Events
Event Date Location

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

Data+: Analyze, Predict, Monetize

09/07/2014 - 09/09/2014 Phoenix AZ

iMedia Brand Summit: Marketing in an Always-On World

09/07/2014 - 09/10/2014 Coronado CA

Content Marketing World

09/08/2014 - 09/11/2014 Cleveland OH

Video Insider Summit

09/14/2014 - 09/17/2014 Montauk NY

Ad Age Digital Conference San Francisco

09/16/2014 San Francisco CA

Ad Age CMO Strategy Summit

09/17/2014 San Francisco CA

CSO Perspectives on Defending Against the Pervasive Attacker

09/17/2014 Boston MA

IT Roadmap Conference & Expo

09/17/2014 San Jose CA

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UK: More Consumers Buy on Mobile

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 UK: More Consumers Buy on Mobile

According to a recent study by xAd and Telmetrics which looked at the mobile behaviors of 2,000 UK tablet and smartphone users, up to 46% of UK consumers now use mobile devices as their primary tool for purchase decision making, while one in four use mobile devices as their exclusive shopping research tool. From comparison shopping to looking up nearby store locations to searching for store contact info, consumers are doing more and more purchase research and general browsing on their mobile devices, even while at home with a computer nearby. In fact, according to the study, 60% of those surveyed reported being at home the last time they accessed their smartphones.

As consumers turn to mobile to meet their varying research needs, they are becoming more comfortable with these devices as a primary decision-making tool. Satisfaction with the information available on smartphones in particular increased 18% since last year’s study.  

Mobile Advertising Has a Bigger Influence on In-Store Purchases Than You May Expect

Retail was the most popular category for mobile purchases, with 35% of survey respondents completing their transactions on their mobile devices. However, the impact of increasing mobile commerce activity isn’t limited to on-device or even online behaviors. Of those surveyed, 31% reported visiting a physical store at some point during their mobile search process. The study showed that mobile devices are frequently being used to not only research products and services, but also to find nearby store locations and store contact info. Ultimately, 37% of study respondents completed their purchases offline, with 20% of Telecom and Insurance shoppers completing purchases via phone.

Most Consumers Are Open to Influence, But Make It Quick 

When first turning to their mobile devices, less than 20% of respondents knew exactly what they were looking for, making 80% completely open to purchase influence. Consumers are also expecting purchase gratification more quickly than they have in the past. Nearly 50% reported wanting to make their purchase within a day and 30% are looking to make a purchase within the hour (up 52% since 2013).

Competitive Pricing and Easy Access to Store Contact Info Are Biggest Purchase Drivers for Mobile Consumers

According to the study, three out of four UK consumers used their mobile devices for price comparison and 39% made a purchase because the product/service was the right price. Store proximity and easy access to contact info are also important factors. Over 50% of respondents expect to find a location within eight kilometers of their current location, underscoring the importance of accurate location data, while up to 40% of shoppers made phone calls to the businesses they searched.

Fore more blogs and research from IDG Connect, click here 

Neura’s novel approach: Baking intelligence into connected devices

CITEworld

A well-known problem in the Internet of Things is that many connected devices operate in silos. Your Fitbit doesn’t communicate with your Nest thermostat, for example.

One way some companies are trying to solve this problem is to create a hub, like Revolv. The idea is for all devices to connect to the hub, which serves as a central point for users to control all the devices and allows certain events to trigger activity in different devices.

Neura, a startup chosen as part of Microsoft Ventures’ accelerator program, has a novel approach to the hub concept. “The phone and potentially in the future the watch is how we treat a hub,” said Gilad Meiri, CEO of Neura.

Neura aims to be like a central clearinghouse for IoT data collected from fitness trackers, home automation products, and phones. But then it interprets that data into useful information that it supplies to other devices.

Here’s one scenario. Neura works around the idea of events in a person’s life. An important event could be waking up in the morning. Neura may figure out that a user has woken up based on information from a variety of devices like a sleep sensor, a Nest thermostat, motion sensors in a phone, and historical patterns.

Once Neura has detected such an event, it supplies it to partners that subscribe to that event data. For instance, a TV vendor might want to know a user has woken up in order to turn on the TV to the user’s favorite morning program. Waking up could trigger events like turning on the coffee maker or starting up the hot water heater.

“This is our model. To understand people and events and allow devices and services to subscribe to that,” Meiri said.

