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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Flashy mobile free-prize messages creep out consumers

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

By Matthew Swayne-Penn State

Mobile devicesGimmicky contest ads and flashy free-prize messages appear to be an instant turnoff for mobile users, researchers say.

In a study, a tempting offer of a free-prize drawing for registering on a mobile website led users to distrust the site, said S. Shyam Sundar, Distinguished Professor of Communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory. S. Shyam Sundar, a communications professor at Penn State.

Sundar said that in an increasingly information-loaded world, people tend to lean on cues, such as icons and messages, for decision-making shortcuts, called heuristics. However, some cues may elicit user reaction in the opposite direction of what most marketers would anticipate.

“Even though we turn to our mobile devices for instantly gratifying our need for information, we may not be persuaded by advertising appeals for instant gratification,” he said.

  Raises red flags


“It’s a boomerang effect—marketers may think that they are activating the instant gratification heuristic when they display time-sensitive offers, but what they’re actually doing is cuing red flags about the site.”

“It could be that an instant gratification message makes mobile users, who tend to be more tech savvy, leery about the site,” said Sundar.

Even though free-prize ads are ubiquitous on the internet, marketers may want to seek other ways to reach mobile customers, according to the researchers.

The researchers, who presented their findings at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, also tested a warning cue that seemed to prompt more conflicting reactions from users, says Sundar.

Four mobile sites tested

The researchers recruited 220 participants to test four different mobile sites. The participants were first asked to navigate to a mobile site. One site included a caution symbol and a security warning that the site was insecure and another site contained a gift box icon with a message that the user could win a free prize for registering.

A third site showed both a warning and an instant gratification message, and a fourth site, which featured neither alerts, served as the control in the study. Except for these cues, all other content in the four sites was identical.

Participants could choose how much or how little personal, professional, financial, or social media information they provided in the registration form, which served as a measure of their information disclosure behaviors. After registering, they filled out an online questionnaire about their impressions of the mobile website.

When a security alert—a caution icon with a warning message—appeared, users became more worried about security, as expected. However, users were willing to reveal more information about their social media accounts after viewing the security prompt.

The privacy paradox

One possible explanation for this behavior is that the security cue makes the users distinguish more carefully between public and private information.

“People may feel that the social media information is already public information, not necessarily private information, and they are not as concerned about revealing social media information,” said Sundar.

“The ‘privacy paradox’ of giving away information when we are most concerned about its safety may not be all that paradoxical if you consider that the information we give away is not quite private.”

Source: Penn State


For insights into mobile and digital technology, marketing and much more, join top thought leaders from brands that include Google, Yahoo, and Twitter – as well tech icon Steve Wozniak at the upcoming Digital Summit Atlanta, May 20-21.

Keeping it together: brand message across social media

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

By Ben Laube


social media logosDeveloping and representing your brand effectively on social media is one of the most important tasks to consider when jumping into social media marketing.  By doing so, you bring brand awareness and cohesiveness to your audience to build familiarity and trust.

Representing your brand on social media is fairly simple as long as your business has its ideals and image secured.  On multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, you’re able to upload cover photos.  It’s important to use the same concept of design in each cover photo for visual brand cohesiveness.

Though some dimension variations of the photos have to be taken into consideration due to the sizing limitations of each network, having the same graphic concept will help people remember your brand.  It’s called “Social Branding.”  Make sure your logos are consistent across the profiles, as well.

 Ensure your brand’s voice

The next step is ensuring your brand’s “voice” is heard throughout the text of the page, as well as in the posts.  If you’re a financial brand, you shouldn’t be using slang terms and Internet abbreviations such as “LOL and “JK.”  Establish a voice that clearly defines who you are and the culture of your company. Remember, social media is essentially your online persona and face; let it represent who you are.

Having a cohesive social content strategy is another facet to strongly consider. What are you posting?  How often are you posting?  Are you posting the same content to specific profiles?  Take a step back and decide how and what you want to post.  Social media is about being social.  You never want to bombard followers with promotion after promotion after promotion. Ask them questions; find out their opinions.  Engagement is key: talking at your followers rather than talking to them is the quickest way to lose your following.

With the vast array of social networks out there, it can be a bit confusing as to which ones your brand should be on.  You have to think strategically, and find the best fit to represent your brand.

Many companies now believe they have to be on every single platform, but not every platform is right for every business.  Here’s a quick rundown of the top platforms, what they do, and how they can be utilized by all brands:

Facebook:  Facebook is basically the home base of all social media today.  No matter the industry, your business needs a Facebook Page to interact with your customers and build a relationship.


twitterbirdTwitter:  Twitter is the popular microblogging (140 characters or less) platform that allows users to reach out to others and find people with the same interests easily.  It’s also a fantastic news outlet to syndicate your brand’s press, ideas and thoughts to the world.


Google+:  Google+ is essentially the Google version of Facebook, but does have great collaborative abilities such as Google hangouts.  Google Hangouts is a new messaging, video, chat, file sharing platform created by Google which is great for collaboration.  In addition to being free unlike other services (Skype), Google Hangouts integrates well within your other Google apps and allows you to easily share information.  Also, all Google+ posts are indexed by Google and show up in their search results.


linkedinLinkedIn:  LinkedIn is the professional social media hotspot.  This is where you can represent yourself and your business in a professional manner, building connections and further expanding your company’s outreach.


With those four main social networks being utilized by all brands, there are other popular platforms that many not suit every brand.


PinterestPinterest:  Pinterest is a fantastic way to share and explore creative ideas and visuals.  However, if your brand isn’t a visually heavy concept; Pinterest may not work for you.


Instagram/Vine:  Instagram and Vine are the mobile social network sensations that rely strictly on pictures and videos.  If your brand doesn’t produce images, products, etc – these networks may leave you with lackluster results.


Now that you’ve chosen your networks, your social strategy and how to represent your brand online, here are few tips to ensure a positive social environment for your audience.


1 – Engage your followers with contests, questions, comments or provoking thoughts.

2 – Post on a regular basis

3 – Choose what type of content is most appropriate for your brand, and limit the confusion of posting anything and everything



1 – Over promote yourself.  Remember, if you were talking to someone face to face and all they did was promote their business to you, it wouldn’t go over well.  The same goes for social media.  There is a healthy ratio we like to follow of 60% Conversation/Engagement and 40% Promotion.  A healthy balance to keep your followers interested.

