Editor's Comment: Brands face a tough social-media choice
A view from Noelle McElhatton

Editor's Comment: Brands face a tough social-media choice

When few brands have signed up to advertise on the 'next big thing' in social, it's tempting to judge that site a commercial failure.

Brands are just beginning to experiment with Pinterest, a site that has generated more buzz than bucks - so far.

For Honda, Confused.com and Harrods, one of Pinterest's attractions is that it has a defined demographic, with females accounting for 60% of users.

Which begs the question: should marketers decide which social-media sites to invest in based on audience profile, size or functionality? If they are looking for a site with mass appeal other than Facebook, brands could opt for Google+, social media's sleeping giant.

Such social site proliferation is enough to make a marketer's head spin. Better off starting with a creative idea, rather than a specific social platform, a strategy that will lead brands to the sites appropriate to their needs.

Contactless yet to catch on

Retail's sleeping giant, NFC contactless payment, is having a difficult birth. The gods that must align for NFC are consumer trust in the technology, retailer adoption and the widespread introduction of NFC-enabled handsets.

A tall order, in other words. Payment apps from Starbucks and PizzaExpress are a start, but until more retailers enable NFC, its adoption curve will be a long one.