Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Will Podcasting Steal the Show?

FEBRUARY 28, 2006

Talk about an overnight sensation.

In a survey published by Pew Internet & American Life in July 2005, a mere 13% of respondents were confident of the meaning of the word "podcasting."

What do you think the percentage would be today?

"The audience for podcasts has shown meteoric growth, particularly in the US," says Mike Chapman, eMarketer Editorial Director and author of the new Podcasting: Who's Tuning In? report. "It is variously projected to reach between 20 million and 80 million by 2010."

According to Mr. Chapman, the active audience is much smaller but it is still set to grow rapidly

In light of the skyrocketing audience figures — along with the audience's attractive demographics — advertiser are hot on the phenomenon's heels.

Advertising on podcasts, which are invariably free to the end user, is in its infancy to put it mildly," says Mr. Chapman. "However, the nature of the audience and strong growth in its numbers have already driven major brands to invest in podcast-based promotion. More advertising and sponsorship will inevitably follow, as evidenced by the sprouting up of several companies dedicated to facilitating podcast advertising and measuring its effectiveness."

In their pursuit of venues that deliver a measurable, targeted audience, online advertisers and marketers are paying serious attention to this new "anywhere, anytime" channel.

eMarketer projects podcasting advertising to reach $80 million this year and $300 million by 2010.

"With the introduction in late 2005 of an iPod with a high quality color screen, and the memory and processing power to support video playback, video podcasts or 'videocasts' are now becoming commonplace," says Mr. Chapman. "The appeal of moving images to both consumers and advertisers and the continued evolution of devices like the video iPod mean that videocasts will become the predominant format within the next five years. This, in turn, will support further audience growth."

Keep up with the latest online / offline phenomenon as it evolves, plug into the new Podcasting: Who's Tuning In? report today.

Source: eMarketer www.emarketer.com

Monday, February 27, 2006

Study says search marketers missing out by neglecting alternative engines

JupiterResearch, a division of Jupitermedia, Monday released a study showing that 40% of search marketers are missing out by using only Google and/or Yahoo! for their online campaigns. http://www.jupitermedia.com/corporate/releases/06.02.27-newjupresearch.html

The report, “Engine Selection Strategies: Campaign Expansion Demands Management Tools,” also found that only 19% of search marketers make the cut as “sophisticated”—those that use the technology to enable testing and expansion.

“Increasing competition and rising keyword prices should motivate search marketers to look for newer, viable opportunities to diversify their incoming traffic,” said Sapna Satagopan, a research associate at JupiterResearch. A total of 636 qualified search marketers and 224 qualified search agencies completed the survey, according to JupiterResearch.

—Matthew Schwartz, BtoBonline.com

Cheap Dates Takes On a New Meaning

A January 2006 JupiterResearch consumer survey found that 5% of Internet users paid for online dating subscriptions in the last year, down slightly from 6% in 2005. Industry-wide user conversion rates fell for the first time since JupiterResearch began tracking that metric.

According to an "Online Dating" report by JupiterResearch Analyst Nate Elliott, industry growth in the last twelve months has been driven by higher monthly fees rather than an increasing number of subscribers.

Elliott said "...thirty seven percent of visitors who don't convert say dating sites cost too much, making it their leading complaint. Only one-third of Internet users who went to dating sites in the last year became paying subscribers."

The JupiterResearch report also concludes that social networking sites pose little threat to the online dating industry. Just 14% of dating site visitors who don't pay for subscriptions say they use free sites, like social networks, for online dating instead.

