Social’s stickiness; do not track; green skeptics

Social is sticky for companies in Canada

Canada's early embrace of social networking has developed into an ingrained behaviour for consumers and a lucrative channel for marketers looking to influence them. According to eMarketer, Canada ranked first globally in social media penetration in 2011 as a percentage of population. Canadians are all also well above the worldwide average in terms of average time spent on social networks. This stickiness shows a deep engagement among Canadians with social tools and a ripe opportunity for brands that use smart tactics to engage this enthusiastic user base, notes an article published Wednesday by eMarketer.

Meanwhile a report from Adobe concludes that marketers significantly underestimate the value of social traffic. More specifically, the report notes that:

  • The use of last-click attribution, the most common attribution model used by marketers, may cause marketers to undervalue social media's website impact by up to 94%.
  • First-click attribution models more accurately capture the benefits of social media in engaging customers earlier in the buying process.
  • Significant differences in the results of first-click vs. last-click attribution data for various social media sites may cause marketers to change how they allocate the budgets across social and other digital channels.

Adobe argues that first-click attribution is better because social media is designed to create an environment in which brands can build awareness and engage with prospective and existing customers early in the purchase process. By ignoring the value of these earlier interactions, last-click attribution gives disproportionate credit to the marketing channels customers use late in the purchase process, potentially undervaluing the role of other channels in building awareness, engagement, and ongoing relationships between customers and brands, notes Adobe. In contrast, first-click attribution gives social media more credit for these earlier interactions.

Online interest-based advertising under fire: CMA taking action

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued a strong call for commercial data collectors to adopt better privacy practices. In a starkly written 73-page report on privacy in the digital age, the agency called on U.S. commercial data collectors to implement a "Do Not Track" button in web browsers by the end of the year or face binding legislation. CMA is actively working with other communications and advertising groups on a self-regulatory program that will enable marketers, agencies and web publishers to address the related concerns about online interest-based advertising (behavioural marketing) raised by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Consumers not "buying" green claims

New research out of the U.S. finds that most consumers don't believe companies are addressing all of their environmental impacts, and only 44% trust companies' green claims. This skepticism may even affect sales. In fact, as many as 77% would be willing to boycott if misled, according to the study. Consumers are also less inclined to do their own homework on the environmental impacts of a company's products. Instead, three of four consumers want companies to provide more environmental information on the product packaging to help inform their shopping decisions. And the majority of consumers (71%) wish companies would do a better job helping them understand the environmental terms they use to talk about their products and services.

One last word...What's the value of a log-out page?

As much as $160,000 a day to own the Facebook log-out page alone in the U.S. (and only available to advertisers who spend $550,000 a day on News Feed ads), according to reports in the Washington Post and AdAge.

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Tags: Behavioural Marketing, Environment, Social Media