Welcome to this week’s Digital World, your regular roundup of search, paid, social and other digital marketing news from around the world. In this week’s update: The debate in European courts about the legality of removing European customer data from Europe; Yandex offers further best practice tips for its .Direct service; September APAC facts and figures; more payment options in Germany; and Google gets date for anti-trust contract changes in Russia.
A recent ruling in the EU Court of Justice could have implications for the way that US-based tech companies handle the data of European customers. Businesses’ right to move data out of European data centres to the United States had recently been defended under “Safe Harbour” law, on the basis that data moved would receive an “adequate level of protection”. However, Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems has successfully secured a ruling against the use of this defence after arguing that the NSA’s stateside mass surveillance programs violate his privacy.
Though the implications of the ruling are still speculation (the case is ongoing), some sites have suggested that US-based companies may be forced to keep European customer data within Europe (and away from the eyes of foreign intelligence services). However, a Facebook spokesperson points out that “safe harbour” is just one of the mechanisms that European law provides for data transfer.
Yandex’s Russian search marketing blog has posted another interesting guide to PPC tactics in Russia, while providing some statistical evidence to support some hunches you probably already had. For instance, while it’s probably common sense that putting keywords into your ad title is advisable, the increased clickthrough rate of 57.6% on premium placement ads should bump this aspect of optimisation up some priority lists.
Other useful tips include checking whether the audience is entering your brand name using Latin letters or Cyrillic – there doesn’t appear to be any specific logic to which version is the more popular term, so it’s best to check. Yandex also recommends putting pricing, bonus and quality indicators in your ad copy (such as “cheap”, “discount”, “official”). Interestingly, the blog suggests that Russian users respond poorly to questions – but clickthrough increases when the copy uses at least three exclaimation marks (maximum one per sentence).
Econsultancy has once again shared a list of APAC-themed marketing stats, including surveys of marketing trends, ad spending, social customer response times and mobile handset adoption. According to the 2015 PWC Digital IQ survey, APAC leads among marketers who have a cohesive roadmap: 59% of respondents claimed to have a roadmap in place, compared with 57% in North America, 50% in Western Europe and just 9% in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, an ad spend report released by Carat in September claims that APAC will see an increase of 4.1% in 2015, though growth has been revised down since the last report (March). India, the Philippines and Vietnam are all expected to grow ad spend by more the 10%. See the Econsultancy blog post for more detail on these and other facts.
Data from IBI Research, featured on Emarketer.com, reveals that just 22% of retailers in Germany currently offer customers the opportunity to pay for goods and services in installments (with the majority using a third-party service to facilitate this). However, 31% say they plan to offer the option in the future, reflecting rising interest among consumers for the option.
Reasons for considering offering this format included: “to increase sales” (83%) and “raise customer satisfaction” (67%), while 69% of those not considering the option said that their products were not suited to installment buying. The German market is typically associated with a multiplicity of payment options – including methods such as payment on delivery that are not as widespread in use within the UK and US.
We reported recently that Google had lost anti-trust proceedings in Russia after the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) concurred with Yandex that Google’s pre-installation of service apps on Android devices gave them an unfair advantage in the market. The FAS also claims that Google contracts specifically prohibit the installation of competitor applications, including those from Yandex.
The FAS has now made its demands clear: Google can no longer stipulate that phone-makers pre-install Google apps as a condition of gaining access to the Google Play store (the app marketplace through which the majority of Android apps are available). Google has until November 18 to update its contracts to comply. Media speculation points to similar rulings following in the EU and US.
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Mousehole Harbour photo by Flickr user Tim Watts
Chanel photo by Flickr user Katie Brady
Paharganj streets photo by Flickr user McKay Savage
Frankfurt Finance district photo by Flickr user Binh Vu
Countryside Road photo by Flickr user Vladislav Bezrukov