Archive for the ‘Trends and research’ Category
April 25th, 2013
Just picked up a shocking infographic from Barclays Bank – not shocking graphically, rather the statistics it shares about the mobile opportunity.
I did not know that only 11 per cent of UK online businesses had mobile-ready apps or mobile websites. 11 per cent? That stunned me – particularly as the bank also advises that the country’s online businesses are growing 57 times faster than the UK economy.
It’s not as though mobile commerce is something very fresh and new; it has been evolving for the past 10 years and this accelerated with the arrival of the Apple iPhone. Almost every marketing-focused article or whitepaper I read now seems to be putting mobile at the very core of strategy.
But then we find that UK online business, not every business in the UK you understand, is not ready.
Anyway, the purpose of an infographic is to deliver useful information in a visual medium so I will leave the rest to the bank’s designers. You can click on the infographic below for the full-size version.
April 12th, 2013
It’s that time again when we look at the latest case study of someone that should know better using social networks to vent personal beliefs/opinions that reflect negatively on their employer.
No prizes for guessing what happens next.
This time, the brand in question is Microsoft, specifically Xbox, and a recent conversation in relation to the next Xbox, which will be released on May 21st, and its probable always-on feature.
For those that are familiar with always-on gaming, it has been far from a smooth path, and games fans are wary of related issues, especially in light of problems with titles such as SimCity and Diablo 3.
In this instance the conversation was U.S. –based where Internet connectivity varies depending on location, and some parents have also expressed worries that an always-on connection would break broadband caps without their knowledge.
The issue began when A creative director at Microsoft, Andrew Orth, appeared to confirm a rumour that the next Xbox will require an always-on internet connection. Orth has been working as a creative director at Microsoft Studios on a game, which is yet to be revealed, since February 2012 and he was involved in a sarcastic exchange about the benefits of being connected. This was seized on by games fans, which in-turn triggered an online debate.
The discussion, which can be seen below, took place between Orth and Manveer Heir, a senior game designer at BioWare. Orth and Manveer are apparently close friends who seem to have been making fun of each other, but sarcasm does not always translate well, especially when Orth commented “why on earth would I live there?” when asked about towns that do not have good levels of connectivity such as Janesville, WI and Blacksburg, VA.
After a week of controversy, Gameinformer reports that Adam Orth has now voluntarily resigned from the company, which had been forced to apologise for his comments and indiscreet references to the new Xbox project, as below:
“We apologise for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday,” said the company.
“This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer-centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.”
This may have been a case of a sarcastic conversation that went wrong, rather than an attack, but the outcome was the same; damage to the brand, resulting in the individual leaving the organisation.
The lesson is simple, Social networks are not private, and anything you write is accessible, so think before you tweet, and remember Twitter Tirades never work!
Read more at:
February 25th, 2013
Mobile World Congress kicks off this morning (Feb 25th) in Barcelona and you can watch the live mobile stream here. There have been a few grumbles about the relevance of MWC recently but it remains the single most important global mobile event.
To celebrate, and wish all the delegates a great show, here’s is an awesome infographic created byÂ geek, freelance writer and graphic designer DJ Miller, a graduate student at the University of Tampa. Respect, DJ.
Click on the link image to see the full infographic. Thanks to The Next Web for sharing.
Featured image credit: Thinkstock
February 20th, 2013
This is just a short blog post to share something a bit wonderful â€“ the Tea Social offering, operating from a secret address in Kent (kidding!) which taps the extraordinary power of the net at the local level.
We are so often focused on the big brand, big picture web that we forget that this conduit and culture is being used in useful, relevant and creative ways by small groups everywhere. Well, at least I do.
So it was very good to bump into an old friend, quite a bit younger than me, who is doing something very great at the local level, using the webâ€™s hydra-headed nature.
Tea Social specialises in internet moderation and community management, but also does workshops, full-service social media and social media â€œfinishing schoolsâ€ for companies.
Tea Social is just one strand of a creative project started in 2011 by a group of ridiculously young people based, of all places, in Kent.
The company running Tea Social is now known as Tea Arts but started out its as yet short life with the name Tea Concerts. It has just opened a â€œmusic project spaceâ€ in the Rochester area; a temporary place which people can use as a rehearsal room or a place to try out new bands (this is at a reduced rate until they start gigging).
The space was delivered through heart, soul young energy and savvy. It’s all been done on a budget of roughly Â£7. The Tea Arts team hit the local bike shops for packing boxes (sound insulation), found freecycled mattresses (ditto) and the place being used using, a developing art centre, had loads of fibreglass in their ceilings they were trying to get rid of.
