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Facebook Shopping

The news that Facebook has decided to enter the e-commerce space should cheer the social network’s investors, who have so far been concerned about how Facebook would supplement its revenues. At present, around 80% of Facebook’s revenues come through display advertising, and most of the rest comes through online game-maker Zynga. Since Facebook’s IPO, the company has been coming under increasing pressure to augment these two revenue sources especially advertising on Facebook’s mobile application, which is where the majority of Facebook users are accessing the site. But the fact that you can now buy real products on Facebook a range of virtual gifts has been up for sale for a while now and gift them to those on your friend list should ease investor concern. After all, e-commerce is growing rapidly in almost every area. Despite the recession, the US saw its online retail spending reach $43.2 billion in Q2 2012, up 15% yoy, according to online market researcher comScore. This represents the eleventh consecutive quarter of positive growth, and the seventh that has seen double-digit growth. In Europe, where austerity and a general financial gloom has muted economic growth, the online retail market grew to 200.52 billion euros in 2011, up 18% over the previous year. The European online retail market is estimated to grow 16% in 2012. In India, where e-commerce is just about catching on and the recession has had a more limited impact, the growth is even faster. Now, if Facebook can broaden the basket of products it offers more than the current mugs, coffee and other knick-knacks-and works out a feasible deal with the vendors regarding the cut Facebook gets for playing the middleman, this could be a real money-spinner.

Sony, PNB, Amrapali top OOH spenders in Delhi

Delhi, in the last three months, has seen a consistent set of brand presence in its outdoor landscape. According to Proof of Performance Data Services (POPDS), real estate, media, BSFI and education sector invested the most in Delhi during first fortnight of September 2012. In the last three months, telecom has shown low presence in Delhi outdoors. POPDS monitored 133 routes in Delhi in the first the fortnight of September 2012. Real estate and allied industries category was the most active sector that advertised during this duration. About 43 per cent of the tracked sites were dominated with real estate and allied industries sector which is six per cent higher than August 2012.Followed by it was the media and entertainment sector that created 16 per cent visibility through the tracked outdoor sites, which is similar to the previous month. Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) contributed to 13 per cent visibility, which is three per cent higher than last month. Education sector, interestingly, saw a four per cent drop as there only five per cent of the tracked outdoor media had educational advertising. Other sectors that contributed to the active outdoor advertising were retailing apparel (five per cent visibility), consumer electronics (five per cent), automobile and ancillaries (four per cent).Airlines, travels and tours was a new category that saw three per cent visibility. FMCG and telecom was seen the least in the outdoor space during this period; it contributed to only three per cent of outdoor advertising. Real estate yet again dominates the Delhi outdoors. According to POPDS, the top brands of the real estate and allied industries were Amrapali, Anant Raj Group, Paras Buildtech, Parsvnath, Earth Infrastructure, Krrish Group, Wave, Greenlam, Supertech Group and Wonder Cement. About 33 per cent of the campaigns were seen on mupi, 16 per cent on unipole, 14 per cent on hoarding, 11 per cent on public utility and five per cent on bus shelter.Media and entertainment was actively present on the outdoor assets of Delhi. Big FM was the radio media brand that actively advertised during this period. I M 24 and Jeena Hai Toh Thok movie promotions were seen to hit the big billboards of Delhi. Sony, Indian Express, The Week magazine and Spark Big CBS were the other brands of this sector that were active outdoor. The media format that was used the most was unipole which contributed to 24 per cent of media and entertaining advertisements, followed by hoardings (22 per cent), bus shelters (16 per cent), metro panels (11 per cent) and mupis (10 per cent).Financial brands were active on Delhi outdoor as compared to the previous month. SBI, Punjab National Bank, SBI, Citi Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, United Bank of India, ING Vysya Bank, LIC, HDFC Bank, Union KBC and Bank of Baroda were the top brands in the BFSI sector that spent money in Delhi outdoors. The top five media formats that were used by BSFI sector were bus shelters (33 per cent), metro panels (19 per cent), unipoles (11 per cent), hoardings (10 per cent), and mupis (nine per cent).

