In a week graced by one of the biggest events in the e-commerce calendar, there was always a sense that November 24 and the six days that followed were going to show just how effective advertisers and publishers are at capitalising on a gaping chance for sales.

As the madness of Black Friday unfolds, we’ll take a look at some of the stories and subjects that piqued our interest.

PI gets social 

This week saw a focus on social media at PI HQ as our ever-expanding list of guest contributors pitched their tips, advice and words of warning for brands looking to utilise one of digital marketing’s most popular channels.

An overall round-up of tips on improving a social media campaign set the theme for the week, providing the springboard for articles on creating a strong, visual brand and using social networks to create deeper customer engagement

Unfortunately some of those interactions and content shares may be slipping under the radar. ‘Dark social’ is the name given to web traffic which comes off the back of messages delivered via personal email, IM and similar channels, and a study released earlier this week showed that 26% of UK consumers will only share content ‘in the dark’. The challenge for brands will be ascertaining where these interactions are taking place for a clearer picture of where their customers come from.  

Region specific 

Focus was also applied to the progress of performance in specific markets. 

Three months after our feature on the state of marketing in Australia, a report released this week declared that brands in the country are swarming to channels that boast high levels of ROI.      

Programmatic advertising and its popularity among publishers in DACH regions was also put in the spotlight thanks to PubMatic’s financial backtrack. And on Stateside, a study on US retail paid search spend indicated that Orange Saturday could soon become another date in the advertiser’s calendar as brands look to beat the Thanksgiving rush.

The view from above 

This week was a bumper one for top-level insight thanks to pieces from some of the industry’s brightest talents. 

Mike Driscoll (chief executive, Metamarkets) was on hand to discuss company USPs, his current role and the all-important lunchtime browsing habits, with Sean Mahon (affiliate manager, Equator) detailing his views on the same.

Completing our regular feature round-up, Boardroom Insights came from the offices of dunnhumby as Mark Hinds, the group’s CEO, shared his thoughts on where retail is heading next.

Don’t forget, entries for the Performance Marketing Awards remain open in the lead up to what promises to be a fun-packed night of industry celebration at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on April 28, 2015. A full list of award categories and details of why you should enter can be found here