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Archive for the ‘Amazon’ Category

Consumer technology brands dominate top ten in social media impressions

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

coca cola adSocial media users are thirsty and they like Coca Cola. Coke heads the top ten social brands with its 1.4 billion social media impressions in July. But the importance of technology in our lives is obvious. Consumer technology companies claim five of the top ten spots, including two through four.

Apple rules the roost there with 719 million impressions, followed by Google, Amazon, and Samsung, with Microsoft coming in at number nine.

So says the first uberVU Leading Social Brand Report from PQ Media, a media research and analytics firm and uberVU, a social media audience measurement company.

Coke social media mentions split 13% U.S. and 87% Rest-of-World, while Apple mentions split 28% U.S. and 72% RoW. Rounding out the remaining uberVU Top 10 Social Media Brands for July were one beverage (Sprite), one retailer (Amazon), three consumer technology brands (Google, Microsoft, Samsung), and three restaurants (Burger King, McDonalds, Starbucks).

Here’s the breakdown:

uberVU Top 10 Social Media Brands
July 2012
Rank Product Category IMPs (000)
1 Coke Beverages 1,479,716
2 Apple Consumer Tech 761,162
3 Google Consumer Tech 606,805
4 Amazon Retail 555,513
5 Samsung Consumer Tech 469,327
6 Starbucks Restaurants 382,215
7 Burger King Restaurants 316,636
8 Sprite Beverages 302,821
9 Microsoft Consumer Tech 284,681
10 McDonald’s Restaurants 271,572
Note: Data based on full month period
Source: PQ Media, uberVU

 Consumer Technology the top category

The Consumer Technology category edged out 1st place with 2.6 billion social media impressions, followed closely by Beverages with 2.5 billion, and Restaurants with 2.4 billion.

Automakers, with more than 1 billion fewer impressions, took 4th place. Global media mentions varied for each of the Top 4 social media product categories, i.e. Consumer Technology U.S. 50%, RoW 50%; Beverages U.S. 34%, RoW 66%; Restaurants U.S. 45%, RoW 55%; Automakers U.S. 39%, RoW 61%.

Which brands get the most attention on social media? Here they are by category:

Social Media Brand Product Categories #1 Brand by Category IMPs (000)
Automakers Mercedes-Benz 235,318
Beverages Coke 1,479,716
Consumer Technology Apple 761,162
Financial Bank of America 219,728
Household Products Duracell 79,779
Insurance Geico 33,746
Personal Care Products Maybeline 120,036
Pharmaceuticals Lipitor 9,892
Restaurants Starbucks 382,215
Retail Amazon 565,513
Note: Data based on full month period
Source: PQ Media, uberVU

Is Google more afraid of Amazon than of Apple?

Monday, August 20th, 2012

AmazonWhile Apple Inc. is trying to subdue Google’s rival Android mobile operating system the company really worrying Google executives is not Apple but Amazon, says The Business Insider.

Why?

Because Google makes most of its money from people searching for potential items or services to buy and many people are starting to bypass the search engine to search directly on Amazon.

According to digital measurement service comScore, for instance, searches on Amazon rose 73 percent in the last year.

As Amazon introduces devices such as the Kindle Fire tablet, more sophisticated Kindle eReaders, and possibly a Kindle phone – all tied directly to Amazon’s store – the situation gets even worse for Google.

So, says Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson, “Amazon scares Google more than anything Facebook or Apple are up to.”

While Google may indeed see Amazon as a serious competitor, we suspect the firm isn’t crazy about the recent patent victories Apple won for many of the basic features of a mobile smartphone operating system.

In fact, Google’s Motorola Mobility unit has has filed a patent infringement complaint against a number of iPhone features, including its Siri voice control.

Google acquired Motorola Mobility’s portfolio of thousands of patents in May amid speculation it would use them to battle Apple and its iPhone.

The patent infringement case seeks a ban on U.S. imports of iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. Apple maintains that phones using Google’s Android operating system infringe on its iPhone patents. What a merry-go-round

What do you think? Will Google and Apple eventually end up in a stalemate in the smartphone patent wars?

Is the search giant in danger of losing ground to Amazon?

–Allan Maurer

Who do consumers trust online? Not retailers (infographic)

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

ClickFoxWho do you trust with your personal data when you shop online?

Results from a new survey by Atlanta-based  ClickFox, show that consumers embrace location services in marketing campaigns but are wary of data use among retailers.

Scroll down to view an infographic detailing the study findings.

According to the survey, they trust the financial services industry most with personal information, followed by healthcare and government in second and third, respectively.

Amazon, Apple and Google were revealed as the most trustworthy organizations with regards to consumer data management.

Retail industry gets poor marks

“Unsurprisingly, the retail industry receives poor marks for consumer trust and this can often be attributed to consumer engagement that tends to solely focus on the sale,” said Marco Pacelli, chief executive officer, ClickFox.

“Companies get customer service right when they begin to analyze every customer touch point to get a clear picture of customer satisfaction — unfortunately, most organizations don’t know they’ve burned consumers until their revenues drop.”

Welcoming location-based marketing and opportunities to improve customer experience
The findings suggest that consumer acceptance of location-based marketing has increased, as 71 percent noted they would share their location for giveaways, discounts or improved service, and 71 percent revealed they are comfortable with companies knowing their location.

The survey also suggests that most customers (84 percent) prefer organizations to use their data to improve their customer experience.

Additionally, the study revealed that 83 percent of respondents expect companies they do business with to know their purchase and retail history, and 82 percent expect companies to know past consumer experiences, which highlights the need for more advanced analytics tools for customer engagement.

Additional survey findings reveal:

  • Cell phones emerge as a new preferred personal identifier
    • 19 percent of respondents are most comfortable with organizations using their cell phone number as a personal identifier second only to personal security question at 43 percent
  • Consumers contradict themselves when reporting preferences regarding shopping behavior
    • 59 percent of respondents value personal identifiers such as social security, home address and phone numbers more than their behavioral habits like purchase history, shopping preferences and service history.
    • 84 percent of respondents expect companies to know purchase and retail history and 82 percent expect companies to know previous customer experiences.
  • Consumers warm up to sharing cellular number and purchase history across businesses
    • 41 percent of respondents would provide cell phone numbers for giveaways, discounts or improved service, and 49 percent are comfortable with companies knowing their cell phone number
    • 45 percent of respondents would share purchase history from other companies they do business with for giveaways, discounts or improved service, and 40 percent are comfortable with companies knowing their purchase history across organizations with whom they do business

ClickFox recommends the following considerations for improved customer experience and management of consumer data:

1. Capitalize on the capabilities of Big Data to connect and analyze data across informational silos.
2. Use data in a way that visibly benefits consumers, such as providing better service and offering new products.
3. Be open to using new or multiple personal identifiers to keep records accurate.
4. Look to location- and mobile-based engagement as an extension of customer experience.
5. Ensure consistent customer experiences for better customer engagement.

trust infographic

How retailers can beat Amazon in paid search marketing

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

AmazonDigital marketing intelligence provider AdGooroo says several major retailers such as Target, Toys “R” Us and Victoria’s Secret outperformed Amazon in paid search engine marketing (SEM) in specific categories, including Children’s Products, Fashion and Apparel, and Auto Parts.

The AdGooroo report unveils the secrets of success employed by these brands.

With nearly twice the Google AdWords spend as the next largest retailer (Target) and an estimated portfolio of millions of keywords across a broad range of merchandise, Amazon is considered by many to set the gold standard for paid SEM.

adgoorooHowever, AdGooroo’s research into categories outside of the e-tailor’s traditional strong suit (books and other media) found that Amazon is not always the dominant player.