Big digital numbers don't necessarily translate to user engagement for brands

Indian geo location based research and social marketing agency, LocoBuzz, studied user engagement across the Top 100 Global Brands on Facebook and says that it has exploded some popular myths. According to the Buzz Report, it has been noticed that big is not necessarily better. Very few brands who have around a million fans have an engagement ratio of one per cent and above which explains that people who follow big brands don't necessarily interact with them regularly, thus breaking the myth that a big Fan base results in effective brand messaging. Also, talking about a page doesn't at all reflect active engagements between consumers and the page. A Facebook Brand Page is now an integral part of most marketing strategies around the world, be it Automobile, Hospitality, Mobility, FMCG and, of course, Consumer Internet. However the success and impact of a brand campaign on Facebook is no longer defined by the number of people that 'Like' the page, but is now gauged by how interactive the brand is with people that like the page. A brand can be popular but it can't be effective on Facebook unless it engages its fans. LocoBuzz has conducted the study based on the Talking About This score available on Facebook and combining it with the engagement formula used by The top international brands based on their high engagement scores are MTV, Disney, Youtube, Facebook and Coca Cola. The top Indian brands are, Axe Angels Club, Café Coffee Day, DoCoMo, MTV India, Kingfisher, FastTrack and Vodafone ZooZoo. The study is based on data collected for the time period 4- 10 September 2012. A LocoBuzz Social Media Analytics tool was used to collate the number of likes, comments and shares that each post from each brand received over a period of seven days. This data was further used to calculate the engagement score based on the following formula provided on LocoBuzz head social media analysis Vidyasagar Parivelli said, "The findings are astonishing! Brands that have over a 1,000,000 strong fan-base have a much lower engagement rate than we expected."A lot of brands that have a good 'Talking About This' score, do not have any real time engagement (likes, comments shares) on their page. What is even more surprising is that matrimonial brand has the highest engagement rate in the world amongst all brands. With over 25 per cent engagement ratio on Facebook and seven per cent LocoBuzz engagement rate, it appears that this is one brand that has cracked the code. LocoBuzz adds that it was surprised to find an Indian brand leading the way.

New Tools Announced for Maximizing Social Impact of Advertising

In an era when many marketers are focused on tapping into social influence online, new tools for influencing offline conversations were unveiled today at Advertising Week by CBS, Nielsen, and word of mouth experts the Keller Fay Group. Marketers across the nation are seeking to find ways to maximize word of mouth about their products and services, recognizing that a recommendation from a friend, colleague or relative is the most trusted form of communications.  Many turn to social media solutions as the engine to drive their social strategies, but Ed Keller of the Keller Fay Group and Dave Poltrack of CBS released new research at a gathering of marketers at Advertising Week in New York that challenges whether this is the best way for brands to reach today's more social consumer. According to research by the Keller Fay Group: There are 15 billion brand impressions each week in the US that are created via word of mouth. 90% of these conversations are driven by offline conversations, primarily face-to-face. Television ads are the #1 touchpoint for driving these word of mouth conversations out of more than 20 measured. Primetime television viewers are prolific talkers, with viewers of top rated shows such as American Idol, Modern Family, and Two and a Half Men engaging in 700 million or more brand conversations per week.

To help marketers take better advantage of the opportunity to use television to maximize the word of mouth impact of their advertising, Keller announced a new, innovative research initiative that combines television viewing measures from Nielsen's National People Meter, the ratings currency by which all television viewing is measured in the US; with word of mouth measures from Keller Fay's TalkTrack, the only continuous research initiative that measures both offline as well as online word of mouth.  The system also includes a segmentation created by CBS and Nielsen that segments consumers based on media consumption and lifestyles, rather than demographics, and is available to all Nielsen clients.  According to Poltrack and Keller, one of the segments media trendsetters stands out for its disproportionately large role in word of mouth and a heavy reliance on paid advertising for brand conversation content."The numbers of conversations generated by the audiences of television shows is truly staggering, but these statistics are not generally familiar to most media planners because the data have not been available before. The integration of these measurement systems will allow planners for the first time to optimize their media planning with word of mouth as a strategic objective," according to Ed Keller, who is CEO of Keller Fay Group and coauthor of The Face-to-Face Book:  Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace. According to Poltrack, who is Chief Research Officer of CBS, "For some time we have known that TV far outpaced social networking sites when it comes to both reach and engagement.  Now, the Keller Fay/Nielsen fusion provides the media industry with the data it needs to usher in a new era of media planning, one that properly understands and values the social impact of television."

