Archive for June, 2011

Lions of the Creativity – Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2011

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

One of the most globally awaited advertising festivals, the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival is here again. This year it’s running from 19th June, 2011 to 25th June, 2011. Like every year, all the creative gurus from across the globe have gathered together to view the shortlisted work and to attend seminars & workshops. Besides the seminars & workshops the week’s schedule also includes four award ceremonies, namely – the culminating with the Film, Film Craft, Titanium and Integrated Lions awards.

Every mid-year in June, around 8,000 registered delegates from 90 countries visit this Festival, to celebrate the best of creativity in brand communication. Besides the celebration, this festival also serves as a platform for discussions on various industry issues and helps in building networks. This year a number of high profile speakers from around the world have participated to share their view on the future of media and advertising. The speakers list for the festival includes a number of high profile people such as Martin Sorell, James Murdoch, Jefrey Katzenberg, Arianna Huffington, Martha Stewart, Mark Zuckerberg and many more. This 58th edition of the festival is taking place in France, with jury members from various parts of the world.

The festival is spread across 7 days out of which 2 days have already passed by. Day 1 started with a seminar on topics “GoViral” which shared information on how brands have built their importance in the consumers mind since the last ten years. It spoke about how brands have made their place in people’s daily conversations & to support this fact, statistics & stories were included. Further a relation between various topics such as offline and online social media, culture & brand, social mobile marketing was explained. The importance of content& creativity was also explained specifying the 3 c’s of modern creativity, namely Community, Crowdsoucring & Co-creation.

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Day 2

Lots of learning, lots of fun, lots of experience and lots of idea churning, all at the Cannes Lions Festival 2011 Day 2, Yes this creativity-filled festival gave an opportunity to learn more about the marketing industry and the new rules that were driving its performance.

The day 2 began with a seminar which gave insights on how people make purchasing decisions & recommend products in five key categories namely, automotive, consumer electronics, telecoms, hair care and quick service restaurants. With suitable industry specific examples, such as how with every 1% increase in web traffic in electronics leads to 0.5% increase in sales, this seminar shared a lot of information on consumer behavior and factors that affect their purchasing decision. Additionally the speakers shared their view on importance of brand engagement & brand involvement. The importance & future of mobile marketing was also explained. Justifications on how people would start using mobiles more frequently to book tickets, make reservations & built & create contacts and networks. Besides, mobile marketing, some light was thrown on future of search marketing as well, wherein the speakers shared their views on how search would move from links to likes.

Co-Written by Pooja and Santosh.

You Had Me At “Hello”: Making Mobile Marketing Count – Part 2

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Now that I’ve given glimpses of the overall opportunity that exists for mobile (and tablet) devices, I should mention that there is proof in the pudding. Based on some studies by, search engine land, Google, and Resultrix experience, mobile is definitely here to stay. Check out some of the trends and stats:

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There are over 1.9 billion people worldwide on the wired web and over 5 billion phones. Much of these phones have online capabilities and many are beginning to use the mobile phone as their primary search device.

As of February 2011, there were over 234 million mobile phone users (age 13+) in the US. Of these, there were nearly 50 percent searching on their mobile devices.

Over 30 percent of the total US mobile market is smartphones, with 50% of new mobile phone purchases being smart phones! Mobile searching is especially prevalent in the smart phone segment.

Add another 10 million iPad / Tablet users that are equipped with fantastic browsing experiences and my head begins to spin at the exciting opportunities that lie in front of us!

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  • According to a Google smart phone user study, over 93% of smart phone users use their phone within the home
  • Of these users, 39% said they used their smart phone “while going to the bathroom”
  • What’s even more interesting is that 72% of smart phone owners use their devices “while consuming other media,” a one-third while they are watching the TV. That means, that the mobile phone continues to be a central device that user uses to for a variety of activities, some that can be based on what they have viewed on TV (news, product information, purchases, etc.)

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Mobile searchers are looking for a range of topics, but Google’s survey confirms that the mobile is a critical platform for news delivery.
Some other interesting search categories (not exhaustive) include:

  • 57% do news searches
  • 51% search for Dining related information
  • 49% for Entertainment
  • 47% do shopping related searches

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Shopping is a key scenario for mobile smart phone searches, which is why it’s critical to ensure your digital campaigns include mobile device targeting and specific strategies.

  • 79% said they use their smartphones to help with shopping
  • 70% use their smartphones while in a store (perhaps to get product details, compare prices and competitor products)
  • 74% of the smartphone shoppers make a purchase!
  • eBay has shared that 1 transaction / second on their mobile service
  • Pandora has been downloaded on over half the US mobile handsets
  • Google also mentioned that 9 out of 10 mobile search users have “taken action as a result of a mobile search, with over half leading to a purchase.” The eventual purchase will be made through a variety of channels (online, in-store, phone), but that’s a great assist point for Mobile!

