Why “Want” & “Own” might be the most important Actions coming to Facebook

Source: Social Beat, January 18, 2012 | Jolie O’Dell

Facebook is bringing a boatload of apps and actions onto the social network. Now, instead of just “Liking” something, you can say you read it, listened to it, or watched it, all through your favorite web and mobile apps.

While a huge number of these semantically linked verbs, called Actions, are going to be appearing in various places around Facebook and Facebook-connected websites, two Actions might be more commercially significant than the rest: “Want” and “Own.” Because, if you follow the money, these two actions are most closely linked to Facebook’s main source of revenue, its advertising real estate and targeting.

For the past few years, companies have been attempting to make the most, capitalistically speaking, from Facebook’s vast, interconnected social graph. The Open Graph (including Facebook Connect and the now-ubiquitous Like button) further brings brands and products into the social web of people, much to the delight of marketers and e-commerce companies.

Facebook announced major Open Graph changes in the works at its developer conference last year. While Actions were a part of that preview, the company’s first launches around the evolution of Open Graph were all about music — both sharing the music you’re into and listening along with friends.

“This [release] is really heavily about shopping,” said Payvment CEO Christian Taylor, who told us that some Actions announced today might end up be far more important than the already ubiquitous “Like” button.

“Wanting,” “Owning,” & buying on Facebook

Payvment is one of the leading enablers of “f-commerce,” or retail and commerce occurring on and around Facebook. This company developed with Facebook and has been using “Want” and “Own” buttons for several months.

In the image on the left, you can see Payvment’s buttons in action.

“The Open Graph has been around for two years, but it was really based on the Like button, which never really worked for shopping,” Taylor told VentureBeat in an interview yesterday.

“It really doesn’t mean anything to anybody. So to help people understand their relationship to product, we created a Want button… and an Own button.”

When users click the “Want” and “Own” buttons, it triggers Facebook to update dynamic lists related to those terms. For the “Want” button, the result is a sort of real-time wishlist; the “Own” button acts almost as a catalog tool for a digital closet that’s linked to a real-world collection of items. Several other shopping and fashion apps are using similar Actions, as well, and all to the same general effect.

These buttons are very obviously linked to reality-based purchasing intention and purchase patterns — not just what people are idly talking about on the Internet, but what they’ve actually put down money for in the recent past and what their acquisitive aspirations are.

Understanding the semantic web of information between people and the things they buy can give analysts and marketers deep information on relationships between people and purchases. That information can be used to better target advertising and influence consumers’ decisions, opinions, aspirations, and attitudes.

Best of all for Payvment and Facebook merchants and brands, Taylor said, consumers are actually using the buttons.

“In our testing, more people used it than we ever thought would,” he said. “We’ve been testing this for the past two months. It shocked us, how many people went around collecting the things they love and have.”

As consumers click around the web, indicating what they want and own, their Facebook profiles are updated accordingly — not in the public-facing Timeline, but in deep-dive sections of the profile. “You get to see what other people’s interests are, what they own,” said Taylor.

Are QR codes replacing SMS?

Our two cents:
The short answer is no, despite the fact that some brands are seeing QR codes outperform the typical SMS call to action. The simple fact is that QR code adoption is still relatively low, ~14% in the U.S. Therefore, you’re starting with a smaller pool of people to begin with. We see SMS as still being the best all-around mobile tactic for creating customer loyalty, as many customers use it to sign up for coupons, alerts, etc. This is especially important for brands that target mainstream demographics, e.g., Moms 25-44 with an HHI of $75k or less. It’s common for this demographic to under-index on QR codes, but overindex on SMS and MMS. So at the end of the day, it really comes down to figuring out who your customer and defining their mobile behavior, instead of blindly following tech trends.

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Clients Want Strategic Input, Biz Value from Agencies

Source: Marketing Charts, January 23, 2012
When reviewing and evaluating agency relationships, the majority of multi-national client marketers look at strategic contributions (57%) and business value created (56%), according to [download page] a CMO Council survey released in January 2012. Other key considerations include agency efficiency and effectiveness (50%), market impact and success of campaigns (42%), and creative excellence (42%). Yet although senior marketers appear to have an array of methods by which to evaluate their relationships, slightly more than two-thirds do no have solutions or hosted services that improve the agency benchmarking and evaluation process. Similarly, only about one-quarter have developed a best-practice model or formal guidelines for client/agency relationship management. More significantly, 65% do not employ any form of ad scoring or tracking services, and 38% rate their ability to extract optimal value and return from agency partnerships as poor or in need of improvement.

Alignment Leads to Improvement

The top technique for improving collaboration, output, and performance between clients and agencies is ensuring teams are fully aligned and in-sync with objectives and deliverables, cited by 71% of brand marketers. Other popular tools for improving relationships include identifying and addressing points of friction and disruption (52%), using or developing performance scorecards or metrics (40%), continuously auditing and assessing competency and effectiveness (39%), and refining marketing operational processes to maximize efficiency (37%).

Although campaign alignment is seen best for improving collaboration, that may be difficult to implement, at least among online advertisers: according to a survey released in January 2012 by Digiday, sponsored by Vizu, although nearly all (97%) brand advertisers reported wanting their primary marketing objective to be well defined in advance of their online campaigns, only 18% of agencies said they are able to establish a single objective against which ROI will be measured with their clients in advance of a campaign.

Clients Keep a Broad Eye for New Insights

Meanwhile, a search for new ideas may be driving brands to increase their volume of agencies on retainer worldwide: according to the CMO Council’s “More Gain, Less Strain,” the most important value and gain from outside agencies include fresh ideas, analytics, and perspectives (48%) and new methodologies and creative approaches (39%). About 3 in 10 brands cited quicker, more efficient turnaround of work, as well as objective third-party advice and counsel.

