Paid Digital Marketing / Advertising: Latest Trends and Statistics

Top Of Digital Marketing And Advertising in 2011
Nielsen recently released a study of top online destinations, social media sites, and smartphone devices for the year 2011. Some of the highlights from the study were as follows:
  • Google was the most-visited U.S. Web brand
  • Facebook held its lead among social networks and blogs. 
  • Smartphones made up the majority of new phone purchases with Apple as the top smartphone manufacturer and Android as the leading OS.
Top 10 U.S. Web Brands in 2011
Rank - Web Brand - Avg # of Unique Visitors (000)
per month
1 - Google - 153,441
2 - Facebook - 137,644
3 - Yahoo! - 130,121
4 - MSN/WindowsLive/Bing - 115,890
5 - YouTube - 106,692
6 - Microsoft - 83,691
7 - AOL Media Network - 74,633
8 - Wikipedia - 62,097
9 - Apple - 61,608
10 - Ask Search Network - 60,552
Source: Nielsen
Data from January – October 2011, Home and Work Computers. Ranked on average monthly unique audience.
Read as: During 2011, 153.4 million U.S. people, on average, visited Google sites from home and work computers

Top 10 U.S. Social Networks & Blogs
Rank - Web Brand - Avg # of Unique Visitors (000)
per month
1 - Facebook - 137,644
2 - Blogger - 45,712
3 - - 23,574
4 - - 20,357
5 - - 17,935
6 - LinkedIn - 17,020
7 - Tumblr - 10,879
8 - Google+ - 8,207
9 - Yahoo! Pulse - 8,063
10 - Six Apart TypePad - 7,793
Source: Nielsen
Data from January – October 2011, Home and Work Computers. Ranked on average monthly unique audience.
Read as: During 2011, 137.6 million U.S. people, on average, visited Facebook from home and work computers

Top 10 U.S. Online Destinations for Video
Rank - Web Brand - Avg # of Unique - Video Viewers
per month
1 - YouTube - 111,152
2 - VEVO - 34,580
3 - Facebook - 29,802
4 - Yahoo! - 25,324
5 - MSN/WindowsLive/Bing - 16,563
6 - AOL Media Network - 13,327
7 - Hulu - 13,159
8 - The CollegeHumor Network - 12,496
9 - CNN Digital Network - 8,262
10 - Netflix - 7,418
Source: Nielsen
Data from January – October 2011, Home and Work Computers. Ranked on average monthly unique viewers.

Read as: During 2011, 111.2 million U.S. people, on average, watched video content on YouTube from home and work computers

Top 5 Smartphone Device Manufacturers
Rank - Manufacturer - Market Share
1 - Apple - 29%
2 - HTC - 21%
3 - RIM BlackBerry - 17%
4 - Samsung - 11%
5 - Motorola - 11%
Source: Nielsen
Data from August – October 2011.
Read as: 29 percent of mobile phone users who recently purchased a new smartphone bought an Apple device

