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.”

Old Fashioned Message Boards Still Get the Job Done

71% of the Inc. 500 companies surveyed said they are using Facebook for marketing, up 61% from last year. It’s the biggest bite of social media pie but according to the same survey that bite is loaded with empty calories. (That’ll teach me to write when I’m hungry.)

The survey was conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research and was presented on eMarketer earlier today. Perfect timing, since I recently put up a piece about the declining click rates of Facebook ads and the high incidence of ad burnout.

According to the survey, 85% of respondents said they had success with Facebook over a measly 54% from last year. That’s pretty good, right? But there were three other kinds of social media marketing that topped Facebook for results. Blogging squeaked ahead at 86% but is actually on the decline from last year and that feels like a trend that’s going to continue. Podcasting also dropped considerably over last year.

Facebook Clicks Fade as CPC Rises

1,500 Advertising Campaigns

11,200 Individual Ads

2.2 Million Clicks

0 Happy Marketers

“Facebook Advertising Performance Benchmarks & Insights” is the latest whitepaper from Webtrends and it brings some sobering news. In short, Facebook ads aren’t turning out to be the gift to marketing we’d hoped and maybe Eric Schmidt was right, Google has nothing to worry about.

The most telling piece of information is contained in this chart. Basically, it shows that clicks have declined and prices have risen.

A big part of the problem is ad burnout. Because Facebook serves ads based on interest, the same ad is served to the same person multiple times over a few days. The study saw that people began to ignore the ad after only a few viewings. They counter this with Google search ads which only appear when someone is searching for that information, thus reducing the number of times the ad is seen, and thus, ad burnout.

Local Business or Big Brand: The Key to Facebook Success is the Same

Coca-Cola has 19.8 million Facebook fans many of whom they’ve cultivated with a year-long social media campaign called Expedition 206. That’s all well and good for my favorite soft drink company, but what about the gourmet cupcake bakery or the coffee shop that’s not Starbucks?

According to eMarketer, companies, which I take to mean brand names, only make up 6% of the fan pages on Facebook. where as local businesses make up 17.6% of the pages, the most populated category on the chart. But while there may be more than twice as many local business pages, you can bet that the total followers don’t add up that way.

Super Bowl Ads and Extending Your 30 Seconds of Fame

Creating a clever Super Bowl commercial takes time, talent and a lot of money. So in order to make the very most of their investment, Super Bowl advertisers are trying something new this year – using social media to pre-advertise their advertisement.

Bud Light, Audi and HomeAway (?) have all launched Super Bowl ad related campaigns on Twitter and / or Facebook but the one that’s really sparking interest is the Mercedes-Benz push.

The luxury car company is running a “Tweet Race.” On Wednesday, four teams will set out from four major cities on their way to Dallas, Texas, each driving a “specially-outfitted” Mercedes-Benz vehicle. The cars will be “Tweet Powered,” meaning that they’ll gain ground based on the number of Tweets their team receives. Sounds complicated but it also sounds like something people will really get behind.

Will the PC Go the Way of the 8-Track and Does it Matter?

Deloitte Predictions says that by the  end of 2011, more than 50 percent of computing devices sold globally will NOT be PCs. Smartphones, tablets and non-PC netbooks are taking over the market at a rapid pace and it’s their growth, rather than the PC’s decline that Deloitte claims will make the difference.

Deloitte says the old PC will continue to be the workhorse that powers the dataflow for a good portion of the world, but we’re a mobile society and if we can grab our email and go, we’re going do it. We are doing it.