To app or not to app?

When devising a strategy for the mobile space, marketers are faced with many questions but one of the questions on the tip of marketers tongues is should I invest in an iPhone application? With iPhone popularity at all time high in Australia, building an iPhone application seems to be a no brainer however before you jump into the app space here is some food for thought on the app market.

The facts about applications

Mobile appsOver the past few years iPhone developers have been busy developing iPhone applications and as a result more than 140,000 iPhone applications are now available from the Apple apps store and these have been downloaded over 3 billion times. In 2010 the onslaught of iPhone application development is only set to accelerate with more than 300,000 applications to be in the apps store by years end. And whilst application supply is high so is demand. In December 2009, app store users downloaded an average of 4.8 applications – ¼ of which are paid.

Considerations for app marketing

1. Not all apps are created equal

With this level of interest and activity it would seem at first glance that an iPhone application can be a very lucrative opportunity. Building an iPhone application however can be an expensive exercise therefore brands need to ensure that investment in the channel will deliver results . Similar to video not all applications are created equal, and with over 140,000 applications in the app store how is your branded app going to stand out from the crowd?

The BigOven application is one example of a successful app which received over 2 million downloads globally, however many struggle to get a few hundred downloads. Thus if you are considering to invest in an application there is a lot more to it than simply replicating your website to ensure you gain value from your investment. Consider how your app is going to get people talking, how app functionality can add value / augment the brand experience and how to leverage technology such as GPS to deliver a unique offering.

2. Consumers APPetite

Whilst cut through is difficult for any marketer, it doesn’t mean that application marketing cannot produce value. One of the key reasons organisations should consider investment in an application is that a portion of your audience will prefer to interact with your brand via an app whilst others prefer access via a mobile site. By failing to invest in an application, even if you have a mobile site, you maybe failing to appeal to a portion of your audience and this could be impact your mobile reach. Thus to make an informed decision brands need to understand their audience behaviour and mobile usage before making crucial mobile development decisions.

How new smartphones could revolutionise the application market.

SmartphonesiPhone’s popularity in Australia is hard to ignore but what many marketers may be unaware of is the battle brewing between iPhone and Android. Globally (according to AdMob), Google’s Android operating system has overtaken iPhones share in the smartphone market for the 1st time but will this occur locally? A recent survey I performed indicated users next mobile phone decision is strongly swayed towards iPhone, however there are other factors that could make the outcome of the next handset choice very different.

Android is working with a lot of the major carriers / handset manufacturers in Australia and globally to secure marketshare. Telstra is one that is launching its HTC desire, and to ensure a successful launch they have crowdsourced 26 social reviewers to blog on its launch. Also sitting on the android platform is Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10, which arrived on the Vodafone and Three networks in May, whilst last month saw the launch of Motorola Dext on the Android platform as well.
So not only do marketers need to toss up the value of iPhone applications, they need to be consider if the application will be accessible via multiple app stores.

Operating System Share in US


What are your thoughts on application marketing? Have you had success with an iPhone strategy? If so share it below.

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4 New Mobile, Video & Paid Search Tools & Innovations

Paid Search Marketing

Every day a new tool or innovation hits the market and sometimes it is difficult to keep up with them all. The performance advertising market, obviously dominated by Google, is one of the areas receiving a lot of attention and investment at present, thus I felt it appropriate to share some of the latest developments and new innovations in the sector in the past month alone.

1) Google Innovations Lab & Remarketing Tool

iAd Apple Mobile AdvertisingPaid search innovation for Google is increasing at a rapid pace as Facebook is set to nab $2 billion in advertising revenue from the search giant in the next 2 years. This combined with keyword inflation which is diminishing advertiser value is testing Google’s ability to continue to grow ad revenue. One way Google is attempting to drive innovation is through Google’s Innovations Lab. The lab provides a sneak peak into some of the new formats Google is offering, along with the ability to provide Google with feedback on the new formats. In particular one interesting new format is the Google remarketing tool – which allows advertisers to remarket to consumers by delivering tailored messages based on user onsite interaction.

