Events
Event Date Location

OMMA Display In LA

07/22/2014 - 07/24/2014 Los Angeles CA

Small Agency Conference & Awards

07/23/2014 - 07/24/2014 Austin TX

Strategic Advertising Sales Training 

07/23/2014 - 07/24/2014 Los Angeles CA

OMMA RTB Real-Time Buying

07/24/2014 Los Angeles CA

CIO Perspectives Boston 

08/06/2014 Boston MA

IT Roadmap Conference & Expo

08/06/2014 New York NY

OMMA mCommerce

08/07/2014 New York New York

CIO 100 Symposium & Awards

08/17/2014 - 08/19/2014 Rancho Palos Verdes CA

Mobile Insider Summit

08/17/2014 - 08/20/2014 LAKE TAHOE CA

Social Media Insider Summit

08/20/2014 - 08/23/2014 LAKE TAHOE CA

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Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

News, video, events, blogs about Social Media Marketing for high tech business-to-business from IDG Knowledge Hub.

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News, video, events, blogs about Mobile Marketing for high tech business-to-business from IDG Knowledge Hub.

Tech Marketer's Guide to B2B

News, video, events, blogs about Technology Business and Marketing for high tech business-to-business from IDG Knowledge Hub.

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Events can help media companies balance uneven revenue streams

INMA

When we discuss the direction of the news media industry revenue streams on either a macro or micro level, two predominant revenue streams head to the top of the charts. Traditional print still is king at most news media companies, with online/mobile building momentum in most corners of the globe.

While both of those are and will remain critical to our long-term survival, let me offer a potential third leg of that three-legged revenue stool we all seek: events.

News media companies have dabbled in the events arena for quite some time, but with limited success because they often focus on events not destined to create any significant financial windfall. Cooking shows, for example. Or community events such as runs, concerts, and so forth, which are great for local support and exposure, but offer little in the way of significant financial return.

The return on investment falls far short of what the industry has grown to expect from print and even online ventures. And so the full value and revenue potential of event sponsorship for media companies has become clouded and jaded.

But there is money to be made from events, when handled the right way.

Most event experts say two of the largest expenses are the cost of a venue, and event marketing — two areas media companies excel in. They are well-positioned to pull off their own events and eliminate much of the traditional cost associated with these events, due to their expertise in the above key areas.

Marathons and half-marathons as well as triathlons have been known to make tens of thousands of dollars in profits. Concerts and motivational speakers can do the same. Home shows, garden shows, outdoor shows, fishing or golf tournaments — all still can rake in dollars in a big way.

Bear in mind, every one of these events that enters your market without your involvement does, in fact, impact your bottom line. They can extract valuable dollars from potential advertisers, customers, etc. All of those dollars will no longer be circulating throughout your community.

Factor in the compounding value of a dollar either entering or leaving your community and the impact is significant. For every dollar that leaves your community, you can compound that into five or six dollars subtracted from the community.

You can bet some of those are out of your revenue streams.

Much like a stool that needs three or four legs upon which to stand in a balanced fashion, media companies need more than two revenue legs on which to balance their long-term survival.

Embracing events can add a third leg to the revenue mix (or stool) with little risk and a great upside. You don’t need to hire all new staff; you can dabble in the event arena with the employees you currently have and see how the operation goes.

The key with events, just as with print and/or online and mobile, is to have someone passionate about growing that segment of the balance sheet. It won’t happen by itself. It doesn’t take a whole team of passionate employees. All you need is one employee who is motivated financially and the magic begins.

You won’t be alone. Other media companies are starting to find the magic of events — and turning it into significant revenues in short order.

Pinterest’s interest-following feature could be advertising gold mine

Digiday

Pinterest today made it that much easier for consumers to explore specific interests, and agency execs are already looking toward its potential advertising uses.

Previously, Pinterest curated pins around broad categories such as “outdoors.” Now, when users click on “Outdoors,” they’ll be able to find pins curated to interests as narrow as “ultralight backpacking” and “saltwater fishing.”

