Do You Like The New Sponsored Stories In Facebook? Would You Like To Buy Gifts To Your Friends Through Facebook?

Have you realized that lately there are quite a lot of sponsored stories on your Facebook timeline? I find it quite annoying and I think I am not the only one…

Hidden advertisement trying to be information is not well received by consumers. According to a study by Mediabrix about advertisement on Social media and mobile phones sponsored stories (or hidden advertisement) causes a negative effect on the users and reduce the grade of trust on the brand.

62% of the people who received promoted tweets said that it negatively impacted or had no impact on their perception of the brand being advertised.

72% of the people who found sponsored stories on Facebook had a similar reaction, an effect that also happened with the 85% of the people who saw sponsored videos that were suppose to be just content and not advertisement.

“This study validates that people respond best to authenticity in advertising no matter the format. With the recent buzz around ‘native’ ad formats, I think we need to carefully consider best practices,” said Ari Brandt, CEO for MediaBrix.

Sterne Agee asked users about Facebook’s latest ideas to monetize the Social platform: increased advertising in the form of sponsored stories, Facebook gifts, promoted posts, and a possible search engine. The results? Not to promoted posts and yes to gifts.

Only 16 percent of users surveyed would actually pay to promote their posts, and only 1.2 percent would actually pay more than $5 to do it. In the other hand, the gifting service is kind of promising, 45% of the users, mostly between 30 and 44 years old, said they would be interested in using this service.

So, wrapping up, social media are perceived by the users as a way to interchange information, which makes it very interesting for advertising, but never using it in a way that it can induce to misunderstandings to the recipient.

Showrooming, a Huge Trend for Xmas

Have you ever heard about “showrooming”? Maybe not but I am almost sure that the most of you have done it. Showrooming is when a customer visits a brick and mortar retail location to touch and feel a product and then goes online to buy the product at a lower price.

According to the data published by Accenture, this Christmas 56% of American consumers is going to practice showrooming. As mobile devices penetration grows and consumers get more comfortable using their devices, retailers are seeing more in-store shoppers pull out their smartphones in the aisles to compare the online price for a product. The Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey found that 27 percent showrooming shoppers will likely make an online purchase using their smartphone or tablet while they are still out shopping. This behaviour is causing a lot of losses to both small and big retailers (Best Buy is known as the Amazon’s showroom…).

But, what can they do to recover from this growing trend?

It seems that “The Giant” from Mountain View, Google, has the answer to this question. In its study, Pre-Holiday 2012 Consumer Intentions they affirm that consumers do not reject to buy offline, they just do not differentiate anymore between online and offline, it is a new concept called “nonline shopping”.

The study affirms the line between online and offline disappeared due to two main reasons: the comfort of buying from home and the growing trust from consumers on online payments methods.

There are two main differences between offline and online behaviours: the consumer goes offline to touch and experience the product but goes online to quickly compare prices and find the best deal.

So, what can do the offline stores to led the consumer to this last step and buy the product? They have one big advantage; they have the product but one disadvantage, the price, usually more expensive than online. The only thing the brick and mortar retailers can do is to make discounts, fidelity programs or some kind of promotions.

These are the key take aways from the Google’s study

So, are you going “to play showrooming” this Xmas?


Is Not Gold All That Glitters

As a foreigner here in Canada, I do not know where are the best places to eat, to dance, to take a walk… So I use to relay in applications as Tripadvisor, Yelp, etc. On those applications you can see the reviews and comments from people from all around the world. But I already had more than one bad surprise…

According to Nielsen, 70% of Internet users trust these online reviews and comments, actually, this trust index has grown considerably during the last four years but can we really trust them?

There is no way to know whether the comment that you are reading has been written by a real client or it was somebody hired by the hotel, restaurant or shop to write amazing things about it. So you never know but there are a few good practices or clues that can help you:

Look at the name of the author, if the name is something like BB3456 or Find cheap trips, those comments will not be very useful; probably they are written randomly and generated automatically.

Do not trust when you only see amazing reviews and comments. Use the common sense usually users come to the Internet to complain not to acclaim the service or product. You should at least find some negative comments (and those are the first you should read). According to Better Business Bureau, 80% of the products offered by the online retailer Amazon has four or more starts, how is this possible?

Run away from very technical comments. Sometimes you find comments that look like a catalogue description; those usually are just a copy and paste from the product description.

But, if I think that today I cannot really trust the reviews and comment, wait for 2014. Gartner predicts that in two to three years, 10 to 15 percent of all online reviews will be bought and paid for by businesses.

According to a statement by Gartner senior research analyst Jenny Sussin:

“With over half of the Internet’s population on social networks, organizations are scrambling for new ways to build bigger follower bases, generate more hits on videos, garner more positive reviews than their competitors and solicit ‘likes’ on their Facebook pages … Many marketers have turned to paying for positive reviews with cash, coupons and promotions including additional hits on YouTube videos in order to pique site visitors’ interests in the hope of increasing sales, customer loyalty and customer advocacy through social media ‘word of mouth’ campaigns.”

So, are you going to keep trusting reviews and comment?


