Barcodes are a growing option for print ads.
Barcodes can be scanned to lead customers to web pages with more detail than would be possible in traditional ads. Barcodes are used in this way in only 4% of print ads currently, but that number is growing. General retailers are the leading users, representing 21.9% of the total, followed by technology companies at 13.6% and financial services firms at 6.7%. Competitrack, which provided the data, recommends laying out landing sites with mobile devices in mind, since that's how the barcodes are usually scanned.
Fourth quarter 2011 figures appear ominous for digital advertising.
Newly released 2011 figures from Kantar Media uncover a minimal increase of 0.4% in Internet ad spending, with worse results year over year, as fourth quarter figures declined by 6.2%. Display fared better than paid search, with a 5.5% rise for the full year compared to a 2.8% decrease for paid search. However, both showed negative year over year comparisons in the fourth quarter, with display ad spending down 5.9% and paid search down 6.4%.
Survey reveals intriguing customer attitudes toward online security.
A survey released by StrategyOne and Edelman on March 7 shows consumers are wary about the privacy of their personal data: 90% of respondents were concerned about security, and 80% felt they know more about the issue than they did 5 years ago. As a possible effect of these fears on their behavior, 21% said they have passed on rewards programs because of concerns about providing data. However, while 84% say security is important to them, only 33% expect companies to actually secure their personal information.
Direct Marketing News
Twitter expands availability of its promoted products via mobile apps.
Twitter announced on February 28th that it had made Promoted Accounts available through apps on iPhone and Android devices, and that Promoted Tweets will soon be available on mobile apps. Previously, the products had been available through Twitter's mobile website, but not through its official mobile app.
The wearable web: Google to launch streaming glasses later this year.
Google plans to take locally targeted marketing potential in a new direction with glasses that stream content to the lenses via a 3G/4G connection, with the content adapting constantly to the user's location. The product is expected to be available by the end of this year and cost between $250 and $600. Google reportedly views this as more of an experiment than a money-making venture at this point.
Search Engine Journal
Google caught bypassing Apple privacy settings.
The default setting on Apple's Safari web browser is to disallow tracking of user activity by advertisers, but the Wall Street Journal has reported that Google used code to circumvent this privacy measure. The revelation is bound to heat up controversy over online privacy issues.
The Wall Street Journal
The e-reader market may be topping out.
Ownership of e-readers doubled last year, and is up five-fold since the end of 2009. However, it would be a mistake to project that this type of growth could continue for long. As the percentage of Internet users who own an e-reader has reached 15.8%, another group has grown quickly -- those who say they are unlikely to ever buy an e-reader. That seems to be affecting the potential ceiling for the product.