2 – Over post.  It’s great to share quality content on a regular basis, but don’t post every hour.  Remember, these posts show up in people’s news feeds and can be seen as “spam.”

3 – Don’t trash/criticize other brands on social media. It’s important to keep your brand’s online reputation and image seen in a positive light.  Trash talking your competitors will only hurt you and turn your followers away.

About the Author:

Ben Laube is President and Founder of POLR Marketing, a growth marketing technology company. To learn more about POLR Marketing, visit

For more insights into social media and tech best practices, take-aways from top brand execs from Google, Bing, Huffington Post among many others, not to mention the wisdom of Apple co-founder and Mac creator, Steve Wozniak, consider joining hundreds of others at the region’s largest annual digital conference, the Digital Summit in Atlanta, May 20-21.


Relevance is key to social marketing of IHG’s hotels

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Nick Ayres

Nick Ayres

By Allan Maurer

Relevance is a key element in digital content from the International Hotel Group (IHG). So says IHG’s Director of Social Marketing, Nick Ayres.

One of the world’s leading hotel companies, with 161 million guests nights per year, 687,000 rooms in over 4,600 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world.

Ayres is among more than 100 thought-leaders, executives, and technology icons participating in the Digital Summit Atlanta May 20-21.

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organization with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts.

The first consideration

In its social media marketing efforts, Ayres says, “As we focus on content creation and curation, our first consideration is guest relevance.” Sometimes, he adds, that means “Walking a fine line between what’s important to us as a brand and what our guests find interesting. We look for that sweet spot where the two overlap.”

So, they’re not prone to posting a lot of crazy cat pictures, he notes. Instead, they post items about destinations or tidbits about our brand that might not be front and center.”

In general, he says, as most marketers have found, “Visual is more engaging than text. The photos we share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram perform way better than text.”


The historic Intercontinental Willard in DC.

Not surprisingly, people love posts about beautiful beach destinations. In other cases, the company’s landmark hotels, such as the Intercontinental Willard in Washington, DC, have historical and cultural relevance that make interesting material for posts.

Don’t be company centric

He advises that social media marketers avoid being “company centric.” “Work with your partners to find interesting content.” IHG’s Crown Plaza, for instance, has a partnership with the PGA  that leads to good content.

They also look for unusual elements of their properties – several of their hotel groups are pet friendly, for instance, while some of their Holiday Express hotels have pancake makers. “We found a way to discuss the pancake maker,” Ayres says. “Little nuggets of content can add personality and flare to the brand.”

He says they also target geographically, aiming content at the demographics as well as the psychographics of their customers.”






Three tips on starting a successful loyalty program

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Loyalty program word cloudSo, you’re thinking about boosting your business through a loyalty program. How do you establish a successful one?

Randal McCoy, CEO of Atlanta’s GetOneRewards offered Yahoo Small Business these tips:

First: Consider what rewards you will offer. Instead of just giving away freebies, make shoppers work for their reward by giving up information, buying something or visiting a store.

Second: Start with a basic, the punch card. Most of us have carried punch cards from one business or another around with us (I have one from a second hand bookstore and another from a Subway shop). They have drawbacks (a customer has to have the card with them, but if the incentives are good enough, they’ll hold on to them).

Third: Make employees and customers aware of the awards you’re offering. Make sure your employees know how your program works and what they must do to make it work. Also make sure your customers know about it.

For more about GetOne Rewards, see our previous story: Atlanta’s GetOne Rewards takes loyalty programs digital

For insights and instant take-aways on digital marketing, SEO, design and much more from thought-leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs from top brands such as Google, Bing, the Huffington Post, and many others – including Apple co-founder and Mac inventor Steve Woziak, consider attending TechMedia’s Digital Summit Atlanta May 20-21. It’s the largest such gathering in the region and features more than 100 speakers.



“King of Social” to keynote 2013 Internet Summit in Raleigh

Monday, August 26th, 2013
Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk

Get ready for action: best-selling author and e-commerce marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuk returns to keynote the 2013 Internet Summit at the Raleigh Convention Center November 12-13.

Vaynerchuk, called “the king of social media,” rocks an event crowd with his powerhouse energy, sharp humor, and non-stop insights into how to market using today’s tools.

Vaynerchuk had the audience with him at IS 2012 as he explained his concept of the “Thank-You Economy,” the title of one of his best-selling books.

A massive cultural shift

Social media is part of a “massive cultural shift,” and marketers better pay attention, Vaynerchuk told the crowd that packed all three ballrooms at the Internet Summit that year.

He grabbed the audience with a funny but take-away laced talk that filled the Twittersphere with praise for his performance. He speaks primarily from actual experience with his highly successful site and his own social media marketing, not from theory. His message regarding social media is that engagment, not sell, sell, sell, is the key.

“But no one wants you to pound their commercial down their throat on their Facebook page,” he said the 2011 IS.
“Most businesses are not good at social media and they make the same mistake a 19-year-old dude makes talking to a woman the first time. They try to close in their first conversation.”

Vaynerchuk has appeared on numerous national television programs as a wine and marketing expert, including Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Today Show, The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Dr. Oz Show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, CNN’s Your $$$$, and CNBC’s Power Lunch.

More than 100 thought-leaders headed to Raleigh

He’ll join more than 100 other speakers at this year’s event, the premiere digital marketing conference in the Research Triangle.

Other speakers confirmed for this year’s Internet Summit include:

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of reddit and author of “Without Their Permission.”

Brian Herd, Director of Southeast, Twitter. Herd, who began his career at Yahoo in 1990 won the firm’s “Super Star” award in 2001 and is currently responsible for all Southeastern revenue and business relationships for Twitter.

Simon Heseltine

Simon Heseltine

Simon Heseltine, director of Audience Development, TechCrunch/Huffington Post/AOL. Simon and his team are responsible for organic search, social and training across all AOL properties, including TechCrunch, HuffingtonPost and Heseltine spoke about “Search and SEO,” at the DallasSummit, another TechMedia event, last year.

Duane Forester, Senior Product Manager, Bing. Forester has 15 years experience in search and social and is the author of How To Make Money With Your Blog and Turn Clicks Into Customers, through McGraw-Hill.

Those are only a few of the speakers already confirmed. See the full list here.

