Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #131 January 25, 2012

Brand advertising is winning more online converts.
While part of the initial appeal of online advertising was its potential for direct user responses, a greater number of advertisers are embracing the more general approach of brand advertising online. A survey from January 6 of this year shows bigger spending increases planned for brand advertising than for direct response advertising, even though measuring the impact of brand advertising is more elusive.

Projections show online ad spending poised for a landmark year.
eMarketer forecasts for 2012 show U.S. online ad spending climbing by 23.3% and outstripping print advertising. The projected 2012 total of $39.5 billion for U.S. online ad spending would surpass $33.8 billion for U.S. print ad spending. The national election is expected to drive media advertising of all types, and online ad growth also reflects advertisers' growing comfort with integrated marketing.

Tablets may be a key target for mobile marketing.
A report by Adobe Systems says that among people who visited e-commerce websites in 2011, tablet users spent 54% more per purchase than smartphone users, and 21% more than desktop/laptop users. Perhaps the most important takeaway is that the mobile market is not a single, homogeneous category encompassing tablet and smartphone users.

Marketers plan to rush to social media in 2012.
In a global survey of 700 marketers, 75% of them plan to spend more on social media marketing in 2012. The November 2011 results show that 88% of respondents feel they've gotten positive ROI from social media spending. Many define ROI in non-financial terms: Only 24% indicate higher revenue; 38% refer to an increase in fans, "likes," comments, and interactions; and 15% point to brand awareness.

Google's ad volume translates to revenue gains.
Google's revenue rose by 29% in 2011 to a total of $37.9 billion, 96% of which came from advertising. Ads on Google-owned sites received 34% more clicks than the year before, while the cost-per-click to advertisers dropped 8%. Google spent aggressively on its own advertising, ramping up annual sales and marketing spending by 62% to $4.5 billion.

Advertisements can now drag down search rankings.
Google has announced a tweak to its search algorithm that lowers the ranking of sites deemed to have too many advertisements. The key determinant is the amount of content vs. advertising above the fold, on the part of the page a user sees when first arriving at the site.
Search Engine Watch

Bing repositions to stress action.
Bing's new advertising campaign marks a conscious effort to move away from its original branding as a "decision engine," in favor of the notion that "Bing is for doing." The emphasis on action-oriented activities is seen as an attempt to appeal to the 18 to 34 age group.
Search Engine Watch

Protest against anti-piracy legislation demonstrates Google's influence.
While Wikipedia went offline for a day to protest anti-piracy legislation being considered by Congress, Google took a more engaged approach by blotting out its name with a large black box to symbolize censorship, and asking people to join the drive to "end piracy, not liberty." The effort yielded over 7 million signers for the petition, and the popular outcry seems to be making politicians waver in their support of the proposals.
Search Engine Watch

Apple's iPhone 4S release narrowed, but did not close, the gap with Android.
Since total market share figures can be slow to move, the share of recent purchases can be a good way to spot changes in competitive trends. Since the release of the iPhone 4S in October 2011, Apple's share of recent smartphone purchases has risen from 25.1% to 44.5% as of December. Android's share over the same period just barely maintained a lead, as it fell from 61.6% to 46.9%.
Marketing Pilgrim

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