Events
Event Date Location

Mobile World Congress

03/02/2015 - 03/05/2015 Barcelona .

IDC Directions 2015 Boston

03/04/2015 San Jose CA

IT Roadmap

03/11/2015 Rosemont IL

SXSW 2015

03/13/2015 - 03/21/2015 Austin TX

Enterprise Connect

03/16/2015 - 03/19/2015 Kissimmee FL

IDC Directions 2015 Boston

03/18/2015 boston ma

Agenda 15

03/30/2015 - 04/01/2015 Amelia Island FL

social-media

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, ideas and blogs about Lead Generation 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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Social Media Now Drives 31% Of All Referral Traffic

Forbes

The report suggests that it may be time for Pinterest to rethink its target market if its going to experience growth in the coming year: “Principal Analyst at Forrester, Nate Elliott, calls Pinterest a condundrum. Elliot says, “Pinterest is confusing. It’s a bundle of contradictions: at once it offers marketers huge potential and huge frustration.” Select brands recognize its commercial value and have invested big dollars on ‘Pinfluencers’. But the platform has yet to realize its full potential. To do so, it needs to quickly shed its isolating for-women-only image and develop more mass-market appeal.”

Given these findings, you may be wondering how best to drive social traffic to your own website or blog. Given Facebook’s value as the #1 driver of referral traffic over the past 3 years, here are some strategies you can use to help drive your Facebook traffic to your website or blog.

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5 countries to follow on social media

Digiday

A well-crafted branding strategy from a fast food brand can change your perception about its burgers. But can effective branding change your point of view about a country? Nation-branders hope so.

Nation-branding — a field of branding that extends beyond tourism into highlighting a country’s competitive advantage, whether infrastructure or culture —  isn’t a new thing. But the pervasiveness of social media has allowed governments to take ownership of their own social feeds and engage in niche and real-time conversations online, with most countries’ governments having dedicated social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook.

As Joshua S. Fouts, the former director at USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy said in a Council on Foreign Relations interview: There are plenty of benefits for countries that successfully embrace branding techniques.

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B2B Social Media: “You’re going the wrong way!”

IDG Global Solutions

By, Jason Gorud

One of my favourite movies is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. In it two mismatched travel companions are forced to endure each other and suffer through a series of unfortunate incidents as they attempt to make their way home for Thanksgiving dinner. In one scene, the two protagonists are on a snowy freeway late at night driving the “wrong way”. While they are on the right path directionally (homeward bound), they are literally driving into oncoming traffic. A concerned couple on the opposite side of the freeway starts screaming “You’re going the wrong way!” Not comprehending what they couple is trying to tell them John Candy assumes the couple is drunk and cynically asks Steve Martin “How do they know where we are going?”

This scene feels a little like what we see on a macro level from the increased push by B2B marketers into social media. Everyone has a goal(s) in mind, everyone seems to be heading towards that goal. Much like in the movie, the problem is one born not so much out of ignorance, but through a series of misaligned choices.

It’s only when we look at the unquestioning adoption of certain social media effectiveness metrics that marketers have been lead to believe are gospel and then examine the corresponding strategies being built on those metrics, that we start to see why some companies are heading down the “wrong way”.

When my firm asks our customers what they expect from a broad social media strategy we often get the following vanilla answers:

  1. Enhance brand awareness
  2. Cost reduction (on marketing spend)
  3. Improve customer experience
  4. Enable innovation (this is more ‘vanilla-swirl’ as not all companies state this as a goal)
  5. Increase revenue

No ‘shockers’ on this list and I have ranked them in order of immediate achievability (the ranking is just my humble opinion). Rather unfortunately many of the clients I speak with state enhancing brand awareness as their initial objective when the discussion starts but only really want to talk about getting to ‘increased revenue’ as fast as possible. Unsurprisingly, very few can articulate how they will map their strategy to achieving revenue growth – they just know they must!

As the conversation continues, cost reduction is quickly reclassified; this isn’t a goal, it’s the a priori reason to use social media. “It’s free” they say, “and once people start sharing and retweeting, our promotional costs will just naturally fall. Hooray!”

Improved customer service and enabling innovation are both brushed aside as many simply pay lip service to “listening” as a way to address these goals. Further marginalization occurs due to the fact that most marketers don’t have personal KPIs tied to these activities.

From there we quickly get to the topic they really want to talk about: how can I generate more leads from social media (i.e increase revenue)?