Agencies’ Client Retention Gets More Difficult

Results from the report indicate that agencies may have some difficulty holding onto their client relationships: almost half of the survey respondents report they are hiring specialized digital marketing solution and service providers to implement new social, mobile, and interactive strategies. Another 47% plan to build internal capabilities and use incumbent agency services less, while an additional 45% are bringing in outside consultants to help set up and structure digital programs.

In fact, only 36% of marketers are committed to their agency relationships this year, with 49% saying that they may consolidate or change their global agency rosters. And just 5% of marketers report longstanding relationships with their agencies. A notable 32% are looking at selective replacement in their agency rosters, 9% see increased turnover of resource, and another 9% are decreasing the use of agencies.

Other Findings:

  • When it comes to new areas of outside service provisioning and agency use, the majority of marketers are focused on mobile applications and mobile content (62%), social media engagement and buzz building (60%), multi-channel digital marketing (52%), web design, development, and performance improvement (51%), and SEO – paid and organic (51%).
  • Just 9% of marketers believe traditional ad agencies are doing a good job of evolving and extending their service capabilities in the digital age, in contrast to 22% who view their agencies as struggling to transition their business models and service offerings.
  • 58% of marketers are unsatisfied with the current process of measuring their agencies’ advertising effectiveness, and two-thirds expressed interest in adding new tools, technologies, and services for tracking ad impact, influence, recall, and response.
  • 55% of senior marketers do not systematically evaluate creative impact, and 58% are unsatisfied with the evaluation process associated with benchmarking their agencies’ creative advertising effectiveness.

About the Data: The CMO Council teamed with Ace Metrix in the second half of 2011 to conduct a quantitative audit of 250-plus strategic and operational marketing stakeholders involved in the supplier relationship management, performance evaluation, and procurement process.

comScore Reports November 2011 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share

One-third of Mobile Subscribers Access Social Networking on Mobile Device

RESTON, VA, December 29, 2011 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released data from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending November 2011. The study surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.6 percent market share. Google Android continued to capture share in the smartphone market to reach 46.9 percent market share.

OEM Market Share

For the three-month average period ending in November, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by LG with 20.5 percent share and Motorola with 13.7 percent share. Apple strengthened its position at #4 with 11.2 percent share of total mobile subscribers (up 1.4 percentage points), while RIM rounded out the top five with 6.5 percent share.

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Aug. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Aug-11 Nov-11 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Samsung 25.3% 25.6% 0.3
LG 21.0% 20.5% -0.5
Motorola 14.0% 13.7% -0.3
Apple 9.8% 11.2% 1.4
RIM 7.1% 6.5% -0.6

Smartphone Platform Market Share

91.4 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in November, up 8 percent from the preceding three month period. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 46.9 percent market share, up 3.1 percentage points from the prior three-month period. Apple maintained its #2 position, growing 1.4 percentage point to 28.7 percent of the smartphone market. RIM ranked third with 16.6 percent share, followed by Microsoft (5.2 percent) and Symbian (1.5 percent).

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Aug. 2011
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Aug-11 Nov-11 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google 43.8% 46.9% 3.1
Apple 27.3% 28.7% 1.4
RIM 19.7% 16.6% -3.1
Microsoft 5.7% 5.2% -0.5
Symbian 1.8% 1.5% -0.3

Mobile Content Usage

In November, 72.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 2.1 percentage points. Downloaded applications were used by 44.9 percent of subscribers (up 3.3 percentage points), while browsers were used by 44.4 percent (up 2.3 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 2.1 percentage points to 33.0 percent of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 29.7 percent of the mobile audience (up 1.2 percentage points), while 21.7 percent listened to music on their phones (up 1.0 percentage points).

Mobile Content Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Aug. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Aug-11 Nov-11 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Sent text message to another phone 70.5% 72.6% 2.1
Used downloaded apps 41.6% 44.9% 3.3
Used browser 42.1% 44.4% 2.3
Accessed social networking site or blog 30.9% 33.0% 2.1
Played Games 28.5% 29.7% 1.2
Listened to music on mobile phone 20.7% 21.7% 1.0

What are you most excited about in Mobile

Good video interviews from Rob Woodbridge and some of the more forward thinking marketers in mobile. Top themes that emerged form the interview:

  1. People still excited about SMS. Many retailers have realized that even though it’s been around for a while, it’s been underutilized.
  2. The lessening of fragmentation in the market will inevitably create more opportunities. This applies to everything form devices to carrier interoperability.
  3. Latin America (LATAM) is a key opportunity and also a key challenge, both from a technical and best practices perspective.
  4. MMS. People seem exited about it, but it’s still a cloudy topic in need of more clarity

Some themes we were surprised didn’t emerge:

  1. Voice and gesture as a means of communication across all devices.
  2. Mobile transactions, e.g., Square
  3. All-mobile social networks
  4. Mobile gaming. Which has overtaken the traditional gaming consoles and appeals to a broad range of demographics.

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List of Mobile Advertising Agencies

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What SMS Will Bring You: Reach and Revenue

Our two cents:
There is some really good thinking here in this article from Stephanie Miller, and core to the success of all the SMS marketing programs we’ve ever been a part of. Specifically, the idea that the promise of SMS campaigns not outweighing the value is spot on. In our most recent client experiences, brands and marketers are waking up to the fact that SMS (and MMS, let’s not forget about MMS) is a data-driven marketing channel, with email being its kissing cousin. Therefore, many of our early conversations with new clients tend to circle around the topic of mobile and email integration. In our opinion this is a great place to start, as brands must understand what unique value they are delivering to their customers and go beyond the simple repurposing of email content. Furthermore, we typically recommend that marketers simultaneously develop SMS and email content strategies to avoid redundancy and look for obvious mobile/email tie ins.

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