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From Google to Amazon: EU goes to war against power of US digital giants

The Guardian

Within the salons of the Elysée Palace, along the corridors of the European parliament and under the glass dome of the Reichstag, Old Europe is preparing for a new war. This is not a battle over religion or politics, over land or natural resources. The raw material that Paris, Brussels and Berlin are mobilising to defend is the digital environment of Europe’s inhabitants; their enemies are the Silicon Valley corporations that seek to dominate it.

Coal, gas and oil powered the industrial revolution, but in the digital era, data is replacing fossil fuels as the most valuable resource on Earth, and the ability to collect and interrogate it has created organisations with a power that can at times seem beyond the control of nation states. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google represent, in the words of Germany’s economy minister Sigmar Gabriel, “brutal information capitalism”, and Europe must act now to protect itself.

“Either we defend our freedom and change our policies, or we become digitally hypnotised subjects of a digital rulership,” Gabriel warned in apassionate call to action published by the Frankfurter Allgemeine. “It is the future of democracy in the digital age, and nothing less, that is at stake here, and with it, the freedom, emancipation, participation and self-determination of 500 million people in Europe.”

In France, economy minister Arnaud Montebourg believes Europe risks becoming a “digital colony of the global internet giants”, and ministers have called for Google to contribute to the cost of upgrading the country’s broadband infrastructure. Gabriel says Germany’s cartel office is currently examining whether Google should be regulated as a utility, like a telecoms supplier – the group has 91.2% market share of search in Germany.

He believes that, as a last resort, there may be a case for “unbundling” Google, separating its search arm from mobile, or YouTube, or services such as email.

As a first step, he is in favour of regulation that allows competitors to use the Google platform fairly. The pushback against Amazon has also begun: as of last year, the online retailer can no longer stop independent sellers on its German website from offering their own goods cheaper elsewhere, including on their own websites.

European regulators have also begun to take action. In May, the European court upheld a plea by a Spaniard, Mario Costeja González, who wanted pages hidden from any Google search for his name in the EU. Judges decided the past transgressions of private individuals have a right to be “forgotten”. The threats that ruling poses to freedom of the press are now being debated, but it was a watershed moment, representing Europe’s first major regulatory strike against the search and software colossus.

On 11 June, the European commission‘s competition regulator, Joaquín Almunia, wrote to colleagues to warn that his investigation into Google’s search rankings could be reopened, after new complainants had stepped forward. On the same day, he announced a potentially wide-ranging inquiry into tax avoidance, starting with a focus on three companies: Apple and its international headquarters in Ireland, and Starbucks and its head office in the Netherlands (the third company being carmaker Fiat). On Thursday, a leak from Brussels suggested Amazon, which operates through a European HQ in Luxembourg, was also being dragged into the net.

“In the current context of tight public budgets, it is particularly important that large multinationals pay their fair share of taxes,” Almunia said. His intervention was widely interpreted as a politically motivated act. It almost certainly was.

There are those who believe that Jean-Claude Juncker, the former Luxembourg prime minister who has just been elected as the next president of the European commission – despite vocal opposition from David Cameron – is out to get Google.

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Next Up for B2B Email Marketing: Automation

eMarketer

Email is one of the most widely used and established of all platforms and has long been the cornerstone of many business-to-business (B2B) marketing plans. Given the maturity of this medium, spending on email remained flat for years, though its efficiency did draw some B2B dollars during the economic recession, according to a new eMarketer report, “B2B Email Marketing: Benchmarks and Best Practices for 2014.”

166017 Next Up for B2B Email Marketing: Automation

But even as new digital marketing and advertising platforms, formats, and channels draw companies’ attention and budgets, email remains vitally important and is arguably more valued by B2B marketers now more than ever before. While its core function has not changed substantially, there are new developments and challenges marketers must address: mobile, content marketing and automation.

For B2B marketers that use email—and indeed for any B2B marketer today—personalizing messages and integrating channels are vital, and automation is essential for executing those tactics.

With content marketing now table stakes for email marketers and mobile making it critical that B2Bs reach the right individual with the right message at the right moment, it becomes nearly impossible to personalize email marketing without some form of automation.

B2B marketers recognize the value of marketing automation solutions, but many have been slow to fully integrate the technology into their sales and marketing efforts. Data released in November 2013 by BtoB Magazine showed just 26% of US B2B marketers had completely integrated automation into their sales and marketing initiatives at the end of 2013. More than half (52%), however, expected full marketing automation adoption for this year.

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CMOs say digital will transform budgets

Warc

Over three-quarters (78%) of global marketing executives expect digital and mobile technology to transform corporate marketing over the next five years, a new survey has shown.

