Apple has unveiled its own official measurements for iOS 10 adoption, which comes in at 54 percent. That means the majority of iOS device owners are running the new mobile operating system. What’s interesting, however, is how different Apple’s official figures are from the third-party estimates released earlier this week, which saw much higher adoption among their install base – as high as two-thirds, in fact.

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According to two different sources – Mixpanel and Fiksu – iOS 10 was installed on roughly 66 percent of devices, the firms found. Both data sets are based on apps that use the company’s SDK. In Fiksu’s case, the company reports data sampled hourly in batches of approximately 10 million events, filtered to count unique devices; Mixpanel, meanwhile, claims its reported is “generated from  300,083,243,931 records.” This equates to a sample size of hundreds of millions of unique users, Mixpanel tells us.

In Apple’s case, however, it calculates iOS adoption rates by App Store visits. That’s a more accurate means of making a determination, as it doesn’t require that users have an app installed on their device running a specific SDK from a third-party.

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-10-15-28-am

According to Apple’s data, 54 percent are now on iOS 10, 38 percent remain on iOS 9, and only 8 percent are running an older version of the iOS mobile operating system.

Also of note, we’ve confirmed that Apple did not prompt users to upgrade their devices for the first two weeks the iOS update was available – a delay that was spotted in the charts from the third-party firms, as well. Adoption rates spiked sharply toward the end of September, which is when the alert notifications started hitting users’ devices.

The decision to delay the upgrade notifications was made to ease the strain on Apple’s infrastructure and its Apple Care support teams, we understand. This is the first time Apple has implemented a new policy of delaying the upgrade notifications in order to allow for a smoother, if slower, iOS rollout. After the initial rush of upgrade activity died down, only then did the company begin to alert users who had not yet updated that an upgrade was available to them.

Despite this delay to notify users, now more than half the active user base moved to iOS 10. For comparison’s sake, Android 7.0 “Nougat,” which arrived several weeks ahead of iOS 10, is only installed on 0.1 percent of devices. The prior release, Android 6.0 “Marshmallow,” is still present on 18.7 percent of devices, and other previous versions still have a good chunk of the overall pie as well.

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-10-15-35-am

In part, this is because Android updates are handled by the manufacturers and carriers, not Google directly, in most cases. This has historically been a huge issue for Google, not only because of security reasons, but also because it fragments the ecosystem, and makes it difficult for Google to get its entire install base using the same features and tools. Even with its new flagship Pixel phones, Google is allowing Verizon to handle all system updates, except for security patches, the company says.

Source : https://techcrunch.com

Categorized in Market Research

Rebecca here, filling in for Christopher this week – and yes, these are some nice, roomy shoes I’m standing in, thanks for asking.I don’t have any witty comments to make about the current state of UK politics, so let’s dive straight into the search-related news you might have missed while you were outside cloud-gazing, collecting butterflies, or (if you’re British) making the most of the fact that we can still travel freely between other EU countries…

As usual, Google is where it’s at this week, with news that HTTPS websites account for a third of search results on page one, an increase in the number of search results that receive a Quick Answer Box, and does Google’s newest acquisition mean it’s finding new ways to watch us all creepily?

Google is increasing the number of queries that receive a Quick Answer box

Jim Yu reported for Search Engine Watch this week on the fact that the portion of Google search results which received a Quick Answer box has increased from just over 20% in December 2014 to more than 30% in May 2016.

A Quick Answer, also known as a featured snippet, is when Google pulls content from a trusted, high-ranking website that will directly answer a user’s query and places it at the top of the SERP so that they can find the information they need without having to click through to another site. It can be an awesome way to dominate the SERP without having to fight for the top position.

A featured snippet for the search query, "Why is my internet so slow", featuring an answer from Lifehacker at the top of search results.

Jim looked at the impact that Google Quick Answers have on brands, and broke down the three-step framework for getting your content into a quick answer box. So now you can win the game without even playing it, too!

30% of Google search results are HTTPS websites

A new study from Moz has revealed that more than 30% of websites on page one of Google search use the HTTPS protocol. We know that HTTPS has been a “lightweight ranking signal” for Google since 2014, and the data that Moz has been tracking bears that information out.

Christopher Ratcliff looked at how the share of Google search results on page one that use HTTPS has climbed from an initially tiny fraction in August 2014 to a significant share of the results.

A graph by Moz showing the percentage of HTTPS results on page 1 of Google between January 2014 and June 2016. The graph line begins at around 7% and climbs gradually, with a sudden jump upwards between June and July 2015, then continues to climb gradually to reach 32.5% in June 2016.

