Archive for the ‘Internet/New Media’ Category
Friday, May 24th, 2013
In an increasingly digital world, today’s ultra connected women have never been more emotionally detached.
So say the findings of the latest global study by AVG Technologies N.V. (NYSE: AVG), the provider of Internet and mobile security, privacy and optimization to 150 million active users, which charts the changing ways women are using technology to form and manage their relationships.
The study, which questioned 4,000 women in the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany and Brazil, highlighted the increasing role mobile devices and social media channels play in the dating process, and suggested that online research has displaced in-person chemistry when it comes to partner evaluation.
Nearly 35 per cent of women now use social media channels to check out dates ahead of time, prioritizing pictures followed by common friends and finally interests and comments.
Here at the TechJournal, we’re always a little skeptical of these studies, but they do provide insights on just how close we’ve become to our digital devices. This intimacy has implications for marketers. You can’t be too intrusive, for instance, and the more personal you can make an offer, the better.
Ending relationships via tech
Just as women are turning to technology to kick-start their relationships, so too have they become reliant upon it to end them. All up figures indicated that more than 50 per cent of those questioned either have or would break up with a significant other on the phone and more than a quarter have or would do so via text message.
“We all recognize that face-to-face is usually better than Facebook when it comes to relationships, but when so many of us live such busy lives it’s not surprising technology is increasingly being used as a substitute for one-on-one, in-person contact,” said John Giamatteo, COO of AVG Technologies.
“What’s more telling is the extent to which women, both old and young, are now relying on technology in matters of the heart. This study suggests an increasing level of detachment, where devices serve as agents to filter potential partners and release them when women are ready to move on. On a purely abstract note, we might even consider whether mobile devices and their trusty stream of insight will become the new primary relationship.”
When it came to the different age ranges, predictably it was 18-25 year olds who were the most likely to break up with a partner using their phone (61 per cent), by posting on Facebook (19 per cent) or via sending a text message (38 per cent). That said, the older generations were not far behind, with 45 per cent of 45-54 year olds also indicating that they would or have ended a relationship using their phone. The most dramatic differences, however, arose between nationalities.
Brazilian women the most cutthroat
Though women in the US are the most prolific users of social media channels to screen dates, Brazilian women emerged as the most cutthroat group in the dating stakes. According to the survey, not only would 58 per cent use a phone call for a break up, but 61 per cent had cancelled dates based on information they’d discovered on social media channels.
Data showed that Brazilians are also the most likely to break off a relationship over Facebook (18 per cent).
Conversely, responses indicated that the French were more traditional in their approach and the least reliant upon technology for their relationships.
Fewer than 25 per cent of French women questioned look at social media channels ahead of a date, for example, and they are also the least likely to secretly read their partners’ text or email messages (18 per cent). Again, Brazilian women topped this particular category, with more than 50 per cent of respondents admitting to some form of mobile snooping.
And finally, 57 per cent of US women would rather give up sex than their mobile device for a week, which, among other things, places mobile devices rather close to the heart.
Friday, May 24th, 2013
Despite the numerous security incidents that took place during the first quarter of the year, the fight against cyber-crime is on the right track, says security firm PandaLabs.
Though there is still a long way to go, international co-operation among security agencies is paying off and criminals around the world are being brought to justice. The quarterly report is available here and on the PandaLabs blog.
“The start of the year has been witness to serious cyber-attacks, including the hacking of the Twitter accounts of major organizations such as the BBC or Burger King, and one of the biggest attacks ever, targeting some of the world’s leading technology companies: Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter. But there have been victories for security forces as well, including the arrest of a group of hackers accused of extortion using the infamous ‘Police Virus’,” said Luis Corrons , technical director of PandaLabs.
Police Virus Scams
One of the most infamous cases of malware in the last year was the ‘Police Virus,’ but in February, this virus once again hit the headlines, but for a very different reason. The Technological Investigation Brigade of Spain’s National Police, together with Europol and Interpol, dismantled the cyber-crime ring responsible for the Police Virus.