Among the findings, retailers with an established brand and specialized or niche offering were able to reap significantly better results than Amazon in SEM.

How Amazon fared in the three verticals studied:

Children’s Products

Despite sponsoring 12.7 percent of the highest spend keywords in Children’s Products, Amazon was outperformed by advertisers with strong brand recognition who garnered more premium ad positioning (American Girl, Lego, Hasbro, Toys“R”Us and Children’s Place) and a much larger share of impressions in the category (Children’s Place – 81 percent; American Girl – 69 percent; Lego – 68 percent; Toys“R”Us – 50 percent).

Even Target, whose offering and SEM strategy resembles Amazon’s more than the children-centric brands studied, garnered 52 percent of impressions on the top keywords in the category compared to Amazon’s 31 percent.

Fashion and Apparel

Although Amazon again dominates the category in percentage of top keywords sponsored (13.9 percent), it is soundly beaten by its paid search competitors.

The top five SEM advertisers in the category based on ad position, Express, Victoria’s Secret, Bloomingdales, 6pm.com and Loft.com, together earned an average of more than 1,600 impressions per keyword per day from the most popular searches compared to Amazon’s 349 impressions.

Further, Amazon had the lowest ad coverage, the second lowest clickthrough rate, and the third highest cost-per-click. Although it fell at the bottom of the pack based on average ad position, Target recorded higher clickthrough rates and a larger share of impressions than Amazon.

Auto Parts

Although not traditionally thought of as a provider of automobile parts or accessories, Amazon’s broad set of Auto Parts keywords, second only to AutoZone, demonstrated a concerted effort to compete in the category.

However, its performance was poor compared to its competitors, generating the highest CPC, the lowest average position and only a 13 percent share of impressions on the keywords that it chose to sponsor. AutoZone, O’Reilly Auto Parts and even Target appeared to be competing less with Amazon than with each other.

“Amazon is the world’s preeminent e-tailer and spends nearly twice as much on Google AdWords as the next largest retailer—we estimate their combined total AdWords spend, including their Zappos subsidiary, was more than $15 million per month in the second half of 2011, with more than 19 million clickthroughs generated in an average month,” said Richard Stokes, founder and CEO of AdGooroo.

“Our report shows that even with this impressive spending and results, Amazon is certainly not infallible across the board. The breadth of Amazon’s PPC campaigns is certainly impressive, but when analyzed in categories where it lacks recognition or authority, their SEM efforts fail to live up to some of their most skilled competitors.”

How to compete with Amazon

According to the report’s findings, retailers wishing to compete with Amazon in paid search should consider a key metric used by the search engines, Revenue Per Thousand Impressions or RPM (RPM = CTR x CPC x 1000).

Analysis of the SEM results of Amazon and competing retailers found that paid ad position on U.S. AdWords is highly correlated to the RPM that each competitor delivers to Google, and that the biggest lever for improving RPM is clickthrough rate.

“Search engines are motivated to give preferred positioning to advertisers that generate the most revenue for them, so an advertiser’s best chance of gaining first SERP placement is to offer a higher RPM than competitors who are vying for similar keyword searchers,” explained Stokes.

“Retailers should concentrate on improving their clickthrough rate through best practices such as maintaining fresh creative and delivering relevant ads and landing pages. They should also utilize competitive intelligence to better focus their efforts by benchmarking the strengths and weaknesses of their own SEM campaigns compared to their competitors.”

To download the full report, see:
http://succeed.adgooroo.com/Amazon_Report_Download.html

Third party data boosts ROI from mobile ads, Jumptap says

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

mobile devicesThe Apple and Android operating systems continue to rule the mobile universe with others such as RIM, Windows and Symbian managing less than 3 percent market share. Kindle Fire sales leveled off since its introduction and Apple’s iPad rules the tablet market.

And adding third party data targeting to mobile ad campaigns results in significant uplift in click-through rates (CTR), ROI and other performance metrics, all according to the newly released July MobileSTAT, from Jumptap, a targeted mobile advertising firm.

In a study comparing Q2 vertical campaigns with third party data against campaigns in the same time period without added third party data, Jumptap found that mobile campaigns using third party data achieved a double-digit CTR uplift.

Advertisers are tuning in to those high success rates with increasing mobile media spending. As of July, greater than 50 percent of Jumptap campaigns included data targeting, a 500 percent increase since January.

Of course, in terms of third party apps, Jumptap has a direct interest.

“Since Jumptap introduced third party data partnerships into mobile just over a year ago, more and more of our current and new advertisers have leveraged the offerings to drive engagement,” said Paran Johar, Chief Marketing Officer, Jumptap.

“Campaigns with third party data targeting see higher click-through rates (CTR) and ROI regardless of advertising category.”

Additional July MobileSTAT Findings:

  • Android, iOS Still Rule Smartphone OS Market Share: July data from the Jumptap network show that Android and iOS make up 92 percent of the mobile OS market.
  •  Meanwhile, RIM continues to lose ground, shrinking to a six percent share. Symbian and Windows make up less than three percent of the market share, supporting previous Jumptap analysis that Windows will have a tough time competing with iOS and Android.
  • iPad Continues Its Reign Over Tablet Landscape: On the Jumptap network, Apple’s iPad continues to hold the majority of the tablet market share at 59 percent, while Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab follow further behind with 25 percent and 10 percent market share, respectively.
  • The growth of Amazon’s Kindle Fire has leveled off since its November 2011 release and has dropped in market share since January, despite maintaining the number two spot on the Jumptap network. If rumors of new Amazon Kindles and Apple iPads are true, expect to see more change in the flourishing tablet market.
  • CPG and Auto Top Vertical in Mobile Ad Spend: Based on Q1 and Q2 data, both the Auto and Consumer Product Goods (CPG) industries are the highest spenders on the Jumptap network. Other top spending verticals include Consumer Electronics, Finance, QSR, Retail and Travel.
  • iPod Touch User Vs. iPhone User: Two Apple Devices, Two Different Audiences: Based on Jumptap network data, the characteristics of iPod Touch users are quite different than those of iPhone users. iPod Touch users tend to skew female (60 percent) and be 24 years old or younger (53 percent), while iPhone users are more likely to be male (54 percent) and older than 24 (59 percent).
  •  Both iPod Touch and iPhone users count social networking and gaming as top mobile functions; however, iPod Touch users are more likely to text while iPhone users are more likely to visit Entertainment and News mobile sites and apps. Advertisers looking to target a younger, social audience may find success advertising on the iPhone Touch.

MobileSTAT (Simple Targeting & Audience Trends) is a monthly glance into targeting and audience trends in mobile advertising through Jumptap’s network of over 20 billion impressions, 107 million U.S. users and 25,000 apps and websites. To download the full Jumptap MobileSTAT, click here.

Google tops Apple in brand value in Q2

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

GoogleTechnology companies claimed eight of the top ten spots on General Sentiment’s brand value ranking in Q2, with Google reclaiming the top spot from Apple, which held it the previous two quarters.

General Sentiment measures the media value of a brand by tallying the worth of its exposure in news stories and social media. The company says it examines 50 million sources. Positive mentions raise a brands score while negative comments or stories lower it.

“Google regained the top spot in the Impact Media Value rankings thanks to buzz about new and improved products, including Android4.1 (Jelly Bean), the Nexus 7 tablet, the Nexus Q, and the Google Glass prototype,” the report says.

