Events
Event Date Location

OMMA Display In LA

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

OMMA Audience Targeting

07/23/2014 Los Angeles CA

OMMA Audience Targeting

07/23/2014 Los Angeles CA

OMMA Audience Targeting @ Advertising Week

07/23/2014 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

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A walk through the future where everything is connected

CITEworld

Attending a conference on the “Internet of things” is like walking through a bizarro mosaic of the future.

Conferences tend to center on a well-defined market, topic, or large company, and that theme is reflected back in some cohesive fashion by each company in attendance.

“The internet of things”, “smart devices” or “connected devices” (my preferred term), or broad subsets like “wearables” by nature implies just about everything.

Everything, in theory, can connect to everything else via a sensor, processor, and transmitter. That means the boundaries of a connected product and its related vertical markets are, in theory, limitless.

So as you peruse the booths, you see wireless garden sensors next to fabric with sensors literally woven in, you see defense contractor behemoth Booz Allen Hamilton talking about cloud computing solutions across the aisle from a startup shoe sensor company called Boogio (“Makes your shoes smart!”).

As I walked through the vendors and sessions at this week’s Wearable Technologies Conference in San Francisco, I tried to assemble a picture my future life flooded with all these sensors, embedded everywhere, telling me everything.

Imagine:

As I finish up a work project in my future home, Imprint Energy’s wafer-thin batteries power a wristband running atop VirtualBeam’s motion recognition software which informs me when my hands have been gesturing over my Leap Motion sensor for too long, so I need a break to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. My future wife scans patients at the hospital with Aura’s 3D ear canal scanning system but her Emotiv electroencephalography headband scans her brainwaves and lets me know that it’s been a stressful day for her. I send our drone to go pick up tacos for dinner.

My future daughter plays in the backyard and I know she’s okay because Sensirion’s outdoor sensors tell me that the humidity and temperature are reasonable, not to mention the Leo bands around her legs tell me she’s well hydrated and her muscles are moving well (i.e. she’s running around happily) and her SunFriend wristband indicates her UV intake is still low. My future son practices the virtual drums with his Moff wristbands as he gets ready for his football game where Flextronics sensors will map his muscle motions on each tackle (good form or not?) and his i1 Biometrics mouthguard will alert me in real time when he gets a concussion and store the data in the cloud.

And that is the really the binding agent of all these seemingly random companies.

“It’s about the data!” Frank Ball, CEO of vascular imaging company Evena Medical, booms during his talk. “We’ve heard about generating data. But the money is being in the pipeline that processes that data…. We call this whole morass ‘the data hurricane’.”

Read more…

Irrelevant Digital Content Impacts B2B Vendors in US & UK

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 Irrelevant Digital Content Impacts B2B Vendors in US & UK

By Jessica Maxwell

We recently completed research that looked at how irrelevant content impacts B2B vendors’ bottom lines. We did two separate surveys that were based on technology buyers who had actively made a purchase decision in the last 12 to 18 months; one was to a US audience and one was to a UK audience.

Despite how different these two regions are, we were surprised to see that the results were extremely similar for every question we asked. Content is irrelevant in both of these markets, and no one is happy about it.

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Here is an infographic view of the US and UK comparison:

irrelevant digital content impacts B2B Irrelevant Digital Content Impacts B2B Vendors in US & UK

For more blogs and research from IDG Connect, click here 

Personal Computing’s Big Three Get a Little Bigger

The New York Times

Three companies are pulling away from the pack in the PC business.

Counts of second-quarter personal computer shipments released Wednesday by two major analysis companies showed a slower-than-expected decline in PC shipments worldwide, with wealthy markets like the United States showing decent growth. But in poorer countries, alternatives such as low-cost tablets continued to affect PC sales.

The real surprise in the numbers was the relative strength of the three biggest PC makers — Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Dell — compared to the loss of market share by almost everyone else. Lenovo appeared to have solidified its lead as the world’s biggest PC maker, a title for which it contested with H.P. for several quarters.

One of the analysis companies, International Data Corporation, said worldwide PC shipments totaled 74.4 million units in the second quarter, a drop of 1.7 percent from the same quarter of 2013. The important United States market grew 6.9 percent, to 16.7 million units. Gartner put worldwide shipments at 75.8 million units, an increase of 0.1 percent, and United States shipments at 15.9 million units, up 7.4 percent.

