Holiday shopping continues to begin earlier, with brands spending more money in mid-November to reach consumers than in prior years. Williams-Sonoma, Macy's, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's, among others, began sending emails about online specials earlier this week. Kenshoo published research Wednesday revealing that brands they support in paid-search advertising are not only spending more in paid search ahead of the holiday season compared with previous years, but also increased campaigns earlier.
Carnival, the world's largest cruise line, rolled out its first multi-brand marketing initiative this week. The strategy supports all nine of its global brands through search engine marketing, a newly designed Web site, contests, social media and television spots.
While 72% of marketers from enterprises rate search engine optimization as successful in achieving marketing objectives like lead generation and increased Web traffic, 57% say the greatest barriers to achieving SEO success are challenges like a lack of dedicated in-house resources, and 43% say limited budgets. About 28% find SEO is not successful, per a recent study.
Black hat online search marketing and traffic fraud can cost brands millions in the long run, but so can consumer fraud through ecommerce and in stores. The data science company Feedzai uses real-time, machine-based learning to provide analysis of data representing $750 billion in payment volume, and has found that Black Friday took the No. 1 spot for card fraud in 2013. The data represents more than 17.5 billion transactions with the card, present or not.
Landing pages highlighting featured deals, sales and specials are not always easy to set up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials, because brands sometimes don't know the specials far in advance -- but brands are running out of time. Google needs hours to days to index pages serving up in search engine query results. Product availability and keeping links updated proves crucial, especially during the holidays.
Some believe the "cracks" in Google's search monopoly are finally beginning to show. The latest was announced Wednesday. The deal makes Yahoo the default search engine for the Mozilla Firefox browser, breaking up a decade-old relationship between Mozilla and Google.
Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with walnuts became one of my favorite recipes after searching online for a different type of dessert that would allow me to taste chocolate and get nutritional benefits from oatmeal. Rather than print out the recipe, I pull up the directions on my iPhone to follow along. Apparently I'm not alone, according to Google. Interestingly, the idea to use the Web as recipe box gives consumer product goods brands an opportunity to cross target paid-search ads to cooks looking for specific ingredients or cooking times and instructions for side dishes and main meals.
Mobile apps from Target and other retail stores will feed the Black Friday deals this holiday season, but consumers will rely on search more often to find the deals. One in two consumers will search the Internet for shopping deals this holiday season, per a study released Tuesday. This makes sense, since it's an online survey, with the majority of participants favoring online ads over TV or email.
Integration of social data to support search campaigns isn't new, but one company with its roots in search believes it has found a way to automate the ability to build social audience segments and apply them to other media.
Volvo has tapped Google's virtual reality project Google Cardboard that allows consumers to take a virtual test drive in its XC90 model. The campaign debuts at the Los Angeles auto show. Potential car buyers can download a Volvo Reality app from Google PlayStore and insert their smartphone into the Google Cardboard viewer to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the open road.