Twitter and advertising

Twitter has been enhancing its advertising services as it continues to increase its revenues.  Improvements include a new advertising API and an upgraded dashboard which provides more performance data to advertisers.

Twitter’s ‘business’ site has also been enhanced with new content to help businesses use Twitter to better engage with their audiences.  The website provides some basic and advanced tips for using the tool for marketing purposes and also features some excellent case studies from a wide range of organisations.  This content features lessons learned which can be searched by company size, sector, product and – interestingly – by campaign goals.

Twitter success stories

What is the main goal or purpose of your Twitter campaign?  The case studies on the Twitter site are grouped by client goals, including: drive sales, increase the number of followers; educate and inform; brand awareness; product launch and increase engagement.  Once you are clear about the main goal of any campaign, then you can begin to focus on the best tactics.  Once again, the site enables you to search by approach, including direct response and partnership models.

Each of the case studies features measurement data including numbers of new customers/ orders/ follows and ROI.  If you have colleagues who may be looking for more information about the value of Twitter as a marketing or engagement tool, they may find the content of value.

Meanwhile, eMarketer has revised (upwards) its predicted advertising earnings for Twitter, forecasting that the social network will earn almost $1billion in 2014.

Mobile drives growth

  • 53% of Twitter’s advertising revenues will come from mobile advertising in 2013
  • 2013 mobile advertising revenue will total $309million (2012 total = $138million)
  • By 2015 Twitter’s advertising revenues will be $1.3billion, with over 60% coming from mobile
  • 83% of advertising revenue in 2013 will come from the US (down from 90% in 2012)

Source: eMarketer.  Further reading on TechCrunch.

Tattoos in the news

Tattoos and librarians go together like Dewey and Decimal.  If you don’t believe it, have a look at the fundraising efforts of the ‘tattooed youth librarians of Massachusetts’ or visit the ‘tattooed librarians and archivists’ Tumblr.  There are even examples of aspirational ‘fake librarian tattoos’ for children.

Tattoos and QR code campaigns

Tattoos have been in the (information-centric) news for two reasons this week.  Firstly, Springwise broke the story of QR codes being used in a recruitment campaign for tattoo artists in Turkey.    The QR code provided a great ‘first sort’ of potential candidates.  Only by filling in the QR code accurately could potential candidates unlock a link to the job application form.  This was a great, creative campaign idea which was completely applicable to the client and the sector.

Tattoos and copyright

Tattooing is now a big industry, worth $2billion a year in the US alone.  There are reality television shows based in tattoo parlours and in 2010 (according to the Pew Research Center) 40% of Americans aged 26-40 had a tattoo.

Custom artwork is very important in tattoo art and clients can pay many thousands of dollars for an individual piece.  However, the growth of social media has facilitated the sharing of photographs making it easy for tattoo designs to be copied.  Are tattoos works of art which should be protected by copyright legislation?

The New York lawyer Marisa Kakoulas has worked with clients who have sued clothing companies for appropriating tattoo designs without consent.  The tattoo artist responsible for Mike Tyson’s facial tattoo sued the film-makers after the former boxer appeared in the hit film The Hangover.  The judge said the tattoo artist had a ‘strong’ case, although both parties settled.  The current situation is uncertain and it seems likely that copyright lawyers will continue to debate the legal issues around ‘ink’ and intellectual property.

The excellent copyright blog 1709 has covered this topic in the past and will no doubt return to it as the debate continues.

Source and further information:

Digital Europe – the latest figures

In 1996, 66% of the world’s internet audience was based in the US.  By 2012 87% of the world’s internet audience was based outside the US.  Europe is now the world’s second largest internet audience (after Asia Pacific) with 27% of the total, putting on 7% growth in the last year.

In its latest report (Europe Digital Future in Focus) ComScore analyses the latest European statistics and trends.