Register early for the best event rate and reserve your seat. The event, which draws 2,000, generally sells out.

Which digital marketing techniques work best in each industry?

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

email graphicWhich digital marketing tactics work best in the travel industry? For clothing retailers? For selling vehicles? In media and entertainment? A new survey by Lyris, Inc. (LYRI), conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), shows differences in digital marketing strategies and consumer preferences across industries. The survey also indicates what consumers want from brands in different industries and what is influencing their purchasing decisions.

The EIU industry survey executive summary can be viewed here

Key Findings:

Travel: Email Ranks Highest for Initial Product Introduction

  • For initial purchasing decision for travelers, email ranks the highest channel of influence (37%).
  • Cultivating influencers is a leading marketing objective (20%), likely due to personal referrals among travelers, which has the largest influence at final assessment (31%).
  • Strategies have shifted from disseminating messages across multiple touch points (reduced from 32.5% to 15%) toward conducting deep analysis of consumer data (from 17.5% to 30%); 87% deem data analysis very important or moderately important.
  • Marketing executives cite repeat purchases and value of the transaction as moderately or very important (85%). Not surprising, given 77% of consumers seek travel price comparisons.

Clothing Retailers: Consumers Want a More Tailored Shopping Experience

  • 66% of consumers say that many personalized messages are annoying because “attempts at personalization are superficial.”
  • 71% of consumers said they receive so many messages that use of their name no longer makes a difference. However, when they receive a message that includes details of previous transactions or other personal details, 25% say they take it more seriously.
  • 75% of consumers seek information about pricing/promotions through branded digital channels over third party sites; not surprising, considering the clothing retail market is very price driven.
  • Expanding/diversifying the customer base has grown in priority to 33% compared to 24% five years ago.

Banking: Big Focus on Customer Retention

  • As banks try to regain trust, customer retention is now cited as the top marketing goal (42%), a significant jump from 23% five years ago (and much higher than the all industry average of 28%).
  • 6% of consumers prefer to engage with banking brands using mobile apps, which is double the all-industry average, yet investment is less than in other industries.
  • Banking lags behind other industries in moving beyond personalization to individualized offers, with difficulty interpreting Big Data cited as the biggest obstacle (44%).

Automotive: Among Top Users of Consumer Data Analytics

  • hi-tech carAutomotive is the most advanced industry in integrating different sources of data and in predictive analytics.
  • Among automotive executives there is an increased emphasis on individualized offers (up from 13% five years ago to 50% today – 10% higher than all-industry average which is 40%), most likely as a result of the high value of the purchase.
  • Social media/blogs rank second highest after websites and personal referrals for purchase influence; automotive is also the most invested in branded social media, with 45% of respondents citing a 25% investment of their budget.

Entertainment: Trailing Other Industries in Digital Marketing Investment

  • Online channels are seen as the most important, yet surprisingly executives are investing very little in branded social media pages (56% invest only 1-10% of their budgets) and similarly for mobile (66% invest only 1-10% of their marketing budgets).
  • Marketing executives in entertainment have increased their focus on retaining customers and investing more in deep analysis of consumer data (from 20% five years ago to 27% today) and, subsequently, marketers are also presenting more individualized offers (cited by 46% of executives, up from 26% five years ago).

Media: Takes Shotgun Approach to Awareness with Reduced Investment in Consumer Analysis

  • 45% list the ability to use data analysis to extract predictive findings as a key marketing skill. However, the importance of conducting deep analysis of consumer data has fallen by 7% over the last five years.
  • Email (28%) is the second preferred method for consumers to engage with brands in the media industry, subsequently, 12% of marketing executives spend 76-100% of their budgets on email.
  • 74% of media marketing executives say online channels have gained importance for building brand awareness, which could explain why disseminating messages across multiple touch points is their most important marketing strategy (38% today, compared to 21% five years ago).

More small businesses using social media but most unconcerned about customer data

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

social mediaMore small businesses are taking to social media, according to Newtek Business Services, NASDAQ: NEWT, The Small Business Authority, with a portfolio of over 100,000 business accounts.

Newtek says 57 percent of more than 2,000 businesses it polled  have a Twitter or Facebook account. The findings from last year compared to this year show 10 percent  more business owners are using social media.

The poll also reveals a potential problem. Only 30 percent of those polled are concerned about Twitter or Facebook using their clients’ data. That reminds of how cavalierly restaurants and other retail businesses often treated credit card receipts and point-of-service records, which often had unfortunate results.

The full July 2013 results showed the following:

Poll Question Poll Answer 2013 Percentage
Does your business have a

Twitter or Facebook account?

Yes 57%
No 43%
Are you concerned about Twitter or

Facebook using your client data?

Yes 30%
No 70%

Barry Sloane, Chairman, President and CEO of The Small Business Authority commented, “Our poll recognizes that not only do small businesses underutilize a great marketing tool in social media, most do not worry about the risks or trade off inherent in social media. We do see a year-over-year increase in total utilization of social media by 10 prcent.

“This is a good trend for small business, however we are amazed that, while consumers are outraged at the concept of the federal government having access to personal phone and internet data, businesses and consumers regularly share their most sensitive information such as customer lists and other data with Google, Facebook and Apple while using “free” social media services. Further education in the use of these tools should broaden their usage and educate independent business owners about its positives and negatives.”

Five tips on using blogs and ebooks to drive sales

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

contentmarketingIf you write it, will they really come? Today’s marketing directors and VPs know they need to create regular blogs and eBooks for their marketing programs and SEO, but with increasingly shrinking resources, where do you start and how do you keep up a pace that makes a difference and helps drive traffic? And equally important, most people understand blogs, but how do eBooks fit into the marketing mix?

“Simply put, ebooks are an evolution of the old white paper, but they’re way more user-friendly and not weighed down with lots of data,” says Rachel Christianson, director of fulfillment at social media marketing company HipLogiq. Christianson works with HipLogiq’s customers to produce eContent and manages a team that produces more than 250 blogs and eBooks a month for clients. And, she helps patrol opportunities on Twitter to help distribute the pieces directly to interested customers.

