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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.

Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

News, video, events, ideas and blogs about Digital 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.

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

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Social Brands: The Future of Marketing

We Are Social

A very smart ebook was produced by the team at We Are Social (a social agency) to talk about how brands need to become social businesses. This ebook is a fantastic read for all. Below is a quick summary from their site, as well as a link to download the full ebook. Our clients are going through this revolution to become social businesses… what more can we do to help?  / Colin Browning, Director, Social Media Marketing Services at IDG

Social Brands: The Future of Marketing
Social brands aren’t just brands with a social media presence; they’re brands that put social thinking at the heart of all their marketing.

They’re brands that are social, not just brands that do social.

They’re brands that always strive to be worth talking about.

But how can marketers actually build a brand worth talking about?

Building a Social Brand
This is the topic we explore in “Social Brands: The Future of Marketing“, our in-depth eBook that explains how to put social thinking at the heart of yourbrand.

You can download the complete book by clicking here, but here’s a quick overview to get you started:

1. Social equity drives brand equity
The brands that drive the most favourable conversations are the brands that can command the greatest and most enduring price premiums.

01 Everything should drive conversation 500x374 Social Brands: The Future of Marketing

2. Communities have more value than platforms
Marketers need to use new technologies to add new kinds of value; not just to interrupt people in new ways with new kinds of advertising.

3. All marketing must add value
When it comes to people’s attention, interest and engagement, your brand isn’t competing with your competitors – it’s competing with everything that really matters to people. Marketing that doesn’t add value will simply be ignored.

4. Go mobile or stand still
Mobile devices are already vital to half the world’s population. Very soon, if you’re not bringing your strategy to life on a mobile, it’ll never come to life at all.

02 Todays media reality 500x374 Social Brands: The Future of Marketing

5. The rise of the comms leitmotif
Now that marketers are no longer constrained by the crippling costs of broadcast media, we don’t need to distill all our communications down into lowest common denominator messaging. We can tell more complex – and more engaging – brand stories that evolve over time and across channels.

6. From selective hearing to active listening
Social media monitoring isn’t just about post-campaign reporting; the real value lies in listening to the organic conversations of the people that matter to you, and using these insights to develop richer, more tailored strategies.

06 Social listening can add value everywhere 500x374 Social Brands: The Future of Marketing

7. Experiences are the new products
Product differentiation is no longer enough to ensure lasting success; brands need to deliver a more holistic set of emotional and functional benefits that engage people’s hearts as well as their heads.

8. Civic-minded brands are best placed to succeed
Society increasingly expects brands to give back at least as much as they take. As a result, marketers’ concept of CSR needs to evolve away from one of mere guilt relief. We need to see CSR as an opportunity, and use resources to build and nurture communities where people will welcome brands’ presence and participation.

07 Rethinking the concept of brand value 500x374 Social Brands: The Future of Marketing

B2B Marketing: Where Are We Now?

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 B2B Marketing: Where Are We Now?

Often, the more you read, hear and write a word the less it begins to mean. Its cadence and calligraphy repeated ad infinitum become little more than shapes and white noise. The word ‘digital’ has dogged the marketing profession for the last few years, used in every event, article and plan to complete exhaustion. However despite its repetition, it seems we’re still only just unpacking what ‘digital’ will mean for the B2B marketing community. In fact, according to the 2014 Marketing Perspectives report, 9 out of 10 marketers believe the digital revolution is still gearing up – when it’s actually already here.

Over the next year marketers expect to see even more disruption from a younger generation, completely at home with on-demand technology, dominating the buying market. This disruption will grant even more power to those making purchase decisions as they obtain more information and make more knowledgeable choices. This empowered consumer is set against the challenge of an increasingly fragmented audience as the volume of marketing channels continues to grow.

However, there are two sides to the digital coin and this proliferation of channels and digitally savvy consumers provides marketers with an unprecedented opportunity to know their customer. With increasingly diverse demographics, marketers need data analytics to better understand the behaviour of the digital native, or ‘millennials’, as well as an ageing population and everyone else in between. Marketers are able to use the real-time insights from a huge range of digital channels to their advantage.

It’s no surprise then that web and customer analytics have been identified as the most important disciplines for marketers to master. The ability to mine data for crucial customer insight is a skill set that businesses prize, not just in the marketing function. But despite this, many marketers lack the competence and skills in data analytics that would help them incorporate insights from digital and mobile channels into their overall marketing mix.

Despite the recognition that mobile and on-demand media is changing the marketing landscape, marketers are still not confident with developing mobile strategies and activating mobile-ready campaigns. In fact, 1 in 3 marketers say their organisation’s mobile competence is below average or poor. This needs to change quickly if the brand wants to capture the attention of a mobile driven marketplace.