The report says the Google brand generated $756 million in “impact media value,” followed by Apple, at $594 million, Microsoft at $356 million, and Amazon at $331 million.

Others in the top ten included Samsung, Sony, Disney, FedEx and Yahoo.

Losers included ACE Group, Avery Dennison, AmerisourceBergen, Amphenol and University of Phoenix. The University received negative publicity as President Obama signed an executive order to protect veterans from deceptive recruiting methods used by some higher education institutions.

JPMorgan Chase collected the highest negative perception media value.

 

Kindle Fire helps Android close the gap on iPads

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
Kindle Fire

A Kindle Fire tablet computer

I’ve tried several tablets, including a 10-inch Samsung and an iPad. As elegant and well-designed as the iPad is, like all Apple products, I found the 7-inch Kindle Fire much more to my liking.

While the Kindle Fire lacks a camera and a microphone – its size is perfect for the things I do with a tablet, browsing the web via news reader apps such as Pulse, Flipboard, StumbleUpon and other apps that make it easy. Watching the occasional video. Checking social media or email. And, of course, playing casual games such as Angry Birds.

I actually use it more than I do my regular Kindle keyboard ereader, which is saying something. I still prefer to do long reading sessions on the ereader because its much easier on the eyes than backlit LED screens, but it gets most of its use when I’m involved in a novel such as the last Game of Thrones book or when I’m traveling.

If you have an Amazon account, the ease with which you buy apps and books and media is a real plus. It’s also a pleasure to see how rapidly developers have brought apps I wanted to the device, ranging from games to HBO GO and the aforementioned Flipboard.

When I tried the larger screen tablets, I found them tiring to hold for long periods. Taking photos with them was a pain. I do suspect that the dictation feature on the iPad 4 and voice control of digital devices in general is going to be important in the future.

The Microsoft Surface has not made much of an initial splash so far and Google has a 7-inch tablet in the works. But for right now, the Kindle Fire is shaping up as the iPad’s main competitor.

Statista has compiled this graphic with data from the Online Publishers Association to show that largely due to Kindle Fire sales, the Android operating system is closing the gap on Apple’s iOS. — Allan Maurer

android graphic

 

And here is a video on Google’s Nexus 7 tablet:

Tablet ad impressions grew 88 percent the last six months

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

tablet computersIndependent mobile ad network InMobi says its first North America Tablet Insights Report shows a staggering 88% growth of tablet impressions on its network in the last six months.

That’s consistent with other reports we’re seeing at the TechJournal. People engage more with their tablets than with their smartphones. We’ve also seen reports that conversions are also significantly higher on tablets.

The comprehensive InMobi report, based on data from InMobi’s global network, provides insight to engagement behavior

InMobi reports that tablet impressions have been growing nearly twice as fast as smartphones in North America.

Anne Frisbie, vice president and managing director, North America, InMobi, explains: “Richer web browsing experiences are achieved from the larger screen sizes and the reduced cost of tablet ownership is increasing their popularity.”

She added, “We are seeing smart brands raising the bar for advertising on tablets.”

Android gains market share on iOS

The report finds that Apple clearly dominates, with iOS tablet devices currently commanding 71% of the overall impression share, followed by Android with 29%. However, Apple lost 10.8% of its market share to Android, highlighting the competitiveness of the market.

North America Tablet OS ad impressions
OS Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Pt. Change
iOS 81.6% 70.8% -10.8%
Android 18.2% 28.9% 10.7%
Others 0.2% 0.3% +0.1%

Kindle Fire enters late, and takes second place to iPad

Despite entering much later to the market than many of its competitors, the Amazon Kindle Fire performed second (9.2%) to the Apple iPad (70.8%) in Q1 2012. The Asus Eee Pad sits in third (5.2%) with a positive point change of 2.5% from Q4 2011 to Q12012.

North America Top Performing tablets, total ad impressions
OS Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Pt. Change
Apple iPad 81.6% 70.8% -10.8
Amazon Kindle Fire N/A 9.2% N/A
Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101  

2.7%

5.2% 2.5%

Frisbie continued: “As we see the tablet market mature, it’s becoming an increasingly exciting space, with huge benefits for brands that embrace the opportunities.

The nature of the tablet environment allows advertisers to create deep, rich ads that truly engage users and enhance their experiences—a trend that will positively continue in the future.”

An overview of the report is available on request, from: kathie.green@inmobi.com

Ten tips for building a platform to get noticed in a noisy world

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

PlatformWhen was the right time to build an online platform to get noticed in a noisy world? “Yesterday,” according to Michael Hyatt.

Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers for six years and now its chair, is social media and success expert. Hyatt’s book, “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,” climbed to positions on New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Amazon best sellers lists soon after publication.

Over the course of six years, his blog MichaelHyatt.com has garnered more than four hundred thousand monthly visitors. In addition, more than fifty thousand people subscribe to his daily blog posts. Hyatt communicates to one hundred thousand Twitter followers and fifteen thousand Facebook fans.

He is consistently ranked as a top blogger for productivity, leadership, publishing, and social media marketing. Also, his podcast that was launched in March is already consistently in the top ten podcasts for the Business category.

“To be successful in the market today, you must possess two strategic assets: a compelling product and a meaningful platform,” says Hyatt, chairman of Thomas Nelson, one of the nation’s top publishing houses.

Hyatt quote

“No amount of marketing savvy can overcome a weak product, but without a platform, no one will even know that your product exists. Today, platforms are built on contacts, connections, and followers. My 10 tips focus on attracting all three.”

Ten tips for building a platform to get noticed:

1 – Start Now – The only “right time” to start building your platform is yesterday. Too many people never start building a platform because they think they’re not ready yet. Once you dive in, if you stick with it, you’ll find building a platform to be one of the most rewarding tasks you can set out to accomplish.

2 – Create a Compelling Product – Remember that while platform has become the queen, content is still king. To offer a compelling product, create something you would personally use, something that solves a problem in an unexpected way, and something that exceeds your customers’ expectations.

3 – Accept Personal Responsibility – If you’re thinking of hiring a babysitter for your platform, think again. It is critical that you be 100% committed to being the driving force behind its creation and growth.

4 – Start a Blog – No tool has proven to be more essential to building my platform than my blog, www.michaelhyatt.com. The good news is that creating a blog has never been simpler. The part you’re going to have to really commit yourself to is generating high-quality content on a regular basis. More importantly, your content must attract a loyal and growing audience.

5 – Build Your Subscriber List – Stop worrying about traffic to your blog or website and focus on growing your subscriber list. Your subscribers are your hardcore fans; they are your brand evangelists.

6 – Write Guest Posts – Guest posting is a proven strategy that has been instrumental in the growth of many great bloggers, including Brian Clark of CopyBlogger and Chris Brogran of www.chrisbrogran.com. It’s a great way to expose your brand to new communities. Establish a courteous and professional relationship that can be built upon.

7 – Utilize Social Media – Your blog is a great “home base,” but you’re not going to be able to spend all day hanging out there. Twitter and Facebook give you the opportunity to keep the conversation going 24/7. What have you got to lose? Twitter and Facebook are free, require only a small time investment, and can help you massively in building your brand.

8 – Employ Consistent Branding – You must have consistency throughout your online presence, which should at least include your blog, Twitter and Facebook pages. If you’re presenting yourself, be sure you have the same headshot in every outlet. Pick one logo, one name, and stand by it.

