Here were are, running into the final stretch of 2013. Holiday mania is already gripping the country, with many companies putting their end of year sales plans into effect now. After last week’s big shakeups, read on to see how the Internet marketing world is changing as we near the end of the year.

Instagram to Provide Ads

Instagram is on the verge of putting a new ad structure into its services. The new ad structure will roll out on a limited basis shortly, with testing planned to make sure that the ads aren’t disruptive to the user experience. This test will be something worth watching, as there are many companies that can benefit from having ads on the world’s most popular photo sharing service.

Upcoming Conference: The Market Research Event

The Market Research Event 2013 will be held in just a few week in Nashville, Tennessee. Running from October 21st through the 23rd, this conference bills itself as the #1 insights event in the world. With keynote speakers such as author Malcolm Gladwell, Jeremy Sack from Lieberman Research, and Joan Lewis of Proctor & Gamble, this event has the potential to be one of the better investments you can make for your business, especially if you are located in the southeastern United States.

Google Acquires Flutter

Still making major waves in the online marketing world, Google made a major purchase this week by acquiring the hand gesture recognition service known as Flutter. This service allows users to use hand gestures in conjunction with their webcams to control popular services and apps like Spotify, Windows Media Player, and iTunes. This might be indicative of a new focus in Google’s overall services, giving yet another reason why marketers should pay extra attention to the changing face of the world’s most popular search engine.

Less than a Month to Engagement & Experience Expo

The Customer Engagement & Experience Expo 2013 has begun its final countdown. This conference, which will take place in Dallas, Texas, is now in its third year. The expo will focus on new ways to connect with customers and enhance the experience, giving your business a way of differentiating itself from the competition. This year’s keynote speaker is JD Power, founder of JD Power and Associates. Registration as an attendee is available, and the conference is also still looking for exhibitors.

This Week’s Marketing Tip: Solicit Customer Feedback

Analyzing trends and marketing data is terrific, but some businesses fall into the trap of looking only at the data and ignoring customer feedback. There are an increasing number of ways to hear directly from your customers, and you should make sure not to ignore those options. End blog entries with a question targeted at generating some discussion. Also consider using surveys once in a while. Send along a survey with a chance to win a prize, such as a gift certificate, in order to receive targeted feedback about specific issues. You can even use free survey generators such as Survey Monkey to meet these needs.

The last few weeks have seen some major changes in the marketing world. Will the coming weeks bring more upheaval or will things start to calm down? Come back next week to find out.

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