Local Search Used By At Least 60% In Any Product, Business Category

Source: October 31, 2012 by MarketingCharts staff

Local search incidence is very high across 11 product and service categories, according to [download page] an October 2012 report from YP, conducted by Immr and in collaboration with Street Fight. 4 in 10 respondents use local search once a day, and two-thirds use local search at least 3-4 times a week.

As data from “How Consumers are Using Local Search” reveals, local search usage peaks in the entertainment category, wherein 87% of respondents who have purchased entertainment in the last year have conducted at least one local search.

Use is lowest in the grocery category, used by 61% of respondents, but the category is the most common among purchasers. Fully 96% of respondents had made a grocery purchase in the previous year. Comparatively, just 31% purchased some professional service, but 70% of them used local search.

The data suggests that local search not only attracts new customers, but, services existing customers. Using restaurants as an example, the two highest uses use of local search were to find a map, distance or directions (47% of respondents), followed by hours of operation (46%). Restaurant listings was third (41%), thus, 4 in 10 of restaurant patrons reported using local search to select a restaurant, and 33% read consumer ratings and reviews.

In the grocery category, the highest use was finding listings (reported by 35% of grocery consumers), followed by hours of operation (34%).
In retail, the highest use was to find hours of operation (38%), a website (36%), and listings, maps and directions (tied for 35%).

Other Findings:

  • Respondents who own PCs only conduct an average of five local searches per week; those who own both a PC and a smartphone conduct an average 13.5 searches, and those who own a PC, smartphone and tablet conduct more than 21 local searches per week (an average of three per day).

About The Data: Conducted by independent research firm Immr on behalf of YP, and in collaboration with Street Fight. Conducted online with a sample of more than 1,100 respondents across 11 product and services categories.


Brands Get Users Sharing with Social Video

Source: eMarketer, OCT 31, 2012

YouTube anchors most social video

The power of social video represents an evolution in digital advertising, according to a new eMarketer report, “Social Video: The Next Wave in Digital Advertising.” Marketers are starting to move past the interruptive model of the 15- or 30-second pre-roll ad and toward a broader strategy that includes longer opt-in videos with built-in sharing capabilities. This branded content is designed to be consumed and shared on the social web, driving earned media and raising the potential for viral success.

In some cases, social sharing has resulted in ad campaigns vastly exceeding their original audience targets. A Visible Measures report showed that user-initiated, English-language social video ad views served on its network reached 1.33 billion in Q1 2012, a 77.6% increase over the previous quarter’s total of 747 million.

David Segura, CEO of social video company Giant Media, said, “The difference between this and the previous online video model, which revolved around pre-roll, is you move from looking at the media to focusing on consumer behavior … So every form of advertising becomes an advertorial that accomplishes the brand’s goal but at the same time has a realistic chance of exciting the consumer to share content.”

Most social video campaigns use YouTube, Facebook and other sharing destinations as anchor points, and provide sharing buttons for users to disseminate clips through other means, including Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, email contact lists and embed codes.

Because of its dominance in the video space, YouTube remains the leading venue for social video campaigns. The site attracted more than 150 million unique viewers in the US in August 2012, according to comScore. By comparison, Facebook, the second-most-popular US social video destination, had nearly 48 million unique video viewers that month.

Wherever marketers decide to start their campaigns, the majority of sharing activity takes place on Facebook—a natural consequence of the site’s huge user base. Nearly three-quarters of Sharethrough’s native ad shares occurred through Facebook in mid-2012, according to company data. Other venues, including Twitter, email and URL shares, accounted for less than 10% each.

One of the added benefits for marketers that seed branded content through social channels is a rich set of metrics that often exceeds what they might get from site publishers for a traditional campaign. These include video views, a breakdown of venues where the clip ran, clicks to websites, visits to Facebook, store locator usage, coupon download information and softer metrics like consumer sentiment on social channels.


Videos Send Viewers to Facebook Pages

Source: eMarketer, OCT 30, 2012

Brand sites are second-most-common destination

Spending on online video ads is growing quickly, and marketers are finding the ads good for branding, typically sending viewers who show interest to the brand’s owned media properties.

According to research from opt-in video platform Jun Group, a visit to a brand’s Facebook page was the most common action taken after watching an online video ad, at least for US viewers watching an opt-in ad from a Fortune 500 brand. Clicking through to a site followed close behind.

Overall, engagement rates with video ads hovered between just under 3% and 4.5%, with videos between 30 and 60 seconds long performing best. Videos both shorter and longer than that sweet spot had lower engagement rates, though the shortest videos had the highest completion rates.

Jun Group found women were slightly more likely to complete video ads than men, at 3.31% vs. 3.17%, while the youngest internet users and the oldest internet users had the highest completion rates overall, at 3.44% among 12- to 17-year-olds and 4.35% among those 55 and up.

Other research has found the length of the content that advertisements are paired with can have more of an effect on video completion and interaction rates than the length of video ads themselves. FreeWheel found that long-form content of 20 minutes or more had video ad completion rates of 91% among US-based audiences in Q2 2012, compared with 80% for midlength content and 69% for videos 5 minutes long or shorter. VINDICO similarly found 91% completion rates among the US audience when video appeared with long content, vs. 73% completion for short content.


