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Which Content Marketing Initiatives Are B2B Tech Marketers Working On?

Content Marketing Institute, Marketing Profs, IDG

Throughout this report, you’ll see how technology marketers have changed their content marketing practices over the last year and how they compare with the overall sample of B2B marketers who completed our annual content marketing survey. Among all groups we studied this year, technology marketers are the most likely to use content marketing. They’re also the group that is most focused on lead generation as the primary goal for their content marketing efforts. Producing engaging content continues to be a challenge for technology marketers; however, 73% are presently working on initiatives to improve in this area. View the infographic below to see which content marketing initiatives B2B tech marketers are working on today and tomorrow…

Download the full report here

WATCH A VIDEO on paid, owned, earned content marketing trends from this research

CMI Initiatives 19 Which Content Marketing Initiatives Are B2B Tech Marketers Working On?

B2B TECHNOLOGY CONTENT MARKETING: 2015 BENCHMARKS, BUDGETS, AND TRENDS – NORTH AMERICA

Content Marketing Institute, Marketing Profs, IDG

Throughout this report, you’ll see how technology marketers have changed their content marketing practices over the last year and how they compare with the overall sample of B2B marketers who completed our annual content marketing survey. Among all groups we studied this year, technology marketers are the most likely to use content marketing. They’re also the group that is most focused on lead generation as the primary goal for their content marketing efforts. Producing engaging content continues to be a challenge for technology marketers; however, 73% are presently working on initiatives to improve in this area.

Download the 2015 B2B Tech Content Marketing Report

Watch a VIDEO on paid, owned, earned content marketing trends from this research

 Screen Shot 2015 03 26 at 8.52.05 AM B2B TECHNOLOGY CONTENT MARKETING: 2015 BENCHMARKS, BUDGETS, AND TRENDS – NORTH AMERICA

The infographic below states which content marketing initiatives B2B tech marketers are working on today and tomorrow. Click here for more info. 

CMI Initiatives 19 B2B TECHNOLOGY CONTENT MARKETING: 2015 BENCHMARKS, BUDGETS, AND TRENDS – NORTH AMERICA

Are Millennials Just Figments of Our Imaginations?

Ad Age

If you’re reading this somewhere in the continental U.S. right now, there’s a good chance you’re snowed in, dangerously low on bread and milk, and have moved beyond weather panic, groundhog-induced rage and cabin fever into a state between hibernation and death.

But fear not, spring is only 20 or so days away. And we all know what spring means! The first signs of advertising awards season. Lions and Pencils and Cubes, oh my. (Cubes? Someone start an award show that hands out Tigers, please.)

While we’re all warming ourselves with heated debate over who or what will be the next “Epic Split,” I’d like to propose a lifetime achievement award for the marketing consultants who’ve had an entire industry living in abject fear for the better part of the last 10 years.

Fear of climate change? Fear of nuclear armageddon? Fear of drug-resistant airborne Super Ebola?

No. Fear of millennials, an invasive alien species so unlike everything that came before them that, gosh darnit, you’re going to need to rip up your entire marketing and media plans. While you’re at it, hire them fresh out of college and anoint them exec VP of something. But don’t demand that they work a regular workweek because these kids, these precious little flowers? They’re not having it. And just stop trying to sell them cars, because they care so much about the planet that they’re never driving again.

If that sounds ridiculous, it is. But that’s the world most of us are living in.

And it’s an imaginary one!

I don’t blame marketing consultants. Like any good marketers, they created a need and filled it. And they weren’t alone in this world-building.

Continue Reading… 

Personalisation – four steps to put the customer at the centre of marketing

The Drum

One topic that we’re seeing a lot of debate about currently is personalisation, but it’s actually a fairly simple concept and one that has been around for decades.

Personalisation simply refers to the focusing and tailoring of a brand’s interactions with an individual, based on what they know about them. The key factor here is ‘relevancy’. Making sure a brand is being relevant ranges from something as basic as using customer’s name in an email, right through to tailoring content pages to reflect an individual’s browsing activity and/or demographics.

The potential of personalisation increases exponentially when applied to digital marketing. This is because the ability to personalise relies on two things; the amount of information available and the ability to deliver a tailored experience… Both things that we know the digital environment more than caters for.

While getting personalisation right is by no means an easy task, it is probably more straightforward than you might think – especially if you break it down into manageable steps and don’t over complicate things. With this in mind, here are the four key steps to help personalise digital marketing:

1) Think about context

Start with your business needs (e.g. lifecycle programmes, sales conversion) and establish the benefit personalisation will provide to the customer, such as; better brand experience, relevant offers or reminders. This is pretty fundamental and should be considered whenever personalisation is discussed.

Once you have identified both of these, you need to define the KPIs and metrics which will prove ROI. That way, you know if the investment in personalisation has worked or indeed is the right (or best) thing to do to meet your business objective. From there, identify what data and insights are required to drive personalisation rules, decide whether you have the content assets available to personalise interactions and finally, check that you have the right tools and people to action these changes.

Continue Reading…

Viewability: The Advertising Trend Of 2015

MediaPost

The IAB is calling 2015 a “year of transition” as it recommends that advertisers seek 70% viewability during the year. But 2015 is more than a year of transition in terms of viewability. Viewability will be the defining advertising trend of 2015.

The move toward 100% viewability is a move toward greater accountability, higher quality inventory, and improved ad experiences. And the responsibility for making these changes falls heavily on publishers.

But 100%  viewability is tough to achieve, given the current state of the industry and the various content models employed by publishers. It also comes at a higher cost, which is somewhat contrary to the initial objectives of programmatic.

Publishers now have to perform a difficult balancing act between the art of publishing and the science of monetization. They must drive more traffic by publishing better and more timely content — the art — while adapting to the changing technology requirements of both programmatic platforms and viewability demands – the science. And, of course, this balancing act amid a rapidly evolving landscape must result in eventual profit.

