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Event Date Location

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

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

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Publishers: Ditch your apps; focus on mobile Web

Digiday

Publishers know they must grapple with media consumption shifting to mobile devices, but merely having a mobile focus is not enough. Consider this: While time spent on mobile devices increased by 24 percent from June 2013 to June 2014, app usage grew at a greater rate (52 percent) than mobile Web consumption (17 percent).

That’s just one takeaway from a new comScore report on mobile consumption, a murky, continually shifting behavior. Below are more key statistics from the report.

Apps, not mobile Web, are driving mobile growth
Mobile now makes up a majority (60 percent) of all time spent on the Web, with mobile apps themselves constituting 52 percent of all Internet consumption.

 Publishers: Ditch your apps; focus on mobile Web

It’s important that news publishers don’t take this as a sign to start forcing their apps on an unwitting mobile populace, however. Rather, it’s a sign they should be more focused on using mobile to drive “side door” traffic to their mobile websites. Because …

News apps aren’t popular
Only three news-related apps — Yahoo Stocks, Yahoo Weather and The Weather Channel — were among the top 25 mobile apps in terms of the number of U.S. unique visitors, and those all have a singular focus. All of the other apps in the top 25 were social platforms (such as Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest), utilities (Google Maps, Google search) or entertainment (YouTube, Pandora, Netflix) and commerce-related (Amazon).

Not a single straight news app made the list, but that doesn’t necessarily spell doom for publishers. Instead, it indicates they should concentrate having their stories widely distributed on the popular mobile apps — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google and, perhaps soon, Snapchat — and have a slick mobile website waiting for readers who tap through. The New York Times acknowledged as much in its innovation report which was leaked this March.

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How Social Networks Are Changing Mobile Advertising

IDG News Service

For digital marketers, the road to riches on mobile screens has been long and riddled with holes of divergence. But the pursuit, which harkens back to the pre-smartphone era, has gotten more promising thanks to social media.

More than 60 percent of the $6.8 billion expected to be spent on social advertising in the U.S. this year is controlled by Facebook, Google and Twitter, according to eMarketer. Overall, mobile advertising revenue in the U.S. is projected to grow to $58 billion and comprise 71 percent of all digital ad spending by 2018.

eMarketer also expects mobile ad spending to overtake desktop PC advertising by 2016 and TV advertising by 2018. Facebook has reformed its business to capitalize on this opportunity in mobile to great effect. The company currently controls 71 percent of the market, which is the equivalent to 10 percent of all digital ad spending in the U.S.

Why is Facebook — and now Twitter to a lesser and more recent extent — doing so well in mobile advertising while most others continue to struggle? Mobile advertising is on course to comprise 68 percent of Facebook’s revenue and 84 percent of Twitter’s by year’s end, according to eMarketer.

Are they doing something different or are their platforms so unique and powerful that no advertising network or ad technology could possibly contend with?

Mobile Advertising Has Arrived on Social

“There is no question mobile has arrived — it’s here, it’s big, it’s growing,” says Lars Albright, co-founder and CEO of the mobile loyalty platform SessionM. “The bottom line is it’s working.”

Mobile advertising went through various formats and implementations before it reached the scale now enjoyed by Facebook, Twitter and Google. This last leg of innovation, which is now paying off for marketers and advertisers, has been all about the granularity of targeting that these platforms can bring to deliver a successful transaction or sales conversion, says Albright.

“They have so much scale in mobile now that they’re able to do targeting to clusters that are meaningful,” Albright adds. Now they can take that top-level targeting and go much deeper… All of a sudden you start to get much more focused, and even though you’re so much more focused you still have the scale that you can deliver meaningful results. So having that big audience, then having very detailed information and that relationship is where you’re seeing things separate.”

That direct relationship with users coupled with all the data and behavioral traits gleaned from their social activity makes all the difference.

“Traditional networks, as they are, are the ones that are really going to hurt here because they don’t have that first-party relationship with the consumer… That’s one of the key differentiators to bring to marketers,” says Albright, who previously founded Quattro Wireless, a mobile ad network that was acquired by Apple in 2010.