Pinterest is in the midst of introducing ads to its platform, but a Pinterest spokesperson said there are no immediate plans to allow advertisers to target users based upon the interest pages they chose to follow. But this being a platform whose only revenue source is advertising, it’s fair to assume that, if interest pages catch on with users, ads will be sold against them.

At least agency execs, always looking to target consumers based upon their interests, hope so.

“All we’re trying to do is go deeper based upon targeting people on interest. The ability to hit them in that context makes a lot of sense,” Jordan Bitterman, chief strategy officer at media agency Mindshare, said.

Pinterest’s 32 categories — such “travel,” “animals” and “kids” — were too broad to serve finely tuned ads, according to Jill Sherman, group director of social and content strategy at Digitas. Agency execs routinely describe Pinterest image as a visual search engine. Adding interest collections — essentially more-nuanced tags – can only enrich that database.

“It was basically a collection of boards. Now it’s much more: a very deep directory of interest,” Chris Bowler, Razorfish’s global vice president of social media, said.

Interest pages are also a way for Pinterest to broaden its appeal, or at the very least, prevent it from losing users. Pinterest’s user-base still skews female despite its incredible popularity, Providing more pinpointed collections could attract even more users.

“This is where the entire social world is going; niche communities that have much higher receptivity than your broad-based Facebook and Twitter platforms,” Chris Bowler, Razorfish’s global vice president of social media, said. “This is Pinterest’s way of serving a community of rock climbers versus someone creating another online community around rock climbing.”

Bitterman added that the tool would also likely increase the amount of time Pinterest users stay on the platform in a given session, another selling point for Pinterest as it ramps up ad selling efforts. The prediction speaks to the power of catering to people’s interests: it makes Pinterest more appealing to consumers, and more alluring to ad buyers.

Coming soon to Facebook: Video ads that follow you from device to device

VentureBeat

Advertisers on Facebook see the emerging method of sequential mobile advertising as a way to better control their branding message with consumers on social media.

Sequential video advertising allows marketers to place targeted video ads in front of a user when they click an ad on their mobile device. Based on what the person clicks, and what the product or message is, marketers are then able to follow up with similar video ads as they hop from one device to another.

By creating a sequence of targeted ads, marketers can build up a pitch from one video to the next — starting with a “pitch” video and ending with a “sell” video intended to close the sale.

VentureBeat spoke to two sources who requested their names not be used because the information they were describing was based in conversations with Facebook executives.

“Video is where its going,” an advertising executive who works with Facebook told VentureBeat. “With unique profile IDs, you have the ability to better sequentially target content for users as they embark on their journey through the social media funnel.”

The same executive added: “Sequential video advertisers gives marketers the ability to place different messages that can build upon each other. This gives you greater control over the delivery of your message.”

Another mobile executive who works with Facebook told VentureBeat that advertisers want to better control, and deploy, product messages. But they are content, for now, in permitting Facebook and others obtain user data to target their ads.

For its part, Facebook uses a combination of its own in-house analytics and partners for the task of ad targeting.

Facebook is able to amass tremendous amounts of user data based on information contained in in its users’ profiles as well as their activity. That includes information on who you interact with and where you like to shop, for example. That data is gold to advertisers, keen to take advantage of Facebook’s 1.2 billion users.

“The writing is on the wall. Sequentially targeted ads are hugely efficient and ultimately cost effective. They have greater relevance for advertisers and better targeting,” said the second source, who has knowledge of Facebook’s mobile ad strategy.

“Anecdotally, it’s very promising. Facebook is putting a lot of effort into it,” the same source added.

Indeed, Facebook bought the video advertising outfit Liverail for an undisclosed sum earlier this month. Liverail’s technology optimizes video ad deliveries for mobile devices utilizing bidding and proprietary data. Liverail was considering an IPO this year but threw in its lot with Facebook instead, media reports said.

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You’re not hallucinating: Ads are getting more intrusive

Digiday

If you think you’re seeing more big, noisy ads cluttering your Web-surfing experience, you’re right. Intrusive ads are on the rise.

