In successive notes to developers yesterday, Apple finally banned once and for all the use of UDID in applications and its App Store. The company stated that beginning May 1, the App Store will no longer accept new apps or app updates that access UDID. Apple is asking that all developers update their identification system by using either the vendor or advertising identifiers that the company introduced months ago with iOS 6. Apple had been warning for the past year that it was going to eliminate the use of UDIDs from the App Store entirely, but it had been slow and haphazard in implementing the new policy. The UDID came under fire last year because it allowed developers to match a specific device to a user. Apple’s new iPhone advertiser identifier is designed to keep the user anonymous and satisfy privacy worries. At the same time Apple also announced that as of May 1 all new apps and app updates submitted to the app store had to support both the retina display as well as the larger 4-inch displays introduced in the iPhone 5 last fall. A number of applications and games in the App Store continue to use the smaller screen dimensions of previous generations of iPhones. These apps appear essentially letterboxed on the iPhone 5. With these two new policies for developers, Apple appears to be enforcing standardization with an eye toward competing against Android’s notorious fragmentation. Apple often likes to boast that a high share of its users upgrade to the latest version of the iPhone and iPad operating systems when they are available, and how this gives developers a much more coherent hardware and software target in the competing operating systems from Google.
Search engine marketing needs a makeover, and some industry experts believe alternative engines will play a major role in connecting with consumers outside of Bing, Google, and Yahoo search engines on smaller Web properties. Companies may build the next big search engines by tying together networks like adMarketplace with platform providers, such as Kenshoo and Marin Software. adMarketplace, for one, finally figured out that signing deals to integrate with platform providers such as Kenshoo allows brand advertisers to expand their reach outside the networks of Google, Bing and Yahoo, and to be found through up to 800 million additional searches daily. Mazda improved conversion rates by 5.83% to 29.25% on adMarketplace, compared with Google AdWords at 27.64%, and reduced cost per clicks (CPCs) by around 39% to $1 vs. $1.64, respectively. Advertisers have been allocating non-brand funds from Google to buy brand searches on adMarketplace, according to Andries de Villiers, vice president of revenue at adMarketplace. "As they see performance rise, they allocate additional funds on adMarketplace or move dollars over from Google," he said. Kenshoo has integrated adMarketplace as a search channel allowing mutual clients to view adMarketplace conversion and cost data directly in the Kenshoo platform. It passes brand conversion data to adMarketplace's Advertiser 3D platform to help advertisers optimize campaigns across the adMarketplace search network. The two companies have been working together on this for about a year. adMarketplace is running a similar test with Marin Software with about four clients and plans to release results in a few months. There are plenty of possible partners, de Villiers said, naming other SEM tools, Adobe Omniture, and Google DoubleClick. "We've always known it is a problem, but it's the brands who demanded they run through Kenshoo and Marin," he said. Deloitte released a study this week analyzing the declining influence of paid-search ad on consumer purchase decisions. The report, State of the Media Democracy, suggests less than 50% of consumers participating in the study find paid-search influential when making a decision, down from about 60% during the past three years. Some believe the decline represents a stagnant industry. After viewing something for too long, the brain no longer sees the content, glossing over the paid-search ads. Aside from banner ads, paid-search ads provide the oldest form of advertising on the Web. Aside from shopping engines like ShopItToMe, consumers increasingly use vertical search engines on brand sites, such as Amazon and eBay, to find products and services rather than start at Google, Bing or Yahoo. It's a combination of people becoming savvy searchers and the move to smartphones where people spend much more time on specific apps, rather than browsing the engines. Consumers can find airline flights and hotels directly from the Kayak app. comScore also released findings showing that consumers demonstrate a clear preference for engaging with content on smartphones via apps, accounting for four out of five mobile minutes, rather than mobile browsers.