Driving leads, meeting goals

“Blogs and eBooks are an active aggressive part of any campaign, and clearly play a strategic part in driving leads and meeting strategy goals,” says Christianson. “One of our clients is currently yielding a 28 percent conversion rate on their offer landing page solely from traffic coming in from the blog. Another is yielding a 46 percent conversion rate on their eBook downloads coming from blog traffic alone. In fact, their entire HipLogiq campaign, including Twitter conversations, blogs and eBooks, has generated 824 leads.”

“These days, when people have a question, they turn to the internet,” Christianson says. “When someone has a question, Google answers it with your eBook or blog. You aren’t directly selling your product or service, but providing help around a topic related to your industry, therefore instilling brand loyalty. It’s a great way to get consumers to take a closer look at your product or service and try it.”

Whether you’re working on a blog or eBook, remember Christianson’s easy five:

1. Crisp, concise content. In the age of tweets and text messages, people are looking for information, and they want it quick. Make sure your blogs don’t get too lengthy. If you have more info to share, consider the way you format it. Make it easy to find information throughout if someone is just skimming your text.
2. Lists, tips, how to’s and questions. The HipLogiq team has found that blog posts and eBooks formatted in these styles receive more views, shares and “likes” on Facebook. Think of these as the modern day self-help manual.
3. Clear call-to-actions. Readers have read your content, now what? You must have a clear call-to-action to get them to take the next step. For example, “Liked what you read? Contact us for more info” or “Want to learn more, sign up here!”
4. Personality. Your content should have a “voice.” And that voice should reflect the personality of your business. You don’t want there to be any disconnect.
5. Relevant content. Sure, you may have an opinion on the latest election, but if your business isn’t politics, you shouldn’t talk about it. Make sure your content aligns with the overall goals of your business.

To help with topics, Christianson says to put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Someone is at home trying to fix a leaky sink, and they jump online looking for a step-by-step do it yourself. A quick Google search might bring them to a tool company’s website that has a library of home repair eBooks. Or a hospital might have a web section with eBooks on different health topics.

“Hard copy manuals and brochures will probably always be around, but increasingly, a large number of customers are migrating to online resources,” says Bernard Perrine, CEO and co-founder of HipLogiq. “And if you aren’t online, you are missing those customers. Blogs and eBooks give businesses an easy way to connect with customers online. If someone hits Google, Facebook or Twitter with a question, your brand needs to be poised, ready to provide information.”

What is the biggest marketing mistake you can make?

Friday, July 19th, 2013

By Marsha Friedman


Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman

Recently, a colleague asked me, “What was the most rewarding mistake you ever made in business?”

It’s a great question, and I quickly had an answer for him because it was an incredibly painful mistake. However, it proved to be an invaluable lesson that has served me well in the years since. I’m sharing so perhaps you can learn it the easy way.

The lesson: Don’t ever stop marketing because you think you’ve reached the point where you don’t need to. And, secondarily, believe the old adage that warns, “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.”

There’s a story, of course.

Don’t stop

Years ago, my public relations company connected with a large publishing house that served many prestigious authors. The first few of its authors we accepted as clients had such successful campaigns, we quickly became the publicity firm of record for this publisher. I thought we’d tapped the mother load! The publisher kept a steady stream of clients flowing to us, and eventually, they became about 80 percent of our business.

We were so focused on delivering for these authors that we became much less focused on getting our company name out to prospective new clients. We slowly stopped marketing. Our newsletters ground to a halt. We didn’t waste time networking. We quit our efforts to get the same publicity for our company that we get for clients. Why bother? We didn’t need new clients!

We had a whole basket full of beautiful perfect eggs and we were happily skipping along with it.

And then … it broke.

The publisher ran into some serious problems with its investors and the business came crashing down. And guess who almost went with it?

Our eggs were cooked.

Terrible but powerful experience

Faced with only a few clients and no prospects, we got busy fast and cranked up the marketing department (me!) again. It took awhile to regain the momentum we’d lost but, thankfully, we had a side business that could help pay the bills in the interim. Slowly but surely (this was before the age of social media, which really speeds things up), we built up a new list of prospects and clients – only this time from a diverse array of sources.

It was a terrible but powerful experience that demonstrated very clearly: No matter how great things seem to be going, you never stop marketing. It needs to be a constant hum because if that hum stops, you know there will be a big problem ahead.

I stopped marketing because I thought I had all the clients I needed. Over the years I’ve seen others make the same mistake but for different reasons. Here are a few:

One great publicity hit is a really bad reason to stop marketing. I’ve talked to people who believed if we could just get them on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (before 2011) or “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” that was all they’d need. They’d be done. Yes, a big national show can give you a tremendous launch, but you won’t keep soaring unless you do something to stay in the public eye. I guarantee you, there are plenty of people you never heard of who got their “big break” and then disappeared because they stopped marketing.

Most of us won’t get those huge hits – and that’s not a reason to stop, either. I haven’t been on “Oprah” but I often hear from prospective clients that I or my business was recommended to them by someone I’ve never met and don’t know. That’s what good, sustained marketing does. It may not always create fireworks, but that doesn’t mean it’s not working for you.

Yesterday’s story is old news. Look for fresh new ways to stay in the public eye. The publicity you get today can continue to work for you online, but eventually, it’s going to be old news. We encourage our clients to post links to their publicity on their websites; it shows visitors that they have credibility with the media. But if those visitors see only publicity and testimonials that are five or 10 years old, they’re going to wonder why no one’s been interested in you more recently.

Just as I put all my eggs in one basket by relying on one source for clients, it’s also a mistake to rely on just one marketing tool. Maximize the reach of the publicity you get in traditional media by sharing it on social media. Put a blog, or other content you can renew and refresh, on your website. Write a book. Do speaking engagements (for free, if necessary). Your audience is likely not all huddled together in one corner of the world. To reach them, use a variety of marketing tools.

Whatever it is you’re promoting – your business, your product, your book, yourself – keep the momentum going. If you want people to know you’re out there, you have to stay out there.

Marsha Friedman is a 23-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (, a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to businesses, professional firms, entertainers and authors. Marsha is the author of Celebritize Yourself and she can also be heard weekly on her Blog Talk Radio Show, EMSI’s PR Insider every Thursday at 3 p.m. EST. Follow her on Twitter: @marshafriedman.

Where are the most desirable consumers? On mobile

Monday, July 15th, 2013

mobile devicesWhile many new markets related to technology show slowing growth year over year, that is not the case with mobile advertising, according to  new research from Mintel.

