blogs for women follow the purpose to find the right information while social networking platforms have the ‘mere’ sense to connect.

The results state that US women are nearly twice as likely to use blogs than social networking sites. Blogs are seen especially valuable as a source of information (64%), advice and recommendations (43%), and opinion-sharing (55%). Social networking sites are more used to share their strong affinity to connect and to entertain themselves.

Women show much more interest and increase their activity in social media. So, women are turning to blogs (55%), social networks (75%) and online status updating (20%) to satisfy their interest.

The new study found that women spend less and less time engaging in traditional media activities like watching TV, listening to the radio, or reading magazines or newspapers.

And for women blogs are becoming more and more important as a trendsetting and purchase sources of information. Seeing the influence of blogs on purchase decisions, the study makes clear that women are more likely to buy a product after reading a customer post or reports about the item. 45% of survey respondents bought a product after reading about it on a blog.

“The scale of social media usage among US women continues to grow, and blogs remain the go-to resource for those who want to gather information, share ideas and get reliable advice,” said Elisa Camahort Page, BlogHer co-founder and COO. “At a time when the economy is top-of-mind for more than 70% of these active social media participants, women who blog are turning to online resources, including blogs, to help them make their day-to-day purchasing decisions.”

Spot On!
The influence of blogs on purchase decisions shows the importance for companies to evaluate blogs as a new important part for their media plans. Reading about the habits and attitudes, the study revealed that half of the survey respondents participate in social media activity daily and weekly or more often. When we think of the 42 million women participating in social media weekly, 55% of women do some form of blogging activity; 75% participate in social networks (i.e. Facebook or MySpace) and 20% are using Twitter. The data provided shows the change in the media landscape. While traditional platform face a decrease of importance, social media is on an all time high. The time seems right to rethink traditional and digital media planning.

Study: Twitter used as a learning tool – not for ego-boosting

According to a recent study by the research firm MarketingProfs in early and mid-April, the main intention to use Twitter is learning in more or less real-time, then comes social networking benefit or pushing the ‘digital ego’.

The results of the study revealed that almost…
– 100% of the respondents said they value “getting information in a timely manner” and “I find it exciting to learn new things from people”
– about 80% like to be connected to lots of people.
– 70% answered “I find it gratifying to have people follow me,” and “I want to generate new business.”

The question that divides the Twitterati population is if a large number of followers makes you more respectful, or not. On this statement…
– 39,9% strongly or mildly agree
– 45% strongly or mildly disagree

Seeing the large number of followers as a perception of intelligence was tested with the question “People who have a large number of followers are smarter than those who don’t”…
– 81,7% strongly or mildly disagree
– 5.9% strongly or mildly agree

In the eyes of Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter, the benefits are …

“Twitter lets people know what’s going on about things they care about instantly, as it happens” (…) “In the best cases, Twitter makes people smarter and faster and more efficient.”

And yes, Twitter is turning around the media world if we look at the eMarketers summary ‘Twitter tally’.

Spot On!
But, hold on… One question makes me think about these results of the MarketingProfs study in combination with the authenticity of the answers and the first idea of the micro-blogging tool. The question “I feel bad when I tweet something and nobody responds” was answered as follows…
– 52,7% strongly or mildly disagree
– 24% strongly or mildly agree
– 23,3% neither agree nor disagree
Now, if Twitter is like a mobile phone for text message dialogues, meant to communicate with followers we like and rate, is this communication not going back to being a monologue then? So, are we really sending out some kind of information just for the sake of informing others? Don’t we await an answer if we send a text message with a mobile phone? If we tweet ‘I am in the tube’ or ‘Just got breakfast’, then probably nobody expects anything. But not if people are writing scientific papers of 500-750 words – and then tweet the headline and the link. In my opinion Twitter is moving from a communication tool to some kind of personal branding tool. Otherwise, we might ask: Why do people spend an average of 2¾ hours per day on Twitter (average using time for Twitter according to study!), instead of being productive, picking up the phone or meeting up with clients for lunch or in the bar? This is real communication, and not limited by 140 characters. And if someone has written the scientific paper it is on the web, it’s public, so if people are interested, they will find it. But Twitter spreads the word much faster. And is not this the reason why people love and use Twitter?

Internet keine Konkurrenz für klassischen Journalismus

Eine aktuelle Studie des Instituts für Kommunikationswissenschaft der Universität Münster besagt, daß das Internet für den Journalismus mehr als Ergänzung denn als Mitbewerb oder Konkurrenz gesehen werden muss. Im Rahmen der Studie wurden 183 Internetredaktionen aus Deutschland interviewt, womit sich 44% aller ermittelten Redaktionen an der Erhebung beteiligt haben (nach vorheriger inhaltsanalytischer Auswertung von rund 1.200 Internetangebote).