Online audience measurement firm Quantcast has launched a new service for tracking mobile app usage across iOS and Android devices. The company's free Measure for Apps offering provides data on app traffic, installs and return usage, which is especially important to help developers see how many engaged users they have. The service also includes information on visit frequency, traffic by app version, and top countries and top devices for a given app. Among initial publishers showcasing mobile app data along with Web analytics in their public profiles on Quantcast.com are Topix, Goodreads and Big Oven, with more on the way. Perhaps more importantly, publishers using Quantcast can now track audiences across apps as well as their desktop and mobile Web sites in a single dashboard. In a blog post today, the company said the app measurement tool arose from client demand for a way to track digital usage across platforms in a unified view. As more traffic shifts over to mobile, Web analytics firms are following suit. ComScore late last year introduced a cross-platform measurement service including mobile Web and app traffic, while Experian Marketing Services earlier this month rolled out Hitwise Mobile, which tracks mobile Web traffic.
TV time-shifting -- the activity of consumers and their DVRs -- can be wasteful.A new study says about a third (36%) of all worldwide recorded TV content is never watched. In the U.S. that number is higher -- 41%, per Motorola Mobility's annual media survey.Consumers behavior with recorded content comes in different variations. For example, 72% are "hoarders" -- recording to collect the "box-set" of a specific TV program.The reasons for recording: 77% record because there is other content airing at the same time that the viewer would prefer to watch live, while 68% globally record to skip ads on commercial channels. It's higher in the U.K. and the U.S, where this reason scores 75% and 74% respectively.Motorola says that almost a third -- 29% -- of global weekly TV viewing is of recorded content.Overall TV viewing says the average consumer watches 19 hours of TV content and six hours of movie content a week. The U.S. is at the top of the list among countries -- 23 hours of TV and six hours of movies watched each week. The lowest TV consumption is seen in Sweden and Japan, at 15 hours and two hours, respectively.Concerning new technology, consumers want to be able to move content between devices more easily, and 76% would be interested in a service that automatically loaded content a user liked to their mobile phone or tablet.Tablet users are more likely than non-tablet owners to use a service provider’s TV catch-up service -- 47% versus 31%.Motorola Mobility’s Media Engagement Barometer says it's an independent global study of video consumption habits among 9,500 consumers in 17 countries. "DVR photo from Shutterstock"
Continuing to push the promise of scalable “native” advertising, Sharethrough just released some Nielsen-vetted data, which -- surprise, surprise -- reflects well on the model formerly known as the “advertorial.” Using Nielsen’s Online Brand Effect survey tool, Sharethrough compared the effectiveness of its native video ads in affecting brand lift metrics -- like awareness, purchase intent and favorability -- with that of pre-roll video ad units. The result? Sharethrough’s native video ads outperformed pre-roll ads for five advertisers, regardless of their campaign’s category or marketing objective. In one case, the findings from a Jarritos campaign -- the primary marketing objective of which was to drive brand favorability – showed native ads generated 82% brand lift among users exposed to the ads. By contrast, pre-roll units generated 2.1% brand lift among users exposed to the ads. For the study, Sharethrough served the same creative message in both pre-roll and native ad formats for five advertisers’ campaigns, though the pre-roll ads were restricted to 15 or 30 seconds in length. Exactly what makes an ad native? “Native advertising has definitely become one of the buzz words of 2013, and the industry is still coalescing around a single, agreed-upon definition,” according to Dan Beltramo, executive vice president, product leadership for ad effectiveness at Nielsen. “For the purpose of this case study, we defined native video ads as user-initiated ads that are fully integrated into the natural site experience and do not have a limit on video length.” As for whether Nielsen has found native ads to be more successful than pre-roll ads, Beltramo said: “There are too many flavors of native ads to make a general statement like that. There are many factors that play into an ad’s success -- the creative itself, the site it appears on, the frequency with which consumers see that ad.” Sharethrough boasts a network of millions of blogs thanks to direct partnerships with WordPress, The Awl Network, Forbes, Thought Catalog, and other platforms. Founded in 2008, Sharethrough is a privately held company based in San Francisco, Calif.Formerly named Vizu Ad Catalyst, the Nielsen Online Brand Effect tool endeavors to capture consumer sentiment with Web polls, which ask consumers to measure how individual campaigns performed against their primary objectives.