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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 

‘Marketer enthusiasm for mobile slowing’

Marketing Week

The CMO Council’s annual State of Marketing report found that 52 per cent of marketers are either planning no change or a decrease to their mobile marketing budgets, which includes search, banner and display. A third (32 per cent) are planning to increase them by up to 5 per cent while 16 per cent expect to see a 10 per cent increase.

That is a significant slowdown on last year, when 62 per cent of marketers planned to increase their budgets and 25 per cent expected that increase to be more than 5 per cent.

Liz Miller, senior vice president at the CMO Council, says the slowdown has come as marketers hit the “growing pain stage” in their approach to mobile. She says the sector has seen an “excited spending spree” over the past few years as brands try to take advantage of the opportunity in mobile as sales of tablets and smartphones rise.

However, they are now pulling back slightly to work out how mobile links to the rest of their marketing strategy. She believes a lot of marketers were stung by mobile apps, which they invested millions in but consumers aren’t really using, meaning they are now more wary of mobile and how it connects with to the wider customer experience.

“This is a positive thing. Marketers are redefining what they mean by mobile. Everyone raced out to try and develop their own app before realising that mobile’s power is in the mobile web, banners and search. Now they are trying to figure out their strategy again,” she says.

Miller believes social is two years further down the line, meaning that excitement about the possibilities are again returning to the space. This is why 71 per cent of marketers expect to increase their social media marketing budget over the next year, the highest percentage alongside video.

Overall, 54 per cent of marketers expect their budgets to increase over the next year, with 31 per cent expecting more than a 10 per cent rise and 9 per cent forecasting an increase of 20 per cent. That is a big turnaround from five years ago, when more than 50 per cent were forecasting budget cuts.

That renewed optimism is reflected other areas, with 83 per cent of marketers expecting a salary rise this year and 55 per cent planning to take on new staff. This recruitment drive will particularly focus on people with expertise in data and analytics, an area where 85 per cent believe they are lagging.

To improve their ability to tackle big data, Miller believes more marketers must take a step back and spend time mapping and understanding every customer touchpoint. She says this requires a move away from only thinking about campaigns to considering the whole customer experience so marketers can ask “targeted, smart, valuable and actionable questions” of the data.

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Should publishers really think ‘mobile-first’?

Digiday

The trend for many publishers is to loudly declare they are “mobile-first.” But the reality is, well, more complicated.

Most mobile-first proponents loudly trumpet exploding mobile audiences. That’s true. Just about every publisher today is seeing an increasing amount of their traffic coming from mobile devices — often over 50 percent of their overall, in the case of sites like BuzzFeed,Glamour and CNN.  Yet it’s not a zero-sum game: Most publishers are seeing their desktop audiences grow, too, albeit at a much slower rate than mobile.

According to publisher analytics service Chartbeat,  mobile consumption is, on the whole, complementing desktop. Desktop traffic is essentially daytime traffic: It starts to increase at 9 a.m., peaks at noon and starts to decline at 6 p.m. Mobile, in contrast, tends to decline in the early morning and peak in the evening. Put in more concrete terms, people are reading on their desktops while at work and shifting to tablets and smartphones while at home.

 Should publishers really think ‘mobile first’?

There’s no doubt that many publishers are seeing surges in mobile traffic, but right now, they’re not all seeing corresponding declines. Data from comScore shows that while mobile traffic to the Web’s top 10 news/information properties grew 36 percent in the US last year, overall desktop traffic for those sites decreased by just 1 percent. Mobile consumption may be eating into desktop habits, but, so far, it’s doing so slowly.

“In general, it seems like each medium is strong while the others are weak,” said Josh Schwartz, chief data scientist at Chartbeat. “People are using phones while they wouldn’t be using desktops anyway,” he said.

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Here’s how wearables will invade the workplace

CITEworld

When people discuss wearable tech, it’s typically as a consumer phenomenon. Smartwatches, Fitbits, Google Glass — these products seem like they’re for hipsters only, not mainstream consumers.

But if anything, it’s the opposite. It’s probably true that most people will feel silly wearing Google Glass, for example. But it’s also probably true that there are countless business contexts where your boss will want you to wear Google Glass.

Let’s look at some of the most promising future applications of wearables in the enterprise.