So now that you have the data, what does this mean for your business? How can you capitalize on these trends? How should your digital marketing campaigns be tailored to include mobile devices? Stay tuned for Part III…

This is part 2 of a 3 part blog… check out the other two here:
You Had Me At Hello Pt. 1
You Had Me At Hello Pt. 3

You Had Me At “Hello”: Making Mobile Marketing Count – Part 1

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

An interesting thing happened the other day, I was searching for a new 3D Blu-ray player and came across a player that had the ability for users to download a media app so that the user could control their DVD player from their iPhone or iPad. I thought it was a fun, nice-to-have feature, but then I started thinking more and realized – wow, the mobile phone is being used as a remote control! The remote control? Isn’t the remote the central device that most family members fight to control, because they ultimately become in charge of the family’s entertainment destiny? Ok, perhaps that’s taking it a bit too far, but what it told me was how pervasive mobile phones continue to become.

It’s great to see how far mobile usage scenarios have come, which is why it has been on my mind to write a blog about the importance of targeting mobile phones. So, here goes…

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As a part of the original Windows CE 1.0 team (Microsoft’s first entry into the mobile / PDA / embedded devices market), we used to talk a lot about the future of mobile, the ability to deliver locally relevant offers and content, share information anytime and anywhere, conduct meaningful transactions, and create stored values. I kept waiting to see when the inflection point would finally happen, and so finally over a decade later, we have started seeing a huge adoption of smartphones (thanks Apple). The trend continues to increase in a staggering way, especially with the more recent acceleration of the tablet market (thanks iPad). With devices seeding the market and extensive content ecosystems being available (thanks AppStore), users finally have compelling content choices that were highly relevant and contextual, including having apps that would satisfy even some of the most obscure interests. Smartphone users could finally demand a comprehensive experience that provided a holistic set of services ranging from getting the daily dose of news, shopping, entertainment, among others.

So why am I recapping the obvious? Well, agencies and in-house search teams driving web design & digital campaigns, should ensure their web experiences and campaigns are optimized for mobile. Mobile is the +1 that is here to stay. I’d even venture out to say that for many users, they would say that their mobile phone completes them. icon smile web design tablet search marketing tablet marketing search marketing Search mobile web design mobile search marketing Mobile search mobile marketing mobile digital marketing mobile digital marketing So why not have websites and search campaigns grab the attention of the user when they are on their most beloved device (in a recent Google study, 20% of smartphone users said they would give up cable TV before their smart phones!)? The answer is that websites need to be mobile (and tablet) ready, and search marketing campaigns should include differentiated approaches for mobile phones and tablets (cutting and pasting from regular desktop search efforts don’t usually work).

Now that I may have your attention, you may be wondering – is there data to back up all of this? Stay tuned for Part II…

This is part 1 of a 3 part blog… check out the next two in the series here:
You Had Me At Hello Pt. 2
You Had Me At Hello Pt. 3

Kung Fu Panda Strikes Back!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

There are many websites which are still trying to recover and getting back on track after the recent changes in Google’s Panda update. This change is to improve the overall SERPS listings and remove out sites that have low-quality pages and bump up websites that have high-quality and unique content.

Google is continuing to put the Kung Fu back in their algo and make it more accurate and refined. That’s right, another Panda update! At SMX Advanced Conference, Google’s spam cop Matt Cutts has confirmed that Google will be launching its new Panda update version 2.2 and Matt says “This new update will target a common webmaster complaint related to the original Panda/Farmer update: sites that scrap & re-publish content and are out-ranking the original source of the content”. Google also mentioned that tweaks in Panda algorithm will be an on-going process. There is a constant scanning of indexed pages going on by Google to find out sites having low-quality content/pages, hidden text, and various other Black-Hat-SEO techniques. If it spots such activities, then it may penalize the site.

There is no specific date given by Google for the launch of this new update worldwide. However, it is always recommended that websites should have fresh content and practice purely White-Hat-SEO techniques.

For more info go to:

Keep Your Wallet at Home with Google Wallet

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Gone are the days when you had to carry hard cash or plastic money while shopping and make purchases. In its constant attempt to make our lives simpler, Google has launched yet another free Android app called “Google Wallet”. This time Google has given us the privilege of moving out of our houses, without our wallets, which means we make payments for our purchases through our Android Phones. Sounds interesting, isn’t it?

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Google Wallet is a mobile payment processing system which makes paying bills as simple as tapping. All you have to do is feed in the information from credit or debit cards, or even a prepaid card, and then whenever you open the Google Wallet on an NFC enabled smartphone, you can make payments by tapping your phone on an NFC sensor or reader. Google has partnered with Citi, MasterCard, First Data, and Sprint to launch Google Wallet.

However, this app has its own pros and cons. Pros being:

  1. It makes money easily accessible
  2. You may forget your wallet at home but not your cell phone (convenience)
  3. Saves time

Cons of Google Wallet

  1. If you lose your phone, the thief who gets your phone gets lucky and can shop on your behalf but for himself
  2. People may take time to get accustomed to this new mode of payment and it may take time to inculcate this as a daily or weekly habit
  3. Giving away financial details on a mobile phone sounds risky

As it is in its testing phase, only US citizens from New York and San Francisco get an opportunity to try Google Wallet till the time the original version is launched.