Key findings

The internet

  • There are 408 million internet users in Europe
  • Russia accounts for 15% of all of Europe’s internet users
  • Italy (17%) and Russia (15%) have the fastest growth
  • Once again, the UK leads the way in user engagement with an average of just over 37 hours per user per month

Mobile and tablets

  • There are 241 million mobile devices in Europe
  • At the end of 2012 all EU5 countries had crossed the 50% smartphone penetration milestone
    • Of the EU5 countries, Germany has the most mobile devices, followed by:
      • UK
      • Italy
      • France
      • Spain
      • Almost one third of UK page views are made via mobiles or tablets
        • The European average is 20%
        • The most popular smartphone activities are:
          • Accessing personal email
          • Weather reports
          • Social networking
          • Instant messaging services
          • Search

Mobile video

The EU5 has seen rapid growth in the last 12 months

  • Mobile video has grown 162%
  • PC video grew by 5%


  • Google sites account for 86% of Europe’s search engine market
  • The figures show that users are not simply using search engines – they are searching within sites such as Facebook, eBay and Amazon too

Shopping and banking

  • 146 million Europeans visited comparison shopping sites
  • The Netherlands lead the way in internet banking – 66% of all internet users accessed online banking sites.  Only 18.8% of those in Switzerland did so


Taking the UK as a case study, the report looks at increased reach for newspapers via video and mobile.

  • The Sun has increased its reach by 16.9%
  • The Mail Online has increased its reach by 11%

The report also features country scorecards outlining:

  • Top 20 internet sites for each country
  • Top news/information sites
  • Top retail sites
  • Top online banking sites

For more information, see the comScore website.

Does digital piracy impact revenues?

How much should copyright holders worry about piracy?  Two recent research reports provide some contradictory conclusions on the impact of digital piracy.

According to Danaher and Smith (Wellesley College and Carnegie Mellon University) the closure of online platform MegaUpload almost certainly led to a decrease in online film piracy and an increase in legal digital sales of movies.

However, according to a new research report from the EU’s Information Society Unit “…digital music piracy should not be viewed as a growing concern for copyright holders in the digital era” and does not hurt digital music revenues.

The research looked at online music consumption of over 16,000 people in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.  The researchers conclude that the majority of illegally downloaded music would never have been legitimately purchased if illegal sites had not made the music available.

A reformed pirate

Writing on Lifehacker this week, Thorin Klosowski described his own personal transformation.  Once a consumer of pirated content, he now only uses legal sources.  Rather than a conscious decision, this transformation happened slowly.  He explains that in the early days of digital content, it was simply often easier to pirate something than to download it legitimately.  The development  of easy to use legal sources, alongside the emergence of music streaming services like Spotify, mean that purchasing legal content now simply provides a better user experience than sourcing pirated content.  He does however note that gaming and movie companies have yet to catch up with digital music when it comes to offering legal streaming services.

Klowoski agrees with the findings of the EU’s report.  Fighting piracy is more effective when users are offered better legal alternatives.

The librarian’s dilemma

Agnostic, Maybe also explores this issue.  In a fascinating blog post, he writes about his own history of using non-legitimate sources but that now, as a librarian, he tries to ensure that people access legitimate content. He believes that this is important for librarians if they are to have any say in the future development of copyright legislation.   The challenge comes when there IS no legitimate way to purchase the content.

Enforcement is one way to tackle ‘piracy’ but the best way it seems is to provide great – legitimate – products and services for which people will be prepared to pay.


Mobile apps – what the customer wants

Smartphone penetration has reached 50% in the US and on average each smartphone user has 41 apps installed (up from 32 on average in 2012).  A billion apps are downloaded from Apple’s App Store every month.

Technology company Compuware conducted a global survey of over 3,500 respondents (in France, Germany, India, Japan, the UK and the US) to find out about their mobile app experiences and expectations.

Key findings

  • 85% prefer mobile apps over mobile websites
  • 55% consider apps more convenient
  • 47% consider apps as faster
  • 40% consider apps easier to browse

Problems with apps

Users are impatient when apps underperform.  Over half the respondents had experienced problems with apps, including crashes and freezes; slow launch times and failure to open.   79% of users would only retry a non-working app once or twice.   Only 16% would try a non-working app more than twice.  The vast majority (84%) also pay attention to app store ratings when making download decisions so bad reviews really matter.

What do users really want?

  • Easy to download and navigate
  • Speed – 80% expect an app to launch in three seconds or less
  • The right options for the device
  • Relevant/personalised information and services
  • Ability to share/recommend via social networks

Key lessons

  • Focus on user satisfaction and engagement – ease of use, optimised design and functionality
  • Focus on ‘fast and reliable’
  • Monitor app performance for all your users
  • Monitor real-user experiences
  • Identify issues via device type/browser type/geography etc

“Businesses that embrace the mobile opportunity, offer the most usable features, and provide the fastest, most consistent performance will emerge as mobile leaders in their category.”


