Digital Is Selling More Soap Than It Gets Credit For: Nielsen Study

Jim Nail

This headline comes from Ad Age today.

I'm glad to see more quantification of online ads' impact for branding. But I lament that this kind of story is still headline-worthy. Why is it still so surprising that online advertising is effective and helps sell products?

After all, I wrote about the first Cross Media Optimization Study (XMOS) that documented the brand impact of the lowly banner ad for Dove Nutrium . . . when was that . . . must have been about 2001. And scores more of these studies have come out since. In my research with marketing mix modeling vendors, I hear that digital is readily quantified and has an important role in the mix.

So can we get beyond nonsensical biases about "banner blindness" and acknowledge the reality that ads don't have to be a Cannes-winning video extravaganza to get the message across?

End of rant. I feel better now . . .

Why Did Facebook Buy WhatsApp? Dwindling Supply Of Options To Grab Hundreds Of Millions Of Users ... That Are For Sale

Julie Ask

That's one reason ... but here are a few more .... 

1. 450M active users (Source: NY Times)

2. Adding 1M users daily

3. 70% of MAU use the service daily (Source: TechCrunch)

4. WhatsApp offers users in Europe, Brazil and other emerging markets (= net new audience) (Source: Gravity/Techcrunch)

5. Nearly 200 minutes of usage each week (Source: Mobidia)

6. Facebook gets how to monetize mobile through paid advertising without wrecking the user experience. (In Q4 2013 they crossed over from 49% of revenue from mobile to 53% from a base of 945M mobile monthly active users) Source: Facebook, TechCrunch

 

Why $16B to $19B? I am not a financial analyst, but here are a few thoughts:

- Facebook generated $1.37B in mobile revenue in Q4 2013 on a base of 945M users ... annualized that is $5.80/MAU (monthly active user)

- WhatsApp already generates $1/user for a chunk of their users through a subscription fee (less fee to app store?)

- If WhatsApp users can be monetized at the same value, that adds another 50% approximately in mobile ad revenue

- Facebook reported 914 minutes of use on mobile per month in 2013 (Source: allthingsd.com)

- According to Mobidia, only Kakao Talk has more

- WhatsApp is already located in Si Valley

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Is Aereo About TV Or The Cloud?

Jim Nail

Julianne Pepitone's review of the upcoming US Supreme Court case American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. versus Aereo nicely covers the case's implications on two big industries, old and new: television and cloud computing. (P.S. Thanks for the shout-out to me, Julianne!) The potential impact on the TV industry is pretty clear, but the cloud? I'm not a lawyer, but the issue is likely to turn on the difference between the copy being in the cloud or in your home.

In 1984, the Supreme Court upheld the right of individuals to make a recording of a television program for their private viewing in what has become known as the Betamax case. So far, lower courts have used this precedent, in combination with Aereo's clever technical design, to say Aereo is legal. For the Supreme Court to rule against Aereo, it will have to find that some aspect of their model is different from a VCR. 

And there it is: The VCR sits in your living room, while Aereo is in the cloud. No doubt ABC and the broadcast industry will make the case that this is a crucial difference and since Aereo is the entity sitting on these copies of their programming, Aereo is infringing on their copyright. It will be fascinating to see the arguments in detail and see how the Court views them.

Julianne notes in her article:

If the court rules against Aereo, the startup and its supporters warn the ramifications could put other services that use remote, or cloud-based, storage -- Google Drive, Dropbox, remote DVRs and many more -- at risk. Any of those outcomes depend on the scope of the Supreme Court’s decision.

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Show Us Your Social Marketing Prowess: Submit An Entry To The 2014 Forrester Groundswell Awards!

Kim Celestre

The 2014 Forrester Groundswell Awards entry deadline is February 28, which is only 10 days away! There are many benefits to winning a Forrester Groundswell Award — but you must submit your entry by the deadline if want an opportunity to show the world your social marketing prowess! Below are some links to details so you can get started on your entry today:

2014 Forrester Groundwell Awards Announcement

How to win A Social Reach award

How to win A Social Depth award

How To win A Social Relationship award

Forrester Groundswell entry form

Nate's last call for submissions

Help! The Computer Ate My TV Buy!

Jim Nail

How Software Is Eating Video Ads And, Soon, TVMy new report, “How Software Is Eating Video Ads And, Soon, TV” just went live. In it, I document how automation has gained traction in digital media buying and why it’s only a matter of time before we see it jump to assets such as online video. Read the report now and join me for a Webinar on Tuesday, February 25, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern standard time.

Sure, the scarcity of inventory and the premium associated with professional video content drive caution and reluctance among sellers. But in a few years, short- and long-form video content, both user-generated and broadcast-native, will be bought programmatically in an inevitable takeover of automated trading that has already started today – and will work all the way up to TV buying. Two forces make programmatic buying unavoidable:

  • Traditional buying cannot cope with audience fragmentation across devices. The explosion of new platforms and ways of viewing videos will continue dispersing audiences, making it increasingly difficult to reach the desired number of viewers through linear TV alone. And many of these new platforms are digital, enabling a break from broad age/gender ratings buys and a move to addressing ads to individuals. Traditional manual buying approaches simply can’t cope with this volume of video sources and the shift to addressable advertising.
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Plan The Best Routes To Guide You On Your Mobile Insurance Journey

Ellen Carney

It’s one thing to say where you want to go, but you still have to know how to get there.  If it’s a physical journey like a quick trip to the local store, a meandering trek across Europe, or a digital or business technology initiative that your company is after, getting to the destination or end state demands a road map.    Maps show all the options to get a traveler to the destination; routes are a subset of options to get the mobile traveler there In a hurry?  You’ll take the efficient and direct interstate.  Want to explore and learn?  Your route will take you on back and scenic roads. 