Tea Arts team member Louise Micklewright told me: â€œWe soundproofed the room using all this, got a drum kit from some friends, pulled in favours for other equipment and put our own PA in there. Â Already, this is taking off and we’re always heavily booked up.
â€œThe idea behind this is that the local council noticed stuff happening and wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Â We’ve said putting on gigs is not what’s needed, so we’re proving by experiment exactly what is needed. If they want to get involved they can do something useful, or basically do that thing where they move off very quickly.â€
This young group has used the social power of the web to put rocket fuel into the local culture. And I am in awe. They have been the catalyst and the point of reference for a â€œfringeâ€ music festival that’s really bringing all the previously reticent promoters together.
Louise says: â€œThis is fantastic, because for the last year we’ve been trying to tell people we’re not in competition, we’re all working for the same goal, so we should work together.â€
The Tea Arts crew are also arranging a â€œnoiseâ€ festival for March, as well as getting their normal gigs going again too.
Respect. Go and be very great, Tea Arts.
February 19th, 2013
The Pew research Center has recently releases its U.S.- focused social networking report
which highlighted some interesting trends on who’s using social media most and which social networks are most popular.
You can download the full report here:
In summary: “The Demographics of Social Media Users 2012” study found that the most frequent social media users are women aged 18 to 29. Women have been significantly more likely to use social networking sites than men since 2009. In December 2012, 71 percent of women were users of social networking sites, compared with 62 percent of men.
Overall, 67 percent use Facebook, and 16 percent use Twitter, which is especially appealing to adults in the 18 to 29-year-old category. Key demographics are charted in the images at the bottom of this post.
Pinterest has practically caught up with Twitter, with 15 percent of adult U.S. Internet users.
Pinterest, which launched in 2009, has experienced explosive growth. Women are five times more likely to use Pinterest (5 percent vs. 25 percent) and almost twice as likely to be white and college-educated.
13 percent of U.S. online adults say they use Instagram, 6 percent say they use Tumblr, and 20 percent of U.S. online adults say they use LinkedIn as of August 2012.
40 percent of mobile phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28 percent do so on a typical day.
The report also looked at Creators and curators, defining them as follows:
As of August 2012:
â€¢ 46 percent of U.S. adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. We call them creators.
â€¢ 41 percent of U.S. adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and re-post them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. We call them curators.
Overall, 56 percent of internet users do at least one of the creating or curating activities studied and 32 percent of internet users do both creating and curating activities.
Interestingly, not using social media may be an elite thing. Those with a college degree are slightly less likely than those with some college education to use social networks (69 percent vs. 65 percent).
December 21st, 2012
As we quickly approach 2013, many people are in reflective mood as they look to round-off their year with a 2012 summary post.
I’m going to keep it simple and avoid the fluff by hitting you with some of the statistics that evidence the ever-widening reach of social networks.
So sit back and spend a few minutes taking the numbers in while we rejoice in the fact that the world didn’t end today, at least not yet:
- 25 percent of users on Facebook don’t bother with any kind of privacy control. (source: AllTwitter)
- Monthly active Facebook users now total nearly 850 million. (source: Jeff Bullas)
- 488 million users regularly use Facebook mobile. (source: All Facebook)
- More than 1 million websites have integrated with Facebook in various ways. (source: Uberly)
- 77 percent of B2C companies and 43 percent of B2B companies acquired customers from Facebook. (source: Business2Community)
- 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. (sources: AllTwitter)
- 32 percent of all Internet users are using Twitter. (source: Marketing Land)
- Twitter is projected to make a total of $540 million in advertising revenue by 2014. (source:Web Analytics World)
- In 2012, 1 million accounts are added to Twitter everyday. (source: Infographics Labs)
- 34 percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. (source: Digital Buzz Blog)
- Instagram was one of the largest acquisitions of a venture capital-backed consumer Web company since Zappos was bought by Amazon for $1.22B in 2009. (source: Factbrowser)
- According to Followgram’s research, 37 percent of Instagram users have never uploaded a single photo and only 5 percent of users have more than 50 pictures. (source: Siliconrepublic)
- It took just 10 months for Instagram to reach the milestone of 150m pictures uploaded. (source: Siliconrepublic)
- 80 percent of Pinterest users are women, while 50 percent of all Pinterest users have children. (source: Search Engine Journal)
- The average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site, compared to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook. (source: Arik Hanson)
- The Google +1 button is used 5 billion times per day. (source: AllTwitter)
- Google+ pages appear in search results for 30 percent of brand term searches for brands with G+ pages, up from 5 percent in February 2012. (source: Bright Edge)
- 48 percent of fortune global 100 companies are now on Google+. (source: Burson-Marsteller)
- Google+ cost $585 million and took 500 employees to build. (source: Social Media Delivered)
- Google+ is expected to attract 400 million users by the end of 2012. (source: Remcolandia)
Source – Huffington Post
December 17th, 2012
New research from eConsultancy reinforces the trend and huge momentum towards second screen culture.
