Can’t Get Enough Ads? There’s an App for That

You know how people are always saying, “I wish there was a way to view only ads without that pesky content getting in the way?”

Okay, no one says that, but you have to admit that advertising is sometimes the most interesting and creative thing on the page. Not here at Marketing Pilgrim, certainly, but other places. That’s why Apple has released the new iAd Gallery App.

With the iAd Gallery App, you can scroll through a list of engaging iAds and watch them do their stuff. Because everyone deserves credit, the agency responsible for the ad is listed when you tap, along with a short paragraph explaining the ad function.

They also offer a neato browse wheel so you can flip through ads like a wheel of fortune. It doesn’t do anything different than the side scrolling version, but it sure looks cooler.

Enter the IAB Seal of Approval

After many months of talk about a set of self-policing rules for digital marketers, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has finally launched their Ad Network & Exchange Quality Assurance Certification program.

The new IAB guidelines is a 35-page document that covers such topics as Acquiring Inventory, an Online Media Rating System, Data Disclosure and methods of handling customer complaints. Ad networks who agree to follow a published set of guidelines will receive what they refer to as “the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for digital marketing.”

For those of you born in the later half of the century, the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval was awarded to products that were tested and approved by the popular homemaking magazine. It started in the early 1900’s and was a highly recognized symbol of trust through the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. If a product had that seal, then the consumer knew it was safe, reliable and a good buy.

Customer Insight Tops List of Social Media Expectations

When asked what they expected to get out of social media followers, most of the brand marketers surveyed went with insight over money.

eMarketer took a look at this July 2010 survey and they made this easy to read chart that you see here on the right.

As you can see, less than half of the respondents expected to see a short-term or long-term increase in sales due to social media. I’m sure they’d be happy to see that gain, but I expect the response was more about the reality not the hope.

The reality is that we don’t really know what kind of impact social media can have on brands because there just isn’t enough data. Many companies have tried to qualify the ROI per Facebook fan or Twitter follower, but the truth is we don’t have a solid way of quantifying social media behavior.

Netflix, WebMD Make the List of Most Successful Digital Media Companies

paidContent has put together a list of what they think are the Top 50 Most Successful Digital Media Companies in the US. They based their decisions on which companies were bringing in the most money from online content and online advertising (estimated at times) and on the company’s strategy and future.

Not surprisingly Google, Yahoo, Apple and Microsoft took the top four places in that order. Fifth place went to Netflix with their estimated revenue of $1.5 billion-plus. Netflix recently lined up some big deals with the studios and now that they’re doing well with their streaming arm, the future looks very bright for this ground-breaker that is slowly clearing the field of all competition.

AOL Shifts from Freelance to Full-Time

Freelancers have been turning out copy for magazines, TV and online sites for many, many years. Some of the copy isn’t the best, but there are plenty of great freelancers out there who know how to craft a great story and can do it from inside the walls of their own home (or the local Starbucks.)

Arianna Huffington doesn’t agree. That’s the rumor, anyway. According to Business Insider, AOL, under the leadership of Huffington, is doing away with freelancers. Not only are they looking to work with only full-time employees, but one source says, those employees are expected to be at their desks at 9:00 am.

Business Insider posted an email that was sent to them from a former freelancer and I found this paragraph particularly interesting.

Internet Ad Spending Not Equal to Internet Usage

Internet ad spending is on the rise, but according to those statistical geniuses at eMarketer, the rise isn’t equal to the rise in actual internet usage.

What they did was look at the amount of time the average adult spends watching TV, reading the paper, surfing on the internet, etc. Then they matched those percentages to the percentage of the overall ad spending dollars by category.

Here’s what they got.

As you can see, people spend most of their media time watching television. By a strange coincidence, the percentage of ad dollars spent on TV is nearly identical. Pretty neat. But after that, things get funky.

Millennial Media Shows Growth in Local Market Targeting

Mobile advertising platform, Millennial Media has released their SMART Lite report for February which gives you a quick look at key stats.

Most notable for this month is a 22% increase month-over-month in local market targeting which was driven mostly by Telecommunications, Restaurant, and Insurance advertisers. As you can see from the chart, nearly half of all mobile ads are now targeted as opposed to a broad reach.

The report also shows that campaigns driving application downloads rose 14% and watch a video grew 13%.

Finally, the report notes that it’s not too early to start planning for back-to-school. Millennial says that back-to-school is the second largest retail period of the year, and 38% of shoppers intended to use their mobile device for price comparisons. 30% of mobile shoppers want coupons and deals on supplies for their kids and if you’re in the shoe biz, then this is your number one time of the year.