Social Media

Digital News Roundup: March 12, 2010

March 12, 2010

Stories that made the digital headlines this week include a new whitepaper from Microsoft on the effectiveness of online  branding campaigns, Google’s newest search feature for online shoppers and exciting news about 360i’s participation in this year’s SXSW Interactive conference.

New Whitepaper: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Digital Advertising for Brand Campaigns

This week Microsoft released a new report that explores the significance of “dwell scores” – calculated by the time spent with advertising multiplied by the rate of active engagement with an ad – when it comes to digital programs. The research, derived from comScore and Eyeblaster data, shows that higher dwell scores correlate to “significant improvement in positive engagement with a brand post ad exposure.” The report notes that such positive effects often include a higher volume of branded search queries, more visits to the marketer’s Web site and higher levels of engagement by visitor’s on site.

As digital continues to become more and more central to brand strategy, understanding how consumers interact with online advertising will become increasingly important. As this report shows, click-through-rate alone cannot adequately measure the performance of branding campaigns – and other metrics such as dwell scores should be more closely considered.

Download the whitepaper: Digital Challenge: Being Greater with Data.

Google Debuts “In Stock, Nearby” Mobile Shopping Experience

Yesterday, Google unveiled a new real-time inventory discovery feature for mobile searches. Explaining the feature is easy. As Google puts it: “Just look for the blue dots” when searching within Shopping. These dots indicate if the item is in stock and if it is at a location near the searcher. According to Search Engine Land, the product is only available on mobile devices for now, but soon the feature will be integrated into the desktop search experience as well. Currently just a handful of retailers are involved – the list includes Best Buy, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn, among others – but Google is inviting other retailers to get involved depending on their ability to provide the necessary data.

Image via Google

Image via Google

As Search Engine Land projects, there might be opportunities for advertisers to include such “blue dot” information in future paid search ads – though this could be a ways off. Regardless, the opportunities for retailers seem ripe. Additionally, if this feature takes off it could produce valuable insights into the relationship between online searches and in-store consumer behaviors.

Yee-haw! SXSW Interactive 2010 Kicks Off

The SXSW Interactive conference begins today and lasts through March 16. The renowned event brings together some of the biggest players in emerging technology each year – and we’re so happy to announce that we will be part of the action this year. David Berkowitz, Sr. Director of Emerging Media & Client Strategy, will speak on the Future15 panel “Convergence 2015: Ten Cool Things That Could Happen This Year” on Monday, March 15 at 5:40 p.m.

Can’t make it to Austin? Worry not – 360i has teamed up with Kyte to bring you behind the scenes at this year’s conference with a custom video player that we’ll update throughout the week. Be sure to check the blog regularly and follow us on Twitter to get the latest updates from Texas.

Gowalla Follows Foursquare’s Lead with Real-Life Incentives

Like its rival Foursquare (which recently inked deals with brands like Bravo, the New York Times and Zagat), Gowalla has partnered with a big brand to integrate branded content within its location-based platform. ReadWriteWeb reported this week that Gowalla and the Travel Channel have teamed up to provide special badges, information and event real-life incentives for venues featured in its programming. For example, to help promote “Food Wars,” the Travel Channel will offer badges for viewers visiting venues featured on the show, allow them to “pick up items specific to the show” and award Gowalla users with special passport stamps.

As 360i’s David Berkowitz recently shared with Ad Age, marketers will continue flocking to services like Gowalla and Foursquare so long as these platforms continue to enjoy burgeoning audiences. If so, these sites hold golden opportunities from brands to engage with increasingly mobile-centric consumers.

ComScore Releases February Search Rankings Report

ComScore released its search industry report for February – and for most engines it was more of the same. Google topped the list at more than 65% market share (just 0.1% more month-over-month) and Yahoo! lost 0.2%, falling to 16.8% overall. Bing rounded out the top three with 11.5% — a 0.2% gain from January. More interesting, however, was Facebook’s 10% growth in terms of search queries. As Search Engine Journal points out, Facebook’s query volume of 435 million paled in comparison to the 13.5 billion searches conducted on Google – however, the leading social network was the only online property that demonstrated search query growth last month.