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Number one use of mobile: local business search (infographic)

Friday, March 29th, 2013

mobile devicesNever mind talking: For more than half of all mobile device users, the number one function via their internet browser is search.

In the past nine months, the total number of visitors to search navigation sites conducted via mobile devices has jumped by more than 25%, with local searches playing a particularly important role – nearly 86 million people now seek local business information on their mobile phones in the United States alone.

More than half of those who conduct local business searches said they use mobile phones for searching because they are on the move. In fact, 56% of those who use local search sites primarily for local business information use these sites on a weekly basis across all devices.

Tip of the iceberg

That is just the tip of the iceberg uncovered in the Neustar Localeze and 15miles Sixth Annual comScore Local Search Usage Study, which analyzes a target sample of more than 3,000 users of local business Internet search.

“What we can clearly see is that the local search market is maturing – what we previously described as a Social, Local and Mobile (SoLoMo) revolution is now embedded in consumer behavior,” said Jeff Beard, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Neustar Localeze.

“Tablet adoption is growing at a blistering pace: It took smartphones nearly a decade to reach 40 million users, while that number was crossed only two years after the iPad arrived. This market is set to keep growing, and businesses need to fundamentally rethink the way local customers are going to find them.”

Mobile and Tablet Searchers Continue to Sky-rocket:

mobile devicesThe study demonstrates that the total number of U.S. searchers on mobile phones grew steadily last year – from 90.1 million mobile phone visitors to search/navigation sites or apps in March 2012 to 113.1 million in December 2012.

Tablets also grew as a source for online searches, with 19% growth between April 2012 and December 2012. Both mobile phone and tablet searchers find accuracy of information to be more important than depth of content.

However, tablet searchers are placing more importance on depth of content over time, while mobile phone searchers are placing less importance on this measure. Additionally, mobile phone searchers are more likely to cite maps, driving directions and distance as key information, while tablet searchers are more likely to find consumer reviews and online promotions most helpful.

Successful local business searches conducted via mobile phones are most likely to result in an in-store visit when compared to the outcomes of searches conducted on other devices.

Online mobile phone and tablet searchers, however, are more likely to continue searching and conduct multiple searches than PC/laptop users. Even more significantly, local business searchers using a mobile phone or tablet have a 78% and 77% likelihood, respectively, to make a purchase as a result of their last search, with tablet searchers skewing toward more expensive purchases.

Search via Apps is on the Rise – Facebook and Google Maps Dominate:

GoogleThe study also offers a telling glimpse into other current trends, from application usage to social media. Application-based local search nearly doubled in just the past two years, significantly outpacing the SMS and browser markets.

More specifically, of the mobile phone searchers who said they use applications to search for local businesses, 35% use Google Maps. Finally, turning to social media, 92% of those who searched for local business information on social networking sites from all devices used Facebook for that purpose in 2012.

Here’s an infographic detailing some of the study findings:

What are Consumers Searching for?

There are also clear patterns in the choice of local search categories. The healthcare industry in particular needs to take note: pharmacies lead the pack with 86% of consumers looking for a specific pharmacy, while doctors and hospitals rank second with 75%. Banking and finance are not far behind (69%), followed by restaurants (65%). In fact, 23% of those surveyed said the last local business they searched was a restaurant.

“The greatest impact of the Internet is to offer access to information on a global scale, yet it’s equally important in driving business at the neighborhood level,” said Gregg Stewart, President, 15miles. “Consumers now expect accurate, easy-to-absorb information on local businesses on a variety of computing platforms, and those companies that can adapt to this new world have the most to gain.”

For more information on the survey, click here.

Register Today for Early-bird discount to Atlanta Digital Summit

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Digital SummitIf you register today (March 29) you can still get the substantial early-bird discount to the upcoming Digital Summit May 14-15 in Atlanta. It’s a real savings and the event usually sells out, so you’ll also ensure yourself of a seat by registering early.

The jam-packed two-day event includes more than 75 speakers from top brands such as Google, Twitter, Mashable, reddit, Dell, Turner, National Geographic, AOL, YouTube, Home Depot, Forrester, ExactTarget and more.

Today is the last day you can still grab the early-bird rate.

Who attends Digital Summit?
Senior marketers and branders, digital executives and professionals, web and mobile strategists, designers and web project managers, bloggers and new media,  entrepreneurs and business developers and anyone else who operates in the digital community. Check out some of the brands who will be attending.

It’s an unparalleled networking opportunity loaded with opportunities to meet potential partners, customers, thought-leaders, and colleagues.

Want more?
Take it deeper by attending the Pre-Conference workshops.  When you sign up for our pre-conference, you’ll get a dozen more sessions to choose from covering advanced strategies in Social Media, Search Marketing and Usability & Design.

Everything the Digital Summit does is focused on giving you a more intense experience with take-aways you can put to work immediately when you return to the office.  This week only, all for just $100 more – plus, we’ll even throw in lunch!