Revenue Growth for Online Personals Web Sites (% increase year to year)

Year Growth
2002 73%
2003 77%
2004 19%
2005 9 %
Source: JupiterResearch

Top Online Dating Sites US At-Home, At-Work and University Internet Users (x000 Unique Visitors)

Site: December 2004 / December 2005
Yahoo! Personals: 25,816 / 24,041
Match.com sites: 4,430 / 3,604
Spark Networks: 3,888 / 2,832
True.com: 1,531 / 1,956
Mate1.com: 390 / 1,782

Article from: The Center for Media Research http://www.centerformediaresearch.com

Information Source: comScore MediaMetrix, January 2006 http://www.jupitermedia.com/corporate/releases/06.02.08-newjupresearch.html

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Two in Five Adults Say They Listen to Satellite Radio Programming or Read a National Newspaper as Often

While there seems to be moreoutlets than ever for U.S. adults to get news, a new Harris Poll shows thatmajorities choose to get their news most frequently from broadcast mediums. Specifically, three-quarters (77%) of adults say they watch local broadcastnews, and 71 percent say they watch network broadcast or cable news severaltimes a week or daily. On the other hand, one in five (19%) U.S. adults saythey listen to satellite news programming or read a national newspaper (18%)several times a week or daily.

These are the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,985 U.S. adultssurveyed online between January 12 and 17, 2006 by Harris Interactive(R).

While broadcast television news appears to be the most popular mediumsought, many adults also get their news several times a week or daily by goingonline to get news (64%), reading a local daily newspaper (63%), listening toradio news broadcasts (54%), listening to talk radio stations (37%), listeningto satellite news programming (19%), and reading a national newspaper (18%).

A key indicator of media usage is age. Specifically:
  • Matures (those 59 years of age and older) are most likely to rely on more traditional media outlets for information, with at least eight in 10 Matures saying they watch local broadcast news (88%), watch network broadcast or cable news (88%), or read a local daily newspaper (80%) several times a week or daily.
  • Baby boomers (those 40 to 58 years of age) use the most varied types of media, with at least one in five boomers using each medium examined several times a week or daily. Along with Matures, Baby Boomers are most likely to watch both local and broadcast or cable television newscasts (83% and 74%, respectively), read local daily newspapers (66%), and listen to radio newscasts (64%) and talk radio (40%). Boomers and Gen Xers (those 28 to 39 years of age) are most likely to go online for news (68% and 70%, respectively).
  • Generation Xers are most likely to get their news several times a week or daily from local broadcast stations (69%) or online sources (68%).
  • Echo boomers (those 18 to 27 years of age) are the least frequent users of media, with only about half or less getting information several times a week or daily from each of the media types measured.
Source: Harris Interactive(R) Harris Interactive Inc. (http://www.harrisinteractive.com

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Orlando, FL (Jan. 19, 2006)Word-of-Mouth (WOM) marketing has become a recognized and powerful tool for today's advertisers, but a newly released study from Osterman Research and BoldMouth.com reveals that few organizations know how to link word-of-mouth practices to existing marketing communications efforts to drive business growth.

Key findings from this new state-of-the-industry study were released today at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association's (WOMMA) Word of Mouth Basic Training Conference at the Coronado Springs Resorts and Convention Center at Disney World.The new study, conducted online from mid-December 2005 to mid-January 2006, found that despite the growing use of Word-of-Mouth:

  • Only 28.6 percent of all respondents have an established word of mouth marketing plan and only 12.7 percent of all respondents have a formalized WOM plan.
  • More than half of the organizations surveyed indicated that they are unable to track WOM marketing performance and 41.9 percent of respondents indicate they have difficulty getting customers to participate in new campaigns.
  • 25.6 percent of respondents are experiencing challenges in allocating funds to run WOM campaigns with 20.9 percent of organizations noting that they lack a clear understanding of how run a WOM campaign or internal staff skill sets to manage WOM efforts.

In addition to a lack of planning, expertise and tracking results, the study also found that marketers face further obstacles in scaling their WOM campaigns and justifying their campaign budget to the rest of their organization. "The study is a wake-up call for the WOM industry and shows organization are facing significant marketing challenges in executing word-of-mouth campaigns," noted BoldMouth.com CEO Todd Tweedy. "More importantly, these barriers are likely to leave many organizations 'stranded on second base' as they attempt to hit a marketing home run with word-of-mouth," BoldMouth.com's CEO added.

