Skimlinks raises Growth Funding! Also, personalized Commerce, the Decline of Direct Ad Buys, Tips for Google+ Hangouts and Social Media Marketing Fails . . . It’s Skimming the News!

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend! This week in news we are thrilled to announce that we’ve raised another round of funding to further grow the Skimlinks business, we share thoughts on big data driving personalized commerce and and reiterate the argument that the time for simply talking about big data is over – action and new models are needed. Programmatic buying continues to gain momentum, but there’s still room for improvement according to a new survey. Following a panel at PaidContent 2013, the discussion continues on the future of native apps vs. HTML5. In tips we have five ways publishers screw up mobile, advice on using Google+ Hangouts, creating a sales page that converts customers, and social media marketing fails. It’s Skimming the News!

NEWS:

Skimlinks Raises Growth Funding Led by Greycroft Partners, Opens Japanese Site via TechCrunch

We are thrilled to announce that we’ve raised a new round of funding to help us further our growth efforts around the world! If you know anyone who is a good candidate for Skimlinks anywhere in the world, refer them to us and take 35% of our revenue! Learn more about our referral program at www.skimlinks.com/referral.

Personalized Commerce: Coming to an Internet Near You via AdAge

Data is pushing pricing and promotion in two directions – toward both national and personal pricing. The traditional, once-a-week price change are a thing of the past thanks to Amazon re-pricing products several times a day, and most retailers are pricing and promoting more quickly to keep up with users who can quickly compare prices on their smart phones. At the same time online shopping is becoming much more personalized. With the increase in big data, personalized promotional offers are becoming commonplace.

Big Data: The Time For Talking Is Over via AdExchanger

The amount of data is growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s time to do something about it, wrote Lung Huang, Vice President of Digital Advertising and Global Partnerships at Dunnhumby. “It scares everyone from the highest-level boardroom executives to junior analysts in the deepest, darkest cube farms,” said Huang. He added, “The granular data is now available, and using it only within the same old model doesn’t seem relevant.” Trying to limit the influence of big data isn’t the answer. According to Huang, ideas like media attribution – connecting an exposure with a purchase – may be a game changer. It’s time to not just talk about big data but to actually explore the new models it makes possible. If leveraging big data is daunting, start small. Our Marketing Director provides tactical tips on how you can improve your business with small data in a post last month on Forbes entitled “Don’t Worry About Big Data; Sweat The Small Stuff.”

Despite Reservations, Programmatic Buying Gains Steam via eMarketer

More media buyers are using programmatic exchanges, and some buyers are even looking towards using programmatic trading to replace their direct relationships with publishers according to a survey conducted by Digiday and OpenX. More than one-third of the media buyers surveyed were at least somewhat likely to replace direct marketing with programmatic buying, and another one-third said they would pursue that route depending on success. Despite the growth, many have reservations about buying ad space through automated technology and real-time bidding exchanges. Among publishers the top concern was controlling pricing. Among ad buyers the top concern was wanting more data to inform their bids.

Are Native Apps a Bust for News and Magazines? via GetElastic

Every digital and retail business is faced with a decision – build and support native apps, HTML5, both or none. That was the question posed to panelists from MIT Technology Review, Vimeo and ESPN at PaidContent 2013. The answer, wrote Linda Bustos, could be boiled down to “if your content needs to tap deep into the software and hardware of a device, and you want to do things HTML5 can’t do yet, go for native.” But it would be a mistake for the publishing industry to completely write off native, she added. There are plenty of ways to minimize risk and keep costs down if you’re uncertain of investing heavily in a native app, and success stories from magazines like Popular Science and Popular Photography have shown it’s a viable option.

TIPS:

5 Ways Publishers Screw Up in Mobile via Digiday

Despite all the talk of “mobile first,” many publishers are still designing from a desktop philosophy. That can lead to frustrating mobile experience. Porting the desktop version, tiny font that causes the user to zoom and scroll, and pages that load too slowly for a mobile connection are just some of the deadly mobile sins that may make a viewer jump ship. Breaking a story into a 20-page slide show can be annoying for desktop users, but it’s much worse for people viewing on slow mobile connections. And if you use hover to display important information, mobile users will miss that completely.

How to Build an Audience with Google+ Hangouts via CopyBlogger

The text-based interactions of traditional social media have been a become a necessary part of any marketing strategy, but an even better way to engage your audience and your customers is through group video chat services like Google+ Hangouts. This new “human media” takes social media one step further and creates a much deeper connection that can be a great tool to boost your authority. It may be a difficult transition for some, but the new clients, customers and other networking opportunities that result will make it well worth your time.

10 Tips to Create a Sales Page that Converts Prospects to Customers via Domino Connection

Creating a sales page that engages viewers and converts those prospects into customers is key to having success. Domino Connection shares ten rules to creating a great service page in its step-by-step guide. It’s good practice to start with a narrative that sucks the reader in and keeps them hooked on what you have to offer. Another tip is sharing your technique. Many people are afraid to give away their best advice, so offering a free preview of what your product or service will do can often help drive home a sale. Keep it simple. Keep them engaged, and give them a reason to buy.

Brands Gone Wild: Social Media Marketing Fails & Lessons Learned via TopRank

Companies dream of their marketing campaigns going viral, but sometimes it can be for all the wrong reasons. Top Rank covers some memorable marketing fails, including KFC’s #IatetheBones and McDonald’s #McDStories campaigns on Twitter. Both seem to have backfired. The problem with social media marketing is that it puts the power in the hands of the users. You have to be thoughtful and assess if the campaigns are worth the time, money and potential risk. If not you may end up going viral in all the wrong ways.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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