As Christopher put it,

“The results are definitely enough to give SEOs pause for thought when it comes to considering whether to switch their sites to a secure protocol.”
Mobile searches on Google have now exceeded desktop – how has the landscape of search changed?

Jason Tabeling looked at how the landscape of search has changed now that, for the first time ever, mobile searches on Google have exceeded desktop. “To account for this massive shift, Google has made some of the most drastic changes to search results in years,” including removing right-hand side ads and adding a fourth paid listing above organic search results, causing mobile results to be filled with ads.

A screenshot of Google mobile search results for "car insurance", showing two paid ads which together take up the entire screen.

Jason broke down the data on the number of times paid ads, shopping results or local listings appear in search results and evaluated how the information should affect your search strategy.

Google acquires image recognition startup Moodstocks

Google announced yesterday that it has acquired Moodstocks, a French startup specialising in machine-learning-based image recognition technology for smartphones.

As the International Business Times reported,

“Following the acquisition, which is expected to be completed in the next few weeks, the Moodstocks team will join Google’s R&D team in Paris where they will continue to “build great image recognition tools within Google”.”

Between the Twitter acquisition of Magic Pony two weeks ago and Amazon’s acquisition of AI startup Orbeus in April, it seems that visual processing and machine learning is where it’s at for major tech companies.

The Sun gave a particularly hysterical take on this development by announcing that Google had revealed plans to put “eyes in machines” and that “campaigners” had urged Britons to “cover up cameras on smartphones and computers”. Er… that sounds a little impractical.

A photograph of a poster (said to be from one of the Google cafeterias) reading "GOOGLE IS WATCHING YOU" with "Google" being the Google logo. The logo also has two eyes in the Os.

But in all seriousness, this latest addition to Google’s R&D department could be the first step towards giving Google the capability to identify and run a search for objects in the physical world, à la CamFind.

And if Google really is watching me, well, maybe it’ll finally be able to tell me where I left my keys.

Google is experimenting with another use for Google Posts

The SEM Post reported this week that Google has been spotted expanding its use of Google Posts, a new(ish) feature combining elements of social publishing and rich cards, into more ‘ordinary’ search results.

Moz marketing scientist Dr. Pete Meyers originally noticed the posts appearing in search results for a charter school in New York, KIPP NYC. Google debuted the feature, which I believe still lacks an official name (but has been dubbed “Google Posts” by the search commentariat), back in March as a platform for US presidential candidates to put across their policies.

KIPP NYC

It was later seen expanding the feature to include a select handful of local businesses, and then using it to cover the I/O developer conference in May. None of these past uses of Posts show up in search results any more – and at the time of writing, KIPP’s appears to have disappeared too – making them a bit like a pop-up soapbox for select entities (and keeping us all guessing about what Google’s eventual plan is for Posts).

What’s interesting is that although the KIPP NYC posts were only just spotted in search, a scroll down their Google Posts page shows that the school has been using Google’s new feature since April. In other words, there could be any number of other lucky users or groups quietly using the platform and waiting for the hallowed spotlight of Google to finally, finally shine on them. And we wouldn’t know.

If you want a shot at joining their ranks, the waiting list is still open.

Source:  https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/07/08/five-most-interesting-search-marketing-news-stories-of-the-week-4/

Business owners, retailers and marketers are all used to the traditional calendar of events that motivate consumers. It's accepted that parents shops for school items in the late summer, toys and gifts during December, and retailers usually schedule sales accordingly. But just as the internet has changed much about how, where and when people shop for goods, it has also changed when they look for specials.

A recent study of internet search queries reveals that more consumers are searching for deals on the internet throughout the year. According to Hitwise, a division of Connexity, online searches for deals increased 40 percent between 2014 and 2015.

The study found that one in every 300 online searches is focused on finding a coupon, sale, discount or deal. This may just be 0.3 percent of all searches, but when you consider Google performs 3 billion searches a day, it translates into a lot of people that are searching for deals.

The study is based on data from the Hitwise U.S. panel of 10 million online consumers, including 3.5 million mobile devices. A practical use for this data can be seen in what the researchers found out about people looking for sales on shoes or school items.

"Deal-oriented searches include those using keywords: sale, coupon, deal, rebate, bargain, discount or clearance," said John Fetto, senior analyst research and marketing at Connexity, according to media reports. "Interestingly, when it comes to searches for 'sales' specifically, footwear, including shoes and boots, are the most commonly sought-after products throughout the year."