“The news mentioned the arrest of ‘the gang’ of cyber-criminals, yet the information we have at PandaLabs points to the existence of several gangs responsible for these attacks. We reached this conclusion after analyzing numerous variants of the malware over time, and observing significant differences between them. In short, we are afraid the Police Virus is not likely to go away anytime soon and users shouldn’t lower their guards,” said Corrons.
Social Media Attacks
During Q1, various Twitter accounts were also hacked, including celebrities and companies, one of the most notable was Burger King. The attackers managed to work out the account password and take control of the account. They changed the background image to that of McDonald’s and claimed that the company had been taken over by its main rival.
The Twitter account of car company Jeep was also the victim of a similar attack, in this case stating that the company had been bought out by Cadillac. Other attacks on Twitter accounts had a more political slant.
A group of cyber-crooks calling themselves the “Syrian Electronic Army” managed to hack accounts belonging to several organizations. Phishing attacks were first launched to get the passwords and then the accounts were hijacked. Their victims included Human Rights Watch, the French news channel France 24 and the BBC weather service.
Android, Top Target for Mobile Malware
Nearly all news regarding malware attacks on mobile platforms involved the Android operating system, which has the largest share of this market. In addition to the usual attacks, this quarter saw new techniques that deserve mention. A strain of Android malware – hidden inside Google Play – not only infected cell phones but could also infect computers via smartphones and tablets.
According to Corrons, cyber-war and espionage is becoming more interesting. “Many countries are looking suspiciously at Chinaregarding its suspected involvement in attacks on large organizations and public institutions around the world, and this could lead to real world consequences. There are those who argue for international agreements, a type of Geneva Convention, to attempt to establish limits to these activities,” he said.
For more detailed information on malware activity and trends in the first quarter of 2013, you can access the full report here and on the PandaLabs blog.
Friday, May 24th, 2013
Mobile video collaboration solutions are beginning to show signs of wider acceptance in the enterprises.
This is largely thanks to sanctioned BYOD policies which have allowed highly capable mobile devices to expand across workforces, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics: “Enterprise Mobile Video Collaboration.”
BYOD is credited with accelerating the adoption and use of mobile devices throughout all levels of the enterprise. BYOD has also been a key force pushing many applications developed for the consumer market into corporate use.
Video chat services such as FaceTime and Skype laid the foundation for users to where mobile video collaboration is now beginning to feel the corporate pull.
The ways which workers communicate have gone through dramatic transformations over the past decade as mobility transformed communication from one physical location connecting to another, to workers connecting through voice and data wherever they are. Video collaboration is next in line to be transformed by mobility.
Mobile video collaboration solutions allow live video captured with a mobile device to be streamed to other mobile devices, PCs or room-based conferencing systems.
The current worldwide user base totals less than half a million, but is expected to grow to more than 20 times that size over the next five years now that many of the essentials are in place.
Prepare for the impact on infrastructure
These include wireless broadband networks, pervasive Wi-Fi, a growing base of compatible mobile devices and an increasing acceptance of BYOD policies.
“Although the mobile video collaboration market is still relatively small, support for mobile devices is becoming a core component of nearly every enterprise video collaboration solution on the market and enterprises are clear on how improvements in communication are wins for worker productivity and work flow efficiency,” say Kevin Burden, Director of Mobility.
“Enterprises will need to prepare for the impact that such a resource intensive application will have on its infrastructure and budget which will undoubtedly include optimizing WiFi network capacity and corporate liable data plans.”
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
The AT&T 4G LTE network has been ranked fastest for a second consecutive year by PCWorld/TechHive.
The tests in 20 U.S. markets including Ann Arbor, Mich. show AT&T wireless customers are benefiting from blazing-fast wireless Internet speeds.
AT&T has taken its share of criticism for various wireless connection issues over the years. Ours, however, has performed flawlessly. But then again, as a friend of mine who did have connection problems said, I seldom leave the Interstates.
The 2013 PCWorld/TechHive speed tests showed AT&T led all carriers tested in Ann Arbor, Mich. with an average upload speed of 6.7 mpbs and an average download speed of 15.2 mbps.
