Birmingham PR agency Seal are hosting a round table debate for marketers in the alcohol sector. We’re taking part in what promises to be a packed event.
The growth in social media marketing shows no signs of slowing down and alcohol brands are among the most active sectors using these channels. But what are the risks? And what do brands need to do to ensure regulatory compliance?
Senior figures from the sector will meet in Birmingham to plot a clear route through the channels and the maze of rules surrounding the use of social media for marketing communications.
The panel will consider the consumer and see the results of a survey, commissioned by Seal, into how 18 – 25 year olds use social channels to engage with brands and what this means for purchasing habits.
The session will also look at case studies from those at the coal face with the aim of producing a practical guide for marketers.
The event takes place on Monday 23rd July. We’ll be live tweeting from the event and you can follow using the hashtag #bingingonsocial.
I’m always in two mind about display advertising. Despite the fact that spend continues to grow (18.5% according to the IAB) response rates still seem to be very, very low. Proponents argue that engagement levels are more important and that these are much higher (10% compared to 0.4% for clicks). The IAB’s Future Formats competition saw publishers’ ideas as to what the next generation of display ads might look like.
There’s definitely some interesting ideas here such as the “Premium Display Canvas” and “Shuffle Box” (both from Yahoo) and Doubleclick’s “Picture Frame”. These ideas offer lots of potential for engagement but what’s the next step for consumers? If you can view a video of a new phone, check out the colour options, features and specs all within the ad, will these ads encourage purchases? And what do these ads mean for brand websites where purchasing isn’t an option? Is display going to make the leap into generating meaningful actions from consumers? Or are we simply going to get better quality (or more annoying if you’re not a fan) distractions?
The mobile web is coming of age. At least that’s the impression you’d get from the research statements and digital marketing press. Back in August Ofcom reported that one in three adults used a smartphone to access the web. More recently it emerged that nearly 10% of eBay’s UK activity is done via smarthphones. There are plenty of other articles and blogs talking about the value of mobile commerce, the need for apps and of course, the pros and cons of each of the main mobile operating systems.
But is mobile usage of websites really that high? We took a look at a couple of client sites and the data suggested otherwise. This led a hypothesis that the published data is probably biased by usage of a small number of hugely popular sites and apps from the big publishers, retailers and brands as well as massive use by gamers. If so, what’s the reality for most businesses and organisations?
To test this we decided to analyse data from a range of websites. In partnership with HEERA we gained access to 21 academic and educational websites alongside 5 from the commercial sector. This gave us a decent sample – on average the sites receive over 350,000 unique visitors per month and 700,000+ visits. Total traffic ranged from 6 million unique visitors month to over 10 million.
So what do the results tell us? The results for both segments are shown in the chart below showing the percentage of visits coming via mobile devices:
Mobile is definitely growing. In August 2010 it accounted for less than 3% of all visits in both segments. In the education sector it had doubled by August 2011 to just over 5% before dipping back to 4% in September. For the smaller commercial segment growth was much faster passing 9% in September (and is now at 11%).
Within the HE segment there was significant variation. This can be seen on the chart below which shows mobile visits (as a % of all traffic) for eight of the respondents:
Mobile accounted for between 3% and 8% of visits to the educational sites. Usage is growing at a reasonable pace though less than for the commercial sites. This might in part be due to the younger audiences using the HE sites who are less likely to own a smartphone, or at least to have a package with extensive data/web bandwidth. This will be explored more fully in a follow up post looking at the actual devices used.
What does this mean for businesses? Well mobile is here, and here to stay. It’s growing but perhaps not quite as rapidly as we’ve been led to believe. Usage of the most popular apps, games and sites has skewed the data somewhat. The picture for most organisations is that mobile accounts for less than one in ten visits to their sites. In HE it’s much lower, for commercial sites slightly higher but still less than 1 in 8. At the very least, all site owners need to be looking at their analytics data before deciding what, if any, investments to make in mobile content, advertising or apps.
HEERA have teamed up with Clarity Digital to help members understand what the mobile web is and its importance to the sector.
Many of you will have seen the latest data that suggests that 1 in 3 adults now use smartphones to access the web. However, what does this actually mean?
Outline research suggests that the data is skewed by the usage of the high profile mobile sites and apps (e.g. Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tesco, etc).
So what’s the reality for higher education? And what should institutions be doing with mobile? To find out, we ran a meta-analysis of website data in the HE sector to determine what the true picture is for members. We’re presenting the results of this exciting project at a workshop at the University of Birmingham on the December 7th.