For more information visit:

2) Mobile Phone Application Targeting – Google & Apple

In February Google announced its new mobile app targeting in Australia, which allows advertisers to target specific mobile apps through their content network. However it seems that a not so likely competitor is set to take it to the search giant in the mobile advertising space. Apple is expected to launch its ad network on the 7th of April – likely to be termed iAd. At this stage it is unclear if the network will provide app advertising, or other ad formats on the iPhone however what is clear is that with mobile search and advertising still growing the battle to own the mobile advertising market is sure to be a battle of the titans.

3) YouTube In Video Display Ads

Although invideo ads were introduced onto the YouTube scene in 2007, YouTube has released a new tool through Google AdWords to allow advertisers to create animated invideo advertising that enables advertisers to target users invideo in a few simple steps. These ads can be targeting according to demographics, content categories or even placed at a video-by-video level. The ads appear for several seconds part way through a video and fade away if they’re not clicked on. With video usage sharply increasing there is no doubt that new services such as these will see high take up rates in video advertising in the year/s to come.

For more information visit

Adwords Sales FunnelGoogle Search Funnels;

The age old argument of click attribution seems to be over – well at least Google thinks it is. Google has launched a new tool for Google AdWords customers to enable advertisers to attribute value across the search funnel not just attribute the conversion to the final click. There is no doubt Google’s latest tool has been built to demonstrate value from broader more expensive keywords to increase revenues however there is some definite advertiser benefit in here as well.

AdWords Search Funnels provide a set of reports to describe the ad click and impression behavior on Google that leads to a conversion. Some of these reports include the first and last click analysis as well as assisted conversions. Search funnels is available through accessing the conversions tab in the reporting module of AdWords.

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Mobile Search – It’s Just Different

Search Engines

In March 2009, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, stated that mobile search will surpass PC search in years NOT decades. So whilst mobile still has a long way to go, it is definitely becoming another important channel for marketers to consider. Mobile search is just one of the many areas which will start to receive significant attention over the next 12 months, so I have collated some of the most interesting mobile search trends I have come across to date;

1. Search query length; According to a recent report published by several of Google’s researchers, the average users search query on a mobile phone is 15.89 characters. This is 18% fewer characters than the average length of a user search query on a desktop. In addition the average number of words per query is 2.44 on a mobile phone, which is 20% lower than search queries on a desktop. As a result, it is important to understand how users search on mobile by conducting specific mobile keyword research.

2. Type of queries; MobiThinking stated in their recent SEO Best Practice Guide that it takes users approximately 40 seconds and 30 key strokes to enter a short URL / search query. As a result predictive search queries presented by search engines play a big role in simplifying the mobile search experience. Thus from a mobile SEO perspective, it is important to place your site in the most common predictive search phrases related to your product or service offering.

Local Search Query3. Local Query Searches; As is widely published, mobile searches will often contain location based queries, however it is also important to note that users are not only searching for this content via search engines. Mobile applications have to date achieved much success, which is partly due to the effective presentation of information within these applications. Thus it is important to understand that optimisation for location based queries may not be enough. Consider how key applications related to your industry are gathering results from search engines and how your mobile site can deliver content in the format required to be featured within these applications.

4. Voice Based Mobile Search; Despite however the current trends in user behaviour, there is a significant advancement which is and will continue to revolutionise the industry and will turn what we know today on its head. This is the introduction of voice based search for mobile phones. Whilst Yahoo & Google developed applications for voice based search in late 2008, widespread adoption is yet to take hold and as Google continues to innovate in this area it will be an important space to watch. Voice based search for mobile will eradicate many of the time and keystroke related issues experienced by mobile users when searching. And although tt is obviously very earlier days on the voice search based front once widespread, mobile SEO will change considerably as “voice search queries” will differ considerably from “text based search” as users are not restricted by small keypads and screens.

Share any trends you have come across regarding the mobile search below;

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10 Fast Mobile Facts – For Those On The Move

Fast Mobile Facts

1) Mobile Ownership; Australia had 23.6 million mobile users at year-end 2008 which represents a 110% penetration level– Telyste

2) Mobile Usage; According to the Nielsen Online and Technology report, Australians spend close to 4 hours per week on their mobile phones. – Nielsen Online

3) Handset Ownership; Handset Ownership of Australians according to BuzzCity;
• Nokia – 44.23%
• Samsung – 15.92%
• Sony Ericsson – 14.1%
• LG – 13.87%
• Motorola – 3.1%
• iPhone – .8%
• Palm – .3%