The top 10 publishers of so-called “high-impact” ads published 8,989 in all of 2013, according to data Digiday pulled from Moat Pro, a service of ad analytics firm Moat. For the first six months of 2014, publishers ran 4,971 high-impact ads, putting them on track to be 11 percent ahead of 2013.

Moat Pro divides high-impact ads into 11 types, including skins, overlays, interstitials and pushdowns. You know them when you see them, like with this Wall Street Journal home page takeover:

 You’re not hallucinating: Ads are getting more intrusive

High-impact ads are mostly concentrated on sports sites, which are noisy environments to begin with. But many premium publisher sites also are showing significant increases.

It’s not hard to see why. Advertisers are looking to get people to notice their ads in a cluttered media environment and ultimately induce them to buy. The revelation that half of online ads are going unseen has raised the stakes for advertisers, who are now demanding that publishers prove that their ads are being seen for a minimum amount of time. At the same time, big, high-impact units are a panacea for publishers desperate to prop up falling online ad rates.

USA Today publisher Larry Kramer has been pushing high-impact ads on USAToday.com as part of a deliberate strategy to preserve high online CPMs. At the same time, he scaled back the number of ad positions available on USAToday.com and focused the high-impact ads on the home page so people will see them but the interruption is short-lived. Plus, he said, people have come to expect these kinds of ads online, just as they expect to see TV ads.

“It’s the least disruptive place to do it, and it’s not unexpected,” he said. For advertisers, high-impact ads give them a bigger space for their message and are ideal for introducing a new product or service.

At the same time, there’s been a backlash to traditional display ads. The native ad trend has been predicated on the idea that people aren’t paying attention to banners anymore and that people are more likely to respond favorably to ads that mimic the look and feel of the editorial. Some publishers like BuzzFeed and Gawker have aspired to all but end their reliance on display ads altogether and only run native ads.

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What makes digital video advertising profitable? Content, context, placement

INMA

There’s gold in online video. An estimated 85% of Internet users regularly watch video. Consequently, online video ad spend is experiencing a similar upward arc.

According to a recent Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) survey, American advertisers will spend 17% more on digital video in 2014 than they did in 2012, and the migration of ad dollars from televsion to digital video continues unabated.

This year, for the first time ever, digital video spend nearly matched TV spending.

However, to ensure digital video doesn’t become a race to the bottom of the advertising bargain barrel, publishers and video producers must align strategies around the concept of premium; that is, how best to extract the most advertising value from online video.

Consumers crave quality content, and marketers want to associate with the same. That’s no secret. But what is high quality or premium content?

Simply put, “premium” refers to professionally produced content. But there’s a catch: a professional, high-definition (HD) video that features a cat falling off a chair doesn’t qualify as premium. In other words, the actual content is also important.

Of course, Jack’s version of premium video might vary from Jill’s. But, from an advertising perspective, you can bank on the fact that content such as well-produced sports videos will routinely meet the premium standard, especially when talking about gold-standard sporting brands like the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA).

Furthermore, I consider the “jewel events” that define these various sporting brands — the Super Bowl, World Series, Daytona 500, and the Players Championship — as super premium content.

Premium video also needs premium placement, and to understand this we need to understand viewership.

Measuring viewership in the world of TV is relatively straightforward, determined by the number of households tuned in to a show (which, of course, doesn’t account for the TV being on without an audience, or someone simply recording content for later viewing.)

The same problem exists with the Internet, due primarily to the speed at which this medium moves and connects. That’s why I consider “placement” as the new “premium element” in online video.

If, for example, the video player appears below the fold on a Web page (meaning below your viewing area on your screen) or auto-plays once a user lands on that page, we can’t sell this to advertisers as premium, even if the video shows a 6-year-old kid hitting a hole in-one at a charity golf tournament.

Summed up, premiere placement of premium video equals click-to-play, above the fold, and contextually relevant.