Get VIP Access!
And for those who want it all, sign up for our Platinum Pass.  You’ll get access to both the main conference, pre-conference, as well as our special VIP Platinum Lounge and a Platinum Swag package sure to make you the envy of the office.  Sign up this week to get the best rates for the Platinum Package. There’s a limited number available.

The Digital Summit is a TechMedia event and the TechJournal is a TechMedia division.

Google funds research into the “social” of Social Networks

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

GoogleGoogle has awarded a multi-year grant to Polytechnic Institute of New York University’s (NYU-Poly) Oded Nov to further his study of the role of design in shaping online behavior.

Nov, an assistant professor in the Department of Technology Management and Innovation, has long focused on social media, and the behavioral aspects of information systems. Working with Mor Naaman of the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, he will embark on an ambitious new two-year project to examine the factors that impact users’ interactions with and contributions to social media.

“In particular, we will focus on the impact of social traces created by users’ feedback and inputs – the social cues about the attributes of the users, their opinions and the community they form,” Nov said. “As in the physical world, your behavior online changes depending on the others around you.”

While in no way connected, this comes on the heels of Facebook reporting that your “likes” on the site reveal much about you – possibly your I.Q., sexual and political persuasion, and even drug use. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that social media’s interactive nature affects much as other communities we may belong to in the real world.

We’ll be interested to see if this study addresses how the apparently never-ending design changes on Facebook, Google+ and other social networks affects their use (other than sparking cries of protest).

Google bestows the Focused Research Award, as the unrestricted grant is known, upon scientists working in areas of key interest to the company as well as to the broader research community.

What’s the best way to let people know they’re “botted?”

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

cyber security imageA bot believed to have netted $14 million in illicit profits has been turned into a golden learning opportunity, yielding important insights into how the online community can best alert and assist customers with infected systems.

So say Georgia Tech researchers who  announced the results of a study based on the industry’s response to the DNS Changer Trojan and shared recommendations to help curb future malware outbreaks.

From 2007 to 2011, the DNS Changer Trojan hijacked Internet searches and re-routed the Web browsers of infected computers to fraudulent sites using the rogue DNS servers operated by the Rove Digital advertising network.

Active social media warnings effective

The DNS Changer Remediation Study identified phone calls, billing notices and redirecting users to customized Web pages among the most effective methods to notify customers that their systems were infected.

Researchers Wei Meng and Ruian Duan, working under the supervision of Georgia Tech School of Computer Science Professor Wenke Lee, also found that “active” social media warnings were useful for enabling remediation.

GoogleWith this approach, sites such as Google directly informed users they were infected through their browser windows, a tactic that proved to be more effective in motivating users to disinfect their systems than passive warnings issued in general posts or news articles on social media platforms.

“Social media can have an important role to play in alerting users to infections in their systems and in stemming malware outbreaks. We believe in the importance of implementing active, direct notifications earlier in the process,” Lee said.

The complete DNS Changer Remediation Study is available on the M3AAWG website athttps://www.maawg.org/sites/maawg/files/news/GeorgiaTech_DNSChanger_Study-2013-02-19.pdf.

Startups hiring, but struggle to find talent they need to grow

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Silicon Valley BankAlthough a large majority of startups are hiring (87 percent), a similar number struggle to find people with the skills they need, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s  fourth annual Startup Outlook study, a survey of startup companies nationwide.

Hightlights of the Startup Outlook survey:

•          87% are hiring

•          46% have at least one founder born outside the U.S.

•          82% say STEM skills are critical to their business

•          87% say it is somewhat or extremely challenging to find workers with the skills they need to grow their business

•          66% say the biggest challenge to retaining the talent they need is a combination of finding and competing for the people with the right skills

The report also includes several anecdotes from startup companies as well as the results of the survey related to finding and retaining talent.

“Every time I meet with a group of tech company CEOs they say the same thing: hiring world-class talent is one of their biggest challenges,” said Greg Becker,president and CEO of Silicon Valley Bank. “They struggle to find, attract and retain the engineering, scientific and technical talent they need to grow their businesses.”

Google down the street

That echoes many reports we’ve seen on the technology job space. People with the right skills are in high demand and attracting and keeping them is a problem for many startups, which have to compete for them with larger, established companies.

“As soon as good employees raise their heads, they’re snatched up,” Andrew Evans, CFO at Boulder startup Symplified. Its neighbors include Google, Oracle and Microsoft. “If you’ve got Google 10 blocks down the street,” he told SVB, “you have to be creative to differentiate your company on more than just salary.”

“We need to create a tech-savvy, highly skilled American workforce – the more people with skills that are in demand, the better for all of us. When it comes to immigration policy, we believe that Congress is well aware of the issues facing the technology industry, so the time to act is now.”

High growth small companies, while few in number, have an outsized impact on the U.S. economy.  They consume roughly 0.1-0.2% of U.S. GDP in invested capital, but create roughly 11 percent of U.S. private sector employment and 21 percent of U.S. GDP – or roughly twelve million jobs and over $3 trillion in annual revenues.

