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Carrie-Johnson Posted by Carrie Johnson

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Rich Search Ads Hold Promise, But...

[Posted by Neil Strother]

A quick note to say a new report is up regarding marketers experimenting with rich ads (images and video) in search: "Rich Search Ads: Too Early For Most Advertisers" (available in full to Forrester clients).

The promise of these newer search ads is greater user engagement while on a search results page. The user can view product photos, watch a short video clip, or get to detailed information quicker, such as an insurance rate quote. We like the idea. These richer formats can help facilitate transactions, as well as put brand elements at key decision points.

But the major search engines (Google and Yahoo!) have so far restricted access to these rich formats to a select few advertisers, and the formats themselves are still under development. Some early results have been favorable, but how these rich formats do over time is still unclear. For now, most search marketers can delay significant spending until more results are available and the buying process becomes more automated.

What do you think? Do rich search ads make sense for your brand? Will rich search ads become part of your future plans? Post a comment below.

Using Social Media To Create And Amplify Offline Influence

Has UK Online Ad Spend Overtaken TV?

 The latest research from the IAB, suggesting that the UK is the first major economy where advertisers are now spending more online than on TV, is certainly an intriguing development, though some interested parties have taken exception to the maths involved. While it says something about the sorry state of our commercial TV sector, the news does offer some hope for the online publishers waiting for the rapid growth in ad revenues that will save them from possible extinction.

Forrester’s latest consumer data – still warm and not yet published - confirms the continued rise in popularity of online content, especially video, across Europe. Good news? Not necessarily, if you are a publisher having to pay for serving all that content, with little yield (as yet) from current models.  Monetizing online video is still a defining problem for publishers.

What are the answers, and how will the market evolve? Is ad-supported the only realistic model for monetizing online video? Are micropayments for video content, as mooted by execs from ITV and Fremantle Media, really an option? And how will Project Canvas change the landscape? Is it all about TV content? And what role should video play on sites from non-broadcasters?

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What financial service eBusiness execs will be saying in 2013

Brad_strothkamp [Posted by Brad Strothkamp}

There is a great article in the Las Vegas Journal based on a speech by Macy's CEO, Terry Lundgren, at this year's retail conference.

The gist of the speech is that he went from non-believer to a believer in the power of eBusiness as their online sales went from $30,000 in 1996 to over $1 billion today.

Everybody involved with eBusiness in financial services should read this article as it speaks to many of the questions financial service execs have about eBusiness including:

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Music Product Manifesto: The Product Features That Will Save Recorded Music

Forrester has just published the above title reported, the first in our new ‘Media Product Innovation’ series.  Following on from the strategy laid out in ‘Music Release Windows: The Product Innovation That The Music Business Can’t Do Without’ this report proposes some tactical implementations of that strategy.


As we’re now 100 years on from the first commercial album release with recorded music sales plummeting, the time has come for a radical overhaul of the recorded music product range. We believe that future music products will need to adopt a platform-agnostic world view that encompasses powerful and social interactivity to empower consumers to create their own unique experiences.


It is time to build music products around consumer needs, not business needs


That might sound like a truism, but so much of current digital music innovation falls short of this crucially important value.  This is why Forrester proposes a Music Product Manifesto of six basic consumer music rights that digital products should embrace.  These are spelt out in detail in the report, but include principles such as:


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Marketers' Interest in Mobile Coupons Unabated

[Posted by Neil Strother]

Mobile coupons continue to spark interest among marketers and vendors alike. The notion of marrying digital coupons with cell phones is just too powerful, especially in a sluggish economy. The latest moves:

  • JC Penney is testing a new 2D barcode scanning system at its stores in the Houston area
  • HipCricket is introducing a new point-of-sale (POS) system to help simplify the redemption process for retailers and quick-serve restaurants
  •  M-Dot Network is promoting a new POS platform for retailers

These are all positive signs pointing to a healthy future for mobile coupons - which, as I said in an earlier report (available in full to Forrester clients), should be part of a retailer's strategy. But, admittedly, these are interim steps leading to a time when mobile coupons become much more common.

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Has Technology "Stacked" the Decks Against Marketers?

Riley, Emily I read the recent press release from Havas that they selected RFP and campaign management tool Traffiq to be implemented across their major US media buying offices. The timing for this news is pretty cool. I'm planning some major research around these kinds of technologies next month.

Many of you have read from my and Nate Elliott's reports and blog posts that the interactive marketers we recently surveyed don't rate their measurement capabilities very well. In many cases, we recommend some combination of human and technological expertise in order to get better at things like measurement. So often though, marketers are totally overwhelmed by the "stack" of different technologies they need to master in order to be fully functional. I'm planning to survey interactive marketers about the trouble with the stack, and plan to ask about the following:

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Are Young Consumers Going Green?

Disney Digital Books: Direct-To-Consumer Subscriptions, A Publisher's Wish Come True

Today Disney Publishing is announcing the launch of Disney Digital Books (, an online subscription service that will offer parents and kids Web access to Disney's library of children's books. A subscription costs $8.95/month or $79.95/year; subscriptions can be bought online or via gift cards that will be sold in retail locations. Initially, the site will launch with 500 books, and more content will be added on a weekly basis. (I asked whether Marvel Comics content, which will be available on the Sony PSP, would be available through the site and Disney said not at first, and it was too early to comment further.)

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