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IDC’s 10 Predictions for CMOs for 2015

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 IDCs 10 Predictions for CMOs for 2015

By, Kathleen Schaub

What does IDC predict for tech CMOs and their teams in 2015 and beyond?

Sunrise%2B1 IDCs 10 Predictions for CMOs for 2015

Our recent report IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CMO / Customer Experience 2015 Predictionshighlights insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon. Here’s a summary.

1: 25% of High-Tech CMOs Will Be Replaced Every Year Through 2018
There are two dominant drivers behind the increased CMO turnover over the past two years. One driver centers on the cycle of new product innovations, new companies, and new CMO jobs. The second (but equal) driver centers around the required “fit” for a new CMO in the today’s tumultuous environment and the short supply of CMOs with transformational skill sets.

Guidance: Everyone in the C-Suite needs to “get” modern marketing to make the CMO successful.

2: By 2017, 25% of Marketing Organizations Will Solve Critical Skill Gaps by Deploying Centers of Excellence
The speed of marketing transformation and the increased expectations on marketing have left every marketing organization in need of updating its skill sets. In the coming years, CMOs will not only have to recruit and train talent but also create organizational structures that amplify and share best practices. Leading marketing organizations will become masters of the centers of excellence (CoE).

Guidance: Get out of your traditional silos and collaborate.

3: By 2017, 15% of B2B Companies Will Use More Than 20 Data Sources to Personalize a High-Value Customer Journey
Personalization requires a lot of data. CMOs do not suffer from a lack of data — quite the contrary. Today’s marketer has dozens, if not hundreds, of sources available. However, companies lack the time, expertise, and financial and technical resources to collect data, secure it, integrate it, deliver it, and dig through it to create actionable insights. This situation is poised for dramatic change.

Guidance: One of your new mantras must be – “do it for the data”.

4: By 2018, One in Three Marketing Organizations Will Deliver Compelling Content to All Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
CMOs reported to IDC that “building out content marketing as an organizational competency” was their #2 priority (ROI was #1). Content marketing is what companies must do when self-sufficient buyers won’t talk to sales people. While it’s easy to do content marketing; it’s hard to do content marketing well. The most progressive marketing organizations leverage marketing technology and data to develop a buyer-centric content strategy.

Guidance: Remember that it’s the buyer’s journey – not your journey for the buyer.

5: In 2015, Only One in Five Companies Will Retool to Reach LOB Buyers and Outperform Those Selling Exclusively to IT
IDC research shows that line-of-business (LOB) buyers control an average of 61% of the total IT spend. LOB buyers are harder to market to and are even more self-sufficient than technical buyers. To succeed with this new buyer, tech CMOs must move more quickly to digital, incorporate social, broaden the types of content, and enable the sales team to maximize their limited time in front of the customer.

Guidance: Worry less about how much video is in your plan and worry more about your message.

6: By 2016, 50% of Large High-Tech Marketing Organizations Will Create In-House Agencies
Advertising agencies have been slow to recognize the pervasive nature of digital. While many digital agencies exist and many have been acquired by the global holding companies, these interactive services typically managed as just another part of the portfolio of services the agency offers. Modern marketing practitioners realize that digital is now in the DNA of everything they do and are ahead of their agencies.

Guidance: Don’t wait. Take the lead.

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Marketing News Roundup: Facebook News Feed, Personalisation & Email Still the Most Effective Tactic

IDG Connect 0811 Marketing News Roundup: Facebook News Feed, Personalisation & Email Still the Most Effective Tactic

These are my top pick of marketing stories from the last week. I will be focusing Facebook’s update to its news feed, what data marketers use for personalisation and email marketing still the most effective digital marketing tactic.

Update to Facebook News Feed

Facebook has announced that it will be making changes to its news feed so users will see less promotional content. Mentioned in a recent blog post, the company is responding to a survey it held of users. The findings found that Facebook users view the news feed too promotional with a lack of context. And with Facebook’s declining popularity it’s important for the company to listen to its users.