BoldMouth.com CEO Todd Tweedy will be discussing key findings of the study during his presentation on Day 2 of the WOMMA conference, in the session titled "Getting Started: Creating a WOM Business Plan".


Most marketers surveyed -- 51.2 percent -- admitted that they are unable to track the performance of their WOM marketing efforts -- and they see this as a serious limitation not just on their effectiveness, but as an argument against committing additional resources to WOM.Other key difficulties facing would-be WOM marketers, including:

  • Almost 42 percent of respondents noted that getting customers to participate in new campaigns presented a serious challenge to their WOM efforts.
  • The third-largest problem facing marketers stems from difficulties in scaling campaigns. More than a third -- 37.2 percent -- of the organizations surveyed cite scalability as a barrier to undertaking WOM campaigns to achieving their goals.
  • Less than half of those surveyed measure word-of-mouth marketing performance. Indeed, 59.1 percent either don't measure their performance, or aren't sure whether they are gathering actionable data. And 67.4 percent either doubt, or aren't certain at all that the data they gather as a result of measuring performance is valuable or meaningful.
  • Lack of metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of WOM campaigns is the single largest reason -- 36.8 percent -- that respondents don't create a formal WOM marketing plan. Almost as many -- 32.6 percent -- haven't created marketing plans because they're not certain how to integrate WOM into existing marketing efforts. And the third-largest reason clients are going into WOM campaigns blind without formal plans? They lack the requisite staff experience or skill sets -- 28.4 percent.
  • Metrics issues are likely to pose additional problems for organizations. Since increasing the marketing budget hinges on justifying expenditures, it shouldn't be surprising that 17.9 percent say they were limited by budget constraints in creating WOM marketing plans.
  • Despite having little in the way of in-house or in-agency WOM marketing expertise, marketers still aren't availing themselves to external resources, with more than half (55.8 percent) admitting that they have never used an outside specialist to run a WOM campaign.


The survey reveals that the word-of-mouth marketing industry is also plagued by basic misconceptions.

  • Of marketing professionals surveyed, more than 40 percent of all respondents – 44.4 percent -- believe that buzz from WOM marketing campaign is most effective if the buzz happens quickly.
  • In terms of expectations around results generation, 44.1 percent of respondents noted that they expected WOM campaigns to generate results in a few days or in a few weeks. Only 19.2 percent of survey participants indicated that their results generation expectations were six months or longer. Further, an additional 9.2 percent simply didn't know or were not sure of timing for generating results.
  • A third (33.9 percent) say they are either unsure of how to respond to negative press or comments about their business, or wouldn't bother responding at all. Additionally, one in four respondents - 25.7 percent - believes they don't need a Web site to do effective WOM campaigns. ADDITIONAL SURVEY INFORMATIONAn online survey, conducted from December 8, 2005 to January 16, 2006 by Osterman Research generated 112 complete responses for a 90% confidence level for a mid-point response yielding a sampling error of 7.8%.

Source: BoldMouth.com – http://www.boldmouth.com

Marketing to Marketers

FEBRUARY 10, 2006
First, the number one rule: Don't call!

According to the "Marketing and Technology Survey," from Three Deep Marketing, conducted with support from Marketing Sherpa, marketers were adamant about not wanting to be pitched in person or on the phone. 70.9% of the respondents said 'No phone!" and most didn't want a face-to-face meeting, either.

Today, most marketers prefer Web-based presentations and pitches. Links to a Web site and e-mail information were favored.

Anyone attempting to sell solutions to marketers should understand what their problems are. First on the list of marketing challenges is determining the payback on dollars spent.

First on the list of sales challenges is tracking follow-ups.

When asked what their specific marketing problems were, most marketers said they had trouble managing data — getting the right message to the right person.

Most marketers had technology problems, too, with data integration — in several forms — topping the list of frustrations.

