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Email and Romance – A Survey

Love is not a usual topic on Marketing Pilgrim. The closest we might come is covering Problogger Darren’s Rowse love letter to AdSense. There’s a fine line between queasiness and sweetness. And it is that time of year.

No one can say Google is heartless (just look at their logo today), but I’d say their love takes a certain practical bent. When you’re curious about how love and technology mix, and you have a decent budget, what do you do? You launch a national survey. Google commissioned Nielsen Online to see how we use email in our romantic relationships.

We use use email, text messages, IM, and probably Twitter to do everything from asking someone on a date to ending a marriage. It’s causing consternation in courtrooms and cultures worldwide.

Why Branding Campaigns Can’t Rely on the 6% that Click Display Ads

Starcom, Tacoda and comScore’s “Natural Born Clickers” study suggests that advertisers looking to increase their brand awareness should dump click-through rates as a measure of success.

The study found that, when it comes to display advertising, 50% of the clicks come from just 6% of the total US online population. And while these 25-44 year olds spend four times the amount online compared to non-clickers, they earn less than $40k a year.

What does this mean for advertisers who buy display ads for branding purposes? Don’t focus on the click!

Further preliminary Starcom data suggests no correlation between display ad clicks and brand metrics, and show no connection between measured attitude towards a brand and the number of times an ad for that brand was clicked. The research presentation suggests that when digital campaigns have a branding objective, optimizing for high click rates does not necessarily improve campaign performance.

Online Marketers See High ROI from SEO

While paid search is still the top tactic for internet marketers, more competition and higher costs has dampened enthusiasm. However, SEO (search engine optimization) is more popular with marketers because of its lower cost and high returns.

“SEO continues to increase in popularity. Its low costs and high returns make it a leader among more than half (57%) of the marketers surveyed. Those numbers were 45% in 2006 and 33% in 2005.”

That’s according to MarketingSherpa’s 5th Annual ad:tech Survey. The survey received 421 responses from top internet marketers. These marketers decide how to spend large marketing budgets for well-known brands.

MarketingSherpa asked what worked in the past 12 months and how they plan to budget for the next year.

Here are some additional findings:

comScore Drops the Ball: The Truth About Online Video and the Writers’ Strike

It’s been a month, and it looks like it’s time for the spurious connection between the writers’ strike and the rise in online video viewership to be revived. This time it’s comScore making the specious connection between the writers’ strike, no new television shows and increased online video viewership.

Just so that there’s no doubt as to the wrongheadedness of comScore’s conclusions, here’s what they said in Friday’s press release:

With the writer’s [sic] strike keeping new TV episodes from reaching the airwaves, viewers have been seeking alternatives for fresh content. It appears that online video is stepping in to help fill that void.

Exclusive: Predicting Super Tuesday Results Using Social Media & Search Sentiment

There’s no need to watch today’s Super Tuesday presidential election coverage, we already know who’s going to win: Barack Obama and John McCain.

How do we know this?

Marketing Pilgrim and Collective Intellect have joined forces to release “Election 2008: Using Social Media Measurement as a tool for predicting poll results” a study that looked at sentiment across social media and the search engines. Based upon our findings, we’re confidently predicting a win for Democrat Obama and Republican McCain.

You can download the free report via the Collective Intellect blog. In it, you’ll find full details of how we used blogs and search engine results to make our predictions.

For those of you interested, here’s a quick summary.

Sentiment across social media:

Podcasts’ Audience Growing, Maturing, Disappointing

I know that eMarketer’s numbers on the growth of podcasting should make us all feel warm and fuzzy, but I just can’t shake the feeling that the channel has severely under delivered.

The good news is that US audience numbers should grow from a total audience of 18.5 million in 2007 to a whopping 65 million by 2012. Also good news, the amount spent on podcast advertising should grow from $165 million to $435 million by 2012.

But, let’s take a closer look at the numbers:

If you read the small print, you’ll see that "total podcast audience" is made up of "individuals who have ever downloaded a podcast." What does that mean? Well, it certainly must include those that have downloaded a single podcast, thought to themselves "this sucks" and then went back to listening to their radio or mp3 player.

Google Experimenting with New Search Views

Google started promoting their Experimental Search product more actively last week. This week, they’re making the formal announcement of new views in Experimental Search—with a familiar-sounding rationale.

There have been a lot of recent improvements to web search, but the appearance of results themselves has been pretty constant — 10 or so web pages in a vertical list. Frequently this is exactly the right format, but for some searches you need more options and more control. That’s why we’ve created our experimental search page to let you try out some of our newest ideas.

Now, Experimental Search isn’t new news—and neither is a search interface that’s not just a list of 10 blue links. However, these particular views are purpose-specific and don’t just make the search page look nicer—they could make it easier to find and understand data.