AT&T also outpaced the competition last year in PCWorld/TechHive’s 2012 wireless Internet speed tests, having delivered faster download speeds than any other national carrier in 13 cities tested.
Speed is the name of the game for mobile Internet service, as customers are taking advantage of smartphones and apps to help manage their busy lives. In this year’s PCWorld/TechHive report, AT&T led the speed tests with an average download speed of 13.15 mbps and an average upload speed of 6.45 mbps in the 20 U.S. markets tested.
“With consumer demand for wireless data continuing to grow rapidly, it’s more important than ever that U.S. wireless carriers not only keep pace with demand, but deliver network speeds fast enough to enable new mobile web experiences,” said Jason Snell , Editorial Director, PCWorld/TechHive.
AT&T launched 4G LTE** in Ann Arbor, Mich. in September of 2012, and it plans to expand its 4G LTE network to cover 300 million people nationwide by year-end 2014. Even as 4G LTE expands, customers can get 4G speeds outside of 4G LTE areas with our 4G HSPA+ technology.
The AT&T 4G LTE network has also been recognized for speed and performance by other third-party testing firms. AT&T 4G LTE is available in 228 markets and covers more than 200 million people. Improving the wireless network continues to be a priority for AT&T.
Here at the TechJournal, we’d be interested in hearing about your experiences with AT&T’s LTE service. Is it as fast as advertised?
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
Nowadays, there isn’t much you can’t stream online. But even though we all can’t seem to get enough entertainment, turns out none of us use online video streaming the same way. (And we might not be that satisfied when we do.)
Personally, we stream a lot of media, primarily movies. We usually have to go to multiple sources, Netflix, Hulu, SnagFilms, YouTube and even the Internet Archive to find everything we might be looking for. That, apparently, is not unusual.
How about you? Do you need multiple sources to meet your streaming needs?
Looks like when it comes to the battle of the sexes, things are streaming up. See who likes to do it where, when, and just how often — brought to you by M-GO.
Here’s an infographic with the details:
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
To help clarify the confusing media controversies on whether “brain training” actually works, a new book by independent market research company SharpBrains outlines five key conditions required for brain training to work, based on the analysis of hundreds on scientific studies.
“Brain training is rapidly becoming an important tool in our brain health and mental health toolkit,” says Alvaro Fernandez , CEO of SharpBrains and co-author of The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and Performance at Any Age.
“We need to help consumers and professionals understand its value and its limitations. If something claims to be brain training, but doesn’t meet these five conditions, then it’s not credible brain training to start with.”
I’ve tried several brain training programs and exercises and we’ve reported on them here at the TechJournal. We found they do increase focus and seem to keep us on point for certain tasks. On the other hand, we’ve seen reports that say some brain training programs basically just make you better at the brain training exercises – and not much else. New studies, however, are defining how the programs that do work manage it.
Misha Pavel , Ph.D., Program Director of Smart Health and Wellbeing at the National Science Foundation, adds, “Although there is no ‘final word’ on this nascent topic, an important transformation is underway that people need to be aware of and prepared for. This new book is a great start.”
Critical factors needed for brain training to work
The most critical factor in determining whether a brain training method works is the extent to which the training “transfers” to benefits in daily life. Building on an analysis of documented examples of brain training techniques that “work” or “transfer,” the new SharpBrains Guide outlines five conditions that must be met for brain training to translate into meaningful real-world improvements:
- The training must engage and exercise a core brain-based capacity that is relevant to real-life outcomes, such as executive attention, working memory, speed of processing and emotional regulation. Many supposed “brain training” games fail to provide any actual “brain training” because they were never really designed to target specific and relevant brain functions.
- It must target a real performance bottleneck – otherwise it is an exercise in vanity similar to building the largest biceps while neglecting crucial muscle groups.
- A minimum “dose” of 15 hours total per targeted brain function, performed over 8 weeks or less, is necessary for real improvement. Training only a few hours across a wide variety of brain functions will not deliver real-world benefits.
