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Heads up on emerging trends for marketers

Heads up on emerging trends for marketers

The following excerpts and commentary have been compiled by the leadership team at Universal McCann’s Global Digital Communications Practice

Microsoft targets the web with or without Yahoo.

While Microsoft’s acquisition of Yahoo! may have stalled over the last week as Yahoo! holds out for more cash or new suitors, Microsoft is in no mood to roll over to Yahoo! or Google.  Bill Gates says that he’s not raising his bid and the battle is on regardless of how the Yahoo! deal pans out

Last word: Whether Yahoo!’s positioning is simply a tactic to drive up the price or genuine rebuff remains to be seen.  The bottom line is that Yahoo! is definitely in play, speculation will continue until they link up with someone.  Gates is right; the prize is just too great to give up easily. 

Though search is already the major chunk of the online ad market, the opportunity it represents is still in its infancy. It’s better for consumers and advertisers if there’s strong Microsoft snapping at Google’s heels

Game creators look to the future

2007 was a monster year for the gaming industry.  Halo 3 grabbed many of the headlines as the largest entertainment earner ever.  It was also the year that gaming really went mainstream with mass popularity of Nintendo’s Wii and DS consoles.  The industry gathers this week in San Francisco with an eye on the future.

Last word: In-game marketing used to largely be the domain of young male brands but things are changing fast.  In 2008 we’re expecting to see a continued explosion in both the types of brands exploiting this channel and number of ways they can get involved.

Sony Blu-Ray HD-DVD wins battle to become industry standard

Toshiba are waving the white flag after losing the support of retailers and key studios.  Sony is now the dominant force in what is estimated to be a $24 billion market.

Last word: Potentially a double edged sword for consumers, choosing the right kit is now more straightforward but what does this mean for pricing?  Analysts agree that online distribution of high definition content will eventually come to the masses, where they disagree is when.  It therefore remains to be seen if Blu-Ray is here for long haul.

Phorm takes Behavioural Targeting to the next level

Targeting online ads based on surfing behaviour is no new thing, however to date most “Behavioural Targeting” has been done at a site or network level. Phorm are now significantly moving the game on by teaming up with ISPs to collect information about users at the gateway.  Publishers release inventory, Phorm then provides a layer of targeting and the space is sold on to the highest bidder.  Initially launching in the UK, the plans are to be in a market near you soon.

Last word: This seems like something out of Minority Report; however, it’s got Media Buyers excited. They’ll be able to hone in on uniquely defined target audiences and reach them in new and different places.  And because the buyer sets the rules about pricing there could be cost benefits. Given the current climate, maybe it’s not long before one of the big boys gets their cheque book out again.

eMarketing revises mobile search revenue estimates

A leap in the number of searches on mobile handsets has led to the research outfit ramping up projections.

Last word: Different rules apply about how to behave in this channel versus PC-based search; however, the potential of highly relevant location based communications mean this simply can’t be ignored.

Series of undersea cable cuts may have been work of saboteurs.

A UN official has claimed that recent internet outages that seriously affected the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, and parts of Africa could have been the work of saboteurs.

Last word:  Whether sabotage was to blame or not this only goes to show how inter-dependent and internet-dependent nations are.  Major internet disruption is matter of economic concern and national security.

And finally.....

Nintendonitis crippling Wii users.

Heavy Nintendo Wii users are developing conditions akin to Victorian factory workers.

Last word:  People want to get out more

AJR
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