9 – Engage Your Tribe – Don’t be passive when it comes to your readers, followers, and customers. Ask them questions, address their comments, and make it easy for them to share their thoughts. Be sure the commenting system on your blog is easy and straightforward. Find ways to reward your top commenters for participation.

10 – Monetize – Art and money do not have to be enemies. I didn’t set out to make money when I started my blog. And for a long time, I didn’t make any. But now I do. I’ve sustained income from my blog by utilizing a simple combination of advertising, affiliates, and products. I do it without selling my soul by following one simple rule – I only offer ads, products and services that are congruent with my brand and add value to my readers. You can do the same.

“These 10 tips can help virtually anyone create a platform,” said Hyatt. “I’m thrilled that so many people are drawn to the detailed strategies laid out in ‘Platform,’ and I look forward to hearing countless success stories from those who have put its step-by-step guide into action.”

In “Platform,” Hyatt reveals the key principles and tactics used by marketers, best-selling authors, public speakers, musicians, and other creatives to provide a behind-the-scenes in the new world of social media success.

By providing real-world examples from those who have built successful platforms, Hyatt explains how it all fits together – new media and old – into one comprehensive strategy.

Record number of online retailers achieve high satisfaction scores

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Shopping cartA record 36 of the top 100 online retailers achieve the “threshold for excellence” on the annual Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index from customer experience analytics firm ForeSee, with Amazon setting the standard.

Scores of 80 or higher on ForeSee’s 100-point scale are considered superior customer satisfaction performances. In 2010 and 2011, 28 websites achieved this distinction, while in 2009 only six websites cleared the mark.  The Index in aggregate plateaus, scoring 78 for a third consecutive year.

“We’re measuring the biggest players in the game, and they just keep getting better and better. Because customer satisfaction, as we measure it, is predictive, that’s a good sign not only for the consumer experience, but for the bottom line of internet retailers as well,” said study author Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee.

Pressure on other retailers to keep-up

“If there’s a negative spin to these positive trends, it is that this puts even more pressure on all other e-retailers to keep up or catch up.”

Here at the TechJournal, we do much of our retail buying online, so we’ve dealt with numerous online customer service departments. Anything that pressures them to step up the quality of their service is a plus.

E-commerce stalwart Amazon continues to set the bar higher, climbing three points to 89, and four points higher than the second highest scoring websites, Apple.com (85) and QVC.com (85).  Have you had good experiences with Amazon? In our dealings with them they have been quick to solve problems (such as replacing a damaged Kindle, which they did overnight, and resending a lost package).

Apple is also one of the most improved sites from last year, surging five points as did RueLaLa.com. Foot Locker (79) and JCrew.com (78) each jump four points, and 11 e-retailers improved three points. Netflix is four points down from a year ago, but it regained two points from the Index’s holiday season measure.

“Amazon continues to set the standard for e-retailers. The truth is that every consumer who has visited Amazon knowingly or unknowingly benchmarks all other experiences against it, and why wouldn’t they? They do everything and they do it well,” said Freed.

Trouble for Netflix?

“That is going to spell even bigger trouble for Netflix. The two companies used to vie for number one. Now Netflix is floundering just as Amazon is making deeper moves into streaming video and even original programming. Netflix regained some lost ground, but it’s no longer a contender.”

“Highly satisfied website visitors are nearly 70 percent more likely to recommend the website to others than dissatisfied customers. In the modern world of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, it is even more imperative to provide the best experience possible to your customers because any experience has huge potential to be amplified, for better or for worse,” said Freed.

Website 2011
Satisfaction
2012
Satisfaction
Point
change
2011 -
2012
Amazon.com 86 89 3
QVC.com 84 85 1
Store.Apple.com 80 85 5
Keurig.com 81 84 3
Avon.com 84 83 -1
LLBean.com 81 83 2
1800Contacts.com 79 82 3
BN.com 80 82 2
Newegg.com 83 82 -1
OrientalTrading.com 80 82 2
Scholastic.com 81 82 1
Vistaprint.com 81 82 1
Vitacost.com 81 82 1
Walmart.com 79 82 3
HSN.com 82 81 -1
Kohls.com 80 81 1
Netflix.com 85 81 -4
SwissColony.com 81 81 0
VictoriasSecret.com 80 81 1
Walgreens.com 79 81 2
Williams-Sonoma.com 80 81 1
BestBuy.com 80 80 0
Blair.com 77 80 3
Cabelas.com 81 80 -1
Dell.com 79 80 1
EdibleArrangements.com na 80 na
JCP.com 80 80 0
MusiciansFriend.com 81 80 -1
Nike.com 77 80 3
Nordstrom.com 77 80 3
NorthernTool.com 79 80 1
RalphLauren.com 79 80 1
REI.com 79 80 1
Shutterfly.com 82 80 -2
SportsmansGuide.com 79 80 1
WeightWatchers.com 81 80 -1
AE.com 78 79 1
BassPro.com 82 79 -3
Costco.com 80 79 -1
CVS.com 78 79 1
DisneyStore.com 79 79 0
FootLocker.com 75 79 4
HomeDepot.com 76 79 3
HPShopping.com 79 79 0
Staples.com 80 79 -1
Target.com 78 79 1
TigerDirect.com 81 79 -2
1800Flowers.com 77 78 1
Buy.com 77 78 1
ColdwaterCreek.com 80 78 -2
crateandbarrel.com 78 78 0
Grainger.com 77 78 1
Hayneedle.com 76 78 2
JCrew.com 74 78 4
MicrosoftStore.com na 78 na
NeimanMarcus.com 75 78 3
ShoeBuy.com 77 78 1
Toysrus.com 77 78 1
Blockbuster.com 78 77 -1
EddieBauer.com 77 77 0
Gap.com 76 77 1
Lowes.com 78 77 -1
Macys.com 78 77 -1
OfficeMax.com 78 77 -1
ShopNBC.com 74 77 3
SonyStore.com 75 77 2
AnnTaylor.com na 76 na
Fingerhut.com 74 76 2
FootballFanatics.com 77 76 -1
OfficeDepot.com 77 76 -1
SierraTradingPost.com 78 76 -2
BlueNile.com 75 75 0
FTD.com 75 75 0
Overstock.com 78 75 -3
RueLaLa.com 70 75 5
Sears.com 74 75 1
UrbanOutfitters.com 72 75 3
AutoPartsWarehouse.com 74 74 0
Nutrisystem.com 74 74 0
PCConnection.com 77 74 -3
PCMall.com 75 74 -1
Safeway.com 73 74 1
Abercrombie.com 75 73 -2
Build.com na 73 na
Gilt.com na 71 na
Peapod.com 79 70 -9
Ancestry.com 76 69 -7
efollett.com 70 69 -1

Facebook tops engagement among smartphone users

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

smartphonesFacebook engages more smartphone users than any other media property, most of it (80 percent) via apps. Twitter, which comes in at 11th on the number of unique visitors it reaches on smartphones, is even more app dependent (96.5 percent). So says comScore’s Mobile Metrix 2.0 service.

Google Sites ranked as the top property with nearly 94 million unique visitors, representing 96.9 percent of the mobile audience. Facebook ranked second with 78.0 million visitors (80.4 percent reach), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 66.2 million visitors (68.2 percent reach) and Amazon Sites 44.0 million visitors (45.4 percent reach).

Analysis of the share of time spent across apps and browsers revealed that even though these access methods had similar audience sizes, apps drove the lion’s share of engagement, representing 4 in every 5 mobile media minutes.