However, the poll of nearly 600 senior executives in 11 countries by Accenture Interactive, the management consultancy, also found 79% think their organisation will not be a fully digital operation over the same period.

Furthermore, more than one-third expect 75% of their marketing budgets to comprise spending on digital, and 41% expect their spending on digital marketing to increase by more than 5% within the next year.

With digital marketing accepted by so many marketers as likely to transform the industry, Accenture advised companies to adapt to the new environment or risk being left on the sidelines.

To improve the customer experience – only 62% of respondents believe their organisation currently achieves this – Accenture recommended marketers increase their links with the C-suite and to focus marketing campaigns on desired outcomes rather than on sales.

It also urged them to devise campaigns that improve customer engagement and to develop an “ongoing dialogue”, or a relationship that it said should cover “the whole spectrum of sales, service, retention and loyalty”.

“As marketing executives are increasingly embracing digital, they can be catalysts to help their company take advantage of the wider digital opportunity and protect against broader digital threats,” said Brian Whipple, senior managing director at Accenture Interactive.

To help drive the digital transformation of their organisations, he said marketers should extend their vision beyond traditional boundaries.

“The opportunities, as well as the potential and real threats, are all about the customer, the brand, the interface with the customer and how the customer is empowered,” he said.

Infographic: How Tech Marketers Are Using Content Marketing

Content Marketing Institute/ Marketing Profs/ International Data Group (IDG)

Below, is an infographic pulled from CMI’s B2B Content Marketing:  2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, North America research.

This report highlights key areas of difference between the most effective technology marketers and their less effective peers. This infographic specifically focuses on content marketing volume, effectiveness, metrics and goals for technology marketers.

To download the original report, click here

CMI goals and effectiveness Infographic: How Tech Marketers Are Using Content Marketing

Connected stuff is catching on — just don’t call it IoT

CITEworld

Many organizations today are looking for things that talk to the Internet. Sensors, cameras, medical equipment and even snowplows are on that wish list.

The “Internet of Things” is not.

The municipalities that come to systems integrator AGT International are already sold on so-called IoT technologies, such as wireless traffic sensors embedded in streets, said Gadi Lenz, a senior technical fellow at AGT.

But they aren’t interested in IoT, nor in “smart cities,” another term that’s been getting a lot of play lately. What they want, Lenz said, is a solution to their problems.

Even Cisco Systems, one of the biggest evangelists for IoT, thinks the concept still needs some explaining. Enterprises, cities and utilities all could stand to benefit from IoT, but first they need a better idea of how it can help them do their jobs.

“We definitely need to spend more time educating the market,” Inbar Lasser-Raab, vice president of Enterprise Network Solutions, said last week at a meeting at Cisco. Leaders from IT vendors, industrial companies and governments came together there to hash out issues for IoT.

Networked devices have been talking to each other for years. What’s new in so-called IoT is the scale of those networks and the way advanced data analysis can draw conclusions from them. But getting this broad vision off the ground, including getting enterprises to adopt the new technology, raises several challenges, according to participants at last week’s meeting.

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Amazon, Google, or Microsoft: Which free cloud service should I use?

CITEworld

Cloud platforms are a big investment. Giving them that credit card number is the start of what could be a long relationship and many tens of thousands of dollars. So it’s a good idea to try before you buy, and if you’re using the cloud as a departmental developmental solution, it’s an even better idea to find a service that won’t cost you a penny while you get your applications and services up to speed.

That makes it well worth your time to use the various trial, test, and low-volume cloud services out there. They’ve been available for some time — especially Google’s free tier for its App Engine platform-as-a-service — and Amazon has now joined the club with a free tier for test and development. Low cost and free services like these make particular sense for individuals and teams wanting to try building their own apps.

You might still need a credit card to get started, but it won’t get billed if you stay within the services limits; so don’t use too many resources, or forget about any time limits. And if it does get billed, you can quickly cancel the service and move on.

Read more…

Consumerization of IT Continues to Cause Digital Disruption as New Technologies Enter the Market

 Consumerization of IT Continues to Cause Digital Disruption as New Technologies Enter the Market

IDG Enterprise’s 2014 Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise Research Details Integration of Consumer Devices into the Enterprise and Adoption of Cloud, MDM and Mobile Apps

Framingham, Mass. – March 24, 2014 – IDG Enterprise—the leading enterprise technology media company comprising Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, CIO Executive Council, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld—releases the findings from the 2014 Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise (CITE) research, highlighting the impact CITE adoption has on the enterprise; integration of cloud, apps and mobile device management; and the next wave of consumer technologies IT decision-makers need to consider.