Mobile Internet Usage Habits4) Mobile Internet Usage; Mobile broadband subscribers equalled 2 million users at the end of 2008. This is estimated to grow to over 5 million mobile broadband users by 2013 – Telyste

5) Mobile Internet Frequency; According to Sweeney research, Australians with mobile access, connect to the net via their phone 1.9 times per week on average. – Sweeney Research

6) Mobile Page View Growth Page views of Australian mobile internet sites (from October – Mar 09) grew 24.4% during the six month period. – AIMIA

7) Mobile Internet Usage Habits; Sweeney Research showed that Australians are using their mobile internet for music (43 percent), games (33 percent) and sport (32 percent). They are also sharing photos (70 percent), ringtones (46 percent) and music (46 percent) via their mobile when they are online. – Sweeney Research

8) Mobile Content Growth; Mobile content is tipped to be the fastest growing revenue segment in the non-voice mobile services sector reaching $2.8 billion by 2013 – Telsyte.

9) Mobile Advertising Growth; Mobile advertising will treble with forecasts suggesting that mobile advertising spend will grow to $20 million during 2009, from the paltry $7 million accrued in 2008. – Telsyte

10) Mobile Promotion Content Preferences According to a News Digital Media survey, mobile users would find mobile competitions and discount vouchers most appealing from advertisers. Full results are below;
What type of mobile phone promotions would appeal to you?
• 68 % Competitions
• 56 % Discount vouchers
• 47 % Free product downloads
• 47% Free product sampling
• 27% Games

Do you have any other mobile stats that you wish to share? If so please do so below.

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Useful Australian Digital Stats – Q2

Australian Digital Trends Q2

Quarter 2 has been quieter on the Australian digital research and trends front but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been able to find some interesting statistics to share with you. I have compiled 15 of the most interesting Australian digital statistics released in Q2 of 2009. To view the 20 most interesting Australian digital statistics for Q1 click here.

Online Behaviour (General & Industry Specific)

A recent study by Monash’s Australian Centre for Retail Studies revealed 50% of Australian shoppers investigate their purchases online before going in store to make their purchase. –Dynamic Business

According to the ABS, Australian household internet consumption has increased 37 fold in 8 years

Australians aged 16 – 17 are spending 3.5 hours online per day – The Age

A new survey has revealed that 56% of Australian teenagers lie about themselves when they are online, with most teens faking their age – Full Story

According to Nielsen statistics, 87 per cent of Australians looking for real estate are using the web to find properties – News

Australians are among the biggest users of online banking in the world with more than 50 per cent of customers using internet banking at least once a week.

Social Media MarketingSocial Media

In the year to April, visits to social networking and forum sites increased by 16% in Australia, whilst visits to blogs dropped by 27.5% – Stuff

In Australia, there are 850,000 to 900,000 people on LinkedIn, and about 15 per cent of those are HR people or recruiters – News

Facebooks user base has hit over 6 million Australians – The Age

In June the MySpace subscriber base using their mobile to access the platform was revealed to be 340,000 strong in Australia – bandt

Australians are believed to be viewing 85 million MySpace pages per month via mobile phones, with each visit lasting between 11 and 15 minutes – bandt


Since the launch of Bing, Microsoft’s search share in Australia has increased. Stats for the week finishing 4th July show has 5.02% share, compared with 3.91% in late April – Hitwise

Head of Online at Google revealed in June some of the growth areas in search queries were – Accounting and tax-related search queries are 63 percent higher this year than last. Mobile queries are 82 percent higher this year than last. Office supplies searches are 36 percent higher in 2009. – Dynamic Business

Online Radio & TV

A report released in Apr 09, showed digital radio consumption had grown from 4.2 hours in 2007 to 4.9 hours in 2008 – Nielsen Online

According to Nielsen, 47% of metropolitan internet users have viewed TV content online or downloaded it, whilst 12% had done so frequently – Nielsen Online

Do you have any other interesting statistics to share on the Australian digital market? If so please share them below.

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Online Ad Industry Stats & Forecasts

It is widely publicised that the Australian public are spending an increasing amount of time on the web, however the pace at which Australian organisations are turning to advertise on the web is still somewhat slow.

