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Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

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

Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

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

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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Leveraging Social Media for Lead Generation

Business 2 Community

In order to leverage social media to fill your sales funnel, you’ll need to invest in a tool that will help your business filter content and target influencers and prospective customers. Many small businesses are using social media to build awareness about their services, but you can go much further and target and engage prospective customers. Before you invest in any of these tools, make sure that you’re also doing the basics when it comes to your businesses’ social media profile and content generation.

  1. Branded Profile – All of your profiles are branded and have a consistent look and feel. Social media isn’t any different than your website, collateral or a sales package. Your brand image and message should be clear.
  2. Consistent Schedule of Content – You’ll need a consistent schedule of content to nurture your audience and grow your community. Keep your message conversational.
  3. Relevant Content – Most businesses have a lot to share. Think about how you can educate your audience and showcase your expertise. For example, if your business targets marketers and small businesses, then your content should help those prospects solve problems and make their day-to-day activities easier. Hubspot’s article on mixing up visual content is very helpful.
  4. Assets – Most businesses have many assets already created. Take a look at past campaigns, whitepapers and informational content that you can leverage in the social space. It’s not always about creating content from scratch.
  5. Monitoring and Listening – In addition to publishing, you will need to listen and monitor what’s being said about your business and what prospects are saying about your industry. There are several free tools that can help you get into the flow of the conversation.

Here are a few lead generation tools that help you find your target audience, engage and fill your sales funnel.

Socedo – Is a great tool to use with Twitter and LinkedIn. With this tool, you set up key words that will filter the relevant leads for your business. Socedo allows you to also establish automated messages to start engaging with prospects immediately. The dashboard feature helps you manage how those prospects respond so that you can convert them into customers. I like the free 14-day trial feature, which allows you to take it for a test run. Pricing is based on the number of prospects you generate and is relatively low.

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Microsoft Proving it is a Software and Services Company

ZDNet

If anyone still had doubts about whether Microsoft has moved from a “devices and services” company to a “productivity and platforms” one, those misgivings should be gone as of today, March 1.

As rumored, Microsoft has struck a deal with Samsung to preload several Microsoft applications and services on the the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Android phone. At least so far, this news looks to overshadow the new low-/mid-range Windows Phone devices expected to be unveiled by Microsoft and its mobile OEM partners at Mobile World Congress this week.

The Galaxy S6 comes with all the key Google apps preinstalled, as one would expect. But it also is preloaded with Microsoft’s OneNote note-taking app and OneDrive cloud storage app/service. Samsung’s spec sheet says the S6 and S6 Edge will offer users 115 GB of free OneDrive storage for two years. From screen shots on various sites, it looks like Skype is preloaded on these new Samsung devices, too, and available via a Microsoft apps folder.

Microsoft’s mobile Office apps for Android are not part of the preload deal, which was originally reported, and later amended, by SamMobile.com. Users who want Office Mobile for Android can download it; updated versions of the mobile Office apps for Android phones are coming at a future date.

In recent months, Microsoft’s interest and ability to build really nice cross-platform applications for iOS and Android has become more evident. OneNote, OneDrive, Skype and the evolving Office universal apps are available for iOS, Android and Windows/ Windows Phone.

But today is the first time (I believe) that Microsoft has struck a deal with a non-Windows/Windows Phone OEM to preload any of its apps and services on its devices. Technically, I guess you could count the Apple-Microsoft deal via which Microsoft’s Bing search is the Web-search fallback for Siri as another example of an OEM preload deal. But to me, today’s Microsoft-Samsung deal is more of a true first in this category.

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Getting Maximum Value from Data Marketing

IDG Connect 0811 Getting Maximum Value from Data Marketing

A social media expert with over 15 years’ experience in digital, Christian works with some of the biggest platforms and programmes on TV, taking social media data and making it into relevant, interesting and engaging content. He currently works at performance marketing agency Albion Cell, delivering data-driven social media strategies for clients including King.com, Jose Cuervo and Ubuntu.