But what does this mean for business page advertising? By eliminating the advertising from its news feed, advertisements will just appear on right column of any page on the site and in the right column on the sites search results. In its blog, Facebook says that Pages will still be important as ever. It also plans to increase its investment in Pages by building new features such as messaging, customised industry pages and video and photo content.

Marketers Use Personal Data for Personalisation

Personalisation is becoming a popular topic amongst marketers. As vast amounts of content is being continuously produced, marketers have begun to see the need to personalise. Over five in 10 marketers agree that the ability to personalise content is a fundamental to their online strategy according to Econsultancy’s recent report.

The report found that 65% of marketers are using personal data such as name, gender and location to personalise their web experiences. Which isn’t surprising as this is the most common personalisation seen across web content. Other forms of personalisation marketers are beginning to adopt is user preferences (45%) and purchase history (38%).

The report also discovered which personalisation has the most impact on ROI. This showed that while personal data is the most commonly used personalisation, 70% of respondents find purchase history has had the biggest impact on ROI.

This demonstrates that while marketers are using the common types of personalised content this always doesn’t mean it’s the best. It could be considered that consumers expect basic personalisation from their web experiences but its marketing’s job to enhance the experience by offering additional personalisation.

Check out our recent top tips blog post to help create an effective personalised marketing campaign.

Email is Still the Most Effective Type of Digital Marketing

While there has been many digital marketing tactics added to marketing’s tool belt, email is still seen as the most effective digital marketing type. In fact, 54% of marketers see its effectiveness in Ascend2 recent digital marketing strategy report

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Top Tips: Creating Effective Personalised Marketing Campaigns

IDG Connect 0811 Top Tips: Creating Effective Personalised Marketing Campaigns

04 12 2014 creating effective personalised marketing campaigns Top Tips: Creating Effective Personalised Marketing Campaigns


Julie Hesselgrove is group president, Communication and Marketing Services at
Xerox. Julie has over 30 years’ experience and in that time has seen industries evolve and adapt to meet changing customer demands. Today, she believes that the biggest challenge facing organisations across Europe is their communications infrastructure. Julie’s passion for innovation and improvement is put to good use in her current role – leading and developing a team with considerable market experience – to deliver solutions that will help our clients overcome their biggest marketing challenges. 

Julie shares her top tips on creating effective personalised marketing campaigns.

 

As consumers we are bombarded with marketing messages every waking hour. Our commutes, our choice of shop, the TV we watch, the devices we use; everything is a marketing channel.

As a result we are increasingly adept at ‘tuning out’ marketing noise. It’s an act of self-preservation. Which means capturing our attention and cutting through the noise relies almost entirely on being engaging and personally relevant.

On the whole, consumers are spending more in the UK. Which means that the opportunity for returns from personalised marketing is real. Creating satisfied customers equates to improved conversion, increased retention and higher customer spend. In other words, a win-win.

To create a truly personalised campaign, as ever, the devil is in the detail. But the good news is that personalisation is now more achievable to marketers than ever, thanks to new abilities to track, measure and respond to consumer interactions in real time, while deploying data analytics to get a real understanding of traction. Here are five steps towards giving your communications that personal touch.

1.       Live in the now
In the age of the ‘always on’ customer, the expectation is that every web page, mobile or tablet interaction, and piece of printed communication will acknowledge the customer’s real-time preferences. As a consequence, the focus is on real time interaction management – creating content in ’the now’ that responds to the customer’s current actions – not just historic preferences.

Using data analytics will help you move from being descriptive (based on past transactions) to being contextualised and predictive (based on what’s happening now). But also consider creating pre-written content to push out when your customer’s circumstances change to build a more intuitive personalisation that responds to the customer as if in a conversation.

2.       Think digital
One of the biggest challenges for many businesses is embracing the digital business model and changing cultural norms within the organisation. We still see companies that are too comfortable with monolithic, legacy systems that are difficult to update. Moving to more agile, customer-centric platforms creates an ecosystem where the business does not have to own all parts of the system.