The Mintel study shows  that three in four (76%) of mobile web users in the US have seen an ad in the past month, including 91% of 18-24-year-olds and 83% of those aged 25-34, a total audience of about half (49%) of all adults (when those without smartphones or Internet access are taken into consideration).

“Typically, nascent markets related to technology show slowing growth each year,” says Billy Hulkower, senior analyst, technology and media at Mintel. ”

However, in the case of mobile ads, consumers will still be acquiring their first smartphones and tablets through 2015, suggesting that sales growth deceleration will not occur at the same pace that would be seen for a hardware market—instead, sales may accelerate further as the audience for mobile media expands.”

As you might expect, the ads most commonly viewed are banners. About half of the 18-34 olds saw mobile display ads in an app, banner, or mobile game, and about four in 10 also saw a video ad or heard an Internet radio ad in the last month.

That actually sounds low to us. If you use a streaming digital radio service such as Pandora, you’re likely to hear an Internet radio ad every time you tune in. And many online videos run their ad roll before you can see what you came for, so they’re increasingly common.

Mobile: where the most desirable consumers are

mobilephones“The majority of adults and teens now own a smartphone, including more than three-quarters of the youngest adults and highest-income groups. Advertisers may feel squeamish about the personal nature of the phone and its small screen size, but it is now where the most desirable consumer audiences lie. 

“Growth is likely to continue rising rapidly as more consumers adopt both smartphones and tablets, with the late majority boarding these hardware platforms for the first time.” Billy Hulkower said.

Furthermore, it seems mobile couponing in particular presents a clear opportunity for driving sales via mobile ads. About one in six adults (18%) have redeemed a mobile coupon, including over 20% of respondents from households with more than $100K in annual income.

Want to increase mobile ad viewership? Mintel says giving mobile consumers free access to streaming media or apps that usually require a small fee can potentially boost ad viewing substantially. More than one in four (28%) mobile web users are willing to receive ads that support free usage of a mobile app, with this sentiment distributed somewhat evenly across age groups (albeit favoring 18-24-year-olds where the willingness increases to 34%).

Marketers: how to reach the teenage audience (infographic)

Monday, July 15th, 2013

student with mobileIf you want your marketing to appeal to teens who might become brand customers for life, a new study by digital marketing agency iProspect suggests you have to find content that helps them say something about themselves and prompts them to share it. Where and how you deliver the content is much less important than the message.

The study found that while 90 percent of teens view television as the top source of entertainment information, they’re also watching programming on Netflix, YouTube, and other channels where they can watch on their own schedules.

A fragmented social ecosystem

But they share their thoughts and feelings via a somewhat fragmented “social ecosystem” that presents an opportunity for brands to reach them.

“Even with the exponential growth of new media channels, it’s not the particular app or platform that teens are loyal to, it’s the content,” said Danielle Smith, group account director, iProspect. “Marketers need to focus on developing the most relevant content that helps teens make a statement about themselves or pushes them to share with others.

“To do so, we recommend that brands create visual messages that can be consumed quickly on social networks, where nearly 80 percent of teens get entertainment information. Brands also should develop humorous messaging or cause marketing to spark interest, and crowdsource projects when possible to encourage a sense of belonging among teens.”

It recommends marketers:

Be flexible and fast. Tweak and test. Move quickly

Be current. How are teens messaging about current trends?

Always crowdsource: help teens feel connected to unique groups.

Spark their interest. Use humor, cause marketing.

Create visual messages they can consumer (and share) quickly.

Personally, we think those constitute good advice for digital marketing in general, not just to teens.

Here’s an infographic on the study findings: (click link for the full infographic)

Digital ad pricing still mystifies many in the advertising industy

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Digital marketingWhile digital advertising ranks second only to TV now and is critical to any comprehensive marketing effort, many advertising and marketing pros apparently don’t understand digital ad costs nearly as well as they do TV.

Tarrytown, NY-based SQAD, which reports and forecasts real cost advertising data, conducted a survey of ad and marketing pros that revealed a majority (58%) could correctly identify the prime-time TV show with the higherst 30-second ad price (American Idol), but three quarters could not identify the website category with the highest cost per thousand in 2012 (Finance/insurance/investment).

Most of those polled thought the Entertainment category had the highest CPM, but it actually is less than half the CPM of the Finance/insurance/investment category at an average of $9.50 vs. $22. The Finance/Insurance and Investment category features notable sites such as CNNMoney,, Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.

“We are finding that many ad buyers are still in the dark about how much they should be paying for display ads, despite the proliferation of online advertising over the past decade. The opposite is true with broadcast advertising,” said Neil Klar, CEO of SQAD.


There is a solution to this, SQAD suggests.

“The industry needs to make display ad costs more transparent so advertisers can make the right the marketing decisions.”

Top ten viral infographics in June focus on Google, the Internet, Facebook

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Infographics fit the Internet’s image-friendly ecosystem so well that many go viral and appear on multiple social networks, news sites and blogs. We’ve seen many hit our monthly top ten story list here at the TechJournal. Now,  Customer Magnetism, a digital marketing agency headquartered in Virginia Beach, has released the winners of its “Top Ten Most Viral Infographics” for the month of June, 2013.

Customer Magnetism used the total number of likes and shares from the social media signals of Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Facebook to rank the infographics.


Technology and the Internet itself are often the subject of these infographics. Customer Magnetism’s list includes inforgraphics on A Day in the Internet, Google, Texting, Awesome workplaces in Silicon Valley, Everything you wanted to know about Facebook’s IPO, and Don’t Lose Your Caffeine Buzz to Cybercrime.

Others focus on “The Cost of Being Batman,” “The World as 100 People,” and “What are the odds?”

While we find infographics both fun and informative when they’re done well, we also see many with the same problems: the creators try to stuff way too much into them – particularly text. Many times this makes the text hard to read. Infographics should be graphic, not short books with illustrations.


Customer Magnitism offers these samples of its own infographics.

Customer Magnetism offers this on “What is an infographic.”

What is an Infographic?
Created by Customer Magnetism, an award winning Digital Marketing Agency.