New Digital Marketing / Advertising Trends which may arrive in 2012
  • New Incentives & Options For Advertisers on Google: With the rise of Facebook and the advent of the search alliance, real alternatives for advertisers may be on the way. To continue capturing the lion’s share of net-new ad spend, Google may bring in the following innovations:
    • Improvements to matching algorithms that make more efficient use of ad inventory. 
    • Deeper discounts for advertisers that do a better job of managing quality scores 
    • New ad formats and options to increase ad inventory for Google.
    • Innovations in retail product listings, travel search, and local offers to create high return opportunities for first movers.
  • Advertisers looking to make friends: To capture brand dollars and improve ad relevance, Google and Facebook may begin to incorporate social likeability and sentiment measurements into ad rankings.
    • Advertisers may begin to invest heavily in promoting “+1’s” and “likes” to consumers via PPC ads. 
    • Consumers will benefit as ads for more popular products and brands are presented more often.
  • Search may outpace apps in Mobile Marketing: 
    • Paid search already claims the largest share of mobile advertising dollars
    • For mobile, tracking and analytics remains the largest roadblock for many advertisers.
    • Advertisers lose visibility as soon as a visitor clicks into the app marketplace or uses an app, and tracking a click out from a mobile app using to traditional analytics tools is difficult
    • Advertisers may look to simplify their existing web experience for the mobile browser. HTML 5 will play a role in this trend, making the power of application design available on mobile devices through a standard Web browser.
    • Mobile experiences becoming more integrated into the website can give advertisers improved visibility into campaigns, allowing them to invest more accurately in performance advertising and paid search.
  • Exchanges Increase Transparency, Resulting In Increased Investment: Yahoo!’s recent move, requiring that advertisers have a seat on the exchange, gave them better visibility into their customers media plans. 
    • We can expect more exchanges to follow a similar route. 
    • Exchanges may simply roll out separate pricing structures for advertisers vs. intermediaries through use of API fees or pricing floors.
    • Customers will benefit from the improved visibility, receiving better insight into how much biddable media is costing them. 
    • DSP’s and Trading Desks will be forced to respond with more transparent and standardized pricing. 
    • Percentage-of-media-spend pricing models may emerge and a drive toward self-service platforms as advertisers become increasingly involved in the buying process.
Digital Paid Search Conversion / Performance Statistics
Between August 2009 and August 2011 RevTrax monitored millions of paid-search ads and consequent sales for its retail clients. To track in-store sales accurately RevTrax used landing pages with coupons and unique IDs:
  • A paid search ad was displayed to a consumer
  • The paid search ad led the consumer to a printable or mobile landing page displaying a coupon with a unique barcode
  • The consumer redeemed the coupon inside a brick & mortar store
  • Each coupon was tracked back to the online search (and the keyword)
Based on two years of research conducted by retail marketing firm RevTrax:
  • For every $1 of e-commerce revenue generated from paid search, marketers can expect to see approximately another $6 of in-store revenue. In other words, paid search has 6:1 impact on offline sales over e-commerce. 
  • Because of the challenges of tracking consumer behavior online to offline, most of this has been invisible to marketers. Only now with the rise of smartphones and other methodologies is online-to-offline tracking becoming more widely available.
  • The average click on a paid search ad generated approximately $15 of in-store revenue, with some merchants seeing as much as $28 of in-store revenue.
  • Approximately 9% of clicks on a paid search ad generated an in-store sale, with some merchants seeing up to 26% of clicks on a paid search ad generating an in-store sale.
  • Paid search drove $6 in offline sales for every $1 in sales online. 
The impact of the study:
  • Multichannel merchants who do not include in-store sales into the ROI calculation are potentially “undervaluing the paid search channel by as much as 85 percent.” 
  • This is the first study to conclusively show the offline impact of paid search at this kind of scale, based on actual behavior rather than consumer surveys and self-reported data. 
  • Annual US retail spending is roughly $4 trillion according to the US Commerce Department. And while e-commerce is growing very rapidly, it remains less than 5 percent of total retail sales. Historically, most search marketers have focused almost exclusively on e-commerce sales. But a new study finds that the real impact of paid search is offline.
Local Digital Advertising Outlook
Local Digital Advertising Spends
According to BIA/Kelsey, a local media research firm:
  • Spending on local digital ads will grow from $23.3 billion in 2011 to $37.9 billion in 2015. 
  • Combined digital and traditional local advertising revenues in 2011 from $136.2 billion to $135.9 billion.
  • The share of digital media spend will increase from 14.6 percent of all local ad revenues in 2010 to 18.9 percent in 2012 and 25.4 percent in 2015
  • Expenditures on social media by local and national advertisers: $4.6 billion will be spent on social network ad formats in 2012, up from $2.1 billion in 2010. By 2015, that will go up to $8.3 billion. 
  • National advertisers dominate in social ad spending, though; in 2012, $3.5 billion of the $4.6 billion total will be spent by national ad buyers.
Digital Marketing using QR Codes: Process & Best practices
Digital QR Code Marketing Best Practices
Although very few QR marketing statistics exist, here are a few tips for businesses looking to deliver a meaningful QR code experience.
  1. Campaign Purpose: QR codes can be as much about utility as they are about marketing. The more your QR code enhances or streamlines the lives of customers, the more engagement you can expect. Any of the following (or even any other) could be the purpose
    • To provide an instructional video / photo catalog of products / contact information / product suggestions
    • To Incentivize mobile purchasing behavior through coupons and loyalty rewards
    • To garner an email address, social media engagement, a phone call
    • To provide information about a single product or about the entire brand line
  2. Call to Action: 
    • High scan rates if your code says, “Scan this code for an exclusive gift” or “Scan this code for our lowest price.” 
  3. Design / usability:
    • Opt for a designer code rather than a black-and-white checker box. 
    • Designer codes earn higher scan-through rates, look better on your materials, and even provide an element of security to assure users that this is indeed the brand’s QR code
    • Design of the mobile landing page is critical. Do not direct users to desktop website - no additional value, looks and functions terribly on mobile. If no mobile-friendly version of your website, consider using one of the many available tools to create one.
  4. Measuring Scans
    • The most important metric of a QR campaign: The length of engagement time that your code is generating
    • Others: number of daily scan.
    • If people are spending two to three (or more) minutes on a link, the campaign is a success. 
    • The objective of a QR code is to transform the user experience from a “quick glance” to a “deep dive.” 
    • Having a low number of scans should not discourage the advertiser, but if no one is scanning the code, it’s likely that something is wrong its scanability, or that its placement is not conducive to scanning (think high-up ads on the subway).
    • If the number of scans drops to zero after the first week, this is a sign that there wasn’t enough allure to the experience - Providing fresh content and incentives, unlike other marketing vehicles (TV commercials and newspaper ads) that typically only generate one big spike in impressions, QR codes allow businesses a consistent promotional tier. 
  5. Social Metrics: Businesses should look at the points of interaction beyond the QR code experience to judge the success of a campaign - more hits to website, more followers on Twitter, more fans on Facebook - ultimately be driven by results.
Video Advertising Trends / Statistics / Best Practices