Neura offers its business customers a confidence scale around the information it delivers. For instance, the TV app may not want to turn on the TV unless Neura has 100 percent confidence that the user is awake because it wouldn’t be a great user experience if the TV turned on while the user is still asleep. But the app on the hot water heater might instead like to know when Neura is 60 percent sure the end user is awake since it takes some time to heat the water and it might be better to err on starting to heat the water before the user is awake.

Healthcare applications envisioned by Neura get even more interesting. Neura could detect that a user is driving to the gym and predict that in 20 minutes the user’s glucose level is likely to drop, based on historical data collected from the user’s glucose meter during previous workouts at the gym. The service can suggest to the user that it’s a good time to eat an apple.

Neura could also provide information to services so that, for example, a music service like Spotify can get a notification that a user only has 15 minutes left to her run so that the service can start playing music that might motivate her through the final stretch.

On the backend, Neura ingests the sensor data into its translation machine that it calls Harmony. It’s an abstraction layer that normalizes the data that’s coming from different sources. On top of that sits what Neura calls its Trac Event Machine which looks for patterns in user behavior. Its artificial intelligence layer makes sense of the data.

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Tablet boom helps digital magazines boost sales share

Marketing Week

Total digital sales increased 26 per cent year on year to 369,040, a slowdown on the 59 per cent growth seen in the same period last year. This was in part due to a slowdown in the number of magazines reporting digital sales, which only increased by 10 per cent to 95 magazines, compared to a 43 per cent increase in 2013.

That sales growth was enough to outpace the market, meaning digital publications now make up 2.9 per cent of magazines’ total circulation, up from 2.3 per cent a year ago. That is still just a tiny proportion of overall sales, with print circulation at 12.22m, a 3.8 per cent fall year on year and an acceleration of the 1.9 per cent drop seen in the same period a year ago.

However, a number of publishers have questioned the veracity of the ABC figures given that many now have a wide-ranging audience across the internet and mobile devices, not just through digital editions.

Barry McIlheney, CEO of the Professional Publishers’ Association, says the growth of digital editions is “encouraging” for the sector and highlights the growing demand for digital content.

He adds: “The figures in this report reiterate how shifting consumer media habits continue to impact upon today’s modern, multi-platform magazine brands. The growth of digital editions is encouraging for the sector, and it should also be remembered that this ABC report does not include the increasing number of other ways – websites, live events, social media, etc. – in which the magazine brands of today engage directly with their consumers.”

NME, which saw its average print circulation drop under 15,000 for the first time, claims to reach more than 3.6 million people across the UK.

Marcus Rich, CEO at NME’s owner IPC Media, says: “Our core focus is on expanding the overall reach of our powerful, market-leading brands. We continue to look for even more ways to satisfy and engage our consumers’ passions and in the past 12 months have launched new events and experiences, products and apps in a variety of sectors. We also look for new and exciting ways to leverage our portfolio of brands for the benefit of our advertising partners.”

The Economist’s digital edition saw the biggest increase in sales, up 72 per cent to 21,780, helping it overtake Private Eye as the most popular news magazine overall with average sales of 223,730. Total Film had the second highest average circulation at 14,091, an increase of 16 per cent, followed by BBC Top Gear magazine with 13,553.

TV choice remains the most popular paid-for magazine with total sales of 1.3 million, although its circulation dropped slightly, by 5.2 per cent. Northern & Shell’s magazine suffered a tough quarter, with OK!, New and Star all reporting double-digit declines.

Programmatic Moves Further Toward Premium Future

eMarketer

It’s no secret programmatic buying is quickly expanding throughout the digital ad ecosystem—and beyond. A June 2014 survey by AOL Platforms found that 84% of US ad execs surveyed used programmatic to purchase display ads, while six in 10 used the technology to buy mobile ads. Programmatic video was nearly as popular.

177919 Programmatic Moves Further Toward Premium Future

And spend is going up across many channels. Respondents indicated they planned to increase programmatic spending on display, video and mobile ads the most in the next six months. And while 8% of respondents said they were buying TV ads programmatically already, 12% said they intended to up spending in this area in the coming months.

Publishers, as well as brand advertisers and agencies, reported a number of significant benefits of programmatic technology. Tops on the brand/agency side was economic efficiency, cited by more than three-quarters of respondents, while two in three found the targeting beneficial. Organizational efficiency came in third at 57%. On the publisher side, the top three were the same, but more tightly grouped and with targeting slightly ahead.

