Mobile commerce expected to reach a milestone next year
As digital shopping migrates from laptops and desktops to smartphones, eMarketer expects the percentage of digital buyers making a purchase via smartphone to cross 50 percent for the first time next year. Still, this represents less than complete dominance for smartphones, as the projection does not preclude those shoppers using other devices as well. The big problem with smartphone shopping remains seeing the customer through to completion--this year, an estimated 165.8 million Americans will shop via smartphone without completing the purchase.
Smartphones lead the way in multi-device Super Bowl ad consumption
Using a computer to augment television viewing is a well-established trend, and Super Bowl 50 demonstrated that smartphones are instrumental in engaging consumers with advertisements in this way. During the game, 82 percent of searches related to ads airing on TV were launched via smartphones, compared with just 11 percent for desktops and 7 percent for tablets.
Larger smartphones are taking browsing share from tablets
Though tablets at one point held a greater share of browsing time than smartphones, the transition to larger smartphone screen sizes -- on so-called "phablets" -- has led to a resurgence in smartphone browsing. Browsing via phablets is now growing by more than 20 percent in several global markets, and by considerably more in certain areas.
Google paid search side display ads in favor of squeezing organic results from the top and bottom
Google announced on February 20 that it would no longer display paid search ads on the right side of search result screens. Instead, Google will include a fourth paid search ad on top of the list of organic results, and will also display as many as three paid search ads below the organic results -- thus further limiting the space available to organic results.
Despite increased sophistication, B2B marketing still scattershot
Increased targeting automation has promised to make digital marketing more efficient, but B2B marketers are not seeing it. A recent survey by Wakefield Research found that 70 percent of B2B marketers feel advertising fails to meet expectations some or all of the time. Ninety-six percent recognize that their efforts reach a significant number of people outside their target audiences. Nearly half still complain that it is difficult to measure return on investment.
Direct Marketing News
Instagram looks to lead social media growth
At a time when overall social media growth is plateauing, with its overall U.S. user base projected to grow by just 3 percent this year, Instragram is in an enviable position. According figures from eMarketer, it is already second only to Facebook in the size of its user base, and it is the only one of the top five social media outlets projected to have double-digit growth next year.
Direct Marketing News
Google PageRank scores will become a thing of the past
Google has said that toolbars using a PageRank score will stop displaying them in the near future. This signals a big change in search engine marketing: PageRank scores were once a handy tool for sites to use to demonstrate their value to potential advertisers, and were also a way of evaluating incoming links for SEO purposes. However, Google signaled that the scores were falling into disfavor by lengthening the time between updates.
Search Engine Journal