Analysis of the top properties also revealed widely varying degrees of time spent between app and browser access methods. On Facebook, the top ranked mobile media property by engagement, 80 percent of time spent was represented by app usage compared to 20 percent via browser.

Twitter saw an even higher percentage of time spent with apps at 96.5 percent of all minutes. In contrast, Microsoft Sites was among brands that saw browser access driving a majority of usage at 82.1 percent.

Top Smartphone Properties by Total Unique Visitors (Mobile Browser and App Audience Combined)
March 2012 
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Age 18+ on iOS, Android and RIM Platforms

Source: comScore Mobile Metrix 2.0

Audience Engagement
Total Unique Visitors (000) % Reach Browser % Share of Total Time Spent App % Share of Total Time Spent
Total Audience (Browsing and Application combined) 97,007 100.0% 18.5% 81.5%
Google Sites 93,954 96.9% 18.9% 81.1%
Facebook 78,002 80.4% 20.0% 80.0%
Yahoo! Sites 66,185 68.2% 25.3% 74.7%
Amazon Sites 44,028 45.4% 14.3% 85.7%
Wikimedia Foundation Sites 39,073 40.3% 99.8% 0.2%
Apple Inc. 38,309 39.5% 0.3% 99.7%
Cooliris, Inc 28,543 29.4% 0.0% 100.0%
AOL, Inc. 28,021 28.9% 47.4% 52.6%
eBay 27,190 28.0% 17.6% 82.4%
Zynga 26,619 27.4% 0.4% 99.6%
Twitter 25,593 26.4% 3.5% 96.5%
Rovio (Angry Birds) 25,057 25.8% 3.7% 96.3%
Weather Channel, The 24,131 24.9% 47.1% 52.9%
Microsoft Sites 23,938 24.7% 82.1% 17.9%
ESPN 23,317 24.0% 56.8% 43.2%

Top Apps Vary by iOS and Android Users

Analysis of the top iPhone and Android apps by size of audience found differences in the top apps accessed by the two operating systems. System apps topped the list for both iOS and Android, with Apple iTunes reaching nearly the entire iPhone app audience in March while 93.2 percent of Android users visited the Android app market.

Google Search ranked as the second largest app by Android audience size reaching 44.9 million users (84.1 percent reach). Google Maps led as the top map app on both platforms reaching 91.2 percent of iPhone users and 74.5 percent of Android users. The Facebook mobile app ranked within the top five apps on both platforms, securing the #3 spot among iPhone users (80 percent reach) and the #5 position with Android users (68.9 percent reach).

Top Mobile Apps by Total Unique Visitors (000) for iOS and Android (App Audience Only)

March 2012 
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Age 18+ on iOS, Android and RIM Platforms 
Source: comScore Mobile Metrix 2.0

Top iPhone Apps Total Unique Visitors (000) % Reach Top Android Apps Total Unique Visitors (000) % Reach
Total Audience:  (App Access only) 32,665 100.0% Total Audience: (App Access only) 53,360 100.0%
Apple iTunes (Mobile App) 32,644 99.9% Android Market (Mobile App) 49,717 93.2%
Google Maps (Mobile App) 29,803 91.2% Google Search (Mobile App) 44,883 84.1%
Facebook (Mobile App) 26,148 80.0% Google Maps (Mobile App) 39,775 74.5%
YouTube (Mobile App) 25,553 78.2% Gmail (Mobile App) 38,108 71.4%
Yahoo! Weather (Mobile App) 22,965 70.3% Facebook (Mobile App) 36,771 68.9%
Yahoo! Stocks (Mobile App) 20,765 63.6% Cooliris (Mobile App) 28,543 53.5%
Pandora Radio (Mobile App) 10,478 32.1% YouTube (Mobile App) 24,739 46.4%
The Weather Channel (Mobile App) 8,817 27.0% Google News & Weather (Mobile App) 24,134 45.2%
Temple Run (Mobile App) 7,415 22.7% Angry Birds (Mobile App) 16,171 30.3%
 Words With Friends Free (Mobile App) 6,979 21.4% Words With Friends (Mobile App) 12,511 23.4%

Smartphones Drive Significant Engagement for Leading Social Networking Brands

Social networking proved to be a particularly popular activity on smartphones with several brands demonstrating exceptionally high engagement, in some cases higher than the corresponding time spent by users via traditional web access.

Facebook once again led the pack among social networking brands, with the average Facebook mobile user engaging for more than 7 hours via browser or app in March. The 25.6 million Twitter mobile users (excluding usage via third-party apps) had an average engagement of nearly 2 hours during the month.

By comparison, people visiting on their computers spent just 20.4 minutes on Twitter.com, highlighting the importance of mobile engagement for mobile-centric brands. Pinterest, which has seen its adoption explode in recent months, reached 7.5 million smartphone visitors who engaged with the brand for nearly an hour.

Location-based social network Foursquare attracted 5.5 million mobile visitors at an average of nearly 2.5 hours, while Tumblr reached an audience of nearly 4.5 million who engaged for 68 minutes during the month.

Selected Social Networking Properties (Mobile Browser and App Audience Combined)

March 2012 
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Age 18+ on iOS, Android and RIM Platforms 
Source: comScore Mobile Metrix 2.0

Total Unique Visitors (000) % Reach Average Minutes per Visitor
Facebook 78,002 80.4% 441.3
Twitter 25,593 26.4% 114.4
LinkedIn 7,624 7.9% 12.9
Pinterest 7,493 7.7% 52.9
Foursquare 5,495 5.7% 145.6
Tumblr 4,454 4.6% 68.4


Kindle Fire leads Android tablet market, but larger screens get more use

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Amazon Kindle Fire Doubles its Share of Android Tablet Market in Two Months

Kindle Fire

A Kindle Fire tablet computer

The Kindle Fire, introduced to the market in November 2011, has seen rapid adoption among buyers of tablets, far ahead of the others, but larger tabs see almost 40 percent more use, according to comScore’s Digital Essentails report.

Within the Android tablet market, Kindle Fire has almost doubled its share in the past two months from 29.4 percent share in December 2011 to 54.4 percent share in February 2012, already establishing itself as the leading Android tablet by a wide margin.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab family followed with a market share of 15.4 percent in February, followed by the Motorola Xoom with 7.0 percent share. The Asus Transformer and Toshiba AT100 rounded out the top five with 6.3 percent and 5.7 percent market share, respectively.

We’ve tried both the larger 10 inch tablets and the Kindle Fire and prefer the smaller screen for most things we use a tablet to do.  Here’s our intial review: http://www.techjournal.org/2011/11/kindle-fire-a-good-value-for-the-money/. We like it even more now that we’ve used it for several months. Other people who try ours also seem to like it.

U.S. Market Share of Android Tablets by Unique Devices
Dec-2011, Jan-2012, Feb-2012
Total U.S.
Source: comScore Device Essentials*
% Share of Android Tablets
Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12
Amazon Kindle Fire 29.4% 41.8% 54.4%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Family 23.8% 19.1% 15.4%
Motorola Xoom 11.8% 9.0% 7.0%
Asus Transformer 6.4% 6.2% 6.3%
Toshiba AT100 7.1% 7.0% 5.7%
Acer Picasso 6.0% 5.2% 4.3%
Acer Iconia 2.8% 2.6% 2.1%
Dell Streak 2.2% 1.7% 1.3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 0.7% 0.9% 1.2%
Sony Tablet S 0.9% 0.8% 0.7%
Other 8.9% 5.6% 1.6%

*comScore Device Essentials measures unique devices accessing the web during the time period noted, including home, enterprise and secondary devices across all age groups.