The Atlantic Gets Video From NowThisNews The Atlantic has partnered with NowThis News, a Web start-up that produces short-form videos about current events and related topics, according to Poynter. The partnership will give The Atlantic Web site access to two to three videos specifically produced by NowThis to help illustrate its stories. Recent examples include a video produced to accompany an article about bullying, which ran in March, and a video about the history of Jordan, which accompanies an article about the nation's King Abdullah, published in the April issue. All videos produced by NowThis are designed to be accessible via a range of mobile devices. Currently, the partnership doesn’t involve an advertising component. The Atlantic has been introducing new digital products and formats at a furious pace in recent months. In December it unveiled a new Web site for its corporate brand, with the goal of better highlighting its digital properties, including Quartz and The Atlantic Wire, as well as the digital presence of The Atlantic magazine and National Journal. The company’s brands are showcased with a selection of stories presented in picture-tile format. Also included in the makeover is a new logo that reworks the “compass” in an eye-catching way. The Atlantic’s earlier digital initiatives appear to be paying off. The company announced that digital advertising revenue increased 32% in 2012 compared to the previous year, and now makes up over half (59%) of its total advertising revenues. Its events business -- AtlanticLive, which produces events like the Aspen Ideas Festival and the Washington Ideas Forum -- posted a 24% increase in revenues compared to the previous year. 2012 marked the third year in a row of profitability for the company overall. Southern Living Names New Food Appointments Southern Living has appointed two new chefs to help guide the magazine’s food coverage. Robby Melvin, a native of Birmingham, is joining the magazine as test kitchen director, with responsibilities for overseeing the brand’s test kitchen staff, which creates and tests 5,000 recipes annually. He previously owned Salt Fine Catering in Birmingham. He also taught at Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College. Whitney Wright has been named deputy food director, where she will be responsible for packaging, editing, and writing food stories, developing recipes, food styling, and blogging, among other things. She previously served as senior editor and site merchandising manager for Gilt Home and Gilt Taste. Meredith Expands in Turkey, Italy Meredith Corp. is expanding the reach of its brands in Turkey and Italy. In Turkey, Meredith is partnering with a local publisher based in Istanbul, Dinosaurs Yayincilik ve Dijital Medya Ltd., to launch local editions of Better Homes and Gardens, Parents and More. All three will be published under license in the Turkish language, with distribution planned via subscriptions and newsstands throughout the country. In Italy, Meredith’s Allrecipes.com brand has launched Allrecipes.it, a localized site focused on the Italian market. Caine Leaves Time Inc. for Dial Global Paul Caine is leaving his previous position as chief revenue officer at Time Inc. and taking up a now post as CEO of Dial Global, which provides syndicated audio content to broadcast and digital radio outlets. Caine’s appointment is effective April 5. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading a variety of expansion efforts, including branching out into new audio content and distribution categories, and creating new monetization opportunities for national advertisers via integrated sponsorships. According to the company, one especially promising area for new initiatives is its sports and entertainment content, which includes NFL prime-time games, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, CBS Radio News, NBC News Radio, the NBC Sports Radio Network, and the Grammys.