So rather than view the new “IT” thing in marketing as vehicle to enhance existing programs and achieve those goals, many marketers look at social media as a stand alone initiative. This view essentially forces most to apply metrics they feel should link directly to achieving specific KPI’s attached to more traditional objectives like market share, NPS or new customer acquisition.

And here’s where the initiative ultimately begins to fail and the “social media thing” starts to feel like a whole lotta hype.

In 2014, Gallup released findings from a poll they ran that showed less than 40% of its respondents felt social media had any bearing on their decision to buy a product. I’m sure this is disheartening to marketers; companies in the US spent over $5B on social media advertising! Seeing as how only 5% responded that it “strongly” influenced their buying decision, you have to wonder how anyone is tracking ROMI against this channel.

It’s a fool’s errand to attempt to question a consumer on his or her personal buyer’s journey as it pertains to their response to specific marketing tactics, but the findings are telling nonetheless: Assuming your social media program is going to immediately net you new buyers and bigger wins is risky – especially in the B2B space. You simply cannot rely on the usual metrics people apply to social media activities to gauge overall effectiveness.

The biggest problem we see in the B2B space is this: rather than crafting a strategy that leverages the data that comes out of a well defined social strategy to achieve their goals, businesses are hoping that social and it’s impact on their content marketing strategy will simply net them wins. Consequently the metrics being deployed are not only too simplistic, they aren’t in anyway “linkable” back to executive level goals like revenue generation.

The many successful marketers we speak to have reached this conclusion:

Social media enables success; hyper-attention to social media ‘success metrics’ does not.

If you want social media to work for your firm quickly look at adopting the following mindset:

  • See it for what it is; a component of your marketing strategy that enables and enhances, not something tto be treated as a stand alone initiative.
  • Patience is key.
  • Move beyond measuring social media’s impact on your business via metrics that offer no real insight: page views, followers, shares, retweets, likes,etc.
  • Use the activity and resultant data from social media initiatives to form what we call customer-centric outputs.

So now you’re very likely thinking or shouting to no one in particular “Jason! Oh mighty king of useless jargon, what do you mean by customer-centric outputs?” Right?

So in the spirit of #ThoughtLeaderiness I give you the Jason’s-Blocks-of-Simple-yet-Difficult-Social-Media-Outputs. It’s more commonly referred to as the JBoSyDSO(note to the fellas: The ladies love them some JBoSyDSO so drop it into conversation the next time you’re out at the club looking to make a great first impression – pronounced just like it’s spelled by the way):

07009d9 B2B Social Media: Youre going the wrong way!

To enable an output-based program you have to be patient. The value of the “outputs” only grow over time. As data aggregates, the ability to conduct longitudinal studies grows; insight into regions, verticals, companies and even individuals becomes so much more rich – and with this your ability to make intelligent choices in marketing, sales and product development improves.

And this is the difficulty many firms have: patience and willingness to make basic investments in the systems that enable an effective strategy. I won’t spend time on specifics of tools out there as the topic is myriad, but solution types can broken into 5 basic categories: monitoring, management, engagement, analytics and influencer. We can save this subject for another time…

Let’s briefly cover the outputs which are unique in nature but overlap frequently:

CUSTOMER SEGMENTATION: Can be used to analyze the nature of conversations by individuals or groups. Practically speaking, discussions mentioning company name can be linked to brand awareness, while posts where specific product, tech specs or attributes are being discussed can be used to identify an individual as a prospective buyer worth nurturing, or an account worth exploring. Highly active individuals can more easily be clustered as Hi-Po targets with corresponding tailored marketing strategies.

COMPETITIVE AWARENESS: Useful when monitoring competitive product launch announcements to determine sentiment versus your offerings. Also allows for competitor campaign countermeasures – especially when said campaigns involve FUD or otherwise unfriendly information being used against your firm.

CAMPAIGN CURRENCY: A great way to garner near real-time insight into the effectiveness of media and marketing initiatives. Not only does it provide you with the ‘what-is & what-isn’t’ working feedback, you also gain the ability to monitor conversations as they evolve vis-a-vis brand comparison enabling you to improve on future campaigns. Properly utilizing this information enables companies to more adroitly tweak messaging to meet customer interests as they change throughout the lifecycle of their initiatives.

FOCUS GROUPS: This is kind of a no-brainer. From a psychological stand point, people in general don’t always give the most honest of feed back with respect to brands, campaigns or products when put in a room with a bunch of strangers. Plus conducting these on-site groups is expensive and a pain in the backside. The impersonal nature of the web however is a different story, it allows for much larger sample sizes and ensures that feedback (data) is more easily archived and used in a far more scientific manner.

