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

Highlighted below are emerging trends and insights from the week of August 21, 2011:

United States

Channel Insights


– New research reveals that personalized, curated content is key to effective mobile marketing (Communispace).

  • Connected participants want instantaneous and personalized experiences, they are looking to companies and brands to help curate, manage and filter the flow of content, or just by acknowledging that these concerns exist.
  • Communispace identified four implications that can help marketers better engage with today’s connected participants:
    • Avoid unsolicited contact
    • Connect to participants
    • Hand over the reins
    • Create custom, relevant experiences
  • Read the full report here.

– If Mobile Is A Must, What Tactics Should You Use? (MediaPost)

  • Rapidly changing participant expectations around mobility and economic pressures to deliver greater ROI are definite challenges to marketers. To ease these pressure, keep the following strategies in mind:
    • Mobile couponing – With improved CRM utility, opt-in mechanics and deliverability, every serious cross-platform CPG or retail marketer should be exploring this with their team, agency or vendor partners.
    • Loyalty programs; location-based messaging, offer-driven or otherwise; use of Quick Response (QR) codes; and streaming content.
  • Read the full story here.

– In-Stat Survey: Digital TV Users Expected To Shift To Tablets (Media News Daily).

  • 65% of the U.S. population will own a smartphone and/or tablet by 2015 — that comes to over 200 million people in total.
  • The survey also says there will be nearly two smartphone/tablet owners per OTT household.
  • The dominant brand in homes in this context: Apple. The average Apple household will have four Apple devices, while the average Google Android household will have over two Android devices.
  • Read the full story here.


– Google has announced that Google+ results are now going to be found in Google search results (Google).

  • "[Google is] including public Google+ posts as well. So if you're signed into your Google Account, your search results may start including posts shared publicly by people you're connected to on Google+."
  • This piece of news continues to push search engine marketing into the realm of social media.
  • To succeed in search engine optimization from a social media perspective, you are going to have to create a social media presence that is interesting and engaging.
  • Read the full story here.


– Facebook Seeks Acquisitions to Fend Off Google (Facebook).

  • Facebook is planning acquisitions that will improve site design, keep its service reliable and advance mobile features to stave off competition – aiming to make about 20 purchases in 2011, up from 10 last year.

– Facebook is betting that a focus on design will entice people to spend more time on the site, while adding mobile services can cater to the growing number of members using handheld devices.

  • As it grapples with competition from Google and Twitter, Facebook also must bolster its system so the site runs smoothly amid rapid growth.
  • Read the full story here.

– Facebook Tuesday unveiled a set of changes aimed at giving users more control over content they share via the social network (Facebook).

  • Facebook says it wants to make it easier for people to choose whom they exchange information with as well as make privacy settings more accessible.
  • Instead of having to click through a series of privacy setting pages, users can specify right on the page who can view various parts of their profile: friends, everyone on the Web, or a customized group.
  • Facebook now has another reason to empower users with the advent of Google+ “circles” which allows users to group people into different categories such as friends, co-workers or acquaintances.
  • Read the full story here.

Seasonal Topics


– Solid Ecommerce Spending Recovery Suggests Strong Holiday Season (eMarketer).

  • The findings released in August by the US Department of Commerce (DOC) show that retail ecommerce sales are on track. And, importantly for online retailers, ecommerce’s share of total retail sales, while still small, is steadily increasing.
  • In Q2 2011 sales were up by $5 billion, the number of online buyers increased 16% and online buyer penetration among internet users increased 9 percentage points to 70%.
  • A larger pool of shoppers willing to spend bodes well for the holiday shopping season even if a summer check on participant sentiment showed uncertainty.
  • Retailers will have the next few months to woo deal-minded shoppers with holiday bargains.

Back to School

– New Survey Finds Shoppers Using Smartphones And Tablets For Back To School (National Retail Federation).

  • Participants with smartphones and tablets will use their devices to research products, redeem coupons, look up store information, and even make purchases.
  • When it comes to smartphone shopping, nearly one out of five (18.8%) K-12 grade shoppers and 16.8% of college shoppers with smartphones say they will make purchases via their device.
  • Marketers must have a mobile strategy in place as the number of participants shopping on their mobile devices is growing as well as an increased interest in purchasing with their smartphone/tablet.
  • Read the story here.

– Back-to-College is where it’s At for Online Retailers (Search Engine Land).

  • Back-to-college participant spending is actually twice as high as back-to-school, making it a key component to your overall strategy. Here are a couple quick tips on how to augment your back-to-school campaigns to make sure you’re addressing the Co-Eds.:
    • Speak Their Language – Try implementing a simple A/B ad copy test to identify whether the back-to-school or back-to-college message performs best for your campaigns.
    • Diversify Your Devices – Stretch campaigns across online videos and mobile.
    • Communicate Your UVP Clearly – This crowd is likely going to be a bit more independent and thus looking for the best value, not just the best price.
  • Make sure to include this crucial target in your overall strategy to capture the full potential of this large shopping season.
  • Read the full story here.


Generation X

– Gen Xers use more TV, online video and visit more ecommerce sites (eMarketer).

  • Most Gen Xers are online. eMarketer estimates that 88% of the segment are web users in 2011, and that number is expected to increase to 90.9% by 2015.
  • To effectively engage with Gen X, brands need a strategy that incorporates multiple channels—including mobile, social and online video—with authentic, relevant messaging.
  • For marketers, that means that while these 34- to 45-year-old participants are heavy users of digital tools, they also watch more TV than any other age segment.


– New study provides data on media, shopping and social habits of millennials (Service Management Group and The Boston Consulting Group).

  • Millennials compared to other generations reported greater awareness of newer, youth-oriented cause marketing campaigns, such as Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.
  • Millennials seek peer affirmation & advice as well as gather information on products and services from multiple channels; using a mobile device while shopping to research product.
  • More detailed findings from the study will be shared at the “Share. Like. Buy.” conference on September 22-23, 2011, in San Francisco, CA.
  • Some of the highlights from the study are located here.

Global Insights

Channel Insights


– Facebook’s ‘Like’ Button Declared Illegal in Germany (Facebook).

  • Citing violations to the countries strict privacy laws, the Independent Center for Privacy Protection (ULD) called for all Facebook ‘like’ plugins to be removed in the German state of Schlewsing-Holstein.
  • The ULD stated that the Facebook ‘like’ plugin infringes on the Telemedia Act and the Federal Data Protection Act as Facebook transfers data back to the US.
  • According to Thilo Weichart, employee of the data protection in Schleswig-Holstein, the plugins illegally tracked users’ web habits.
  • Read the full story here.

– Chinese social-networking site Renren signed an agreement with Microsoft's MSN to cooperate in areas of instant messaging and social networking (Reuters).

  • China is the world's largest Internet market by users with around 480 million netizens. Around 230 million of them use social networking sites and 385 million of them use instant messaging.
  • The two companies will cooperate on providing universal login access to both platforms and cross sharing of photos and status updates.
  • Read the full story here.

Digital Media

– Brands in Asia-Pacific are finding success through digital media (eMarketer).

  • Across Asia-Pacific, which included China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, respondents showed an 83.8% increase in interest in using a brand after coming across it in digital media.
  • Participants were polled on how each type of media ranked by trust – word-of-mouth and recommendations from family and friends came out as the most trusted information source.
  • Many internet users in Asia-Pacific find digital media influential and trustworthy. Looking ahead continued investment by brands will rely on maintaining and continuing to improve these participant attitudes.

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