Among the top five vendors, which also included Acer and Asus, global shipments rose 9.8 percent year-on-year, IDC said, while the rest of the market, made up of about 15 other computer companies, declined 18.5 percent. Gartner said companies not in the top five had a net decline in shipments of 13.8 percent.

IDC said Lenovo had 19.6 million units shipped to the world market, a rise of 15.1 percent. H.P. was second, with 13.6 million units, up 10.3 percent, and Dell was third at 10.4 million units, up 13.2 percent. Acer’s shipments fell 2.5 percent, to 6.1 million units, and Asus managed a 3.3 percent gain, to 4.6 million units.

Gartner’s percentages were much the same, though it scored an even steeper fall for Acer and a better performance for Asus. Even last quarter, according to both research companies, the companies outside the top five had 40 percent of the global PC market; now they are closer to a third. And the analysts expect them to fall further.

The better-than-expected overall performance for PC shipments was attributed to a number of factors, including strong business demand after the discontinuation of support for an older version of Microsoft’s Windows PC operating system, and consumer interest in lower-priced laptops.

Continue reading…

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.

Read more…

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.

Mobile Facts To Keep In Mind – Part 1

Monday Note

By the end of 2014, many news media will collect around 50% of their page views via mobile devices. Here are trends to remember before devising a mobile strategy. (First of a two-part series.)

In the news business, mobile investments are on the rise. That’s the pragmatic response to a major trend: Users shift from web to mobile. Already, all major media outlets are bracing for a momentous threshold: 50% of their viewership coming from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Unfortunately, the revenue stream is not likely to follow anytime soon: making users pay for mobile content has proven much more difficult than hoped for. As for advertising, the code has yet to be cracked for (a) finding formats that won’t trigger massive user rejection, and (b) monetizing in ways comparable to the web (i.e. within the context of a controlled deflation). Let’s dive into a few facts:

Apps vs. WebApps or Mobile sites. A couple of years ago, I was among those who defended web apps (i.e. encapsulated HTML5 coding, not tied to a specific OS platform) vs. native apps (for iOS, Android, Windows Phone). The idea was to give publishers more freedom and to avoid the 30% app store levy. Also, every publisher had in mind the success enjoyed by the FT.com when it managed to put all its eggs in its web app and so retain complete control over the relationship with its customers.

All of the above remains true but, from the users’ perspective, facts speak loudly: According to Flurry Analytics, apps now account for 86% of the time spent by mobile users vs. 14% for mobile sites (including web apps.) A year ago, the balance was 80% for apps and 20% for mobile web.

Trend #1: Native apps lead the game
at the expense of web apps and mobile sites 

One remark, though: the result must take in account the weight of games and Facebook apps that account for 50% of the time spent on mobile. News-related usage leans more to mobile as there is not (yet) demand for complex rendering as in a gaming app. But as far news applications are concerned, we haven’t seen major breakthroughs in mobile web or web apps over the last months and it seems development is stalling.

News vs. the rest of the app world. On a daily total of 2hrs 50mn spent by mobile users (source: eMarketer), 2% to 5% of that time is spent on news. Once you turn to growth, the small percentage number starts to look better: The news segment is growing faster (+64% Y/Y) than messaging and social (+28%) or gaming and entertainment (+9% each); the fastest usage segment being the productivity apps (+119%) and that’s due to the transfer of professional uses from the desktop to the mobile.

Trend #2: On mobile, news is growing faster
than game or social 

…And it will grow stronger as publishers will deploy their best efforts to adjust contents and features to small screens and on-the-go usage and as mobile competitors multiply.

Click to read more…

Are UK B2B media businesses becoming more focused on overseas events?

The Media Briefing

One of the more obvious ways UK B2B media firms have tried growing is to buy up or launch new events in countries with higher growth rates and less developed markets.

In a morning briefing on Top Right Group’s 2013 results last month, the word “events” came from CEO Duncan Painter’s mouth many a time – with particular emphasis on Latin America, China, and Asia.

For Top Right Group, events were providing most of the growth last year – the i2i events segment grew 13 percent on an organic basis – but how are things faring for some of its competitors?