Larger Screen Tablets See Higher Level of Content Consumption

Tablet adoption among U.S. consumers continues to climb as more devices appealing to various price and feature preferences are introduced to the market. Screen size is perhaps the most outwardly apparent differentiator between devices, with the market offering consumers a wide variety of options such as the 10″ Apple iPad, 9″ Sony S1, 7″ Amazon Kindle Fire and 5″ Dell Streak.

Analysis of page view consumption by screen size found a strong positive association between screen size and content consumption. Specifically, 10″ tablets have a 39-percent higher consumption rate than 7″ tablets and a 58-percent higher rate than 5″ tablets.

Average Browser Page Views per Tablet
Feb-2012
Total U.S.
Source: comScore Device Essentials*
Tablet Screen Size Browser Page Views

per Tablet

10 inch 125
9 inch 116
7 inch 90
5 inch 79

*comScore Device Essentials measures unique devices accessing the web during the time period noted, including home, enterprise and secondary devices across all age groups.

Although many factors – such as demographics, content availability, connection speed and ease of portability – may influence consumption levels, the results of this analysis highlight important questions for the industry as the tablet space develops.

With the emergence of a growing number of smaller-sized tablet devices, advertisers and publishers will need to understand whether these devices limit the opportunity for advertising compared to their larger-screen counterparts, or if they are able to build incremental reach and engagement by presenting different use cases.

Smartphone Carrier Market Share Shows Variation Across Key States

Among the new capabilities introduced in Device Essentials is the ability to segment data into custom geographies to provide more granular insights into local market device usage. comScore analyzed the share of unique smartphone devices among the top four carriers in the most populous U.S. states and found significant variation between markets.

Looking exclusively at the top four carriers, AT&T accounted for the largest share of unique smartphones in Texas (46.2 percent), California (42.9 percent) and Illinois (42.1 percent), while Verizon claimed the top spot in New York (43.6 percent) and Florida (36.5 percent). The greatest disparity in carrier share between AT&T and Verizon occurred in Texas, where AT&T’s smartphone share was more than double that of Verizon’s share.

Sprint PCS ranked as the third largest smartphone carrier in each of the top five markets, with the carrier owning its highest market share in Illinois at 22.8 percent. T-Mobile USA captured its highest market share in Texas, where the carrier accounted for 11.9 percent of smartphone devices.

U.S. Market Share of Unique Smartphone Devices Among AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile by Top 5 States
February 2012
Total U.S.
Source: comScore Device Essentials*
% Share of Unique Smartphone Devices by Market
AT&T Verizon Sprint PCS T-Mobile USA
California 42.9% 29.2% 17.4% 10.5%
Florida 31.7% 36.5% 20.7% 11.2%
Illinois 42.1% 25.3% 22.8% 9.8%
New York 28.4% 43.6% 21.2% 6.8%
Texas 46.2% 22.3% 19.5% 11.9%

*comScore Device Essentials measures unique devices accessing the web during the time period noted, including home, enterprise and secondary devices across all age groups.

Top social brands study reveals insights on effective social marketing tactics

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Starbucks Market Strategies International released its inaugural Social Media Brand Index, which provides a rigorous view of how top brands across different industries succeeded in social media in 2011.

We’re not surprised to see many of the names on the top 20 list from the index. Starbucks has been a leader in the use of social media marketing from the start, as have Amazon, Disney, Google and Nike.

The Index also shares five insights every marketer should consider when analyzing social media investments.

“Companies are swimming in web analytics, but they often have no idea where they are in relation to other swimmers,” said Theo Downes-Le Guin, a consultant to Market Strategies and its former chief research officer.

“Our Index rank orders nearly 150 leading brands across industries as well as the most social brands by industry.”

Here’s the top 20 most social brands revealed by the index:

top social brands

Market Strategies specifically built this Index to address the effect of sponsored – not just “naturally occurring” – social media content and interactions. The underlying premise is that four elements drive a successful brand presence in social media:

  1. Volume: The number of conversations that contain a consumer opinion, emotion or behavior.
  2. Net Sentiment: The ratio of positive to negative sentiments expressed about a brand.
  3. Positive Emotions: The number of content items that are identified as having positive emotions.
  4. Sponsored Presence: The number of “likes” on a company-sponsored Facebook page, the number of followers on a corporate-sponsored Twitter account(s) and the number of subscribers to sponsored YouTube channel(s).

Downes-Le Guin added, “We’re still very early in the game in terms of understanding and analyzing social media marketing efforts, and we’re years away from an agreed-upon ROI model. But, we believe social media will remain an important part of the marketing mix and our ability to validly demonstrate that importance will grow over time.”

Five key takeaways emerged from the study that may be instructive for marketers who struggle with how to support their brands using social media:

  1. Diversity of social channels and tactics is critical to success.
  2. Every industry has a different “right” level of social.
  3. Reach without positive sentiment is a short-term win.
  4. Not all sponsored channels are equal.
  5. Measuring success requires mashing up data sources.

Download Market Strategies’ 2011 Social Media Brand Index to see full rankings and learn more about the key takeaways.Read more at FreshMR.

E-commerce going in one direction, up, but you can still be in front

Thursday, April 12th, 2012
John Lawson

John Lawson - Founder, ColderICE.com

By Allan Maurer

There is still enormous room for growth in ecommerce, especially from the mobile side. “In the grand scheme of commerce, it’s still only maybe 11 percent of all things bought,” says John Lawson, CEO of the award-winning industry blog, ColerICE.com. It’s only going in one direction, though, he says:”It’s going up.”

Lawson is an Platinum eBay Power Seller, Top-Rated Amazon Seller, Social Media Personality and e-commerce analyst for Wall-Street firms. He specializes in multi-channel e-commerce, social rich-media marketing and mobile commerce.

Named Small Business Influencer Champion by Small Biz Trends and Savviest in Social Media by Startup Nation, John Lawson, formally of Accenture consulting firm, today is an Ecommerce Business CEO, International Business Keynote Speaker, Award-winning Social Media Strategist, American Express Featured TV Personality and appeared on Fox News.

Will speak at the Digital Summit

Lawson is one of dozens of e-commerce, Internet and digital marketing gurus headed to Atlanta May 9-10 for the upcoming Digital Summit. He’ll join speakers from many top brands, including Google, Mashable, Huffington Post, Twitter, Pandora, Stumble Upon and Klout.

Lawson points out that e-commerce grew at a healthy 13 percent last year, although it hasn’t caught up to the brisk 30 percent a year growth prior to 2008.

Lawson says one effect of this growth is that entrepreneurs who started companies when e-commerce was smaller should be prepared to see a lot more larger brick & mortar firms coming into the space.

Competition from major retailers will increase

“So we’ll see a lot of growth, but also a lot of competition with a lot of dollars spent. Things we found that worked – daily deals, for instance – you’ll see on a major scale when Macys and J.C. Pennys get serious about e-commerce.”

Mobile commerce, he says, “Changes everything when they get mobile payments right so that I can just pull out the phone and not the plastic.”

For anyone in the e-commerce game, Lawson suggests, “Watch Amazon. They’re leaders changing the mind of the consumer regarding e-commerce so that they expect two-day or free shipping and the opportunity to try a product and send it back without it costing them anything. ”

It’s still early enough to get a foothold in e-commerce and and “be right in front,” says Lawson. How?

Don’t go overboard

“Don’t go overboard creating a lot of proprietary stuff,” he says. “And make sure you keep up with where your customers are coming from and where they’re buying.”