- Training must adapt to performance, require effortful attention, and increase in difficulty. This is often a key advantage of computerized “brain training” over pen-and-paper-based options.
- Continued practice is required for continued benefits. The same as you wouldn’t expect to derive lifelong benefits from running a few hours this month and then never exercising again, brain training cannot be sporadic and still be effective. While the minimum dose is just that—a minimum threshold that begins to produce benefits—continued practice, either at a reduced number of hours or as a periodic “booster,” is the final condition for transfer to real-world benefits over time.
The SharpBrains Guide describes in detail specific protocols of the four brain training methodologies that meet these conditions –meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback and cognitive training—and reviews the leading computerized brain training programs based on published evidence and an independent customer satisfaction survey conducted in 2012 with over 3,000 respondents.
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
The Editor’s cat, Fang has appeared in numerous social media posts, but parents are more likely to share videos of their kids.
Cats and kittens seem to get all the attention on the Internet. But research shows that parents are shooting and sharing video more than ever and, for them, their kids are the biggest stars.Magisto research shows that parents are increasingly using video to share their lives—almost as much as photos.
More than half (53 percent) of the parents surveyed take videos so that they can share them, fast approaching the 61 percent who take pictures to share.
PlayScience global research firm and Magisto, the automatic video editing solution that turns everyday videos and photos into movie magic, found that role of video is dramatically changing.
Parents are now using video to shoot and share moments from their everyday lives instead of just special occasions such as weddings or graduations. Video is 300 percent more likely to be shared if the subject is kids, the most often recorded subject, over a “special moment.”
- Sixty percent of parents film at least three videos a month and nearly half (44 percent) of parents share at least three videos a month
- Seventy-eight percent share videos immediately after taking them and 60 percent send their videos on the same day
Eighty-eight percent of parents who shoot videos will share them, even though shooting and sharing a video can be a complex task.
A majority of parents said they would use video even more if it were less difficult and time consuming. In fact, those who already use software solutions that help with editing are twice as likely to take and send videos.
- More than a third of parents (37 percent) would share more videos if there were an easier way to do so
- Approximately one third of parents would take more videos if they had access to an application that would make it easier to edit (35 percent) or share (31 percent) videos
Smartphones can be credited as a large part of the reason for this increase in shooting and sharing videos and pictures, and are now the device of choice for parents when it comes to these activities.
Fifty-three percent of parents are more likely to reach for their smartphone than a traditional video camera when they want to share a video.
“People are turning to video increasingly as a mode of personal communication and actively seeking solutions to simplify video production, sharing and viewing,” said Reid Genauer, CMO of Magisto.
“With eighty three percent of parents looking for a solution to help better produce their videos, its clear that people want to tell their stories rather than merely document their lives for posterity. One barrier to realizing video storytelling for the mass market is simply solving the perception that creating quality videos is still difficult for the average person.”
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
The consumer video devices market is transforming the way users interact with their phones, televisions and computers. The industry is on a remarkably growth spree, driven by soaring consumer demand for a ubiquitous video experience and growing affordability.
A consistent shift toward long-form online video consumption, including live TV, is driving first-time purchases of devices. This is also driving upgrades to higher-end, feature rich devices. However, competition and demand are compelling device manufacturers to discount their prices, globally and regionally.
The Frost & Sullivan Analysis of the Consumer Video Devices Market, finds that 1.2 billion units worth over $360 billion were shipped in 2012. Unit sales expect to nearly triple to 3.1 billion devices by 2017.
“Consumer appetite for online and personalized content, including both on-demand and live TV, anytime and on multiple screens simultaneously, is going to remain the number one driver of the consumer video devices market,” noted Frost & Sullivan Digital Media Industry Manager Avni Rambhia .
Remolding business models
“Internet video disrupted the Pay TV industry once; today, a wide range of consumer video devices – including Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, IP connected devices, set-top boxes, smart phones, and smart TVs – are forcing a remolding of business models across the board.”