The Marketing Perspectives report by SAS and Marketing Week reveals that B2B marketers are more digitally inclined than their consumer focused counterparts, reporting more use of social, location based and mobile marketing. Thirty-five per cent of B2B marketers fell into the ‘SoMoLo Maven’ category (those who invest more, have greater skill and confidence in social, mobile and location marketing) compared to 19% of B2C marketers. However, with empowered buyers and digital natives driving change, the requirement for real-time data analytics skills is only set to grow. And yet, many still struggle with it.

Continue reading… 

The New Breed of Marketers: the Digital Native

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 The New Breed of Marketers: the Digital Native

The rise of the digital native and empowered consumers is transforming the marketing landscape, and marketers are responding to this change in very different ways. Many marketers lack the digital skills to fully adapt to this rapidly burgeoning breed of consumer and its always-on culture. They can build websites and design banners for example, but are they able to optimise the design and improve targeting? First generation digital marketing may have been achieved, but they now need to accomplish digital marketing 2.0.

Under pressure to deliver ROI against limited budgets, many tend to choose channels or approaches that have been tried and tested before. Whilst this gives them confidence to generate results, it prevents them from truly engaging with a millennial generation moving fast into the social and mobile arena.

But, as a new breed of consumer takes centre stage, so too does a new breed of marketer need to emerge. As millennials take up position on both sides of the buyer- supplier relationship, the current and future marketer needs to learn new skills and master a different set of tools. Understanding data analytics will be the key to success.

The behaviour of the millennial demographic is distinctly different from its predecessors in many respects. A strong relationship with technology, social media and a willingness to impart personal information in exchange for better services, are some of the most defining traits. Digital natives expect to converse, interact and purchase as, when and via the channel that they choose. In return they expect marketers to remember their likes and preferences; to understand them. Understanding and assimilating these differences and the behaviours that accompany them is crucial if marketers are to survive the digital revolution.

The always-connected nature of the millennial generation is a behavioural gold-mine for marketers – providing both the means to engage and a source of information to guide that engagement.

Assailed with marketing messages from an early age, these empowered buyers are experts at filtering out irrelevant, poorly timed or boring marketing campaigns. Social and location data is providing the means for marketers to connect with millennials in a way that is instantaneous, personal and relevant.

Effective digital marketing relies on big data analytics and real-time decision-making. These twin pillars help businesses to identify, understand, hone in on and engage their customers by providing them with crucial and timely customer insight. Coincidentally, they are also two of the weakest areas amongst marketers today according to research of nearly 600 marketers, which is why many are struggling to engage their customer in a digitally driven world.

Continue reading… 

The Value Of Video For Social Advertising

MediaPost

The value of video in digital marketing is growing as video consumption continues to rise across channels and connected devices. In the first half of 2014, the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported digital video ad spending increased by 24% compared to the first half of 2013.

While TV is not dead — consumers still watch on average 4.5 hours of TV per day — users are spending significant amounts of more time viewing video content on other devices like desktop, smartphone and tablet. Mobile now accounts for 22% of overall digital video consumption, expected to rise in 2015 with ad spending in social expected to exceed $26 billion dollars globally.

Enter Social Media: A Channel Capable of Widespread Impact

As marketers, we need to stop thinking in silos and start media planning with complete storytelling in mind. Using video content and social channels together to tell a cohesive, engaging narrative that leverages the mind-set of the user, based on the screen and platform they are viewing, should be the norm.

Once content creators begin to develop video based on channel and device, engagement and video completion rates skyrocket. Adding videos to landing pages can increase conversions by nearly 90 percent—especially across the ever-increasing landscape of social platforms, where video has become a strategic way to break through the daily clutter of 58 million tweets, 4.75 billion pieces of Facebook content, and 60 million Instagram posts.

Few advertising channels outside of social allow a brand to maximize distribution of short- and long-form content and get users to watch nearly an entire video clip. Video is a tool to help change perception and sentiment among a brand’s target audience, while leveraging established advocates to relay influential opinions to their peers across multiple channels.

Given the usage of social platforms, high engagement with content and the ability to target audiences on a one-to-one level, it’s surprising that video and social are so commonly planned separately. As marketers, isn’t it our job to find the right user and deliver the right message to them at the right time? If so, why are we not planning video strategies on Facebook and Twitter in conjunction with our broader video buys? It is time to tear down the channel walls and start building smarter media plans inclusive of social user behavior and each platform’s unique capabilities.

Video-based social media offerings are becoming more advanced and marketers should continue to adjust their strategy accordingly. Recent research from SocialBakers found that more marketers are opting for Facebook video over YouTube, and Twitter’s native Video Card outperforms YouTube links — emphasizing the huge opportunity for brands to develop engaging content that resonates with each social network’s unique audience and format.