Schon lange stellen sich die klassischen Medienhäuser die Frage, inwieweit Weblogs, Twitter und soziale Netzwerke die traditionelle Medienwelt beeinflußt. Früher konnten Redaktionen von Presse, Rundfunk und Fernsehen exklusiv die ‘Medienmache’ ihre Expertise nennen. Inzwischen wird der Medienmarkt durch Firmen oder Privatpersonen zusätzlich mit verschiedensten Plattformen bedient. Inwieweit das Internet den Journalismus verändert, wurde in einem zweijährigen Forschungsprojekt am Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft der Universität Münster untersucht.

Laut Studie lässt sich das Ergebnis auf die folgende Formel bringen: „Ergänzung statt Konkurrenz”. Noch dominieren die Online-Angebote der traditionellen Massenmedien. Weblogs und Nutzerplattformen stellen insgesamt 5% der als journalistisch identifizierten Internetangebote – eine noch niedrige Zahl. Dennoch ist die erweiterte “Partizipation” und die “Technisierung” (Automatisierung der Nachrichtenauswahl durch Google News und andere Suchmaschinen) inzwischen deutlich sichtbar und beeinflußt den modernen Journalismus. Der beruflich ausgeübte Journalismus werde deshalb aber nicht verdrängt, ziehen die Studienverantwortlichen den Schluss.

„Weblogs und Redaktionen beobachten sich gegenseitig, sie übernehmen Themen und kommentieren einander”, beschreibt Prof. Dr. Christoph Neuberger, der Leiter des Forschungsprojekts, die Beziehung.

Zur Recherche nutzen rund drei Viertel der Internetredaktionen Weblogs und 99% die Enzyklopädie Wikipedia vorwiegend als Nachschlagewerk (83%). Ihre Zuverlässigkeit schätzen sie als hoch ein.

Spot On!
Der traditionelle Journalismus ist dennoch in einer schwierigen Transitionsphase. Auf der einen Seite müssen Medienhäuser sich im Internet engagieren, andererseits fehlen zukunftsträchtige monetarisierende Geschäftsmodelle. Die heutige Aussage von Fried von Bismarck überrascht nicht, kostenpflichtige Inhalte als Businessmodell zu evaluieren – trotz hoher Reichweiten und der Vorbildfunktion von Spiegel Online.
Allerdings muß man auch die Kehrseite der Medialle sehen: Der Nutzer ist aufgrund seines Einflusses wichtig für den Input und somit die Qualität des zukünftigen investigativen journalistischen Outputs. Muß der User Zahlen, ist fraglich, ob der User generierte Input weiterhin so zahlreich bleibt, oder schwindet. Denn: Wenn die von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft finanzierte Studie zeigt, daß viele Redaktionen mit den Möglichkeiten der Web 2.0 Nutzerbeteiligung experimentieren, ist das ein klares Zeichen der Wichtigkeit, des Einflusses und Zukunftsträchtigkeit der modernen und sozialen Medien für den Journalismus. Hierbei profitieren Redaktionen laut eigener Aussagen von Kommentaren (20% lassen diese bereits zu) sowie von eigenen Weblogs, Videologs oder Podcasts (55% setzen diese ein).

UK: Internet users love browsing social media – less shopping

A recent study by Hitwise reveales that UK Internet users are spending more time browsing online media than ‘going’ online shopping. In March 2009 9.8% of all UK Internet visits were directed to social networking websites and 8.6% to online retail websites. Compared to 2008, the figures turned around (online retailers 9.7% – social networks 8.2%).

In the passed year, online retailers sawe a downsize in traffic from paid search like sponsored or paid for links on search engines (i.e. like Google, Yahoo!, Live and Ask) – 2009: 8.9% and 2008: 10,1% of visits to online retailers came from a paid search listing.

“The growth of social networking, online video and the continuing popularity of news websites has meant that an increasing proportion of consumer’s online time in the UK has been devoted to online media,” commented Robin Goad, Hitwise’s Director of Research.

The traffic that Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and the likes generates for online retailers increased in one year from 5.2% to 7.1%. And social networks now generate 58.3% more traffic than webmail providers (Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and GoogleMail). The best performing categories in 2009 were Auctions, Fashion and Department Stores.

“Social networks are a relatively small but fast growing source of traffic for online retailers,” commented Goad. “At present, only a minority of retailers pick up a significant amount of traffic from social networks, but many of those that do have seen a positive impact on traffic. For example, fashion retailer ASOS has a strong presence on Facebook and in March received 13.3% of its traffic from the social network. Another example – in a very different market – is online bookseller Abebooks, which currently receives a quarter of all its UK Internet traffic from social networks, more than it gets from search engines.”

