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Showing posts with label Online media Buying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Online media Buying. Show all posts

January 25, 2010

Social Networking Usage increases by 82%

While social media today is a part of everyone's lives and has overcome demographic barriers , irrespective of how people feel about feel about it .. You may hate it or love it but there is no escaping about it.

That's what a recent study conducted by Nielson has to say about social media behavioral change .In a study that perhaps reinforces the idea that social media has come to stay as spocial media usage has continued to rise in terms of unique visitors and hours spent on social media sites.According to a nielson report , social media usage rose by 82% on YoY

Global*((*Global data takes into account the following countries: U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain and Italy) ) consumers spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, an 82% increase from the same time last year when users were spending just over three hours on social networking sites. In addition, the overall traffic to social networking sites has grown over the last three years.

Globally(*Global data takes into account the following countries: U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain and Italy) social networks and blogs are the most popular online category when ranked by average time spent in December, followed by online games and instant messaging. With 206.9 million unique visitors, Facebook was the No. 1 global social networking destination in December 2009 and 67% of global social media users visited the site during the month. Time on site for Facebook has also been on the rise, with global users spending nearly six hours per month on the site.

Year-over-year growth in average time spent by U.S. users, for both Facebook and, outpaced the overall growth for the category, increasing 200% and 368%, respectively. Among, the top five U.S. social networking sites, continued its reign as the fastest-growing in December 2009 in terms of unique visitors, increasing 579% year-over-year

Australia led in average time per person spent, with the average Australian spending nearly 7 hours on social media sites in December. The United States and the United Kingdom came in a close second and third, with 6 hours and 9 minutes and 6 hours and 8 minutes, respectively.

September 7, 2009

Is Blogging For Cash the same as Bidding for Keywords


Increasingly brands are beginning to realise that it pays to offer Bloggers cash incentives for blogging positive word of mouth across the web. Of late there has been a lot of instances where bing brands have found to have offered incentives to promote their brand on the web and had lot of egg on their faces when this was found out

This debate between ethical and unethical blogging existed for quite some time now and those few who knew paid blogging choose to look on the way way since there was no evidence against big brands, but this spiralled into a major debate when during the Holiday season in 2008, News broke that Kmart had paid some prominent bloggers including Chris Brogan to post about their stores in the run-up to the holidays.Kmart sponsored well known US blogger Chris Brogan, to spend a $500 (£340) gift card it donated in a bid to figure out 'what was cool to buy at Kmart' ..

The retailer subsequently threw open the offer to readers, who were asked to post comments on blogs with their Kmart 'holiday wish list' as well as a pre-composed Kmart tweet to all their respective followers It wasn't just them; Panasonic also paid some bloggers to make videos at the January consumer electronics show.

However after this Pay Off was discovered there were barrage of criticisms accusing Kmart and Chris Brogan by using their influence by unfair means to change perception about the company.

Chris Bogan however justified this by saying that as a publisher he had the right to post anything since in the digital space the line between the "Editorial and Sponsored were clearly not drawn.Brogan argued that the traditional advertiser/editorial dichotomy is not as clearly defined in the digital space. "As a publisher, I have all the jobs of the newspaper. I am both the editorial staff and also the business side of the house," he wrote. His most valid line of defence was the fact that the blog post, like a print advertorial, clearly stated the article was sponsored, though the opinions were the author's own.

Sony is among the brands to have led the charge into the relatively untapped paid-for blogging space. Recognizing the power and influence bloggers wield, it took the unprecedented step in 2006 of inviting three bloggers to the TV shoot of 'Paint' for Sony Bravia in Glasgow, equipping them with cameras and giving them behind-the-scenes access months before the TV ad aired.

This strategy marked a significant milestone that would eventually lead to scores of brands actively seeking participation from the blogosphere, rather than subserviently waiting to be written about. 'Foam City', Sony's 2007 follow-up to the 'Paint' commercial, saw influential bloggers invited to a shoot in Miami and given free rein to blog from the set, resulting in a wave of online publicity that fuelled anticipation ahead of the TV ad's launch.

Brands contributing to the trend include Mercedes, which allowed a mother that blogged on to trial its GLK Model ahead of its launch, and Nokia, whose blogger-related program saw 50 of the most influential tech bloggers given the N95 handset to critique.

According to "Kunal Dutta" of " Between 2007 and 2008, the number of internet users reading blogs at least on a monthly basis ballooned from 25 per cent to 37 per cent". Indeed, today instead of repudiating bloggers, many brands maintain their own blogs or are adapting marketing strategies to tap into conversations already taking place online. In the current economic climate, paying bloggers to write about your brand can also work out cheaper than display advertising, acting as a further incentive for marketers to get involved.

The truth is that as Brands and marketers we all have paid for " commercial gain" whenever we have bid on keywords at Google Adwords. We have paid " for online distribution " whenever we have opted for a paid press release websites and we are continue to paying for " sponsored reviews"

However this debate has to do with the quality of the people who has been paid to "Blog" about a brand.Blogs by themselves are still seen as a neutral territory by users who have over the years learnt to value a bloggers feedback more seriously than a company spokesman or the brands themselves.

