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Boston.com Uses Advertisers’ Blogs As Part of Ad Package

Local Internet marketing is quite a puzzle for most businesses and even for most publishers. Display, while effective in certain ways, is usually not enough to get the point across for many businesses. Most small local businesses (and even large ones looking to reach a local market) have stories to tell that won’t fit in a display ad.

It’s for this reason that Boston.com is rolling out a new program called Insights. It’s a neat idea of taking real content from advertisers in the form of promoting blog posts in order to help Boston.com readers jump right into the conversation with advertisers because they are being exposed to real information that could help them. It could also help them make a decision to do business with the advertiser, errrrr, I mean blogger. Well, you get the picture. Take a look at this video to get the idea.

Is this the first program of its kind that does anything like this?

Holiday Shopping: eCommerce Expectations Are High, mCommerce Not So Much

They say good things come to those who wait and retailers have waited long enough for a boost in sales! Looks like this might be the year.

Chase Paymentech talked to a variety of retailers and found that the majority (59%) of them expected 2012 sales to top those of 2011. They were also very optimistic about the percentage of sales coming in through online channels.

Now, I’d like to present my reward for the Short and Sweet Graphic of the Week. It goes to eMarketer!

Seriously folks, it doesn’t get more plain than that. eCommerce is on the rise but mCommerce is still barely a blip on the radar.

Poynter Study Shows How We Interact with Tablet Content

As a teen, I learned to speed read using a machine that brought each line of text up into my line of vision like a teleprompter, pushing me to consume each sentence at a glance. Once I had the skill, I transferred it to books by moving my eyes down the page instead of the page moving up to meet my eyes.

But now that I do the majority of my reading digitally, I’ve naturally graduated to a hybrid of the two which Poynter says is becoming the norm for tablet readers.

The Poynter Institute is training a new generation of journalist and that means looking at how our reading habits are changing to meet digital requirements. For their new study “Poynter EyeTrack: The Tablet,” they monitored two groups of people, 18-28 year-old “digital natives” and 45-55 year-olds “printnets.” (People who grew up with print but have moved on to the internet.)

100 to 249 Dollars is the Mobile Spending Sweet Spot

Shopping with a mobile device is becoming almost as common as shopping online with a computer. And according to a new survey by JiWire it’s not just the number of shoppers that’s increased, the amount they’re willing to spend is also climbing fast.

Take a look at this chart:

At a quick glance, it’s kind of silly. I know people have concerns about mobile security but if a hacker is after your credit card it doesn’t matter if you’ve charged $10 or $1,000 dollars. But when you look at the psychology behind it, it makes total sense. There’s something frivolous about shopping via a mobile phone so it’s no big deal to toss $20 at something but when it comes to buying big ticket items, that’s a whole different story.

If You Give the Consumer a Mobile Option, You Better Make Sure it Works

Last year, Shopkick was my favorite holiday shopping app. I used it every time I stepped into a partner store to claim my points and locate discounts. Or rather, that was my intention. I ended up spending endless minutes wandering around the front door of the various stores waiting for the app to recognize my location. You know the look – walking with your cell phone held up in front of you, turning left, right, stepping here, then there – it’s embarrassing and I was probably blocking traffic.

Then I went into the store and tried to use the bar code scanner to claim more points. Alas, my cell reception dropped out. I was in a Best Buy, the top tech chain in the US and I couldn’t get a signal. There was no free Wifi and I was told that there were only a few clean hot spots in the store. Of course, these spots weren’t anywhere near where I needed to be.

Facebook Offers Real Time Gift Option in iPhone Update

Facebook just released a new update for their iPhone / iPad app and it has a couple of features worth noting.

After a lot of talk, they’ve finally added the ability to send Facebook Gifts to friends – sort of. The app write-up and several news outlets say the feature has been activated but I couldn’t see any sign of it on my account.

If you do have it, you can send a real gift to a friend even if you don’t know they’re address. You simply choose them, pick a gift from the options available, pay for it and send. The receiver gets a notification, they confirm their mailing address and several days later the gift arrives. Pretty cool.

Look for Big Local Mobile Growth in Near Future

We all know that the the digital channel is continuing to grow. Advertising as a whole may not be growing tremendously but growth in the digital space is being fueled by a an increasing exodus from traditional advertising options that are no longer cutting it in the Internet age.

Please note that I am not saying all offline advertising is going away. That’s hype and nonsense. That’s online industry stupid talk for lack of a better term. There are offline channels for advertisers that still work well and will continue to do so. In fact,they will be even more strategic as the shift continues to the online space and a true balance is struck by marketers who learn what works best and in what doses regarding online and offline options.

BIA/Kelsey has provided some data about the local space moving forward and it looks like mobile is the big winner. Take a look at the predicted growth of local mobile ad spend through 2016.

Now see how that compares to local spending as a whole.