Smart phones account for nearly half of total market units currently and will continue to spur market expansion. The rapid adoption of tablets and smart TVs and sustained sales of set-top boxes (including home gateways) are also significant contributors to overall growth.
However, the competition to innovate and differentiate, while still lowering prices, is stressing the market in terms of risk and return on investment.
Price does matter
Regional vendors pose greater competition to global vendors in high growth emerging markets as they continue to improve the quality and reliability of their devices while addressing local price sensitivity. Price-performance is a challenge that needs to be addressed by vendors at a global level and also region-by-region.
“Price does matter to the large majority of consumers, but features and innovation determine early market success,” said Rambhia. “Thus, a strategy that straddles both price and feature sets is most likely to succeed in the long-term.”
Angry Birds is one of the most popular digital games.
Partnerships with content service providers, game developers, and app developers to ensure a total package that will appeal to consumers is key to winning market share in a space where every new generation model has the potential to swing the fortunes of a vendor significantly – one way or another.
“From a service provider perspective, a personalized, convenient, and intuitive user experience is critical to achieving service popularity,” concluded Rambhia. “Vendors who craft compelling services that are consistently available across all major devices will find that users are willing to pay (directly and through ad viewing) for such experiences.”
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) has extended the focus of its third annual Mobile
Commerce Guide to help sectors such as retail, consumer products and utilities companies navigate the new market opportunities that mobile commerce technology and solutions can bring in both developed and emerging markets.
The Mobile Commerce Guide includes articles, case studies, key learnings, views on the competitive landscape and a look at the not too distant future, from over 40 industry leaders, innovators and analysts including the GSMA, Accenture, IDC, MasterCard, Cisco, PayPal, Dutch-Bangla Bank and RBS Citizens.
“Mobile has the power to trigger a fundamental shift in commerce because consumers already live their lives on mobile,” saidDiarmuid Mallon , Global Mobile Marketing Solutions and Programs, SAP. “The insights provided in this year’s Mobile Commerce Guide show how companies can harness mobile to deliver value and provide customers new visibility into the services they use and the payments they make.
Banks are encouraging the unbanked to use their mobile wallets as instruments that allow them to save money and plan their financial futures; mobile operators are sharing infrastructure and best practices to reach and educate customers faster; and as mobile commerce opportunities naturally extend into retail, consumer products and utilities sectors, this guide helps these sectors understand and include mobile in their customer engagement and loyalty initiatives.”
The first and second editions of the guide, released under SAP Mobile Services, a division of SAP, have closely followed the evolution of the mobile commerce business. In 2012, the guide focused on successful deployments of mobile commerce services and the impact of mobile commerce on consumer behavior. The 2011 edition placed greater significance on the transformation of commerce via the “fourth screen” concept of mobile devices.
Download the guide at: sap.com/mobile/commerceguide.
Monday, May 20th, 2013
Jon Rushman, a former managing director at Black Rock, believes that in the long term cyber currencies like Bitcoin could see the end of central banks and foreign exchange and so it is understandable Governments are nervous about it.
The new virtual currency has become progressively more popular since the financial crash and its proponents say it will revolutionise banking.
Its main exchange, Mt Gox, was raided by the US Department of Homeland Security, who usually deal with terrorist threats, last week.
We’ve run several stories about bitcoin and one of its largest US processors at the TechJournal. You can find links to them at the bottom of this article.
Professor Rushman of the UK’s Warwick School of Business, said: “You can understand why Governments are nervous about Bitcoin.
A real place in the future
“It is fascinating. I think Bitcoin or something like it has a real place in the future. Imagine a world where foreign exchange doesn’t exist, monetary policy doesn’t exist, and there is no inflation. Society would be free to use all the talent currently directed to these issues elsewhere. Meanwhile, governments could still raise taxes and borrow but without uncertainty as to the unit of account.
“That seems far-fetched at the moment, but in an ideal world it could happen. Bitcoin is just another medium of exchange. In the same way that the Euro crosses national boundaries and greatly simplifies real trade in continental Europe, cyber currencies like Bitcoin can do the same globally, without the need for a central bank.