Marketers are often unduly daunted by the prospect of big data, possibly because the sky really is the limit when it comes to what can be done and how much can be collected. There is also a problem in that despite it being a ‘hot topic’ for so long, most businesses still aren’t leveraging new data technologies and techniques nearly enough.

Data presents an enormous opportunity to better understand your customers and their purchase behaviour, and then hone your marketing based on these insights.

Even if you are planning to outsource your data efforts to a consultant or agency, it’s a good idea for any marketer to have a basic, practical understanding of the key aspects involved. The more intelligently targeted your marketing is, the more efficient it will be.

1) Choose the right data storage for your business

There are effectively two types of data storage: on-premise or off-premise. While off-premise is more cost effective (and used successfully by online-only businesses like ASOS and Amazon, which have been able to create their systems from scratch entirely in the cloud), there are always issues of access and privacy or security. On-premise is more expensive due to high server costs, but gives businesses full control over the data – banks, for example, use data warehouses to minimise risk. When you’re deciding which system to use, consider your priorities and choose accordingly.

It should be noted that some businesses do a hybrid approach, but the challenge here comes when you want to combine your cloud data with any on-premise data to do deeper, more thorough marketing. Lloyds Bank has successfully built a very sophisticated hybrid system but there currently isn’t a way of combining on and off-premise data very easily or efficiently.

2) Only store what you need

The key point you should think about is what, from the enormous volumes of data you can collect, you actually need to collect and store. If you store only the relevant data you can be far more efficient.

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Hands On With a Working Apple Watch

PCMag

This is the second time PCMag has had some hands-on time with the Apple Watch. The first time was in September, when Cupertino’s smartwatch was first announced. We were not allowed to put it on, and although we could tap a few buttons, it was pretty clear the watch was in demo mode and only capable of a limited number of tasks.

As a result, most of the story involved how it looked, which admittedly is pretty important for a smartwatch. Looks are the biggest reason people don’t want to wear watches. The other reason is that no one seems really clear on why they need a smartwatch.

 Hands On With a Working Apple Watch

Yesterday, I got the chance to try on a fully operational Apple Watch for the first time. It is no slam dunk, but this watch does a lot more than people realize.

Before we get into the details, it is important to understand where the smartwatch market is today. Smartwatches kind of suck. Big companies like Samsung, LG, and Sony have released multiple models, and none of them have been very successful. The only real success in the space has been the Pebble, a small Kickstarter-backed firm whose modest product has found a number of fans, but is hardly a household name. Despite the best efforts of the consumer electronics industry, there is little sign that consumers really want a smartwatch.

But Apple, of course, is different. And so is its smartwatch. For the purposes of this story I want to look at the Apple Watch from three perspectives: The Watch, the Smarts, and the Apps.

To succeed, Apple needs to do something every other smartwatch vendor has never done before in all three categories: succeed, across the board. It won’t be easy. When Piper Jaffray recently polled 968 iPhones owners, only 7 percent said they would buy an Apple Watch. Then again, they have never tried one on. And they certainly don’t know what it does. Those users will get the chance to see the Apple Watch in Apple Stores on April 10. It will be available for sale on April 24.

The Watch
The first hurdle Apple needs to clear is to simply build a great watch. In an age when most of us rely on our phones to tell the time, that is no small feat. Ironically, this may be where Apple is strongest. The Apple Watch face is a solid piece of metal, either aluminum, steel, or a preposterously priced solid gold version (starting price: $10,000.)

Even in its more affordable aluminum and steel construction, it looks and feels like a $349 watch—that is no small feat. A lot will be made of the bands; there are six different styles and multiple colors. All of them feel well-made, although the Sport line is the most plasticky. Even so, the bands will be interchangeable so one watch face can have multiple looks.

Battery life is 18 hours, so more than enough for one day, but not enough for two. As a watch, this is a downside, but unless you are using an e-ink display like the Pebble, it is to be expected.