He adds, “Focus on payments. Allow people to pay the way they want. Ultimately, it’s about getting customers to the register with cash.”

Pay attention to customer support and service, too, he says. “You need the ability to give people exactly what they’re looking for based on their social profile. Tailor things for your audience. Find people with influence, influential buyers.” Do things to encourage them to share their purchase information.

Don’t fall into the cell phone syndrome of always trying to get new customers instead of taking care of the ones you have. “You have to know the cost of acquiring a new customer,” he says. It is often far higher than the cost of keeping existing customers happy.

Lawson says that among other things, he’ll discuss tools for finding the information you need to carry out those steps at the Digital Summit.

Apple will lose its tablet dominance by 2016

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Apple iPad3s

Apple iPads

Tablets are still gaining traction in the mobile device market, with Apple selling a record 3 million new iPads within days of its launch. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the online retail giant’s best seller, and a host of new tablet devices are slated for release this year.

While Apple currently dominates the tablet market – we’re about to buy one of the new iPads – it will lose its dominance to Android devices by 2016, according to forecasts by IDC.

Here’s a chart from Statista showing the incredible growth of the tablet market:

tablet market forecast

Who will lead in mobile payments? Apple, Google, Facebook, your bank?

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

 With almost $200 billion in combined 2011 revenues, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon are well positioned to take the lead in mobile payments landscape.

However, the top mobile payments spot is still up for grabs, as consumers trust PayPal, Visa, and their own banks for making financial transactions compared to mobile networks, social media, and online retailers.

“Companies will need to understand how their brand resonates with consumers in the three key areas of trust, innovation and privacy. Brands must partner with companies to achieve complementary strengths and widespread adoption in mobile payments.”

The report reveals the shift in consumer mobile behaviors over the past two years and spotlights emerging market opportunities for mobile wallets.

Mobile purchases skyrocketed

In 2011, consumers’ mobile purchases of physical goods skyrocketed to 41% from 14% in 2009, while those of ringtones, which once dominated the market, decreased significantly. This shift from “nice to have” to “needs” indicates how consumers are beginning to find more value in purchasing via mobile devices.

Using its TIP (Trust-Innovation-Privacy) Model, Javelin scored brand effects of social media, mobile networks, and financial institutions (FIs) on trust, innovation, and privacy.

While PayPal came closest to reaching “Gold Zone”, the high trust-high innovation-high privacy position, no brand placed in the coveted spot.

However, despite overall low scores in all three categories, FIs scored extremely well among their own customers, receiving the highest rankings for trust in security, protecting private information, and even innovation. Facebook and Sprint were the least trusted brands for financial transacting.

“Although consumers rate Apple as the greatest innovator, no brand will reach the Gold Zone without the right alliance,” said Mary Monahan, executive vice president and research director, Mobile at Javelin. “Companies will need to understand how their brand resonates with consumers in the three key areas of trust, innovation and privacy. Brands must partner with companies to achieve complementary strengths and widespread adoption in mobile payments.”

“Don’t count out banks, which are well respected in their geographic markets,” said Jim Van Dyke, president, Javelin. “Our data shows that banks’ own consumers ranked them higher on trust and privacy than payment providers, mobile network carriers, other banks, and the Gang of Four. FIs are viable partners for these mobile payment vendors.”

Javelin’s Gang of Four (and Possibly Five) Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon – and PayPal report analyzes consumer perceptions of mobile payments players of trust, innovation, and privacy and recommends strategies for social media and mobile companies and FIs to succeed in the mobile purchasing market. The report is based on survey data collected online from more than 5,800 consumers.

Selected Key Report Findings

  • Mobile technology usage is on the rise, paving the way for increased mobile purchasing. By 2016, 72% of adults will use smartphones, while 40% of mobile phone owners will use tablets.
  • Consumers’ mobile purchases of physical goods skyrocketed to 41% from 14% in 2009, while purchasing of ringtones significantly decreased.
  • Consumers with primary banking relationships at FIs gave their own banks the highest trust and privacy scores over Visa, which received top scores among all consumers.

For additional details or to purchase Javelin’s report, click here Gang of Four (and Possibly Five) Apple Google Facebook Amazon – and PayPal: Positioning for Payments in the New Mobile-Social Technology Era

Three surprising findings about brand advocates

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

A new study by social marketing company Zuberance has revealed three surprising findings about Brand Advocates- influential consumers who frequently recommend brands and products without pay or incentives.

The Zuberance study found that:

1.    Brand Advocates are even more active recommenders than previous studies have suggested. On average, Brand Advocates recommend nine brands, products, and services per year. The study also revealed that 32% of Brand Advocates recommend 10 or more brands, products, and services. On average, Brand Advocates make 26 recommendations per year. Eighteen percent of Brand Advocates recommend about once a week and 12% recommend several times per week.

2.    Brand Advocates have larger social networks than earlier estimated. On average, Brand Advocates have between 200 and 450 people in their social networks. And online Brand Advocates – consumers who recommend their favorite brands and products using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, plus shopping and review sites like Amazon.com, TripAdvisor, and Yelp – have between 300 to 600 contacts in their social networks. This indicates that Brand Advocates’ ability to reach friends and peers with recommendations is much larger than earlier thought.

3.    Brand Advocates recommend both consumer and business products. Many people mistakenly believe that Brand Advocates’ recommendations are limited to consumer products like iPhones, energy drinks, and restaurants. In fact, the majority of Brand Advocates (67%) recommend both business and consumer products and services. This finding supports the view that advocacy is a powerful weapon for both B2C and B2B marketers.

“Power Advocates”

A new study by social marketing company Zuberance has revealed three surprising findings about Brand Advocates- influential consumers who frequently recommend brands and products without pay or incentives.

The Zuberance study found that:

1.    Brand Advocates are even more active recommenders than previous studies have suggested.

On average, Brand Advocates recommend nine brands, products, and services per year. The study also revealed that 32% of Brand Advocates recommend 10 or more brands, products, and services. On average, Brand Advocates make 26 recommendations per year. Eighteen percent of Brand Advocates recommend about once a week and 12% recommend several times per week.

2.    Brand Advocates have larger social networks than earlier estimated.

On average, Brand Advocates have between 200 and 450 people in their social networks. And online Brand Advocates – consumers who recommend their favorite brands and products using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, plus shopping and review sites like Amazon.com, TripAdvisor, and Yelp – have between 300 to 600 contacts in their social networks. This indicates that Brand Advocates’ ability to reach friends and peers with recommendations is much larger than earlier thought.

3.    Brand Advocates recommend both consumer and business products.

Many people mistakenly believe that Brand Advocates’ recommendations are limited to consumer products like iPhones, energy drinks, and restaurants. In fact, the majority of Brand Advocates (67%) recommend both business and consumer products and services. This finding supports the view that advocacy is a powerful weapon for both B2C and B2B marketers.

“Power Advocates”

The Zuberance study also has suggested that there is a segment of Brand Advocates who are extremely active and have very large social networks. These “Power Advocates,” which comprise about 15% of Brand Advocates:

  •     Recommend dozens of brands, products, and services
  •     Recommend several times each week
  •     Have more than 500 people in their social networks

The Zuberance study also has suggested that there is a segment of Brand Advocates who are extremely active and have very large social networks. These “Power Advocates,” which comprise about 15% of Brand Advocates: 

  •     Recommend dozens of brands, products, and services
  •     Recommend several times each week
  •     Have more than 500 people in their social networks

Apple dominates tablet market, but competitors have opportunities

Thursday, March 8th, 2012
ipad4

iPads dominate the tablet marketplace.