The report is free to download from Compuware.

Digital consumers – the rise of the digital multi-tasker

KPMG has been researching consumer media behaviour for over five years – during which time we have seen social media go mainstream, the introduction of smartphones and tablets and the rise of digital delivery consumer companies such as Spotify and Netflix.

KPMG’s latest ‘Digital Debate’ report looks at the rise of the ‘digital multi-tasker’ and outlines action points for content providers.  Over 9,000 consumers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Singapore, Spain, the UK and the US were asked about their media consumption patterns.  The report’s key findings include:

An insatiable appetite for media

  • Consumers split their time between traditional and digital/online media
  • People still spend marginally more time offline than online
  • People spend more of their media budget on ‘traditional’ media


  • Spending for every type of digital media in the last year has increased
  • Spending on CDs, DVDs and video games has decreased
  • Ever increasing numbers of people watching mobile/tablet/streaming TV (30+% in Singapore; 14% in the US)
  • These ‘digital multi-taskers’ are interacting with TV in different ways, using second – or even third – screens.

The coming wave of online consumers can accelerate the digital shift

  • An emerging class of ‘mobile first’ media consumers.  Preference for online media is much stronger among the emerging mobile-centric class – particularly prevalent in emerging markets such as Brazil and China.
    • In China most consumers are getting their media via smartphones, tablets of laptops – very few rely on print media

Media and technology companies should cooperate to address this new wave

  • Cooperation across multiple industries is vital if effective new business models are to be found
  • Effective partnerships will ensure everyone will value from the arrangement – including the consumer

The report concludes with some lessons for advertisers that truly resonate for the information professional:

Embrace the new worldsome traditional models may still be working (TV may still be making advertising revenues from such big events as The X Factor or major sporting fixtures) BUT that doesn’t mean TV companies can ignore the new digital models.

Use customer metrics – make the most of the digital information available to you to really understand your customers and create stronger relationships

Get to know your digital multi-taskers – and focus on transforming their second screen experiences.

The report is available to download here.

Mobile trends 2012-2013

comScore has released its latest Mobile Future in Focus report for the US (a separate report for the UK is also available).  The report analyses the mobile landscape in 2012 and sets about making predictions for 2013.

Mobile trends 2012

Social networking

  • Facebook accounts for 83% of US social media usage
  • Tumblr is in second place – with 5.7%
  • Driven by the visual web e.g. the emergence and popularity of Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram
  • Shifting towards ‘content monetisation’


  • Google’s share of the search market in the US increased by less than 1% to 66.7%
  • Microsoft Bing was up 1.2% to 16.3%
  • Yahoo was in third place with 12.2% – down 2.3%
  • Shift to searching on mobile devices
  • ‘Core search’ declined for the first time in 2012
    • Searchers are shifting to vertical search – e.g. searching directly on eBay or Facebook

Digital video

  • 75 million online video viewers per day in the US
  • Increasing numbers viewing favourite shows digitally
  • In 2012 there were 450 billion U.S. content video views
  • Google sites (YouTube) were the top US video content properties with 42% of the market
    • Hulu was in second place; Netflix seventh


  • Mobile transactions accounted for 11% of e-commerce spending in 2012
  • Consumers using smartphones to help them shop in-stores


  • Smartphones surpassed the 50% penetration point in 2012
  • 80% of time spent on smartphones is spent using apps
  • Facebook is the leading mobile app
    • Google maps is second; YouTube is sixth
    • Smartphones and tablets account for 37% of all time spent online

Mobile trends 2013

com.Score’s predictions include:

  • consumer platform shifts mean businesses must work hard to stay ahead of consumers’ anytime anywhere demands
  • organisations will develop more integrated, cross platform social media strategies
  • social search increasingly important, with 2013 likely focusing on ‘local social search’
  • increasingly sophisticated consumers, using devices to compare deals and make transactions
  • Big data will require organisations who can deliver big insights.

You can download the report here.

Dealing with mission impossible – a publishing case study

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) disseminates scientific information in the interdisciplinary fields of geophysics.  With over 60,000 members worldwide, the AGU publishes books, research journals, newspapers and other scientific periodicals.