Source: eMarketer.com

Internet is Now the Primary Hiring Source for Employers

Internet overtakes all traditional hiring sources including newspaper classified ads which now only account for 5% of new hires

Indianapolis, IN, February 9, 2006 - Today DirectEmployers Association, a non-profit consortium of over 200 leading U.S. employers and operator of the JobCentral.com employment search engine (www.jobcentral.com), released the results of an in-depth industry study, conducted on its behalf by strategic management and technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, that shows the Internet is now the primary hiring source for employers.

The study of hiring practices at leading U.S. companies revealed that Internet sources produced 51% of all hires in 2005 with the largest source of hires being the employers' own corporate web sites, while newspaper classified advertisements were the source of only 5% of the new hires.
According to the study, individual percentages of new hires for each Internet source are: Corporate Employment Web Sites: 21%; General Job Boards: 15%; Niche Job Boards: 6%; Social Network Web Sites: 5%; and Commercial Resume Databases: 4%.

Employers reported that they find the highest quality candidates and receive the highest return on their investment from their own corporate web sites and from employee referrals.

Financially, while General Job Boards represent the highest recruitment spending category for corporations, capturing 27% of the recruiting advertising budget, employers in this study reported that such Boards generated only 15% of new hires in 2005.

In addition, as the economy heats up in 2006, employers report they will significantly increase employment related spending in the following key areas: Corporate Employment Web Sites: 74%; Employee Referrals: 68%; and Social Networking Technology: 60%.

According to Dr. Rich Cober, the Booz Allen Hamilton team lead, this research report “provides clear evidence that the Internet has transformed the way American employers attract and hire employees. As we look at 2006, employers are giving serious thought to how the Internet can be better used for driving applicant flow. In light of recent regulatory changes, including the new definition of an `Internet Applicant`, employer efforts to focus applicant flow and provide clear direction on how individuals should express interest in jobs is timely. Responses indicated that employers anticipate directing a greater proportion of applicants through their own corporate web sites rather than any other online source in the year to come," said Dr. Cober.

A downloadable copy of the "2006 DirectEmployers Association Recruiting Trends" research report is available at http://www.jobcentral.com/DEsurvey.pdf.

Yankee Group Forecasts that Eastern Europe and Africa Will Drive Wireless Market Growth in EMEA

The EMEA wireless/mobile market is far from saturated

London, UK, February 15, 2006 — The new Yankee Group Global Mobile Market Forecast predicts that total service revenue in EMEA will increase from 177 billion euros in 2004 to 231 billion in 2009. Growth will be driven by increased service penetration in Eastern Europe and African emerging markets.

According to the Yankee Group report, Eastern Europe and Africa will Drive Market Growth in EMEA, prepaid services will continue to underpin subscriber growth in EMEA but there will be a modest decline in the share of customers using prepaid services. The sharpest reduction will be in Western Europe, where many operators continue to encourage customers to migrate to contract services. ARPU will continue to decline in most regions over the next 4 years. For EMEA as a whole, ARPU will fall until 2007, after which it will be broadly flat. Although these territories appear saturated, Yankee Group predicts that Eastern European, emerging and African markets will drive revenue into the mobile market over the next 5 years.

Yankee Group forecasts growth in several areas, including mobile infotainment services, ring tones and 3G. Mobile infotainment services will capture a larger share of revenue as more compelling audio and video services are commercialized. Ring tones will continue to be the largest single application in the infotainment category. The adoption rate for 3G phones will accelerate during the next 2 years. By the end of 2007 almost 30% of customers in Western Europe will own a 3G phone. This trend will be fuelled by operators’ sustained handset subsidization policies and lower wholesale prices for 3G terminals.

"EMEA will continue to represent a significant growth opportunity for mobile service providers and technology vendors in the next 5 years," said Declan Lonergan, Yankee Group, director of wireless research for EMEA. "Emerging markets in the region will drive organic customer growth, while advanced infotainment applications will fuel demand for data services in the more developed countries. Incumbent pan-national players should therefore pursue business growth opportunities in Eastern Europe and Africa."