“Profits and losses in foreign exchange are made ultimately because of uncertainty around the value of different accounting units. They exist purely because we have structured our affairs into different currencies tied to different governance structures.
“In an idealised world, governing multiple currencies and running a foreign exchange market is unnecessary and wasteful. A global currency managed without a central bank could allow society to do something more productive instead.”
Must tackle regulation issue
For Bitcoin to take hold in the world permanently, Professor Rushman believes it has to tackle the thorny issue of regulation.
“None of the US regulatory authorities have figured how to regulate Bitcoin, as it breaches barriers in our understanding of what a currency is,” said Professor Rushman.
“It is certainly tainted by some speculation that it is used by the criminal underworld, but it is hard to find any evidence that criminals use it more than any other currency.
“Bitcoin needs to work harder on explaining its philosophy and on regulation, they need to do a bit of a charm offensive with the regulators and make them comfortable with it while being true to their principles.”
Monday, May 20th, 2013
Try it, you’ll like it… talk about it and buy it! Keller Fay Group , which conducts word-of-mouth research, today released new findings that support and explain the success of word of mouth marketing driven by an in-person experience.
The research study, “Experience-Driven Word of Mouth: The Key to Powerful Social Marketing” was commissioned by House Party Inc. , a social marketing company.
A lack of solid, projectable research about what motivates consumers to talk about brands — and about the impact of that talk — leaves many marketers to make marketing decisions that fail to fully capitalize on the opportunities that are afforded by today’s highly social marketplace.
This research explores the factors that trigger word of mouth and assesses which have the greatest impact.
Positive brand experience starts conversations
The research finds that the most powerful conversations are started by a positive brand experience, both in terms of quantity and quality. In fact, topline findings show that over 50% of conversations triggered by an in-person experience spark action to pass along and purchase.
For this study, Keller Fay Group looked at the beverage, household product, media & entertainment, technology, and food & dining categories. Results from over 30,000 consumer interviews, ages 13-69, showed:
- Experience-driven earned media sparks the most action, especially when it references the brand’s media/marketing:
- 55% rate it highly likely to spur them to pass it along, 8 points (17%) higher than media/marketing WOM alone.
- 45% rate it highly likely to spur them to seek more info, 8 points (22%) higher than media/marketing WOM alone.
- 56% rate it highly likely to spur them to purchase, 10 points (22%) higher than media/marketing WOM alone.
- After “need,” “good experience” sparks the most earned (17% and 15%, respectively).
- Ads spark just 5%.
- Social media sparks just 3%.
- Experience-driven earned is the most credible
- 63% rate it highly credible – 10 points (19%) higher than media/marketing WOM, at only 53%.
- Over half of experience-driven earned contains strong recommendation to buy/try — 51% of it does, 11 points (28%) more than media/marketing WOM alone
One fast-growing marketer is all over this magic combination. SodaStream, the leader in at-home soda-making, has been shaking up the soft drink market using word of mouth driven by an in-person experience.
According to Kristin Harp, SodaStream U.S.A’s Marketing Manager, “We’ve built our business on word-of-mouth and turbo-charged our campaigns by adding the in-person experience. We have seen that by putting our soda makers and flavors into the homes and hands — and the social networks — of consumers leads to powerful advocacy coupled with sizable lifts in awareness as well as purchase intent.”
Word of mouth provides credibility
According to Brad Fay, COO of Keller Fay Group, “With all the enthusiasm over social media, it is easy to forget that the most powerful WOM starts with a great in-person experience.
While there are many ways to help drive word of mouth, the best is always positive experiences. In fact, 83% of all WOM about products involves someone who has had personal experience with the brand, and without it credibility and likelihood to purchase falls dramatically.”
The research in this white paper comes from Keller Fay Group’s TalkTrack®, a national syndicated program measuring word of mouth in all forms — face-to-face, over the phone, and digitally via texting, social networking sites, and email. Daily WOM volume and metrics in this white paper are based on interviews collected April 2012 – January 2013. During this time 31,108 interviews were completed among people 13 to 69.