Social Gaming: Trend or Marketing Revolution?

Well I run out of ideas this week so started to analyse things that I like lately related with the social network or marketing digital. Suddenly I realized that these late weeks I have playing a new game in my Ipad, a social game where I attack other users’ castles and they attack my castle.

So I started to research a little bit on what is behind the social gaming. I discovered that social gaming is not only a business based on networking and entertainment but also a new channel where companies can promote products and develop their communication and marketing strategy.

Games are positive experiences; social gaming can create communities where the brands can promote their recognition in a not intrusive and recreational way.

Around 250 millions of users play social games in Facebook, this activity yielded in 2011 a 12% of their $3,700 million income. 81 millions of people play at least once per day devoting 9.5 hours per week. Here you can see more surprising data from Mashable.

Companies can make more visible their brands in a lot of different ways; including advertising in the game, making explicit references to them, giving (or selling) items for the game or for real life… This is called “advergaming”.

But as we could see the last class, there is a most important outcome here, data mining. If we mix 9,5 hours per week at least once per day exposure to social gaming with the precise and monitoreable target segmentation of Facebook, we make super easy for companies to point to very receptive potential customers.

The way of exploding the social gaming for branding is just limited by the imagination and creativity of marketing departments and agencies. That is why Facebook was trying to partnership with some social game developers before the IPO.

Now I am sorry but I am going to play for a while ;P


Xmas is coming!!!

Or maybe not, but in Spain, more exactly in Barcelona, the city where I have lived for the last 8 years the Christmas lights and decorations start to appear.

Another signal that Christmas is coming is the digital marketing campaign that I found last week, Freixenet is letting us, the consumers, make his Christmas spot!!!

I guess not Spanish people or someone that never lived in Spain would be wondering now what the hell I am talking and why is this important enough to be in a post in my blog. Well this spot in Spain is like the spot in the half time for the American Superbowl.

So what Freixenet is and why its Christmas campaign is that important? Freixenet is one of the most (if not the most) important brands of cava (Spanish champagne). And this spot is very important because nowadays it became a tradition, Freixenet usually hires very important stars to perform in their spots, not only Spanish like Placido Domingo (1984), Antonio Banderas (1992), but also American stars like Lizza Minelli (1977), Gene Kelly (1981), Paul Newman (1989), Kim Basinger (1993) and many more. Freixenet spots have also directed by recognized directors like Martin Scorsese (2007). You can see all the stars that participated in Freixenet spots here:

That is why I found this campaign amazing, they are taking a huge risk changing from spots with super stars on them to a full digital marketing campaign where the spot is going to be developed by consumers and internet users and directed by a recognized Spanish director, Bigas Luna. And they are taking this risk with their most important event and during the most important time in the year, Christmas, because 37% of the annual production is sold during this period (source: ). Congratulations Freixenet for this brave initiative, I am willing to see if the results are the expected.


You can find more info about the campaign here

Article Report

I found this post interesting for different many reasons; how Avinash introduce the need of convince potential clients through a very useful tool, the Consumer Barometer (, how this tool can help a company to know its potential consumers in different countries, how they behave, how they research (online or offline), where do they buy…

But I think if you want to convince your potential clients to invest a big amount of money in digital marketing you also need to provide them other proofs, they must know the importance of having a global digital marketing plan.

Ten years ago, the communications agencies did not even think about to get into the digital world and the consulting firms just provide corporate webs and a little bit of e-commerce. If you compare that with the world today, things had changed a lot.

Corporate webs, e-commerce, email marketing, SEO, social media, adwords, Google analytics, etc. Nowadays the variety of options that Internet offers to the companies to increase the profitability is huge. But that brings out a problem, which one should I choose? Where should I invest the money in order to get a bigger profitability?

Sadly, a lot of companies think that digital marketing is just social media when the most important thing is to have a really well defined corporate web, without this, it is quite difficult to get good results.

For any company that wants to increase its presence on internet, the first need is to make a global study, a very deep analysis, in this way the company will be able to find out what type of corporate web the company needs, how to improve its positioning on search engines (SEO), if the company should be (or not) in the social media (and in which of them), if the company needs to work on its digital brand reputation, how to invest in digital media to get some return, etc. So, before starting to use Internet as a channel, it is very important to have a global digital marketing plan that allows knowing the needs of your company and defining very well the introduction of any single action.

Focusing again in the Consumer Barometer, this tool is extraordinary useful in the first stages of the development of the digital marketing plan. This tool will allow the company to do a very good segmentation of the consumers, by countries, allowing the company to design a different strategy depending of the country.

It is also very interesting how consumers access to Internet. This knowledge will tell us if we should develop (or not) an app for the main platforms (idevices, android, windows 8…). Let get an example, if we are a bank and we are studying if we should launch an app to let our customers make all their bank operations (transactions, check the balance of their accounts, etc), we will probably launch it first in the languages of the countries that have an intensive use of mobile devices to access to Internet. Also if we cannot launch the app worldwide, we could use this tool to choose which countries are the first.

In summary, I found this tool very interesting but I do not think this tool only can convince a potential client to invest a few millions in digital marketing.

Other sources