Google Glass (or something like it)

Let’s start with them. So mocked. They probably don’t have a future as a consumer device, at least in the short and even medium term. (Long term, who knows?) But they — or something like them, such as the Vuzix M100 – most certainly have a future in the workplace.

The first and obvious application is on-premises security. From police departments to private security firms to the military to bar bouncers, Google Glass has obvious applications.

Other applications include retail (think of store greeters), medicine (one hospital in Boston is already using them in the emergency room, and a number of startups like Pristine are well along the way to developing Glass apps for surgeons), and any kind of hands-on work done in remote locations — think oil drilling, mining, and the like.

Fitness trackers and health insurance

This is a bit Orwellian but also perhaps unavoidable  if you work for a big corporation and they think they can reduce their insurance bill by getting you to wear a Fitbit or equivalent device, they will. Some companies may even see and promote it as an employee perk, since a lot of people get value out of fitness trackers.

Cutting down health costs is a huge priority of governments and private sector actors alike, and the idea that using the bio data our bodies generate could help to do this is a powerful one. The idea is that insurers would pay you to wear fitness trackers, and then pay you even more to behave healthfully; since most people in the United States get health insurance through their employers, the way to roll this out would be via large employers.

The privacy and security applications are immense, but so is the drive to make this system a reality, whether you want to or not.

Retail

Wearable tech will also make quick inroads into the retail space. Apple’s iBeacon is already a potential enabling technology there. Many startups and large retail firms are working on ways to identify customers as they walk in the door.

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Only 16pc of businesses have an enterprise-led mobile strategy: report

Mobile Marketer

While mobile usage in the United States is only expected to rise within the next few years, it is surprising that a mere 16 percent of businesses are leading their enterprise strategies with mobile-first initiatives, according to a recent report from Kony.
Sponsored by mobile development platform solutions company Kony and executed by research firm International Data Corporation, the survey shows a huge support and success for businesses that have deployed mobile initiatives rather than business unit-led or departmental-led approaches. Forthe survey, more than 400 IT decision makers were interviewed about their marketing strategies.
“In the past, mobile projects used to be fairly time and resource extensive, owing to the fact that companies needed to make infrastructure investments and write to each native OS platform,” said Stacy Crook, research director of mobile enterprise at IDC, Boston.
Why not?
For this particular survey, enterprises with no less than 1,000 employees participated. The survey participants were evenly split across a few company size buckets, such as 1000-2499 employees, 2500-4999 employees or 5000-9999 employees, with a small bias towards the largest company size bucket, such as more than 10,000 employees, where companies in that bucket provided 30 percent of responses.  Therefore, most of the companies surveyed are in an appropriate financial situation to embark upon mobility projects.
While cost tends to be a factor with any new IT initiative, it was not the top concern per survey responses. The survey asked, “Which of the following mobile deployment issues has your organization experienced?”
The top five responses were security and compliance issues, issues in linking mobile platforms to existing databases, version control issues between mobile operating systems, applications and/or enterprise applications, time constraints and cost overruns or budget issues.
Nearly 50 percent of organizations that have executed mobile solutions have seen an improvement in overall decision making, efficiency, customer interaction, savings in cost and increased revenue, which proves that the integration of mobile is no longer a good idea but in fact crucial.
About 31 percent of surveyed companies have a comprehensive mobile technical staff in place with additional external support, which another 30 percent of companies have a mobile development and architect group.
Today’s possibilities
The advancement of technology is working in the favor of big businesses. Unlike years before, implementing mobile now leads to fewer obstacles and takes less time.
“Mobile projects in the past used to take months to develop and implement, but now with new cloud-based mobile application technology, businesses are able to design and develop enterprise mobile applications in a matter of hours,” said Dave Shirk, CMO atKony, Inc., Dallas. “There are many factors that enterprises need to consider in order to have an enterprise-led mobile strategy, including security and compliance requirements, and linking mobile platforms with existing databases and systems so the application can get real-time access to the relevant data or information.
“Also, another huge inhibitor is that mobile technology keeps changing with new updates in operating systems, devices and enterprise applications, which can get overwhelming. That’s why Kony’s open and standards-based, integrated platform was designed to simplify the mobile application development process for businesses.”
While the survey showed 41 percent of companies have a particular budget for enterprise-wide mobile endeavors, the issue of cost is fading away, and these companies have the highest allowance for mobile budget, which tends to provide for strategic investments in mobile staff or to augment that staff with outside support.
“The growing availability of cloud platforms that allow companies to develop native, web, or hybrid applications in a streamlined manner can help alleviate both concerns,” IDC’ Ms. Crook said.