Businesses making a play: 10 great gamified sites and apps

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

9781118466933 cover.inddJust a few short years ago, business gamification was practically unheard of. Before 2010, barely anyone searched for the term on Google, and it’s still not in the dictionary. But that doesn’t mean you should say, “gamifi-what?” and move on with your life. The fact is, business gamification—or the use of gaming elements to drive, measure, and reward high-value behaviors by customers or employees—is becoming a go-to strategy for a rapidly growing number of companies. It’s here to stay, and it can help your organization reach new heights.

“Games have been played for millennia because they’re fun and people enjoy them,” says Kris Duggan, coauthor along with Kate Shoup of Business Gamification For Dummies® (Wiley, February 2013, ISBN: 978-1-1184-6693-3, $26.99). “Today, that love of games is being leveraged by smart businesses to boost customer loyalty, employee performance, sales, growth, and more.”

Specifically, explains Duggan, business gamification uses elements like points, achievements, levels, leaderboards, missions, and contests to drive desired behaviors. All of a sudden, promoting a brand becomes fun for customers, and sharing troubleshooting solutions with fellow consumers is an engaging challenge. Likewise, employees actually enjoy training instead of seeing it as a chore, and they’re motivated to work harder on a day-to-day basis.

Feed the craving

“Like anyone else, your customers and employees crave attention, recognition, approval, and rewards,” comments Duggan. “With gamification, you feed this craving, and in the process convert customers into loyal fans and employees into highly effective collaborators and advocates.”

Here, Duggan shares ten examples of websites and apps that feature smart—and successful—gamification:

eBayeBay ( eBay has long used a points system that enables users to show their status on the site. The success of this system, which goes so far as to issue badges to the “best” sellers, has effectively demonstrated the importance of reputation as a reward to both buyers and sellers.

“As you probably know if you’re an eBay user yourself, these are key game mechanics,” says Duggan. “In the future, look to eBay to gamify more aspects of its site to make it even more engaging.”

Foursquare ( Foursquare is a free mobile app that enables you to “check in” at various places and share your experiences there. As you do, Foursquare rewards you with points and badges. You might even get special deals, such as a discount off your bill at a restaurant or a freebie for bringing your friends.

“You can use Foursquare to get recommendations for what to do next,” shares Duggan. “And if you check in at a given place enough times, you may become its ‘mayor’—which can bring with it its own set of privileges, such as a special parking place.”

GetGlue ( GetGlue is a little like Foursquare…except that instead of checking in at their favorite restaurants, shops, and such, GetGlue users check in while watching shows, listening to music, reading books, or engaging in other entertainment-related activities.

“In return, users get relevant recommendations, exclusive stickers (like badges), discounts, and other rewards, such as goodies from their favorite shows or movies,” explains Duggan.

Mint ( wants to help members get a handle on their finances, and it uses subtle gamification—primarily in the form of progress bars and fun feedback—to make it happen. Members can also post details about their financial goals online to increase their chances that those goals will be met.

“This site is a great example of a less-overt form of gamification,” points out Duggan. “There are no badges or prizes, but the game mechanics in place are effective nonetheless.” ( MuchMusic, Canada’s MTV equivalent, gamified its site with its MuchCloser program. Members of MuchCloser get points for doing all the stuff they normally do on the site—watching videos, reading blogs, leaving comments, sharing content, and so forth.

“As the points pile up, users unlock rewards and trophies and become eligible for prizes and giveaways,” says Duggan. “The most active users are flagged as key members of the MuchMusic community.”

Nike sneakers

Nike Olympic inspired sneakers.

Nike+ ( Nike+ is a fitness-oriented service that enables you to log your physical activity using a mobile app or other Nike gear. When you do, you earn NikeFuel, which is a super-cool alterna-word for points.

“As you earn more NikeFuel, you unlock awards, trophies, and surprises—not to mention a banging physique,” Duggan points out. “And if you’re in the mood to brag, you can share your accomplishments with your friends and with other Nike+ members.”

Recyclebank ( Recyclebank gives members points for engaging in “everyday green actions” such as using less water, recycling, making greener purchases, using energy more efficiently, or even walking to work instead of driving. For even more points, members can take online quizzes about ecology and share information from the site with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and mobile applications.

“Users can redeem points for goodies such as gifts and flowers, books and magazines, health and beauty items, and music with participating local and national partners,” adds Duggan.

Samsung phone

A Samsung Android phone

Samsung ( Samsung’s social loyalty program, Samsung Nation, makes excellent use of gamification to recognize and empower the company’s most passionate fans. When you join Samsung Nation, you can earn points, level up, unlock badges, and gain entry into various contests and promotions by performing such behaviors as watching videos, commenting on articles, reviewing products, participating in user-generated Q&As, and more.

“Top users appear on the Samsung Nation leaderboard, and an activity stream keeps users up to date on the site’s goings-on,” says Duggan.

sneakpeeq ( A retail site, sneakpeeq offers discounted goodies including gourmet foods, home products, accessories, apparel (from big labels like Kate Spade and Puma to smaller brands), and more. The twist? The site is gamified to make shopping more fun.

“The more you buy, share, love (similar to liking an item), and peeq (viewing an item’s price), the more badges and rewards you unlock, and the more incentives and surprises you receive,” explains Duggan. “Leaderboards make the experience more social and competitive, kind of like throwing an elbow at a sample sale.”

Xbox Live ( First came Shakespeare with his “play within a play.” Now there’s Xbox, with its “game within a game.” That is, Xbox, itself a game platform, uses elements of gamification…within its games. (Is your mind blown yet?)

“Specifically, users can earn achievement points, referred to as gamerscore, by performing specific tasks or actions in a game,” Duggan shares. “This gamerscore is separate from the player’s score in the game itself and is a way of conveying the player’s reputation across the platform, including its social spaces.”

“Smart use of gamification is a big win for everyone,” concludes Duggan.

“Once it’s put into action, it helps customers enjoy interacting with companies. The more they’re recognized and rewarded, the more loyal they’ll be…and the more your organization will grow.

Gartner“According to Gartner, Inc., by 2014, more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application,” Duggan adds. “Some experts even project that the gamification market will grow to $2.8 billion by 2016! So don’t wait—get in on the gamification action now.”

About the Authors:
Kris Duggan is the coauthor of Business Gamification For Dummies®. He is a thought leader of innovative ways to incorporate game mechanics and real-time loyalty programs into web and mobile experiences.