177920 Programmatic Moves Further Toward Premium Future

There are challenges too—and big ones. Transparency was a problem for 72% of brand executives and nearly as many agency executives, while most publishers did not see it as an issue. All three segments surveyed agreed inventory quality was a challenge.

Allie Kline, CMO of AOL Platforms, pointed up the overall speed with which programmatic technology has been adopted by publishers and advertisers alike across a number of platforms, as well as its transformational potential in the digital ecosystem.

But more will be required from parties on both sides of the equation to take programmatic to the next level. “It’s about making sure there’s a relationship beyond just dumping inventory onto a platform,” she told eMarketer—key to making brand and agency concerns about transparency less problematic.

She also noted that programmatic should be looked at as a technology that could “match the right brand with the right publisher,” not just a tool for getting the best possible bids on inventory.

Video publishers look beyond ad revenue with YouTube strategies

Digiday

For CollegeHumor, YouTube is no laughing matter, even if it doesn’t produce much direct revenue from ads.

With over 7.6 million subscribers, CollegeHumor has crafted a YouTube strategy that isn’t relying on making money directly on ads. Instead, it uses what is the world’s second-largest search engine to test content’s virality and distribute brand content for advertisers.

CollegeHumor can post a video to YouTube and know immediately whether it will go viral, according to CEO and co-founder Ricky Van Veen. YouTube acts, in effect, like a giant, global focus group.

“With such a big subscriber base, we get a very early sense of what the reaction to the video will be,” said Van Veen. “If it’s a hit (say, the Adam Ruins Everything videos), we can make a decision right away to put more similar videos into production and blast the link out to all our partners.”

In that sense, the immediate reception or popularity of any given video on YouTube helps inform subsequent production and marketing decisions at CollegeHumor.

But the biggest perk surfaces during CollegeHumor’s sales meetings. When the site pitches brand-sponsored content to clients like American Eagle, it promises those videos will reach its huge YouTube audience as well as its own site visitors.

“YouTube used to be just a nice add-on to our website, now it’s a big strategic piece of the whole brand’s digital presence,” Van Veen told Digiday.

Many digital publishers, from the older companies like the New York Times to startups like Vox Media, have embraced a hybrid video strategy. They host videos on custom players, or use software from vendors like Ooyala and Brightcove, to serve their own, more profitable video ads.

That’s CollegeHumor’s approach. It hosts videos on its proprietary player first, keeping all the ad revenue generated by each video view. After a few weeks of exclusivity, CollegeHumor will post that content on YouTube, maximizing its reach.

Even though YouTube owns a fifth of the U.S. digital video market, the constant deluge of content (100 new hours of video every minute) depresses ad rates and leaves all but the titans of YouTube with a tiny slice of the total ad spend. Publishers aren’t keen on YouTube’s revenue split, either — the company keeps 45 percent of ad revenue for itself — but YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki firmly refuses to reconsider the rates.

“I don’t see [the revenue split] changing, so it then just becomes a ‘what you make of it’ situation,” said Van Veen. “That means having YouTube be a part of an overall package for an advertiser.”

YouTube ads do generate a bit of cash for CollegeHumor. While Van Veen declined to disclose exact figures, he said ads sold on the channel have eclipsed CollegeHumor’s video production budget for the past six months. But CollegeHumor isn’t making the next Avatar movie; most of its videos are low-budget sketches shot in the office. And Van Veen makes clear that YouTube ad revenue is not the main draw.

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The future of marketing: Precognition, bots, and user agents

CITEworld

The movie 2002 Minority Report nailed what the future of CRM will look like — but not in the scene you are probably remembering.

The scene everybody remembers has the Tom Cruise character walking through a department store where he is targeted, by name, by such brands as Lexus and Bulgari based on biometric readings taken from his irises. But the true bit of prescience in the movie is the specialized PreCrime police department’s ability to predict who will commit a murder and then stop it before it happens.

A day in the life

To really understand this scenario, let’s consider Ava, a consumer in 2039. She’s not much for advertising or interacting with flashy brands — ads for Lexus and Bulgari would basically roll right off her. She is more into sustainable living, farm-to-table food, support emerging market micro-commerce, and animal rescue — not exactly topics or channels that today’s marketers or companies can really reach. But in 2039 that will hardly matter.