Portable Devices And The Desire For Individual Songs Fuel Record Growth In Fee-Based Music Downloading

Ipsos Quarterly Digital Music Study TEMPO: Keeping Pace With Digital Music Behavior Finds That Over Half of American Teen And Adult Music Downloaders Have Paid

Study Also Finds College-Age Downloaders Still Reluctant To Pony Up

New York, NY — Following strong holiday season sales of portable MP3 players, heightened awareness of fee-based online music services and recent high-profile satellite radio content deals, American consumers continue to experiment with fee-based digital music services in record numbers, according to new findings from global marketing research firm Ipsos Insight.

Over Half of U.S. Downloaders Have Paid – One Quarter in the Past 30 Days

New findings from TEMPO, the Ipsos Insight quarterly study of digital music behaviors, reveal that in December of 2005, over half (52%) of American downloaders aged 12 and older report having paid a fee to download music or MP3 files from the Internet, and 24% had done so in the past 30 days. These figures represent a continued increase in fee-based downloading activity over the past year (47% reported having paid a fee to download music or MP3 files from the Internet in December 2004), and a six-fold jump since December 2002. Based on the current US Census figures, approximately 25 million people have paid a fee to download music or MP3 files from the Internet - 11 million Americans in the past 30 days.

Recent TEMPO research also revealed some interesting demographic and diagnostic trends surrounding the growth of fee-based digital music:
  • Adult downloaders aged 25 to 54 continue to drive the growth in fee-based downloading (67% have ever paid to download among 25 to 34 year olds, 59% among 35 to 54 year olds). And while younger downloaders continue to experiment with fee-based downloading, they are less likely than older downloaders to have done so in the past 30 days. Furthermore, only 13% of college aged downloaders have paid for digital music in the past 30 days.
  • Nearly equal proportions of male and female downloaders have paid to download digital music files off of the Internet: 51% of U.S. male downloaders aged 12 or older report having engaged in this activity compared to 53% of American females. American female downloaders are less likely to have paid to download in the past 30 days, however, with only 18% compared to 29% of males). This compares to December 2004 tracking data in which past 30 day fee-based downloading was 18% and 15%, respectively, and suggests that males are now driving repetitive fee-based download activity.
  • U.S. fee-based downloaders in this evolving digital marketplace are nearly three times as likely to have used a la carte download (or ‘pay-as-you-go’) services compared to fee-based subscriptions, (77% vs. 27%), and when they do, they download an average of eight songs each month.
  • Despite the current popularity of online a la carte services, when asked whether online fee-based a la carte, subscription, or satellite radio was the most appealing digital music service, U.S. downloaders (and particularly those aged 18-24 and 35 or older) were most likely to say Satellite Radio (32% vs. 28% for fee-based a la carte and 8% for fee-based online subscriptions services among total U.S. downloaders age 12 and older).
  • One-fifth of Americans aged 12 and older now own a Portable MP3 Player, up from 12% in December of 2004.

“Over the past year, the digital music market has continued to evolve into a formidable music distribution channel marked by steady growth and increasingly dynamic usage levels. Americans are indeed curious about and willing to experiment with current fee-based acquisition options,” said Matt Kleinschmit, a Vice President with Ipsos Insight and author of the TEMPO research. “But for digital music service providers to continue to boost overall purchase patterns, they will have to work to continually refine and optimize their offer in an effort to encourage more repetitive consumer buying behavior – perhaps via additional service incentives, exclusive content offers or hybrid service options suited to the needs of specific digital music market segments.”

