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The New Breed of Marketers: the Digital Native

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 The New Breed of Marketers: the Digital Native

The rise of the digital native and empowered consumers is transforming the marketing landscape, and marketers are responding to this change in very different ways. Many marketers lack the digital skills to fully adapt to this rapidly burgeoning breed of consumer and its always-on culture. They can build websites and design banners for example, but are they able to optimise the design and improve targeting? First generation digital marketing may have been achieved, but they now need to accomplish digital marketing 2.0.

Under pressure to deliver ROI against limited budgets, many tend to choose channels or approaches that have been tried and tested before. Whilst this gives them confidence to generate results, it prevents them from truly engaging with a millennial generation moving fast into the social and mobile arena.

But, as a new breed of consumer takes centre stage, so too does a new breed of marketer need to emerge. As millennials take up position on both sides of the buyer- supplier relationship, the current and future marketer needs to learn new skills and master a different set of tools. Understanding data analytics will be the key to success.

The behaviour of the millennial demographic is distinctly different from its predecessors in many respects. A strong relationship with technology, social media and a willingness to impart personal information in exchange for better services, are some of the most defining traits. Digital natives expect to converse, interact and purchase as, when and via the channel that they choose. In return they expect marketers to remember their likes and preferences; to understand them. Understanding and assimilating these differences and the behaviours that accompany them is crucial if marketers are to survive the digital revolution.

The always-connected nature of the millennial generation is a behavioural gold-mine for marketers – providing both the means to engage and a source of information to guide that engagement.

Assailed with marketing messages from an early age, these empowered buyers are experts at filtering out irrelevant, poorly timed or boring marketing campaigns. Social and location data is providing the means for marketers to connect with millennials in a way that is instantaneous, personal and relevant.

Effective digital marketing relies on big data analytics and real-time decision-making. These twin pillars help businesses to identify, understand, hone in on and engage their customers by providing them with crucial and timely customer insight. Coincidentally, they are also two of the weakest areas amongst marketers today according to research of nearly 600 marketers, which is why many are struggling to engage their customer in a digitally driven world.

Continue reading… 

Media Companies Strike Gold With Sponsored Content

AdAge

Media companies say they’ve struck gold in the form of content marketing — during the third quarter, at least.

Recent quarterly earnings reports show that the practice of disguising ads as non-commercial content — whether that content is an article from a professional newsroom or a Facebook post from your aunt — is driving revenue gains at a variety of media companies, from The New York Times to LinkedIn.

Whether it’s called native advertising or sponsored content, it appears this practice will stick around for a while, or at least through the next set of earnings reports.

“Content advertising is not a fad,” said Peter Minnium, head of brand initiatives at the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an organization that conducts research and establishes standards for digital advertising. “It’s actually a core part of the maturation of digital advertising.”

The Times reported a 16.5% increase in digital-ad revenue during the third quarter — the three-month period from July through September — compared with the same time last year. Fueling the increase, which nearly offset declines in print advertising, was its native-advertising product Paid Posts.

“The biggest drivers are the launch of, and positive growth of, our Paid Post business,” Meredith Kopit Levien, the Times’ exec VP-advertising, said during a call with investors last week explaining the company’s quarterly results.

Paid Posts rolled out in January and will have attracted more than 30 advertising clients by the end of the year. The advertisers — which Times President-CEO Mark Thompson called a “dream list” of clients — include Chevron, Goldman Sachs, Netflix and Cole Haan.

With the Times reporting strong digital gains from native advertising, its perhaps no surprise that another newspaper, the U.K.’s Guardian, which has sought to build a U.S. business online, introduced a website redesign last week with plans to offer its own native-ad products in the near future.

New-Media players
While the Times leaned on native-advertising to boost revenue slightly, new-media organizations like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter rode native advertising — or what it likes to call sponsored content — to dizzying heights.

LinkedIn reported third-quarter ad revenue of $109 million, a 45% increase over the previous year. Sponsored updates, an ad product that allows companies to post articles on the pages of LinkedIn members that don’t already follow the company, drove the sharp increase. It accounts for 31% of LinkedIn’s ad revenue, the company said, up from just 7% last year at this time. Sponsored updates are the fastest growing business in LinkedIn’s history, according to CEO Jeff Weiner.

