Report Says In-Game Purchases Will Rise to $4.8 Billion in 2016

I swore I would never do it. My friend swore she’d never do it. And still, after months of fighting the urge, we both did it. We both spent money in-game in order to advance play. A mighty eagle, here, an extra life there. The question now is, where will it end?

If Juniper Research is right, it may not end until we’re both out on the street begging for change in order to buy Words with Friends tokens.

Juniper says we (all of us, not just my friend and I) spent $2.1 billion on in-game purchases in 2011. They expect that number to rise to $4.8 billion in 2016.

Google Introduces New “Search Plus Your World”

If you have been wondering when the latest update to Google’s search offering would be then today is your day. Google’s “Search Plus Your World” (notice the clever use of plus in the title wink, wink, nod, nod) is starting to be rolled out today to English language searchers who are logged into Google.com.

As we like to do here at Marketing Pilgrim, we’ll give you the video intro from Google just to whet your appetite regarding this rather significant addition to the Google search function. It comes from the official Google blog

Here is some more from the Google blog regarding the specific changes. We recommend you read the entire post.

Is Social Media Overrated Regarding Brand Impact?

I think we are starting to head into a very good direction with regard to social media and its impact on business. We are moving away from the irrational exuberance (read: overselling) of its impact by those in the Valley toward a more realistic perspective of just what impact social media can have on brands. That is healthy since it is best to find where the balance lies in almost every situation in order to find a strong and likely more lasting solution.

A study from AYTM Market Research (I don’t know who they are either) and reported by eMarketergives some insight into just how important social media can be regarding brands. The first chart talks about Facebook.

Major Marketing Mission: Figuring Out Generation Y

If there was ever a group of people that are coming up through the ranks that have been more mystery around how they should be defined its Generation Y. We have early Boomers, late Boomers, Generation X and now Generation Y. They are different for sure and a recent study conducted by Millenial Branding and Identified.com takes a look at this mysterious group that will be imposing its considerable will and weight on everything we do for quite some time to come whether we like it or not. Click through for an infographic summarizing the results.

Some of the major findings include:

80% of Gen-Y list at least one school entry on their Facebook profiles, while only 36% list a job entry. They define themselves by their colleges instead of their workplaces.

Papa John’s Gets Backlash from Idiot Employee but Is It REALLY Their Fault?

Last week Andy Beal blogged about the latest stupid human trick performed by a food chain employee which has caused an online reputation issue. This time it was Papa John’s. It appears as if pizza chains (remember the Domino’s incident?) have trouble hiring minimum wage workers with any scruples.

The long and short of the story is that a Papa John’s employee in NYC was stupid enough to use a racial slur to describe a customer. It’s not like they just said something either. Rather this employee (who has since been fired) decided to immortalize their ignorance by adding the customer description to a field that appears on the customer receipt. Boy, if there wasn’t morons out there like this we may not have anything to write about, would we?!

Here is the receipt from a CNN story about Papa John’s apology.

Yahoo To Announce Original Series Deal with Tom Hanks

So what’s this have to do with Internet marketing you ask? Everything is the correct answer.

Yahoo is announcing a deal to bring its first original scripted “series” to the online content producer and they are using a pretty big name, Tom Hanks, to make the splash.

Fresh off a new CEO hire, Scott Thompson, that everyone is at least curious about since he isn’t from the same space as Yahoo claims to be in, the beleaguered online traffic giant (even with all the screw ups!) is branching out in a big way. As the AP reports

Tom Hanks’ long gestating Web series is coming to Yahoo.

“Electric City,” an animated futuristic series Hanks has been developing for years, will premiere on Yahoo this spring. The series includes 20 episodes, each three- or four-minutes long.

Is the Affiliate Dream Real?

A friend of mine recently said she was disheartened by the promotion of the affiliate lifestyle as an easy way for anyone to make serious cash. She pointed out that most affiliates fall flat on their face making little to no money. This got me thinking…. is the affiliate dream real?

To answer this question, I decided to pick up the phone and fire up my email to reach out to a few successful affiliate marketers to get their thoughts on the reality of the affiliate dream.

Nick Reese

Nick Reese is the author of “How to Turn Traffic and Trust into Sales” and has been promoting affiliate offers since 2007. Nick is a powerful force in affiliate marketing and has made a ton of money promoting affiliate offers across a wide range of industries.