Launch of the New LeadBolt Website

I am happy to announce the launch of LeadBolt’s new and improved website. With a clean and fresh new look, the website also features easy to navigate functions together with quick links to areas of interest to dramatically improve your LeadBolt online experience. Some areas you may want to check out include:

Feel free to browse around and let us know what you think about our new website as your feedback is truly important to us! Please email any comments and feedback to your assigned account manager and we will be sure to take note of them.

Instagram / Facebook: Is this the beginning of the end for web?

Much has already been written about the amazing amount Facebook is paying for Instagram. As a single app company with minimal monetization, $1 billion may seem extreme, especially given that the company had valued itself at about $500m. I am not, however, going to focus on the merits of Facebook’s decision, but rather the volumes that the decision tells us regarding Facebook’s current state of play, its strategy and vision for mobile – and what we can infer it believes is the future for www.

Let’s start with what we know.

Apps usage has surpassed web consumption in the past 12 month. According to a recent report, time spent on apps per day increased by almost 90% in the 12 months to June ’11 to 81 minutes per day in the US. In the same time, web consumption increased by 15% to 74 minutes per day.

So apps, and definitely mobile, are important to Facebook’s future strategy. No rocket science there.

It has also been heavily reported that Facebook is desperately trying to find its feet in the mobile market. Its revenue model has been heavily (if not exclusively) geared towards web, and, while its immense popularity has been keeping it relevant in the mobile space, it has not yet found the strategic advantage on mobile that it has on web.

One area that it has, now obviously, tried to change that is with photo sharing. Much of Facebook’s popularity has been as the leader in the massive growth trend of photo sharing. It has become a category killer on web against the incumbents like flickr and picasa. Buying Instagram is effectively killing off the major competitor to its future success on mobile and at the same time cementing it position as the #1 photo sharing community on all forms of digital media.

But the huge amount, $1 billion, tells us a little more.

It is interesting to note that in the same week that Facebook made its announcement, Google for the second consecutive quarter, reported a decline in “Cost Per Click” rates. The fact that this shift is due to the shift in traffic from desktop to mobile is obvious.

Interestingly, George Colony from Forrester Research, in his presentation at LeWeb 2011, place Google really low in its analysis of the strength of the company’s current strategy and offering versus where it sees the market heading. Its ad formats still based on what worked on the web and will diminish in appeal on mobile where the technology allows for more innovation and sophistication (as we at LeadBolt are offering). It recognized Google has Android, but only 3% of its revenue is derived from it.

So where are Forrester and Facebook seeing the market heading?

Well, Colony titled part of his presentation “Death of the Web” and the magnitude of Facebook’s outlay would indicate that they agree.

Forrester’s prediction is centered around the fact that processing power and storage are growing at faster rates than the network. So in other words, the power of the device is increasing at a faster rate than we are able to utilize through the web. An example cited is Xbox. Its technology is too advanced to access in the cloud so it uses native technology while providing connectivity through the internet (which is different to the web).

Let’s be clear, Internet and web are not the same thing. The web is the current pervasive technology layer connecting us to the internet. Just as other technologies preceded the web, Apps are gearing up to replace it as they allow us to fully utilize the advancements in power and technology. Facebook is clearly betting on this change.

 

Posted in CEO

Majority of companies still ignoring mobile users

I recently read with great astonishment, that Apple’s website is not optimized for mobile browsing. Not one to believe anything I read, I quickly pulled out my iPhone and low and behold – the irony!

I will admit, while being a little surprised that Apple does not have a mobile optimized site, I am not the least bit surprised when other websites don’t (some of our competitors in the Mobile Advertising market do not). In fact the opposite is true – I am pleasantly surprised when they do.

According to a recent report, only 20% of the FTSE100 corporate websites currently provide support for mobile devices. How can this be acceptable?

Mobiles and smartphones in particular, are quickly becoming our primary content consumption devices. Research shows that accessing the web through mobile devices has consistently doubled every year since 2009 and by 2014, will overtake desktop internet usage. Morgan Stanley predicts that in the next five years more people will connect to the Internet via mobile than on a PC.

So not only are the majority of companies not catering to the habits of their users and not keeping up with changing trends, they are also causing their business to under perform.

Research by Aberdeen Group shows that companies that provide mobile-optimized content outperform those that don’t by 80% in terms of year-over-year increase in web traffic and achieve a 55% greater year-over year increase in the number of repeat visitors. And different research predicts that companies with properly mobile-optimized sites, can increase sales by 12%.

Now days, most companies have adopted digital marketing into their overall marketing strategy – from sending out email newsletters to online search campaigns. However, the market has moved so quickly, that companies without mobile sites, are again behind the trend.

Between 15 – 25% (and in some industries up to 50%) of people read their emails on a mobile device. That means that if you have links to offers or news within those emails, your customers are being taken to sites that are not optimized for the device they are viewing them on.

And mobile search already accounts for over 12% of total search and more than 50% of all “local” searches are done from a mobile device. Just imagine the lost opportunity that this represents with so few companies able to fully utilize this traffic.

So why have companies been so slow at implementing mobile sites?

Fears of additional cost or the management of multiple sites are often quoted as reasons for not implementing mobile sites. However, mobile sites are not meant to be identical to an existing website. They are meant to be “slimmed down” versions that are easy to navigate on the smaller format while still be a great showcase for the business.

And the cost of implementing these sites can be small, especially relative to the lost opportunity of not having a mobile site. And for companies that don’t have the in-house resources, there are a multitude of companies and software solutions to turn existing sites into a mobile optimized site.

The reality is, with so many companies still struggling to implement effective web strategies, this is just another area of digital marketing where they are going to lag even further behind the market. For those that have begun or have already implemented their mobile strategies – the market will be their oyster.

Posted in CEO