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NIELSEN KICKS OFF FINAL PRE-LAUNCH TEST OF MOBILE AD MEASUREMENT SOLUTION

Nielson Press Release

Nielsen today announced the launch of the final technical trial as it gears up to expand Nielsen Online Campaign RatingsTM to mobile this summer. BrightRoll and TubeMogul, two of the largest video ad platforms in the digital space, will participate. Both companies have been using Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings in an always-on, fully integrated manner for the past eighteen months.

Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings measures the audience of digital advertising and has emerged as the standard for buying and selling online ads, including video ad guarantees. With the addition of mobile, Nielsen Campaign Ratings will become the first and only measurement suite to offer robust insight into a campaign’s full digital and cross-platform audience.

“Mobile has grown quickly to become an important part of brands’ marketing strategy, and as such, advertisers are seeking ways to more accurately measure campaign impact and engagement,” Tim Avila, SVP of Marketing Operations, BrightRoll. “Our clients rely on Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings for independent, third party measurement and we are pleased to be working with Nielsen as they bring this important mobile offering to market.”

“Cross-screen audience measurement is critical for advertisers to leverage the trend of increasing mobile video consumption,” said Jason Lopatecki, Chief Strategy Officer, TubeMogul. “We’re excited to be at the forefront as a beta participant for the Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings mobile offering.”

The expansion of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings to measure mobile devices will use a similar approach to Nielsen’s Media Rating Council-accredited methodology* for measuring computer and tablet browsers, which combines Nielsen’s industry-leading Cross-Platform Homes panel with data from third-party providers, to measure all ads, including video and display. In addition to mobile browsers, this release will explicitly measure in-app ads for the iOS and Android app eco-system. Other clients, including ABC, have participated in earlier technical trials.

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What’s The Point Of Multi-screen?

MediaPost

I have been writing about second screen before and the definition of what the first screen is and what it can do. Obviously, this topic becomes more interesting to me, now that I work for a company offering the sync between TV and 2nd screen, or TV and digital if you like. But this isn’t a sales pitch, rather an evaluation of what’s happening in the market.

Emarketer’s recent report confirms what many studies have shown over the past few months: our engagement with TV, particularly during the ad breaks, is moving from the TV screen to the mobile, tablet, laptop screens or even portable gaming devices. Interesting enough, though, this particular reports says, the engagement is primarily on the TV screen and not the mobile screen.

Again, this is the chicken-and-egg situation, as most things in digital, whether the main screen is the TV or the mobile one. I use the mobile screen as a synonym for “portable” screens. The study further suggests that when using predominately smartphones we are engaging more on searching the web than on social media. And of social media, sites like Facebook and Twitter seem to be on top, and it could be non-related to what’s happening on TV at all, e.g., no hashtag or show following or liking.

In many discussions, I found out that everyone knows of a correlation between TV and mobile screens. No one knows exactly what and how but, of course, knows there is one. I am not disclosing my secrets here if I say that those screens go hand in hand. We as a nation, as humans, engage more and more with our mobile devices. We use them to check our bank statements, our social status, our text messages, emails, forums, or search for ideas, order books or toys or groceries. The mobile is our daily device with wearable tech usage and usability growing to become connected to mobiles and monitoring us 24/7.

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What Is the Future of Proximity Marketing?

eMarketer

Embattled by stiff online competition, brick-and-mortar retailers are looking to the internet for inspiration to improve the in-store experience. Online cookies, pixels and social logins track the shopper across the web, offering insights that ecommerce sites in turn rely on to advertise and merchandise effectively. A slew of new proximity platforms offer comparable tools for brick-and-mortar retailers, according to a new eMarketer report, “Proximity Marketing in Retail: Can Ecommerce Tactics Revive Brick-and-Mortar?”

Although aspects of proximity marketing—targeted marketing with a geographic radius of roughly 100 meters—have been in place for nearly a decade, the field is still new enough to make it extremely difficult to forecast. Its uptake depends on two overarching factors: retailer interest and consumer acceptance.

Right now, the only thing that everyone agrees on is that 2014 will be filled with small-scale tests to see whether the latest generation of proximity platforms can significantly improve the shopper experience and the retailer’s bottom line. Beyond that, opinions are split. On the bullish side, some foresee a radically transformed environment in which the world is, in essence, a personalized and interactive catalog to be browsed and shopped with a smartphone or wearable device. At the other end of the spectrum are those who expect the widespread testing of proximity platforms to show them unready for scaling and hampered by fragmented services, operational complexities and consumer reservations about privacy.

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How publishers tweak content for the social Web

Digiday

There’s an optimization gap in digital publishing. While advertisers are using sophisticated targeting for ads, publishers are usually showing the same content to all readers, no matter who they are or where they came from.