Kate Shoup is the coauthor of Business Gamification For Dummies®. She has written more than 25 books, has cowritten a feature-length screenplay, and worked as the sports editor for NUVO newsweekly.


Who are the top 50 brands on Instagram?

Monday, June 24th, 2013

InstagramIt seems as if marketers have to consider a new social tool about every ten minutes. For those who are image-oriented, Instragram, which is up to 130 monthly active users, plays a strategic role.

While some big brands want ads on the photo service, owner Facebook says it is focused on growth right now.

Which brands are using Instagram already? Nitrogram, which is an Instagram analytics and engagement platform for brands, has named the top 50 brands on Instagram.

Overall winner is a social media superstar

It used two factors to compile its list: the number of followers on the brand account and the number of photos posted on the brand’s hashtag.

Nike sneakers

Nike Olympic inspired sneakers.

The overall winner has been a social media star from the get-go: Nike. In addition to its own activity on Instagram and the @Nike account, the company also created campaigns to get their fans creating content.

But others among the top 50 also tend to show up when top social media players on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms are named: Starbucks at No. 2, Addias at 4, Victoria’s Secret at 6, and Red Bull at 8, for instance.

The Nitrogram data provided some other insights: eight of the top 10 brands by followers are related to fashion or footwear.

The top 50 brands also publish about twice as many photos to their Instagram account as they have followers.

Here’s Nitrogram’s lists:


  1. Nike
  2. Starbucks
  3. Forever 21
  4. Adidas
  5. Topshop
  6. Victoria’s Secret
  7. Vans
  8. Red Bull
  9. Michael Kors
  10. Converse
  11. H&M
  12. Go Pro
  13. MTV
  14. Burberry
  15. Audi
  16. Louis Vuitton
  17. Hollister
  18. BMW
  19. Gucci
  20. Louboutin
  21. Zara
  22. Sephora
  23. Marc Jacobs
  24. Asos
  25. Playboy
  26. Beats by Dre
  27. Steve Madden
  28. Youtube
  29. Roxy
  30. Monster Energy
  31. National Geographic
  32. American Apparel
  33. Abercrombie
  34. Urban Decay
  35. Disneyland
  36. American Eagle
  37. Disney
  38. Coachella
  39. Volkswagen
  40. Juicy Couture
  41. Armani
  42. Urban Outfitters
  43. Free People
  44. Taco Bell
  45. GQ
  46. Oreo
  47. Versace
  48. Brandy Melville
  49. Mercedes-Benz
  50. Guess


  1. The Ellen Show 2.3MM
  2. Victoria’s Secret 2.1MM
  3. National Geographic 2MM
  4. Nike 1.6MM
  5. Louboutin 1.3MM
  6. Forever 21 1.3MM
  7. MTV 1.3MM
  8. Starbucks 1.3MM
  9. E! Online 1.2MM
  10. Topshop 1MM



BizBash names the top 10 innovative brands in events

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

coca cola adBizBash, a trade media for event professionals, has named its 2013 list of the most innovative brands in events right now.

Driven by an understanding of the value of events and how experiential marketing tactics can maximize consumer loyalty and revenue, these brands are breaking new ground and challenging others to follow.

“Standing out in the saturated world of experiential marketing is no easy task, but these 10 companies found innovative ways to attract attention to their products. And this list isn’t just about naming the buzziest brands—we looked for companies that actually saw results,” said BizBash executive editor Anna Sekula.

The top 10 innovative brands in the industry include:

1. Target: One of the most visible brands in event marketing, the retailer continues its reputation for innovative events and engaging marketing tactics.
2. Coca-Cola: The beverage giant stays in the spotlight by sharing the attention with events seen around the world—and keeping its marketing message global.

Samsung phone

A Samsung Android phone.

Samsung: The mobile division of the Korean electronics maker stormed onto the scene in 2012, using a series of experiential marketing tactics to build awareness for its smartphones.
4. Xbox: The debut of Halo 4 was one of the biggest media launches of 2012 with a marketing push that included flying a massive glyph over London.
5. Red Bull: The company brings its brand identity to life with daring, high-stakes activations.
6. Dos Equis: The beer brand’s ongoing ad campaign has made an indelible mark on the marketing landscape.
7. Nike: The athletic equipment giant develops products—and hosts clever events—that foster a strong sense of community among its fans.
8. Univision: The media company built a new event team in its 50th year.
9. Ford: The auto giant staged a buzzy multimedia campaign to introduce the 2013 Fusion.
10. Warby Parker: The online eyewear retailer is using quirky marketing tactics to make waves in the retail industry.

The full story on the most innovative brands and innovative people can be found at

IAB adds mobile rising stars to increase interaction rates

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Oreo adThe Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) says it is including five Mobile Rising Stars formats into the official IAB Standard Ad Portfolio to enable brand marketers to tell bigger and bolder stories on smaller, mobile screens.

The news was released along with findings from an in-market study conducted in partnership with Vibrant Media and comScore related to the “OREO Cookie vs. Creme” marketing campaign, which shows that the IAB Mobile Rising Stars ad formats garner greater user interaction and deliver higher brand and message recall than do standard mobile banner ads.

Mobile Rising Stars inspired nearly twice the number of people to slide, swipe or tap than did standard banners. When presented with both types of ad formats on a mobile device, one in 10 (9.3%) respondents interacted with the Mobile Rising Stars ad, a sharp contrast to the 5.2 percent that interacted with the traditional banner.

Other key findings:

  • Nearly all (98.1%) who interacted with a Mobile Rising Stars ad recalled the brand, with 18 percent more likely to recall the brand name advertised than users who viewed a standard mobile banner ad
  • They are also 23 percent more likely to recall the message advertised compared to users who viewed a standard mobile banner ad
  • Two-thirds (67%) who interacted with a Mobile Rising Stars ad rate the ads “better” or “much better” than a standard mobile ad

Mobile can be a primary venue

“Mobile has the potential to become a primary venue by which marketers can deliver visually compelling creative to consumers,” said Peter Minnium, Head of Brand Initiatives, IAB. “Bringing the Mobile Rising Stars into the IAB Standard Ad Portfolio signifies a turning point in being able to deliver on mobile’s promise – at scale. This is the next step in driving adoption, so publishers, media buyers, and creatives can work together to enhance the interactivity and performance of mobile ad campaigns to the benefit of both consumers and brands.”