P&G launches branded entertainment site for women

FMCG giant Proctor & Gamble, working with MediaCom and Yahoo!, has launched a branded-content channel, Style Factor, to reach digitally savvy women in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Like its rival Unilever, P&G is making increasing use of branded content to engage with consumers. Unilever launched its men’s branded channel, titled 'Locker room', on MSN last month, targeting busy, young, urbane males in Malaysia. Inspired by The Thread on Yahoo!, which Shine developed for P&G in the USA, the Style Factor site will offer locally produced content on celebrities, fashion, skincare, haircare and make up.“Style Factor is a site for a digitally savvy woman who is smart and discerning about engaging with brands online,” said Priyali Kamath, associate marketing director, media planning & operations of P&G Asia. Video entertainment will also be an integral part of Style Factor. Developed by Yahoo!, the video series will be hosted by local celebrities and will feature celebrity-inspired styles, fashion trends and beauty tips.“Custom content experiences offer unparalleled opportunities for marketers to engage with users in a more meaningful way, thus generating better business results for brands,” said Lars M. B. Anthonisen, director for interaction at MediaCom. “By creating customized content, P&G aims to go deeper and draw insights into how consumers engage with their brands online. We envision this to be a long term partnership, one that will be extended to other countries in the region in the future.”

Google India appoints SME partner

Digital marketing company GETIT Infoservices has announced its association with Google India as a premier small and medium enterprises (SME) partner. As part of this partnership GETIT will cater to the strong demand for digital advertising from small and medium sized businesses and market Google Adwords product; it will develop, launch and manage digital campaigns for small and medium businesses. The Google - GETIT partnership entails the latter providing end-to-end sales and marketing solutions, as well complete implementation of digital campaigns. GETIT's key contribution in this business partnership is to provide extensive pan-India reach with its field force of more than 1,000 people across the country. The association will enable Google to attract more Indian SMEs online and help promote their businesses and provide them leads through Google's AdWords product.Sidharth Gupta, chief executive officer (CEO), GETIT Infoservices Pvt. Ltd. said , "This partnership with Google comes at a relevant time. 'We have 1,000s of SME customers across India, and we will bring to them the advantages of Google's products. In the Indian context SMEs prefer being served face-to-face, and we work closely with SMEs to bring them the best benefits of Google AdWords products, in addition to other GETIT bundles."SMEs in India contribute 45% to the industrial output and 40% to exports. They also employ 60 million people and create 1.3 million jobs every year. GETIT has about 25 years of legacy in servicing Indian SMEs with its Yellow Pages heritage. It has more than 3 million SMEs registered in it database and makes more than 1.5 million contacts with SMEs across India each year. With all this expertise, GETIT will assist Google to capitalize on SME's increasing potential.

“New media has to be integrated at every level”