“With this report, and the Startup Outlook survey at large, we are trying to bring facts to the table in the hope that better data will help lead to better policies for our country,” said Mary Dent, head of Silicon Valley Bank’s government relations group and General Counsel.

Silicon Valley Bank conducted its annual Startup Outlook survey in December 2012. More than 750 executives of startup companies, defined as those in the innovation sector with less than $100 million in annual revenue, responded.

The company will be releasing additional data and reports based on the survey in the coming months. View all news related to the results of the Startup Outlook survey at http://www.svb.com/startup-outlook-report/ and follow the conversation on Twitter at @SVB_Financial #StartupOutlook.

What can companies learn from those earning great reputations?

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

The Harris PollAmazon is on a roll. In addition to topping a list of 25 retailers with the best mobile satisfaction ratings during the recent holiday shopping season, it also edged out Apple as America’s most reputable company, according to the 2013 Harris Poll RQ Study which engages over 14,000 members of the general public to measure the reputations of the sixty most visible companies in the country.

And companies can learn from how the leaders gain their stellar reputations.

This is Amazon’s first time earning the top ranking, but the fifth consecutive year with a great reputation score. The Walt Disney Company, Google, and Johnson & Johnson complete the top five. This is Google’s eight consecutive top five appearance, an incredible achievement for a fourteen year old company.

AIG and Goldman Sachs return to the bottom two reputation positions on the list of the most visible companies, joined by Halliburton, American Airlines, and Bank of America. With a full six point increase in RQ score though, Bank of America had the highest year-over-year increase in the 2013 study. Best Buy and Honda experienced the greatest decline in RQ scores, 6.76 and 4.73 points, respectively.

RQ measures six dimensions that comprise reputation and influence consumer behavior.

The dimensions and the 2013 leaders are:

  • Social Responsibility – Whole Foods
  • Emotional Appeal – Amazon.com
  • Financial Performance – Apple
  • Products & Services – Amazon.com
  • Vision & Leadership – Apple
  • Workplace Environment – Google

graphicAmazon’s reputation strength runs wide and deep as it ranked in the top five in five of the six dimensions of reputation. Amazon had a five point advantage over any other company in the study in the dimension of Emotional Appeal, despite an entirely virtual relationship with the public. Amazon also achieved the top rating in the dimension of Products & Services.

Amazon earned nearly 100 percent positive ratings on all measures related to Trust. More than 50 percent of respondents also recall discussing Amazon with friends and family in the past year, and nearly 100 percent of these conversations were positive.

“Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship with the public without being perceived as intrusive,” adds Fronk. “

Nine of ten would recommend it

And as the company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than nine in ten members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and family.”

The results for Apple and Google are equally as impressive as those for Amazon and continue a compelling trend that has been developing for the past few years – companies that begin in the technology sector, which is by far and away the highest-rated industry when it comes to reputation, absorb the reputation equity from the industry, then transcend the industry to become a more multi-faceted business.

Companies that are able to do this are perceivedto “Play A Valuable Social Role,” a characteristic, which according to the RQ study, has become a key driver of reputation.

Kindle

The Kindle’s eInk technology frees you from LED glare and eye-strain – and you can make the fonts as large as you like.

As a longtime Amazon customer, we can understand why it has such a great reputation, despite moves such as encouraging “showrooming,” viewing products in stores to buy later online.

It’s customer service is beyond first rate. We dropped and broke our first Kindle e-reader when it was out of warranty and they still replaced it free, overnight, and we didn’t even have to pay postage. When a large package of books went awry and never showed up, they simply resent the order.

Banking industry shows gains, still low ranked

The banking industry is not so lucky. It showed some encouraging signs in 2013. Positive ratings of the industry are now 25 percent, a more than 50 percent increase from 2012.

Wells Fargo became the first of the four big banking companies in the past four years to move from negative to positive equity in the dimension of Emotional Appeal. Harris’s fourteen years of conducting the RQ study show that a company cannot build or maintain positive reputation without this positive equity. Wells Fargo also received significantly higher marks on attributes related to its people and work environment, and it is possible that these may be the first signs of a bank once again being seen as trusted.

But in our conversations with sources, the banking industry is still most often cited as having abysmal customer service and is viewed as frequently predatory. The continuing mortgage default problem hasn’t helped.

What can companies learn from the 2013 Harris Poll RQ Study?

Companies need to evaluate and understand the increasing importance that playing a valuable social role has on reputation, purchase consideration, advocacy and positive word of mouth. This is about a business having a purpose, not just checking the box on social responsibility or sustainability.

Additionally, companies need to adapt to a major trend in consumer behavior. More than 60 percent of consumers now “pro-actively try to learn more about how a company conducts itself” before they are willing to consider that company’s products or services. This group, which Harris calls Seekers:

  • Proactively engage in conversations with others about what they find out about a company;
  • In 60 percent of cases, decide NOT to do business with a company because of something they learn about that company; and
  • Actively try to influence friends and family on whether to do business or not with a company based upon what they have learned about that company’s conduct.

