Google Goes for a Ride

A study by J.D. Power found that in 2012, 47 percent of vehicle owners indicated they used a downloaded app on their smartphone for navigation in their vehicle, compared with 37 percent in 2011. Notably, 46 percent of owners indicate they “definitely would not” or “probably would not” repurchase a factory-installed navigation system if their smartphone navigation could be displayed on a central screen in their vehicle.

Who wants to pay for an old style navigation system when we have smartphones with free map service? And a pricey built-in DVD package when we have hand-held devices to keep passengers (i.e., whining kids) occupied during car trips? Car manufacturers are on the losing end of these advances in technology; they’ve seen the future and they want a piece of it.

In June 2012, BMW, GM, Mercedes, Jaguar, Audi, Land Rover, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda teamed up with Apple to incorporate “eyes free” Siri-compatibility into their cars. Using a voice command button on the steering wheel, Siri Eyes Free enables the driver to make and receive calls, select and play music, audibly send and receive text messages, access Maps and get directions, audibly receive notifications, set reminders and more, all without looking away from the road.

This month, Google, along with technology and auto industry leaders, announced the “Open Automotive Alliance” (OAA). The OAA is committed to bringing the Android platform to cars, with the goal of making technology in the car safer, more seamless and more intuitive for everyone.

Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA said, “The car is the ultimate mobile computer. With onboard supercomputing chips, futuristic cars of our dreams will no longer be science fiction. The OAA will enable the car industry to bring these amazing cars to market faster.”

The first cars with Android integration are expected to be delivered by the end of 2014.

Native Advertising Predicted to Be Big in 2014

In 2014, Content Marketing is still the key to a powerful SEO campaign and an active, engaging social media presence. The opportunities for content placement are growing because online publishers need to make money!

The banner ads on newspaper and magazine websites are not doing the job; the average click-through rate is about .1 percent. (Source: DoubleClick). Online publishers, including such big names as The New York Times, Buzzfeed and Vanity Fair, are hoping Native Advertising will boost click through rates and increase revenue.

The objective of Native Advertising is to supplement an article with helpful information from a paid sponsor. Like other forms of content marketing, native ads do not directly promote the sponsor’s product or service. The expectation is that a reader will want to engage with the sponsored content because, unlike a banner ad, a native ad contains information that is relevant to the article that has already attracted the reader’s attention.

While a small business probably can’t afford a native ad placement on The New York Times website, there are affordable options—73 percent of online publishers and media companies offer some kind of native advertising program. (Source: eMarketer)

**Examples of native advertising include Promoted Tweets on Twitter, Sponsored Stories on Facebook and TrueView Video Ads on YouTube.