3.       Outsource the process
More and more large organisations are turning to third-party experts to handle the huge amounts of data that they now need to act upon. Through outsourcing they are able to make short-term gains by reducing costs, replacing platforms and helping a business unit solve problems. For the customer this translates to a more seamless and agile communications experience.

Continue reading… 

What is Content Marketing? IDC’s Definition of Content Marketing

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 What is Content Marketing? IDCs Definition of Content Marketing

By, Sam Melnick

If you looked away for a split second you may have missed the rise of Content Marketing from “buzz word” to “must have”. In fact, at the beginning of 2014 CMOs at the largest technology companies reported that “Building out content marketing as an organizational competency” was the 2nd most important initiative, only behind measuring ROI. Since then, they have responded by putting more budget, staff, and energy into the area, yet there is still confusion around the topic. What exactly is Content Marketing? Is it a type of marketing asset? Is it a process or a technique? Or something else?


IDC’s CMO Advisory Service, has seen this issue first hand and to help remedy the situation the group has  published a document, What Is Content Marketing? IDC Defines One of Marketing’s Most Critical New Competencies. Included within is a formal definition for Content Marketing.

IDC’s Definition of Content Marketing

Content marketing is any marketing technique whereby media and published information (content) are used to influence buyer behavior and stimulate action leading to commercial relationships. Optimally executed content marketing delivers useful, relevant information assets that buyers consider a beneficial service rather than an interruption or a “pitch.”

What is Included Within Content Marketing?

A definition is a great start, but the question that follows is, “What is, and is not Content Marketing?” To help marketers become more grounded in this definition of content marketing the CMO Advisory Service has also published a guide for “Types of Marketing Assets.” In the graphic below you can see the break out of marketing assets into three categories:

  • Content Marketing Assets
  • Product Marketing Assets
  • Corporate Marketing Assets

Each is important to the company and within the marketing mix, but only content marketing is new in purpose and new in form. Also, key to remember is Content Marketing Assets are not replacements for Product Marketing Assets or Corporate Marketing Assets.

Types%2Bof%2BMarketing%2BAssets What is Content Marketing? IDCs Definition of Content Marketing

 

Meet the Virtual Sales Rep

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Meet the Virtual Sales Rep

By, Kathleen Schaub

Air%2BTraffic%2BControl Meet the Virtual Sales Rep

Robert sits in an office near Provo, Utah at what looks like the console of an air traffic controller. But instead of directing jets through the airspace, he’s using Twitter to guide a software company’s buyer through her decision-journey. Part marketer, part sales, part tech service, Robert is one of an emerging breed of “virtual” sales reps. Could this be the dream team that B2B has been waiting for?

The B2B “Genius Bar”® as a Role Model

The “virtual” sales rep role in its ideal form provides the personalized, anticipatory, service of a five-star hotel. Think of it as the B2B version of an Apple Genius Bar – using virtual tools. The Apple executive team modeled the Genius Bar after Ritz-Carlton’s customer service. Hallmarks of this exemplary concierge service include a personal touch; a warm, friendly, attitude; and attention to satisfying customer needs at every step. Sales expert Anneke Seley says the “virtual” sales rep culture is a far-cry from the historical “me and my quota” rep.

Sales teams are finally coming to grips with digital age facts. The culture shift recognizes that engagement must be sensitive to the appropriate stage of the buyer’s decision-journey. “Buyers aren’t ready to buy until they are ready to buy”. Marketers all know by now that buyers prefer self-sufficiency and they avoid talking to sales people until the decision-journey is substantially complete.  IDC research shows that for tech products averages this distance averages about 50%. Now sales is also starting to appreciate that buyers are alienated when by placed prematurely into the arena. At the same time sales leaders don’t want to waste an expensive sales resource on someone who isn’t ready to buy.

Digital May Not be Enough

Content marketing is what companies must do to fill the gap when buyers won’t talk to traditional sales people.  Content marketing is a hugely important communication strategy and companies will not be successful without mastering it.