Lisa Arthur, CMO for Teradata Marketing Applications, describes a day in Ava’s life. She gets into her smart car and it asks if she wants to go to her usual round of stops that she makes on the weekend. Ava says yes and they drive to her favorite organic grocery store, which primarily sells small, local organic labels. She walks into the store, which recognizes her — or at least her mobile or wearable device (the form factor of this device still a bit hazy from our 25-year view, but you get the idea). Instantly, it knows that she always buys a particular brand of bread when she is there. The store sadly informs her they are out at the moment and would she like to order some? Ava says yes and continues to shop.

While she’s shopping, she sees several handcrafted items from artists in Africa and thinks they would make nice gifts for the upcoming holiday season. She presses her device against them, buys them, and at the same time has them shipped to the recipients. Ava won’t have to schlep them home to package and mail them out later. Then it’s off to the gym, where the man next to her is rocking out to music on a pair of headphones that catches Ava’s eye. He lets her try them out and she decides to buy them. Presto goes the device, but this time Ava isn’t sending them elsewhere — she has bought them for herself and they are waiting for her at home later that afternoon.

We see glimmers of this world here and there today, in such developments as predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, natural language systems, big data, and the internet of things. Networks, channels, and data will be integrated to the point where people can communicate and interact with brands and service providers like they were people on the street to whom you would say hello.

Judgments about consumers and potential consumers will be made instantaneously, based on an enormous amount of information, much of which comes from everyday objects around the house and in the store and workplace. As for actual voice or electronic or in-person conversions with customers, those will be few and far between. They won’t be necessary: Like the specialized PreCrime police department in Minority Report, retailers and other service providers will just know.

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Facebook Launches Cross-Device Reporting

MediaPost

Being able to track campaign performance across devices has become increasingly crucial to advertisers as consumer attention shifts from desktop to mobile screens. To that end, Facebook on Wednesday rolled out cross-device reporting for ads, allowing marketers to see how people are moving among devices and across mobile apps and the Web.

“Facebook already offers targeting, delivery and conversion measurement across devices. With the new cross-device report, advertisers are now able to view the devices on which people see ads and the devices on which conversions subsequently occur,” stated a Facebook blog post today.

As an example, the company said an advertiser can view the number of customers who clicked an ad on an iPhone, but then later converted on desktop, or the number of people who saw an ad on desktop, and later converted on an Android tablet.

In a recent analysis conducted between May 15 and July 24, Facebook found that among people who viewed a mobile Facebook ad in the U.S., nearly a third (32%) eventually clicked on the same ad on the desktop within 28 days. The conversion rate was lower over shorter periods of time. So within a week of seeing a mobile ad, 22% converted on the desktop, and after a day, 11%.

The cross-device reporting relies on data from Facebook’s conversion pixel, a piece of tracking code used in conjunction with the social network’s software development kit (SDK), to get reports on which device someone saw an ad and eventually converted. The overall aim is to go beyond last-click attribution to see how different devices and app actions influenced a click.

To see cross-device conversions for campaigns, advertisers can go to the Facebook Ad Reports page, click Edit Columns and select Cross-Device on the left-hand menu.

Samsung buys SmartThings in ambitious push to connect your home

IDG News Service

Samsung has agreed to buy SmartThings, a two-year-old startup that makes software to connect household objects and let them be controlled from afar via smartphone.

The deal, announced Thursday, gives Samsung a solid foothold in the burgeoning “Internet of things” market. IoT generally involves connecting objects such as cameras, sensors and appliances using a wireless Internet connection and controlling them or collecting data.

“SmartThings supports an open and growing ecosystem of developers, who are producing new types of connected devices and unique apps in the cloud that change how everyday objects work,” Samsung said in a press release.

Terms were not disclosed, but a report in Re/code cited a roughly $200 million price tag. Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SmartThings makes a mobile app for controlling a range of devices, as well as a software platform for outside developers and device makers. Samsung has become active in this area with its Tizen mobile operating system, which is designed to let consumers control utilities and appliances with their smartphones and other mobile devices.

The acquisition should broaden Samsung’s efforts and let it expand the SmartThings platform to more partners and devices.

SmartThings will operate independently under SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson but will move from Washington, D.C., to Samsung’s Open Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California, where Samsung works on bringing new types of software applications to its hardware.

“While we will remain operationally independent, joining forces with Samsung will enable us to support all of the leading smartphone vendors, devices, and applications,” Hawkinson said in a blog post.

IoT activity has heated up over the past year. In a high-profile move earlier this year, Google announced its acquisition of Nest, the smart thermostat maker, for $3.2 billion.