People who debate on the other side claims that Digital audiences are built on trust and authenticity, and content that creates advocacy and evokes a reader's passion points come from a deep insight. These insights are created over a long time, as users slowly begins to respect what the blogger says.Bloggers who sell their soul for cash naturally are not seen in a good light by users and the brand suffers.

Walmart felt this and learnt the hard way in 2006 when it set up a blog featuring the musings of a couple who drove across the US, writing positive reviews of its employees and working conditions. It gradually transpired the 'bloggers' were in fact a freelance writer and a member of the US Treasury Department who were being generously compensated for their efforts.

Doing this online requires a far more subtle and long-term approach than paying for reviews in the hope that you'll be noticed."

I would love to know your thoughts on Paid Vs Transparency debate. Do you feel paid blogging is nothing more than a ad on a reputed newspaper.

September 6, 2009

The Social Media Debate :Branding Tool or Lead Generation

While social media marketing is today seen more as a necessity rather than a choice..what remains unsaid is that there are differences in views regarding whether social media activities ideally is a good lead generation tool or a better branding tool.

The more simplistic analysis would be that no matter what social media does.. it definitely leads to creating more buzz about your brand across the web which finally may or may not lead to a sales .

However most organizations seem to have the habit of getting into a debate about the actual results of social media activity, forgetting that any activity if done smartly and effectively has to go through the process of " Creating Brand Identity first" before any ROI is seen.

The fact that social media gives you the right platform to create visibility about your brand across online distribution channels is evident according to Anderson Analytics’ May 2009 survey—52% of social network users had become a fan or follower of a company or brand, while 46% had said something good about a brand or company on a social networking Website—double the percentage who had said something negative (23%).

In a December 2008 MarketingSherpa survey of social media marketing professionals, 92% of respondents said social media marketing was effective at influencing brand reputation and 91% said it worked for increasing brand awareness. These executives found it far less effective for generating sales leads or increasing online sales.

However, savvy marketers are demonstrating the effectiveness of using social networks for direct marketing and lead generation as well. Brand pages and applications can be vehicles to deliver coupons and offers to consumers to drive trials, store traffic and response. A July 2009 Starbucks promotion, for example, distributed coupons for a free pastry via Facebook and other social outlets. The chain was soon one of the top trending topics on Twitter and the top brand on Facebook, with more than 3.7 million fans.

March 11, 2008

And Now .. Media Buying Dashboard From Google

After dominating virtually everything online , Google it seems is ready to give offline media buying agencies a run for its money.Indeed, the company has increasingly begun to see itself as a diversified media buying platform. Already print newspaper ad buying, radio and TV are integrated, to varying degrees, into AdWords. And last Thursday Google's Tim Armstrong outlined a provocative and much larger vision for the company that would incorporate it more centrally into major ad agencies' media buying and planning processes.

Tim is the President, Advertising and Commerce for Google in North America, while speaking at the American Association of Advertising Agencies Media Conference in Orlando, Florida outlines the Companies ambitious growth plans in various offline media.

According to MediaPost:

"Google offline media integration strategy basically takes a mix of different media types and puts them together," he said, adding that the system, which is still being developed, was part of a suite of new tools Google is building to make the lives of media buyers "easier." The new dashboard, he said, would enable buyers to manage mixes of offline media like TV, radio and print campaigns, with their online display and search advertising, and to harness their data streams to show how one platform influences traffic to the others.

The deep level of ad-agency integration that this implies would presumably enable Google to capture a larger slice of the brand advertising pie. However, several factors might conspire against Google in this scenario. Alley Insider gives a few reasons why Google might face some problems

* Agency fear and/or resistance
* Agency development of a competing system that accomplishes the same objectives more effectively and easily.
* The possibility that media buying cannot be automated to the degree Google assumes.There may be less room for automation, etc., in the ad-buying process than Google and other would like. Everyone in the ad business would like to reduce the amount of friction involved in buying ad time/space/etc. But unless everyone, on all sides of the transaction, are using the same system, this could still be a risk involved.

* The agencies could beat Google to it, using their own set of high-tech tools. This is exactly what WPP's Group M, among others, have been trying to do.
There may be less room for automation, etc., in the ad-buying process than Google and other would like. Everyone in the ad business would like to reduce the amount of friction involved in buying ad time/space/etc. But unless everyone, on all sides of the transaction, are using the same system, this could still be a "high touch" business.

Silicon Alley Insider also captures another level of potential resistance: "Google wants to be your media planner. And your research department. All functions that make up a big part of the giant ad conglomerates already." In other words, these are bread and butter agency functions that bring in revenue.

Regardless, there's a kind of "inexorable" logic to the Google cross-media dashboard. For the past several years, Google has envisioned itself as a more efficient way to buy media across the full range of advertising platforms and has very self-consciously been moving toward this goal.