Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #108 August 10, 2011

Social media becomes the focal point of new ads.
Besides using social media to promote and provide information for their brands, companies are now making their social media posts the focal point of ad campaigns, directing viewers to their social media content. This reportedly engages users for an average of 30 seconds, as opposed to 11 seconds for a conventional ad.
The New York Times

New rewards program could further crowd the online deals arena.
Intercontinental Hotels Group has launched a customer rewards program, which wouldn't be remarkable except for its scope: it encompasses online, in-store, catalog, and telephone shopping at over 600 retailers. In short, along with the major Internet platforms getting into the act, online coupon companies can look forward to companies with large customer bases also competing for control of the same consumer behavior.

Google gobbles up market share in smartphones.
According to data from technology analysts Canalys, Google's Android platform reached 48 percent market share globally in the second quarter of 2011, up sharply from 33.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. Apple has also been gaining share, up to 19 percent of the market from 16 percent in six months, as weaker competitors are rapidly losing ground.

Apple's challenge to Netflix may be close to launch.
Netflix has enjoyed a first-mover advantage in offering online video programming, but now competitors are circling. The most notable one may be Apple, which reportedly is close to offering a music and video service to be called iTunes Replay. This service may include both streaming videos and downloads.

Google sees conspiracy in patent acquisitions.
Having lost out in the bidding for old Novell and Nortel patents, Google is charging an array of other companies, including Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple, of conspiring against Google's Android platform by acquiring those patents. Google claims the patents were acquired to position its competitors to receive licensing fees that would drive up the cost of Android devices.

Nielsen, comScore update online ad rating systems.
On August 15th, Nielsen will launch a new advertising metrics service which will incorporate elements of traditional advertising measurement. The idea is to capture the value added by social network and display advertising, beyond click-through rates and impressions. The move follows comScore's recent launch of metrics showing how users interact with brands on Facebook.

Small businesses often assign a low priority to social media.
For all the buzz surrounding the marketing potential of social media, small businesses often do not make it a central part of their strategies. According to a Hiscox poll, only 12 percent of small business representatives considered social media a "must," compared with 43 percent who said social media was not essential to their business.

Computers still dominate online video delivery.
Online video is expected to reach 158.1 million viewers in the US this year, with online video ad spending increasing by 52.1 percent to a total of $2.2 billion. This explosive growth has not caused a revolution in how online video is viewed, as 89 percent still use a laptop or a PC, compared with only 11 percent who have a TV hooked up to the Internet. However, video game consoles are helping more and more people bridge the gap between their televisions and the Internet.

Dominos hopes Facebook will deliver customers.
Dominos has launched an online game that is designed to help the company build both its e-mail list and Facebook fan base. Fans have to add Domino's Facebook page as a "like" in order to play the game, and they have to provide an e-mail address in order to receive the resulting prizes and coupons. Those coupons will then be shared with the user's Facebook friends, unless the user opts out of this default.

Facebook's marketing director--and CEO's sister--has resigned.
Facebook's marketing director Randi Zuckerberg, sister of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has resigned from the firm. She will form her own social media marketing firm, though she specified in her announcement that Facebook will remain a central platform for her approach.

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