The report also revealed that school shopping starts earlier than many retailers realize. Citing, Connexity's Bizrate Insights, the report found that back to school shopping is starting as early as April. Their recent survey found more than 10 percent of back to school shoppers will begin picking up items by June, and by August more than half will already be shopping.

Retailers who want to take advantage of this should run ads for school supplies, just without specifically mentioning, back-to-school. People know what they need and are looking for a good deal, they don't particularly need an event to justify the sale (20% off is a good bargain whatever the reason).

This research certainly shows the benefits of running specials throughout the year, but there is a need for balance. If customers become too dependent on sales, they may start to pass over items at regular price, knowing that the item will be on sale in a week or two.

This effect has also been seen by retailers in the shoe industry. According to data cited by Footwear News, "the past holiday season alone--which was rife was heavy promotions and saw many footwear and apparel companies garner dismal profits--is evidence of the negative impact that excessive discounting can have on companies."

A good way to maintain balance between sales and regular prices is to make sales specific to certain products or categories of products. By using more nuanced, instead of sitewide sales, customers can't assume the type of item they want to buy will be on sale soon. As an added bonus, rotating specials in this way gives consumers a reason to check the site or newsletter often.

The entire report from Hitwise has some interesting information, and can be downloaded for free from their website. For example, the report found that TV and Tire searches are highest in December and that Furniture and Mattress searches reach their peak in August/September.

Check it out for yourself for more research you can use to plan better campaigns throughout the year. And some more recent research on consumer behavior, read this article on what makes a brand authentic to consumers.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/peter-roesler/study-shows-consumers-searching-for-online-deals-all-year-round.html

Several years ago, we had a television network client who, the morning after their show aired, would eagerly ask, “How did I do last night?” What she meant was: How did the network’s shows perform the previous evening?

But answering that basic question wasn’t so simple a few years ago. Why? Because inherent in that one simple question were a bunch of others that unraveled into a complicated narrative exercise. And, of course, what she really wanted, after all that exercise, was something that boiled down to: “You had a good night,” or maybe, “Not so good, but here’s why.” Coming up with that answer required that we arduously compile information from a bunch of different tools and mash them together, quickly, into what she needed to know.

That arduous process vexed everyone. Unsurprisingly, as a market grew for answering those questions, companies tried to build all-in-one solutions, setting off a wave of mergers and acquisitions. Salesforce bought Radian6, Oracle bought Collective Intellect and so on. The result was a bunch of very large dashboards of information resources that try to be everything to everyone.

It’s understandable how that happened, and it has benefited countless industry professionals. But, for many media companies that we deal with, it also has become increasingly obvious that one size of data dashboard doesn’t (in fact, can’t) fit all of their respective needs.

As a result, a significant trend has emerged that is headed in the opposite direction. That trend has many implications for networks as well as for the vast array of digital creators trying to become networks — as well as for the vendors that want to provide all those companies their data.

Call it Build Your Own Stack, and more importantly, build that stack from best-of-breed, highly focused vendors that provide exact pieces of what your company needs. I’d say that every major media company we talk with is already building its own customized collection of data services, in one fashion or another.

About half of those companies are building their stack in a rather old-fashioned way (or at least, old-fashioned for a business that’s only a few years old). That means taking our dashboard of information, and the dashboards of other analytics providers, and manually collating information from each one separately to build a coherent answer to “How did I do?”

In another 30 percent to 40 percent of cases, a media company will rely on aggregators, such as Tableau.com or Domo.com, that provide a sort of meta-platform combining all the a la carte data sources that a company wants, or at least the ones that are compatible with that platform’s requirements. That can be effective, and is certainly simpler than juggling a bunch of separate interfaces from a bunch of vendors.

Then there are what I’ll call the technologically aggressive 10 percent — media companies that are building their own data teams and analytics platforms to pull in data from diverse sources. These custom dashboards further integrate all those streams automatically to create a very sophisticated and company-specific answer to “How did I do?”

It’s these latter two groups that are forcing analytics companies to focus on two key areas: portability and research.

By portability, I mean each analytics company needs to identify its true strengths and then make it easy to integrate that information with other data sources, whether through aggregators or a custom platform. That means creating application program interfaces that simplify getting all of what I have here into what you have there. Without portability, analytics firms may be left behind as custom stack-building comes to dominate the business.

But growing portability means you have to conduct continued research and development on your products. Because clients will have far more choices in which data, and data providers, they include in their perfect stack, it will be more difficult for companies to rely on institutional inertia and technology lock-in to keep clients using their products when better ones come along.