Advertising sales at Facebook grew 64% compared with the prior year to $2.96 billion. Two-thirds of that revenue came from mobile, where the ads appear within the flow of content and are labeled as “sponsored.” Similarly, Twitter’s ads also appear within the flow of content. While Twitter’s earnings report worried some investors because of its slowing growth in users, the social network’s ad revenue jumped 109% to $320 million.

And the blogging platform Tumblr is hoping to reach $100 million in revenue by introducing autoplay video ads within users’ feeds. The product, which Tumblr introduced last week, is called Sponsored Video Posts.

But native advertising is not benefitting every media property. Tumblr’s parent company, Yahoo, for instance, has seen its pricey display ads falter as advertisers flock to its cheaper native Stream Ads, which appear within the flow of content. This has sparked a chain reaction at Yahoo, where search advertising now outpaces that of display.

Continue reading…

Wearables: When Technology & Popular Culture Collide

IDG Connect 0811 Wearables: When Technology & Popular Culture Collide

Something very special happened at last month’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. Will.i.am, one of the world’s biggest pop stars, launched his new smartband wearable device, the i.am.PULS – and the worlds of music, fashion, technology, mainstream and enterprise culture well and truly collided.

“I’m an ideas guy,” he said, and it’s true that will.i.am has been extremely busy in recent years investing in game-changing technologies as well as producing award-winning music. A true innovator, he contributed to the massive success of Beats headphones and developed the concept behind Ekocycle, Coca-Cola’s sustainable living brand.

This is a man whose vision of the future, as he explained on-stage with Marc Benioff earlier this year, has been influenced heavily by the pace of innovation in technology. Echoing Facebook’s mantra that technology’s evolutionary journey is only “1% finished,” will.i.am argued that the tech landscape will be “unrecognisable” in ten years’ time: “The thing on your wrist that talks to a phone…is not the future, it’s a starting point.”

The next revolution in connected devices

Shipments of wearables are projected to reach almost 112 million units in 2018, up from less than 20 million this year (IDC). As wearables proliferate, they will add to a vast universe of interconnected, smart devices. And when the inevitable take-off of wearables does arrive, the opportunities for brands will reach a new stratosphere as they look to own the customer journey.

Wearables are set to provide marketers with the purest view of the customer yet, in terms of the volume and immediacy of the data gathered. The rise of mobile and social prompted talk of always-on marketing, and the proliferation of wearables will further enable marketers to deliver the right message to the right user at the right time. Even better, because wearables are, by nature, deeply integrated into a daily lifestyle, marketers have an opportunity to learn more about their users than ever before.

Imagine what this could mean for your brand. How might you exploit this massive opportunity to improve customer service and make marketing messages more relevant?

Data, data, data

The key to cracking wearable tech for marketing lies in – you guessed it – data. If Mark Zuckerberg’s law (the rate of increase for social sharing) is accurate, in 10 years there will be more pieces of content shared every day (95 billion) than we currently share each month (89 billion).

Of course, as marketers we’ve been talking for a few years now about the importance of data in digital marketing. The challenge comes in tracking, filtering and measuring this data so that you have a true single view of the customer. The need to effectively leverage your customer data – including social data – is only going to increase as the number of consumer devices increases, and as wearables move into mainstream adoption. This will be crucial to providing the deeper levels of personalisation that customers now expect.

 

Continue reading… 

Google News: still a major traffic driver

Digiday

Publishers may increasingly focus their traffic growth on optimizing their content for social networks, but the Google News’ influence on traffic is still hard — and foolish — to deny.

On Thursday, Axel Springer, Germany’s biggest news publisher, said that it’s rolling back its two-week experiment that prevented Google from using excerpts of its content within Google News listings. While many European publishers have bristled at Google’s ability to freely use their content on its own sites, CEO Mathias Doepfner said preventing Google from indexing its content was tanking its traffic numbers: Traffic from Google dropped 40 percent during the experiment, and 80 percent from Google News.

The continued influence of Google News on publishers’ traffic might come as a surprise considering all the attention paid to the traffic coming from social channels like Facebook, Twitter and, most recently, Pinterest. Publishers today are spending far more time trying to get social readers to click and share than they are on landing Google searchers or Google News visitors.