 

YouTube’s meme machine viewed 4 billion times a month (infographic)

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

YouTube 4Do you know which search engine is number two after Google? Here’s a hint: it’s not Bing, Yahoo, AOL or Ask.com. It’s YouTube, which is larger than all of those combined.

Now showing an astonishing four billion videos a month, YouTube has been a meme engine since the first video (“Me at the Zoo,”) posted in 2005.

Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion and you have undoubtedly noticed its march toward commercialization with pre-roll commercials and other advertising.

Memes proliferate on YouTube. We posted a brief part of our interview with zombie movie director George Romero a few years ago. Romero, who directed “Night of the Living Dead” in 1968 and “Dawn of the Dead” in 1978, created the zombie meme now going strong with TV shows such as “The Walking Dead,” and an endless stream of movies. The point: before the Internet, it could take 30 or 40 years for a meme to really saturate the world.

Here’s an infographic detailing the history of YouTube from shortymedia.

Study reveals the top 20 brands with the most loyal Facebook fans

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

FacebookCan you guess which brand has the most loyal fans on Facebook? While familiar names such as Facebook itself, Google, Walt Disney World and Starbucks make the top 20 list, a non-profit is number one, according to LoudDoor, a Facebook Insights Preferred Marketing Developer.

Brand Satisfaction, a new dashboard powered by over 1 million monthly survey responses. The largest market research of its kind, Brand Satisfaction tracks every major brand on Facebook and how likely Fans are to recommend those brands to friends or colleagues.

For its first study, Brand Satisfaction compiled millions of responses from Facebook Fans of over 15,000 Facebook pages to determine the Top 20 brands with the most loyal Fans.

The surprising survey findings reveal that a non-profit tops the list over brand stalwarts Facebook and Google:

1.    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

2.    Facebook

3.    Google

4.    Walt Disney World

5.    ALDI USA

6.    Xbox

7.    Starbucks Frappuccino

8.    Google ChromeGoogle Chrome

9.    Duncan Hines

10.  Adobe Photoshop

11.  Tim Hortons

12.  Hershey’s

13.  In-N-Out Burger

14.  Dove Chocolates

15.  NFL

16.  Portillo’s

17.  BRAVO

18.  Disneyland

19.  Dollar Tree

20.  AMC Theatre

“Demographic and behavioral data is the cornerstone to understanding a brand’s Facebook audience and powering game-changing marketing decisions,” says David Guy , CEO of LoudDoor, a leading research and audience targeting platform on Facebook.

“Rather than relying on highly subjective social chatter or experimental ‘listening’ technologies, Brand Satisfaction does the hard work of asking brands’ Fans directly about their attitudes, behaviors and motivations. We then package this powerful data in a simple dashboard interface to empower brands to harness their Facebook asset.”

Survey methodology

Starting January 1, 2013, Brand Satisfaction asked consumers to rate how likely they are to recommend a brand page they “like” on Facebook.

Participants also completed a demographic, behavioral and attitudinal survey. Millions of anonymous responses are summarized in a user-friendly Brand Satisfaction insights dashboard currently in limited beta release.

Adds Guy, “We’ll be conducting our study every month and releasing new brand insights and tips with the goal of making marketing professionals that Follow brands on the Brand Satisfaction platform the smartest people in the room about the brands they care about on Facebook.”

Eligibility for the Brand Satisfaction Top-20 list requires that the brand page have at least 50,000 Fans and a minimum of 300 completed surveys on the brand.

For more information and to sign up for a private Beta invitation, visit www.BrandSatisfaction.com.

Sales of Microsoft & Blackberry phones enough to interest developers

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

smartphonesThe global installed base of smartphones will total 1.4 billion by the end of 2013, according to the latest forecasts from ABI Research. Of this base, 57% will run on Android and 21% on iOS.

Meanwhile, there will be 268 million tablets in active use, with 62% of them built on iOS and 28% on Android.

The annual growth rate against 2012 will be 44% for smartphones and 125% for tablets. Despite of Apple’s and Google’s strong hold of the market, ABI Research anticipates that the future won’t be quite as duopolistic as it may seem now.

A relative success for Microsoft and Blackberry?

Outside of the leading two operating systems, how will the world look for the two main challengers, Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10?

Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen comments, “2013 should be seen as relative success for both Microsoft and BlackBerry.

For the end of the year, we expect there to be 45 million Windows Phone handsets in use, with BlackBerry 10 holding an installed base of close to 20 million. Microsoft will also have 5.5 million Windows-powered tablets to show for it.”

Importantly, the figures refer to actively used devices, which is what app developers – with certain caveats in mind – should generally treat as an addressable market for their releases.

As Markkanen points out, “The greatest fear for both Microsoft and BlackBerry is that the initial sales of their smartphones will disappoint and thereby kill off the developer interest, which then would effectively close the window of opportunity on further sales success. Our view is that the installed bases of this scale would be large enough to keep these two in the game. It will definitely also help that both firms have actively kept the developers’ interest in mind while designing and rolling out their platforms.”