The real power of any analytics company lies first in its deep mastery of a specific sector, and then in building on that mastery with continued learning. It’s the only way even the best tool can remain competitive over time, especially as stack-building becomes a more fluid process.

Customers like our aforementioned client still need a simple answer to “How did I do?” but that’s where a lot of analytics companies fail. They think what they do is so important that the user on the other side should care about them. But clients don’t. Data only become insights when the data can be tied to business outcomes. They care about the answer, a defensible and clearly understandable answer. The provider of that answer matters far less to them.

Companies that are part of the new stacks need to make sure they can simply answer their part of that question — and integrate their part smoothly with other companies answering other parts.

All of this, of course, may just set the stage for another round of M&A deals in a couple of years as the pendulum swings back toward concentration. But it’s clear that being all things for all clients often leads to a not-completely-satisfying product for just about everyone. So go deep, keep learning, and play well with others.

Source:  http://venturebeat.com/2016/06/18/building-the-perfect-analytics-stack-its-now-about-choice-and-customization/

Categorized in Business Research

In this episode of Marketing Nerds, Danielle Antosz and Kelsey Jones of Search Engine Journal discuss different ways to find clients through referrals, platforms like Upwork, and prospecting through job boards. They discuss their own experiences through those channels and share what successful for them, including their favorite websites and tools for finding freelance clients and jobs.

Here are a few transcribed excerpts from their discussion, but make sure to listen to the podcast to hear everything:

Three Methods of Client Aquisition

One, obviously is the dream, is just all referrals, which makes life easy. Then the other two ways are through platforms, Upwork. The other way is prospecting. Looking on job boards, stuff like that.

Upwork and Elance are the kind of platforms where people post jobs. They can come hire you. You can create your profile. It’s really good when you’re starting out, especially if you looking for some of those lower paying jobs just to start. We’ve talked about this before, we don’t recommend doing that long-term.

To get the first couple of gigs, it’s an easy way to get started. Once you kind of build up your background, and whatnot, it doesn’t make sense to go for those low paying jobs that tend to be on those platforms. Keep in mind, when you set a ridiculously low rate, you’re affecting everyone else in the industry.

If you’re just starting out and you don’t even know where to start, or where to get clients, or what to even price yourselves, then platforms are a good way to get an idea of what you want to offer and how you want to charge. A lot of times you can look at what other people are charging for the same work you want to do.

Could a Freelancer Make 6 Figures on Freelancing Platforms?

Supposedly yes, it’s possible. Compare it to, say someone who runs an Etsy shop, versus someone who takes that and builds their own website, and sells that way. At some point, you’ve got to grow past platforms.

With freelancing, you’re always hustling, and getting that growth, because you don’t want to be stagnant. Platforms make that a lot easier, because there’s already people who are looking for jobs, and all you have to do is throw your name into the hat. It just makes it a lot easier until you get the hang of selling yourself.

There’s also the trust factor from both ends. You enter in your bank account information. The buyer enters in their credit card, you’re going to get to paid. You have somewhere to go if they try to screw you over. Again, when you’re starting out, that’s really important because those mistakes that you make with billing and choosing the wrong clients, those are really expensive mistakes. When you work on a platform, you don’t have to worry about that nearly as much.

Prospecting Clients

That’s like being more proactive. So instead of logging onto a dashboard and viewing available jobs and requests for quotes, it’s more like you either are cold calling people, or you’re finding positions and then sending an email proposal with an attached PDF and what your rates are.

It’s more independent and self-managed, and it takes a lot more work to find leads.

We had mentioned talking about some of the tricks for finding stuff on Craigslist. The best tip is to look at how it’s written. If it seems to good to be true, then it might be shady, or there might be something they haven’t told you.

Don’ t forget social media.

There’s a Facebook group called Social Media Jobs, and all kinds of people are posting jobs. Mostly social media, there’s been some copy writing. Look in your industry, like maybe programming jobs, and look for groups on Facebook. LinkedIn probably has some. That might be a hidden way to find leads.

Utilize hashtags on Twitter—especially if you do like #contentmarketing, #hiring. Sometimes those are the tags that they’ll use. Also, just make sure you’re following a bunch of different companies, because a lot of times they’ll post on places like that.

Getting Clients Through Referrals

For any freelancer, referrals are just the best thing ever. They’re pretty much gold. Generally, you don’t have to sell yourself and there’s already a little bit of built-in trust, both ways hopefully.