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Time Out On Time Spent: Digital’s Delta Is More Like Two Times TV’s

MediaPost

Here’s a surprising counter to those Mary Meeker-ish assertions that digital media doesn’t get its fair share of ad budgets, relative to the time consumers spend using media. But keep in mind that the counter-argument comes from a source that doesn’t buy into the original premise in the first place.

“While we have long quibbled with the notion that time with media should equate to [ad] spending on media, it is worth noting that by our estimates, total spending on TV advertising amounted to $63 billion in 2013. Meanwhile, total spending on digital advertising amounted to $43 billion,”  Brian Wieser wrote in a report to Wall Street investors this morning. Wieser, who is an analyst at Pivotal Research Group, and used to be the head of forecasting at Interpublic’s Magna Global unit, knows something about how and why advertisers allocate their ad budgets on media. His main point is that based on the most recent estimates from Nielsen, “digital”  is actually reaping a disproportionate share of advertising relative to consumer usage.

By Wieser’s estimate, digital ad spending currently represents 68% of TV’s total, but is generating only 35% of consumer time spent. “If time did equate to money,” he writes, “either too much is being spent on  Internet advertising or too little is being spent on TV.”

But as already noted, Wieser says he doesn’t accept that premise, and instead recommends that a “more accurate” way of thinking about ad spending is that it’s always a “function of ‘least-bad’” alternatives for a given marketer.

In this scenario, Wieser says demand for digital media is often driven by long-tail marketers — small businesses and e-commerce marketers — that view the Internet as delivering an effective ROI. Large mainstream consumer brands, by contrast, remain more focused on “engagement-based” and “awareness-based” goals that are unlikely to be surpassed by TV’s “perceived effectiveness in this regard, but also because of the relatively broader use of the medium and ease with which reach and frequency may be accomplished on TV.”

In other words, the allocation of advertising budgets is not a simple, one-size-fits-all logic. Different advertisers use their allocation of media differently, and much of the growth of digital ad spending is a function of brands that likely may not have used TV much, if at all, in the first place. The bottom line is that the sum total of all those allocations currently gives a disproportionate weight toward digital, not TV.

Publishing in the drive-by media era

Digiday

There’s a recurring question among publishers as they try to catch up to consumers’ changing media habits: How does one convert readers who arrive through social and content-discovery channels into “repeat customers”? But for traditional publishers trying to catch up to the likes of BuzzFeed, Business Insider and Complex Media, this way of thinking is self-defeating. It creates an unattainable goal while more flexible competitors seize bigger shares of Web traffic and advertiser dollars.

Direct traffic, while highly valued, is little more than a myth. Once upon a time, there was direct traffic and referral traffic — and referral traffic was mostly search results. Then referral traffic expanded to include traffic from social media. Just as with search, social spawned a paid counterpart. Content recommendation and extension platforms like StumbleUpon, Digg, Outbrain and Taboola all came along and created new doors for traffic to walk through.

For any given publication, the same visitor can come through many channels. The same reader might visit a site five different ways in the course of a week — or even in the same day. Given that readers come in through so many channels, it’s difficult to measure conversion accurately.

Social and content discovery platforms typically have evolutionary life cycles and go through significant changes. The challenge for publishers is to be nimble enough to adapt to changes and diversify the ways they reach readers.

Meanwhile, however, apps have won over the mobile Web, which also has significant implications for publishers who still want to “acquire” visitors. Nielsen’s recent Cross-Platform Report shows that 89 percent of mobile monthly time spent is on apps. And only a select few categories of apps dominate: games, social media and communications platforms are the true victors in the fight for attention on mobile devices.

Additionally, the amount of time spent on mobile devices continues to grow while time spent with traditional media shrinks. Mobile has become the “second screen” during leisure time and the first screen for many business activities. Instead of browsing the Web the way they might on their desktops, users consume media from their news feeds and stay within app environments instead of using a browser.

As consumer time spent on mobile increases, publishers need to prioritize their presence on those mobile platforms. And if conversion is difficult on desktop, it will be even harder on mobile where users are even less likely to directly visit URLs.