I use two screens most of the time, either laptop and mobile or mobile and TV, with the laptop at hand when needed for some data sources. Far from a distraction, the additional screens help with background, context, further information and knowledge.
It is excellent, with a detailed exposition of the current cultural position and views on whatâ€™s next.
Clair advises, for example that Shazam, the sound recognition app, is one service helping brands to extend the reach of their TV adverts through mobile and therefore harness the power of second screening.
She writes: â€œAs well as listening to music, the app now also listens to the audio from advertisements and uses it to launch relevant content on the userâ€™s mobile device when it recognises the sound.
â€œThis gives marketers the opportunity to send Shazam users straight to a relevant landing page at a time when they are already engaged and ready to interact further.â€
Thereâ€™s so much more than this nugget but Iâ€™ll leave that decision to you.
Clairâ€™s info builds on a recent Sky TV research project, led by Luke Bradley-Jones, Brand Director, TV Products.
Sky published the survey commissioned from YouGov with an infographic (link below) at the end of September. It shows that that three out of four people watch TV accompanied by another screen. Itâ€™s also now second nature for a third of people (34%) to use laptops, tablets and smartphones to talk about live TV while watching.
The research also shows Â that, after eating, going online is the next most popular activity while watching TV, with 60% of consumers found to be using email, 65% surfing the web and 47% using social networking sites.
Like Clair and Luke, I believe that marketers should grab with both hands the opportunity to deepen engagement with consumers through the second and third screens. To me, it seems like a win-win, if campaigns are designed and deployed in the right way.
This must mean taking great care not to spam second screeners but individuate the engagement messages, making these useful relevant and worthwhile. Done the right way, these engagement tactics can bind the consumer closer but also improve conversion rates.
Click on the infographic image below to see full size version:
November 30th, 2012
The Guardian newspaper published an article on mobile connectivity speeds in the UK recently. Weird thing is, my personal connectivity speed bears no relation to its findings.
I check my mobile connection speeds regularly, turning off WiFi connection first to get the clearest data.
At 15:45 this afternoon, according to Speedtest.net, the Ping time was 756 milliseconds, with the down-stream coming in at 0.02 mbps, matched by the upstream connection speed.
I have no reason to doubt the Guardianâ€™s data but it is a puzzle that I can only achieve these paltry speeds on what is supposed to be a fast mobile network. The provider is O2 so either Iâ€™m not connecting to a 3G network or the network is not functioning to maximum effect.
The Guardian reports that the average speed of a mobile phone connection in the UK has risen to 2.6 megabits per second with customers of Three and Vodafone receiving the fastest 3G services.
â€œResults poured in from Inverness to Plymouth, from the Welsh valleys to Hull and London, and the verdict is that, while coverage remains patchy, speeds have improved since the last major survey two years ago found a national average of 1.5 Mbps.â€
Currently the Guardian mobile speed tester is unavailable, which is a pity but, anyway, Â I trust Speedtest.net to deliver accurate results.
With more than 7,300 separate measurements recorded via the Guardian’s mobile phone speed tester, largely on 3G with a sprinkling from EE’s new 4G network, a picture emerged of a mobile internet that for the first time truly qualifies as broadband, and that is at its best faster than Wi-Fi connections at home. You can see the results of the research here.
Significantly, the Guardian report advises that too often the service that users pay for is patchy and inconsistent, particularly in rural areas and in cities during rush hour, with one commuter describing their iPhone 5 as “an expensive paper weight” and another saying coverage on motorways in the south-east of England was “unpredictable or useless”.
I have never, not once, achieved the connection speeds on my mobile that are being touted as a mean average in the UK by the Guardian. Iâ€™m no slouch when it comes to mobile technologies so do not believe that there is a set-up dysfunction on my iPhone 4s.
I travel to London from Brighton quite a lot and the mobile connectivity service on that train run is, frankly, laughable.