“I’ve heard people call SEO dead literally since I started writing about it in 1996 — no joke. It’s sure taking its time dying,” said Danny Sullivan, founding editor of SearchEngineLand.

But it wasn’t always this way. The 2002 birth of Google News also launched a cottage industry of tactics and techniques aimed at helping publishers land the site’s top spots. Publishers knew that scoring a single story on Google News could help drive more traffic than any story could get organically. But Google News has always been a black box, and while publishers did their best to get in Google’s good graces, it was never a sure thing that Google would respond the way they wanted.

Continue reading… 

Video blogs, podcasts help marketers reach niche audiences on mobile

Mobile Marketer

NEW YORK – Video blogging and podcasting are experiencing rapid growth, with many consumers being reached via mobile, said a panel of podcasters and video bloggers at the ad:tech New York conference.

Because the mobile and Web video industry has seen a significant rise in the last several years, marketers and brands can effectively use those kinds of platforms to reach niche audiences. Videos and podcasts offer consumers control, which makes marketing appear more natural.

“Consumption has really gone mobile,” said Rob Walch, vice president of Podcaster Relations, Libsyn, Pittsburgh, PA. “More people are consuming now on mobile devices, and the media has become more aware of it.

“Podcasting is about consumers being able to consume the podcast when they want, how they want. Podcasting is the antithesis of streaming – you are in control.”

Tips for engagement
The way in which podcasts are being consumed has changed drastically in the past two years, with large numbers coming from mobile, said Mr. Walch. Video podcasts have decreased, with audio leading the way in building up listeners.

“Consumption has switched over to audio from the podcast side, and a lot of that has to do with people streaming from smartphones,” Mr. Walch said.

However, podcasters and video bloggers must be cognizant about which devices they are marketing towards. The iOS platform has over 500 million devices that have native-built podcast mobile applications, but Android does not.

“On the mobile side, it really is still an Apple world,” Mr. Walch said. “For podcasters, Apple is your friend. Google is not.”

Marketers seeking to use the podcast or video platforms should also make sure to keep the URLs simple, but unique for each show within the campaign.

Relevant marketing
Podcasters seeking to build a substantial fan base should ensure to focus on gaining listeners and followers rather than number of listens. Subscribers are also directly related to return on investment.

Continue reading… 

Chris Carmichael: Why Mobile Marketing Is Important

IDG GlobalSolutions Color Chris Carmichael: Why Mobile Marketing Is Important

We have asked the IDG Mobile Advisory Board why mobile marketing is crucial in the advertising mix. This is what Christopher Carmichael, Director of Media & Digital Marketing at Hewlett-Packard, said…

Mobility is one of HP’s core solutions within what we call the “New Style of IT” along with Cloud, Security and Big Data. Mobile is a trend that is not going to go away, and is equally important across the Consumer and Business worlds. From a marketing perspective, it’s early days still for the medium. And, as it is so often the case with a new medium or technology, people resent being interrupted with advertising at first, but gradually over time they start to accept it.

For mobile marketing, that means 3 things:

1. Some of the processes surrounding the medium are not there yet – the mechanics of planning and buying, the metrics and reporting etc.

2. Tech favours interruption rather than engagement or adding value in some way for consumers.

3. Brands need to take care not to annoy people, and to use the medium thoughtfully in a way that adds value.bit of thought can go a long way!

chris carmichael mobile quote short Chris Carmichael: Why Mobile Marketing Is Important

  • See what James Foulkes, Co-Founder of Kingpin Communications, says about mobile marketing…
  • See what Jon Hook, Head of Mobile at Mediacom International and Mediacom Beyond Advertising, says about mobility for business…

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Credibility of mainstream news media fares better among mobile media users

RJI Mobile Media Research Project

Mobile media users are more likely than nonusers to give higher credibility rankings to national newspapers and most other mainstream news media (see charts 9.8 and 9.9), according to the latest mobile media news consumption survey from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI). They also tend to place greater importance on getting news every day and on the source of news (see charts 9.19 and 9.20).

Women also were found to be more likely than men to give most mainstream news media higher credibility rankings (see charts 9.7 and 9.6), and to want news every day and value the source of news (see charts 9.18 and 9.17).

