Upcoming Events
Event Date Location

Distributech

02/03/2015 - 02/05/2015 San Diego CA

Digital Summit Phoenix

02/04/2015 - 02/05/2015 Acottsdale AZ

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

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.

Continue reading… 

 

7 Key Marketing Trends for 2015 and Tactics for Succeeding in the New Year

Silverpop

As we enter the second half of the 2010s, the buyer journey continues to evolve. More than ever before, customers and prospects are shopping online and engaging with businesses through mobile and social media.

Email is still the preferred method for receiving content from companies, but people expect this content to be engaging and personalized — nearly 60 percent say they won’t even open an email if they think it’s irrelevant to them. In this landscape, enhancing the customer experience at every touch point has rarely been more important. To that end, “digital pacesetter” CMOs surveyed in 2014 cite enhancing customer loyalty and encouraging satisfied customers to advocate their brands as their current top priorities.

Likewise, more than 60 percent of CIOs plan to focus more heavily on improving the customer experience and getting closer to customers in the year ahead. Many of today’s leading digital marketers are using behavioral marketing automation to help them enhance the customer experience, building rulesbased programs and scoring models that reflect the actions customers and prospects take. And they’re using automation and strategically created content to deliver the right message at the exact time contacts need it
based on their behaviors.

The core tenets of behavioral marketing will continue to serve marketers well in 2015, and as marketing technologies have grown in sophistication and buying patterns have continued to evolve, exciting new opportunities have arisen for marketers to engage with their customers. Here’s a look at seven key trends that will help define digital marketing in 2015, plus some quick-hit tactics to help you start thinking about how you
might address these areas.

Download the guide now… 

IDG TechNetwork Expands Programmatic Media Buying Into China

MediaPost

The IDG TechNetwork has expanded its global online advertising network into China, following its parent company International Data Group (IDG), which has supported the market for 34 years.

The launch of IDG TechNetwork China, announced Monday, means that IDG now supports data-driven marketing and premium programmatic buying to more than 60 Chinese language magazines, newspapers and Web sites.

Peter Longo, CEO of U.S. Media for IDG Communications, believes the move makes the company the first global technology-focused ad network to enter the Chinese market. The network supports more than 570 publisher sites and reaches more than 130 million tech enthusiasts, enterprise tech buyers and gamers.

Based in Beijing, IDG TechNetwork China is a fully owned business unit of IDG China led by CEO William Xu.

For brands, the move means an easier transition into China to reach the local market and better access to premium inventory they can purchase and optimize through one media group, the IDG TechNetwork China.

Marketers will have access to auctions and private marketplaces, data management platform and demand side platform services, along with increased targeting capabilities and multiple ways of acquiring inventory through direct placements and exchange based trading, per Longo.

“They will be able to buy with confidence against premium inventory from IDG, a media company that has been doing business in China for over 30 years,” he said.

All owned-and-operated Web sites in China become part of the IDG TechNetwork China along with selected premium partners that we have chosen to work with us. This provides increased scale to offer their advertising partners, as well as the ability to do business with new partners, such as DSPs and agency trading desks.

The company will now collect first-party data for its network of Web sites, allowing for better performance and return on investments for advertisers.

View original article

2015 Will See Many Asia Pacific Internet of Things Solutions and Vendors Move Beyond the Hype, While Others Head Back to the Drawing Board

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 2015 Will See Many Asia Pacific Internet of Things Solutions and Vendors Move Beyond the Hype, While Others Head Back to the Drawing Board

International Data Corporation (IDC) envisions 2015 will be the year when Internet of Things (IoT) starts to deliver against the hype, but it will require vendors and customers alike to change their approach.

“Companies are always looking for ways to drive business transformation, deliver competitive differentiation and enhance the customer experience, and many are now realizing that the Internet of Things can help them deliver against these goals,” says Charles Reed Anderson, AVP, Head of Mobility and Internet of Things, IDC Asia/Pacific.

Anderson explains that 2014 has seen an explosion of new IoT-related solutions, including consumer wearables, smart home products and industrial IoT solutions.

“More importantly, however, is that 2014 has seen the maturing of the wider IoT technology vendor ecosystem, which helped ensure we have the capabilities to deploy complex IoT solutions today and deliver tangible value to governments, enterprise and consumers alike.”

Drawing from the latest IDC research and internal brainstorming sessions amongst IDC’s regional and country analysts, the following are the top 10 key IoT predictions that IDC believes will have the biggest impact on the APeJ IoT industry in 2015.

1) IoT to create new markets for retail brands

During the past year, IDC has witnessed an explosion in the consumer wearables market with new fitness bands, smart watches and smart clothing being launched from traditional OEM vendors and a multitude of tech startups and 3rd platform-born players.