IAB mobile“Working on this research has shown that the IAB Mobile Rising Star formats’ enhanced interaction functions and consumer controls deliver an innovative brand experience that has positive impact,” said Cella Irvine, CEO, Vibrant Media.

“The findings demonstrate the need for brands to adopt more ad experiences that deliver interactivity and creativity at scale to connect brands and consumers in engaging ways, as opposed to standard, non-optimized mobile experiences that consumers have come to expect from mobile advertising.”

Vital to embrace rich ad units?

“Consumers interact on smartphones and tablets with a series of swipes, taps, scrolls and flips that go well beyond the basic click that we’re used to focusing on with other digital screens,” said Anne Hunter, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy, comScore.

“That is why it is vital that marketers embrace mobile ad units that not only encompass those activities, but brings them to the forefront in rich canvasses that effectively deliver brand messages. This research clearly illustrates that the Mobile Rising Stars meet these criteria.”

The IAB Mobile Rising Stars are part of the larger IAB Rising Stars initiative, which seeks to create new canvasses for brand advertising on digital platforms. These formats are intended to work across all major mobile platforms and allow mobile ad buys at the same scale and scope as typical online display buys.

The complete study is available at To download all of the IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio’s ad format specifications, please go to

SoLoMo changing how moms interact with brands

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Shopping cartSoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) is changing the way people are interacting and learning about brands and products.

That’s according to industry experts Rajat Shroff, Vice President of Product Management and Business Development at, and Barbara Liss, Director of Digital and Social Media at Quaker Foods of PepsiCo.

In the early 2000s, moms weren’t as digitally connected, spending only about one hour online a day versus more than three hours a day in 2012.  Rather, it was her family spending time online, finding products they wanted her to purchase for them.

Today’s mom now spends an average of 6.1 hours a day on her smartphone. In addition, 1 of every 3 minutes a mom spends online is on Facebook. She’s also joining online mom clubs and is more aware of product attributes than ever.

Faster, smarter, better buying decisions

social mediaToday’s SoLoMo mom is becoming aware of products on social sites, researching on parenting blogs, and then making the buying choices for her family.

Her multi-media consumption is leading to faster, smarter and better buying decisions. Shroff and Liss also discussed the differences in how media behavior, geography, culture and other demographics impact the SoLoMo mom.

Shroff heads up product strategy with a specific focus on unlocking the unique data and assets at the company to make them actionable for digital advertising.  He has also held product management leadership positions and led strategy and delivery of products for analytics, personalization, search, advertising and merchandising.

Leading to loyalty and activation

“Brands are engaging with consumers, especially with moms, in so many different ways today,” Shroff said. “Media consumption continues to grow on digital screens and the opportunities to engage with consumers innovatively across them is leading to loyalty and activation.”

Liss is responsible for driving the digital agenda across the Quaker portfolio.  During her tenure, she has spearheaded the brand’s e-commerce initiatives, enhanced Quaker’s social CRM program and overseen their entry into mobile marketing.

According to Liss, “Social, Local and Mobile are key engagement arenas for Quaker Foods to connect with the Digital mom.  We are continuously pursuing new areas to reach, engage and activate moms. has been open to working with us on new techniques and the early signs are successful.”

Smartphone traffic, orders up over 100 percent for some brands

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

mobilephonesYear-over-year smartphone traffic for apparel, health and beauty and home goods brands saw huge increases in smartphone traffic and orders, according to Branding Brand, a mobile commerce platform to major retailers.

Compared to May 2012, the Branding Brand Mobile Commerce Index shows the following year-over-year gains for the 18 clients tracked during both periods:

  • Smartphone visits increased 102%
  • Smartphone orders increased 104%
  • Smartphone revenue increased 103%

In May 2013, mobile devices generated one-third of total online visits (20% smartphones; 13% tablets) and 17% of all e-commerce revenue (4% smartphones; 13% tablets). iOS continued to dominate across all categories.

“Desktop’s piece of the e-commerce pie is shrinking,” said Chris Mason , Branding Brand co-founder and CEO. “We are excited about the implications these numbers have for our clients, not just online but also in-store. Traditional commerce models no longer apply.”

These figures also show that the mobile commerce sector has heated up much faster than the Internet alone did. Mobile provides considerable and increasing juice to  ecommerce and digital marketing.

While many people still only occasionally use desktop and laptop computers, nearly everyone old enough to leave the house alone has a mobile device or two. Here at the TechJournal, we’ve seen a fair amount of evidence that tablets are even more shopping/marketing friendly and consumers are using them in growing numbers.

The complete report, along with accompanying images, is available at

Marketers see digital as critical as Net ad revenues hit new high

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

MarketingMarketers are realizing that digital media is critical to any successful campaign today. At $9.6 billion, first quarter 2013 digital advertising revenues in the U.S. hit landmark numbers, according to a survey conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC U.S. as part of the ongoing IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report. The figure is a 15.6 percent increase over the $8.3 billion figure reported in the first quarter 2012.

“Consumers are turning to interactive media in droves to look for the latest information, to connect with their social networks, and simply to be entertained,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “This first quarter milestone clearly illustrates that marketers recognize that digital has become the go-to medium for all sorts of activities on all sorts of screens, at home, at the office and on-the-run.”

“Internet advertising revenue continues to exhibit double-digit growth, even as the business matures,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics & Measurement, IAB. “This is an accomplishment that can be attributed to growing recognition by marketers that digital advertising is a critical part of all marketing in today’s world.”

Shift to digital continues

“These record-setting Q1 numbers are consistent with the continuing shift to digital and reflect the type of growth that the internet advertising arena has been seeing year-over-year,” said David Silverman, Partner, PwC U.S.

The attached chart tracks first quarter ad revenue since 1996; dollar figures are rounded.

(Graphic: Business Wire)

The IAB sponsors the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which is conducted independently by the New Media Group of PwC. The results are considered the most accurate measurement of interactive advertising revenues because the data is compiled directly from information supplied by companies selling advertising on the Internet.

The survey includes data concerning online advertising revenues from Web sites, commercial online services, free email providers, and all other companies selling digital advertising.

The full report is issued twice yearly for full and half-year data, and topline quarterly estimates are issued for the first and third quarters. PwC does not audit the information and provides no opinion or other form of assurance with respect to the information. Past reports are available at