In a recent study by the World Federation of Advertisers on the contentious subject of big data, top marketers have highlighted some of their biggest challenges. Whilst 88% of the respondents said it was vital for current and future business decision-making, 54% struggle to cope with the huge volume of data being generated. (See the infographic below)The other 4 challenges include:
To deploy insights practically across the business (49%)
To find business analysts and data scientists with the right skills (49%)
Unprepared to take advantage of the opportunities of big data (74%)
Improved understanding of ROI as their primary reason for investing in this area (70%)
The study is based on on responses from 47 different multinational brands, collectively responsible for USD35 billion in marketing spend each year. Conducted in conjunction with The Customer Framework, the survey revealed that big data efforts work best when three key conditions are met:
The company has a clarity of purpose around its big data efforts
The most successful respondents were those who identified a clear purpose to their exploration of big data. Nearly 61% claimed to have a clear definition of the purpose of big data. Because every company has access to a multitude of different data sources of varying quality and ownership, the absence of a ‘purpose’ or hypothesis can lead to wasted investment, the WFA said.
The company ignores the hype around big data and starts small
Starting work with small data sets can enable marketers to more easily meet with success in identify insights that can be applied across the business. This helps to demonstrate that it’s worth investing more in the right people and tools. It also allows marketers to boost their expertise and enable them to ensure that work on larger and more disparate data sets truly generates better commercial insights.
That sounds incredibly positive, but BCC analyst Adam Weigold warns that in order for the industry to hit his firm’s prediction, customers will have to feel that wearable devices offer “distinct advantages.”
There’s the rub. Wearables must be innately useful. They must deliver essential functions. Their existence needs to make sense. They have to supplant alternatives. In other words, these things can’t be gimmicks.
And while wearable computing devices must function as fashion accessories, it’s a mistake to make them technology accessories. Not a fatal mistake — there’s a strong accessories market. But to really snag mass-market adoption, wearables need to be essential and work as stand-alones.
The above chart comes from data released by SNL Kagan earlier this month. It highlights the fact that, despite all of the ink spilt in recent years bemoaning the internet driven demise of traditional media, such businesses remain very, very profitable.
The most profitable “old media” business in America last year was John Malone’s Liberty Media, which among other assets, owns the Atlanta Braves major league baseball franchise; 26% of America’s fourth-largest cable provider, Charter Communications; and 27% of concert promoter Live Nation. (Although it’s worth pointing out the company enjoyed a one-off accounting gain worth $7.5 billion, after it changed the way it treats an investment in satellite radio operator Sirius XM on its books).
There’s a common thread between the rest of the top five (and at least half of the list): they produce and sell television shows and/or movies. 21st Century Fox is the company behind the eponymous network, cable channels (like Fox News) and Hollywood film studios; Disney makes nearly half of its revenue out of its media networks division, which includes the juggernaut that is ESPN; Time Warner owns HBO and CNN among other businesses ; Viacom is the company behind MTV, Nickelodeon and the Paramount line of film studios.
It is also worth pointing out that Google, by many definitions a media business (it makes most of its money out of search advertising) is more profitable than any company on the list. But among internet media (or so-called “new media”) businesses, it’s the glaring exception.
All the same, internet companies like Facebook (net income was up 4,600% in 2013) and Netflix (up 555%) are growing at a rapid pace. So it might not be that long before they are among the biggest media businesses—however you choose to define one—as well.
To imagine how YouTube might one day become a money-spinner for content producers, consider the power of the irreverent video gamer and online star PewDiePie over his young, free-spending audience.
Each time the wildly popular YouTube impresario has donned Razer headphones in one of the many zany videos that feature him playing games, the product has sold out.
PewDiePie, who is not paid to endorse the brand, “really helped us in terms of getting traction on a much larger audience,” said Min-Liang Tan, chief executive of San Diego-based Razer, which makes gaming hardware. “It’s incredible that YouTube personalities are coming up … and I think it can only grow.”
PewDiePie’s uncanny trendsetting talent highlights the potential that content related to video games holds for Google Inc as it looks for ways to build its YouTube video platform into a powerful new revenue stream.
Advertisers and media companies are indeed already placing big bets on the likes of PewDiePie and others creating gaming-related content in a bid for the prime but underserved audience of 18- to 34-year-olds that devour video games.
Just last week Walt Disney Co agreed to fork over as much as $950 million to buy Maker Studios, one of YouTube’s largest production and distribution networks. PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, is Maker’s biggest star.
The success of the 24-year-old, with his profanity laced improvisational videos, matches the explosive growth of video-game-based channels on YouTube. His channel has more than 25 million subscribers who can view his content for free, more than Beyonce’s and PresidentBarack Obama’s channels combined.
Between Google’s January £400 million purchase of DeepMind and IBM’s recent competition to find new uses for supercomputer Watson, the media spotlight seems to be gradually honing in on Artificial Intelligence (AI). We speak to professional insiders to find out if 2014 really is the year for AI.
“I have a list of things I expect people to do with Watson, but by unleashing it to people in Brazil and Africa and China, as well as Silicon Valley, who knows what they’ll come up with. That’s the intrigue behind having a contest,” said Jerry Cuomo, IBM fellow and CTO for WebSphere about the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, which invites software developers to produce apps that make use of Watson’s resources.
This certainly opens up a lot of scope for progression in Artificial Intelligence, especially when you consider the increased emphasis on machine learning and robotics from companies like Google, which has been gradually acquiring organisations in this space. In December there was Boston Dynamics, in January there was UK startup DeepMind, and then there were all those smaller deals like DNNresearch along with seven robotics companies at the tail end of 2013.