Integrated and effective use of new media is required to grow and survive in the current scenario. While entrepreneurs work on integrating their business with digital, they need to look at specific elements involved in digital to ensure smooth functioning. Aaron Kahlow, Founder and CEO, Online Marketing Institute, is of the view that industrialists need to educate themselves in terms of social media. They need to look at amplification, iteration, attribution and research. Entrepreneurs need to have a view of the content generated at the local level along with the global statistics and data. Social media is a dynamic field and its trends change constantly. In recent times, videos have emerged as a successful medium to engage with TG. An average Facebook user spends 20 per cent of his time watching videos on the website. Thus, it has become imperative to make the best out of this medium. In a bid to explain the growing reach of social networking, Anusha Shetty, CEO, Autumn Worldwide, gave a detailed view of the reach of social analytics. “You can learn a lot from what people are Tweeting or posting on social media. Every conversation matters, every post and tweet can influence a brand’s image and thus brands need to be very careful,” said Shetty.Companies need to look beyond their brands, while looking at the content on social networks. They need to know the personality of the ‘influencer’ for insights on social network are unbiased and give the brand a true image of where they stand.Digital ecosystem is rapidly evolving with continuous growth in internet penetration and mobile device access. Better user interface, affordable pricing and availability of internet have led to a spurt of smartphones and tablet market in India. Online consumption of content through mobile devices has increased in the last few years, thus giving rise to a completely new app economy. “Digitisation has been a game changer across all major media segments in the country. India saw the development of digital TV and digital music. Internet has affected advertisement business of newspapers,” said Jehil Thakkar, Partner and Head, Media and Entertainment, KPMG (India), commenting on the impact Digitisation has created in the last few years. Mobile is now the device of choice. According to statistics, smartphone users read 21 per cent less printed books and watch 22 per cent less TV. Thus, businesses have to integrate digital with traditional platforms to give the consumers a complete experience. Commenting on the evolution of e-commerce as an integral part of multi-channel retailing, Rajiv Prakash, Founder, Next In Partners said, “E-commerce is like multi-channel retailing and not just online retailing.”In an attempt to explain the role of e-commerce in multi-channel retail, Prakash said that digital should be a part of all the other mediums to enhance consumer experience. As a part of the larger ecosystem, digital presence should complement the offline services provided by brands. According to him, new media has to be integrated in the functioning of a business at every stage. For instance, entrepreneurs should give their website details in all the print, television and out of home advertisements. They should pay attention to SEO and SEM management and make their online services easily accessible. The industry leaders shared their views at Technology for Marketing and Advertising Conference, held in Mumbai on October 10, 2012.

Microsoft Starts TV Advertising Countdown to Windows 8 Launch

Microsoft has turned up the volume on the marketing and advertising campaign leading up to the launch of Windows 8 later this month, with a barrage of ads that ran during NFL games today. The spot shows PCs and tablets from the likes of Acer, Lenovo and Sony, including touchscreens which are, in part, intended to make the Windows ecosystem more competitive with devices like Apple’s iPad. The ads (see the video embedded below) starts with a countdown, as if for a rocket launch, but gets stuck on the number 8. It ends by showing a young girl “painting a picture” on a PC screen, and then showing the printed result to an adult, with the tagline “Windows Reimagined.”The ads come 11 days before Microsoft is expected to officially debut Windows 8 at an event in New York, along with its Surface tablet device which, oddly enough, is not shown in the ad.It’s going to take the full buzz-generating capabilities of Microsoft and its partners to reverse the slide in the sales of PCs. Just last week, the market research firms Gartner and IDC reported that PC sales that declined by more than 8 percent from the same period a year ago. The slide in sales has been blamed in part on consumers who have held back on making PC purchases, knowing that a new version of Windows has been in the offing. But rarely in the past has a iteration of Windows significantly reignited PC sales by itself. Corporations, meanwhile, are more conservative, and tend not to buy machines with the latest version of Windows until it has been upgraded once or twice by Microsoft with a service pack or two. On top of all that, there has been the ongoing challenge of tablets like the iPad, and others running Google’s Android operating system, that have eaten into sales of PCs, particularly notebooks. Ads for those devices were also in heavy rotation during Sunday’s football games.

