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Agenda 15

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

advertising-marketing

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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

 Screen Shot 2015 03 26 at 8.52.05 AM 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… 

 

IAB Launches Guidelines To provide Greater Transparency in Digital Advertising

IAB
The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB UK) has released part one of a set of guidelines to help the marketing industry provide more transparency to consumers around ‘native’ advertising.
See the guidelines here
See the research here

The guidelines provide advertisers, publishers, agencies and advertising technology companies with clear and practical steps to make it easier for consumers to spot native advertising – digital ad formats designed to look and feel like editorial content.

Supported by ISBA – the voice of British advertisers – the Association for Online Publishers (AOP) and the Content Marketing Association (CMA), the guidelines meet the UK advertising industry’s CAP code, which is enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Two of the key guidelines for native advertising formats are:

  • Provide consumers with prominently visible visual cues enabling them to immediately understand they are engaging with marketing content compiled by a third party in a native ad format which isn’t editorially independent (e.g. brand logos or design, such as fonts or shading, clearly differentiating it from surrounding editorial content)
  • It must be labelled using wording that demonstrates a commercial arrangement is in place (e.g. ‘paid promotion’ or ‘brought to you by’).

Continue Reading… 

 

What’s your content “type”?

IDG GlobalSolutions Color Whats your content type?

Jason Gorud – Vice President – IDC/IDG

I am not a thought leader.

I will not pretend to be one.

What you are about to read is not thought leadership. It’s just something worth thinking about.

My current role gives me access to some of the most interesting, influential, technology in the B2B space. More importantly, it puts me in touch with the marketing professionals and media agencies that sit at the forefront of the promotion of these wonderful solutions. Having had the chance to meet so many brilliant people I consider myself blessed. I am continually amazed by the tactics, strategies and little “tricks” employed by individuals and firms alike as they go about their business of building brand, pipeline and awareness for their respective companies.

My firm is often called into an organization in an advisory capacity to help groups understand a myriad of market complexities faced by tech firm executives; market share, vertical trends, new market entry strategy, channel ecosystem challenges are just a few of the areas where we attempt impart insight and actionable advice.

I have noticed that the aspirational goal of nearly every marketing professional I speak with is to position their firm as a “thought leader”. Almost with out exception the meetings I have with my clients, irrespective of the solution being covered, will meander into familiar territory: a chat about how to ensure their firm is seen as the“thought leader” in the [insert any tech solution here] space. Whether it’s OpenStack, smart cities, Software Defined Networks, mobile devices, printer ink, or cat toys everyone is zealously certain their message (and by extension firm, people and solutions) should, nay MUST, carry within it the holy seed of true THOUGHT LEADERINESS ( hmmmmmmm #ThoughtLeaderiness??? ).

In fairness, some do accomplish this goal, but most do not. Just like good and evil, smart and dumb, beautiful and ugly, Bert and Ernie, normal me and me being terse are mutually exclusive, yet co-dependent opposites, so too is though leadership content and the mundane. In each case one must exist in order to define the other.

So how do tech (actually you could replace tech with ANY) companies establish this coveted pre-eminence in the market’s collective brain? Why through effective content marketing of course! Thought leadership doesn’t simply descend from heaven in the form of an omnipotent alpha-Geek imparting the one, true path to CIOs by doling out wisdom via a series of arcane, magical gestures and select speaking engagements. If only it were that simple and TED talks that productive.

We’ve all heard that content is king. I disagree.

“Content” is this gigantic, nebulous, unchained beast to which all marketers have all become addicted.

Ladies and gentlemen, all you fans of irony in general, I give you the Ouroboros of marketing! King Content is king because we are told it’s king!

Content is not a monarchy, it is a meritocracy where only the best shall rule. Sadly content creation is out of control.

Don’t believe me? As far back as 2010 Eric Schmidt estimated humans created, every two days, as much content (information) as we had from the dawn of civilization until 2003. That was five years ago! Granted this is all content for allpurposes, but you get the point. And since the tech landscape hasn’t gotten simpler, and the range of personas buying solutions continues to expand outside of the CIO’s office, you can bet tech marketers haven’t slowed down in their Sisyphean attempt to keep prospective buyers abreast of the best [insert tech solution here]in the market. On a personal level, one of my clients told me their firm generated over 3,000 pieces of unique content last quarter alone. When I asked why I was told (verbatim): “We want to be the thought leaders in this space.”

So if you want a super-stressed, time and attention span deficient, self-educating, hyper-connected, socially plugged-in customer to actually read and react to your message, you’d best chain this beast. He’s not reading 3,000 pieces. You’re lucky if he reads three. Ask yourself: what am I releasing into the market and for what purpose? Is it worth the time, money and effort to get CONTENT X into the mainstream (and track it’s effectiveness)?