The watch face itself seems nearly infinitely customizable. You can scroll between digital, analog, hybrid, and even animated watch faces with a few clicks. There is even an animated Mickey Mouse face that will point out the hour and minutes, although it was a little too animated for my taste.

 Hands On With a Working Apple Watch

But that is the thing, it allows you to customize the face to your individual tastes. The Pebble also does a great job with this, but Apple’s options seem just as robust.

Learning how to navigate the tiny touch screen, however, will take some time. There is a home button, a rotating smart crown, and the touch screen itself. All of them initiate actions. The Smart Crown is pretty sweet, and has the advantage of keeping the screen clear while you navigate. I have more trouble mastering the deep force click—basically pressing harder—but it is just a new UI trick, and will take time to learn. Once I started thinking of it as equivalent to a “right click” it made more sense to me. Suffice to say, it is more complicated than your average watch, but it is learnable.

To me, the first hurdle is cleared. It looks and works like a watch. And a pretty cool one that can be customized with lots of different faces and bands.

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IDG Communications Names Josh London Chief Marketing Officer

BusinessWire

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–International Data Group (IDG)—the world’s leading technology media, events and research company – today named Josh London to the newly created position of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for IDG Communications. London will lead a global, company-wide amplification of the IDG Communications brand, enhancing the company’s reputation as a global tech media, data and services company.

London Josh photo IDG Communications Names Josh London Chief Marketing Officer

London will direct the corporate worldwide marketing organization and the company’s go-to-market strategy to enhance the customer experience at all touch points. Based in New York, London reports to Michael Friedenberg, CEO, IDG Communications Worldwide, and is a member of IDG’s executive team.

“IDG is very excited to welcome Josh to the team,” said Michael Friedenberg. “Josh is an exceptional marketing executive with a stellar background in turning ideas into marketable products and services with customer appeal. We look forward to amplifying our position and value proposition to serve the most influential buyers and sellers of technology in the world.”

“We are witness to a transformative time in the media industry. IDG stands alone as an innovator among technology media companies with its premium brands, audiences, data, events and services,” said London. “I am incredibly excited to join the passionate team at IDG Communications and to lead the corporate marketing team at this pivotal moment in the company’s history.”

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IDG Enterprise: 2015 Big Data and Analytics Research

 IDG Enterprise: 2015 Big Data and Analytics Research

Framingham, Mass.—March 9, 2015—IDG Enterprise— the leading enterprise technology media company composed of CIO, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World—announces the release of the 2015 Big Data and Analytics research, which spotlights an increase in the number of deployed data-driven projects over the past year and reveals that many organizations are still planning implementations, as 83% of organizations categorize structured data initiatives as a high or critical priority. IT decision-makers (ITDMs) also provided insight into organizational data and analytics purchase plans, security concerns and the top vendor attributes when evaluating solutions in 2015.

 

2015 Big Data and Analytics Survey

 

2015 Big Data and Analytics Infographic

Can print media make it ‘over the top’?

Capital New York

On a Tuesday afternoon in early February, Time Inc. C.E.O. Joe Ripp was onstage in a ballroom at the New York Marriott Marquis, gabbing with several other top magazine executives—during a discussion moderated by the ever-skeptical media critic Michael Wolff—about the precarious state of their business.

As with most panels that parse the trials and tribulations of media companies married to print, it wasn’t long before the conversation turned to that younger, sexier, more … animated medium they’ve all been getting in bed with: digital video. Ripp, for one, was particularly hot on the type of emerging technology that’s been steering people away from cable boxes and into the on-demand world of mobile viewing and devices like Roku and Apple TV.

“Everyone’s coming out with a subscription, over-the-top model,” said Ripp, using the industry jargon that describes a growing array of streaming Internet television services. “In this new world,” Ripp continued, sprinkling on an extra dash of jargon, “I look at this as an opportunity to create new video opportunities.”

