Event Date Location

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

iMedia Agency Summit (Malaysia)

08/25/2014 - 08/27/2014 Kota Kinabalu Malaysia

The 6th annual Mobile World

08/28/2014 Seoul

iMedia Brand Summit (Australia)

09/01/2014 - 09/03/2014 Gold Coast Australia

iMedia Brand Summit (India)

09/03/2014 - 09/05/2014 Adao Waddo, Salcette India


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A 10-sensor iWatch says Apple’s smartwatch will be nothing like Android Wear

IDG News Service

If Apple’s iWatch design brief includes 10 sensors, then the all-but-inevitable smartwatch won’t be a simple device. It will be aimed squarely at exercise enthusiasts, quantified-selfers, and anyone concerned about an expanding waist line.

And the iWatch would also be nothing like Android Wear smartwatches from the likes of LG and Motorola—gadgets that will use Google Now to push information like sports scores, weather alerts and navigation directions. This foreshadows a war between two entirely different philosophies in the wristband space. Apple’s proposition: A smartwatch should be dedicated to telling you about what’s happening inside your body. Google’s stance: A smartwatch should be focused on the world around you.

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple’s upcoming smartwatch will include “more than 10 sensors” to track health and fitness activity, according to multiple unnamed sources. The report also backs up an early Reuters article that says Apple’s wearable will be manufactured by Quanta Computer in Taiwan. The Journal’s anonymous sources say the smartwatch will come in “multiple screen sizes” (the Reuters article only mentions a 2.5-inch display), and that the wearable could be released in October, with shipments hitting between 10 and 15 million units by the end of the year.

Given that more than 51 million iPhone 5 units sold during last year’s holiday season, the iWatch—even if it hits 15 million sales—would still be a relatively niche product for Apple. The Wall Street Journal report remains unsubstantiated, of course, but if Apple ultimately goes all-in with a health-focused wearable, it will have a natural companion to its just announced Health app.

That’s great product synergy for Apple, but such a wearable would also be pursuing a market that has, apparently, failed to find traction with consumers. According to a January 2014 study by Endeavor Partners [PDF], more than half of all people who’ve purchased a wearable activity tracker have given up on their devices. (This particular wearable category emerged in 2012.)

The Journal reports that Apple “aims to address an overarching criticism of existing smartwatches that they fail to provide functions significantly different from that of a smartphone.” That’s a lofty goal, and we might assume that the iWatch’s battery of sensors will be able to track our heart rate, skin temperature, and rates of perspiration.

But Samsung already has wristbands that track heart rate, and they don’t work very well. And Basis makes the Basis B1, a wearable that tracks all three data points—yet the company remains anonymous to all but a niche collection of quantified-self disciples. 

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Is the Firefox Mobile Operating System a Droid Killer?

Bloomberg Businessweek

Paco Montalvo, the carrier’s global head of devices, says his team had been having similar conversations in an effort to respond to customers who decided not to switch from iOS or Android because of app compatibility issues. “When consumers try to change, when they try to get some freedom, they see some barriers,” he says. “Those are the barriers we want to break.” More recently, Deutsche Telekom andTelenor (TEL:NO) have also contributed engineering time.

Mozilla and Telefónica agreed to first target Brazil, where the carrier controls almost 30 percent of the mobile market. “If you design for Brazil, it’s going to function in Mexico,” says Gal. “If you sit in Cupertino, it’s not going to work in Brazil or Mexico.” This has led to some innovations that may seem obvious but hadn’t been high priorities for OS designs aimed at the U.S. or Europe.

Because Mozilla isn’t yet working to put its OS on high-end phones, it can keep its code simple, yielding longer battery life. Firefox OS lets people easily monitor data use to keep costs down. It supports FM radio, a valuable feature in Latin American markets. To soften the learning curve for first-time smartphone users, it can search within multiple apps at once, unlike other systems. Gal’s example is a query for Madonna that yields a bio from Wikipedia and songs from a streaming service.

Firefox can then automatically load the search results in mobile apps written using the newer standard of HTML 5 without sending the user to an app store for a download. Many of the most important social apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, have already moved to HTML 5, meaning that Mozilla is already past the first hurdle of any new OS—persuading software makers to code for it. Marion Kessing, a spokeswoman for Deutsche Telekom, says Firefox “propels the standardization of HTML 5,” a priority for the company.

