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Digital World – Global Digital Marketing News: Thursday 10 December 2015

Your regular update on all things international digital marketing lands again with the following stories: a survey reveals apathy and inaction for ad-blocking; video-advertising is coming to Weibo; Russians are slowly moving away from using travel agencies; Brazil sees Black Friday growth; and the Indian smartphone market continues to grow.

US publishing lacks ad-blocker strategy

Use of ad-blockers – software extensions that hide the overt advertising used by brands on most websites – has been growing rapidly in the last five years. A study earlier this year by Adobe and Page Fair suggested that 198 million use the major ad-blocking browser extensions monthly – they believe that just 54 million did the same as recently as January 2013. Despite this context, sites appear to lack a clear strategy on dealing with the loss of revenue that ad-blocking can cause.

Xcense and Editor & Publisher (reported in eMarketer) have surveyed US publishing industry professionals on ad-blocking practice at their companies and found widespread apathy and inaction. 45.4% do not know whether their company can track how many users are blocking ads, and 32.6% do not know whether there is a company strategy to deal with ad-blockers. Only 14.5% of those surveyed were certain that a strategy was in place.

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2016 will bring video advertising to Sina Weibo

Weibo, the Chinese micro-blogging site often likened to Twitter, has announced that it will launch a video advertising option in the new year. Video ads will have to be 10 seconds or less and can be targeted into users Weibo news feeds using geographic and demographic targeting. A cost per thousand impressions model is used for large brands, whereas small and medium-sized companies can opt for a lower minimum bid price option.

Video joins the array of options already available on the popular advertising platform, which serves Weibo’s 222 million monthly active users – the short video run-time will help accommodate the needs of the 85% of this audience who access the platform via mobile.

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Russian Travel trends in 2015

While popular Russian holidaying periods remain the New Year, the month of May and the summer holidays, Yandex’s English language blog reflects that even within the last year, destination and booking trends have changed. To start, Yandex observes that search for travel agents – still the primary way that Russians book travel – has dropped by 12%. Down too are searches for vouchers and last minute trips – replaced by an upward trend for transportation tickets (18%) and hotel bookings (20%) as users start to take the process of booking a holiday into their own hands.

The downturn in the Russian economy is considered a cause of some trends – qualitative search for the “best” accommodation is down, replaced by search for price, “cheap”, “economy” and “inexpensive”. Several Scandinavian and Mediterranean countries have seen inbound Russian travel reduced as visits to closer, cheaper nations such as Poland, Macedonia, Uzbekistan and Moldova increased by more than half. An intriguing, anomalous addition to that list of big gains is Peru.

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday strong in Brazil despite caution

Though Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem like old news in a world where the takings for the entire three-day Thanksgiving sales period ($7.54 billion USD) barely passed half of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day ($14.3 billion USD), they have at least proven themselves highly exportable. Brazil is just one country with a Black Friday push, and this year, eMarketer reports that ecommerce sales were up 38% on Black Friday, while Cyber Monday sales were up 56%.

Total Black Friday sales were said to be 1.6 billion Brazilian Reals ($424 million USD) on Black Friday, which is the by far the larger event (Cyber Monday took just 290 million Real). 71% of purchases were made in Brazil’s southeast and the average purchase price was 580 Reals ($153 USD) – up 11% from 2014. This is despite Brazilian consumers previously expressing distrust of the value proposition in a previous survey.

More growth for Indian smartphone market

Econsultancy reports on how the latest International Data Corporation’s APAC Quarterly Mobile Phone tracker shows smartphone shipments up 21.4% year on year in India, with a total of 28.3 million smartphones shipped in India this Q3 2015. Samsung are currently the manufacturer of choice with one in every two smartphones sold sporting at least a 5-inch display. Matched with the fact that a third of all smartphones shipped are 4G enabled (300% over 2015), the trend is undoubtedly towards devices that offer a comprehensive multimedia experience.

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Image credits

“Transition” photo by Flickr user Daniel Oines

Weibo.com photo by Flickr user bfishadow

Notre Hotel photo by Flickr user Hugues

Fast by Flickr user IT Decisions