Those publishers that can master this balancing of art and science, stand to benefit greatly. They will be more and more attractive in the eyes of increasingly sophisticated marketers who are driving these trends by demanding better results and increased transparency.

 

Read More…

The 4 trends the mobile market will focus on in 2015

Venturebeat

2014 was the year that mobile stopped being the next big thing and became THE BIG THING. Investors poured money into any app that showed the slightest signs of traction, new service providers popped up like mushrooms and most importantly, app developers started seeing some serious profits.

Just thinking back to two years ago, everyone and their neighbor had an idea for a new app. Today, these apps have funding, development teams, and slick demos. The success stories like Flappy Bird and 2048 alone were an inspiration to this generation of app developers showing them how far an original idea can take you.

Generally speaking, in 2015 we can identify four types of apps, each with their own characteristics and challenges.

1. Mobile ecommerce — Shifting the focus from market share to engagement

Ecommerce giants have been adapting quite fast to the mobile world. Most of the major players with a significant desktop operation in place spent millions of dollars in 2014 in paid distribution to secure their customer base and to acquire mobile market share. Nevertheless, there is still a large portion of users who use mobile primarily as a ‘discovery channel,’ browsing apps, and mobile web to get inspired — and are then migrating back to desktop to complete the purchase.

 

Read more trends here… 

Who needs a website? Will Facebook become a new content provider

Mashable

Go to where the audience is — that’s the common refrain of 21st century media. Consumers are fragmented, and its up to journalists and editors to bring the news to them.

Video startup NowThis News announced last week that it would take that this idea to its logical extreme by eliminating its website. Its audience resided primarily on social media anyway, so that’s where the company now lives. Going forward, it will focus on publishing work directly to platforms like Facebook and Twitter instead of looking to drive consumers to its website.\

For years, the digital media model relied on getting people to come back to a website and then showing them ads. Early on, publishers looked to appear high on the results for search engines (so called search-engine optimization) or on major portals like AOL and Yahoo in order to take advantage of their audiences. The emergence of social as a traffic driver in the past few years has caused digital publishers to put resources into building out their followers on platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

As audiences have shifted to mobile, social media’s influence has grown.

“The reality is all the action is in the stream, whether it’s your Facebook stream or Twitter or Instagram. That’s where you’re spending your time,” said Andy Wiedlin, an entrepreneur-in-residence at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and the former chief revenue officer atBuzzFeed, in an interview with Mashable.

Continue reading… 

 

 

Using Custom Market Research to Tell Your Brand’s Story

ResearchLogoBLACK no 2nd IDG Using Custom Market Research to Tell Your Brand’s Story

By Jen Garofalo,

Many years ago in my old neighborhood, a woman around my age moved into the small apartment on the second floor of the house next door. We gradually got to know each other, and one day the obligatory question about what we each do for a living came up. I explained that I work in market research and gave her a few standard lines about my job that I typically reserve for these types of situations. Then I paused, waiting for her to jump in and tell me about herself.

“I’m a professional storyteller,” she said. I blinked. Wait, what?
Did she just say she’s a storyteller?

I was intrigued.  “Oh, are you a writer then?”  I asked.  “No, not exactly,” she said. “It’s oral story telling. I visit area schools and I tell my stories to the kids. The stories are factual and have been compiled by my family over many generations, but I try and tailor them to make them relevant for the kids and the issues they’re facing – for example, overcoming fears or dealing with bullies.”

Well, I thought to myself, a storyteller! How cool is that? That’s miles apart from what I do in the office every day.

After some thought though, I realized that what I do really isn’t so wildly different. As a market researcher, my job is also to help tell stories; stories about brands, to be more specific. A typical client’s goal – much like my storyteller friend – is to connect with their target audience and to be as relevant as possible to the world that audience lives in and works in every day. In other words, find out whaStoryTeller Using Custom Market Research to Tell Your Brand’s Storyt issues their target audience is facing, and tell their brand’s story in a way that will make sense to that audience.

Market research, when done well, can be a very useful tool in the storytelling process. Like most storytellers, when beginning a new project I start off in search of answers. I want to know about your brand. Why was it created? What is your brand’s mission? What problems will your brand help to solve? I also want to know about your target audience. Who are they? What are they trying to accomplish? What are their most pressing challenges?

Maybe you can answer this first line of questioning pretty easily. But in some cases, as with a new brand or entry into a new market, that might not be so. Broad-based industry research, market segmentation and customer or prospect surveys can help you learn more about your audience’s needs, so you can better understand where you need to focus the most time and energy.

All good stories follow a pattern – you get to know the characters and their history, you learn about their intentions and motives. Once you have that information, the story picks up momentum and things chug along pretty well. But then – plot twist! –unexpected challenges arise. There’s a conflict. For a brand, this could be a bold move on the part of a competitor, a new development in the industry, a data security breach, or a change in popular trends or opinions. Now we get to the climax of the story. How will your brand respond to this conflict? How will your customers respond? You’re making decisions in real time, and you need information fast. Custom research can be a valuable tool in times of change or crisis. Understanding emerging market trends, as well as customer mindsets and strategies, can help your brand respond appropriately to change and come out looking like a hero. Producing content fueled by third-party market research contributes to the image of your brand as a thought leader and a voice of authority and reason in uncertain times.

There is one big difference between a brand’s story and the kinds of stories that my friend tells. A brand’s story never ends, it’s always evolving. It’s a continuous cycle of learning about and connecting with the people who need your brand right now, in this moment – of discovering who those people are and what their needs are today.

Here are some ways in which custom market research can help you along that journey:

Continue reading… 

 

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…