“I can tell you that Telefónica is pushing Firefox,” says Montalvo. The OS doesn’t just open the door to cheaper phones, he says—it’s also simpler and more intuitive than other systems. In wealthier markets, Telefónica pitches the phone to teenagers looking for a first smartphone. In poorer ones, it pitches to adults. Montalvo cites Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Uruguay as markets where this approach has been “very, very, very successful.”

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CMOs say digital will transform budgets


Over three-quarters (78%) of global marketing executives expect digital and mobile technology to transform corporate marketing over the next five years, a new survey has shown.

However, the poll of nearly 600 senior executives in 11 countries by Accenture Interactive, the management consultancy, also found 79% think their organisation will not be a fully digital operation over the same period.

Furthermore, more than one-third expect 75% of their marketing budgets to comprise spending on digital, and 41% expect their spending on digital marketing to increase by more than 5% within the next year.

With digital marketing accepted by so many marketers as likely to transform the industry, Accenture advised companies to adapt to the new environment or risk being left on the sidelines.

To improve the customer experience – only 62% of respondents believe their organisation currently achieves this – Accenture recommended marketers increase their links with the C-suite and to focus marketing campaigns on desired outcomes rather than on sales.

It also urged them to devise campaigns that improve customer engagement and to develop an “ongoing dialogue”, or a relationship that it said should cover “the whole spectrum of sales, service, retention and loyalty”.

“As marketing executives are increasingly embracing digital, they can be catalysts to help their company take advantage of the wider digital opportunity and protect against broader digital threats,” said Brian Whipple, senior managing director at Accenture Interactive.

To help drive the digital transformation of their organisations, he said marketers should extend their vision beyond traditional boundaries.

“The opportunities, as well as the potential and real threats, are all about the customer, the brand, the interface with the customer and how the customer is empowered,” he said.

Microsoft goof confirms Surface Mini

IDG News Service

Microsoft has inadvertently confirmed that it had a smaller Surface tablet ready to release when it unveiled the larger Surface Pro 3 last month.

Eagle-eyed observers today pointed out that the Surface Mini, a long-rumored small tablet, was referenced several times in the Surface Pro 3 User Guide, which is available online.

Microsoft started selling some models of the Surface Pro 3 in retail today, and began delivering devices that customers had pre-ordered since the May 20 introduction.

The Surface Mini was featured most predominantly in the user guide’s discussion of the Surface Pen, a writing and sketching tool that comes with the Surface Pro 3, and apparently would have accompanied the smaller tablet, too. Mentions of OneNote, Microsoft’s note-taking app, were scattered throughout the guide, including the sections where the Surface Mini was mentioned.

“Click the top button [of the Surface Pen] to open OneNote, even if your Surface is locked,” the guide stated. “Bluetooth technology links your Surface Pen to your Surface Mini or Surface Pro 3, so when you click the button, your Surface responds instantly [emphasis added].”

That matches what some reported prior to Microsoft’s May 20 event: The Surface Mini, those reports claimed, would be pitched as a note-taking device, and released in time for the back-to-school sales season.

The Surface Mini was assumed to be a 7-in. or 8-in. tablet akin to the Surface 2, the second-generation of the Surface RT, a tablet powered by Windows RT, the tablet-only operating system that features colorful tiles and boasts a new ecosystem of apps.

The day before the Surface event, Computerworld reported that Microsoft would not unveil the Surface Mini. Later accounts elsewhere claimed that the device was pulled from the presentation — and thus release — at the last minute as executives feared that the Mini wasn’t sufficiently different from lower-priced rivals to do well in the market.

Microsoft’s skittishness may have stemmed from memories of the $900 million write-off it took in mid-2013 to account for lackluster sales and overstocked inventories of the original Surface RT tablet.

It’s possible that Microsoft will eventually launch a smaller Surface, perhaps even the built-but-not-sold Surface Mini, but the company has not publicly confirmed the tablet’s existence, much less a timeline for its release.

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Design is more important than technology


It happens every time Apple makes an announcement: “Where’s the really big difference,” shout the haters from the rooftops. “Where’s the innovation?

