Performics Weekly Digital Research Recap

Posted by Cristina Lucero & Christina Mannarino, Performics Research & Insights Team

United States

Channel Insights


-Pew Internet Study: Three-quarters of smartphone owners use location-based services

  • This coincides with a rise in smartphone ownership to 46% this year, from 35% in 2011.  That means that the overall proportion of U.S. adults who get location-based information has almost doubled over that time period–to 41% in February 2012 from 23% last May.
  • 18% of teen smartphone owners use geosocial services, compared w/ 18% of adult smartphone owners
  • Men and women used these services about equally (74% versus 76%), while segmenting by race showed that whites were more likely to do so (77%) than blacks (67%) and Hispanics (71%)
  • Read the full study here

-Millennials Lead the Quest for Mobile-Enabled, Just-in-Time Information (eMarketer)

  • Smartphone and mobile device-connected participants are falling under a new “culture of real-time information seekers and problem solvers”
  • The Pew study showed that less than half of U.S. mobile phone owners ages 30 to 49 used their phones to coordinate a gathering, compared to 60% of those in the 18-to-29 age group
  • The shift toward immediate, “just-in-time” information access means that marketers and content providers must meet demand for mobile-optimized content


-YouTube’s Video Views Are Falling–By Design (AdAge)

  • Since December, views on YouTube have dropped 28%, and March views are only slightly above what they were a year ago, startling for a site accustomed to breakneck growth
  • While views have dropped of late, the amount of minutes users spend watching YouTube has grown over the past year by 57% to more than 61 billion minutes in March 2012.  Longer viewing means more opportunity to show viewers ads, either through strings of videos that play automatically with ads in between or longer videos with TV-like breaks. 
  • And engaged viewers are also thought to be in a more receptive mind-set for brand advertising, the biggest tranche of ad dollars untapped by YouTube
  • Read the full article


-comScore Released April 2012 U.S. Search Engine Rankings

  • Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in April with 66.5% market share (up 0.1%), followed by Microsoft Sites with 15.4 percent (up 0.1%) and Yahoo! Sites with 13.5%
  • In April, 68.7% of searches carried organic search results from Google (up 0.1% from March), while 25.9% of searches were powered by Bing
  • U.S. Search Engine Rankings: 17.1B searches conducted in April, 7% decrease from March
  • Read the full article here

-Google Launches “Knowledge Graph” (Google)

  • “Knowledge Graph” is Google’s term for how it is building relationships between different people, places and things and report facts about these entities
  • What’s behind this data?  The search results page displays a variety of content related to keyword queries, bringing up a list of facts, photos, and landmarks, as well as quick links to other popular uses for the search term.
  • The change represents an effort by search engines to move away from text-based links in search results and serve up knowledge in fewer clicks
  • There is no direct impact on brands, yet, but Google’s Knowledge Graph has the potential to impact SEO and Paid Search in the future. Read more on the Performics Blog
  • Read more on the Google Blog


-Moving Customers from Pinning to Purchase (Harvard Business Review)

  • Research conducted by Vision Critical found a surprisingly high correlation between pinning and subsequent purchasing: more than 1 in 5 Pinterest users has pinned an item that they later purchased.
  • The overall number of people who have pinned and then purchased comes to 21% because some purchased both ways
  • The people who are purchasing pin three times as many items (59) each month as non-purchasers (19)
  • Purchasers visit Pinterest almost three times as often, 27 times a month, compared to an average 10 for non-purchasers
  • Read the full article here

-Facebook Ads: What Works, What Doesn’t (AdAge)

  • The image needs to have an obvious focal point, the brand needs to be clear and the ad needs to fit with the brand’s personality
  • Ads should also be clear about what brand they’re promoting, which, again, sounds pretty basic until you look around and see the number of ads where the brand name is obscured and its logo, colors and overall feel are AWOL
  • For purchase consideration, only one element proved particularly crucial: Does the ad reward the viewer? This need not involve free stuff, and could be informational or even emotional
  • Read the full article here

Participant Engagement

Online to Offline

-Research Connects Online, Offline Marketing (MediaPost)

  • For CPG brands, new research shows that online targeting results in an 18% in-store sales lift versus non-targeted shoppers
  • Targeting based on a shopper’s prior purchase history to be the most effective ad strategy
  • People who were regular users of a brand resulted in more than a 48% in-store sales lift, with a 23% lift for buyers of competitive brands
  • Other strategies tested included hyperlocal, demographic, and psychographic targeting
  • Read the full article here

Global Insights

BRIC Region

-Brazil, India, China To Outpace U.S. Mobile Ad Growth (MediaPost)

  • Mobile ad spending across the three countries is projected to grow sixfold to more than $6 billion by 2016, while the U.S. total flattens to about half that amount in four years
  • Europe will see even less expansion, with mobile ad revenue expected to rise little from the estimated $1 billion total this year
  • When it comes to devices, the report highlights the emergence of tablets as a favored mobile ad vehicle, accounting for 38% of smart devices in the U.S.
  • Read the full article here


-Understanding China Report: The Opportunities And Challenges (Forrester)

  • Forrester expects 268 million Chinese participants to buy online by 2014
  • Chinese participants are very receptive to new trends.  The uptake of tech/mobile devices is already higher in China than in the U.S. and Europe. 
  • However, because of their relative high price, new technologies are mainly bought by high-income Chinese
  • The Chinese market is very much in flux.  Many Chinese are embracing the concept of choice.  As an example there are now approximately 130 different mobile phone brands available for purchase.
  • Chinese participants like Western products.  Chinese participants feel that Western brands are better designed and mark their owners as successful. Brands like BMW have done very well, for example, despite the high sales tax.


-Mobile Social Network Usage Catches Fire in France (eMarketer)

  • eMarketer expects social networks to attract 21.9 million users in France in 2012, increasing to 23.6 million in 2013
  • This year, the number of mobile social users will grow 53.8% to 7.5 million and next year account for nearly half (11.3 million) of total social network users
  • While Internet users in France are comparatively unenthusiastic about social networking on their PCs, the convenience of mobile access is driving strong numbers to social sites
  • Contributing factors to the boom in mobile social networking in France include:the rising penetration of smartphones; major social networks such as Facebook have made a big effort to optimize their sites for mobile access; smartphone ownership is highest among the demographic segments most involved in social networking (i.e. college students).

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