The New York Times explores cheaper digital subscriptions

Digiday

The New York Times is considering a cheaper version of its digital subscription as it continues to look for ways to get more revenue out of consumers.

According to a survey sent to readers this week, the new offering would give users 30 articles a month for $8, over 45 percent lower than the current cheapest offering. Now, for readers who hit the paywall at 10 articles, digital access starts at $15 a month for access to NYTimes.com and Times smartphone apps.

“With the new subscription offer from The New York Times, you would get: Your choice of 30 articles a month on NYTimes.com and the NYTimes smartphone and tablet apps,” the survey read.

The survey also asked people how willing they would be to cancel their existing subscriptions if they could get the $8-a-month plan. A Times spokeswoman said the offering isn’t a done deal.

“We often issue surveys to provide input from existing customers on their level of interest in various potential new initiatives,” she said. “Surveys are not indicative of any firm plans to launch new subscriptions.”

The Times has conducted surveys before on prospective and new products, like NYT Cooking.

The initiative comes as the Times’ digital subscription growth has slowed, and new paid apps have failed to take off in a big way. As the Times revealed in its second-quarter earnings call, itadded 32,000 digital subs in the second quarter, down from 39,000 in the first quarter. Meanwhile, print ad revenue declined a troubling 6.6 percent (after a 4 percent gain in first quarter).

The proposed, lower-priced offer resembles the Times’ new, $8-a-month NYT Now app aimed at young readers (big differences being that NYT Now is an app and the articles are handpicked by Times editors) and dovetails with a truncated version of the print newspaper that it also reportedly is looking into. It’s all part and parcel of the effort to unbundle the Times’ content, with the idea that there’s a market for vertical products (NYT Cooking, NYT Opinion) and a lower-priced, lighter version of the full news product.

There are good reasons to try a cheaper sub-offer. Growth for All-Access may have leveled off, and the Times may have miscalculated the market for NYT Now, said Ken Doctor, analyst with Outsell. But that doesn’t mean there still isn’t a market out there for less than the full product. “There are people who don’t want a wide range of access.”

The proposed subscription offer is Web-based, which could fit better with news-consumption behavior. People on smartphones are more likely to get their news from a browser than an app, and they’re increasingly coming to the news from search and social. A Pew Research Center report found that 61 percent of smartphone news users got news “mostly” from their mobile browsers versus 28 percent who got their news “mostly” from apps. Getting your app discovered is a challenge, as is getting people to keep using it once they download it — issues that a Web-subscription plan solves.

Still, there’s always the risk that a cheaper product will cannibalize the full-priced option, a risk the Times is trying to assess with the survey. There’s also the risk of confusing readers with the ongoing parade of new offers, which are difficult to compare, said Rebecca Lieb, analyst at Altimeter (a problem the Times itself conceded).

“People do the math later, and then you always feel like you never get the best deal … and that’s not best way to get people to subscribe,” she said.

Publishers’ updated mobile app strategy: curation and creation

Digiday

Publishers are starting to realize what platforms like Twitter and Facebook have known since the beginning: When it comes to mobile, giving users the best value means a mix of original content and aggregated fare.

BuzzFeed said on Thursday that it plans to create a standalone app just for its news content, which would be separate from its existing mobile app. The twist, however, is that the app will feature not only BuzzFeed’s own content, but a separate curation layer that links to important stories produced elsewhere. And BuzzFeed isn’t alone. The New York Times made a similar effort with NYT Now, which both combines original NYT content with “curated ” stories from other sites, a feature it calls “Our Picks.” Likewise, News Corp plans to take a similar approach with its own upcoming news app, which will combine original reporting with curated content from its many properties.

“It’s pretty odd at this point to imagine a reader only wants stories from any one news organization,” said Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed.