SmartThings got its start on Kickstarter.

Sales of wearables set to rocket despite current ‘chaotic’ stage of development

MarketingWeek

Sales of smart wearable devices are forecast to grow from 9.7 million in 2013 to 135 million in 2018, according to CCS Insight’s global forecast. Wrist-worn devices are expected to account for 87 per cent of the devices sold in 2018, which will be made up of 68 million smart watches and 50 million smart bands.

“Quantified self” devices – which track things such as steps taken, sleep and calories burned – are currently the fastest growing category of wearables, which CCS Insight says can be attributed to their “clear purpose” and affordable prices. The researchers predict around 7 per cent of the population in developed markets will own a quantified self device by the end of 2018.

Such devices are likely to be popular Christmas gifts this year, fuelling strong growth of wearable sales in the final quarter. The researchers predict wearable shipments will rise 129 per cent year on year to 22 million in 2014.

In the second half of 2014, standalone cellular wearables with their own SIM cards that do not require a connection to a separate smartphone or computer are expected to become more prominent in the wearables category. However, these devices will face “significant challenges” as many consumers will be reluctant to take out additional contracts with their mobile operators, CCS Insight says.

Looking further ahead, CCS Insight forecasts strong future growth in smart watches, as the company expects many smart band manufacturers to update their ranges by adding devices with screens. By 2018 smart watches are expected to displace fitness bands altogether as their capabilities are expanded and prices come down.

Marina Koytcheva, CCS Insight director of forecasting, says: “The wearables market is in its Stone Age right now. There needs to be huge improvements to broaden their appeal. This is particularly acute when it comes to devices for women: wearables need to quickly move on from black, clunky devices – fortunately we’re starting to see the first steps in this direction.”

The category faces several challenges, as consumers struggle to come to terms with whether some wearables – such as Google Glass – are socially acceptable and brands in the sector also need to overcome privacy concerns over data collection.

Koytcheva says the market could still yet be changed “beyond recognition” if a major player such as Apple – which is reported to be developing an iWatch – enters the category.

She adds: “History shows us that when Apple enters a market it can reshape the way people think about a product.”

North America leads in terms of wearables adoption, with more than 40 per cent of all wearable devices currently in use in the region. The CCS Insight forecast says this is partially because many wearable companies – such as Google, Fitbit and Jawbone – are based there, but also because US consumers tend to be early technology adopters.

However, consumers in Western Europe are expected to buy more wearables than those in North America by 2016.

Facebook is best for small businesses

Warc

Facebook is by far the most effective social media platform for driving offline sales for small businesses, according to a new report.

Digital marketing company G/O Digital surveyed 1,000 US users aged 18 to 29 for a study on Facebook advertising and found that 84% of respondents said local deals or offers on that site were a major influence on their purchasing decisions. Further, 25% said “it’s very important and I would be likely to make an in-store purchase within a week”.

Facebook offers that could be redeemed at a local store were by far the most persuasive marketing tactic. Some 40% cited this as being most likely to influence them to make an in-store purchase at a local or small business.

Promoted Posts were effective for 12% and photos/videos for 11%, while loyalty app promotions gained a 10% response.

Facebook was also way out in front when respondents were asked which social media channel they found most useful for researching products or services before visiting a local business. Fully 62% opted for Facebook, with Pinterest (12%), Twitter (11%) and Instagram (9%) trailing in its wake.

“The most bang-for-your-buck way for many small businesses to drive in-store activity and sales through social marketing in the short term is going to be Facebook,” Jeff Fagel, G/O Digital CMO, told ClickZ.

“Pinterest and Twitter should definitely have a place in their larger social marketing strategy, but will serve different purposes and support different objectives,” he added.

Amid the ongoing debate about privacy, and recent revelations surrounding Facebook’s manipulation of news feeds, G/O Digital’s research suggested that local relevance and personalisation might be more important for users.

It found that just over one third (36%) of respondents felt that “ads that are targeted based on your personal interests and past purchases” were most likely to influence them to interact with Facebook ads from small businesses. More than one quarter considered “ads that are targeted based on current location” to be most influential.

“It’s all about relevancy,” Fagel declared. “For example, if you offer me $2 off a hot dog at a baseball game, I won’t mind having my mobile viewing experience interrupted by this ad, because it’s solving an immediate, relevant need that I have: feeding my hunger and giving me a discount at the same time.”