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Tech Marketing Guide to B2B

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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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Mobile ad spending to hit $100B in 2016 and become the biggest digital ad market

VentureBeat

Mobile ad spending is on a tear. It will top $100 billion in 2016 and account for more than 50 percent of all digital ads for the first time, according to market researcher eMarketer.

More than $101.37 billion will be spent on ads served in 2016 to mobile phones and tablets worldwide. That’s a 400 percent increase from 2013. From 2016 to 2019, mobile ads will nearly double again, rising to $195.55 billion. That figure will account for 70.1 percent of all digital advertising as well as more than one-quarter of total media ad spending worldwide.

It’s all about the number of consumers adopting mobile devices. As that number soars, marketers are chasing consumers into mobile markets. Next year, eMarketer estimates, there will be more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, more than one-quarter of whom will be in China.

The number of tablet users worldwide is growing more slowly than the global smartphone audience. But tablets will reach more than 1 billion users in 2015. eMarketer said that in many emerging and developing markets, consumers are often accessing the Internet mobile-first and mobile-only, driving marketers to mobile advertising.

The U.S. and China will drive mobile ads in the short term. In 2016, U.S. advertisers are expected to spend $40.2 billion on mobile ads, more than doubling the total from 2014. In China, advertisers will spend $22.1 billion next year, triple the amount spent in 2014. In both countries, mobile will become the majority of all digital advertising next year.

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Amazon’s Dash Is The New Product You Need

Wall Street Journal

Amazon introduced a product on Tuesday so crazy we thought that it was an early April Fools’ joke. It’s the Dash Button, a plastic single-function controller the size of a pack of gum. Each button bears a different brightly colored product logo. Push the button, and soon that product arrives at your door.

In the video that accompanied Amazon’s announcement, there are Dash Buttons for Gatorade, Kraft mac and cheese, Glad trash bags, Gillette razors, Cottonelle toilet paper, Clorox Wipes, Huggies diapers and Tide detergent, and about a dozen other brands are also now partnered with Amazon. The online retailer expects that you’ll place the buttons around your home—in your pantry, on your washing machine and even inside of your fridge.

It might seem like a gag, but the Dash Button is not a hoax. Amazon is asking Amazon Prime subscribers to request an invite into the program. If accepted, you’d get to request a set of branded buttons at no added cost.

The buttons mount with an adhesive strip on the back, or fit into a plastic clip. You set up the buttons using the Amazon mobile shopping app, connecting them to your home Wi-Fi network and assigning the specific products and the quantities you’ll want to receive with each click. When the button is clicked, you get a smartphone notification, and you can cancel that order within a half hour. And if somebody in your house pushes the Gatorade button 15 times, you won’t get 15 orders—just one (or none, if an order is already on its way to you).

 

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Facebook’s New App That Will Make Video Content HUGE

Quartz

Facebook has rolled out a new app that lets friends (and subsequently their network of friends and so on) add clips to an ongoing video focused on a single topic—April Fool’s Day, for instance. It’s potentially a game-changer for advertisers on the social network, which eventually could use the app to engage directly with consumers. And it’s another example of Facebook’s growing emphasis on video.

It’s easy to envision how the new app, Riff, might have been used during last year’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which over the course of three months generated more than 17 million videos posted on Facebook while raising awareness and money to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The video-driven campaign contributed to the huge increase in the number of video posts on Facebook last year—up 94% in the US and 75% globally. In January, the company said that video views on the social network had reached 3 billion a day. “If you go back five years ago, a lot of Facebook was primarily text, right, and a little bit of photos,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors. “Now, I think the primary mode that people are using to share is photos, and I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future that shifted more and more towards videos.”

Facebook’s challenge is getting users to see the value of Riff. The few companies that have ventured into this niche haven’t seen major success. JumpCam, for instance, ranks No. 1,346 in the App Store’s social networking category, according to App Annie. CompetitorsMixBitCollabraCam, and Vyclone haven’t fared much better in the rankings.

But Facebook is pressing on with its video efforts—at its developer conference last week it announced plans to bring immersive videos with 360° perspective to the social network and its virtual-reality platform, Oculus.

“What really matters is that consumers are using video on Facebook, because that gives us an opportunity, one, to provide a great consumer experience, but two, to have ads match that consumer experience,” chief operating office Sheryl Sandberg said on the company’s most recent quarterly earnings call. “If there wasn’t consumer video on Facebook, video ads in your news feed would be very jarring.”