I think when people trust you, they are more willing to throw your name out there. Instead of becoming friends with someone just because you think they might refer you, really work on building up that relationship. Don’t come across as desperate, because people think that you’re trying to get something from them, and that’s not a good feeling.

Why You Shouldn’t Burn Bridges

If you’ve parted ways from your last employer, or even your employers before them, and you need work, it might worth, not just keeping that relationship open, but reaching out and being like “Hey, if you guys have any back work that needs to be filled, I’m available.”

Even if you guys want to go out completely on your own, if there’s ever a time where your old employer might need something, that is usually worth pursuing.

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com/find-clients-freelancers-forum-8/166023/

Categorized in Market Research

I am not a trained marketer. Yet I've been the chief marketer and run major teams for major brands. At my last in-house role, I took a company from 45 million to 100 million users, and was on the executive team during its acquisition for nearly half a billion dollars.

As a result, I recently had the honor of being asked to give the commencement address at my alma mater. As I was thinking about the advice I would give to my younger self, I couldn’t help but think of the career advice I give over and over again to early-career leaders, entrepreneurs and executives, in marketing and otherwise.

I thought I’d share.

What makes me great as a marketer is that I am fixated on being a great leader. I used to be a Lone Ranger type. As I matured, I realized that as a marketing leader -- as a business leader, period -- you can’t do anything big without an on-fire, whip-smart team. So I study, then practice and practice and practice, everything about leading and inspiring brilliant people. I study and practice creating conditions conducive to their brains doing their best work, and creating cultures that attract the geniuses I work with. I urge you to do the same. And to read "Boundaries for Leaders."

Do not become one of those bitter marketers or “creatives” constantly railing against data and metrics. Don't fight the waves. Learn to surf. Beautiful, sensual, emotional stories without outcomes and data? That's called art. I love art. But that's not marketing. 

Learn about business. Study Lean Methodology and apply it to your content and marketing programs. Read "The Lean Startup." Get very conversant in data -- especially content performance data. Cut through the noise and figure out what few data points really matter in understanding how your programs are moving the business.

Learn how to interpret them to get insight into what makes your Customers do what they do. Then constantly tweak and align your marketing to your Customers and what they want. Not what they should want, or what you want them to want. What they actually want to have happen in their real lives. Seriously, read "The Lean Startup."

Exercise Buddhist detachment from your content, your programs, even tough work relationships. Do more of what works, what inspires, what transforms. When it's not working, fix it fast or stop doing it. Acknowledge, commemorate and keep it moving. Get those resources back and reinvest them into the programs, campaigns or people that bear fruit.

Learn how to make business cases. If you can't ever get the resources to do what you need to do, you will get frustrated and bitter and you won't get the results you want. I was a consultant for much of my career, and the skill of making the business case for everything I propose to do helped become a clear, thoughtful thinker and strategist. This served me exceedingly well as an executive and in my in-house roles. Learning how to sell in your work and how to get is a necessary part of being a great marketer. Read "The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals."

Learn about humanity. Behavior change. Why people do what they do. Study behavioral economics. Neuroplasticity. How people get stuck. How they get unstuck. How they stay unstuck. Read "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business." Read "Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength." Read "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness."

Become an expert on story and narrative. Literally study it, don't just use the word "story" all the time. Understand character, plot, conflict, climax. Take James Patterson's MasterClass on Writing. Read "The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories." 

Don't fixate on the channel. It's not about Instagram or Snapchat. Getting to product-market fit, getting people to care about what you do, that’s never about the channel. And, in fact, there will always be a new channel. If you understand human motivation, story and business strategy, you will be able to create products and content people care about, regardless of what the new digital channel of the day is.

Prioritize ruthlessly. Almost no one can work on three, really big, important priorities at a time. Feeling overwhelmed or frustrated is almost always a signal to revisit and double-down on prioritization. This mostly means making hard decisions that you can’t do awesome things you would love to do, because that would distract or take resources away from The Actual Most Important Thing.

Don't work on products or for companies that you don't find interesting. And really, by that I mean work only for companies you believe are out to solve real, human-scale problems that would make the world work better for your customers, even if the product itself isn't quite there yet or if you aren't personally the target audience for the product. If I don't leave the first meeting with a company talking to my friends about how intriguing the product or the vision or the people are, I generally don't work on it. 

Don't work for people you don't find inspiring or don't think you can learn from. You don't necessarily have to like them. But you should believe working with them will expand your capacity for greatness and your skills.