Well, here’s the thing: When it comes to technology, “innovation” doesn’t mean what you think it means. Almost none of the technology we come to rely on every day for transportation, productivity, and entertainment, is actually a brand new invention. And very much of what we refer to as “innovation” is mainly a product of good design — the smart application of existing technologies to make life better for users.

Let’s go back to Apple for a moment. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, Apple didn’t invent the personal computing market: Olivetti invented the PC with the Progamma 101 in 1965, when the Steves Wozniak and Jobs were still in school. HP, Xerox, Wang, and IBM all offered personal computer models of their own. But it was the Apple II that made computing affordable and accessible to the home.

Which is exactly the same trick that Apple pulled thirty-some-odd years later with the iPod, and later the iPhone. Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player. It didn’t invent the cell phone. It didn’t invent the touchscreen, or mobile e-mail, or that cool portrait/landscape switching that we now take for granted. What Apple did was combine these technologies in a way that had never been tried before.

The iPhone wasn’t the most technologically robust phone on the market — remember when everyone was up in arms because the first two iPhone models were only on 2G? But it was the first that presented a compelling case for how people could use a smartphone in their everyday lives.

The “innovation” was in optimizing their product to reflect the company’s very specific vision for how people should interact with technology. That vision continues through today: Even the Woz agrees that Apple is plenty innovative, even if its lack of really new products indicates a gap in inventiveness, which is a different topic.

And you see it again and again in all segments.

Uber didn’t invent cabs. It just invented a better way to call and pay for them that took advantage of the smartphone platform.

Tesla didn’t invent electric cars. It just invented a better way to manufacture them that lets them drive further, faster. (Although Tesla holds a bunch of well-deserved patents for their battery and charger technology — patents that theyopened up this week to encourage people to build on their inventions.)

Since CITEworld is an enterprise IT blog, let’s take a look at an enterprise IT company: Okta, the single sign-on cloud identity company which this week raised a hefty $75 million round of funding, today unveils a new user experience (UX).

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Marketing to the Data Driven Customer

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 300x99 Marketing to the Data Driven Customer

By Gerry Murray

The digital native generation is bringing new expectations to brand relationships. They are mobile first, crowd sourced, and data savvy. Their first and most frequent interaction with your brand will be digital and mobile. They find out what’s cool, what’s trending, and what’s most likely to work best for them from their social networks. They don’t have emotional attachments to brands because the product is compelling or the advertising is cool. Their emotional engagement comes from unexpected insights that make them more successful. This is the new basis of customer loyalty, advocacy, and lifetime value.

Of course you still need a compelling product and cool ads (or messaging.) But once the prospect is a customer, continual engagement depends on over the top data driven insights. It’s no longer enough to just sell the hammers and saws and let the buyer go build their house. You need to monitor how they are using the hammer and saw. You need to deliver success by guiding their use of your product based on the behavior of your most successful customers. You need to leverage your position as the center of your customer universe to share best practices quickly and efficiently. The only way to do that at scale is through data.

Data Ownership vs Data Stewardship

In between the lines, you should be hearing a new philosophy with respect to customer data. Even though legally you “own” it, the data driven customer expects you to act as a data steward. You must treat their data as an asset to be used for their benefit, not just as the basis for driving revenue. Everything you provide to your customers should be designed to bring data back. Your customers should learn that the more data they provide, the more value they get in return – without negative side effects like having their data sold to an irrelevant ad network. Give to get and maintain the trust.

This has tremendous implications. Not only for marketers. Data marketing requires coordination with product development, IT, finance, fulfillment, point of sale, customer support, consulting services, sales. All these groups interact with customers and capture data on different aspects of their behavior – product usage, purchasing, problem resolution, planning, advocacy, etc. They all need to be understood to identify the most successful customers and the traits that drive their success. You can create tiers of services based on the level at which customer provide data. You can create cohorts of customers that exclude direct competitors. You can support exchanges within your customer ecosystem that enable strategic accounts to benefit from preferred peers. You can be extremely creative about how you structure your data marketing services.

The message is that in a world of shrinking product cycles, cheap knockoffs, and copycat services, data marketing is the new source of differentiation. No one else has the data you (should) have on how customers can be most successful with your products. Use it to attract and retain the best and leave the rest to your competitors.