According to the IAB the Australian online advertising industry in 2008 achieved revenues of $1.7 billion and is expected to achieve $2 billion in 2009. However the Australian advertising industry as a whole is estimated to be worth approx $13 billion thus online advertising only represents 13% of entire spend, whilst TV still represents 30% of overall spend.

Despite the lower than expected investment in online advertising, the market is continuing to show growth whilst other sectors are experiencing decline in these more challenging economic times.

This article explores the current trends and my forecasts for the online advertising market;

Online Advertising Spend in Australia

Share of Market: 51.2% in Q1 2009

Key market statistics
• Analysis by Frost and Sullivan in late 2008 demonstrated that 75% of advertisers now spend more than 10% of total media spend on search related activities. This represents 10% growth in the past 12 months in Australia.
• Keyword sponsorship presents 51% of the total search spend, 30% is spent on directory advertising and 19% of is spent on contextual search.

Future Forecasts

Trend 1 – In-house Management
A survey in early 2009 revealed that fewer advertisers were satisfied with their returns from PPC. As the market will continue to expand, PPC costs will continue to rise and organisations will begin to seek ways to improve their return. This will result in a higher portion of organisations bringing their paid search function in house.

Trend 2 – Contextual Search Growth
The contextual search market will continue to grow as a result of key market drivers which are;
1) Google continues to grow its inventory and capabilities for its third party portfolio of sites providing a low cost alternative search product to increase audience reach
2) Organisations will continue to invest in CPC advertising models rather than CPM.

Display Advertising

Share of Market: 24.9% of the total online advertising spend in Australia.

CPC Display AdvertisingThe market in detail
The largest sectors consuming display advertising are; Finance, Computers & Communications and Motor Vehicles which comprise of 46 percent of the General Display spending.

The lack of investment from the retail sector online is clearly displayed in this category. In Australia retail is the largest advertising category representing 20% of all expenditure – however it does not feature prominently within the display category.

Future Forecasts

Trend 1 – CPC Display Advertising
Overall display advertising will have a bumpy road ahead. Overall display advertising will grow inline with online advertising growth however, it will retain a smaller portion of the market than currently held. Why? Advertisers seek to invest in online advertising that will deliver against financial metrics rather than soft measures. As a result of lower than expected growth and competition from Google’s contextual advertising product, some platform will emerge with a new CPC model.

Trend 2 – Social Advertising
In the coming years display advertising in Australia will evolve to incorporate social tools to allow greater interaction with ads and enable users to share them across the web improving reach and ROI.

Trend 3 – Social Networking Display Advertising
Display advertising across social networks will grow substantially over the coming years as brands attempt to tap into the social phenomenon.


Share of Market: 23.9% in Q1 2009.
Anticipated Future Growth of Market; The classifieds segment is anticipated to grow by 18% in both 2009 and 2010. This growth is mainly due to the continued shift from offline to online media in the real estate and automotive sectors. The recruitment classifieds market which represents 45% of the total market will experience decline in the coming years due to the decline in advertising caused by the recession.

The market in detail
• The fastest growing online classifieds sector in 2008 was real estate which experienced 38 percent growth.
• Automotive was the second fastest growing sector, increasing by 31 percent.
• General and personal online classifieds advertising, accounts for 10% of online classifieds, and will experience the slowest growth due to the relative maturity of these markets.

Future Forecasts
Trend 1 – Recruitment Sector Fragmentation & Evolution

The recruitment market is starting to experience fragmentation and this will gather pace over the coming years. In addition we will continue to see the introduction of vertical niche job sites. These trends will drive user uptake of aggregator sites to simplify the job hunting process.

In addition to the above recruitment advertising platforms and professional networking sites will evolve and hybrids will begin to become the norm. With this trend we could see a change in the revenue model of recruitment sites – which could involve candidate charges to access networks, or even pay per response models.

Mobile AdvertisingMobile Advertising

Share of Market: .5% of the total advertising market in Australia.
Value of Market: $7 million
Anticipated Future Growth: Mobile advertising is expected to surge to $20 million in 2009 and $250 million by 2013 according to Telyste.

Spend By Sector
In 2007, 50% of mobile advertising spend was concentrated among media and entertainment, banking, financial services and insurance industries, the report found.