Here’s a handy little chart to help evaluate content types. I call it the Jason’s-Self-Evident-Quadrant-for-Content-Analysis, or the slightly more sexy version for the content cognoscenti the JSEQfCA . It just rolls off the tongue.

01c5ef6 Whats your content type?

NOISE: Do you produce a lot of content filled with jargon, buzzwords, aphorisms and techno-speak? Are your corporate videos super slick, produced by an agency rep that’s trying to channel his or her inner Fellini? Congratulations, you have produced Noise. Of all 4 types, this adds the least value to the market. It is neither informative nor interesting. No one intentionally creates Noise just like I don’t intentionally try and annoy my partner. It just happens. You start out trying to get a compelling message to the market and the next minute you’re being rather aggressively told to stop watching reruns of Escape to River Cottage and take the dog down (NOW) to go pee. This type of content is often created with the assumption that what is being released into the market builds brand. It usually doesn’t.

YOUR ACTION: Lazy marketing. Stop making this all together. How can you tell it’s noise? If you redact logos and any reference to your company in it and a 3rd party has no idea who the content refers to or what action he or she is meant to take after consuming it, then you have Noise.

FACT SHEET: Do you dig tech specs? Is feature/functionality your particular area of strength? Enjoy commissioning 20 page white papers on why your solution performs better than your competitors in a test environment? You’ve got Fact Sheet content! Please note that while this is quite useful to many IT decision makers, and can be quite important in the short-listing process, it does very little to engage the reader. It’s the content equivalent of eating a Clif Bar. Oh sure it has nutrients and keeps you going, but no one ever uttered the phrase “Damn, that was a delicious Clif Bar”. Fact Sheet content educates on specs, but does little to provide the reader with context vis-a-vis the problem your solution addresses. For some reason tech marketers love handing this type of content out at industry events.

YOUR ACTION: Important stuff but use it sparingly and never in lead gen or brand building campaigns. This content is best supplied as an “upon request” item. How do you recognize Fact Sheet content? If you hand it to someone not in your industry and they come away utterly dazed and confused, but when presented to an expert they say something like “oh X is .05 nanoseconds faster than Y? Neat!” you have Fact Sheet content.

FAST FOOD: We’ve all eaten McDonalds. Admit it. You have. Once in a while it’s the meal of choice because it’s cheap, easily procured, comes with a toy in some cases, and quickly consumed. It’s (possibly) a little tastier than a Clif Bar but you won’t ever fondly look back on “the best McDonalds ever” that inspired you to eat all the items on the menu because it’s just so forgettable. “Snackable” content such as infographics, “gamified” content, Tweets, this article I’m writing, and the like fall into this category. It will keep the consumer engaged for a short period of time, is great for building awareness, and is excellent for driving potential clients to more “dense” content. Unfortunately it lacks gravitas and usually won’t get people thinking of you as the guru in any field.

YOUR ACTION: This stuff is easy to crank out, easy to burn through, is great if you need to go wide and want your message shared socially. Understand that it does very little to affect a purchasing decision the further down the funnel you go, but it does grab attention. And just like McD’s builds item after item repurposing the same basic materials – really how different is a Big Mac from a Quarter Pounder with Cheese- crafting this content using source material from, for example, Fact Sheet content is a great way to “compound”, improve ROMI and create message cohesion. It works best in social media and ad campaigns. How do you know if you have Fast Food on your hands? If you read it and your response is “Ok cool… So?”

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: You don’t tell the market you’re a thought leader, it tells you. In a recent study my firm completed comprising of nearly 300 CIOs in AP, we found that outside of security and compliance, a whopping 69% of respondents viewed the driving of profitable revenue via innovation as their chief responsibility. For your content and firm to be viewed as “thought leader worthy”, you must speak to this mind-set. Great content doesn’t talk tech or product or market leadership, it speaks about enabling possibilities. It fearlessly sees around corners and inspires new perspectives. People want to buy from thought leaders. They want to work for thought leaders. They want to partner with thought leaders.

I’ve spent a lot of time discussing content form factor with respect to “types” but Thought Leader content can come in all shapes and sizes so there is no formulaic approach. What you say is more important than how you say it.

YOUR ACTION: This is tough. You can’t simply will this stuff into being any more than I could convince the students at my high school that I was cool back in the day. Stupid Northwood HS class of ’89… I digress. This is where you need to fundamentally begin applying the less-is-more approach to your broader content strategy. Focus and refine. Here’s a little trick: try having someone NOT in your industry interact with your content. See how they react. The ability to inspire the uninitiated is often a good litmus test.

So in closing I wish you all good luck in your pursuit of creating amazing content! #ThoughtLeaderiness!