This week, retailers brace for holiday impact, marketers find a way to measure social campaign performance and millennials go crazy for the sweet taste of Overwatch.

100 Percent Organic Apps

Well, 90 percent, anyway. That’s how many apps are downloaded directly from the digital marketplace, according to a new report by TUNE. Drawing from a number of studies conducted between 2015 and June 2016, the report reveals that while most apps are downloaded directly (without first clicking through an ad), previous exposure to branding may be the cause. “Seventy percent of people have seen or heard of an app at least once prior to installing it,” TUNE reported. “For almost a third, they’ve seen or heard about it more than three times. That’s especially true for women.” For anyone using the internet ever, they’ve no doubt seen a number of digital video ads for an app or other product—ever wonder how effective they are?

Performance Review

In a recent study by Sequent Partners and Eyeview, nearly two-thirds of brand marketers said they would want to measure digital video ad performance by the cost-per-acquisition, order or sale in the coming years. Only 40 percent of respondents said they do that now. US brand marketers who worked in the automotive, CPG, retail and travel industries participated in the survey, focusing specifically on measuring the performance of digital video advertising. Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of brand marketers named site traffic as their preferred measurement tool, while more than half of respondents said they look at their return on investment (ROI). Brand metrics, as well as store traffic are other ways they currently measure digital video advertising.

Sometimes, a brand gets found the old-fashioned way, but it’s not easy. A study by Ascend2 reveals that while 57 percent of brands see content creation as the most effective SEO tactic, it’s also the most difficult at 48 percent. Forty-nine percent find the right keywords and phrase searches do the trick, while 39 percent turn to social media integration.

How do you measure return on investment (ROI) for social media marketing campaigns? Are clicks as valuable as “likes”? How does a comment affect your success? In an ever-changing social landscape, it can be difficult to choose which actions are the most valuable to your needs. Luckily, the Ayzenberg Earned Media Value Index (AEMVI) can help.

Reindeer And Retailers

‘Tis the season for consumers to get the best deals on holiday shopping, and retailers are bracing for impact. Sixty-four percent of small business retailers and 88 percent of middle market retailers think they will need to be more aggressive in sales and promotions in order to stand out, according to the American Express Holiday Growth Pulse. This survey of 1,502 small and middle market businesses across a variety of industries gives us a picture into what business owners hope to accomplish this year in terms of audience reach and brand awareness. American Express reports that in order to raise their company’s profile, 89 percent of small business retailers will utilize social media this holiday season—of those, the greatest number are using Facebook (81 percent).

As for attracting customers with those sweet savings, more than two-thirds of small business retailers (67 percent) say their company will be offering holiday discounts this year. We know Americans go crazy for a good deal, but what about other countries?

Ready, Set, Spend

Black Friday is largely a US tradition, but it’s starting to catch on in other countries. An average of 16.5 percent of those surveyed in eight countries indicated that they plan to shop online Black Friday, while nine percent said they will get their deals on Cyber Monday instead. The shopping frenzy tradition began in the 1960s and is slowly expanding to other countries through the digital age. This study, conducted by One Hour Translation and Google Consumer Surveys illustrates that while roughly 26 percent of US consumers plan on doing their online shopping on Black Friday, Japan isn’t impressed with just five percent planning to take part. 

Finding the best deal isn’t always easy, but Amazon Prime members are savvy shoppers. About 70 percent of Prime members said they “often” or “always” check Amazon’s prices before buying elsewhere, compared to about 56 percent of non-Prime members. The Amazon User Study 2016 by Feedviser also indicates that free shipping is more than a bonus—more than 85 percent of customers consider shipping charges to be a deal-breaker.

When it comes to finding the perfect gift, entertainment plays a big part in family holiday traditions. According to the 2016 Holiday Shopping Study conducted by Fandom, 71 percent of participates believe that sharing their favorite movies, TV shows, and video games with their family is a part of the holidays. Seventy-nine percent of participants agree that introducing their kids to their favorite fandoms via movies, TV shows, and video games was “an important rite of passage in their family” and 84 percent of parents agree that movies in particular bring the family together.

ESports Fans Like What You’re Selling

According to a study conducted by Simmons Research, 53.4 million respondents 18 and older have watched, participated in or attended an eSports tournament. These same fans are nearly two times more likely to be influenced by ads on a team or league’s website than other traditional sports fans. For millennials, supporting their favorite team comes with major purchasing power. Forty-eight percent say that their opinion of a company goes up when it sponsors a team or athlete.

Gamers, in general are early adopters of technology and big spenders on digital content, but one game in particular is attracting a very lucrative fan base. Out of all Overwatch eSports fans, 68 percent of them are in the age 18 to 34 millennial demographic, according to the 2016 Nielsen Esports Report and Nielsen Video Game Tracking. This is higher than the average for other competitive games, which is at 61 percent. This is great news for advertisers, especially since Activision Blizzard announced its Overwatch League.

PC video game sales are way up compared to last year, according to NPD’s October video game industry report. Generating $33.8 million in revenue, this is a whopping 172 percent leap from the same month last year. Console and handheld games also saw a leap, although a more modest increase at 31 percent. Hardware sales are still 20 percent lower than last year’s despite releases of the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro. Individually, however, Nintendo’s 3DS handheld another story.

“The 3DS experienced its fifth straight month of year-on-year growth,” noted NPD’s VG industry analyst, Sam Naj. “Both unit sales and consumer spending for October grew 12 percent as average pricing was flat year on year.  It is likely that continued consumer interest in the Pokémon franchise and Monster Hunter: Generations has driven this growth.”

The NPD’s top 10 best-selling games for October 2016 are:

  1. Battlefield 1
  2. Mafia III
  3. Gears of War 4*
  4. FIFA 17
  5. NBA 2K17
  6. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim*
  7. WWE 2K17
  8. Civilization VI
  9. Titanfall 2
  10. Madden NFL 17

*Asterisks indicate that digital sales were not accounted for.