There is absolutely no way that I can currently use my iPhone effectively as a business device with the kinds of speeds Iâ€™m getting.
I just think that we have a very long way to go before we have â€˜everywhere fast connectivityâ€™ on our mobile devices and this is surely due to the lacuna between what the mobile network operators promise and what they deliver each day around the UK.
We deserve better from the mobile operators, who charge a princely sum for the privilege of tapping into their creaking, overloaded, slow and unstable networks.
November 5th, 2012
I spotted this excellent infographic on what content we would pay for and thought it might be useful and relevant to you.
Business Insider (not a client) produced the infographic (click on the image for full size) believes thatÂ “Media” no longer encompasses merely content, but also commerce, payments, and platforms. It says that in a post-cash, networked, and mobile-enabled society, there are new business models work for digital publishers and digital companies.
Business Insider‘s New York city event Â on November 27-28th -Â IGNITION: Future Of Digital – is a two-day conference that will explore the successful and emerging business models of digital media.
It has lined up a truly impressive speaker list and I think it would be well worth following. More details here
The themes of the New York event chime with our ideas at Liberate Media. We believe that sharing useful, timely and relevant content is now the most important element of any PR campaign. It has a clear and measurable value for brands.
While we work in the Earned Media world, where free content is used to build brand authority, reputation and trust, we can also see the rise of content forms, provided by savvy publishers that people will pay for, particularly on mobile devices.
For example, we’ve seen the recent launch in the UK of 12ahead, led by editor Andy McCormick, a young veteran of the digital marketing sector.
12ahead provides quality information that is not easily found anywhere else on the web and has a subscription business model. Early signs are that people are more than willing to pay for this information.
The new title, which I hope thrives (they’re not a client), is part of Content 4.0.
Content 4.0, says Business Insider, is the rise of “Awesome to Many”, where technological advance and maturity of online culture combine to give content providers the opportunity to charge for these assets again.
I think that the Content 4.0 proposition is very strong and is still in process as an idea. But I agree that the online commercial landscape has changed fundamentally over the past few years.
The driver for that was Steve Jobs. Through iTunes, he made buying content online cool again. He then enabled this facility through the iPhone so mobile handsets became purchasing devices.
When buying through mobile becomes cool, the economics of the internet are transformed. We owe Steve Jobs a great debt.
November 1st, 2012
We all love stories, from the toddler joy of listening to our parents reading to us to an unexpected conversation in a pub.
Weâ€™ve learned to enjoy stories through mediums other than live speech â€“ the book, magazine, film, TV show.
But maybe this is changing and we are moving back to a new form of oral transmission. At least thatâ€™s the argument put forward this week by Aleks Krotoski.
She is running an excellent series on BBC Radio 4 â€“ Digital Human â€“ which is well worth a catch-up if you havenâ€™t followed it yet. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nl671
Aleks Krotoski is one of the leading thinkers in the new generation of young broadcasters who focus on the cultural changes being driven by global networks and new technologies. This is her second Digital Human series.
This week, Aleks investigated the way that we tell stories in the digital age. Aleks talked to information specialists – author AS Byatt, Alison Norrington (one of the world’s leading proponents of transmedia stories), and Tom Pettitt (author of The Gutenberg Parenthesis) among others, to try to understand what a â€˜storyâ€™ is for, before querying how modern online storytelling bears a striking resemblance to oral traditions of mediaeval times.
Many of the stories we tell, according to Aleks, currently do not make the most of what the digital world has to offer.
But there are examples of a new narrative form. The Slender Man, created by Victor Serge is a myth born and spread on the internet, and has gone global, far beyond the Anglophone countries. It is definitely worth checking out.
During the programme, AS Byatt said that stories are the essence of life and of time. They surround us and help us make sense of the world.
Tom Pettitt, who teaches English Literature at the University of Southern Denmark said that the current digital culture is in some ways reversing the Gutenberg revolution, returning the story to â€˜the campfireâ€™, picking up the oral tradition from where we left it in around 1600, with the introduction of movable type.
He believes that post-modern digital stories will resemble pre-modern stories.
Author Frank Rose echoed Professor Pettittâ€™s thoughts saying that the story is now freed from the constrictions of the book; it can be as long as you want; it can change and it can be split into two or more stories. It is also more than just text â€“ you can use audio, video and images, for example, to narrate the tale. And it is interactive.
The power of narrative, or story-telling, should not be under-estimated. New forms of story-telling will only reinforce the focus on online content as a highly effective way to engage with others, whether new friends, colleagues, clients and customers.