Study Shows Social Media Impact Lags Search and Email

Amidst all the hubbub about social media being the cures to all business ills there are some numbers that paint the medium as less of a silver bullet and more like one with a lot of potential and a lot of room to grow.

ForeSee Results has conducted a survey of 10,000 online shoppers. The report is titled “Social Media Marketing: Do Retail Results Justify Investment?”. Although it is not advisable to draw broad stroke conclusions from any one piece of research, the findings here are interesting in that the more traditional online marketing and customer acquisition methods of e-mail and search had more impact on site visits (along with real old fashioned brand recognition).

Stephen Colbert to Bing: You Got Served!

Despite Bing being a major sponsor of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert couldn’t resist having a little dig at Microsoft’s expense.

Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> Video Archive

The best line? “For the first time ever, someone’s search history has been busted for something other than porn.” LMAO!

Save 20% on SES New York!

The 2011 conference season is starting to heat-up!

PubCon South at Austin is just around the corner, then the mega SES New York kicks off on March 21st. SES continues to offer a great mix of search and social sessions and really is a great event for any east-coast marketers–newbie and seasoned-pros alike.

In case you were on the fence about attending, SES has kindly given us an exclusive 20% discount code for anyone that wants to attend.

When you register, simply enter the following code: 20MPL

Have fun!

Forecaster Says eBook Over Apps

While one forecaster says the sale of paid apps will likely triple in 2011, the Yankee Group says ebooks will be coming on strong and likely beat apps for their growth potential. As reported by MediaPost, Yankee predicts that ebooks sales will jump up 83%, going from a $313 million dollar business in 2009 to a $2.7 billion dollar business by 2012.

The huge rise in sales is mostly due to the accessibility of ebooks and ebook readers. Kindle, Nook and now the iPad have made downloading ebooks a snap compared to the steps you had to take to load your reader only a few years ago. The Yankee Group also predicts a drop in the average price of ebooks which should fuel sales in the future.

I Am Spartacus! Starz Conquers Mobile Barcodes

AT&T’s Mobile Barcode Service is out to conquer the world with the help of Starz and their new series “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.”

The cable network has signed on to do a test campaign between now and June that will include AT&T barcodes on everything from print ads to bus posters. Scanning the code with a compatible phone will unlock hidden entertainment treasures such as exclusive videos, special offers and of course, a quick link to sign up for Starz service.

A nifty idea, but will consumers play along? According to AT&T’s press release, “80% of respondents in a March 2010 survey indicated interest in scanning barcodes with their mobile phone. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed want to scan barcodes to capture and redeem coupons and discounts.”

Now Check In With Google Latitude

Google produces so many services and offerings that many just keep running in the background even without widespread adoption. One of those services is Latitude which is about two years old, has 10 million users and has generated little buzz.

It looks like Google may be trying to change that as it has introduced a check in feature for Latitude that ties in many of the various parts of Google’s location options like Maps and Places.

From the Google Mobile blog

Latitude is built right into Google Maps for Android so check-ins work across Latitude and Maps seamlessly. For example, check in at that new hamburger joint, and you’ll see its Place page with reviews to help you order. When friends check in at a place, you can go straight from their Latitude profile to its Place page to learn about it, fire up Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for turn-by-turn directions to them, and more.

Google Holds Its Breath and Bing Stamps Its Feet and the World Yawns

Wow, this is ridiculous. Whether it was planned or timed by Google to say Bing copied Google’s search results or even if Bing is actually copying Google search results has become almost irrelevant. Here’s what Andy Beal thinks about the whole thing.

So this is what happens when multi-billion companies have issues with each other? Puh-leeze.

Call me crazy but wouldn’t it make more sense if each company were sent to their neutral corners (or more appropriately their rooms) until they both cool their jets? I know when I my kids get too testy with each other they just need to have some ‘alone time’ and the silliness usually subsides.

In the meantime, the real world, the world of people who use the engines, is moving on as if nothing ever happened because in their eyes, nothing did.