Naturally, publishers dream of organic traffic, the kind that has an acquisition cost of zero. The more they cling to this dream, the harder time they will have competing for traffic.

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Modern Advertising Needs the Confidence To Say No

MediaPost

As the advertising world’s eyes return from Cannes, the increasing complexity of our business becomes clear. We have 17 categories,  including branded content, innovation, product design and activation, and we have the proof few of us needed that the world of marketing is getting more elaborate.

For more than 10 years, we’ve talked about media fragmentation, the wandering gaze of the consumer, the scarcity of attention and being paralyzed by stimuli. But we’ve never spoken about fragmentation for the marketer, the bewildering array of new options they face, and the difficulty in keeping focus and finding clarity.

As an industry, we need to address marketers’ impossible mission: Making informed decisions about a toolkit that involves a myriad of new and ever-changing channels, technologies and platforms.

Several dimensions of new

In the post digital age, we have a bewildering array of options:

  • We have new “channels” like digital outdoor, content marketing, native advertising, and branded utility.
  • We have media platforms like Vine, Twitter, Instagram, Secret, SnapChat and Pinterest.
  • We have new technology like addressable TV, iBeacons, personalized video rendering, and augmented reality, to name a few.
  • We have new advertising techniques like vending machine-based ideas, real-time marketing, the all new “social media newsroom”, growth-hacking sprints and working with incubators.

It’s all so abundant, and so much of it cheap. We have new ad tech companies offering $50,000 of free services for a trial. Flying a drone and filming it is a cheap viral hit. We can stick hashtags on ads, and it’s free. We’ve found that with new technology, we can produce campaigns bereft of an idea and hitch them to bandwagons for transport. How can anyone say no to anything in this landscape?

How to decide?

There are two huge challenges for marketers: With limited budgets and time, how can they prioritize? And with so much of it being new, how can they learn enough to make informed decisions?

The scale of this challenge has brought about incredible fear. Marketing staff face the dreaded scenario of the CEO asking what they are doing with the “app du jour” that their nephew has downloaded, or why they haven’t done what their competitor just did with augmented reality, QR codes, Shazam, Vine or any one of a million other new options.

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Study: Twitter actually is helping your TV campaign

Digiday

Twitter’s pitch that its ads amplify brands’ messages beyond TV is now supported by agency-backed research.

The company, in conjunction with Starcom Mediavest Group, released on Tuesday the results of a six-month study into the effectiveness of pairing TV and Twitter ads, the upshot of which is that Twitter users are more receptive to advertising than the typical TV viewer and that pairing Twitter and TV makes for some powerful brand advertising.

Twitter-supported TV campaigns deliver a 50 percent greater ROI than TV-only campaigns, SMG’s Kate Sirkin said. Brand awareness was 6.9 percent higher among audiences to such campaigns while households exhibited a 4 percent increase in sales versus TV alone. Favorability rose 6 percent for users who interacted with a promoted tweet, meanwhile.

Curiously, Twitter president of global revenue Adam Bain was not using the study as evidence for why brands need to transition their ad dollars from TV to digital. Rather, the study should entice some brands to migrate “underperforming” digital dollars to TV (and Twitter).

“When you run both TV and Twitter together, we actually think budgets can go from the digital side to TV,” Bain told Digiday on Tuesday in Cannes. “Spending on Twitter makes your digital outcomes go farther, but your TV outcomes go farther as well.”

Bain positioning Twitter as the “bridge” between digital and TV makes it an alluring ad platform for brands looking to test whether their TV budgets might be better spent than solely on TV spots.

But that message is also integral for Twitter’s ad business, and thus the health of its business in general going forward. Twitter’s response to Wall Street worries about its decelerating user growth has been to emphasize that Twitter’s influence extends far beyond Twitter itself. That may well be true for celebrities taking selfies, but a promoted tweet is not as likely to generate the same kind of press coverage. And perhaps more damning was when an NBC exec said this April that Twitter had no effect on boosting ratings.

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Screen Shot 2014 07 08 at 1.32.26 PM Study: Twitter actually is helping your TV campaign