According to a survey by Poll Position conducted among 1,179 registered voters via a telephone survey

  • About 54% of Americans think 15 seconds is the acceptable time to view an online video ad before seeing free content, from YouTube clips to streaming TV episodes.
  • Patience is low when it comes to sitting through a lengthy commercial before gaining access to the content they want to watch. 
  • Only 12% of consumers believe 30 seconds is an appropriate length.
  • Meanwhile, 4% of respondents said a 45-second ad is acceptable and 3% said the same thing about a minute-long ad. About 27% expressed no opinion on the matter.
  • Recent study released last week by eMarkerter revealed that marketers are expected to spend more on online advertising than ads for print magazines and newspapers for the first time in U.S. history. In fact, online advertising is projected to generate $39.5 billion in sales this year — a 23.3% increase from 2011 — compared to $33.8 billion on print.As online ad revenues continue to grow — and more marketers invest in ads that air before online videos — advertisers looking to hold the attention of viewers should keep the message short and simple.

Paid Mobile Search Advertising Marketing Trends / Statistics
Paid Digital Marketing / Advertising Trends & Statistics
  • In a span of less than a year, mobile paid search spend went from 0.5% to 4.2% — an almost 9 fold increase.
  • It is also expected that by the end of 2011, mobile spend would be between 7 and 9.5% of all paid Search spend. 