On the other hand, don’t overrule gut misgivings about hiring people, either. You should be excited about learning from those who report to you, too. And don’t expect others to work with you unless you will help them grow, too.

Make it your goal to leave the people in your wake -- your employees, teammates, peers, bosses and especially your customers, better off than than they were when they came into contact with you. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. It can be as small as saying something encouraging at every opportunity. (Without blowing smoke.)

Study integrity. Decide to do whatever it takes to be a whole person with the capacity to face and handle the real facts of every situation. Read Henry Cloud’s "Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality."

If you work in marketing or product, understand your brief as a starting point in the conversation about what you should be working on. Don’t just accept a brief that doesn’t make sense (or isn’t appropriately resourced) from the start. In particular, push back if what you’ve been asked to do is not the thing that will actually solve the business issue. Don’t just push back, though, propose what will solve the issue and be able to explain your thinking as to why -- even if it’s never been done before.

Develop the practice of being still and thoughtful every day, for a moment. If you can journal or walk every day, that’s even better. Allow yourself to listen to that still, small voice that comes up all the time -- the more you honor it, the more it will whisper creativity, energy, wisdom and clear direction your way.

Occasionally, in times of transition, it will also whisper “I’m scared” or “I don’t know how to do this next thing” or “Wow I feel like an imposter in this situation.” Build the habit of interpreting that as a signal that you’re on the right track. 

Source:  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/276228 

Categorized in Market Research

Different retailers have different priorities when it comes to their marketing budgets, but the most valuable brands – Amazon and Apple – are banking on search.

We all know Amazon is the undisputed king of ecommerce. From November 2014 to November 2015, the company raked in more than $71 billion in online sales, which is more than Walmart, Apple, Macy’s, The Home Depot, Best Buy, Costco, Target, Gap Inc., Williams-Sonoma, Sears and Kohl’s sold. Combined.

What is Amazon doing that the others aren’t?

According to Fractl, a Florida-based content marketing agency which analyzed the marketing spend of these massive retailers, search gets the lion’s share of Amazon’s budget. During that year period, the ecommerce giant spent $8 million on TV and radio, a number that sounds very high in isolation. However, Amazon spent $54 million on print and $1.35 billion on search.

 

Among the other retailers, only Apple – called the most valuable brand in the world last year – and Etsy prioritize search to such a degree. Apple spent far more on TV and outdoor advertising than Amazon, though search still made up 86 percent of its spend. Search was an even higher percentage for Etsy: 91 percent, with 1.39 million going to search and $90,000 to other digital channels.

The Etsy finding was the most interesting to Lillian Podlog, project manager at Fractl, who noted that Etsy doesn’t have the same juggernaut status as Apple and Amazon.

“With Amazon and Apple, you can ask what came first, their success or where they put their marketing dollars. Maybe at this point, they can do anything, but Etsy has the same tactic and if you look at organic search rankings, it’s doing really well,” she says.

Etsy saw among the highest ROI in the study. For every $1 spent on marketing, the online marketplace saw $1,600 in sales. Additionally, Etsy, along with Apple and Amazon, had a disproportionately high SEMrush rankings compared with the others, which means they saw higher organic traffic.

That’s a common correlation among the brands analyzed by Fractl. Most of those with larger search spends have higher SEMrush rankings.

“So many people use ad blockers, so many people have blindness to display ads. Investing in search, whether its paid or building your SEO, requires you to really think about what kind of content you’re putting on the Internet that would appeal to users and boost your SEO,” says Podlog. “It requires you to be more thoughtful and considerate about what the customer really wants.”

Among the only exceptions to that rule are Williams-Sonoma and The Home Depot. Digital makes up 51 percent of sales – and 57 percent of the marketing budget – for the former. Nearly a quarter of that budget goes to search, but Williams-Sonoma still doesn’t rank particularly high. On the other hand, The Home Depot does, despite only spending 11 percent on search, instead prioritizing TV and radio. 

homedepot-spend

Where do some of the other major players put their money?

Best Buy puts the majority of its dollars in TV and digital, favoring network channels and display advertising over cable and search.

Costco, on the other hand, largely eschews TV. Instead, the warehouse retailer allocates 57 percent of its marketing dollars to display and nearly all the rest to magazines and newspapers.
Macy’s is another one with a heavy print focus. The brand spends $16 million on display and $32 million on search, which sounds like a lot of money, but is just a drop in the bucket by comparison. Macy’s spends 5.5 times as much on TV and more than 8 times as much on print. 

macys-spend“Macy’s is one of those companies that has an established name and an established consumer base, but if it wants to take some of Amazon’s chunk of online retail, it has to invest more in those other channels,” says Podlog. “Macy’s has been around for so long, but I personally think that unless it changes the shape of its spending, it’s going to suffer.”

