What's new in marketing research: March

Agencies grapple with new mobile tools

New figures show that media agencies in the UK are facing difficulties in dealing with issues such as real-time advertising and Near Field Communication (NFC) as they try to make the most of mobile. The Internet Advertising Bureau polled more than 350 executives at leading media agencies and found that 53% had "no experience" of responsive web design and mobile privacy. A further 49% said the same for real-time advertising, while 48% lacked prior knowledge of NFC.

Ads fail to convince young consumers

Online comments about brands are far more trusted by young consumers than advertising or official social media pages, a multi-market study has found. InSites Consulting polled 4,065 15-25 years old in 16 countries, and discovered that online pages concerning brands, for example on forums or blogs, were seen as the most credible information source in five markets. The best scores were 28% in the Netherlands and 24% in the UK. Views aired by consumers actually using a product claimed top spot in another eight nations, reaching 33% in Italy and 30% in Brazil. The analysis also showed that the most important brand characteristics were being "honest" and "reliable", as well as "authentic" and "real".

Rolex tops UK Superbrand charts

Rolex has retained its leading position in the Superbrand consumer rankings in the UK, becoming the first brand in six years to do so. The annual league table from Superbrand also included Apple and Microsoft, which took second and third spots, with Google in sixth place. British Airways rose 29 places to fourth place while Heathrow Airport entered the Top 20 at number eight. Coca-Cola led the way among food and drinks brands in fifth place, with Kellogg's in ninth, Heinz in 12th and Nescafé in 20th place. The BBC was the leading media brand, in 13th position, while Facebook entered the chart at 14. However, other social media sites were conspicuous by their absence, with Twitter the best of the rest in 86th place.

Brands gain ground in online retail race

More than a third of internet users have made purchases from brand websites, suggesting a shift in the "shopping universe" could be underway. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers polled 11,000 online consumers worldwide and found that 35% had bought items directly from brand sites, reaching 56% in China and 52% in the US. Low price was a key reason for doing so among 44% of those polled, ahead of wider choice on 41%. An additional 30% only needed one brand, while 29% stated their loyalty to a specific product brand.

Location targeting pays off

Mobile campaigns that utilise location targeting are twice as effective as other strategies, according to a new report. Verve Mobile, a specialist in location-powered mobile advertising, analysed more than 2,500 campaigns delivered on its mobile platform during 2012 and found that the click-through rate (CTR) for all location-based strategies was greater than the industry average of 0.4%. Geo-aware campaigns, using real-time location data, scored highest with an average CTR of 1%, followed by geo-fencing - in which advertisers target users based on a set distance from a location of interest - on 0.9%.

US consumer magazine sales down

Sales of consumer magazines at US newsstands dropped 8.2% in the second half of 2012 compared to a year earlier. Data from the Alliance for Audited Media show that for the full year, single copy sales were down 9.5% to 26.7m, although paid subscriptions were up a slight 0.7%. Its report also breaks out replica digital editions - nearly 65% of the magazines covered in the data have digital editions as part of their total circulation - and finds them growing strongly. In the second half of 2012, this category achieved a combined circulation of 7.9m, accounting for 2.4% of the total sector. This compares with 3.2m and less than 1% respectively a year earlier. One of the reasons given for the precipitous fall in newsstand sales is the "mobile blinder", the name given to the habit people now have of using their mobile phone while waiting to pay in the supermarket, where once they would have browsed magazines.

Online influence increases

Two-thirds of global web users have purchased something online in the last month, a new study has found. GlobalWebIndex interviewed more than 61,000 internet users in 31 markets for its State of Global E-Commerce report, which also suggested that nine in ten of the overall purchases made by the world's digital population were either researched or made via the web. The study discovered that Consumers are most likely to buy books, clothing and travel products online while items least likely to be purchased include cars, laundry detergent and alcohol.

New apps ‘struggling to break into top charts'

Getting into the lucrative top 20 apps charts on Apple's App store or Google Play is becoming tougher, according to new research. The data, from app analytics Distimo, indicates that just 2% of Apple's App store apps are from new developers, while Google's Play store is slightly better, with 3%. The report shows that that new apps are finding it increasingly difficult to break into the top charts lists that ensure high numbers of downloads. In fact, the majority of the top apps are released by existing, established publishers. On Apple's market leading app store, just 2% are new.

How the internet affects new product purchase decisions

The internet is an important influence on consumers interested in buying new products, especially across electronics and appliances, according to new research. Nielsen found that the internet had a strong influence on purchases in categories such as electronics (81%), appliances (77%), books (70%) and music (69%). The trend is catching on in consumption categories too, such as food and beverages (62%), personal hygiene (62%), personal health/over-the-counter medicines (61%) and hair care (60%).

Brands need to engage UK consumers with their content

Speaking at an event hosted by the British Interactive Media Association, social media experts from Twitter, cloud and web hosting brand Rackspace, and marketing agency AKQA addressed how marketers need to invest more in defining their content strategies to connect with consumers. John Webb, Rackspace International Cloud Marketing Director, said: "The premise of content marketing is to lower consumers' barriers to get messages across, but as every brand is ‘reinventing itself' into a content-creation shop, consumers are being bombarded and resisting content." Webb suggested marketers take on board ex-journalists who have the skills to hunt out stories that resonate in order to unify the data and content elements to create successful campaigns.

6thMar 2013

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