Major brands and retailers -- OfficeDepot, Rite Aid, Bed, Bath & Beyond, along with endless others -- are pushing offers to customers like no other time in history. These retail giants attract existing and new customers through email, mobile, Facebook, print, third-party coupons, and offer aggregators. These offer “machines” often have internal marketing teams working independently -- and ultimately, each offer presents its own personality, its own character, its own deal, and sometimes its own branding. It can become quite confusing for customers, and tough for marketers to manage. Shoppers are not the same as they were even five years ago -- because of mobile and social media, we all receive and consume information very differently. This is great news for brands and consumers alike, giving people all kinds of freedom and choice to shop in the physical world and online. Brands want to unify strategies -- and even more, they want to understand if (and how) they are effective. The marketing groups that create each disparate program can be as large as small companies, running major offers programs that are responsible for driving extraordinary amounts of revenue. These retailer and brand marketers want to give consumers a similar buying experience in-store as well as across the myriad of devices and channels. With the complex and elegant software that exists today, and cloud services abound, it might be overwhelming to pull these pieces together and remain profitable. But in today’s world of efficient technology, there is no need to struggle with an approach that is not unified. A single-platform approach across all media will help solve the omnichannel dilemma and provide unified solutions to the issues marketers experience when communicating directly to customers, and a platform approach will solve deeper problems, such as data analysis for efficiency and security. Here are a few things to consider when implementing a unified-channel approach: 1. Create a cohesive offer strategy across multiple channels: Unified email, Web, Facebook, print 2. Understand how offers can work together to reach new customers and increase sales (also understand what doesn't work so offers can be killed) 3. Track and measure each campaign -- independently and in tandem with other offers -- to better understand how they are working together to increase revenue 4. Create gamification strategies to enhance the effectiveness of a blended strategy 5. Utilize your Big Data to make sense of 20 points+ of data on every offer engagement, a concept that isn’t always easy to tackle 6. Remain secure across all channels, making sure one customer can't take advantage of the same offer multiple times These unification strategies can be accomplished if marketers take a platform approach, utilizing software that is available today. The key to success is an approach that takes the omnichannel into consideration. Most retailers and brands look at each channel as its own entity. However, as we all know through our own personal experiences, we all meander through our day using our computer, mobile, tablet, and even paper to organize our daily lives. As shoppers continue to consume information across all channels, and as devices become even more integrated with focused services (specific and focused services with health care monitoring devices, or intelligent automobile services, for example), marketers will continue to become smarter and more efficient when they have similar communications and offers across a myriad of channels.
Mobile self-service is advancing in the mass market. With Walmart’s announcement this week that it is expanding its ‘Scan & Go’ program from 70 to 200 stores, mobile shoppers will be afforded the opportunity to do more themselves to check out of the store. The concept of self-service is nothing new, especially for companies like Walmart. Before self-service technology, Walmart trained consumers to take their bags from the carousels at checkout and put them in their cart. Many other stores followed. Over the years, more than 1,500 self-checkout lanes were installed at Walmart and then they sprouted up at airlines and grocery stores, as a logical follow-on to bank’s ATMs. Mobile technology can move the self-service process to the next level, with consumers scanning barcodes on things they want to buy and paying at self-checkout terminals, much like grocery chain Stop & Shop has had for some time. The question is how far shoppers will go into the arena of mobile self-service, even if it can be done. Here’s a sample of consumer reaction in response to the Walmart announcement: “Weird strategy. Fire cashiers and hire more security.” “I think I'll go to the register with the cashier and have them bag the stuff for me. Why bother doing their work for them as I fumble with my smartphone and drain its battery?” “I like dealing with a live person. I am so disappointed at the self-service machines.” “This has no redeeming benefit nor value to us, the customer. Give me 50%-75% off my total bill for doing the work of their clerks and maybe it has some value. Getting me out of the store one minute faster isn't any value.” The question of in-store, self-service mobile scanning and paying is not if it can be done, but rather how much will the consumer be comfortable doing. Do you think there’s a limit to how far self-service mobile commerce can go?
