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Sears Embraces Online for Offline with in Store WiFi and iPad Access

A few weeks ago, I went to Best Buy to purchase a new printer. We got it down to two options and wanted to compare the specs but a lot of the information was missing from the shelf tag.

Next best thing, ask the salesman, who politely suggested we could find that information online. Good idea, except that my favorite electronics retailer doesn’t offer free in-store WiFi and 3G connection within their walls is spotty and highly reliant on standing in exactly the right spot.

How sad is it when technology retailer can’t get the tech right?

Enter Sears, America’s die-hard, age-old, retail institution. This holiday season, they’ll not only be offering free WiFi at many of their locations, they’ll be encouraging shoppers to go online while shopping in their stores.

Global Ad Spend Expected to Hit $500 Billion

Though the economy still has us all singing the blues here in the US, eMarketer says that global digital ad spending will continue to shine on through. The rough estimate is $500 billion spent by the end of the year thanks in part to the rise in mobile marketing.

As you can see from this chart (over there –>) North America is responsible for the largest chunk of the spend and that trend is expected to continue. However, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East are all making their move.

Asia, in particular, is being influenced by mobile marketing. It’s one of the areas where mobile devices are the primary means of accessing the internet and though they only sit at about 55.4% penetration right now, that number should rise to 73% by 2015. Says eMarketer, that’s “an eye-popping 2.9 billion mobile phone users.”

Tablets Slowly Eat Away Mobile’s Lock on Non-Computer Traffic

The overwhelming majority of people on the internet got there by using a computer. But in the US, 6.8% of them got there using an alternate device. The majority of those people did it with their mobile phone, but an increasing number are using tablets and that percentage is rising fast.

comScore has just released a new whitepaper called “Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption Habits.” It’s a long name for a data-loaded report that should interest anyone in mobile marketing (which should be anyone reading this post.)

Take a look at this chart:In just a few short months, tablet usage jump up from 22.5% to 28.1%, and they did it by eating into both the mobile and “other device” categories.

Tis the Season to be Mobile?

A great gauge of just how deeply anything is being adopted in the Internet space is how much it is used during the holiday buying season. We come into this year’s holiday season with enough concern and trepidation due to the current economic status of just about everyone on the planet but as Internet marketers we have to overlook these things and see if something is working despite these concerns.

We have been ushering in the year of mobile for at least the last half decade but it’s finally safe to say that the mobile age is truly upon us. eMarketer reference a survey performed by PayPal and Ipsos to see what percentage of people may use mobile devices (phones and tablets) to purchase this year

Millennial Media SMART Report Looks at the CPG Industry

Millennial Media has just released their August SMART report which this month, focuses on the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry.

Alcohol brands took 42% of the ad mix for the month with Cosmetics and Hygiene next at 26%. Says Millennial:

During the summer months, we saw an increase in Alcoholic Beverage advertisers taking advantage of the unique ability of mobile to reinforce their brands by delivering fun and interactive marketing campaigns to their target customers.

Is it just me, or does it bother anyone else to see the words alcoholic beverage and mobile in the same sentence? The vast majority of CPG campaigns pushed consumers to go from mobile to social (78%), while 56% sent consumers off to watch a video.


Google’s “Our Mobile Planet” Gives Mobile Data To Everyone To Use

Google can be surprising at times. We are all used to Google offering ridiculous amounts of free stuff and things. Sometimes, however, what they give away isn’t what you would expect.

This week Google has offered its “Our Mobile Planet” data for users like you and me to generate our own charts like the one you see below. The idea is to be able to use this data gathered by Google earlier this year to give some credence to mobile arguments and more. There are MANY different options for data and charts you can create about mobile usage.

From the Google Mobile Ads blog

What the New iPhone Means for Marketers

This morning, Apple pulled the wraps off their newest mobile phone, the iPhone 4S. It has a better camera, it’s faster, it has the largest storage capability of any iPhone and it responds to voice commands in a way we’ve never seen outside of Star Trek.

The live blogger for the New York Times summed it up best with this statement:

“We are clearly headed to Terminator/HAL territory here. Humans are doomed. Deal with it.”

Here’s a quick rundown of the new features.

Siri: Your Personal Assistant

Voice command module, Siri, is the main reason to switch to this new iPhone. It’s an incredibly intuitive system that understands and responds to conversational English (and a few other languages).

Ask what the weather is and you’ll get a weather report.