Yet, for B2B companies, a completely digital engagement solution may not ever be the right answer. For one thing, content marketing capabilities in most companies is still ramping. Even when content marketing becomes excellent, digital may never be personal enough. Some B2B solutions are so complex, customized, or require so much trust that a human must intervene for the buyer to be truly served.  It may also be in the vendor’s best interest to involve a good sales person early. One tech CMO told me that although the company could offer eCommerce, a human touch tripled the size of the deal.

Continue reading… 

Customer-Focused Teams Are Secretly Daunted By Data Demands

IDG Connect 08111 Customer Focused Teams Are Secretly Daunted By Data Demands

One of the top goals for business leaders today is to better understand, engage with and retain their customers[i]. This involves making the most of the ever-growing volume of customer data available to build integrated, three-dimensional profiles of customers and to identify patterns and trends. Many firms turn to the roles closest to the customer to deliver this insight.

Recent research undertaken with PwC[ii] reveals that nearly two-thirds of European and just under half of North American mid-market firms believe their marketing teams have the best skills to extract insight from information, and around half (46% and 57% respectively) say the same for their customer service and insight teams.

Yet conversations with marketing leaders reveal that the teams in question are far less confident about their ability to achieve this.

One study[iii] found that a third of executives believe that being able to use data analytics to extract predictive findings from big data is the top skill required of their marketing professionals. However, just under half admit their own team lacks this skill. Another[iv] discovered that an overwhelming 82% of marketing leaders feel unprepared to deal with the data explosion, and only 59% say they have the skills to analyse and understand customer behaviour across all channels.

Despite this clearly recognised skills gap, only one in five marketing professionals is expected to receive formal training in data analysis this year[v].

In short, many firms could be passing data to teams that are ill-equipped to do it justice. Missing out on rich customer insight is just one of the risks. Our research found that marketing teams are increasingly given free access to sensitive and confidential customer information in order to extract intelligence, but are rarely held accountable for keeping it safe.

We discovered that less than one per cent of mid-market firms think teams such as marketing and customer insight should have a responsibility for information protection. Many (39%) place this responsibility firmly at the door of the IT security manager.

This is all the more worrying when you consider the fact that marketing departments are often at the forefront of flexible working practices[vi], allowing staff to work from home or while travelling – often without providing adequate guidance and support.

We found that one in three marketing professionals works from home two-to-four days a week, more than most other job roles. A third undertake confidential or sensitive work while travelling on public transport; one in four throw documents into insecure bins away from the office – and 48% send or receive work documents over a personal email account, at times using an insecure wireless network (12%). However, just a third of the employers surveyed provide secure remote intranet access for marketing professionals working from home, or offer guidelines or policies on how to handle sensitive information.

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The types of stories and comments that promote comment-section engagement

American Press Institute

Want more comments? Look at how you write articles on your site. Articles that describe why they matter to specific groups of people generate more comments than articles that don’t describe how they affect people or that focus on just one person.

Want to boost interaction among commenters? Try encouraging commenters to respond to each other by name.

These are some of the insights from two recently-published scholarly articles on engagement and interaction in comment sections.

Comment sections are a controversial subject. Some news organizations have begun to eschew comments altogether, including Reuters’ and the technology siteRe/code, arguing that much of that discussion now occurs on social media.

But community conversation has become an important part of news, and organizations interested in increasing the volume of comments and generating more interaction between commenters can draw inspiration from the new findings.

More comments appear on articles with several key attributes, according to research by University of Zurich doctoral student Patrick Weber. News about events that have a clear beginning and end, for example, yields more comments than news about ongoing situations. This result suggests that an article describing a jobs bill being passed would receive more comments than an article about ongoing debate about the same bill.

Weber’s analysis of 1,000 articles from three German newspapers also identifies articles that attract fewercomments: Among those he found are international stories and stories that focus more on facts than analysis.

News organizations also can encourage discussion among commenters. Research by University of Mainz students Marc Ziegele and Timo Breiner and their professor Oliver Quiring examines which comments are most likely to inspire a reaction from other commenters. They analyze 1,580 comments left in response to political stories from two different German news organizations.

Personalized comments that directly address another commenter are more likely to get a response, Ziegele and his colleagues find. So are comments that pose a question.

