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Facebook and Google predict the future of internet marketing

4 Mar, 11 | by BMJ

The annual Technology for Marketing and Advertising exhibition took place this week at London’s Earls Court, bringing together some of the UK’s leading Internet marketing innovators. Amongst more than 200 exhibitors, keynote speakers included Facebook’s UK commercial director, Stephen Haines, and Nic Cumisky, Google’s Senior Industry Manager.

Impressive statistics

The keynote speeches were dominated by startling statistics.

  • 124 years of Angry Birds are played every week.
  • 40 % of all Tweets are from mobile devices.
  • There were 2.4 billion UK internet visits to social networks in January 2011.
  • Facebook is now the second most visited site in UK (after Google) – every 6th page viewed in the UK is on Facebook.
  • On Christmas Day 2010, Facebook traffic exceeded Google traffic for the first time ever.
  • On average, we pass 3,254 pieces of personal information into databases each week.

Interesting trends

Microsoft and Experian teamed up to discuss a number of trends that are sweeping the online realm. Social networking users have now surpassed email users. Demographically, younger internet users often only use email when communicating with adults. When speaking with their peers, they prefer to use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Robin Goad from Experian Hitwise (a proprietary software that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use to analyse website logs created on their network) revealed clear profiling patterns in social media usage. By cross-referencing this information with Experian’s Mosaic consumer classification data, they were able to identify a trend for more affluent members of society to use Twitter, whereas Facebook is much more mainstream and skews towards the upper working class.

Emerging technologies to keep an eye on

  • NFC (Near Field Communication) chips were described by Google as ‘bluetooth on steroids’. NFC allows a device, usually a mobile phone, to collect data from another device or NFC tag at close range. In many ways, it’s like a contactless payment card that is integrated into a phone. In other ways, it’s similar to Bluetooth, except that instead of programming two devices to work together, they can simply touch to establish a connection.
  • QR codes can be scanned and read by anyone with a smartphone, just by clicking their camera. By scanning the codes, you can access images, websites and text. QR codes allow for more data than the standard 10-digit bar code and scanning requires less effort than typing a URL. Click here to view some novel uses of this technology.
  • i-Ads – AXA have recently released the first i-Ad, which integrates newspaper advertising with an iPhone. The video below explains the process in more detail, but the gist is that you come upon an engaging picture in print and are asked to place your iPhone on a blank space on the page which brings the story to life, and keeps eyeballs on the i-Ad for a full minute.

  • Third life – It is becoming increasingly hard to determine what is offline and online. Google and many others are in the process of seamlessly combining the real world and the online world into something entirely different. Industry experts predict that we will soon experience an indistinguishable mashing of our real physical first life and our second virtual life into a ‘Third Life’. Both General Motors and Ford are integrating augmented reality technology into their windshields so that GPS directions will be layered on to the road in front of you, along with directions to your local Burger King or HSBC branch. A car has even been released with voice-activated Facebook newsfeed updates: watch a demonstration in the advert below.

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