When it comes to buying a tablet computer, consumers are interested in two things: price and content. Moreover, the vast majority of those interested in a tablet only want one — the Apple iPad — according to a new study by wireless and mobile market research consultancy iGR.

In 2011, Apple sold about 19.63 million iPads in the U.S. The total market in 2011 was just over 28.1 million units. Android-based tablet sales in 2011 totaled approximately 7.7 million — a substantial number, certainly — but 47 percent of those sales happened in the fourth quarter and 61 percent of those 4Q sales were generated by Amazon.

 

Put another way, Amazon sold more Android-based tablets in the last two months of the year than any other Android tablet OEM did in all of 2011.

 

“Clearly, this study shows that the Apple iPad continues to dominate the U.S. tablet market, even after the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire,” said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry.

“While Amazon has made some inroads into the market, the other OEMs have had little impact to date. That said, there are signs in the consumer base of potential acceptance of alternative platforms. For Apple’s competitors, now is the time to rethink the tablet market and attack the opportunity again.”

Throughout the forecast period, we expect Apple to continue dominating tablet sales.

But we do expect that competing platforms — Android and Windows — will sell in significant volumes through 2016. In 2016, for example, iGR forecasts tablet sales in the U.S. to reach approximately 45.3 million. On an OS basis, we are forecasting that Apple will sell approximately 27.3 million tablets in 2016; Android-based tablet sales will reach about 13.9 million.

Kindle Fire

A Kindle Fire tablet computer

As compared to the market for smartphones, the current monthly sales of tablets are relatively modest. Our research suggests that tablets are, at present, primarily purchased as an additional computing device, not necessarily a true replacement device. Over the forecast period, this is anticipated to change, creating more market opportunity for tablet OEMs.

iGR’s new market research report, U.S. Tablet Sales Forecast: 2011-2016, provides an analysis of the overall tablet market in the U.S. and discusses the survey data and analysis which led to its conclusion. The report includes an overview of tablet market drivers, including pricing and content, as well as quarterly U.S. tablet sales estimates and forecast by platform and OEM.

Apple tops Google as world’s most valuable brand

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

AppleAdvanced findings from the BrandFinance Global 500, due to be launched on 19th March, show that Apple has leapfroggedGoogle to be named the world’s most valuable brand.

The Californian tech giant enjoys the highest ever valuation by Brand Finance plc (US $70.6 billion) almost one third greater than its closest rival Google (currently valued at US$47.5 billion).

Apple rose a staggering seven places from eighth in the 2011 table after a year which has seen the Californian tech giant assert its position as the preeminent consumer tech brand with the launch of the iPad 2, iPhone 4s, Mountain Lion operating system and the eagerly anticipated launch of the iPad3.

The announcement comes as Apple announces its 25th billion mobile download dwarfing its competitors in this evolving market.

Commenting on this year’s report from the Brand Finance New York office, David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance Inc, said “The meteoric rise we have witnessed over the last 12 months is nothing short of staggering. Apple is the classic American corporation that was once the alternative quirky brand for designers and creatives. Now their products are accepted by major corporations and are used by the mainstream corporate industry.

“Companies like Apple are built on strong Intellectual Property and are the engine for growth in a new era. Apple is a great example of how IP can be used to leverage high profits. As Apple continues to develop it seems set to dominate the technology industry in 2012 and beyond.”

The Brand Finance Global 500 Top Five Most Valuable Technology Brands

      Rank    Rank                                 Brand Value
      2012    2011      Brand         Country         (USD)       Brand Rating
       1       4        Apple      United States  $70.6 billion       AAA+
       2       1        Google     United States  $47.5 billion       AAA+
       3       2      Microsoft    United States  $45.8 billion       AAA+
       4       3         IBM       United States  $39.1 billion       AA+
       5       5        Amazon     United States  $26.7 billion       AA+

Netflix sees record customer satisfaction drop, but satisfaction is up for e-commerce

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Netflix heartNetflix suffered one of the largest drops in ACSI history as e-commerce inches up and competition stiffens, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index‘s annual E-Commerce Report, produced in partnership withForeSee.

Customer satisfaction with e-commerce websites is up 1% to 80.1 on the ACSI’s 100-point scale, while Netflix plummets 14% to 74, the lowest score of any e-commerce website in the Index.

“E-commerce continues to shine in satisfaction, seemingly regardless of economic conditions. It is no wonder the sector continues to grow when you consider that satisfied consumers are more likely to increase spending as their means allow,” said Claes Fornell, founder of the ACSI.

“Satisfaction with brick and mortar retail is also improving, but we may never see it match the scores held by retail websites.”

A full analysis of the scores released today is available on ForeSee’s website and a table with all category and company scores can be found here: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120221/DE55230

Online Retail

Satisfaction with overall online retail climbs 1% to 81, led by an improvement in the “all others” category (+3% to 80), which reflects smaller e-retailers and other companies not individually measured. Amazon (-1% to 86) maintains its spot as the top online retailer in satisfaction, but former champ Netflix suffers a huge drop, placing it firmly in the basement, 6 points below the all others category.

After raising prices 60% and threatening to split its convenient DVD and streaming media rental services into two, Netflix customers left in droves and investors followed suit. The ACSI E-commerce Report, based on surveys collected in the fourth quarter, shows that the remaining customers are much less satisfied.

You can hear from Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph directly at the upcoming Southeast Venture Conference in Tysons Corner, VA, Feb. 29-March 1, but better hurry. Only about 40 seats remain available for the event as of Feb. 21.

Netflix’s DVD customer base is shrinking while streaming media customers continue to grow. This shift could potentially exert additional downward pressure on satisfaction, as Netflix struggles to beef up its streaming media content and DVD releases decline.

“Netflix’s fall from grace was predictable given their missteps, but shocking in its degree of severity even though everyone could see this coming,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee.

“Though they’ve gained back many of the subscriber losses, it remains to be seen if Netflix will be able to satisfy them enough to keep competitors like Amazon and Hulu at bay. These results suggest that Netflix is vulnerable.”

Newegg gains a point, with a score of 85, putting the company in the position of second place and the closest online retailer to Amazon in customer satisfaction. Overstock.com and eBay remain unchanged at 83 and 81, respectively.

Online Brokerage

Customer satisfaction with online brokerage drops 3% to 76. Last year, Charles Schwab led the pack and Fidelity has been a perennial leader. This year, Fidelity (+1%), Charles Schwab (-1%), and E*TRADE (+4%) tie to lead the sector with a score of 79. TD Ameritrade (+1% to 78) is close behind. From 2002 to 2008, E*TRADE was at the bottom of the list of measured companies, but has steadily increased its score over the past four years.

“Satisfaction is leveling out among the top online brokerage firms though their satisfaction is still ahead of the all others category considerably,” said Freed. “E*TRADE is benefiting from its efforts to position itself as the leader in online investment tools and trading in a marketplace where investors and the industry itself have become more tech-savvy and comfortable in the online space.”

Online Travel

Customer satisfaction with online travel remains flat at 78, consistent with the category’s all-time high set last year. Travelocity (+3% to 79) overtakes Expedia (-3% to 77) for the top spot, which has led or held a share of the industry lead since 2000. Orbitz (+1%) and Priceline (+4%) round out the category with scores of 76.

A free report of the historical e-commerce scores for all companies measured by the ACSI is available at www.ForeSee.com.