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Mar 13 2006
DoubleClick Study Confirms 'Generic' Search Behavior
This N.Y. Times (reg. req'd) piece summarizes the findings of a recent DoubleClick survey of paid search and user behavior trends. Here's where you can download the report. Basically it confirms DoubleClick's finding in 2004 and separate comScore findings in the same year that reveal the volume of search queries are at the "category" level. Brand terms convert better and are used later in the "purchase cycle" but represent a minority of search queries. The earlier surveys suggested that roughly 75 percent of traffic is based on these "generic" or category terms (e.g., "digital camera," "notebook computer"), while less than a quarter of traffic is focused on brands or trademarked terms. These latest DoubleClick data reflect an even lower percentage of brand search queries (18 percent).

The irony is that the searches on the brand terms are "direct response" type lookups, while the "category" searches are brand advertising opportunities. This is why search may in fact be much more of a brand advertising medium than people had believed.

What we're calling the new "purchase funnel" is a lot more "ugly" and complex than marketers want to believe. This may even be more the case in local lookups, where a fragmented universe, offline media and word of mouth figure heavily � as does search. We'll try to get at some of that behavior in the Drilling Down panel "The New �Purchase Funnel�: Online Shopping, Offline Conversions."
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  16:42 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Mar 13 2006
Yell Pursuing TPI
A Reuters report today reveals that Britain's Yell Group has taken formal steps toward submitting a bid for the 60 percent stake in the Spanish publisher Telefonica Publicidad e Informacion currently owned by Telefonica. Yell has retained Goldman Sachs to advise it on the potential bid. You can read the Reuters item here.

If this takes place, it would be a departure for Yell, which has focused all of its acquisition energy and capital on enlarging its U.S. directory business, Yellow Book. However, Yell has in the past indicated a willingness to look at deals on the European continent as well.

TPI is also expected to attract bids from private equities, which have not lost their fervor for directory deals. Less clear is the degree to which France's PagesJaunes is interested in the deal.

TPI, which reported 2005 group revenues of 654 million euros, is the leading publisher in Spain with directory operations in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Puru, and a competitive DA operation in Italy.

Yell is the market leader in the U.K. and the largest independent publisher in the United States. It also contends with a rate cap in the U.K. that does not appear to be going away any time soon. This may help explain its interest in finding new acquisition targets.

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  11:42 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Mar 13 2006
Interesting U.K. SME Survey
A Web-hosting firm in the U.K., Fasthosts, conducted an online survey of 2,000 U.K. small businesses in January and February (as a marketing vehicle for its own services). Indeed, one must always take such surveys with a "grain of salt" because the respondents are typically self-selected. Yet the results of the survey are interesting. The survey offers several conclusions about small-business behavior online. But what's far more intriguing is the consumer behavior that it reflects � and confirms.

Again, I don't want to put too much emphasis on this, but the survey confirms that most people don't go beyond the first or second page of search results. A third of respondents said they drill down "three pages or more." However, I'm skeptical about people accurately reporting their behavior; I believe they view far fewer results than that (see Enquiro's "heatmaps" research). (Microsoft's new Live.com site uses Ajax to avoid the concept of clicking on pages entirely.)

The market-share numbers the survey reveals are striking:
  1. Google � 89%
  2. Yahoo! � 6%
  3. Ask � 3%
  4. MSN � 2%
By contrast Hitwise reported that Google UK and Google.com together are responsible for 70% of U.K. Internet searches. MSN.co.uk Search, in second place according to Hitwise, had an 8% share.

We have long believed that SME behavior, when they act as consumers, is a leading indicator of their future behavior as advertisers. But the discrepancy between the heavy search-engine user behavior and the fact that "49% of respondents admitted that they do not submit their website to search engines" is consistent with the confusion and inertia about online marketing that still permeates the small-business marketplace.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  09:43 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]










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