Smartphones & tablets drove a quarter of clicks in Q4

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

mobile devicesSmartphones and tablets drove almost a quarter of total clicks in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to The Search Agency.  But the gain in mobile clicks did not come at the expense of desktop search.

“With ongoing advancements and multiple lower priced tablet options being introduced into the market, it’s no surprise traffic on these devices continues to increase,” said Keith Wilson , vice president of agency products at The Search Agency.

“But, while our advertisers’ spend on mobile and tablets is increasing, it’s not at the expense of desktop. In fact, data shows that desktop searches remained level over the last two quarters, underscoring the trend that search is steadily growing overall.”

Tablets see record searches; surpass mobile ad spend
The introduction of a number of new tablet models and record sales growth spurred on huge growth in both tablet use and advertiser spend.

Tablet click share in Q4 more than doubled YoY and jumped 16 percent from Q3, and smartphones and tablets combined drove 23 percent of total clicks in Q4 2012, an 89 percent increase YoY. The last quarter of 2012 marked the first time in which share of spend on tablets exceeded spend on smartphones (8.5 versus 7.1 percent of total spend).

Google and Yahoo!-Bing Network continue to see growth; Google leads in mobile
Google
Search engine advertising continues to show healthy growth as impressions in Q4 2012 grew 11 percent YoY and total clicks grew 4 percent. Total clicks on Google increased 4 percent YoY and cost per click (CPC) rose 7 percent from $0.55 to $0.59.

Bing also showed a 4 percent growth in click traffic, with a 15 percent increase in average CPC YoY. Bing’s mobile impression share and click share increased, but is still substantially less than Google’s impression and click share overall.

Google continued to see more paid clicks coming from mobile devices with 25.9 percent of its total clicks coming from tablets and smartphones in Q4, compared to 12.6 percent for Bing.

Product Listings accounted for more than 14 percent of spend on Google
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) continued their strong growth in Q4 2012, accounting for 14 percent of retailers’ total spend on Google in Q4, a 236 percent increase from the previous quarter. Specifically, retailers spent more than 9 percent of their PLA budget on tablets and smartphones, an 80 percent increase from Q3.

Retail surged on mobile during the holidays, but click volume declined YoY
In the retail sector, mobile click share increased from 14.3 percent in Q4 2011 to 26.1 percent in Q4 2012. Retail volume was the driving factor for Q4 growth in comparison to Q3 2012, with a 20 percent increase in click traffic. However, YoY click volume declined 6 percent.

“The holidays brought on big numbers in mobile retail searches but we saw click volume decrease overall – possibly because of uncertainty from the presidential election and the natural disasters that affected the Northeast,” added Wilson.

 

Ring your way online instead of relying on insecure passwords

Monday, January 21st, 2013

lockIn the not too distant future, you might log into your gmail account and other password protected sites and services online by tapping a ring on your computer or smartphone or inserting a USB device.

Google’s security engineers, searching for a more secure and less cumbersome way for Internet users to check into online sites and services. They describe a new system that would use a USB drive or even a piece of jewelry to authenticate users in a research paper slated for the engineering journal IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine later this month.

Passwords – even tough ones – are no longer very secure. Cyber criminals can crack them using software.

“Along with many in the industry, we feel passwords and simple bearer tokens such as cookies are no longer sufficient to keep users safe,” Google engineers write in the paper.

The new system would eliminate the need for most passwords, replacing them with the hardware authentication. Website and browsers would have to be set up to work with the new system, a fact that means wide spread consumer use might take some time.

Wired first reported the Google initiate.

 

Know when the first virus was sent? The first spam? (infographic)

Monday, January 21st, 2013

internet2Do you know when the first network virus, “Creeper” was created? When the first spam message was sent? Who used the first emoticon?

While the Web’s infrastructure stretches back to the 1970s, many of the features we rely on today are a decade or less old.Even those of us who saw the Internet evolve step by step sometimes feel as if instant messaging, social media, and shopping online are just part of the fabric of modern life and forget its brief history.

Here’s an infographic from AVG.com detailing the history of the Internet. 

History of the Internet:1969-2012

Net-go-round: video console resurgence? Connected cars, social media stock tracker

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Sony game consoleInternational Data Corporation predicts that video game sales for console systems will rebound from a tough 2011-2012 as new platforms hit the market.

“2011 and 2012 were tough for many console game disc developers and publishers,” says IDC’s Lewis Ward, manager of its gaming service.

“With the advent of eighth-generation consoles, starting with the Wii U, historical norms strongly imply that game disc revenue will stop bleeding in 2013 and rise substantively in 2014.”

“The console ecosystem is in a state of flux since these platforms need to support an ever-growing array of non-gaming features and services at the same time that game distribution and monetization is moving in a digital direction,” said Ward, research manager of IDC’s Gaming service.

“At the same time, it doesn’t appear that alternative platforms — set-top boxes from cable companies, Web-connected smart TVs, and so on — are positioned to materially disrupt the trajectory of the ‘big 3′ console OEMs in 2013 or 2014. Discs will remain the console game revenue mainstay for years to come.”