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US World Cup fans are digitally active


Almost one-third (31%) of American soccer fans are more likely to use multiple devices to watch games from the FIFA World Cup 2014 and almost two-thirds (64%) plan to watch at least one game online, a new survey has shown.

Based on responses from 25,000 US adults, including Spanish-speakers, consumer insights firm Experian Marketing Services expected fans to embrace World Cup broadcasts across multiple platforms.

Specifically, it found 60% were more likely to use their phone to keep up with sports coverage, 65% were more likely to stream video from a work computer and 60% were likely to use sports apps on their phones during a typical week.

Furthermore, 37% were more likely to use a digital tablet and 20% were more likely to multi-task while watching TV, the report stated.

Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Experian, suggested this was a sign of how mainstream digital viewing is becoming among American fans, who he said didn’t care how they watched coverage, as long as it’s readily available.

He added that the tournament, which started on June 12 and lasts until July 14, will also provide good opportunities for marketers.

“The World Cup is a unique event for viewers but also for marketers because it attracts a fully engaged, globally diverse audience that loves to shop and engage with brands for an entire month,” he said.

Experian found that World Cup fans are 29% more likely to have a strong connection with brands placed in the context of TV shows, he stated, and they are also more likely to buy goods and services – unlike viewers of the Olympics.

Fans’ online search behaviour will be monitored throughout the tournament, he added, and this has already revealed that ESPN is the most popular website for updates while Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal is the most searched player.

Separately, an infographic from Kantar Media about sports-related activity in Latin America has shown that 32% of Brazilians, who played football at some point over the past year, take part in promotions via mobile phones.

How Comments Shape Perceptions of Sites’ Quality—and Affect Traffic

The Atlantic

There’s a game I like to play sometimes. It’s called “How many Internet comments do I have to read until I lose faith in humanity?” All too often, the answer is: one comment.

From The Atlantic to Yahoo to YouTube, online comments are often ignorant, racist, sexist, threatening, or otherwise worthless. But you knew that already. There’s plenty of anti-comment sentiment on the web—some humorous, some more scholarly—and despite the hopes of media democratizers, there’s now widespread agreement that Internet comments are terrible. “Even in places with smart, thoughtful readers, the comment sections tend to be more like lists of unconnected ideas than genuine conversations,” The Atlantic‘s Rebecca Rosen wrote in 2011. Some publications, like Popular Science, have given up on comment sections all together.

A couple of weeks ago, National Journal changed its comments policy, opting to eliminate comments on most stories as a way to stem the flood of abuse that appeared on the site. Naturally the comment-section reaction to that announcement helped reinforce the reason editors said comments had to go in the first place.

For all the boycott threats and comparisons to Hitler, though… the site seems to be doing better now. If anything, user engagement has increased since the comment policy changed. Pages views per visit increased by more than 10 percent. Page views per unique visitor increased 14 percent. Return visits climbed by more than 20 percent. Visits of only a single page decreased, while visits of two pages or more increased by almost 20 percent.

What happened here?

One theory: By cutting out comments, the site is better able to draw attention to its most deserving content—the articles themselves.

This intrigued me because I found it somewhat counterintuitive. I supported removing comments not because I thought traffic would spike but because it seemed a way to better preserve civil discourse; I assumed we’d lose some rubberneckers who gathered around the train-wreck comment section, but it seemed like a worthwhile trade. Yet the fact that traffic actually improvedsuggests that sites are better off without comments—or at least better off without unmoderated ones. That’s a lesson that other news organizations are learning. As Nieman Lab wrote last month, if news organizations aren’t moderating their comment sections, they can’t really expect them to foster quality discussion.

But what about the many sites that opt for a less hands-on approach? Plenty of journalists will tell you that they not only don’t reply to commenters, but that they don’t even read the comments to begin with. An ignored comment section can’t be all that harmful, right?

To find out, I ran a quick study using respondents from Amazon’s crowdsourcing platform Mechanical Turk. I asked 100 Americans to read a snippet of a National Journal article from late April. Half of them saw the article alone. The other half saw the article along with a representative sample of actual comments (user accounts redacted) on that article. In both groups, respondents were asked to read the article—the existence of comments was never acknowledged.