So where is Artificial Intelligence likely to go in the near term, medium term and long term?
Neil Lawrence, Professor of Machine Learning at the University of Sheffield who works with colleagues on DeepMind and Google says: “The investments we are seeing [by big companies] are very large because there is a shortage of expertise in this area. In the UK we are lucky to have some leading international groups, however the number of true experts in the UK still numbers in the tens rather than the hundreds.”
“The DeepMind purchase reflects this,” he continues. “Their staff was made up in large part by recent PhD graduates from some of these leading groups. Although even in this context the 400 million dollar price tag still seems extraordinary to many in the field. The year 2014 is not the year in which these developments happened, but it may be the year in which they’ve begun to impinge upon the public consciousness.”
Content Marketing World, the largest content marketing event on the planet, is coming back to the United States for a fourth year.
Content Marketing World is the one event where you can learn and network with the best and the brightest in the content marketing industry. You will leave with all the materials you need to take a content marketing strategy back to your team – and – to implement a content marketing plan that will grow your business and inspire your audience. Register today for the best price (and save)!
Already confirmed 2014 speakers include such brands as Kraft Foods, Microsoft, Facebook, SAP, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola Braziland more than 100 content marketing experts from around the globe. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Actor, Director, Producer Kevin Spacey to be closing keynote speaker.
Framingham, Mass. – April 4, 2014 – IDG Enterprise—the leading enterprise technology media company comprising Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, CIO Executive Council, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld—announces the release of enhanced site designs for both CSOonline.com and CITEworld.com. The new designs incorporate responsive technologies, optimizing the websites based on the user’s screen size, whether they are using a smartphone, tablet of desktop, to ensure usability and consistency for all users.
“The traffic to IDG Enterprise’s portfolio of websites from mobile devices continues to increase and now accounts for 14% of traffic. As a digital centric organization we constantly evaluate opportunities to improve the experience for our IT decision-maker readers and the tech marketers looking to engage them,” said Matthew Yorke, CEO of IDG Enterprise.
Website Enhancements Include:
Websites built with responsive design, including HTML5 and CSS3, to ensure usability and consistency for visitors using smartphones, tablets or desktops.
Navigation migrated to a menu icon, next to the website logo, where visitors can navigate to key sections.
Back end capabilities enhancing search functionality and digital asset management for displaying more images and video content.
Shared functionality across IDG Enterprise sites for seamless execution of banner ads, lead generation and native advertising, making promotions more effective.
Single, searchable “Resource Library” supporting all types of lead generation content.
Redefined article pages with less pagination for an improved reading experience, while maintaining ad impression impact.
1) Be flexible, listen to the requirements of the market – When entering a new market, consider it a fresh start and gather data accordingly. Be ready to market your products in a different way or even prepare new products. A common problem Western businesses face is that they cannot (or will not) customize their offering as well as local competitors can.
2) Empower your marketing team – Marketers thrive on information. Make sure your marketing team not only has access to quantitative data, such as data from your web analytics platform and sales figures from the sales team, but also qualitative data, such as information about the quality of leads received by the sales team and feedback from clients.
3) Be prepared for a different sales process – The sales process in China is often very different, and the marketing efforts should be adjusted accordingly. Most notably, the sales process is likely to be longer, more complex and more relationship-driven. It’s important to be aware of these differences and be able to build them into the marketing model. Playing the role of a third-party marketing company, it isn’t uncommon for us to hear conflicting advice from the China-based sales team and the Western-based headquarters. While the sales team may tell us “this is an excellent lead. We’re really excited to build a relationship with ABC Company,” the headquarters may say, “ABC Company didn’t buy now because they wanted something different. I don’t think it’s a great lead.” This shows a difference in understanding of the sales process. Chinese salespeople are generally focused on building relationships first, then making sales later.
Young people are conflicted between feeling empowered by technology and enslaved by it – a signal to brands to push their lifestyle credentials.
Most young people are cautious or cynical about the role that technology plays in their lives, new research suggests, with the vast majority (94 per cent) agreeing or somewhat agreeing that ‘people spend too much time looking at their phones and not enough time talking to each other’.
The Youth Tech report by youth research agency Voxburner and YouGov, seen exclusively by Marketing Week, also shows that 82 per cent of young people agree or somewhat agree that ‘it’s great to take a break from technology every now and again for a few days or more’. Voxburner surveyed over 1,500 UK adults aged 18 to 24 between December 2013 and January 2014 on a range of technology-related issues (see Methodology, below).
The findings call into question the idea that young people are addicted to technology and inseparable from their devices. Elsewhere, the research reveals that while 40 per cent of respondents say they are ‘very interested’ in technology, only 9 per cent say they are ‘obsessed’.
“I think young people feel conflicted in their relationship with technology,” says Luke Mitchell, head of insight at Voxburner. “They love the convenience and empowerment that it brings to their everyday lives, but they also resent the fact that they feel enslaved by it.”
Mitchell notes that because technology is deeply ingrained in young people’s lives, they take it for granted and do not necessarily enjoy using it. He argues that brands should focus on how they can improve people’s lives, rather than the technology itself.
For example, he praises the dating app Tinder for helping people connect for dates in a simple and functional way. “On the Tinder home page there’s a video that explains what it does,” notes Mitchell. “Rather than labouring over the various features of the app, it shows how people don’t always have the courage to ask for a date and how Tinder can help.”