Advertising & Marketing Events
Event Date Location

Digiday Brand Summit

04/27/2014 - 04/29/2014 Nashville TN

Event Marketing Summit

05/07/2014 - 05/09/2014 Salt Lake CIty Utah

Digiday Programmatic Summit

05/14/2014 - 05/16/2014 New Orleans LA

Internet Week New York

05/19/2014 - 05/25/2014 New York NY

Digiday Agency Innovation Camp

06/24/2014 - 06/26/2014 Vail CO

Content Marketing World

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

lead-generation

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.

Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

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

Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

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

Tech Marketer's Guide to B2B

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

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New Expectations for CMOs

IDG Connect 0811 New Expectations for CMOs

In a new CMO report from Deloitte and Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, the 5 new CMO expectations were discussed. The 5 expectations were:

  1. Take on Topline Growth
  2. Own the Customer Experience
  3. Dig Into Data-Based Insights
  4. Operate in Real Time
  5. Master the Metrics that Matter

Are CMOs ready to face these expectations? Not really, but they’re getting there. 53% of CMOs feel the pressure to enable revenue growth, but they struggle because they don’t completely own the conversion path. This has been one of the bigger problems that CMOs are facing; they have to work across functions in order to get things done. This comes into play with the customer experience, too. CMOs now own the largest share of the customer journey, but they need to work with product and service teams in order to create an optimal customer experience across all channels. There’s no doubt that CMOs are feeling the pressure of the digital era, but with that comes big opportunity for growth and the ability to reach all of these high expectations.

Continue reading…

A Call for Digital Content Standards

IDG Connect 0811 A Call for Digital Content Standards

IT buyer frustration with finding the right marketing content to make informed purchase decisions is of great concern. Irrelevant content is a reality to a degree, but when buyers have to unnecessarily consume it because its title or description is unclear, general, or positioning fluff, it adds length to their decision timelines. For vendors, our voice of the buyer research continues to show that such low relevance is a big barrier to inclusion among a shortlist of finalists. Content creators must clarify the potential relevance of any given asset up front by giving each one some profile information for quick consideration by buyers and/or systems.

Without the ability to pre-judge a piece of content, buyers will be forced to waste more and more time wading through assets that don’t help, which adds over 20% to the time it takes to make decisions.   Want evidence? Only five years ago, buyers found relevant content about fifty percent of the time. New IDG Connect research of enterprise buyers within the US reveals the relevance hovers just over forty percent and it adds about 3.5 weeks to the buying cycle. Add on that buyers want to self-search and are busy and impatient and one thing is clear: vendors, agencies and media organizations must take more responsibility to speed the process of how one confirms the degree of relevance of a piece of content without requiring its consumption to do so. That process of force feeding is simply unfair.

IDG Connect proposes standards around how digital content is cataloged and profile information is shared with buyers and automated systems to speed getting relevant content to those who need it most. A content identification method can be simple and powerful to help increase the value of offered content.

The need is all about unintelligent assets. Beyond a clever title, they carry little that identifies them by audience, buying stage or the recently minted term persona.  Here is how we can do this.

Document-based assets should have a given location that lists its profile attributes. Rich media should do the same through abstract or description information that are attached to audio, video, tools or games. Your identification tag does not have to be like those of every other vendor. In fact, you choose attributes from among many to label the asset. You do this based on how you segment your audience and look for those attributes that will be most helpful. The ultimate number offered will be driven by the product or service, its complexity, the audience and asset scope. Here are some examples where I’ve defined the attribute for example purposes:

Continue reading…

Too Many Value Propositions Don’t Talk About Value

IDG Connect 0811 Too Many Value Propositions Don’t Talk About Value

Think about the challenge to create meaningful value propositions. They are most often me-too single words or one-liners that simply get lost in the competitive noise and do little to motivate behavior.  Vendors need to fix how they create and package value propositions beginning with understanding what a true value proposition should be.

One of the better definitions I’ve seen is from Knowledgence Associates.  A value proposition isa customer-focused description of value that demonstrates your knowledge about the customer’s experience or challenge, your specific offer to address it, underscored by what differentiates your offer from any other.

Value propositions must be defensible, sustainable, differentiating and quantifiable. They should articulate how the vendor is able to deliver needed, distinct value or impact if a buyer invests in a particular solution. It is hard work to create an effective set of value propositions. So, many marketers simply make standard product or service statements, using buzz words that are in common use within a market and tout them as value propositions. A word that often is touted as a value proposition is the word “agility.”  But the reality is that a single word that describes a feature or a capability does not make it a value proposition.  What are the challenges or goals that a prospect or customer has that agility can address?  What about your offering leads to improved agility? What does the prospect have to do to get there? What are the tangible improvements they gain along the way? The value could impact how people are allocated, how processes take place, the types of insight a solution provides that leads to clear action steps.