Monday, May 20th, 2013
Based on polling more than 500 restaurant decision makers, including 152 who have participated in daily deal campaigns, and taking into consideration what prior research has shown, Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) and the National Restaurant Association are providing restaurateurs with some of the top tactics for success with daily deal marketing campaigns.
While these tactics are specific to restaurants, we think almost any retailer can gain insight into what makes daily deals work from them.
Here’s an infographic illustrating the findings:
Research shows that best practices for restaurateurs to help ensure daily deal success include:
- Prepare staff to focus on customer service, look for upsell opportunities and track offer redemption
- Schedule daily deal timing based on business needs and seasonality
- Estimate and understand the promotion’s impact on profitability
- Measure success by using free tools provided by daily deal company
- Encourage repeat visitors with a customer loyalty program
Results from the recent online survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT showed restaurateurs who had successful daily deal experiences stood out as experimental marketers that use a variety of different channels and tactics to drive customer acquisition and retention:
- 94 percent engage with customers via social media (vs. 75 percent of non-daily deal users)
- 77 percent have run more than one daily deal
- 73 percent connect with customers via email (vs. 59 percent of non-daily deal users)
- 79 percent monitor online review sites to see what others are saying about their business (vs. 68 percent of non-daily deal users)
- 71 percent have promoted their business with traditional newspaper and magazine ads (vs. 58 percent of non-daily deal users)
“Daily deals remain a very popular form of marketing for our members, and these are some important steps restaurateurs can take to help ensure a greater return on their investment,” said Julia Kanouse, VP, Strategic Marketing, National Restaurant Association.
“This study reveals how daily deals and the analytical tools that Groupon provides have become a powerful and measurable part of an active restaurateur’s marketing mix,” said Sanjay Gupta, VP, Merchant Marketing, Groupon.
Groupon and the National Restaurant Association have an ongoing partnership to provide restaurateurs with educational content and important marketing resources to help their businesses grow. This content will reside on www.grouponworks.com andhttp://www.restaurant.org.
Monday, May 20th, 2013
A large and sophisticated cyber-attack infrastructure appears to have originated from India, says a new report from Norman Shark, the global security leader in malware analysis solutions for enterprises, service providers and government.
The attacks, conducted by private threat actors over a period of three years and still ongoing, showed no evidence of state-sponsorship but the primary purpose of the global command-and-control network appears to be intelligence gathering from a combination of national security targets and private sector companies.
“The data we have appears to indicate that a group of attackers based in India may have employed multiple developers tasked with delivering specific malware,” commented Snorre Fagerland, head of research for Norman Shark labs in Oslo, Norway.
Extreme diversity of sectors targeted
“The organization appears to have the resources and the relationships in India to make surveillance attacks possible anywhere in the world. What is surprising is the extreme diversity of the sectors targeted, including natural resources, telecommunications, law, food and restaurants, and manufacturing. It is highly unlikely that this organization of hackers would be conducting industrial espionage for just its own purposes—which makes this of considerable concern.”
While it’s probably unrelated, here at the TechJournal, we had to block India’s access due to continued and repeated attacks on our WordPress blog (that you’re reading right now). We regret that, because we also received legitimate traffic from India. We also had to block China, Hong Kong and Russia. Anyone else finding continual attacks from these countries?
The investigation revealed evidence of professional project management practices used to design frameworks, modules, and subcomponents. It seems that individual malware authors were assigned certain tasks, and components were “outsourced” to what appear to be freelance programmers. “Something like this has never been documented before,” Fagerland added.
The discovery is currently under investigation by national and international authorities.
The discovery began on March 17th when a Norwegian newspaper reported that Telenor, one of the world’s largest mobile phone operators, a member of the world’s top 500 companies, and Norway’s major telecommunications company, had filed a criminal police case for an unlawful computer intrusion. Spear phishing emails targeting upper management appeared to be the source of the infection.
The behavior pattern and file structure of malware files made it possible, for security analysts at Norman Shark, to search internal and public databases for similar cases utilizing Norman’s Malware Analyzer G2 automatic analysis systems.
