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The global digital marketing weekly: Friday 6 March 2015

In this week’s update of digital marketing news from around the world: Russian social media marketing remains effective despite economic struggles; Chinese New Year device use revealed; Mark Zuckerberg suggests Google collaboration for regions without wide Internet access; Hybrid tablet/laptops gain in popularity in MEA; and database proposed for drone flights in the European Union.

Russian social media marketing effectiveness


Russia’s economic struggles and the increasing number of sanctions it labours under should not be a deterrent to engaging in its burgeoning social media landscape, according to Econsultancy.com. Whereas some businesses are having to resort to focusing on cheaper product categories and cutting prices to engage with the Russian audience, the article writer notes that social media marketing is actually growing. Investment into social media marketing has doubled, Russians are spending 30% more time on social platforms such as VK.com and the cost per click for international advertisers is falling.

Effectiveness varies by vertical: direct response biddable campaigns run for fashion brands have been highly successful, whereas the travel industry is finding greater success with organic social campaigns. The article also deals with advertising opportunities via VK’s app.

Chinese New Year Fireworks 2013

Chinese New Year device behaviour analysed


Chinese New Year, and the attached Spring Festival Golden Week (a full week’s holiday commonly used to visit friends and family), is one of the pillars of the Chinese E-commerce year. We’re expecting more facts and figures about this year’s trends to trickle through in the coming weeks. For now, this Admaster report (reported by eMarketer) on the devices that Chinese consumers were planning to use during the period makes for interesting reading.

The report reveals that 35% planned to get greater use out of their smartphone over the period – just 16% said they would use their device less. Enthusiasm for television was greater, however, with 43% pledging greater use. In terms of total time spent, Smartphones came out on top – respondent averages claim that 3 hours would be spent on phones, 2.3 hours on television, 2.1 hours on PC and 1.6 hours on tablets.

High altitude balloon high atmosphere

Zuckerberg pledges collaboration with Google on internet for developing world


Back in 2013, Facebook launched Internet.org, an initiative pledging to bring internet access to the two thirds of the world’s population that lack it. Their efforts so far have brought low-cost services to four African nations, as well as India. At the same time, Google has its own initiative, Project Loon, utilising high-altitude balloons to bring mobile access to areas without existing infrastructure. In a discussion at the Mobile World Congress, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg expressed an interest in Google’s tech and the potential for collaboration. However, he also cautioned that as much as 90 percent of the world are already within range of mobile networks – for the majority, the barriers to access are financial.

Cat brushing up against a macbook

Device trends in Africa, the Middle East and Japan


Hybrid tablet/laptops have significant growth potential in Africa and the Middle East, according to Emarketer.com. The standard tablet format has been unenthusiastically received in the region – an April 2014 poll suggested that just 23.7% of internet use came via tablets, versus 61.2% from laptops or netbooks. Considering the latter category of devices – small, cheap and low-powered laptops with better battery life – are no longer manufactured, “two in one” devices may be the best compromise available.

Meanwhile, Emarketer.com also reports that digital shoppers still prefer PC to their smartphones. A poll of 257 people aged 10 to 69 who had shopped digitally via both PC and smartphone found that 53.1% prefer using their PC. Male respondents were particularly enthusiastic – 58.7% preferred their PC, versus 47.1% female respondents.

Consumer drone with GoPro camera

Proposals seek to control civilian drone use in EU


The civilian use of drones seems increasingly inevitable – the fact is, that with hundreds of companies already using unmanned, remote piloted aircraft for photography, surveying and other aerial analysis, the future boom is inevitable. Amazon and Google are both said to be developing delivery drones for rapid delivery of ecommerce purchases. Privacy concerns abound, however, and regulation in many areas has not yet addressed many legitimate concerns about air traffic safety and policing of drone flights. As a result, the UK’s House of Lords has proposed the creation of an online database of civilian drones as part of a wider report into the Civilian Use of Drones in the EU.

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Image credits


Russian books on social media photo by TopRankblog

Chinese New Year 2013 photo by Daniel Lee

201110213 at Kanachanaburi photo by Keng Susumpow

I love Mac! Photo by Takashi Hososhima

Drone and Moon Photo by Don McCullough