Moms and mobile: is there any topic more written about than this? Probably not, but there are good reasons for this. Mobile is important to moms but also brings about conflicted feelings, making mobile a source of tension for many moms. This tension was clear in the findings of our latest global study, “The Truth About Connected You.” The majority of moms (83%) we surveyed said they think their mobile device has improved their family life, but 32% said they are also worried that sometimes their mobile distracts them from what matters most. Should we be surprised by this tension? I would argue no and for one simple reason: According to the study, we’re all teenagers when it comes to mobile devices. A key finding revealed that, on average, global consumers have had mobile devices of some form or another for 12 years (12.7 years in the U.S. and 13.9 in the UK). While it seems as though mobiles have been around forever, and many adults think they have their mobile life figured out, the reality is we’re still wet behind the ears when deciphering the nuances of mobile communication and a life lived through a small screen. One of the challenges of our teenage years is figuring out how to manage our relationships, and this is just one of the ways we see many consumers, and particularly moms, grappling with mobile adolescence. Moms have an intense relationship with their devices. Given a selection of images to represent the relationship they have with their smartphones, moms were most likely to select images that depicted highly emotional relationships such as two friends sitting together (35%) or even two people in love (21%). And as one woman in the U.S. said of her smartphone partner: “We never part ways or leave each other’s side for too long.” As moms deepen their relationship with mobile, they need to avoid the teenage trap of letting that relationship become all-consuming. Just under half of the moms we surveyed, (43%) agreed that they laugh and smile more looking at their mobile device than they do looking at or talking to other people compared to 33% of the total survey population who agreed with this statement. The depth of this relationship is a cause for concern among some moms. Indeed, 75% of moms worry that their emotional connections are weaker than in the past, and many worry what implications this has for the future. One mom in our study reflected on the future of connections and observed, “Hopefully, people will keep a good balance so we still communicate physically and not only throughout a screen.” There are many ways for brands to help moms as they evolve from mobile adolescence to wireless womanhood, but one of the best opportunities is to find creative ways to improve not just the quantity or speed of moms’ connections but the quality as well. We already see creative examples of brands putting this principle into action. One way is to use technology to help us tune out in order to tune in better. Arianna Huffington recently launched the GPS for the Soul App, which can detect when you’re stressed and then help you reach a happier place by playing the music or poetry you love or showing you pictures of your loved ones. What mom wouldn’t find inspiration in that? From a marketing perspective, perhaps it’s time to acknowledge that we’re all still figuring out our mobile lives. Each member of the family, whether they’re 15, 35, or 55, probably behaves a bit like a teen on their mobile at some point. Mobile moms are no exception; it’s possible that they just might need a little parenting of their own.
More than one of three Americans 18-64 watched a digital video on some kind of device in the last week, but 95% of us watched TV, too, according to a new study from the Media Behavior Institute’s USA TouchPoints research. I think the fact that I I know several people who only watch TV, and several other people who only watch videos online is one of the momentary features of this world. Because my list of friends, relatives and acquaintances is probably a lot like yours, that means we all know people who are leaning back most of the time except just sometimes when some of them are leaning forward. It’s an evolutionary time. In fact, the change is significant, though we might not feel it. Just last year, according to the Media Behavior Institute, 25% watched a video in the last week. Now, that’s 34%. That’s a pretty big change, though I get the idea the public “feels” it less than the people who are marketing to them because so much television still gets consumed. People who watch video online are invariably forced to preface conversations, even with friends, by asking something like, “Do you ever go to Buzzfeed?” before they describe something they saw there. No one has to say, “Do you ever watch NBC?”—though, maybe I should double check on that. But you get the point. The new stats might have sounded amazing if in fact they weren’t in line with what our eyes and guts tell us. Video is everywhere from our hip pocket to the computer at work, but those 500 channels on your television set, or movies from Netflix or Amazon or other Roku provider are too. Indeed, the report says in a given week 99.65% of us watch something somewhere somehow, be it on a big TV or an iPhone. In the average day, 11% watch something online, compared to 7% a year ago. What we don’t do any more or less of this year than last is use our DVR. Weekly use is at 43% this year, as it was last year (remarkable since Hulu and other sites provide much of what a viewer could largely get for themselves from a DVR). Growing up, I was always amazed how the TV sets at my friends’ homes were so often located in the geographic center of their homes. Mine too. You could have plotted it with a compass. This report says that’s still true in theory if not physically. “The home still remains the center of all video consumption,” the report says. “This is even true of mobile phones and tablets suggesting that while people can watch video anywhere, they prefer to do so in a familiar, relaxed environment. Video viewing is a predominantly family affair, with a larger percent of viewers using devices while they’re alone or with immediate family than with any groups of people combined (including extended family, friends, co-workers etc.)” For example, 52% of those studied watched “any digital video” with their families, while 82% watched TV with the nuclear gang. VOD was a little different—70% watch with the family. Nielsen and GfK MRI hold minority equity stakes in the independently-held Media Behavior Institute that focuses on how consumers use media and react to marketing. USA TouchPoints is the company’s syndicated research service. firstname.lastname@example.org