The amount of malware found by Norman analysts and their partners was surprisingly large and it became clear the Telenor intrusion was not a single attack, but part of a continuous effort to compromise governments and corporations worldwide.
Norman Shark titled the report “Operation Hangover” after one of the cyber espionage malwares most frequently used in this case.
Victims in more than a dozen countries
Based on an analysis of IP addresses collected from criminal data stores discovered during the investigation, it appears that potential victims have been targeted in more than a dozen countries. Specific targets include government, military and business organizations.
Attribution to India was based on an extensive analysis of IP addresses, website domain registrations, and text-based identifiers contained within the malicious code itself.
Despite all of the recent media attention on so-called “zero day” exploits encompassing brand new attack methods, Operation Hangover appears to have relied on well-known, previously identified vulnerabilities in Java, Word documents, and web browsers.
“This type of activity has been associated primarily with China over the past several years but to our knowledge, this is the first time that evidence of cyber espionage has shown to be originating from India,” Fagerland concluded. “Our study, available on the Norman website (www.norman.com) provides assistance in what security teams need to look for.”
Friday, May 17th, 2013
Mother’s Day online shopping grew 15 percent in the week leading up to Mother’s Day, compared to the same time period last year.
Spurred by mobile commerce, mobile percentage of sales reached 17 percent, according to IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) Digital Analytics Benchmark, a cloud-based analysis of the online retail market.
Here at the TechJournal, we see this as more evidence that digital shopping – and particularly mobile – is the future of retail.
With the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimating Mother’s Day sales reaching $20 billion this year, retailers made it easier for consumers to buy for mom through their smartphones and tablets.
According to IBM’s Benchmark, mobile commerce led the way this Mother’s Day. In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, consumers flocked to their mobile devices, with mobile traffic reaching 25 percent, an increase of 43 percent year over year, with the Apple iPhone and iPad as the consumer shopping devices of choice.
As retailers are making it easier for mobile shoppers to browse and buy with a tap of a finger, customizing mobile apps and web sites for on-the-go consumers, the mobile customer experience has become a top priority for retailers looking to streamline the buying process.
In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, mobile shoppers browsed and completed purchases in three-and-a-half minutes, while desktop users took twice as long, more than six minutes, to complete their shopping session.
That three and a half minute shopping experience for mobile is an eye-opener. Does your mobile app let someone make a purchase that quickly and easily? The six-minute mark for desktop online shopping seems reasonable, although when we know what we’re looking for, it doesn’t take more than a minute at one-click sites such as Amazon.
As merchants continue to invest in upgrading support for digital shopping channels, retailers are designing for a MobileFirst market by simplifying the client experience and deepening connections to consumers.
Key findings from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark:
- In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, online shopping grew by 15 percent, with average order value reaching $209, representing a four percent increase compared to the same period last year.
- Department store sales grew by more than 20 percent in the week leading up to Mother’s Day compared to the same period last year. Retailers simplified the digital buying experience for customers, with iPad conversions increasing dramatically by more than 315 percent, with iPhone conversions increasing 184 percent.
- In the three weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, online jewelry sales steadily increased, nearly tripling with a 180.6 percent increase in that same period. In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, mobile traffic reached 42 percent, up almost 59 percent over 2012. Mobile sales reached 48 percent, an increase of 38 percent compared to 2012.
- Online sales of gifts including flowers and chocolates more than doubled the week just before Mother’s Day compared to the week before, an increase of 140 percent. Mobile percentage of sales was up 109 percent, reaching 28 percent and mobile site traffic was up 95 percent, reaching 34 percent, in the week leading up to Mother’s Day, compared to the same period last year.
- In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, health and beauty sales were up 40 percent compared to the same time last year, with similar mobile commerce gains. Mobile percentage of sales reached 18 percent, a gain of 16.4 percent, with mobile traffic reaching 27 percent, up 33 percent over last year.
By analyzing these trends, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), sales, e-commerce and customer loyalty executives can better understand and respond to the needs of customers in terms what and how they prefer to buy.