The curation-meets-original content approach is an important shift from how most publishers have approached their app strategies so far. Most publishers have treated their mobile apps as separate vessels for their existing content, which is a logical, but not particularly prescient approach. Just like the shift from print to digital demanded a new approach to content, the shift from desktop to mobile means optimizing not just for a new form factor, but new consumption habits as well.

The big problem with most existing app strategies is that they’re invariably self-serving. Conventional wisdom about how people read on the Web suggest that people don’t care much about where their news comes from. The news itself has become commodity, meaning that the value of an incremental update is shifting away from what the news is and towards how it’s delivered.

“As mobile becomes so much more important for traffic and revenue, you’re going to see some very aggressive tactics by publishers to gain more marketshare,” said Steve Goldberg, managing director at Empirical media. “And homescreen presence and better user experiences are what’s going to drive their shares up,” he said.

Yahoo News Digest, for example, doesn’t just give users the day’s top stories, it also summarizes them in a mobile-friendly way. Similarly, the value of news curation apps Breaking News and Circa isn’t only in the news they deliver, but also how quickly they can get that news to mobile readers. Other news apps, like Inside.com, are just in the business of aggregation.

The ideal mobile value proposition for traditional publishers, in comparison, is a combination of snackable mobile-friendly content alongside a curation layer that surfaces the stories publishers think are most important — even if those stories don’t come from the publishers themselves. If Twitter is a newspaper, these apps are more like Reader’s Digest.

“Twitter has a beautiful aggregate voice of the crowd,” Goldberg said. “But an app from one of these competitors has an editorial voice, and people sometimes prefer that to the voice of the masses,” he said.

Study: Consumers Increasingly Receptive to Mobile Ads

Street Fight

Over the past few years, it hasn’t been uncommon to hear proclamations that the “year of mobile” is finally nigh — that the platform with so much promise would finally hit a tipping point and begin to dominate in terms of brands’ ad spending. It’s unclear if we’ve reached that point, exactly, for advertisers, but consumer engagement with mobile does appear to have gone mainstream.

A new study released by xAd and Telmetrics finds that consumer engagement with mobile ads has increased dramatically over the past few years. In the two companies’ 3rd Annual U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase study, conducted by Nielsen, nearly 50% of mobile shoppers said that they found mobile ads informative/helpful — up from 22% in 2013. In addition, 40% of respondents reported clicking on mobile ads, and nearly half of those said they went on to take secondary actions (like viewing a website or searching for additional information).

Telmetrics CEO Bill Dinan said that the results of the study over several years indicate a real evolution in the way that consumers engage with their devices as mobile becomes more and more mainstream as an advertising platform.

“People are becoming more receptive to mobile ad content — whether it’s in a website, or in an app,” said Dinan. “People are becoming more used to ads being there. People are becoming more engaged with ads. Publishers are trying to figure out how to make ads more relevant. And as a result, we’re seeing more of these secondary actions.”

The secondary actions appear to be a key indicator of purchase intent for mobile shoppers.  The study found that consumers who took these kinds of actions after clicking on an ad were likely looking to convert quickly and find nearby businesses to satisfy what they were looking for — 50% wanted to make a purchase within an hour, and 70% went on to make the purchase. These actions are all very local — with 67% of these shoppers looking for a business within five miles to satisfy their needs, and 18% looking for a location within one mile.

Dinan said that with engagement established, more advanced metrics are now needed to understand mobile’s effectiveness in driving purchases: “We’ve figured out how to get people engaged, the next part is for these publishers and these agencies to make sure they can capture the right and relevant metrics to leverage the engagement.”

The study seems to indicate that the increasing relevance of ads is a big factor in spurring engagement. Over 40% of mobile users in the study said they clicked on an ad because it was relevant to their interests or purchase research. Coupons and discounts were big drivers of engagement, and more than 50% of respondents said location was an important factor to an ad’s relevance, up sharply over two years.

According to Dinan, the distinction that many marketers make between mobile and desktop is starting to fall away. “Mobile is digital, digital is mobile — that’s the point we’re at now,” he said. “The mobile device is my portal to my day; my digital sherpa; my guide to life.”