One in Three Consumers Follows Through on Social Media Recommendations

Empathica, Inc wanted to know more about how consumers were using social media in regard to brands so they sat down and interviewed 15,000 people from both the US and Canada. Okay, they didn’t actually sit down with all those people, but they asked the questions, the people answered and they published a nifty new report called The Empathica Consumer Insights Panel – Q2 2010, Issue 4.

I can’t say that their findings were very surprising but empirical validation is always nice, don’t you think? So here are the two key points:

When it comes to social media, six in ten consumers said they followed at least one brand. 40% of those people said they did it for coupons and promotions while the 30% said they were simply looking for “additional information.”  I’m bad at math, remember, but that does seem to leave a few people unaccounted for. Maybe they’re following brands for nefarious reasons and didn’t want to say.

Does the Rise in Social Media Marketing Equal a Rise in Holiday Sales?

There’s no doubt that this is the year of the social media holiday marketing blitz. More folks than ever are using Facebook, Twitter and other sites to encourage holiday shopping.

According to eMarketer, 27% of retailers said they’d spend most of their marketing budget on social media, up from 18%. And 75% said they had a social media strategy this year as opposed to only 51% last year. But does this rise in activity mean a rise in sales?

We’ve been told that Black Friday and Cyber Monday both did very well this year, but is it as a result of all the social media air time?

The Cancellation of Terriers and The Importance of First Impressions

FX has canceled the TV show Terriers. You’re probably not too crushed by the news. It’s safe to say that the majority of the people who will read this blog post never even heard of the show before today since less than a million people watched the premiere. A million may seem like a lot but 13.5 million people watched the Lost finale, so in TV terms, not so much.

What does the cancellation of a low rated TV show have to do with marketing? I’ll tell you. Or rather, I’ll show you. Just look at the ad FX used to advertise the series. It was one of a couple of graphics that all featured snarling dogs. Add that up with the title of the show, “Terriers” and you gotta figure its about dogs, right? Wrong.

Rise in Mobile Pushes Rise in Global Ad Spending

The United States accounts for 5% of the world’s population but 34% of total worldwide advertising. That means we’re the largest ad market but it doesn’t mean we’re the only market. According to a new study by Ad Age, China is one of the fastest growing countries in regard to advertising dollars. With 20% of the world’s population, they currently account for only 5% of the worldwide ad budget but experts say they’re on track to displace Germany as the third largest market come 2011. Sitting in the number two spot? Japan and they’re likely to stay that way.

What’s being advertised globally? Personal care items and automobiles took the top two spots followed by food, drugs and entertainment. When it comes to drugs and entertainment products, more than half of all ad dollars are being spent in the US as compared to the other categories that are only 20 – 30% US heavy.

Is Do Not Track Something to Worry About?

This past Wednesday, the FTC released a report stating that they were behind a “Do Not Track” program that would automatically stop all ad tracking unless the consumer opted in. The consensus from the government is that advertisers aren’t doing enough to assure consumer privacy, so they’re being forced to step in.

As of this morning, a dozen plus blogs and news outlets have chimed in on the topic discussing everything from the possibility of it becoming a reality and who will be hurt if it happens.

Multichannel news covered a Time Warner media VP’s appearance before the subcommittee on Thursday. Joan Gillman’s point was that “Do Not Track” would interfere with the “vibrancy” of the internet in that it would restrict a company’s ability to be marketing innovators.

Gowalla Upgrade Adds Foursquare and Facebook

Location-based check-in services aren’t as big as they appear to be from the hype, but still, companies are clamoring to take over the space. Foursquare has been the high-profile leader for awhile but there are folks that prefer Gowalla’s interface and then there are those who don’t leave Facebook for anything. That’s why Gowalla has decided to run with the old adage, “if you can’t beat them, join them.”

Gowalla’s latest update allows the user to see the check-in updates of their friends, even if they’re using rivals Foursquare, Facebook, even Twitter and Tumblr.

Josh Williams, CEO of Gowalla had this to say about the decision:

Newspaper Ad Decline Slows, But There’s No Reason to Celebrate

When the news is as bad as it’s been for newspaper advertising, any small ray of hope is welcome, like the slight decline in the decline. The Newspaper Association of America has tallied up the numbers for Q3 and came up with a decline in ad dollars of 5.39%. That’s the smallest decline papers have seen since 2007 but is that a reason to celebrate? Not really.

When you look at the complete grid showing the history of newspaper ad dollars, both online and print, it’s still a pretty dismal picture. The actual combined dollars for last year is listed as $27,564 million. The last time dollars were that low was in 1987. Factor in the lack of online dollars and inflation and that’s a horrendous image. From there, the numbers rise steadily, hitting $49 million in 2005 and it drops like the Times Square ball on New Year’s Eve from then until now.