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Death to the Internet of Things


Yesterday, at Re/code’s inaugural Code Conference, Nest Labs CEO Tony Fadellused his time on stage to pontificate on his company’s recent acquisition by Google and the role of smart devices in the home. But here’s the part of Fadell’s talk that really stuck with me: 

“The Internet of Things is a term for this audience. It’s not a term for consumers. People don’t buy things, they buy an application or product for a specific purposes. So when people ask that I say ‘No, we’re not an Internet of Things company.’”

And he makes a good point. “Internet of Things” is a once-useful term that’s outstayed its welcome. It’s time to put the kibosh on the term and remember that it’s still okay to call an Internet-enabled, API-driven spade a spade. 

Nest may be the first to directly speak up against it, but in hindsight, the shift away from the term has been happening a while.

When the term “Internet of Things” was first introduced circa 1999 – around the time of the dot-com boom — it was intended to refer to the concept that machines have the potential to be better at gathering data about the physical world than humans. That meaning has mutated over the years to mean anything from better barcode scanning to fitness tracking. It was only ever intended as a concept, not a market definition. Look at CITEworld’s section by that name – it’s a concept. It’s not a product description. It’s not a business.

Cisco’s messaging has hinged on calling it the “Internet of Everything,” which serves their marketing department’s dual purposes of being catchy and not actually meaning anything. To Cisco, it seems that it’s a trend and a catch-all term, not a specific business. While it prints up its Internet of Everything posters and hones its message, Cisco is still selling routers and switches.

Meanwhile, when Samsung formally introduced its SAMI platform for crunching personal health data from multiple sources, it would have been the perfect time to start throwing around the term “Internet of Things.” Instead, even in the depths of their marketing and messaging materials seen only by the press and partners, Samsung is using the terms “smart home” and “smart car” instead. 

It makes sense that the phrase is falling out of favor — as Fadell points out, people buy specific solutions, not a “thing.” That’s why Nest sells “smart thermostats,” not “Internet of Things solutions.” Similarly, it’s why Apple is standardizing on “iBeacon” instead of “low-energy Bluetooth beacons.” To succeed, you have to sell products or platforms, not technical standards or, worse, high-level visionary concepts. It’s gotten Nest this far.

Names have power. But in a world where a watch that can take your heart rate and tell you when you’ve gotten enough exercise for the day is considered old hat, you need to demonstrate value and real-world application. “Internet of Things” is a term that was never meant to go this far and is simply past its prime as anything but a convenient catch-all.

Should publishers tweet their native ads?


Native advertising presents a Catch 22 for publishers. The more the ad resembles the editorial that surrounds it, the more effective it’s likely to be — but also the more potentially confusing to readers. In one study, more than half of respondents didn’t know what “sponsored” meant.

That dilemma is all the more amplified on social channels, which are becoming ever more important to the distribution of native ads.

“It’s a critical component of any native advertising campaign,” said Kelly Andresen, director of ad innovations and product strategy at the Washington Post. “We’ve seen an increase in brands asking to measure success by measuring social shares. Brands want to know, how are you going to promote content beyond the site?”

The result is that publishers are all over the map in how they let advertisers access their social channels — just as they vary in how they charge for native ads, who they use to create them and how they label them on their sites.

Say Media, where the edit staff are involved in creating the native ads in the first place, has no qualms about using its sites’ social accounts to promote the ads. This tweet is (discreetly) labeled sponsored, but not all tweets and posts are.

More conservative brands like Bloomberg, Vox Media and the Harvard Business Review use their social feeds to distribute native ads, but loudly demarcate tweets with the word “sponsored,” as in this Bloomberg example.

Somewhat more cautious, Time buys paid tweets and posts for native clients rather than tweeting straight from its editorial account and uses Taboola to help advertisers meet performance guarantees.

“If it comes from the editorial handle, we still have to make it clear that it’s sponsored,” said Jed Hartman, Time Inc. group publisher with oversight for Time. “If someone signs up from an editorial perspective, there’s an assumption of who they’re following and what they’re getting. We have to make sure it’s completely transparent.”

Some publishers, like The Washington Post, BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post, push out native from separate accounts that are dedicated to branded content. At the Washington Post, it’s @WPBrandStudio.

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