IDC believes that 2015 will see an influx of consumer IoT embedded into consumer retail brands/ products. Partnerships between IoT vendors (including ODM/OEM vendors) and non-tech consumer goods’ brands will emerge rapidly to create a sizable market opportunity for the IT industry.

2) Smart Watches: Early adopters will be the only adopters…for now

New smart watches will be launched on an almost weekly basis from the leading global device manufacturers, the Chinese and Taiwanese ODM vendors and tech start-ups. While interest levels are high, IDC believes the early technology adopters will be the only adopters in 2015. The combination of the small screen size, immature application developer ecosystem, and limited functionality will prevent this from reaching the wider consumer market in 2015.

3) Wearables enter the enterprise

Basic wearables, which include devices fitness bands and clips that cannot load 3rd party software, will find a lucrative new market in enterprise customers. Employee tracking, integration into corporate wellness programs, and the creation of new business models that leverage basic wearables, especially fitness bands, to enhance the customer experience will see significant adoption in 2015.

4) Free services to drive consumer IoT adoption

There is a limit to how many consumer wearable products and services consumers will be willing to purchase. In 2015, IDC believes companies will start to offer free products and services to specific customer demographic groups, but they will insist they “own” the data that is produced by the devices. This data will then be leveraged to deliver personalized marketing and drive sales or sold to 3rd parties (regulation permitting).

5) Emergence of the glass solution provider

Connected glass devices will struggle in the consumer market, however, the enterprise business case exists for many industries, particularly those industries (e.g. major equipment manufacturers) that employ large workforces that spend considerable time at customer sites for training as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. IDC expects some large equipment manufacturers to build out their internal capabilities and partner ecosystems to become a glass solution provider and to reduce their considerable travel costs.

6) Industrial IoT: Businesses “talk big”, but deploy practically

Most industries believe that IoT will forever change the way their industry operates, however, ongoing concerns about both up-front (CapEx) and ongoing (OpEx) costs as well as potential security and privacy issues will ensure the deployment of “practical” solutions in 2015. Customers will focus on deploying solutions that deliver quick impact and return on investment (e.g. energy management solutions) and leverage the cost savings generated to fund more dynamic solutions going forward.

See all ten predictions… 

World Tech Update Video – Dec 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on World Tech Update this week Google creates a new kind of CAPTCHA, Amazon hires some robotic help for the holiday season and an e-ink smartphone goes on sale.

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… 

Top five tips for this year’s tech Santa

Macworld

Perhaps, between this month’s tinselly advertisements, you’ve heard that this is the Season of Giving. While many people consider the name nothing more than an invitation to pass poinsettias between friends, some understand that it also means giving of your time and talents. For example, as a Macworld reader there’s every chance that you have technical knowledge to spare—some of which would be deeply appreciated by those family and friends you visit over the holidays. Might I suggest, in the spirit of sharing, that you lend a hand in the following five ways?

Give a faster Mac for not much money

There is no better way to speed up an older Mac than to add a solid state drive (SSD) as a boot volume. It matters not at all which modernish Mac model you’re talking about. If it currently uses a spinning mechanical drive, replacing that drive with an SSD will produce jaw-dropping results.

how to buy a gaming laptop ssd 100531179 large Top five tips for this years tech SantaSANDISK
Shove an SSD into a loved one’s Mac and they’ll love you forever.

If installing such a thing is beyond your ken, you can find instructions from bothiFixit and OWC (and each can sell you a drive).

Note that Yosemite doesn’t support TRIM on third-party drives (see the linked article for details) so you’ll want to be careful about which SSD you choose.

Also, as an SSD is likely to have less capacity than the drive you’re replacing, you should consider storing items found within the Home folder on another volume. And if this Mac holds just one drive, don’t fret. In Giving the gift of speed: The SSD upgrade I discuss adding a second drive to certain Macs.

Power to your people

This next suggestion is more or less helpful depending on where the target of your holiday affection lives. Country dwellers with questionable power lines and those subject to weather-related outages will find it the most useful. And that suggestion is that you carefully wrap an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and shove it under the mistletoe. Both you and it are likely to get a kiss.

apc ups 100534205 medium Top five tips for this years tech Santa
When the lights go out, your friends and family will think of you.

For those unfamiliar with these devices, a UPS is essentially a large battery that provides additional power outlets and a measure of surge protection. Should the power suddenly go out, a UPS can keep a computer running for awhile—long enough to save your work and then safely shut down the computer. APCis probably the most well known brand, but other companies make these things too.