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Amazon Goes After Dropbox, Google, Microsoft With Unlimited Cloud Drive Storage

TechCrunch

Last year, Amazon gave a boost to its Prime members when it launched a free, unlimited photo storage for them on Cloud Drive. Today, the company is expanding that service as a paid offering to cover other kinds of content, and to users outside of its loyalty program. Unlimited Cloud Storage will let users get either unlimited photo storage or “unlimited everything” — covering all kinds of media from videos and music through to PDF documents — respectively for $11.99 or $59.99 per year.

And those who want to test drive it can do so for free for three months.

The move is a clear attempt by Amazon to compete against the likes of Dropbox, Google, Microsoft and the many more in the crowded market for cloud-based storage services. It’s not the first to offer “unlimited” storage, but it looks like it’s the first to market this as a service to anyone who wants it. Dropbox, for example, offers unlimited storage as part of Dropbox for Business, Google also aims unlimited options currently at specific verticals, with its enterprise version, Drive for Work, its closest competitor; Microsoft also offers a business user-focused service for those who subscribe to Office 365.

The idea here is to tap into the average consumer who has started to reach a tipping point with the amount of digital media he or she now owns, potentially across a range of devices and in not a very organised fashion (hello, me).

“Most people have a lifetime of birthdays, vacations, holidays, and everyday moments stored across numerous devices. And, they don’t know how many gigabytes of storage they need to back all of them up,” said Josh Petersen, Director of Amazon Cloud Drive, in a statement. “With the two new plans we are introducing today, customers don’t need to worry about storage space–they now have an affordable, secure solution to store unlimited amounts of photos, videos, movies, music, and files in one convenient place.”

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Is Responsive Design The Right Way To Design?

Medium

Editor’s Note: I’m not a technologist, however I am someone that thinks about mobile frequently from a marketing and product perspective. Below are a few of my thoughts on the role of mobile web and RWD. Comments and criticism are welcome and appreciated.


If you had asked me a few years ago whether all web developers should be building sites with responsive design, my answer would have been an emphatic “yes.”

However, I’ve been giving that question a lot of thought recently, and I think my opinion has changed.

For those of you that need a quick refresher (or for my family and friends, who read these posts despite not understanding a word of them): Responsive design is an approach to web design that attempts to adapt and resize the layout of a website across several device types. In essence, the theory suggests that a mobile and tablet version of a website should match the experience of the desktop version.

One of the biggest arguments to support responsive design is that web visitors are increasingly viewing sites from a number of different devices, and therefore, they shouldn’t have to re-learn how to navigate your site each time.

This argument makes a lot of sense. An increasing share of web consumption is occurring on mobile devices. These users don’t create a distinction between mobile and desktop consumption, so why should publishers? It also doesn’t hurt that designing a responsive site is often cheaper to create and maintain, as it doesn’t require developers to repeat changes across a number of different templates.

However, I’ve started to believe (at least for now) that following this approach may dismiss the nuances of different reading behaviors, and ignores the strengths and weaknesses that each device offers.

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Are Smartphones Taking Over?

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Are Smartphones Taking Over?

According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, the combined total market of smartphones, tablets plus 2-in-1s, and PCs is set to grow from 1.8 billion units in 2014 to 2.5 billion units in 2019. During that time, smartphones will grow to represent the overwhelming majority of total smart connected device (SCD) shipments, dwarfing both tablets and PCs in terms of shipment volumes.

As recently as 2010, PCs still made up the lion’s share of the total SCD device market, with the combined desktop and notebook categories accounting for about 52.5% of shipments versus 44.7% for smartphones and 2.8% for tablets. By 2014, smartphones had grown to represent 73.4% of total shipment, while PCs had slipped to 16.8% and tablets had increased to 12.5%. By 2019, IDC expects the distribution to be 77.8% smartphones, 11.6% PCs, and 10.7% tablets.

“Smartphone growth continues at an astounding pace, while growth in the PC and tablet markets is proving to be more challenging,” said Tom Mainelli, Program Vice President for Devices at IDC. “There are clearly some bright spots in both markets: Detachable 2-in-1s show strong growth potential in tablets, and convertible notebooks are beginning to gain traction in PCs. But ultimately, for more people in more places, the smartphone is the clear choice in terms of owning one connected device. Even as we expect slowing smartphone growth later in the forecast, it’s hard to overlook the dominant position smartphones play in the greater device ecosystem. And it’s not likely that anything—including wearables—will unseat it from this dominant position anytime soon.”