Nordstrom’s priority is similarly on print – $27 million on magazines, compared with $6 million on search, $4 million on display, $5 million on TV and $2 million on outdoor – but the strategy is a bit different from that of Macy’s. While Macy’s spends most of its money on newspapers, Nordstrom goes for magazines, a medium that meshes better with the brand’s luxury focus.

Netflix, despite being heralded as one of the premier digital disruptors, doesn’t spend nearly as much money on digital advertising as one would assume. The streaming giant spends $1 million each on display and online video, and $17 million on TV with a particularly heavy focus on network. It makes to sense to Podlog, who points out that “people are watching TV, they’re not on Netflix.”

Target’s marketing budget is probably the most balanced. The retailer spends 46 on TV, 22 on print and 28 percent on digital. The majority of that digital spend is allocated to search, but $23 million is still set aside for online video. 

Source:  https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/06/06/where-do-the-biggest-brands-spend-their-marketing-dollars/ 

It’s Friday, so welcome to our weekly round up of search marketing and related news.

This week we have the 16 companies dominating Google, stats on retailers’ search budgets, and a look at accusations around Google and searches for Hillary Clinton.

Is Google manipulating searches for Hillary Clinton? Er,no…

There’s been talk of Google manipulating autocomplete suggestions for searches on Hillary Clinton. A video from SourceFed claims that searches around Clinton are being manipulated as they don’t return the suggestions they would expect to find.

Specifically, searches such as “Hillary Clinton cri-” did not suggest “Hillary Clinton criminal charges” and “Hillary Clinton in-” did not return “Hillary Clinton indictment.”

SEO and reputation management expert Rhea Drysdale does an excellent job of debunking the theory in a post on Medium.

Essentially SoureFed failed to compare similar searches for Donald Trump, which fail to suggest phrases like “Donald Trump lawsuit”.

trump la

In a nutshell, if Google is manipulating searches for Clinton, it’s doing the same for Trump. There’s another theory too – the popularity of the SourceFed video has led to thousands trying out these searches for themselves, thus potentially manipulating these results.

Google becomes the world’s most powerful brand

Apple’s value has dropped 8% to $228 billion in the past year, while Google’s has risen 32% to reach $229 billion. So Google takes top spot in Millward Brown Digital’s annual report.

mill brown

Amazon’s search spending

Fractl has analyzed the marketing spend of some of the biggest retailers, and search gets the lion’s share of Amazon’s budget.

During the period studied, the ecommerce giant spent $8 million on TV and radio, $54 million on print and $1.35 billion on search.

amazon-budget

For more stats, see Mike O’Brien’s piece on the research.

In search, do the the rich just get richer?

Earlier this week, Chris Lake covered an excellent Glen Allsop study into how 16 companies are dominating Google’s results.

As Chris says in his post:

In this case, the rich are major publishing groups. The way they are getting richer is by cross-linking to existing and new websites, from footers and body copy, which are “constantly changing”
And these are the big 16:

top16

Source:  https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/06/10/four-of-the-most-interesting-search-marketing-news-stories-of-the-week/

Categorized in Market Research

The Google Contacts web app, first introduced over a year ago, is rolling out new a feature despite still being in preview mode. The new feature will list verified business information from Google Maps directly in a contact.

If you have previously added information about a business to the Google Contacts web app, such as a phone number, the contact will be populated with verified information about that businesses from its listing in Google Maps. In addition, Contacts will pull in the the business’s profile information as well as link to open the listing directly in Maps.

If you have previously added data to the Google Contact Web App then your information will not be overridden, rather the two sets of data will show up simultaneously. All information from Google Maps will be displays below the information you have added manually.

This is one of the first new features added to Google Contacts since the preview rolled out. If you’re still on the old version of Contact you can activate the new one by clicking on “Try Contact Preview” in the left toolbar.

map

A new design for Google Contact is available now, with the Maps integration set to roll out to all users in the coming days.

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-contacts-web-app-now-shows-verified-information-maps/165606/

Categorized in Search Engine

The year 2016 will be known as the beginning of the rise of influencer marketing. In a world where everyone is a minor celebrity through Twitter, YouTube, and blogging, anyone can use their clout to direct their audience and make smaller voices heard.

