Search marketing dominating retail referrals
A recent survey by Shop.org and Forrester Research found that search engine marketing (SEM) was cited far and away the most often by retailing executives when asked to name their top three sources of new customers. Eighty-five percent of respondents put SEM in their top 3%, more than twice the number citing the second-place source, organic traffic. For all the buzz about social media, sources such as Facebook were well down in the single-digit percentages.
Search Engine Watch
Facebook unleashes Slingshot - for real this time.
After an inadvertent premature release a week earlier, Facebook launched its answer to Snapchat in mid-June. The Facebook service, called Slingshot, is similar to Snapchat in that it is designed to send pictures and videos intended to be viewed once. However, in an attempt to force further user engagement, Slingshot requires recipients to send an image themselves before they can view one.
The Better Business Bureau weighs in on sponsored-content disclosures.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has prevailed upon sponsored content distributor Taboola to make more meaningful disclosures. The BBB had objected to the way Taboola had presented links to users, the size and color of its disclosures, and the location of its disclosures. Also of significance was the fact that the BBB pursued the matter over Taboola's objection that it was not technically an advertiser and thus should not be subject to the BBB's ad guidelines.
Twitter hopes to leverage its ad audience through integration with MoPub.
Last year, Twitter acquired MoPub, a mobile advertising platform with an audience of nearly one billion devices. In mid-April, Twitter announced a program that will allow advertisers to simultaneously place ads on MoPub and Twitter. While this one-stop-shopping will be a convenience for advertisers, it could also have an additive effect both MoPub and Twitter ad volume.
Direct Marketing News
Twitter makes mobile video more accessible.
Twitter has enabled new features for iPhones and Android devices that provide a sample stream of videos in the user's newsfeeds, and makes it possible to play those videos with just one click. Twitter is trying to revamp its image in the wake of disappointing 4th quarter earnings and the embarrassment of having the site crash due to traffic generated by the Ellen DeGeneres Oscar selfie.
The New York Times
Ogilvy testing a new form of intensive consumer profiling.
Ogilvy Labs is testing a consumer profiling tool called Autograph, whose makers claim it can capture about 5,500 distinct attributes of a consumer in less than 30 seconds. A potential downside is that this requires the consumer's cooperation in spending about half a minute indicating a series of preferences, but the positive side of that is that it makes this a completely opt-in approach.
Newsfeed organization: old media transforms into new with Trove.
The Graham Organization, which sold the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos, has emerged with a new app that combines search algorithms with a form of crowd-sourcing to help users organize news stories on topics of interest. While the product, called Trove, starts with an ordinary search algorithm, it tries to match decisions users make about prioritizing stories with those of other people who have prioritized stories on the same topics, to provide a more on-point flow of stories in the future.
The New York Times