U.S. companies that use social media mainly to deepen customer loyalty spend significantly more money than those that use social sites for brand awareness, customer acquisition or other core marketing purposes, according to a new study by the Direct Marketing Association. The study, conducted with loyalty research company Colloquy, found that the average social media spending per company to reinforce customer loyalty was $88,000 in 2009, compared with $53,000 for brand awareness and $30,000 for customer acquisition. The online study was conducted in June and July, and was based on 369 valid responses.
Google has introduced a new search site, Google Realtime Search, for finding up-to-the-second messages posted by users of such social media sites as Twitter, Facebook and Google Buzz. The service shows results from typed queries in a continuously updating, scrolling news feed. The site is a standalone equivalent of hitting the Update button on the left-hand rail of Google's regular query results page.
Microsoft Corp. has selected Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, New York, to handle its cloud-based computing advertising account. The previous agency was JWT, New York. In a statement, Microsoft said, “We look forward to building a partnership with the team at Deutsch on this business. JWT remains an integral part of our world-class agency roster and will remain agency of record for the Bing and Office brands.” Deutsch will handle advertising for Microsoft's cloud-computing services, including a new cloud-computing platform called Windows Azure. Billings on the account were undisclosed.
Oracle Corp. announced last week that former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Mark Hurd has been named president of Oracle. He will report to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Oracle also announced that Charles Phillips has resigned as president and a member of the board. Ellison was a vocal defender of Hurd when he was forced out at HP last month after a sexual harassment investigation uncovered expense irregularities. “Mark did a brilliant job at HP, and I expect he'll do even better at Oracle,” Ellison said in a statement. “There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark.”
The Business Marketing Association of New York City is honoring investment management company Vanguard Group with its Communicator of the Year award. The 44th annual presentation is set for Sept. 28 during Advertising Week in New York, with an awards luncheon at Manhattan's Hotel Gansevoort. The award, which honors high standards in b-to-b communications and campaigns, recognizes Vanguard for its “Are You Just Investing or Are You Vanguarding?” campaign, featuring a variety of investment products and advice to advisers and individuals for controlling their financial futures. Last year's winner was financial services company Morgan Stanley.
Hewlett-Packard Co. announced a definitive agreement to acquire 3PAR, a utility storage company, in a deal valued at $2.35 billion. HP said the acquisition will strengthen its storage, server and networking portfolio. Following the acquisition, HP said it will continue to invest in 3PAR's technology, which delivers enterprise and cloud-computing storage solutions to global clients. The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close before the end of the year.
The radio industry's over-the-air revenue this year will climb to $13.93 billion, a 4.4% increase over 2009, according to a revised forecast from BIA/Kelsey. The local-media consultancy said the radio industry will generate another $459.3 million this year in digital and online revenue, which is up slightly from the roughly $400 million it generated from those sources last year.