But what is influencer marketing? And why should small businesses try to harness its power? Here’s your guide to the whats, whys, and hows.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing combines word-of-mouth reviews with celebrity endorsements. Brands work to find a public figure or well-known name within their niche and ask them to talk about their products or engage with their content.

Depending on the company, this can be a low-key (and even free) exercise or a pricey form of marketing. On one end, small non-profits ask local news anchors to promote them — otherwise known as free PR — and B2B bloggers reach out to keynote speakers asking for retweets to their expansive networks. On the other end, some brands are willing to pay thousands of dollars just for one Instagram post from Kim Kardashian or Lindsay Lohan.

Finding a partner to showcase your brand is key, and when it’s done right, your brand can flourish.

Why is Influencer Marketing Beneficial?

Once our clients have a basic understanding of influencer marketing, the follow-up questions are: Will it work for our brand? And Why should we try it? There are many reasons to give it a shot, but here are our top six.

You Expose Your Brand to Larger Audiences

The rise of ad-blockers has led to more companies trying to connect with potential customers on a personal level instead of broadcasting blanket ads. There are two ways to do this: create content on personal platforms like blogs and social media, or promote your content on other influencer platforms.

Content marketers have started using influencers as recruiters for their brands. Your blog might only reach 1,000 people per day, but your influencer’s blog might reach 1,000,000. Even if just 2% of your influencer’s visitors come to your site, you’re still going to triple your audience.

Influencers Prove You’re a Major Player

Many brands use influencer marketing to seem like bigger brands than they actually are. Let’s use the example above, where a blog with a million followers promotes a blog with a thousand. The larger blog’s audience doesn’t know that the smaller channel only gets a thousand visitors daily — and they don’t care. Cool content is cool content, regardless of the audience.

Influencer marketing is ideal for putting your brand on the map and making it stand out. If your brand is good enough for the influencer, then it should be good enough for their audience.

Word-of-Mouth Provides Credibility

Many customers trust word-of-mouth, but it’s also one of the hardest marketing tools to employ. Influencer marketing channels the word-of-mouth benefits without the labor of getting each customer to promote your brand.

The key to finding a successful influencer is picking someone who already lives with your brand and would be a natural fit to represent you. For example, Audrina Patridge announced her pregnancy using a Clear Blue Easy pregnancy test featured on Instagram. The placement was a natural fit because she was expecting and because the majority of her fans are twenty-something women.

The Relationship Creates Better ROI in the Long Run

While some influencer relationships will remain the same (you will always pay through the nose for Kylie Jenner to take a selfie with your product), most niche influencer relationships will have better ROI the longer you work with them.

The first part of the outreach process is always the hardest. Your influencer might not be familiar with your product or content and neither of you is sure if the promotion will be a success, but after a few wins you can form a partnership, and your influencer’s audience will know that they genuinely love the product.

Paid placements should become cheaper as you work with the influencer more (while bulk buying should decrease the price) and organic placements should be easier to acquire over time.

Adweek notes that influencer costs have been rising significantly in the past two years, which means that getting in on the ground floor now can save you thousands in the next six months or a year.

Success Tracking is Easier Than Ever

Google Analytics and other sites like Coremetrics and Omniture can measure every step your audience takes and how they convert. Instead of just measuring exposure in the same way we measure TV and radio ads, we can measure the exact path from the influencer’s site to ours, and track their conversion process.

One of the hardest parts of marketing is constantly allocating and reallocating your budget for the highest ROI, and modern analytics will help with that.

Your Competition is Already Doing It

As of October 2015, 75% of companies reported using influencer marketing as a strategic marketing tool. Of that, 47% considered the channel extremely effective, while 34% thought it was somewhat effective. This means half of your competition is already beating you, and another third is on its way!

How Do I Start?

Once clients are sold on the idea of influencer marketing, the next question is how? We recommend these five quick steps to start testing the influencer waters:

Determine what budget (if any) you can commit to paid partnerships.
Brainstorm an influencer “dream team” of 10-20 people or websites that would ideally promote your products or content.

Get creative with the marketing message! Anyone can hold up a product, but unique messages have more staying power.

Seek out input from the influencer of what worked or didn’t, and collect feedback from both of your audiences on the promotion.

Test, test, test. It’s okay to fail as long as each failure comes with a lesson.

Influencer marketing depends on the spokespeople you choose, but also on the products or services you offer. Remember, Kim Kardashian can try to promote corset trainers all she wants, but if they don’t work, all that influencer marketing has gone to waist.

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com/6-reasons-influencer-marketing-beneficial/163866/

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