Key takeaways from the new forecast include:

  • In December 2012, PS3 system shipments eclipsed the number of Xbox 360′s shipped worldwide, despite the PS3 launching a year later than the Xbox 360 (an estimated 77 million bundles versus approximately 76 million bundles shipped)
  • Nintendo’s Wii U will find an audience; global bundle shipments will exceed 50 million by year-end 2016
  • The volume of packaged game discs shipped will decline an average of roughly 3% per year through 2016, as console spending shifts into digital channels

Consumers want car connections

hi-tech carConsumers want digital connections in their vehicles, says a study of more than 2,100 US adults by Johnson Controls.

Some of the key findings from the study include:

  • Interest in greater connectivity via one’s vehicle is high. 84% of vehicle owners1 would like to control the features in their vehicle via a touch-screen infotainment system; 83% want to get updates to vehicle infotainment systems delivered wirelessly; 76% would like to connect to the Internet using their vehicle as a Wi-Fi hotspot; 67% would like to download applications directly to their vehicle; and, 61% would like to pay for something using a debit or credit card linked to the infotainment system in their vehicle.2
  • Safety is the single most important feature3 in the selection of a vehicle (75%). The delivery of vehicle infotainment safely will be critical to consumer adoption and consumption. The second tier of important features includes vehicle diagnostics (49%) and navigation (42%).4
  • Smartphone apps most associated with a vehicle include: Maps/navigation = 52%; News = 45%; and, finding locations = 34%.
  • When it comes to downloading smartphone apps to a vehicle via an interactive screen, vehicle owners who use downloaded apps on a weekly basis would prefer traditional channels. 62% have a preference for where they would download an app for their vehicle, and of those with a preference, 60% would prefer downloading from an existing app store (e.g., App Store for iOS, Amazon Appstore for Android), 38% would prefer a new app store for vehicle-specific applications, and 37% would prefer the app maker’s website (e.g., Pandora, Google Maps).
  • When it comes to accessing a vehicle app, vehicle owners who use downloaded apps regularly want apps they know and are comfortable with. Two-thirds (64%) want the menu options in their vehicle to be the same as on their smartphone (i.e., a full list of menu options available).

Social media stock tracker launched

Google+WebMediaBrands Inc.’s (Nasdaq: WEBM) SocialTimes launched the Social Media Stock Tracker covering the weekly stock performance of companies within the social media and Internet sectors such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Zynga, and Groupon.

Each weekly report, published on Saturday mornings, discusses key developments and provides analytical commentary on the most interesting and controversial events that impact the public companies in these sectors.

The Social Media Stock Tracker is prepared by Nathan Drona, a former senior analyst in equity research with coverage of the Internet and media sectors and the former director of a global hedge fund focused on technology and life sciences.

He was also a senior investment banker focused on M&A for international companies in technology and life sciences, and has been a board director for several public and private companies.

Top 20 most social CMOs in the Fortune 100 named

Friday, November 30th, 2012

GE’s Beth Comstock, number one on the Business Social list.

Only one in five CMOs on the Fortune 100 list are active participants in public social networks, according to  BusinessNext Social.

The members of the list –  compiled in the BusinessNext Social Top 20 Most Social CMOs in the Fortune 100 – have social credentials demonstrating that they understand what it takes to grow and influence their own networks by using new strategies, cutting-edge social media and mobile technologies and compelling content marketing to build highly adaptive, high performance social businesses.

The study was inspired by the increasing focus businesses are placing on social, and the leadership role marketing is taking in managing social media activities.

A recent study by The CMO Survey predicts that social media spending as a percent of rising marketing budgets is expected to increase from 7.6 to 18.8 percent over the next 5 years; Gartner Research predicts the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO by 2017. [ii][iii]

The senior-most marketing executives recognized for leading social by example include: 

  1. General Electric Company’s Beth Comstock (@bethcomstock,  http://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethjcomstock), CMO and Senior Vice President
  2. Google, Inc.’s Nikesh Arora (@nikesharora), Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer
  3. Apple, Inc.’s Philip Schiller (@pschiller), Senior Vice President, Worldwide Product Marketing
  4. IBM’s Jon C. Iwata (@coastw, www.linkedin.com/pub/jon-iwata/4/b92/abb), Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
  5. SAP’s Jonathan Becher (@jbecher, http://www.linkedin.com/in/jbecher), CMO
  6. Dell’s Karen Quintos (@KarenDellCMO, www.linkedin.com/pub/karen-quintos/1/661/158), CMO
  7. Exxon Mobil Corporation’s Ken Cohen (@ken_cohen) Vice President of Public and Government Affairs
  8. Microsoft’s Chris Capossela (@chriscapossela, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/chris-capossela/1/995/7a9), CMO
  9. Cisco Systems’ Blair Christie (@BlairChristie, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/blair-christie/4/a55/5a1), Senior Vice President and CMO, Government Affairs,
  10. Raytheon’s Pam Wickham ( @PamWickham1, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/pam-wickham/42/915/363) Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications

The entire list of The 20 Most Social CMOs can be found on the BusinessNext Social Blog.