One finding that may be less surprising is that controversial comments increase the chances that others will respond. But one finding may not be so expected: Short comments — those with 10 or fewer words — are far less likely to prompt a response.

Comments leading others to respond

Controversial comments were 1.7 times as likely as uncontroversial comments to stimulate feedback

Odds of stimulating feedbackComments at the beginning of athreadComments asking a questionControversial commentsPersonalized commentsVery short comments00.511.522.53

Data Source: Marc Ziegele, Timo Breiner & Oliver Quiring. (2014). What creates interactivity in online news discussions? An exploratory analysis of discussion factors in user comments on news items. Journal of Communication. doi: 10.1111/jcom.12123

American Press Institute

Website design, the researchers find, affects commenting and interaction, too. Weber concludes that prominently featured articles garner more comments. The University of Mainz team discovers that comments at the top of a commenting thread receive more responses than other comments.

It is important to note that these studies demonstrate correlation, not causation. By identifying factors that correlate with more engagement and interaction, however, they provide a solid starting point for news organizations interested in testing factors that could produce a robust conversation.

News organizations can use these findings to examine whether the following factors affect comments on their sites:

 

 

11 technologies Apple has killed

CITEworld

Out with the old

One of the things that makes Apple so successful is that it’s not afraid to abandon/kill popular technologies in the interest of something new. In doing so, the company often creates a bit of controversy, even if in the long run it seems to pan out well. At the same time, Apple’s revolutionary products have helped bring down entire product categories. Here is a rundown of technologies and products that Apple has killed (or is in the process of killing) over the last 17 years.

Floppy Drive

The first product released during Steve Jobs’s second stint at Apple was the Bondi Blue iMac. The all-in-one design was an immediate hit with consumers, and the machine was notable as much for its iconic look and performance as it was for the features it didn’t include. Specifically, the first iMac shipped without a floppy drive. At the time, back in 1997, this was a huge deal. To some critics, Apple was running a huge risk by completely doing away with what was then a common storage medium. Jobs and Apple, though, had the foresight to realize that computing was rapidly becoming Internet-centric, thereby eliminating the need for old-fashioned floppy drives.

Apple’s 30-pin connector

For over a decade, iPod, iPhone, and iPad users alike relied on Apple’s tried-and-true 30-pin connector for charging and to connect their devices with computers and accessories. But Apple said goodbye to the 30-pin connector in 2012 when it introduced the Lightning connector, a superior standard for a number of reasons. In addition to being smaller and more robust, the Lightning connector is reversible, which makes for a more efficient user experience. Naturally, abandoning the 30-pin connector on new iOS devices caused temporary problems for individual consumers and even large companies who had spent lots of money on older iOS accessories.

Netbooks

Remember Netbooks? A few years back, these hyper-small laptops were poised to be the next big thing in computing. In fact, back in 2008 and 2009, netbooks were flying off the shelves. As a result, there was a lot of pressure for Apple to enter the netbook market. Apple, however, went a different route when it released the iPad. Rather than opting for a compromised device, the company entered a new product category entirely with the iPad. The end result was a rather quick demise for the netbook, and in parallel, a reinvigorated market for tablets.

FireWire

FireWire was a proprietary Apple technology which allowed for incredibly fast transfer speeds between devices. Indeed, it was one of the features that made the original iPod so compelling. Beyond that, FireWire was, for a time, the de-facto standard for transferring digital movie footage to Macs.

Unfortunately, Apple ultimately began phasing out FireWire on Macs in 2008 as transitioning to USB expanded the company’s pool of potential users. It’s a shame, though, because USB 2.0, while decent, was vastly inferior to FireWire. The staggered abandonment of FireWire ultimately gave way to Thunderbolt.

View the other seven items… 

7 ways to use social media to attract holiday shoppers

CITEworld

Marketing and social media experts share their tips on how to use social media to get people talking about – and buying – your products this holiday season.

How can social media help businesses drive traffic to their ecommerce or bricks-and-mortar sites this holiday season? CIO.com posed that question to dozens of marketers and social media experts. Following are their top seven strategies for how to use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube to engage customers and get them – and their friends – to check out (and hopefully buy) your holiday offerings.