Desire For A La Carte Songs And Recent Portable Device Purchases Fuel Growth

The study found that for many frequent fee-based downloaders, the desire to purchase an individual song without having to buy the entire album fueled their first foray into fee-based digital music, with a recent portable MP3 player purchase and the perceived convenience of an online purchase also being key drivers to initial fee-based downloading. This is reinforced by the findings that 30% of US fee-based downloaders first paid to download within in the past 6 months, and corresponds with record growth over the past year in Portable MP3 Player ownership. One-fifth of Americans aged 12 and older now own a Portable MP3 Player, up from 12% in December of 2004. This boost was driven by increases across all age groups, with a significant boost among music downloaders (45%, up from 27% in December 2004).

“This suggests that many consumers may act impulsively when entering this market, with the moment of truth in fee-based digital music coming via the desire for an individual song, convenience and as a means of acquiring content for their new MP3 player,” said Kleinschmit. “This is significant given the growing popularity of portable devices and increasing availability of advanced digital music content options. The key for continued overall category growth will be to encourage consumers who are new to this market and sampling fee-based services for the first time to become more consistent in their fee-based content acquisition behaviors. Establishing habitual interaction with these services and content, particularly a la carte downloads, mobile ringtones, online subscription services and satellite radio, will be critical in expanding and sustaining these still developing and potentially lucrative music markets, and could well lead to broader ramifications in music production, recording, publishing and other associated industries.”

Charts: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/client/act_dsp_pdf.cfm?name=mr060223-1tb2.pdf&id=2984

Data on music downloading behaviors was gathered from TEMPO: Keeping Pace with Digital Music Behavior, a quarterly shared-cost research study by Ipsos Insight examining the ongoing influence and effects of digital music around the world.

Data for this release were collected between December 6 and 15, 2005, via a nationally representative U.S. sample of 1,108 respondents aged 12 and over. With a total sample size of 1,108, one can say with 95% certainty that the results are accurate to within +/- 2.94%.
Additional in-depth downloader data were collected between January 13 and 24, 2006, via a representative sample of 1,517 U.S. downloaders aged 12 and over. With a total sample size of 1,517, one can say with 95% certainty that the results are accurate to within +/- 2.52%.
To learn more about the methodology of TEMPO, please visit www.ipsosinsight.com/tempo.cfm

Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.

Sponsored Link Impressions Show Impressive Growth (eMarketer)

FEBRUARY 23, 2006According to new data from Nielsen//NetRatings, impressions served by Google and Yahoo!'s sponsored link advertising businesses, which include search and contextual advertising networks, grew by 16% between August 2005 and January 2006. Total impressions for both services reached 64.3 billion in the latter month.

Yahoo!'s total of 23.2 billion impressions in January 2006 was considerably lower than Google's total of 41.1 billion in the same month. However, Yahoo! showed stronger growth with impressions growing by 21% between August 2005 and January 2006, compared with Google's 14% increase over the same period.

The Yahoo! data includes ads served on Yahoo! Search as well as the company's publisher network. The Google data includes Google Web Search and the company's publisher network, but excludes other Google properties such as Froogle and Image Search.

By far the biggest purchasers of keywords were online auction and retail companies. eBay Inc. accounted for the largest share of sponsored search ads on both Google and Yahoo!, through both its eBay online auction site and its online retail operation, Shopping.com. On Yahoo! eBay Inc. accounted for just over one billion sponsored link impressions, which comes to about 4.5% of Yahoo!'s search inventory. eBay's Shopping.com alone was the second-heaviest advertiser on both services, purchasing 501 million impressions Yahoo! and 448 million on Google.

On Google, eBay Inc. purchased just over 1.4 billion impressions last month, accounting for about 3.5% of all Google ad impressions.

Ken Cassar, chief analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings, remains impressed by the current level of growth from the two major players. "Despite the overwhelming market share that Google and Yahoo! Search enjoy, they continue to see strong growth in the volume of sponsored links. While Google, in particular, seeks to diversify its revenue, it is a positive sign that its core search advertising business remains robust. E-commerce companies have always been the biggest users of search, and I suspect that that will be the case indefinitely," said Cassar. "[In addition], we will start to see brand advertisers using search increasingly as they become more comfortable with the Internet and their tactics evolve."