Trend – Migration of Budgets
As penetration of the iPhone and Android continues in Australia, the most innovative sectors will invest in this channel – particularly those that can benefit from location based advertising. As a result we may see the migration of local search budgets to the mobile platform.

If you have any additional online advertising statistics or see any additional trends please share them below.

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4 Digital Weeks In Review – March

Stats, Stats & More Stats

Finally Australian statistics are becoming far easier to come by for marketers to make informed decisions. This month has been packed with stats for us to sink our teeth into.

Nielson Online conducted a survey of 2000 Australians, major findings are;
– Australians over the age of 16 spend 16.1 hours per week online, which is greater than TV, radio, newspaper & mobile phone consumption.
– Australian population has become more wired than even with ownership of desktop computers declining by 10% as consumers move towards wireless solutions such as laptops.

The Digital World, Digital Life survey conducted in 16 countries found;
In Australia one in two Australians use social networking sites
On average Australian’s are members of 2.7 different social networking sites which is above the world average of 2.5.
Awareness of web 2.0 is high, but interaction is still in its infancy compared to the rest of the world. Only 13% have contributed to blogs, 6% contributed to wiki’s and 26% viewed/contributed to virtual worlds.

Social Media AdvertisingNokia Australian “Comes With Music Announcement”

– On the 20th of March the Comes With Music Nokia 5800, is set to change the way consumers explore and enjoy music – according to Emile Baak, General Manager, Nokia Australia and New Zealand.

With internet usage growing rapidly in the mobile market, we are set for an interesting year as the big brands battle it out for market share. These trends will further accelerate the uptake of mobile internet as new features such as “direct music download services” and application centres that can be used on the go are introduced by handset manufacturers.

Google Behavioural Ad Targeting

Google has launched behavioural targeting on its YouTube and partner sites. The ads are part of what they call their “interest based advertising” enabling advertisers to target based on consumer interests. The site is currently being beta tested but advertisers are keen for this to be rolled out on a wider scale. From a consumer perspective, Google will be collating information through cookies but users do have the ability to opt out of the service.

So what does this mean for Digital Marketers; More access to low cost ad inventory reducing cost of entry for SMEs. In addition struggling platforms will be further squeezed to compete in the marketplace which is good news for client side marketers.

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Emily Freeman On 2009 Mobile Trends

Mobile Marketing

At the beginning of 2009 I predicted that 2009 was the year for marketers to get serious about mobile marketing.

I am excited to be able to bring you some of the leading mobile predictions from one of the leading and renowned mobile specialists in the industry – Emily Freeman.

So what are Emily’s thoughts on the topic?

1. Everybody builds an App Store

iPhone App StoreEverybody will want an app store in 2009. The iPhone App Store has had more than 300 million downloads globally, with more than 10k apps available as of early December 08.

The appeal of the iPhone App Store is the large, consistent user base, the built in business model and the ‘one-click’ path to getting an application onto a mobile handset.

2009 will bring a variety of me-too App Store experiences, some of which we will see in Australia. Major handset manufacturers will launch their alternative, similar models. (Palm has already launched a software store, RIM is set to do so in March).

In addition Nokia have now launched an app store, called ‘Ovi’ which will eventually be pre-installed on all Nokia handsets, and Microsoft has launched Windows Marketplace. With the new Android operating system from Google soon to be available on a variety of handsets (including the HTC Dream with Optus in Australia), we will see the Android application store presenting some hot competition as well.

2. Mobile Web Usage Tips Over (almost)

In 2009 we will finally see Australia reach the (almost) tipping point for mobile web. It’s fair to say we won’t ALL be browsing the internet from our mobiles, but by the end of 2009 it will be at least as common as MMS is now.

We will see a rush of Australian online properties make their first forays into the mobile channel. In the face of this increased competition, those who are already there (News, Fairfax, NineMSN, LP, ABC, CarSales, Sensis) will make a lot more noise. The classifieds space will start to wake up to the possibilities and we’ll see a lot more from employment & real estate.

With local properties acting as a magnet for the channel, users will find themselves exploring mobile further and discovering the wealth of content & applications available globally. Mobile search engines will contribute to this growth. Where there are users there are opportunists, and we will see a barrage of content suitable for mobile being published in the latter half of 2009 to take advantage of this eagerly awaited surge in usage.