1. Use a festive cover photo on your Facebook page (Twitter, too). “One of the best pieces of real estate to leverage [this holiday season] is your Facebook cover photo,” says Melissa Ward, managing partner, NewWard Development, which provides social media and Internet marketing and website design help. “Change your Facebook cover photo to [something that you are promoting this holiday season] and be sure to include a link to the URL in the description.”

When choosing a holiday cover image, “consider seasonal photos that will connect emotionally with your audience, highlighting both your brand and message,” says Jay Hawkinson, senior vice president, Emerging Products, SIM Partners, which provides digital marketing solutions. Just remember to “be subtle and discerning with holiday colors and themes, and avoid being garish.”
2. Create holiday-related boards on Pinterest. “Create gift idea boards on Pinterest with gifts from all around the Web and a few of your own products thrown into the mix,” say Michelle Friedman, director of Marketing, Medical Scrubs Collection. “Add Pin It buttons to product pages on your site and feature ‘most pinned items’ on your home page.” And “make sure that your Pinterest pins feature well photographed, [attractive] images” that will appeal to holiday shoppers.

3. Create a fun holiday YouTube video and include a hidden offer code. “Create a fun [holiday] video with a hidden offer code,” for, say, 10 or 20 percent off a purchase, or free shipping or a free gift, suggests Juan Velasquez, marketing specialist, DoItWiser, a provider of toner cartridges and green office supplies. Just be sure to “let people know there is a discount code hidden somewhere in the video to encourage active viewing and sharing” – and include a link to a dedicated landing page in the description.

4. Use holiday-related hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. On both Twitter and Instagram, “be sure to research and use appropriate holiday hashtags, e.g., #HoHoHo and #Christmas2014, with your posts,” says Michelle Garrett, owner, Garrett Public Relations. “Experiment to see what works best. And include a dedicated URL to track those who click through.”

Other popular holiday Twitter and Instagram hashtags include #holidayshopping, #christmasgifts, #stockingstuffer and #wishlist.

5. Blog or post about holiday-related topics of interest to your audience. “Write blog posts that tie into the holidays,” suggests Garrett.

For example, you could “provide advice on what to wear and/or bring to family parties or corporate events or [provide suggestions on] gift giving,” says Adam Forrest, senior director, Americas Marketing, Demandware, a scalable commerce platform for enterprise retail.

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What’s the right news experience on a phone? Stacy-Marie Ishmael and BuzzFeed are trying to figure it out

Nieman Journalism Lab

Few weeks ago, we wrote about BuzzFeed’s hiring of Stacy-Marie Ishmael, formerly of the Financial Times, as the editorial lead for their forthcoming news app. Product leadNoah Chestnut, formerly of The New Republic, has been working on building a product that will serve news in a mobile context to core BuzzFeed News readers for a few months now.

stacy marie ishmael1 300x177 What’s the right news experience on a phone? Stacy Marie Ishmael and BuzzFeed are trying to figure it out

Ishmael helped start one of the FT’s first blogs, Alphaville, which allowed the paper to experiment with tone for the first time. Connecting with digital financial communities eventually inspired Ishmael to look into how the paper could build a deeper relationship with its readership offline. As vice president of communities, Ishmael worked closely with teams including FT Live, the events business of the FT which hosts some 200 conferences a year.

But BuzzFeed offers Ishmael the opportunity to explore an area she’s never taken on directly — general news. She’s been thinking a lot about ways to reach BuzzFeed’s audience on mobile, like push notifications, email newsletters, and Twitter cards. Both she and Chestnut want to find a way to predict users’ information needs without asking them to commit time to establishing preferences and to provide an overall delightful experience on par with Instagram or Tinder.

As Ishmael has been preparing to leave the FT, Chestnut has been busy building up a staff of developers and researching competitors. During that transition, I had the chance to talk with Ishmael about her plans for the app, including her own mobile media diet, management philosophy, and experience in audience development. Here’s a lightly edited version of our conversation.

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