The State of Global Crowdfunding

Global Crowdfunding is already an established, multi-billion-dollar industry and is growing fast. Faster than any of us expected. It is already providing a new eFunding escalator independent of, yet interconnected with, traditional funding sources supporting startups and business growth and creating jobs.

As Dr. Joe Cox, the Principle Investigator of Crowdfunding at the University of Portsmouth UK, has put it “This report is truly the first of it’s kind and offers a hugely valuable insight into the emerging patterns and trends of global Crowdfunding activity”.

So far we have tracked and analyzed over 75,000 Crowdfunds worldwide. This is just the beginning but means we have the data to quantify and track its size and rates of growth for the first time.

What’s more we have created a new resource, and new tools, for all those involved in Crowdfunding as well as those supporting them and studying the fast growing phenomenon. Not to mention professionals, governments and regulators around the world who need answers to pressing questions.

Top Crowdfunding Stats For Q1 2014:

  • Rewards Based Crowdfunding has grown 140% during Q1 2014
  • Equity Based Crowdfunding has grown 391% during Q1 2014
  • Global Reward Crowdfunding Raised $124 Million during Q1 2014
  • Global Reward Crowdfunding Pledged $156 Million during Q1 2014
  • Over 400 Rewards Based Crowdfunding Campaigns are launched everyday.
  • Worldwide Crowdfunding is currently doubling 10x faster, every two months.
  • Over $60,000 an hour is raised using Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding Infographic

global crowdfunding stats infographic

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How Running a Startup Has Changed in the Past 5 Years [INFORGRAPHIC]

When I started my first marketing company in 2007, social media was just beginning to catch on as a viable communication channel for marketing to consumers and businesses alike. After successfully selling that company in 2011 and starting a new digital marketing agency later that year, the online landscape has changed significantly for small business owners. Email marketing company Constant Contact recently surveyed small business owners and asked how running a small business today, differs from just 5 years ago.

How Running a Startup Has Changed in the Past 5 Years

Need a refresher on what was happening 5 years ago?

  • Top Political Event: Barack Obama elected President
  • Top Buzz Word: Change
  • Top Financial Collapse: Lehman
  • Top Movie: Wall-E
  • Top Sports Moment: Tiger Woods’ U.S. Open Win

Running a Small Business Hasn’t Gotten Any Easier

  • 59% say it’s harder to run a business today
  • 30% say it’s the same
  • 12% say it was harder then

Small Business who think it’s harder point to:

  • 55% The Economy
  • 49% Keep pace with technology
  • 40% More competition

The 3 biggest differences in doing business then vs. now

  • 84% Use more online marketing tools
  • 59% Economic uncertainty
  • 27% Use more automated business solutions

Supporting Local Business – Is being locally owned important to customers? More small businesses are saying Yes! (42% vs 51%)

Top concerns of small businesses

Then / Now – Getting new customers (78% / 75%), Low on Time (61% / 65%), Keeping customers (49% / 58%)

The Right Tool for the right marketing job (Then/ Now)

  • Email Marketing (64% / 98%)
  • Online Directories (21% / 36%)
  • Event Marketing (20% / 44%)
  • Social Media Marketing (10% / 87%)

The growing importance of word of mouth can’t be overshadowed. It’s no coincidence that the rise in social media coincides with a rise in importance of word of mouth. Social media is amplifying word of mouth referrals.

I’m always interested to hear how other companies have embraced change over the past decade, please leave your comments below.

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How To Make Mobile Marketing More Personalized

Social networking websites like Facebook and Google use personal data and account information to provide relevant advertisements in turn for better services for their users. That same need for personalization in mobile experiences has now arrived, but few companies are are delivering on customers expectations. With mobile driving news consumption and responsive websites becoming more prevalent this infographic helps show marketers how to make mobile experiences more personalized.

The age of big data has raised customer expectations when it comes to the relevance and personalization of marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, according to a new report from Econsultancy, few marketers are delivering on those expectations of website personalization, especially on mobile. However, mobile marketing platforms have the ability to deliver personalized experience well beyond the web and directly in a customer’s pocket. This infographic provides insight into the current state of personalization and how marketers can start delivering tailored campaigns on mobile.

How To Make Mobile Marketing More Personalized

The Benefits of Digital Personalization

  • 94% of marketers stated that personalization ‘is critical to current and future success.’
  • Businesses that are currently personalizing web experiences are seeing an increase in sales of 19% on average.
  • 66% of marketers list improved business performance & customer experience as the main driver for personalizing.
  • Personalization can surprise and delight customers, building relationships and fostering loyalty.
  • Personalization can help develop purchasing behavior and drive customers through the sales cycle.

Opportunities to use Digital Personalization

How are Marketers currently using website personalization?