When giving the gift of power you’ll want to be on hand when it’s put to use. And no, not just so you can receive warm thanks. Rather, you should be there to help ensure that the right devices are plugged into it. For example, only key components should pull power from the battery. There’s no reason to attach a laser printer to it, for example. Nor should you tax the battery with a nearby TV. Instead, be sure that the computer’s power cord is attached as well as any peripherals that the computer absolutely requires—a monitor if it’s attached to a Mac mini, for instance. You could also attach the broadband modem and router to it so that your family can continue to use the Internet until such time that the battery drains (helpful for checking a power company’s website to learn when power might be restored).

 

Continue reading… 

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… 

Publishers Struggle with Email Marketing Basics

eMarketer

Today’s digital consumers have forced publishers to move some of their marketing efforts away from print and toward online and mobile. However, September 2014 research from FOLIO:, sponsored by Lyris, found that publishers were still struggling with email marketing—a more “traditional” digital channel.

182124 Publishers Struggle with Email Marketing Basics

US publishing professionals’ responses indicated that they were facing challenges with simple email marketing tactics including list growth and list maintenance. List growth was the most common hurdle, cited by the majority of respondents, while 41% had problems maintaining the lists they did have.

Publishers aren’t ignoring their list problems though—good news considering that without the right recipients, email marketers won’t see the success they desire, according to FOLIO:. When asked about their email marketing priorities for the next 12 months, list growth and improving list data and quality were the top two responses, cited by 60% and 58% of publishing professionals, respectively.

When running digital campaigns, marketers can’t forget mobile, another problem area for some publishers. One-third of respondents said that mobile optimization was a challenge, but once again, they planned to make an effort to fix this in the coming year. Fully 39% of respondents said that email optimization across all devices was a top priority—the third most popular response.

182126 Publishers Struggle with Email Marketing Basics

The study found that publishing professionals were making strides toward mobile-optimized emails, albeit slowly. More than one-third of respondents said their emails were fully optimized for mobile. An additional 31% had started working on this and planned to complete mobile-optimized email efforts in the next 12 months. Still, the remaining 35% hadn’t started, and nearly half of respondents in this group weren’t even sure where to begin.

Continue reading…

In 2015, Technology Shifts Accelerate and China Rules, IDC Predicts

NYT

In the year-end predictions game, most technology forecasts tend to be either blue sky or boring, flights of imagination or a firm grasp of the obvious.

For the last several years, IDC has published prediction reports that generally avoid the pitfalls of the genre, and offer a useful framework for thinking about the trajectory of trends in technology. The technology research firm’s predictions for 2015, published on Tuesday, come in a 17-page report that is rich in numbers and analysis.

Beyond the detail, a couple of larger themes stand out. First is China. Most of the reporting and commentary recently on the Chinese economy has been about its slowing growth and challenges.

“In information technology, it’s just the opposite,” Frank Gens, IDC’s chief analyst, said in an interview. “China has a roaring domestic market in technology.”

In 2015, IDC estimates that nearly 500 million smartphones will be sold in China, three times the number sold in the United States and about one third of global sales. Roughly 85 percent of the smartphones sold in China will be made by its domestic producers like Lenovo, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE and Coolpad.

The rising prowess of China’s homegrown smartphone makers will make it tougher on outsiders, as Samsung’s slowing growth and profits recently reflect.

More than 680 million people in China will be online next year, or 2.5 times the number in the United States. And the China numbers are poised to grow further, helped by its national initiative, the Broadband China Project, intended to give 95 percent of the country’s urban population access to high-speed broadband networks.

In all, China’s spending on information and communications technology will be more than $465 billion in 2015, a growth rate of 11 percent. The expansion of the China tech market will account for 43 percent of tech-sector growth worldwide.

Another theme in the IDC report is the quickening pace of the move from older technologies to new ones. Overall spending on technology and telecommunications, IDC estimates, will rise by a modest 3.8 percent in 2015. Yet the top-line numbers mask the trends beneath. IDC predicts there will be growth of 13 percent in what the research firm calls “3rd platform” technologies (cloud, mobile, social and big data). By contrast, older technologies will face a no-growth “near recession,” according to IDC, and “will shift fully into recession” by the second half of next year.

IDC’s 3rd platform is similar to what Gartner, another big research firm, has called a “nexus of forces” sweeping through the industry. (Gartner’s ingredients are virtually the same as IDC’s with slightly different labels — social interaction, mobility, cloud and information.) The 1st platform, in IDC’s taxonomy, was the mainframe era, running from the 1960s into the 1980s. The 2nd platform included personal computers and the Internet, and began in the 1980s and ran through the middle of the first decade of this century.

Continue reading…