3. We Hear a Lot More about Mobile Ad Networks

Mobile Ad NetworksUsers + Content = Advertising.
In Australia to date a small number of major players have controlled most of the mobile usage and thus the revenue that can be earned from advertising. With usage and content growth expected in 2009, we are set to see several changes occurring in the mobile ad network space as the major players set to benefit from further monetisation of this channel.

In 2009 we will also see one or more start up companies launching in Australia with the goal of aggregating ad serving within mobile content. More mobile content means there could be a genuine need here, but the real opportunity is in building the network, thus becoming an acquisition target for the larger global mobile or local online ad networks.

4. Australian Ad Industry puts Mobile on The Radar

With all this activity and advertising opportunity, 2009 will be the year our local agencies start to take mobile seriously. The advertising industry will start to consider mobile more often and earlier in the planning process (but not yet often enough or early enough for my liking!).
Digital agencies will realise they are not truly digital if they don’t offer mobile services, and we will see mobile experts being hired and trained with increasing frequency.

Media planners will be expected to know what’s available in mobile media buying and mobile specific agencies will flourish while digital and traditional agencies figure the space out. Mobile specialists will either do well or be absorbed / acquired. Advertisers will start to ask for mobile and in some cases will even know what it is they are asking for!

Tacking on mobile at the last minute will be rife and we will see horrible mistakes like SMS campaigns pushing full screen web URLs, QR codes that are too big/small/fuzzy to scan and downloadable apps that cost $150k to build and get no usage. There will be talk of mobile being all hype and no reality.

But we’ll also see some really smart & innovative mobile advertising. This will be the year we move beyond ‘banners and brochureware’ and see mobile integrated across digital & traditional channels and applied in scenarios where it’s undeniably perfect – direct, targeted, measurable, interactive conversations.

The global economic downturn will be good for mobile advertising, as it costs less to reach the right people via mobile. Where the target audience makes sense, many advertisers will sacrifice broadcast media for direct, targeted campaigns with mobile integrated.

For organisations who have not dabbled in the world of mobile my top tips for clients considering mobile for the first time are;
 Think about your campaign objectives and select appropriate channels
– are your customers best reached via their mobile phone?
– do they browse the mobile web / use SMS / download games?
 Only buy Mobile Advertising if you have (or intend to build) a mobile site and you want to generate traffic
 Use mobile specialists to design & build your mobile presence – it’s just not the same as online!

Emily Freeman has provided a more in-depth look at Mobile Predictions for 2009 on her blog. To read more about this topic visit
2009 Mobile Trends – Mobilista or if you want to follow Emily Freeman do so on twitter by clicking here.

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4 Digital Weeks In Review

Online Content Strategy

Here is my latest edition of what has made Digital Headlines over the past 4 weeks;

1. Google Phone Goes Onsale – From the middle of February, the new Google powered HTC’s Dream phone will go on-sale. The phone will initially be sold only on Optus with 4 plans available – offering up to 3GB download. This will boost Australian’s already strong appetite for internet access on the move.

Other phone manufacturers such as Motorola and Samsung are also
planning to also launch phones in 2009 on the android platform which will bring stiff competition to its rival the iPhone.

For the full article on the release visit;–handhelds/articles/first-google-phone-aims-to-ring-the-changes/2009/02/05/1233423373213.html

2. Optus’ Mobile Advertising Platform – In December 2008, Optus trialled its mobile advertising campaign with McDonalds. Optus’ new mobile platform which was then subsequently launched in late January, and has been built to provide targeted advertising opportunities through mobile phones. The mobile advertising platform will utilise user data from the Optus Zoo mobile portal to deliver targeted opportunities to advertisers. To ensure the new mobile advertising network delivers, Optus is launching a major campaign in February to increase subscriptions / data capture on Optus Zoo – to provide even more opportunities to advertisers.

Niche Social Media3. Battle of the Social Networks – It seems Facebook has continued to increase its popularity in the Australian marketplace. According to web traffic monitor Nielsen Online, Facebook had over 4.5 million unique visitors whilst MySpace only registered 2.3 million in December 2008. Businesses looking to benefit from friendvertising may start to re-think directing efforts towards MySpace over the coming months particularly those in SME’s where resources are limited and decisions are made based on placing effort into areas with the highest potential for return & exposure.

For full details click here:

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