  • 30% – On-Site Behavior
  • 29% – Inbound Channel
  • 23% – Geography
  • 21% – Date
  • 10% Relational Geography
  • 8% Time

While 43% of companies currently deliver a personalized experience on desktop, this figure falls to just 13% on mobile. Nearly half of all marketers surveyed cited technology issues as the main obstacle to personalizing web experiences. Despite obstacles, mare than half of respondents stated that they plan to adopt mobile personalization in the next twelve months.

Mobile Marketing Personalization is Possible

With the right mobile platform, marketers can go well beyond a personalized website experience to deliver timely, relevant communication with mobile campaigns that reach your subscribers wherever they are with tailored messages and promotions.

Use personalization tools to pull in attributes that you’ve gathered about subscribers right in your messages. A personalized mobile campaign provides an easy way to call your subscribers by name and get their attention, amidst all their other incoming texts and app notifications.

Unsubscribe rates are high when marketers try to communicate during offensive hours on the “personal space” platform of the mobile phone. Collect data about customers’ time zones to respect their time and send valuable content in a ripple effect, rather than a blanketed blast.

Once you have all your customer data in a centralized marketing hub, you can communicate with only those people who are most likely to respond to your CTA. These personalized messages and special offers can make your communications feel like a one-to-one interaction.


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Holiday Shopping Goes Digital

Online shopping will break more records in 2012. E-commerce is quickly catching up to brick-and-mortar shopping and the importance of digital marketing has never been more important for retailers. The infographic below shows online shopping predictions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Thanksgiving Day Weekend Shopping

  • 226 million consumers visited stores and shopped online, up from 212 million in 2012.
  • The average shopper spent $398.62
  • In 2011 52.4 billion was spent, an increase of 16% from 2010 when 45 billion was spent shopping.

Black Friday

  • Shoppers made 9.8% of their online purchases from mobile devices, up from 3.2% in 2010.
  • Mobile traffic increased 14.3% in 2011 compared to 5.6% in 2010.
  • Paid search increased 128%, making Black Friday 2011 the most ever spent on paid search.
  • From 2010 to 2011 Black Friday sales were up 24.3%
  • Online and Offline sales grew 39.3% at 11.4 billion, with 17.37% of shoppers visiting retailers’ sites.

Cyber Monday

  • From 2010 to 2011, Cyber Monday sales were up 33%.
  • 10.8% used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site on Cyber Monday, up from 3.9% in 2010.
  • Cyber Monday 2011 was the heaviest online shopping day in history at 1.25 billion in sales.
  • Half of the dollars spent online at U.S. websites originated from work computers.
  • 2011 Mobile sales were up reaching 6.6% on Cyber Monday vs. 2.3% in 2010.
  • Social discussions leading up to Cyber Monday increased 115% YoY.

2012 Online and Mobile Shopping Predictions

  • 16% of consumers will shop on mobile devices in 2012, up from 13% in 2011.
  • Web shoppers who plan to visit stores will drop from 48% to 46%.
  • The average consumer who shops online will make 6% of their holiday purchases from a mobile phone. 62% online and 32% in stores.


ecommerce shopping trends for 2012

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Digital Journalism – How News is Sourced with Social Media

A week ago I wrote a post on how social media is replacing traditional journalism as a news source and the feedback was interesting to say the least. When I look deeper at how mobile and social media drive news consumption the information begins to add up. A recent article points out the growing trend of digital media in newsrooms with their fifth annual Oriella Digital Journalism Study:

The data from this year’s study, done with our partners in the Oriella PR Network,  struck us in a few different ways.  First of all, a far wider range of content assets are being used by more publications.  All kinds of media – from national newspapers to lifestyle titles and B2B media – are using content such as infographics, videos and blogs to enhance their coverage.

Particularly striking is the adoption of video, which has shot up from 20 percent in 2011 to over 36 percent today on a worldwide basis.  Closer to home, 69 percent of the journalists we spoke to said their publications published video produced video in-house.

Social media aren’t just shaping the way publications package and deliver their stories.  They’re having a huge impact on the way newsgathering is carried out. Our study suggests that enthusiasm for ‘open source’ journalism has been tempered a little, while reliable contacts are more valued than ever.

More than half of our respondents (55 percent) said they use microblogs to source new stories, and 44 percent use blogs in the same way – but only when the source behind it is known or trusted by them. For unknown sources, reliance on social media roughly halves – falling to 26 percent for microblogs and 22 percent for blogs.  However, 63 percent of respondents would source stories from industry insiders.

This preference for the ‘trusted source’ is also supported by where journalists say they go as their first point of call for news stories.  In 2011, the press release in-tray was the top starting point; this year, it had fallen to third place.  Spokespeople have become the most valued starting point for news stories, by a comfortable margin.

These trends are telling of the expectations media (and other influencers) have of brands today.  Journalists won’t accept ‘pre-packed’ news from brands (and their agencies) in the form of releases, and they are looking for far more variety in the kinds of stories brands talk about, and the way they are told. And, they expect brands to be properly engaged with the relevant social networks: not as a box-ticking exercise driven by the PR department, but a genuine engagement at all levels of the business.


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