Multichannel Advertising Trends & Statistics
New research from Nielsen, commissioned by Google, shows that advertising on multiple platforms substantially increases consumers’ ability to remember an ad campaign compared to when the ad is viewed on TV alone. In a media lab study conducted by Nielsen, participants viewed related content across a TV, computer, smartphone and tablet. A 15-second video ad promoting a premium sports sedan was shown to different groups with some people seeing no ads, and others seeing the ad on different combinations of screens.
  • In the group that was exposed to TV ads alone, 50 percent of people correctly attributed the ad to the correct auto brand. 
  • For groups that saw the ad across all screens – TV, computer, smartphone and tablet – the ability to remember the brand jumped dramatically to nearly three-in-four (74%).
google ad awareness
  • Only 22 percent of the group exposed to just the TV ad was able to correctly remember that the ad was for a 4-door sedan versus 39 percent of the group that saw the ad across all screens.
  • TV remains the strongest driver of awareness and the addition of online and mobile campaigns returns the highest overall brand impact.
A note on Global Adverising Trends and Statistics
Despite overall growth of 5.7 percent for the advertising industry in Q2 2011, ad spending fell in nearly half the world’s key markets in the second quarter of this year as economic concerns continued to impact the advertising industry, according to Nielsen’s quarterly Global AdView Pulse report.
  • Advertising revenue dropped in 16 out of 36 global markets covered by the Nielsen Global AdView Pulse 
  • Argentina reported the highest year-on-year quarterly increase of 28.5 percent. 
  • Egypt was the hardest hit (-51.7% YOY) 
  • Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) advertising posted its lowest quarterly growth since the Q1 2009 Pulse report: 4 percent globally including declines of -3.6 percent in Europe and -3.0 percent in North America. 
  • Clothing and accessories, which was among the worst hit recession categories in 2009, posted the highest quarterly year-on-year increase in Q2 – up 17.9 percent globally, driven by a 27.9 percent increase in Asia Pacific. 
  • Radio posted the largest percentage increase among all traditional media in Q2 (+8.2%), overall television continued to dominate global advertising, accounting for 65 percent of total spend.
  • Compared to the 8.9 percent growth rate in the first quarter of the year, there was definitely some slowdown
  • Based on the global economy and the financial problems many countries have experienced, a 5.7 percent increase for quarterly year-on-year global ad spend is still great news
  • Global advertising in Q2 totaled USD127 billion (mainly based on published rate cards and four major media types), and the first half of 2011 closed with a +7.2 percent growth over the same period in 2010. 
Digital Marketing Campaigns of note
Company: Britannia Country India, Campaign Launch: December 2011
  • Britannia is all set to launch their latest health offering under the brand NutriChoice. NutriChoice Multigrain Thins and NutriChoice Multigrain Roasty are the two snacking products with which Britannia plans to innovate to capture greater opportunity in the fast growing health foods category. 
  • Britannia products are available across the country in over 35 lakh (3.5 million) retail outlets, at consumer-accessible price points starting at as little as Rs 2 and reach over 40% of Indian homes. Britannia NutriChoice is one of the leading health brands in the Rs. 15,000 crore large biscuits market to drive the need and desire for health.
  • NutriChoice Multigrain Thins will initially be available in the top 50 urban towns in three flavors viz. Classic Indian Spice, Mediterranean Herb & Tomato and Lime & Mint from November 20, 2011. Where as NutriChoice Multigrain Roasty, the roasted mixture snack will hit the markets in December, 2011 and will be initially launched in 2 variants including one that has specially been formulated for people with diabetes.
  • Britannia will join the online marketing brigade with an innovative digital marketing campaign while they enter the snacking category for the first time. 
  • Predominately use the online space to connect, engage and most importantly to study what our customers look for. 
  • is one of the active online health forums launched and will look forward to communicating about fitness with the help of array of NutriChoice products. 
  • Britannia Nutrition Foundation which is an independent, autonomous, non-profit entity has gone online to leverage the strength through Britannia’s wide stakeholder network to address the issue of child nutrition. Dial a cake from our daily bread business in Bangalore is another property that they have leveraged online. 
  • They have have jacked up 50% of their digital marketing spends compared to the last year.
  • They are trying to build an online health community with They want people of the community to be their advocates. We will be leveraging ihealthu through the multi online platform for maximum reach. 
  • They will be hosting an online contest called “Vote for your favourite snack” which will act as a teaser to their next online campaign active
  • This positioning and its extension of the communication campaign are developed by Lowe which is their creative agency and Experience Commerce, their digital agency. 
  • The campaign will break in the first week of December 2011. 
ROI Analysis of Paid Marketing / Advertising
  • Proprietary campaign management systems (eg AdWords, AdCenter, Facebook, etc) allow advertisers to track conversions and manage towards efficiency metrics such as Cost per Acquisition or Order (CPA / CPO). Some, such as AdWords and AdCenter, take performance management a bit further and allow advertisers to return a revenue value per conversion to report Return On Ad Spend (ROAS). But these systems stop here; failing to allow advertisers to optimize based on true, billed, revenue rather than booked revenue.
  • Booked orders are the gross – total orders captured via a standard online purchase process. Billed orders are the net – orders which are actually shipped and as a result, are a more accurate reflection of the revenue recognized by an advertising campaign.
  • Booked revenue rarely equals billed revenue because of several potential situations including but not limited to:
    • Credit Card Rejection
    • Order Returns / Exchanges
    • Order changes via phone
    • Cancellations
  • There is no proprietary campaign management system that allows advertisers to adjust order values retroactively. As a result, if you want to look at billed revenue for optimization purposes, it takes crafty reporting, well-tagged URLs for clean analytics, and a very dedicated analyst capable to merge data across multiple systems.
  • There are third party campaign bid management and reporting systems offering solutions for advertisers to import analytics via FTP and are allow optimization and reporting using billed revenue rather than booked revenue. That said, you don’t need the extra software/expense to understand and optimize off of billed revenue metrics.
  • Any decent analytics system allows an order ID to be associated with a purchase event. If the analytics system is properly tagging inbound traffic, each order ID is linked with the appropriate channel, campaign, keyword or placement, etc. Through order ID level reporting and reconciliation against adjusted order values, an analyst can easily update all metrics to more accurately reflect billed revenue.
  • The only real downside to this process is time and reactivity. Depending on the ease of the reconciliation it can take up to a day to execute all the required reporting and put the output in an actionable format which can be imported into AdWords, AdCenter, Facebook, etc to adjust bids.
  • To ensure data is statistically significant and previous bid changes into account, bid adjustments in a system like AdWords or AdCenter should only be made once every few days and must be done manually. But if a completely manual reconciliation and bid management extract doesn’t get you excited and you would prefer to use automated bid strategies available in proprietary systems, read on.
  • More interesting than cleaning up reporting is identifying deeper opportunities within new data sets. Truing up revenue is a time intensive endeavor but the net result can be leveraged to quickly adjust more real-time metrics. The relationship between booked and billed revenue allows an analyst to adjust booked revenue goals, effectively predicting billed revenue based on historical trends.
  • With enough time, a normalized trend line forms; defining forecasted billed revenue as a percentage of booked revenue. While not perfect, you can use this predictive analysis to get more reactive and manage campaign/channels using adjusted revenue goals to more accurately optimize to profit margins.
  • The same analysis can be done for each channel to identify appropriate multipliers and improve reactivity and predictions of true return on ad spend.
  • Operating without knowledge of billed return on ad spend creates a risk of over-reporting on marketing channel performance.
  • If your only insight into channel performance is through basic analytics or information provided directly from proprietary tools, you could be assigning too much revenue to various revenue streams and mismanaging leading to non-profitable campaign as a result of prior performance assumptions.