Many, however, are slowly catching up. Publishers like Upworthy, BuzzFeed, and The Washington Post are realizing that success in digital publishing is a game of tiny optimizations. Most readers aren’t visiting sites via their front pages, making it key that publishers tweak reader experiences, headlines, and page layouts in an effort to make their content more palatable and sharable for specific audiences.

BuzzFeed offers a particularly good example. When a reader visits BuzzFeed via Pinterest, the site not only increases the size of the Pinterest “Pin It” button but also removes the Twitter share button entirely. That’s because only 8 percent of users who click BuzzFeed link on Pinterest end up sharing the story via Twitter. BuzzFeed also adds a “hot on Pinterest” module when readers visit the site via Pinterest. The result: Pinterest drives more referrals to BuzzFeed than Twitter.

Upworthy, which also gets most of its traffic through social channels, is also looking at how it can tweak user experience based on whether readers come to the site directly or through other means. The move is a sensible one considering that Upworthy is already well-known for giving its stories at least 25 possible headlines each. Extensive A/B testing is already a part of its core formula.

“We’re doing it in a way that looks at the net effect,” said Ed Urgola, Upworthy’s director of marketing. “Whether it means starting to personalize based on the source or show a new user something different from a returning one, everything is done by considering how it affects that one decision that the reader’s going to make when they’re finished reading a story.”

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Microsoft’s vision of big data for everyone

CITEworld

Can anyone in your business have the bright idea that becomes your next big thing? Can they find out what’s going on and get enough detail to understand why and then decide what to do to fix the problem or take advantage of the opportunity? Can they do that without drowning in the stream of tweets and emails and reports? Oh, and can they do it without having to turn into a data scientist who can spin up a Hadoop cluster over lunch?

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talks about getting insights out of the “data exhaust,” which is apt given how easy it is getting to choke on information; big data is no help when it’s too big to keep up with.

What Nadella calls “ambient intelligence” is about being able to use all the data in your environment, but it has to be easy to work with if it’s going to be accessible. When he talks about “everyone in the organisation having curiosity and trying to get insight and take action” he talks about it in terms of Office rather than MapReduce queries and SQL Server stored procedures and data warehouses; the information has to come from there and half a dozen more places besides, but the people who need to ask questions aren’t the ones who know how to use all the different data services where information lives today.

Microsoft’s Power BI service and even Excel are great interfaces for data. Today Excel is a BI tool as much as it’s a calculation tool; you can build a formula and then colour-code the results with conditional formatting that makes it obvious that one building is using a lot more power than the rest of your offices.

The Q and A feature in Power BI turns that into asking questions in everyday English so you can check if that building uses more power because it has twice as many people in as your other buildings or because the heating has been on even when the sun is shining. Is it bad that your travel costs are going up or good that your sales team is travelling to meetings where they sell more products? At least when the information is in an interactive set of charts rather than buried in hundreds of pages of Excel and PowerPoint slides, you can realize you need to ask that question.

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Google revenue jumps 19 percent but still disappoints

IDG News Service

Google reported a 19 percent increase in revenue for the first quarter, but results from its advertising business were mixed.

Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was $15.42 billion, Google reported Wednesday. That was a healthy jump from last year but less than the $15.52 billion analysts had been expecting, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Google’s earnings per share, excluding costs like those from the sale of its Motorola Mobility division, were $6.27 per share, which was better than last year but also lower than expected.

The results hurt Google’s share price in trading after hours. Its stock was down about 3 percent at the time of this report, to $541.13.

The number of paid clicks, or clicks on ads paid for by advertisers, climbed 26 percent from the first quarter last year, Google said. But the cost of those clicks, or the amount advertisers paid, dropped roughly 9 percent.

Subtracting traffic acquisition costs, or the money Google pays to partners that run its ads or direct traffic to its websites, the company’s net revenue was $12.19 billion.

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Mobile Continues to Steal Share of US Adults’ Daily Time Spent with Media

eMarketer

In 2013, time spent with digital media among US adults surpassed time spent with TV for the first time—with mobile driving the shift. This year, that trend will continue, according to new figures from eMarketer, as time spent with mobile devices continues to grow much faster than usage of all other media.

US adults still spend considerably more time with TV than with any other single medium, and in 2014, they’ll be in front their televisions for an average of 4 hours 28 minutes per day, eMarketer estimates. That’s down from 2013, but by a mere 3 minutes.

Combining online and mobile devices, however, eMarketer expects US adults to spend 5 hours 46 minutes with digital media daily this year, increasing digital’s lead over television to well over 1 hour per day. Digital media, in our definition, includes all online, mobile and other non-mobile connected-device activities, such as video streamed through over-the-top services.