We took a look through some annual reports to find out:

  1. Whether these companies are generating more of their money from their events
  2. Whether that international expansion translates to the bottom line.

Reed Elsevier

Although Reed’s events revenue is increasing, from £707 million in 2011 to £862 million last year, its rest of world revenue as a percentage of the whole dropped off considerably last year, from 71 percent over the two years 2011 to 2012, to 57 percent in 2013. UK revenue was up from 29 percent to 43 percent, however.

Reed also launched more events last year than in 2012 – 37 to 30, respectively.

Centaur Media

Centaur’s events revenue has increased from £21 million to £26 million from 2012 to 2013, and its UK revenue also increased from £60.4 million to £64.3 million. Global revenue excluding the UK was also up 48 percent to £7.7 million last year.

Informa Plc

Events revenue for Informa dipped by over £165 million from 2011 to 2012, but appears to have stabilised, increasing slightly from £413.7 million to £414.7 million last year. On the global stage revenues have been declining, from £1.1 billion in 2011 to £973 million in 2012. UK revenue took a dip from 2011 to 2012 of 12 percent year-on-year, but increased to £159.4 million last year.

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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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From Google to Amazon: EU goes to war against power of US digital giants

The Guardian

Within the salons of the Elysée Palace, along the corridors of the European parliament and under the glass dome of the Reichstag, Old Europe is preparing for a new war. This is not a battle over religion or politics, over land or natural resources. The raw material that Paris, Brussels and Berlin are mobilising to defend is the digital environment of Europe’s inhabitants; their enemies are the Silicon Valley corporations that seek to dominate it.

Coal, gas and oil powered the industrial revolution, but in the digital era, data is replacing fossil fuels as the most valuable resource on Earth, and the ability to collect and interrogate it has created organisations with a power that can at times seem beyond the control of nation states. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google represent, in the words of Germany’s economy minister Sigmar Gabriel, “brutal information capitalism”, and Europe must act now to protect itself.

“Either we defend our freedom and change our policies, or we become digitally hypnotised subjects of a digital rulership,” Gabriel warned in apassionate call to action published by the Frankfurter Allgemeine. “It is the future of democracy in the digital age, and nothing less, that is at stake here, and with it, the freedom, emancipation, participation and self-determination of 500 million people in Europe.”

In France, economy minister Arnaud Montebourg believes Europe risks becoming a “digital colony of the global internet giants”, and ministers have called for Google to contribute to the cost of upgrading the country’s broadband infrastructure. Gabriel says Germany’s cartel office is currently examining whether Google should be regulated as a utility, like a telecoms supplier – the group has 91.2% market share of search in Germany.

He believes that, as a last resort, there may be a case for “unbundling” Google, separating its search arm from mobile, or YouTube, or services such as email.

As a first step, he is in favour of regulation that allows competitors to use the Google platform fairly. The pushback against Amazon has also begun: as of last year, the online retailer can no longer stop independent sellers on its German website from offering their own goods cheaper elsewhere, including on their own websites.

European regulators have also begun to take action. In May, the European court upheld a plea by a Spaniard, Mario Costeja González, who wanted pages hidden from any Google search for his name in the EU. Judges decided the past transgressions of private individuals have a right to be “forgotten”. The threats that ruling poses to freedom of the press are now being debated, but it was a watershed moment, representing Europe’s first major regulatory strike against the search and software colossus.

On 11 June, the European commission‘s competition regulator, Joaquín Almunia, wrote to colleagues to warn that his investigation into Google’s search rankings could be reopened, after new complainants had stepped forward. On the same day, he announced a potentially wide-ranging inquiry into tax avoidance, starting with a focus on three companies: Apple and its international headquarters in Ireland, and Starbucks and its head office in the Netherlands (the third company being carmaker Fiat). On Thursday, a leak from Brussels suggested Amazon, which operates through a European HQ in Luxembourg, was also being dragged into the net.

“In the current context of tight public budgets, it is particularly important that large multinationals pay their fair share of taxes,” Almunia said. His intervention was widely interpreted as a politically motivated act. It almost certainly was.

There are those who believe that Jean-Claude Juncker, the former Luxembourg prime minister who has just been elected as the next president of the European commission – despite vocal opposition from David Cameron – is out to get Google.

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