GroupM delves into Digital World 2013

MUMBAI: ?Internet is just a world passing around notes in the classroom,? said American television host and stand-up comedian Jon Stewart about the whole world wide web.

Considering that the classroom has increased manifolds in the past couple of years with each and everyone using the internet ever second, every day of their life, takes a look atGroupM?s recently released report, ?This Year Next Year Interaction 2014? which highlights the impact of technology and tech companies on consumers and advertiser behaviour.

The preview report mostly talks about the social media and video platforms and how the platforms have been utilised by various brands. The penetration and growth of smartphones in the world is stating the obvious and hence, it elaborates on how a few of the next billion online users will use a PC-like object as the principal method of access. Tablets and smartphones rule the roost, these days.

The report goes on to state that by one mean or other, one-third of the world population is online. With television and print taking a backseat, advertisers have made PCs and now mobile devices a priority to reach out to the attentive audiences.   

?However, with magnification of fragmentation, multi-tasking, active screen time and increasing adoption of over-the-top (OTT) and often ad-free media, the challenges among advertisers is increasing. Advertisers have to deliver effectively in more places and on more platforms with little additional resources,? highlights the report.

The report goes on to say that 25 years after the web?s conception, what it delivers to consumers and to the business could not have been imagined by its creator. ?Google is the 800-pound gorilla that has seamlessly combined its core revenue engine, search with a strong position in online video and successfully evolved both into mobile.?

The report adds, ?More significantly, Youtube has become the uber-network of video networks and is the wireframe on which more and more of the world?s video content hangs. With 25 per cent of all views on mobile devices and by Google?s definition that excludes tablets, Youtube sits alongside Facebook, twitter and Goggle search as one of the dominant applications of mobile consumption.?

Global Youtube revenue is estimated, as per the report, at $5 billion and the top 10 brands which have been the platform?s biggest content creators include: Blackberry, DCShoecoUSA, Google, Coca Cola, Old Spice, GoPro, Samsung, Nike, Volkswagen and RedBull.

Furthermore, the report goes on to say that if 2013 was the year of mobile advertising then Facebook and Twitter made it so. ?Of its 700 million daily users, 500 million use the platform of Facebook via a mobile device. And if advertisers create more high-frequency engagement, they will in turn increase the algorithmics distribution of messages to a greater percentage of their fans and beyond, reducing the need to pay for that reach,? says the report.

Also in 2013 Facebook positioned itself to participate in two new areas ? search, long dominated by Google and ?moments? news, TV and otherwise on which Twitter has begun to build its revenue base. However, the report also states that twitter will never achieve the level of penetration of Facebook. ?The platforms are so often referenced in the same sentence yet they have little in common other than as examples of the network effect as a catalyst of growth.?

The top brands on the social networking site, as mentioned  in the report, are: Coca Cola, MTV, Disney, Red Bull, Converse, Starbucks, etc.

Having said that, the report adds how many media companies have embraced Twitter as a tool  to extend the reach of their programming and deepen their advertiser relationship by re-distributing content on it. Top brands on Twitter are: Samsung, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Blackberry, Disney, Zappos, Chanel, says GroupM.

The agency's report has highlighted the benefits that professional networking site Linkedin provides to HR managers globaly, even, surprisingly in China. One third of the world's profesionals, 95 per cent of Americans and 40 per cent Europeans use Linkedin, it says. With a quarter of a billion individual profiles, as well as 300,000 corporate profiles, it states and  goes on to explain how corporations, through their own profiles, sponsored updates and influencer content postings are investing significantly in building their brands and cohorts of followers.  The most-followed companies on the professional networking site are Google, IBM, HP, Microsoft, Apple etc.

The report also looks at the online presence of  Apple, and its online music service iTunes and iTunesRadio. With almost 700 million iOS users globally, and 200 million iTunes accounts in the US it is a tour de force able to offer varying advertising options to advertisers. The report then goes on to examine how Yahoo, Microsoft (it acquired Nokia's handset business this year), AOL, Amazon (almost 35 per cent of all digital customer journeys in the US end up at this online retailer, GroupM research states) and Electronic Arts have been dealing with the rapid evolution online and in digital and what kind of advertiser offerings they are drawing up, and how much success they are achieving.

If one has to wrap up the year and see what?s next? ?For advertisers the world will get more complex. The promise of the cloud and of big data implies an information adjacency and the ability to deliver content to the customer that promises super-precision in segmentation and targeting and by inference a value in an increasingly granular, dynamic and data-informed media environment,? as per the report.

The report aims to give readers a real understanding of what's happening in the world of online, and how they as marketers can get prepared to efficiently use the evolving ecosystem.

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