calculating billed revenue as a percentage of booked revenue
Social Media Usage Trends - Lifespan of links on Social Media
StumbleUpon recently released a study on the user behaviour statistics & trends on various social media platforms. The study depicted in the infographic shown here
Facebook Page ClickThrough Rates:
Analytics provider EdgeRank Checker’s conducted a study based on 84,000 link posts by over 5,500 Pages in October. The study also looked at which days of the week were the best for Pages to post on. It found that posts on Wednesday receive the most clicks and shares, while posts on Friday receive the fewest. According the study: 
  • The click through rate for links posted to the news feed by Facebook Pages with over 100,000 fans is 0.14%, or 1 click per 715 impressions. 
  • Pages receive 0.00093 clicks per fan, or roughly 1 click per 1000 fans. 
  • Facebook only started providing link click metrics to Page admins at the beginning of October. Until then, marketers had to use links with tracking tags or URL shorteners that can reduce CTR in order to determine the referral traffic their Page posts were driving.
  • For comparison, links posted by Pages have nearly 3x the CTR of Facebook ads which average 0.05% CTR, and they top online display ads which average a 0.1% CTR according to Webtrends.
  • Most major brands have at least 100,000 fans, and Posts by Pages with few fans have a much higher CTR as you can see in the graph below. 
  • For all Pages with over 1,000 fans, including those with few fans, link posts still only have a 0.35% CTR, 1 click per 280 impressions, 0.00236 clicks per per fan, and 1 click per 424 fans.
  • If they spend the time and money, brands like Porche, Netflix, and Old Navy can drive around 2,000 qualified clicks a day for free. Facebook Pages can’t completely replace the need for paid advertising, but they can become an important component of a savvy online marketing strategy.

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