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Top Tips To Achieve Best Value From Your Marketing Agency

IDG Connect 0811 Top Tips To Achieve Best Value From Your Marketing Agency

These agencies are, of course, excellent at demonstrating their value to the business, using a raft of measurements to prove the quality of the campaign – from website visits to conversions and brand awareness. These metrics will often look fantastic – and make life far easier for the Marketing Manager to make the case for additional budget. But how much impact does higher numbers of website visits have on a business’ top line revenues?  If the CFO turns the tables and asks the Marketing team that question most, to be frank, will have little or no concrete information.

Below are five top tips to ensure you get the best value from your marketing budget – or marketing agency:

Tip #1 – Track, track, track your leads

Digital marketing offers the compelling promise of accurate measurement and rapid time to market, enabling companies to not only gain new understanding into the value of the marketing investment, but also to ramp up those campaigns that are proving to be incredibly successful. However, take a step back – just where is the value being delivered? Increasing web site visits four fold or delivering 100% more leads looks fantastic – and certainly proves the marketing agency’s skills – but the devil is in the detail, how many of these leads are actually driving sales?

The reality is that most companies simply do not know. They are failing to track these leads through the business and have no idea how many are qualified out by the sales team; at what stage; and why? Without this information not only are the measures of campaign success irrelevant but the marketing agency has no information to use to refine the campaign to truly meet business needs.

Tip # 2 – Scrutinize the detail

Marketers need to scrutinize in detail the ‘leads generated’ and determine whether they are within the company’s key target markets and geographies; whether they convert into the expected sales pipeline at the ratio expected; and ultimately into closed deals. Essentially, companies need to measure, and not just estimate, the true return on marketing investment.

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The future of ‘everywhere ergonomic’ technology

IDG Connect 0811 The future of ‘everywhere ergonomic’ technology

It’s difficult to avoid adverts or news stories about the amazing technological feats the modern ‘intelligent car’ can perform. One of the most impressive is that a vehicle can now ‘know’ its position on the road, sense when it may be veering into another lane and transmit a warning vibration through the seat to jolt a drowsy driver into attention.

This type of technological innovation that makes our lives safer and easier to navigate is set to extend to the workplace. Already, there are smart chairs that measure our posture and how long we’ve been sitting, as well as smart work surfaces that know when we’re present.

In a recent interview with the Economist Intelligence Unit on ‘The Future of Work’, (sponsored byRicoh Europe), Alan Hedge, Director of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University, points out that this type of technology is just the start, “we are at the very beginning of a revolution in ‘active’ objects and products that have sensors built into them.”

Professor Hedge terms this interaction between people and design technology ‘everywhere ergonomics’. While smart chairs and surfaces may not have made their way to all workplaces just yet, many people will already be using everywhere ergonomics at home. It’s only a matter of time before the boom in wearable devices begins to have a transformative effect on the workplace. Think back to how the widespread adoption of smartphones kick-started the shift to mobile working promised by portable computers years earlier. I believe this boom could be bigger.

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Photoshop at 25: A Thriving Chameleon Adapts to an Instagram World

New York Times

The history of digital technology is full of innovations that are praised for having changed the world: the Mac, Microsoft Windows, the Netscape Navigator browser, the iPod and countless others. Then there are the many products that changed the world and were suddenly overtaken by some newer, supposedly better thing: the Mac, Microsoft Windows, Netscape Navigator, the iPod and countless others.

What’s rarer in tech is the product that causes major changes, hits turbulence and then, after some nimble adjustment, finds a surprising new audience.

This week is the 25th birthday of one such aging chameleon, Adobe Photoshop, an image-editing program that was created when we snapped pictures on film and displayed them on paper. It has not just survived but thrived through every major technological transition in its lifetime: the rise of the web, the decline of print publishing, the rise and fall of home printing and the supernova of digital photography.

Photoshop attained the rare status of a product that became a verb — like Google and Xerox. Along the way, it became a lightning rod for controversy because of, among other things, the way it can be used to turn women’s bodies into unnatural magazine-cover icons, or its use by propagandists and your casually mendacious social-networking buddies who doctor their vacation snaps.

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