That increase is almost exclusively attributable to mobile. In 2014, US adults will spend 23.0% more time with mobile on an average day than in 2013, according to eMarketer’s forecast—and that’s led to mobile cannibalizing time spent with just about every other category. Even desktop time will drop this year, both in absolute terms and as a share of time spent with all media. Last year, mobile time (excluding voice calls) lined up evenly with time spent online on desktops and laptops, at 2 hours 19 minutes each. This year, mobile will pull far ahead, to 2 hours 51 minutes, vs. 2 hours 12 minutes spent online on PCs. Overall, TV will account for 36.5% of total time spent with media in 2014, compared with mobile at 23.3%, which is now firmly in second place.

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LinkedIn tackles China with a startup approach

IDG News Service

China has been a tough market for U.S. Internet companies to crack, but LinkedIn has high hopes it can buck the trend and increase its user base in the country to as high as 50 million over the next five years.

“This is a very long-term investment, it’s not an experiment,” said Derek Shen, head of LinkedIn’s China operation on Friday.

The social networking site officially entered the nation’s market back in February, and is targeting China’s growing number of working professionals, numbered at over 140 million, according to the company. To reach those users, it launched a Chinese language site called Lingying.

LinkedIn, however, wants to avoid the same fate as other U.S. Internet companies that have struggled to take off in the nation’s competitive market. Google, eBay and Groupon have all come up against local roadblocks, including stiff competition from domestic rivals, and China’s notorious online censorship.

In LinkedIn’s case, the company studied the Chinese market for four years before finally deciding to enter the market, Shen said at China 2.0 Forum, an event in Beijing organized by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Currently, the site has about four million users in China.

The failure of some international companies in China may be due to their structure or lack of incentives for the operation to succeed, Shen said. “So we decided in China, we wanted to do a startup,” he added.

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LinkedIn Hits 300M Users, Pushes Mobile Options

MediaPost

LinkedIn on Friday announced it has surpassed 300 million active members worldwide, up from 277 million at the end of 2013. The roughly 36% growth rate in the first quarter from a year ago is on par with 2013. The professional networking site said 67% of its users come from outside the U.S., with more than 100 million in the U.S.

“While this is an exciting moment, we still have a long way to go to realize our vision of creating economic opportunity for every one of the 3.3 billion people in the global workforce,” stated Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s senior vice president of product & user experience, in a blog post.

Mobile has become a growing focus for LinkedIn in the last couple of years, as more users access the service on devices. Later this year, Nishar noted that LinkedIn will hit the point where more than half of its global traffic comes from mobile.

“Already, our members in dozens of locations, including Costa Rica, Malaysia, Singapore, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, use LinkedIn more on their mobile devices than on their desktop computers,” he wrote.

Overall, the site each day gets an average of 15 million profile views, 1.45 million job views and 44,000 job applications in over 200 countries through mobile. As the company expands its mobile portfolio, with new releases such as its slideshare app, LinkedIn plans more strategic partnerships with major mobile players like Apple, Nokia and Samsung.

LinkedIn made a splash earlier this year with its push into China. In his post, Nishar said the goal now is to connect more than 140 million Chinese professionals with each other and the worldwide work force.

In a research note on Monday, however, analyst Michael Purcell of Stifel Nicolaus pointed out that LinkedIn still monetizes international users per member at one-third the rate of their U.S.-based counterparts. That translates to average revenue per user (ARPU) of $3.76 abroad versus $11.30 in the U.S.

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Content marketing budgets increase

Warc

Senior marketers regard content marketing as the single most important channel across the marketing mix and just over half intend to increase their spend on the format in 2014, a new survey for the content industry body has suggested.

According to the Content Marketing Association, those using content marketing spend 19% of their budgets on it, more than the 15% recorded for events, 14% for TV, 11% for online marketing and 10% for print. Other channels mentioned in the survey included direct marketing (9%), outdoor (7%), social (6%) and radio (6%).

Among those who don’t use any form of content marketing, 25% used direct marketing, followed by 18% each for both TV and print.

Conducted by TMS in the last quarter of 2013, the survey covered 130 marketing practitioners and almost two-thirds (65%) of those questioned were at managerial or director level in a wide range of sectors, including retail, auto and financial services.

It found that 51% planned to increase their spending on content marketing in 2014, whether their overall marketing budgets increased or not, and a full 85% were “aware” of the channel.

Respondents said they found content marketing to be especially effective for long-term customer engagement and brand-building, but were undecided about how effective it was for customer acquisition.

They said the top three challenges facing content marketing were proving its effectiveness internally, securing enough budget allocation and creating quality content.

The last factor caused the report to observe that this could provide an opportunity for specialist agencies that offer top-quality editorial skills – a view shared by Sharon Flaherty, head of content and PR at Confused.com, the price comparison website.

“The current risk is that marketing departments do not have the right skills to practice content marketing properly,” she said. “Those with backgrounds in journalism are a must-have asset for brands engaging in content.”

Clare Hill, managing director at CMA, added: “For those using content marketing, it is the single most important channel across the full marketing mix and equates to 20% of their total budgets. As with any successful content, quality is essential.”