To define strong, customer-focused value propositions is not a simple exercise. It requires working interactively and collaboratively with a broad team that can come from marketing, finance, product management, sales, operations and customer service. The combined team effort brings forth a more complete view about what drives buyer interest by connecting specific needs directly to your solutions. Working together collaboratively will get everyone in the shoes of the customer – a place where they should stay.

Continue reading…

Where is Artificial Intelligence Heading?

IDG Connect 0811 Where is Artificial Intelligence Heading?

Between Google’s January £400 million purchase of DeepMind and IBM’s recent competition to find new uses for supercomputer Watson, the media spotlight seems to be gradually honing in on Artificial Intelligence (AI). We speak to professional insiders to find out if 2014 really is the year for AI.

“I have a list of things I expect people to do with Watson, but by unleashing it to people in Brazil and Africa and China, as well as Silicon Valley, who knows what they’ll come up with. That’s the intrigue behind having a contest,” said Jerry Cuomo, IBM fellow and CTO for WebSphere about the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, which invites software developers to produce apps that make use of Watson’s resources.

This certainly opens up a lot of scope for progression in Artificial Intelligence, especially when you consider the increased emphasis on machine learning and robotics from companies like Google, which has been gradually acquiring organisations in this space.  In December there was Boston Dynamics, in January there was UK startup DeepMind, and then there were all those smaller deals like DNNresearch along with seven robotics companies at the tail end of 2013.

So where is Artificial Intelligence likely to go in the near term, medium term and long term?

Neil Lawrence, Professor of Machine Learning at the University of Sheffield who works with colleagues on DeepMind and Google says: “The investments we are seeing [by big companies] are very large because there is a shortage of expertise in this area. In the UK we are lucky to have some leading international groups, however the number of true experts in the UK still numbers in the tens rather than the hundreds.”

“The DeepMind purchase reflects this,” he continues. “Their staff was made up in large part by recent PhD graduates from some of these leading groups. Although even in this context the 400 million dollar price tag still seems extraordinary to many in the field. The year 2014 is not the year in which these developments happened, but it may be the year in which they’ve begun to impinge upon the public consciousness.”

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Marketing 101: How to get started in lead generation

B2B Lead Blog

The challenge for anyone in B2B content marketing is to not only to create content that would impress the most experienced reader, but also to have some content that appeals to someone new to the industry.

For that reason, here is a beginner’s look at lead generation with links to many additional resources so you can dive deeper where you would like to. I’ll focus on some fundamental questions you should answer as you craft your lead gen program.

Experienced lead gen marketers reading this: What did I overlook? Please add your own advice in the comments section of this blog post.

Question #1. What do your potential customers want?

Getting leads isn’t as easy as it sounds, if it sounds easy at all. No potential customer wants to wake up in the morning and become a lead for your company.

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A Call for Digital Content Standards

IDG Connect 0811 A Call for Digital Content Standards

By Bob Johnson, VP & Principal Analyst

Content Automation Demands Better Asset Identification

IT buyer frustration with finding the right marketing content to make informed purchase decisions is of great concern. Irrelevant content is a reality to a degree, but when buyers have to unnecessarily consume it because its title or description is unclear, general, or positioning fluff, it adds length to their decision timelines. For vendors, our voice of the buyer research continues to show that such low relevance is a big barrier to inclusion among a shortlist of finalists. Content creators must clarify the potential relevance of any given asset up front by giving each one some profile information for quick consideration by buyers and/or systems.

Without the ability to pre-judge a piece of content, buyers will be forced to waste more and more time wading through assets that don’t help, which adds over 20% to the time it takes to make decisions.   Want evidence? Only five years ago, buyers found relevant content about fifty percent of the time. New IDG Connect research of enterprise buyers within the US reveals the relevance hovers just over forty percent and it adds about 3.5 weeks to the buying cycle. Add on that buyers want to self-search and are busy and impatient and one thing is clear: vendors, agencies and media organizations must take more responsibility to speed the process of how one confirms the degree of relevance of a piece of content without requiring its consumption to do so. That process of force feeding is simply unfair.

IDG Connect proposes standards around how digital content is cataloged and profile information is shared with buyers and automated systems to speed getting relevant content to those who need it most. A content identification method can be simple and powerful to help increase the value of offered content.

Continue reading 

Too Many Value Propositions Don’t Talk About Value

IDG Connect 0811 Too Many Value Propositions Don’t Talk About Value

By Bob Johnson, VP & Principal Analyst

Think about the challenge to create meaningful value propositions. They are most often me-too single words or one-liners that simply get lost in the competitive noise and do little to motivate behavior.  Vendors need to fix how they create and package value propositions beginning with understanding what a true value proposition should be.