 

Internet, digital media job growth slows in New York & Boston

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

New-York skylineJob growth in Internet and digital media jobs slowed in New York and Boston over the last six months, including sharp declines in the third quarter. But growth does continue in the sector and some top firms such as Google continued to add headcount in both cities, though at a slower rate.

Amazon, Mashable, LinkedIn, and eBay also all continued to add to staff.

Cook Associates Executive Search, a retained executive search firm, reports in its quarterly East Coast Internet and Digital Media Jobs Index, which tracks job creation at more than 470 companies in New York and Boston, that New York showed 3.6 percent growth for the third quarter, following on the heels of 5.6 percent growth in the past quarter.

Boston, on the other hand, showed lower growth of 1.9 percent after a 3.2 percent increase in jobs in the second quarter.

Growth much stronger in New York

Index creator John Barrett said, “It’s now clear that a slowdown in hiring has been occurring in this sector over the past 6 months.  Things began getting soft in Boston by the second quarter.

“There were some signs that it was also getting a little soft in New York, but hiring is now definitely slowing down in New York.  Overall, Internet and digital media jobs growth is still much stronger in New York and I expect that trend to continue.”

Barrett added, “Things are even worse than they appear in Boston.  All of the net new hiring came from just 10 companies out of the approximately 150 companies being tracked in the city.  Without those 10 companies, employment in Boston was flat at best and perhaps declined slightly.”

Overall, New York added about 900 new Internet and digital media jobs while Boston added about 260.  Approximately 55% of New York’s job growth came from publicly-traded companies while about 75% of Boston’s job growth was derived from public companies.

“This illustrates the continued strength of private company hiring in New York that’s resulting from high levels of venture investing occurring there,” according to the report.

New York/Boston jobs chart

Where the jobs are

Top 10 companies showing largest headcount gains in New York include: Google, Rent the Runway, Amazon, AppNexus, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Gilt Groupe, Etsy, Warby Parker.

Up-and-coming companies showing large headcount gains in New York included: Foursquae, Fab.com, ZocDoc, Magnetic, Tumblr,Thrillist,BuzzFeed, HowAboutWe.com, Mashable, SignPost, Yext, Moda Operandi and Outbrain.

The top ten firms showing the largest headcount increase in Boston include: Hubspot, Wayfair, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Vistaprint, Rue La La, Google, Constant Contact, Karmaloop, and Jumptap.

Up and coming companies showing large headcount gains in Boston include: Visible Measures, DataXu, Naigans, Care.com, Gemvara, NetProspex, WordStream, Fiksu, and ClickFuel.

 

 

Who’s on top of the business social media landscape? (infographic)

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

coca cola adIf you measured business success by social media fans and followers, who would be on top?

That one place where Facebook rules with 77 million.

It’s followed by Coca Cola, which has been social media savvy from the get-go, then, MTV, Disney, Starbucks, Converse, Red Bull, McDonalds, Snaptu, and Walmart in the top ten.

The tech firms leading the pack would be iTunes with 26 million, followed by Playstation, Xbox, Windows Live Messenger, Google, Samsung Mobile, Twitter, Pixar, Intel and Blackberry.

Top-business-degrees.net created this infographic showing the top social business leaders in various industries.

Business: Social Media Landscape
Source: Top Business Degrees

Business leaders trust news media more than politicians

Monday, October 22nd, 2012
Warren Buffett

Business leaders admire Warren Buffett by a wide margin in Speakeasy Trust Survey.

Business people tend to trust the news media more than politicians, according to the 2012 Speakeasy Trust Survey, and that’s saying something, considering that news media only scored 3 percent of the votes.

Politicians? No one voted for them.

The survey showed that the most trusted business leader is Warren Buffet, no surprise there, considering his public candor, and the most trusted company is Google.

Speakeasy, Inc., a nearly 40-year old executive communication consultancy that helps business leaders to develop more powerful and strategic communication, conducted the 2012 Trust Survey among business people at varying levels of responsibility within a broad range of industries, in September 2012.

asked to select who they trust most when receiving communication, respondents were given a choice between business associates, politicians, salespeople, celebrities or news media. The most votes were received for people we know personally, with 97 percent of respondents selecting business associates.

“Given the choices, it stands to reason that people would most trust the coworkers they see and interact with on a daily basis,” said Scott Weiss, CEO, Speakeasy.

“The real surprise is that politicians scored no votes while the news media scored three percent of the vote. What this says to me is that politicians need to take a good look at what they really represent in the public eye. Exacerbating the issue is the disturbing need to run every word uttered by a politician through a fact-checking process in order to validate their honesty.”

Buffett top business leader

Asked to provide a write-in answer for which business leader they trust most and why. Warren Buffett was the overwhelming winner, with 14 percent of respondents writing in his name. Among the reasons: “he is plain spoken,” “he is authentic,” and “it’s clear that his motivation is not just about money.