Proper deployment of these ‘outputs’ with social media acting as the engine driving them allows for the identification of tangible metrics and actionable data with respect to the aforementioned 5 goals:

  1. Brand sentiment, buzz and growth are, as mentioned, the most immediate and directly affected by nearly any campaign; your ability to influence and enhance are greatly magnified via social channels.
  2. As campaigns and initiatives are now being more accurately monitored via live feed back, tweaks can be made to eliminate spend on inefficiencies. Very expectedly, through comparative study over time, firms begin to see content distribution costs decline as a result of shares, retweets and the like.
  3. Customer feedback – both solicited and unsolicited – can be viewed across multiple products, channels and regions; services can be proactively deployed (and communicated) to a broader audience before larger problems arise; specific individuals can be quickly identified for a more personal touch.
  4. Based on trends and aggregate voice, combined with competitive intelligence, companies can quickly respond to market needs from a product perspective, inform key demographics of their “Next Big Thing” should they so desire, and use inputs from the corresponding feedback to improve product/service enhancements as they are occurring.
  5. Whitespace accounts, high-potential buyers and at risk customers are more quickly identified and addressed.

It is therefore advisable that the traditional social media metrics be used versus the outputs on an individual basis, not in trying to create direct correlations to the goals one seeks to achieve. Companies are best served by endeavoring to create more tangible links (KPIs) from the outputs to those goals instead. By doing this your social media initiatives will net far more benefit to your organization as a whole.

So in closing, be patient, stay focused on your outputs and not the minutiae of the metrics. By moving away from gauging success based purely on tactical, easily counted data points, and redirecting your energy to building outputs that link to your goals, you will right your “vehicle” and start driving on the correct side of the road.

Spoiler alert: They make it home for Thanksgiving dinner.

Facebook is bigger than anyone knew, even Facebook

Venturebeat

We all know Facebook is huge, and drives incredible amounts of traffic. But thanks to its recent efforts to uncloak the sources of content with no known referrer, we now know that the numbers are bigger than anyone believed.

According to a report issued today by Bitly, the world’s leading link shortener, Facebook has largely solved the problem of so-called “dark social” links — those that have no referrer data and can’t be measured by web analytics tools — and as a result, the social network’s influence skyrocketed during the fourth quarter.

In the report, Bitly wrote that Facebook’s influence jumped 8.6 percent during the fourth quarter overall and 30.2 percent on mobile. That doesn’t mean Facebook’s influence actually grew that much — it means that clicks formerly attributed to “dark social” are now being correctly counted as Facebook’s clicks. Given that Facebook’s major push in recent quarters has been to expand its reach on mobile and give its marketing partners more ways to monetize their content, this is solid evidence that strategy is working.

 

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Designing Twitter Video

Paul Stamatiou Blog

In mid-2011, Twitter rolled out the ability to natively tweet photos. 2013 brought media-forward timelines with inline photos. 2014 ushered in multi-photo tweets and animated GIF support. We’ve just announced Twitter Video to help you capture the moment and tweet video from within the iOS and Android apps.

In this article, I will provide a sneak peek into my design process for Twitter Video. This is not yet another boring sketches and mockups iteration article. Why is that? Because we truly embraced prototyping.

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How To Produce Value and Revenue With Digital Video

American Press Institute

Digital video has become a market imperative — something every publisher must understand and do well, regardless of one’s history.

Consider three statistics:

  • More than 62 billion videos were viewed online in December 2014, according to data measurement company comScore.
  • Digital video advertising continues to skyrocket, up 56% in 2014 to reach $5.96 billion, according to eMarketer.
  • Cisco projects that video will account for 79 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2018, up from 66 percent in 2013.

David Plotz, former editor of Slate Magazine, says video is now “a necessary condition for almost any brand advertiser we’re working with.”

This “necessary condition,” however, is not so easily achieved, even for those whose professional roots lie in visual journalism. Like every new medium that’s come before, digital video is unique and evolving. It shapes technology and is shaped by technology. We’re learning as we go.

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Stock photo trends: expect more selfies, blurred pics in 2015

Digiday

Shutterstock’s repository of stock photos, videos and music makes it an indispensable source for many in the creative industry: designers, art directors publishers and filmmakers are just as apt to deploy Shutterstock images as marketers, advertisers and businesses. And it is its 47 million item-strong database that also enables the company to predict and forecast industry trends.