Spot On!
Is this showing a trend that people are willing to buy products in social networks? In the UK, it sounds possible. It could be the next step. We all know that the easy purchase process is a winner – for companies and customers. Thinking of the future of social networks, companies should consider engaging with customers much more on social networks while also integrating ‘light’ e-commerce opportunities in their Facebook Fan pages or in their company profiles at XING. Or at least indicate and lead the way for customers to some good offers or marketing activities. And re-thinking efforts on big spendings for paid search is definitely something that needs to be thought about…

B2B Study: Marketers Strategies and Spendings for 2009

A recent study from Marketing Profs and Forrester Research amongst 300,000 marketing executives and other management professionals, conducted in late 2008, offers insight in the latest b2b marketing strategies, budgets, tactics and attitudes.

The key findings are that marketers have three deeper needs for the future: measuring effectiveness becomes increasingly important (i.e. webinars and search provide great tactical benefit), understanding customers deepest needs and wishes, plus exploring and learning from best practices for daily business implementation is crucial.

The report makes clear that top marketing business decision makers are relying much more on digital marketing tactics. With a high percentage of respondents saying that their company web site (91%) and email activities (81%) are the top media used for their tactics. Still, it is interesting to see that a lot of marketers work with traditional tactics like public relation (72%) and tradeshows/conferences (70%) as very important lead generation tools.

With the increasing importance of web 2.0 and social media platforms and tools for customers, companies are changing their media mix from ‘[more costly] traditional media and toward [less costly] new tactics’. Nevertheless, the marketers knowledge on tactics for the new social media platforms is still in an ‘infancy’ status.

In average, the budgets are still spend in an ‘old-school’ manner with tradeshows/conferences (20%) and TV advertising (18%) leading the marketing mix spending, followed by inside sale/telemarketing (16%) and print advertising (13%) – the leading field only interrupted by one digital marketing activity: direct mail (14%).

Spot On!
The report reflects in some way the economic crisis when the executive summary is talking of reducing spending and focusing efforts on a narrower segment of their target markets. Meaning… the so called ‘watering can’ marketing strategy is vanishing and marketing strategy will be focused much more on the digital ‘1-to-1’ as well as ‘1-to-many’ approach. The real (or potential) customers, their environment and the people influencing them has reached the marketers mind – so social media is not too far away for them to understand, and offers great opportunity to learn much more needs and wishes.

Studie: Cloud Computing im Aufwind trotz Bedenken

Cloud Computing spaltet die Gemeinde der IT- und Business Entscheider immernoch. Eine aktuelle Studie des IT-Beratungshauses Avanade zeigt, daß Cloud Computing zwar Punkte bei Wirtschaftsentscheidern sammelt, aber ebenso wie das Thema Social Media haben die meisten von ihnen laut der aktuellen Studie Sicherheitsbedenken und befürchten Kontrollverlust.

So wird der Umzug in die virtuellen Rechnerwolken wohl doch bei den meisten auf nicht absehbare Zeit verschoben. Die Studie von Avanade unter 500 befragten CIO’s und IT-Entscheider aus 17 Ländern besagt, daß für mehr als 50% der IT-Leiter Cloud Computing grundsätzliche eine nützliche Technologie-Option sei, der Zeitpunkt für den Unternehmenseinsatz aber aufgrund des Sicherheitsrisikos und der Zukunftsfähigigkeit des Konzeptes wohl noch nicht der richtige sei. 42% wollen sich demnentsprechend erst später dafür oder dagegen entscheiden.

Daß Cloud Computing das Kerngeschäft unterstützen kann, davon sind 60% der befragten Wirtschaftsentscheider überzeugt. Zudem gehen 55% davon aus, auf Bewegungen im Wettbewerbsmarkt und auf Businessveränderungen schneller reagieren zu können.

„Die globale Studie zeigt, daß Unternehmens- und IT-Manager die Vorteile von Cloud Computing bereits verstanden haben – sie wissen, dass die Systeme entscheidende Verbesserungen bedeuten können”, sagt der Avanade-Manager Tyson Hartman. „Unsere Branche steht nun vor der Herausforderung, mit diesen Bedenken aufzuräumen und handfeste Strategien und Wege aufzuzeigen. Cloud-basierte Services sollen schon heute implementiert und ein langfristiger Plan in die Wege geleitet werden, um einen wirtschaftlichen Nutzen für die Zukunft zu schaffen“, erklärt Hartmann.

Ein entscheidender Vorteil für Cloud Computing ist die Kosteneffizienz. Dies sehen auch 42% der weltweit befragten Studienteilnehmer, die zugeben, daß die aktuellen internen Systeme zu teuer seien. Dennoch ist das Verauen in die eigenen Systeme höher. 72% und 80% der befragten Entscheider in Deutschland trauen eher ihren eigenen Systemen. Da wird der Einsatz von Software und Hardware als Internetservice von Drittanbietern noch skeptisch beäugt. Der Grund sind Sicherheitsbedenken und Verlust über die Kontrolle von Daten und Systeme.