In 2012 the AGU announced a publishing partnership with Wiley.  And in September 2012 Freddie Quek, Director of Engineering for Wiley, was given four months to integrate the AGU content onto a single Wiley platform.  He shared his story of coping with this ‘mission impossible’ with delegates at the Association of Subscription Agents conference in London.


By 2nd January 2013

  • Start revenue earning
  • Ensure systems ready to support entire content chain
  • Ensure system works in a familiar way for all AGU customers
  • Give AGU customers access to all licensed content


  • 17 systems to check
  • Non-standard content formats (one publication had no page numbers; one journal had seven parts – three of which had sub-parts)
  • Over 700 special sections of content
  • What to do about unique identifiers; new ISSNs required
  • Unknown unknowns!
  • Ensuring discoverability
  • Development to start before all requirement were clear

What worked

  • Creation of a 60 day plan
  • Number one priority across the organisation – 52 people on the team
  • Sense of commitment, urgency and importance of the project
  • Rapid decision making at all levels
  • Team effort by everyone and a can-do attitude
  • Strong business lead and close cooperation

Lessons learned

  • Focus on people over process
  • Embrace the challenge
  • Break some rules
  • Be brave
  • Use your best people

Many of us will be asked to take on ‘impossible missions’ at work.  Freddie’s best advice?  Deal with it!

Lower teen crime rates – is the internet responsible?

Apparently the peak age for teenage offending is 15.  A new report claims
there has been a drastic improvement in the behaviour of 15 year olds in Sweden
since the mid-1990s – and researchers are theorising that the internet is (at
least partially) responsible.

A report by the Crime Prevention Council of Sweden (Brottsförebyggande rådet -
or Brå) based on a survey of 6,500 15-year olds, found for example that 16% of
15-year olds admitted to vandalising public property (down from 32% in 1995).

Researchers are speculating that changes in teen habits are contributing to
this continuing improvement in behaviour.  Fewer teenagers are meeting up
with friends or hanging around in the ‘real world’ and are socialising online

Meanwhile in the UK in 2012 there was an 8% overall reduction in crime – and
observers and analysts are debating why.  One argument is that there are
fewer ‘crimes of opportunity’ for young offenders (e.g. cars are harder to
break into). There has certainly been a reduction in the amount of alcohol
consumed in the 16-25 year old age group.  Reports of vandalism began to
decline in 2007 – just as smartphones were taking off.  A youth worker, quoted in the Guardian, states there are “so many [other] things for kids to do” these days.

Do the right thing: workplace trends in 2013

Business solutions expert Sodexo has released its 2013 report on key trends affecting the workplace.  The report combines insight from clients, academia, trade organisations, social media monitoring, literature reviews and surveys.  Physical resources and facilities, people and technology all combine to impact the effectiveness of the workplace and effective management of all three can improve performance and productivity.  The report identifies 12 key workplace trends, including:

  • Thriving in the cloud
  • The development of 21st century mentoring
  • New recruitment models
  • The importance of inclusion

A new era of recruitment – facilitated by social media

There have been radical changes in the way organisations engage with prospective employees in the last five years.  A recent study found that 92% of US companies use social media in their recruitment efforts.  70% of employers report having successfully hired a candidate through social media (up from 58% in 2010).  Social media also creates a two-way conversation between employers and potential employees, who can gain a more complete picture of their potential employer using ratings sites and other similar services.

Flexible workplaces – ‘Integration 2.0’

The needs of the 21st century workforce are more complex and dynamic.  Progressive organisations are looking to provide dynamic life/work ‘ecosystems’ that provide flexible work options and contribute to the effectiveness – and wellbeing – of the workforce.  An example is in the development of more social space in workplaces and more multipurpose spaces that can flex to meet different demands.

Do the right thing – the importance of values

The report notes that 35% of the US workforce claims to have been bullied at work – and emphasises how this can prevent people from excelling at work – hurting the bottom line of organisations as well as having damaging psychological effects on staff.

86% of millennials entering the workforce now say they would consider leaving an employer whose values fell short of their expectations.  The report states that all four generations in the workforce see corporate social responsibility as a potential motivating factor at work.

Harvard Business Review has also been discussing the importance of corporate social responsibility and its impact on profitability and sustainability.  Author Eric McNulty sees the role of business leaders as to be clear in setting and communicating their purpose and their values and being clear about how their business model can ensure financial viability.  This clarity is essential if ‘its leaders and followers are to know what is the right thing to do’.