Shutterstock released its 2015 Creative Trends report Monday, which explores how its photos, video and music are used throughout the world. The big takeaway this year: We’re all hipsters now.

“We’ve been tracking data using our internal tools over the years to see what’s on the rise,” Sarah Maloy, Shutterstock’s content marketing manager, told Digiday. “We also looked toward our in-house design team to identify trends from within the data.”

Pictures with blurred backgrounds, unique perspectives and linear styles were all the rage in 2014. Searches for “blur” increasing by 144 percent over the past year, according to Shutterstock data. The growing affinity for blurred lines was attributed to the popularity of apps like Instagram, which incorporate techniques like blur, deep focus and tilt shift.

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Three Alternatives to Improve A Reader’s User Experience

Medium

At De Correspondent, a Dutch journalism platform with 30,000 paying subscribers (60 p/y), we’re all about providing context to the world in a thoughtful and in-depth way. This takes an effort, both from our writers as our readers. Because, after years and years of being bombarded with ever easier content, how do you get readers to take the time again to start reading longer publications online?

One of the most distracting phenomenons during reading are links. They keep pointing us to directions that are probably valuable, but at the same time force us to make a decision: to click or not to click.

These links are the backbone of the internet. And yet, no improvements have made to this quintessential part of the web for decades. We took up the challenge. Here’s how.

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What The Mobile Tipping Point In Search Means For Marketers

MediaPost

The era of cheap mobile clicks is coming to an end. Not that long ago, Google’s Enhanced Campaigns were, in part, designed to level the gap between mobile and desktop cost-per-clicks (CPC).

But in 2015, search as a whole will cross the “mobile tipping point” with the number of mobile queries exceeding those made via desktops or tablets, according to a study conducted by iProspect, part of Dentsu Aegis Network.

This means paid search in 2015 will be less about purely tactical delivery and more about high-level strategy and brand experience. “If all you’re doing is targeting keywords that align with your consumer and shouting a marketing message at them, you’re losing in search — you need to use strategic audience insights built into a granular, detailed account structure and process to set yourself up to be a good conversation partner in search,” says Jeremy Hall, Director of Paid Search, iProspect.

iProspect’s report, based on data from over 1,250 AdWords accounts representing more than 135,000 active campaigns, showcases trends for 2014 as a whole with a special focus on Q4 2014 year-over-year trends.

From 2013 to 2014, paid search impressions decreased while click-through-rates (CTRs) and cost-per-click (CPC) increased. Across all verticals, year-over-year impressions for 2014 vs. 2013 are down (-9%) and clicks are up (+9%), resulting in a CTR increase of 20%.

“The first thing I saw when I dug into the results was the drastic dip in impressions, which really surprised me since I knew we were spending more aggressively—but when I saw that clicks had increased, the impression drop made sense,” says Hall.

“In the past year, iProspect has really increased usage of Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) in order to focus our spend on the most qualified audiences—and the result was a decrease in lower-value impressions and an increase in quality traffic.”

Clients that incorporate mobile into their efforts are increasingly able to see growth, not just from user adoption, but from marketer success, and they’re able to drive tangible, measurable results. To that end, mobile CPCs across iProspect’s performance-based clients increased 67% year-over-year in Q4, driven by this better mobile and cross-device reporting and insights into online-to-offline trends.

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3 Mobile Marketing Resolutions To Maximize Your Impact

MediaPost

Understanding how mobile fits into the path to purchase has never been more important for brands. People increasingly use their mobile devices to research and discover content as well as products.

In fact, according to recent research by Flurry from Yahoo, consumers now spend more time on their mobile devices than watching TV. It’s clear that mobile offers massive opportunity to reach consumers when they’re actively engaged.

But are marketers really maximizing the potential of this platform? PriceWaterhouseCoopers recently reported that 37% of mobile users say they’ve never clicked on a mobile ad.

The new year is a great time for marketers to revisit their mobile strategies and set goals to ensure their ads are as engaging and impactful as possible. Studies show that 1/4 of resolutions don’t survive through the end of January. Don’t be a statistic: Here are three mobile marketing resolutions marketers should resolve to keep in 2015.

Put the user first:

Consumers today expect richer content and ad experiences that fit the devices they’re using. This year, the key for brands is to focus on creating advertising that is a seamless part of the mobile experience and enhances the way people consume content on smaller screens.

Native ads will be an even bigger part of this conversation going forward. Because native ads align with the mobile content experience and are directly integrated within the news streams, article pages or image galleries that mobile consumers may be browsing, they can deliver a more relevant and engaging experience.

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