Continue reading… 

Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling

Harvard Business Review

It is quiet and dark. The theater is hushed. James Bond skirts along the edge of a building as his enemy takes aim. Here in the audience, heart rates increase and palms sweat.  I know this to be true because instead of enjoying the movie myself, I am measuring the brain activity of a dozen viewers. For me, excitement has a different source: I am watching an amazing neural ballet in which a story line changes the activity of people’s brains.

Many business people have already discovered the power of storytelling in a practical sense – they have observed how compelling a well-constructed narrative can be. But recent scientific work is putting a much finer point on just how stories change our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

As social creatures, we depend on others for our survival and happiness. A decade ago, my lab discovered that a neurochemical called oxytocin is a key “it’s safe to approach others” signal in the brain. Oxytocin is produced when we are trusted or shown a kindness, and it motivates cooperation with others. It does this by enhancing the sense of empathy, our ability to experience others’ emotions. Empathy is important for social creatures because it allows us to understand how others are likely to react to a situation, including those with whom we work.

More recently my lab wondered if we could “hack” the oxytocin system to motivate people to engage in cooperative behaviors. To do this, we tested if narratives shot on video, rather than face-to-face interactions, would cause the brain to make oxytocin. By taking blood draws before and after the narrative, we found that character-driven stories do consistently cause oxytocin synthesis. Further, the amount of oxytocin released by the brain predicted how much people were willing to help others; for example, donating money to a charity associated with the narrative.

In subsequent studies we have been able to deepen our understanding of why stories motivate voluntary cooperation. (This research was given a boost when, with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, we developed ways to measure oxytocin release noninvasively at up to one thousand times per second.) We discovered that, in order to motivate a desire to help others, a story must first sustain attention – a scarce resource in the brain – by developing tension during the narrative. If the story is able to create that tension then it is likely that attentive viewers/listeners will come to share the emotions of the characters in it, and after it ends, likely to continue mimicking the feelings and behaviors of those characters. This explains the feeling of dominance you have after James Bond saves the world, and your motivation to work out after watching the Spartans fight in 300.

Continue reading… 

Research: How to Drive Engagement Through Social Media 2014

IDG Connect 0811 Research: How to Drive Engagement Through Social Media 2014

In January 2006 Twitter didn’t exist, blogging was mocked, and Facebook was for students. Over the following five years social media took off, but still many people questioned the importance of social networks in the B2B space. Now in 2014, its usefulness has been proven over and over again and it continues to gain momentum. In fact, as content marketing gradually grows in importance, social media is playing an even more significant role.

Summary

New research conducted in November 2013 by IDG Connect shows that 86% of B2B Information Technology (IT) buyers are currently using
social media networks in their purchase decision process. Social media is not only important for companies, but it is now a necessary investment and crucial element of any go-to-market strategies. And findings suggest this is only set to increase over the next couple of years.

  • 86% of IT buyers are using social media networks and content in their purchase decision process
  • Social media is used most often in the general education stage of the buying cycle
  • 89% of IT buyers prefer educational content to promotional content in their favored social media channels
  • 62% of IT buyers are most interested in seeing e-seminars (virtual events) from social channels
  • Product/Service reviews are the content types that IT buyers prefer to see links from via social channels
  • In two years, social, peer-generated content will have greater weight versus editorial and vendor content in making IT investment decisions

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Screen Shot 2014 01 13 at 4.39.11 PM Research: How to Drive Engagement Through Social Media 2014

Instagram Proves Hit With Brand Marketers, Users

Social Media Daily

Ahead of Facebook’s latest earnings call, new data shows that Instagram is more popular than ever among brand marketers.

During the third quarter of 2014, 86% of top brands incorporated Instagram into their marketing strategies, which represented a 15% year-over-year increase, according to social media measurement start-up Simply Measured.

All told, Instagram now boasts 200 million active users, 60 million photos posted daily and more than 1.6 billion interactions per day, per Simply Measured.

Brands who posted at least once a day have doubled since 2012, while 73% of brands post at least one photo or video per week, the researcher found. Simply Measured also found a clear correlation between brands that maintain an active presence on the platform and increased user engagement.

“With more brands engaging larger audiences and tactics becoming more sophisticated, Instagram users are more receptive to marketing content on the network,” according to Kevin Shively, author of the report.

In fact, monthly engagement among top brands has more than doubled since the third quarter of 2013, and grown nearly 12-fold since the third quarter of 2012, according to Shively.

Along with consistent posting schedules, brands looking to do a better job of engaging Instagram users should focus on post tagging and caption content.