Participants in the 18-34 age group gave national newspapers the highest credibility ranking (see chart 9.3), but placed a lower importance on getting the news every day and on the source of news than participants in the older age groups. They also indicated that they were somewhat less inclined to prefer news stories produced and selected by professional journalists (see chart 9.14).

Survey participants who did not use mobile media or subscribe to newspapers were the least likely to disagree with the statement: “News is news; it doesn’t matter to me who produced it” (see charts 9.20 and 9.23).

Social media networks — Facebook, Foursquare, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. — were considered less credible than mainstream news sources by a majority of participants (see chart 9.2), even among those who said they read news found on social media (see chart 9.10).

Given the much higher average credibility rankings for mainstream news sources — often referenced by users of social media — the less credible ranking probably relates more to the individual comments made by social media users and the embedded links to alternative news sources, such as the Drudge Report, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.

Read on…

On the hunt for attention, media outlets gamify the news

Digiday

And now, for their next reader-engagement trick, publishers are taking a few lessons from your PlayStation.

The world of video games is coming to the news. While publishers are used to telling stories in text and, recently, in video, some are looking to add a dose of interactivity to their news in an effort to attract more readers and keep them around longer.

Last week, Al Jazeera launched “Pirate Fishing,” an online game that puts players in the role of a journalist as he investigates an illegal fishing trade. Players, who start as “junior researchers” get points by watching videos and filing clips in their notebooks, helping them earn “senior reporter” positions and ” specialist badges.” The game was based of an Al Jazeera video series originally published in 2012.

Read on…

Africa’s Digital Future Remains Bright Despite Myriad Challenges

IDC PMS4colorversion no shadow 300x98  Africas Digital Future Remains Bright Despite Myriad Challenges

Spurred by increased infrastructural investments, improved connectivity and affordability, positive government interventions, and the spread of mobility, the African digital media landscape is rapidly evolving, according to global IT market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Referencing its ‘Assessment and Outlook of the Digital Media Ecosystem in Africa’ report, IDC today said the future remains bright for the continent, although key challenges such as low propensity to pay for applications and content as well as lack of ubiquitous high speed broadband infrastructure continue to hamper progress and will take a while to resolve.

“The digital picture in Africa is changing rapidly,” says Leonard Kore, a research analyst for telecommunications and media at IDC East Africa. “Internet penetration is on the rise, buoyed by increased infrastructure investments, while the landing of undersea fiber-optic cables connecting Africa to the rest of the world has greatly reduced transmission time and costs while increasing bandwidth capacity. Although only an estimated 19% of the continent’s 1 billion population is online, this situation is expected to improve as investments in infrastructure continue to gain momentum; this includes 2G and 3G network infrastructure expansion and fiber to the x (FTTx).”

Mobile usage has had a transformative impact in Africa. Other key factors include the high digital appetite for social media and the impending digital migration, while other sectors such as ecommerce have had a tough time gaining traction. The digital disruption has significantly changed consumer behavior, and service usage patterns have altered as a result, with consumers now seeking devices with intuitive interfaces, content-rich applications, and faster connectivity capabilities as they spend more time online.

Continue reading…

How to Develop Digital Content – 4 Analyst Insights

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 How to Develop Digital Content – 4 Analyst Insights

With digital content so widely consumed online it’s important to create relevant and interesting content for your audience. These four insights from our Principle Analyst, Bob Johnson, will help you build a content strategy that works for your brand.

1. Do You Have a Digital Content Strategy?

Today many are clamoring for a content strategy. The trouble most organizations do not understand that it is a lot harder to implement than it is to conceptualize. Read more >

2. Do You Follow these Five Senses?

What does your content tell you about the people who consume different assets? Is each asset a good listener, does it have a sense of taste, can it smell a buyer from non-buyer, does it see where the buyer’s interest lies and can it feel the readiness of a buyer to engage with sales? Read more >

3. Do Misuse Your Content?

You spend so much time, money and effort on creating digital content but too much of that effort goes wasted as we see multiple issues. See you if stand out from the crowd by thinking about your content against these common mistakes. Read more >

4. Do You Organize Your Content Effectively?

As you focus on how to organize your digital assets on your website, you face a multitude of options. But when you ask buyers how they prefer to see content organized, they speak very clearly that they have a primary preference. Read more >