Mobile advertising: Small firms grabbing the bigger slice

When Auntie Anne's, the pretzel chain, wanted to tempt moms in Atlanta shopping malls with free offers, it dished out coupons through smartphones that could be redeemed immediately for a free drink or other specials. But while the moms received the coupons on their iPhone or Android device, the power behind the campaign was not Google or Apple it was Millennial Media, a nimble six-year old independent that has grabbed the no.2 spot in mobile advertising in the United States. Google is no.1, but the flexibility of its smaller rivals is helping them catch up in a US market that is expected to triple in size to more than $20 billion in the next three years, according to market research firm Gartner. Smaller firms have the freedom to reach users who use any mobile operating system, unlike Apple, which promotes advertising on its Apple iOS platform, and Google, which handles advertising across all devices but also has its own platform, Android."Advertisers want to be able to reach the broadest population they can and in the mobile world, where the platforms are fragmented, this gives an opening to the providers who are truly platform neutral," Gartner analyst Andrew Frank said. Google held 24 percent of the US market last year, while Millennial had 17 percent and Apple 15.5 percent, according to market research firm IDC. Unlisted Jumptap held 9.5 percent, Yahoo 7.5 percent and India's InMobi 2.2. percent.Ireland-based Velti Plc, which listed in early 2011, is also chasing market share. Investors are taking notice. While Facebook has been pilloried for lacking a mobile strategy; shares of Millennial have jumped 76 percent from a low of $9 in early August. Shares of Velti have leaped 59 percent from a life low of $4.99 on July 25.Millennial, a roughly $1 billion company, is a great bet for someone looking for investments in mobile advertising, said Steven Dray, a portfolio manager at investment firm AlphaOne Capital Partners LLC."When you get to brand advertising, which is eventually going to be a huge pile of money that's going to move from traditional advertising to mobile, I think that's where Millennial and some of the smaller players could have very good success," Dray said. AlphaOne bought into Millennial after its initial public offering in March and holds about 40,000 shares in the company. Despite the run-up in their shares, the smaller firms have not run ahead of the sector. Millennial trades at 4.3 times forward 12-month sales and Velti trades at 1.3 times. While their businesses are obviously much bigger and more varied, Google trades at a multiple of 4.6 and Facebook at 6.7.As consumers increasingly surf the web on the go, advertisers are looking to ply them with targeted information about nearby restaurants, pubs, theaters, shops and salons.

Marketers Increase Digital Media Spend for Multicultural Outreach

As both digital media and multicultural outreach become more popular marketing techniques, US marketers are beginning to combine the two efforts. In its “2012 Multicultural Marketing and Newer Media Survey Results,” the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) found that this year, more than half of US marketers (60%) will spend more on new media efforts, such as social media or mobile outreach, specifically to reach multicultural segments. An additional 24% will spend the same as they did in 2011.When it comes to which customer segments these marketers are targeting, the greatest number, 88%, said they were reaching out to Hispanics. That was followed by targeting black consumers (54%), Asian consumers (37%) and LGBT consumers (11%).This focus on Hispanic consumers makes sense given that they are the most populous and fastest-growing minority group, increasing by 3.1% since 2010, according to the US Census. But even though Hispanics are growing in number, and the LGBT community in particular is growing in influence, digital budgets for multicultural outreach remain mostly on the low end. More than half of these US marketers (54%) had less than 5% of their multicultural media budget allocated to digital media platforms for 2012. However, the percentage of marketers spending more than 20% of their multicultural media budget on digital increased from 4% in 2010 to 13% in 2012.As with all budget shifts, many marketers must pull funds from other areas of marketing, and 56% of respondents told the ANA that the funds for this digital multicultural outreach were shifted from the traditional media and marketing communications budget. Additionally, 28% said they were able to increase multicultural digital budgets thanks to their incremental budget. As these two elements multicultural and digital are integrated more into overall marketing strategies, marketers will need to focus more time and resources on the technology-savvy Asian, Hispanic and black customer segments.

From Hermes to Chanel, luxury watchmakers advertise big ahead of festive season

A billboard advertisement of a luxury watch next to a busy flyover in the city is hard to miss, especially for those who associate French fashion house Hermes mainly with clothing and accessories. As Indians loosen their purse strings ahead of Dussehra and Diwali, the two big festivals that also usher in the wedding season, an increasing number of premium and luxury watchmakers are jumping on the advertising bandwagon to cash in on the air of festivity. Chanel, a French luxe brand that has been selling watches priced upwards of 2.5 lakh in India since 2005, has put up a hoarding at the swanky T3 terminal of New Delhi airport.” The Chanel watch hoarding creates awareness, visibility and desire in an appropriate environment," Chanel India spokeswoman Marielou Phillips said, adding that it has fuelled queries about the brand's new watch collection at its boutique in the capital. India’s watch market is estimated at 4,500 crore, with the high-end and luxury time pieces accounting for about 20% of sales, or 850 crore."The idea is to establish the brand in the minds of people," said Yashovardhan Saboo, the CEO of Ethos Watch Studios, which recently started selling Hermes watches. "We will soon be displaying Hermes watches worth 80 lakh at our stores," Saboo added.

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