Posts tagged with a location receive 79% higher engagement on average, according to Simply Measured, while it found 56% higher engagement for posts that include another user handle in the caption.

Continue reading… 

Can This Advertising Innovation at “The New York Times” Save Sinking Ad Revenue?

Remember when newspaper print ads were practically a cultural institution? Stroll to the end of the driveway on a Sunday morning for that several-pounder edition and pore through the articles and the ads. Scan the sales at Macy’s, look for a new job, find a matinee time, decide which store has the best price on rib eyes — the Sunday tome was practically the gateway to the world. Then the Internet relentlessly and almost instantaneously stole print advertising’s relevance, leaving publishers searching for new ways to connect with readers and, just as important, generate revenue.

The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT  ) may have finally found that cup-of-coffee-worthy formula for advertising, infusing its smart editorial style into content that resonates with an advertiser’s audience in a way that preserves its integrity as a news source.

It’s been a long road back
It’s safe to say that the heyday of traditional newspaper advertising is over, but looking back at what once worked it seems there are a few ingredients for success: The advertising must be compelling and relevant enough to get consumers to spend time with it. But it must also fit its platform — that is, not compromise the spirit, tone and even journalistic mandate of its publication.

The Times recognized the need for innovation early, building one of the smartest and most clickable Internet portals for its flagship newspaper. Like many of its contemporaries, the company has replaced some lost ad revenue with digital advertising, but not nearly enough. It seemed something was missing. Across the Web, digital ad sales climbed dramatically in recent years, but stayed fairly flat at newspapers. Though moderately successful, banner and display ads and pieces from the ad exchanges never found a comfortable seat in the traditional news format. Ad perusers had plenty of other choices, after all, and consumers had left behind the notion of the newspaper as a place to shop.

 

Continue Reading…

New IDC Study Finds that Tech Marketing Budgets Will Rebound in 2014 with Average Increase of 3.5% for the Largest IT Vendors

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 New IDC Study Finds that Tech Marketing Budgets Will Rebound in 2014 with Average Increase of 3.5% for the Largest IT Vendors

This in spite of tech marketing turmoil and transformation, as half of tech companies replaced CMO in last 24 months

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – The 12th Annual Tech Marketing Benchmark Study from the International Data Corporation (IDCCMO Advisory Service finds that marketing budgets among the 101 technology companies surveyed will increase by an average of 3.5% in 2014. Those same companies expect a revenue increase of 3.7% for the same period. Despite this momentum, the CMO role remains very fluid as marketing organizations attempt to reinvent their capabilities and effectiveness in a new era of marketing. In a related study, IDC finds that 51% of tech CMO’s have been in their position for fewer than two years.

Two-thirds of the companies surveyed by IDC will increase their marketing budgets in 2014 while only 20% of the companies will decrease their marketing budgets with the remainder indicating no change in budget levels. Notably, companies with a high percentage of 3rd Platform products (cloud, social, mobile and Big Data and analytics) will receive marketing budget increases upwards of five times that of the average tech company, increasing their budgets 10-20% year over year.

“For the first time in eight years, IDC is seeing that marketing budgets are increasing at about the same rate as revenues. This is positive news for tech marketers and also a clear indication that the C-suite is ready to put additional marketing investment up against more promising business prospects,” saidSam Melnick, Senior Research Analyst, IDC CMO Advisory Service. “However, both the CMO and CEO must understand that momentum is being driven by success in 3rd Platform solution areas. To continue this growth, executives must continue to invest to be competitive in these high-upside segments.”

“We examined 152 tech companies with a current CMO in place and found that 77, just over half, have replaced their CMO in the last 24 months – an astonishing rate of change. CMOs must own the digital disruption of buyer experience for their companies. Those CMOs able to rise to the challenge will be provided more resources and given more power. The unprepared will be replaced,” said Kathleen Schaub, Vice President, IDC CMO Advisory Service. “However, tech CEOs must also wake up to the impact marketing now wields over revenue and reputation. It’s their job to pick the right person for today’s challenges. To get CMO selection right means the CEO needs to understand and get closer to marketing.”

The 12th annual 2014 Tech Marketing Benchmark Study was recently completed by IDC’s CMO Advisory Service and seeks to capture the full marketing spend and marketing headcount allocations of global companies within the technology sector. The research effort surveyed 101 companies, with the average company’s revenue surpassing $7 billion. IDC’s 2015 Marketing Investment Planner containing study details will be published in November and will be available on IDC.com. In a parallel study, the CMO Advisory Service studied 152 tech companies ranging from $50 million to $100 billion in revenue to observe their CMO tenure.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. In 2014, IDC celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing strategic insights to help clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

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