Vast Majority of Ad Sellers to Offer Mobile Display

Source: eMarketer, OCT 29, 2012

And most marketers are interested

The mobile ad market is headed up fast, and marketers and publishers alike are paying attention. Ad sellers are offering more inventory than ever, and potential buyers are knocking at the gates.

According to research from local display ad platform PaperG, which polled US ad sales executives, nearly 86% of publishers will offer mobile display ad inventory within the next three months. That’s less than 10 percentage points behind the number that will offer online display ads.

Interest in mobile ads among potential buyers was similarly huge. Nearly 95% of ad sellers said their clients were interested in buying mobile display ads.

Asked what would help them sell more ads, over two-thirds of respondents cited better education on the value of digital advertising. This proved significantly more important than pricing, which just one-quarter said would boost sales, or even better reporting on performance, cited by just over half.

Whether or not there remains a lack of education on the efficacy of digital advertising, brands are spending more every year—especially on mobile. eMarketer estimates that US advertisers will spend over $2.6 billion on mobile advertising this year, up 80% from 2011. More than $1.1 billion will go toward mobile display alone, slightly smaller than the mobile search market.

Gen Xers Prove Cost-Conscious When CPG Shopping

Source: October 29, 2012 by MarketingCharts staff

However self-indulgent they are perceived to be, Millennials and Gen Xers (those born after the post-WWII baby boomers) are a cost-conscious lot, according to SymphonyIRI’s quarterly MarketPulse findings, released October 2012. Fully 37% of Gen X adults surveyed buy brands that are on sale, rather than the brands they prefer. Just under one-third select products to create more meals at the lowest possible cost, and one-third choose products based on loyalty card discounts.

This frugality is likely a reflection of Gen Xers’ experience: They entered the adult working world after the 1987 stock market crash, and many were left jobless and forced to move in with their parents (a trend called “boomeranging”).

Still, 24% of Gen X adults think their financial situation has improved over the last 12 months, and 37% feel their finances will improve over the next 12 months.

Gen Xers Are Ardent Deal Shoppers

Gen X consumers show considerable forethought in their shopping habits. A significant 69% make shopping lists and use a variety of tools to plan their retail buys. 49% review circulars, 48% use coupons, 14% use the internet to find deals and 10% refer to retailer websites for deals.

Generation X is almost as “wired” as Millennials (aged 18-34), and far more wired than are Baby Boomers or Seniors. 52% of Gen Xers download coupons from manufacturer websites, 51% from manufacturers’ websites and 51% from coupon sites like SmartSource. 35% visit deal sites like Groupon, and 31% use social networks (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) to find coupons. Almost one-quarter opt into retailer and manufacturer email and text messages.

Millennials Even More Frugal

As of June 2012, Millennials were fairly optimistic about their finances, found SymphonyIRI, and 28% felt that that their finances had improved over the prior 12 months. That compared favorably to the general population, of which 18% felt better about their finances than they did a year prior.

Still, in its most recent study, SymphonyIRI found that Millennials are far more likely than even Gen X to buy brands on sale over preferred brands, with 45% doing so. Just 22% of seniors report the same. Also true: Millennials are the most likely of any generation to select products to create more meals at the lowest cost possible.

Millennials and Gen X are fairly even when it comes to choosing products based on loyalty card discounts, as well as in steering clear of store aisles that would prompt them to make unplanned purchases. In each case, Baby Boomers and Seniors are far less likely to display this cost-conscious behavior.

About The Data: SymphonyIRI releases new MarketPulse survey results at the end of each calendar quarter, covering shoppers’ behaviors and attitudes as it directly relates to their strategies for learning about, purchasing and utilizing consumer packaged goods (CPG) and healthcare products, as well as information regarding perceptions of economic conditions and their ability to provide for their families. SymphonyIRI tracks consumer trends with its Shopper Sentiment Index, a benchmark score it has charted since Q1 2011. A Shopper Sentiment Index of over 100 reflects that consumers are driven more by brand loyalty than price.

Credit Unions Cash in on Mobile and Online Services

Source: eMarketer, OCT 29, 2012

Most credit union customers were pleased with their banks’ mobile and online technology

Those under the impression that credit unions have been slow to adapt to the digital world may want to reconsider. A February 2012 survey of online banking customers in the US conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey found that 60% of US credit union members thought their bank was doing a great job at providing innovative technology. That compared with 49% of large national bank customers who felt the same way, and 36% of regional bank users.

Credit unions seem to have divined a formula for keeping customers happy by providing access to mobile and online banking services. While two-thirds of all banking customers reported that they were pleased with the way their financial institutions linked them with online and mobile services, credit union members outpaced that result, with 85% giving the thumbs up to their ability to access bank services via the web.

This data bodes well for credit unions, since the adoption of smartphone and tablets means that demand for mobile banking services will only increase.

Part of the reason that credit union customers are so satisfied with their banks is that they have a distinct preference for online banking services. Half of credit union customers said banking convenience meant being able to take advantage of good online services, compared with 46% of large national bank customers and 34% of regional bank customers. Also, having a bank branch located close to their home or workplace was not as important to credit union customers as it was to both regional and large national bank customers.

Credit union customers were also showing their tech savvy in other ways—they were the category of banking customer most likely to take advantage of online banking, at 73%. Large national bank members were close behind at 70%, followed by regional bank users at 50%.