One of the better definitions I’ve seen is from Knowledgence Associates.  A value proposition isa customer-focused description of value that demonstrates your knowledge about the customer’s experience or challenge, your specific offer to address it, underscored by what differentiates your offer from any other.

Value propositions must be defensible, sustainable, differentiating and quantifiable. They should articulate how the vendor is able to deliver needed, distinct value or impact if a buyer invests in a particular solution. It is hard work to create an effective set of value propositions. So, many marketers simply make standard product or service statements, using buzz words that are in common use within a market and tout them as value propositions. A word that often is touted as a value proposition is the word “agility.”  But the reality is that a single word that describes a feature or a capability does not make it a value proposition.  What are the challenges or goals that a prospect or customer has that agility can address?  What about your offering leads to improved agility? What does the prospect have to do to get there? What are the tangible improvements they gain along the way? The value could impact how people are allocated, how processes take place, the types of insight a solution provides that leads to clear action steps.

Continue reading

Seeking a Lead on News, Network Turns to Data-Mining Media Group

The New York Times

When Ronan Farrow, the young human rights lawyer with a Hollywood lineage, debuts as an MSNBC host on Monday, he will have some prodigious computing power backing him up.

MSNBC has struck a partnership with Vocativ, a digital news start-up, to provide the new program — “Ronan Farrow Daily” — with up to three taped video segments a week. Vocativ mines the Internet for exclusive news and other content with data-collection software traditionally used by governments and corporations.

Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, said Vocativ’s marriage of big data and conventional reporting was an innovative approach to journalism. “It is an additional tool for us,” he said. “And who knows where it is going to go for the entire NBC News group.”

News organizations are in a mad rush to team with new companies that they hope can give them an edge in finding story leads. In forming alliances, they are also seeking to attract younger viewers who are more likely to get their news from sites like Twitter and Facebook than from the evening news.

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Introduction: The 7 Principles of Content Optimization

IDG Connect 08111 Introduction: The 7 Principles of Content Optimization

If you are concerned about the expanding demands to create digital content for prospects and customers, your feelings are well founded. The surface of the communication bubble continues to expand in every direction, driven by fragmented audiences, expanding buying team size, new rich media formats and social media.

You simply can’t be everywhere you want to be without content creation costs consuming an ever greater portion of your marketing budget. However, you can optimize what you spend and the time you invest by paying attention to how you create content. I suggest you do it based on the seven principles outlined below.

The Time is Now

The timing has never been more relevant. If you truly want to maximize alignment with your audience needs and be relevant to buying team members, you have to get better LEVERAGE out of team efforts. Otherwise forget it – the communication bubble will consume you. Content creation will take up a greater percentage of budget dollars. Sales and channels will continue to complain about what you create.  End result: your customers will find what you offer less and less relevant.

Continue reading for the 7 principles 

Forget 2014 Marketing Predictions – Instead Focus on Marketing Imperatives

IDG Connect 0811 Forget 2014 Marketing Predictions – Instead Focus on Marketing Imperatives

I’ve read through many predictions for the coming year about marketing and sales, but feel that in reality making predictions is meaningless unless marketers address several foundational requirements. So predict all you want, but what really is important is a few key imperatives.

We are overrun with talk about content marketing, the importance of challenger sales techniques, and the impact of big data on marketing to and reaching the customer. Stop listening and get busy with a focus on three imperatives because without them nothing else matters.   These imperatives come down to three words: alignment, relevance and research.

1. Alignment is about how well your value propositions, offering and approach match buyer preferences. From our research we see value propositions are frequently miss-stated, missing or misaligned with what buyers consider important (up to 30% of digital assets fail to touch on them). According to Lisa Dennis, President of Knowledgence Associates and author of the book360 Degrees of the Customer, marketers have a very inconsistent understanding of value propositions and need to think of several success keys:

“Buyers too often mistake features and functions for value propositions,” according to Lisa.  “After assessing thousands of pieces of content and working with technology vendors for over 15 years on value proposition development, it’s clear that we need a reality check on what a value proposition is and what it is not.”

Many technology value propositions are not distinct, are thinly veiled advertisements, and generally end up sounding the same. “The key is to map your value propositions to your differentiators, ones that actually matter to your target audience.”  Dennis continues, “in every workshop we do, we see that how teams define value tend to be generic, not defensible and worse yet, can’t be quantified in any way.  The best value propositions are formed from an outward-in perspective – how the buyer would see it, how they would describe it, and why it is important to them.”

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