We wanted to learn just how mobile insurance executives took to the mobile road after their strategic plans were approved.  Throughout Q4 2013,   we talked to insurance executives in the US, UK, France, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands, and Turkey who were responsible for turning that mobile strategy into solutions that engaged with consumers and agents.   Crafting a roadmap to guide the mobile journey, stood out as especially key because mobile initiatives are hampered if the execution teams fail to consider the myriad internal and external factors that impact delivery time lines. 

One European carrier we spoke with put it best:  “There’s lack of vision, a lack of focus, and too many people are playing around the edges. That’s giving mobile a bad name in terms of costing money and not giving any benefit for it. List out and create a road map, so you’re clear about what you’re focused on and why.”

Effective Road Maps Embody Three Elements

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Forrester Groundswell Award Entries Are Due February 28

Nate Elliott

You have ten days left to enter the 2014 Forrester Groundswell Awards  and to receive recognition for your successful social programs. Winners receive a nice shiny trophy, a winner’s badge for your website, a free pass to the Forrester Marketing Leadership Forum in San Francisco, a chance to accept the award on stage, and lots of recognition in Forrester speeches and reports.

Not sure which category to enter? Check out this video, which explains all our categories.

Remember: The deadline is February 28, 2014  and you can enter here

Does Native Advertising Face A $3 Billion Question?

Ryan Skinner

Predictions about native advertising’s medium-term impact are both short-sighted and simplistic.

Hedgehog and the Fox by Isaiah Berlin

In 1973, the Wall Street Journal quoted a professor: “Academic politics is the most vicious…because the stakes are so low.” Thereafter, the idea (that the intensity of a dispute is inversely proportional to its stakes) was named after the professor: Sayre’s Law.

Sayre’s law applies very well to native advertising. According to Forrester data, digital advertising dollars are today some 20% of traditional advertising dollars. Of those scarce digital ad dollars, something far less than 10% goes to anything that could be characterized as native advertising.

Perhaps that’s why the dispute has been so vitriolic (at least, by advertising’s standards).

The day after the New York Times launched a redesign to facilitate more native advertising, Tom Foremski, a media commentator, said: “Native advertising is the world’s worst idea and I can’t believe the New York Times management is so gullible and clueless in agreeing to its publication.”

He joins an authoritative cast of native advertising skeptics. Another, Bob Garfield, described native advertising to the Federal Trade Commission as something akin to bat poo. Even Barclays Capital believes the practice peaked in 2012 and will shrink to a less than $500 million market by 2017.

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Marketers: Focus On Video Audience Fragmentation, Not Cord-Cutting

Jim Nail

With all the talk of cord-cutting, you'd think consumers were abandoning video entertainment for a return to a Neolithic era of telling stories around the campfire after the day's hunt. I published a report a couple of weeks ago called Marketers: Don't Worry About Cord-Cutting that shows this isn't the case. (First, a shout-out to my colleague Jeff Wray, who allowed me to use some of the data in his Forrester Research Pay TV Forecast, 2013 To 2018 [US]).

Are consumers getting their video entertainment from different source? Yes, largely migrating from cable to telecom providers like Verizon and AT&T. This has little to no impact on how marketers plan and buy their TV campaigns.

Are consumers filling some of their video entertainment hours with online streaming sources? Sure, but for the most part, online video viewers are -- and remain -- heavy linear TV viewers, using new sources to get more of the entertainment they love (as I documented in this report last fall). Some younger consumers are delaying getting a pay TV subscription of any type, and perhaps they may never. But then they will fill their entertainment hours with video from Vevo, YouTube, HuluPlus, etc., where advertisers will have ample opportunity to reach them (oh, yes and some ad-free Netflix, but then, ad-free DVD viewing is fading away).  

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Viber Nets $900M From Japan's Rakuten

Julie Ask

Finally - some sensible entrepreneurs. I love it. Viber draws a stark comparison to the owners of SnapChat that turned down $3B not long ago ... and they had far fewer users. With $900M for 300M subscribers, perhaps we are now seeing the market price. (Viber brings Rakuten 300M subscribers according to this Reuters article.) 

Why did Rakuten want the platform? I'll offer a few ideas:

- Companies need to embrace the mobile mind shift and engage consumers where they are and how they want to be engaged. Today and increasingly so - consumers expect engagement on their mobile devices, whether they are shopping or seeking customer service. Companies need to be present in those moments when consumers reach for their phones. 

- Viber isn't simply an app. It may have started as an app, but like so many others with aspirations ... it has transformed from an app to a platform. I may not need 200 apps on my phone. I may not want 50. Not every brand will earn a spot or be able to manufacture a mobile moment with me through an app on my phone. Brands are going to have to "borrow mobile moments" by engaging with consumers on third party platforms. Consumers need a messaging or communication app, a mapping app, and what else? The question is: how long will this list be. 

- Audience size matters. Everyone says, "oh, we could just go build this ourselves." But it takes a special app to get several hundred million users. I can't even count the number of social media/messaging apps that I have downloaded, used 2-3 times and abandoned because the size of the community was too small. Consider also that these apps draw up to a couple of hundred minutes of usage a week. 

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