Other business leaders named in the survey include S. Truett Cathy (Chick-Fil-A), Bill Gates (Microsoft, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and Richard Branson (Virgin), each of whom earned six percent of votes. Regardless of the leader who was named, the reasons why didn’t differ much. The most common themes, says Speakeasy, were the leaders’ abilities to inspire people, their authenticity, their transparency, and their abilities to connect on a human level.

asked to provide a write-in answer for which company they trust most and why. Google, scoring eight percent of votes, edged out Starbucks, which was named six percent of the time. A common theme around Google was its customer focus. Google is “motivated to create useful products,” “is focused on the customer” and “values honesty.”

“Delivering consistently high quality products and customer service is the hallmark of a successful company, but in order to build enough equity to be named the most trustworthy, companies must bring something more to the equation,” added Weiss.

“Google and Starbucks are ubiquitous and reliable, and both have very public social programs with which people like to align themselves.”

Other companies that received multiple write-in votes in the survey were American Express, Target, State Farm, Chick-Fil-A and Amazon.

Is Google the world’s most attractive employer?

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

GoogleIs Google the “World’s Most Attractive Employer?”

It is for the fourth consecutive year according to the preferences of over 144,000 career seekers, with a business or engineering background from the world´s 12 greatest economies. So says the Universum  global talent attraction index: “The World’s Most Attractive Employers 2012″.’

KPMG keeps the second place and Procter & Gamble is now on the third position.

Here at the TechJournal, we find it interesting that Apple shows up on in the 8th spot on the engineering employer list.

“The Google fever is still hot! Students are attracted by Google´s relaxed and creative work environment, international atmosphere and innovative products. Google offers great benefits and opportunities that are hard for other companies to match.” says Petter Nylander, Universum’s CEO.

Also in the engineering category, Google takes the first position for the fourth consecutive year and is followed by IBM and Microsoft.

“The giants in the software industry are seen as great places for the launch of an engineering or IT career. They offer training, networking and future career possibilities. Moreover, they are global,” says Nylander.

World’s Top 10-Business

  1. Google (1)
  2. KPMG (2)
  3. Procter & Gamble (7)
  4. Microsoft (6)
  5. Deloitte (5)
  6. Ernst & Young (4)
  7. PwC (3)
  8. J.P. Morgan (9)
  9. The Coca-Cola Company (12)
  10. Goldman Sachs (10)

World’s Top 10-Engineering

  1. Google (1)
  2. IBM (2)
  3. Microsoft (3)
  4. BMW (4)
  5. Intel (5)
  6. General Electric (8)
  7. Siemens (9)
  8. Apple (7)
  9. Sony (6)
  10. Procter & Gamble (10)

In parenthesis is the company’s position in 2011. For the full ranking, go to http://www.universumglobal.com/IDEAL-Employer-Rankings/Global-Top-50

Visa, PayPal lead in battle for control of the mobile wallet

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Visa and PayPal top the list of consumers’ preferred mobile wallet providers at 15% and 13%, while mobile network operators Verizon and AT&T (with the Isis wallet), and Apple, are close behind.

So says a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research that defines the mobile wallet industry in its initial stages.

To become a valued mobile wallet provider, the report says, consumers consider three important factors—trust, innovation, and privacy. A balanced approach of the three is more important to consumers, as PayPal and Visa have demonstrated with high scores in all three categories.

Personally, we use PayPal as often as possible because it is convenient and easy compared to many other choices. We did have one security incident with PayPal, although it was resolved and we did a much tougher password unique to the service.

The report suggests that financial institutions are well positioned to leverage their customers’ trust to become mobile wallet leaders. It says more than 60% of mobile bankers are likely to adopt a mobile wallet in the next 12 months.

Providers will have to determine which mobile point-of-sale technology – Near field communications (NFC), cloud, and bar code – to use. In the near-term, bar codes and cloud-based wallets will proliferate, as they do not require mobile phone upgrades or merchant investments in terminals and systems.

With Apple’s iPhone 5 coming soon and other new devices following the iPhone, it is expected that NFC chip technology will prevail as it offers the convenience of paying with a simple tap or wave of the phone.

“NFC faces significant barriers to adoption by merchants and consumers, but it is standards-based technology that will eventually prevail as the main mobile point-of-sale technology,” said Mary Monahan, executive vice president and research director, Mobile at Javelin.

“Google was first out the door with NFC and has stumbled. When Apple enters the payment space with NFC, we expect Apple iPhone 5 will lead the way and others will follow Apple’s lead.”

For the full report see:  Battle for Control of the Mobile Wallet: Sorting out Players, Technologies and Strategies to Win

Three tech firms among companies with highest ad spending growth rates (infographic)

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Google not only makes most of its money via advertising – it is itself a major advertiser. In fact, technology companies Google, Apple, and Amazon are among the top six US companies with the highest ad and promotion spending growth rates.

They’re spending much of the money on paid search, social media and online video.

This infographic details who the top tech advertisers are where some of the money is going:

Tech Company Ad Spends
Brought to you by: OnlineBusinessDegree.org

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