CITE Adoption Results in New Policies and IT Purchases
The proliferation of personal devices being used for work purposes has required the majority of organizations (82%) to make changes, from creating policies on how corporate data can be shared and investing in mobile device management (MDM) solutions, to purchasing secure file sharing services. IT executives and their departments are leading the charge for integrating consumer devices into the organization. To support a culture of employees working in the office and at home, over the next two years more organizations will support employee owned smart phones and tablets and 83% of organizations will invest in mobile technologies. The approval of consumer devices in the workplace is well received by employees; CITE will have a positive impact on user satisfaction (69%), and user productivity (66%) over the next 12-18 months (check out the CITE infographic).

“Consumerization of IT in the enterprise has created significant digital disruption in the past year, and the opportunity to innovate continues with the introduction of new devices and services,” said Matthew Yorke, CEO, IDG Enterprise. “Organizations are working to mitigate risk and build security that enables employees and the businesses to use CITE technology to move the business into the digital era and create improved employee productivity and customer satisfaction.”

Click here to continue reading press release

Click here to view sample slides

Screen Shot 2014 03 24 at 1.59.46 PM Consumerization of IT Continues to Cause Digital Disruption as New Technologies Enter the Market

Why so many digital publishers are flocking back to print

Digiday

With circulation numbers sinking and print ad rates dipping just as fast, now seems like a really bad time to start a magazine. But digital publishers like Politico, Pitchfork and Pando are doing  just that: backwards-engineering their online publications for the physical page.

The trend is a 180-degree flip from the typical publisher transition from print to digital: Whereas print publishers have sold their websites as extensions of their print products, today’s digital publishers are creating magazines to supplement their websites.

Technology blog Pando, for example, will sell its magazine Pando Quarterly to readers as part of a site membership, which also includes access to premium video and monthly events. The magazine’s content, a combination of repurposed Web stories and those written exclusively for each issue, benefits from the “innate gravitas of print,” said Paul Carr, investigations editor at Pando.

Publishers are leaning heavily on the idea that these are “premium” magazines, with deep reporting and full-page photos. Music reviews site Pitchfork even hopes that printing its quarterly magazine’s long-form features and illustrations on high-quality paper stock will encourage readers to collect them just as they collect vinyl records.

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How to Make Technology a Win-Win for the CMO and CIO

IDG Connect 0811 How to Make Technology a Win Win for the CMO and CIO

Technology used to be the exclusive realm of the CIO; now, it underpins the work of every facet of every organisation. CMOs want to use digital technology to power their campaigns and sales drives; HR wants to automate payroll and resource management; and so on. IT decision-making is now everyone’s responsibility – but rather than facing extinction, the CIO still plays a crucial role in making sure these decisions are sound.

CIOs need to play to their strengths – and in doing so, help their C-suite counterparts play to theirs. The CIO has deep technical expertise coupled with a holistic view of technology within the organisation; they’re used to ensuring that a new technology won’t wreak havoc across other parts of the system before they invest in it. This puts them in a unique position to both support other line-of-business initiatives, and also ensure compliance and internal control (so that one division’s rapid adoption doesn’t endanger another’s outcomes).

However, this doesn’t mean the CIO should be the policeman of IT; rather they should be partnering with their executive colleagues and seeking to understand their goals better. These goals are often more directly aligned with business growth and efficiency than IT’s, which have traditionally been more of the “keep the lights running” type. If you’re a CMO, the objective of your marketing and social media campaign directly impacts the business’ bottom line – but you also need technical leadership so that your campaign runs smoothly and without downtime.

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5 things that will remake big data in the next 5 years

Gigaom

Big data has evolved a lot of the past few years; from a happy buzzword to a hated buzzword, and from a focus on volume to a focus on variety and velocity. The term “big data” and the technologies that encompass it have been pored over, picked over and bastardized sometimes beyond recognition. Yet we’re at a point now where it’s finally becoming clear what all of this talk has been leading up to.

It’s a world of automation and intelligence, where it’s easier than ever to mine data, but also to build intelligence into everything from mobile apps to transportation systems. Big was never really the end goal, but the models driving this change generally feed on data to get smarter. Variety was never really a goal, it’s just that the more we can quantify, the more we can learn about the world around us.

It’s a world we’ll delve into in great detail at our Structure Data, which kicks off just a week from today (March 19) in New York. We have speakers from nearly every tech company that matters, as well from some of the biggest companies in the world and some of the smartest startups around. They’ll be talking about everything from fighting human trafficking to the future of Hadoop and the cutting edge in artificial intelligence.

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