“Not all smartphone growth will be equal. Going forward, the future of smartphones lies in emerging markets, sub-US$100 price points, and phablets,” said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager for Mobile Devices. “In 2014, 73% of smartphones were shipped to emerging markets, 21% were priced below US$100, and 12% had screen sizes between 5.5 and <7 inches. By 2019, these categories will all increase – 80% of smartphones will be shipped to emerging markets, 35% will be priced below US$100, and 32% will have a 5.5–<7-inch screen size. So far the market has very much focused on premium models and brands, but emerging market consumers are looking for greater value from a single device.”

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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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Why Social Media Advertising Is Set To Explode In The Next 3 Years

Marketing Land

Social media advertising has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. When Facebook launched its first advertising option in May 2005, no one could have predicted that social media advertising revenue would be estimated to reach $8.4 billion in 2015, just ten years later.

Online advertising is a natural choice for modern businesses, but after the decline of the banner ad, businesses began searching for alternatives. Paid search is a great online advertising medium for driving visitors to your website based on user intent (i.e. their search query). But what if there are no identifiable (or affordable) keywords you can bid on to drive traffic? And what about those businesses that want to create brand awareness rather than capturing user intent?

Social media advertising helps businesses find new potential clients by using users’ own shared information to identify interest. Rather than reactively targeting users who search a certain term, social media advertising proactively targets relevant users before they even begin their search.

Social networks are a good option for advertisers because of the advanced targeting options, reliable conversion tracking, and prevalence on mobile devices.

Advanced Targeting Options

Because social networks gather such a larger amount of user information, social media advertising is able to target your audience in a wider variety of ways than other online platforms. Stretching beyond general demographic and geographic data, social media advertising has opened the door to deeper interest, behavioral and connection-based targeting methods.

These advanced targeting options increase your ad’s relevance to your users and provide a level of personalization that is not achievable on other advertising channels. Here are four such advanced targeting options:

  • Interest targeting: Reach specific audiences by looking at their self-reported interests, activities, skills, pages/users they have engaged with, etc. Interest targeting is often related to keyword targeting, so some platforms will allow you to enter both. Interests can be as general as an industry (e.g. automotive industry) or as specific as a product (e.g. convertibles). Offered by: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (under “Skill”), Pinterest.

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How Google’s Emphasis On Mobile Will Affect You

MediaPost

When it comes to search algorithm changes, Google has gone from making official announcements to a “this is something we do every day so don’t expect to hear from us” attitude. With this in mind, the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm change is a very big deal. As background, here is a high-level history of events:

  • June 11, 2013: Google announced specific recommendations for developing mobile-friendly websites. It listed common configuration mistakes and explicitly called out faulty redirects and smartphone-specific errors (incorrectly served 404s, Googlebot Mobile and unplayable videos).
  • September–October, 2014: Google tested several different mobile-specific indicators, using both mobile-friendly and non-mobile-friendly icons.
  • November 18, 2014: Google officially launched mobile-friendly designations to results in mobile search.
  • February 26, 2015: Google announced that, on April 21, it will be expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.

Google has gotten very serious about mobile search and is taking a primary role in improving the experience. In other words, we’re on notice to clean up our site(s). The good news is that Google is providing instructions and tools to help us do this. Here are the top three things that every website owner needs to do in anticipation of the April 21 deadline:

1)     Make use of Google’s guide to mobile-friendly websites.Google provides a 60+ page guide that discusses why and how to build a mobile-friendly website. There are dedicated guides for several open-source CMS platforms (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.), as well as a specific guide to mobile SEO, with special emphasis on avoiding common mistakes.

2)     Test your site using Google’s Tools. Users of Google Webmaster Tools (WMT) are already familiar with Google’s emphasis on mobile, as WMT has been alerting users to “fix mobile usability issues found on site xyz.” Clicking on “View details” brings users to a three-step process: 1) Inspect mobile issues, 2) Follow these guidelines and 3) Fix mobile usability issues. For those just starting out or who don’t have a WMT account, Google provides the ability to test a single page. This report groups all of the errors in one page and links on how to fix the errors, based on how the site was built (I built via CMS, I built myself, I had someone build the site).

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