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LinkedIn Hits 300M Users, Pushes Mobile Options

MediaPost

LinkedIn on Friday announced it has surpassed 300 million active members worldwide, up from 277 million at the end of 2013. The roughly 36% growth rate in the first quarter from a year ago is on par with 2013. The professional networking site said 67% of its users come from outside the U.S., with more than 100 million in the U.S.

“While this is an exciting moment, we still have a long way to go to realize our vision of creating economic opportunity for every one of the 3.3 billion people in the global workforce,” stated Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s senior vice president of product & user experience, in a blog post.

Mobile has become a growing focus for LinkedIn in the last couple of years, as more users access the service on devices. Later this year, Nishar noted that LinkedIn will hit the point where more than half of its global traffic comes from mobile.

“Already, our members in dozens of locations, including Costa Rica, Malaysia, Singapore, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, use LinkedIn more on their mobile devices than on their desktop computers,” he wrote.

Overall, the site each day gets an average of 15 million profile views, 1.45 million job views and 44,000 job applications in over 200 countries through mobile. As the company expands its mobile portfolio, with new releases such as its slideshare app, LinkedIn plans more strategic partnerships with major mobile players like Apple, Nokia and Samsung.

LinkedIn made a splash earlier this year with its push into China. In his post, Nishar said the goal now is to connect more than 140 million Chinese professionals with each other and the worldwide work force.

In a research note on Monday, however, analyst Michael Purcell of Stifel Nicolaus pointed out that LinkedIn still monetizes international users per member at one-third the rate of their U.S.-based counterparts. That translates to average revenue per user (ARPU) of $3.76 abroad versus $11.30 in the U.S.

Continue reading…

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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IDG Connect Buyer Research Proves Irrelevant Digital Content Impacts B2B Vendors’ Bottom Line

IDG Connect 0811 IDG Connect Buyer Research Proves Irrelevant Digital Content Impacts B2B Vendors’ Bottom Line

IDG Connect’s survey of over 200 enterprise technology decision makers within organizations of 1,000 or more employees shows that vendors are not creating content that is relevant to their needs when making purchase decisions:

“A strong potential ROI case can be made for attaining a sufficient level of relevance”

  • 66% of technology buyers feel that digital content needs to be more aligned with organizational objectives and relevant to the decision making process.
  • 79% of buyers said that vendors’ level of relevant content affects their likelihood to make the shortlist.
  • Vendors are 25% less likely to make the shortlist if their content does not meet a minimum level of relevance.

This highlights an urgent need for vendors to understand the full buying process and the various content types and formats buyers need at different stages of the journey.

“If vendors do not improve their understanding of what makes content relevant, they will continue to frustrate buyers,” explains Bob Johnson, principal analyst and VP at IDG Connect.

Johnson adds, “Vendors need to realize the impact that their digital content has on not just filling the funnel with leads but in moving buyers through the funnel. A lack of alignment with organizational needs and relevance to the individual buying team member will cause vendors to lose opportunities before they come into view. This will impact their bottom line.”

“A strong potential ROI case can be made for attaining a sufficient level of relevance,” he concludes. “Now lines-of-business exert even more power over technology-related investment decisions; the requirement is more complicated but also has never been more important.”

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Report: Digital Transformation and the New Customer Experience

Brian Solis

We’re under attack! Social, mobile, real-time, cloud, big data…it’s coming at us all at once! Rather than miss out, many brands are jumping from trend to trend as a way of staying relevant in an increasingly digital market.

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Foursquare, Instagram, Pinterest…we’re covered. We have and had a strategy for a while now.

Mobile. Yep, we’ve got an app for that…plus we’ve got adaptive and responsive web design that makes old sites new again!

Snapchat…our brilliant strategy vanishes in 5,4,3,2,1.

Jelly? We’ve got the answer.

Whisper, Secret…shhh, don’t tell anyone, but we’re already marketing there.

There’s a difference though between marketing AT people in new channels and learning about their behavior, values, and expectations to optimize their digital experiences and introduce mutually-beneficial outcomes.

Social, mobile, and real-time strategies are not enough. These disruptive technologies are merely just the beginning of a still shaping era of connected consumerism.

Each in its own right is significant affecting how business is done. But customer behavior and expectations, and that of employees for that matter, continue to evolve. And, the list of disruptive technologies that’s pushing business leaders and processes out of their respective comfort zones is far more exhaustive and constant.

Continue reading…

World Tech Update- April 17, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Google buys drone maker Titan Aerospace, NHK shows off 8K television and we go inside the world’s most powerful X-ray laser.

 

Steer clear of these 15 social media mistakes

Ragan

Social media is the most popular online activity, so it makes perfect sense for businesses to want to tap into it to increase sales. More than 90 percent of businesses use social media.

But simply opening an account or sending out some tweets is not enough to make social media platforms a viable and profitable part of your marketing strategy. By avoiding some missteps, businesses have the ability to increase their return on investment (ROI) and create more opportunities from social media accounts.

Avoid these mistakes:

1. Not having a strategy.

Less than 20 percent of businesses say their social media strategy is mature. Social media users are constantly inundated with information and messages. Businesses that don’t have a social media marketing strategy won’t ever cut through the clutter and deliver an effective message to their target audiences.

Creating a strategy includes having distinct and measurable goals, developing a clear social media policy, thinking through a brand’s social media voice and planning out a content calendar with end goals in mind. Without a clear strategy, businesses could create the best content on the Web but receive little to no engagement.

2. Not integrating with other digital assets.

Social media works best when you integrate it with other digital marketing efforts. One mistake many businesses make is to leave their social media accounts on islands. Not only should you link the accounts together, but tie them directly to websites, emails and paid search advertising campaigns.

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5 Behaviors of Digital Performance

CIO Dashboard

In our 2014 Digital IQ survey of almost 1,500 business and technology executives, only 20% of respondents are highly confident in their organization’s Digital IQ—a company’s acumen in understanding, valuing and weaving technology throughout the enterprise.

How can a company raise its Digital IQ and harness the full power of technology to advance their business performance? Top performers—companies that reside in the top quartile for revenue growth, profitability, and innovation—point the way.

We analyzed the responses of top performers to understand what they do differently to fuse business and technology. For top performers, digital isn’t window dressing or corporate speak. Digital is a way of life. Following are five key best practices that top performers employ to outdo the competition:

1. CEO is the Digital Leader

81% of top performers say their CEO is an active champion of using information technology to achieve business goals, compared with 68% of other companies. Executives tell us that CEO involvement in shaping strategy provides them with a competitive advantage. Once the company determines its digital strategy, the CEO must define clear roles, accountability, and governance for how the strategy is executed. The scope should address who is responsible, and how the functional or business unit leaders will work together—for example, what the CMO is responsible for in a customer initiative, what the CIO does, and together what they will deliver and when.

2. CMO and CIO are Collaborative Partners

The CIO and CMO relationship is critical to success because many digital technology initiatives are driven by marketing needs. 70% of top performers say their CIO and CMO have a strong relationship, compared with just 45% of the pack. The growth in digital marketing spending, often independent of IT, has led to debate among industry analysts about whether the marketing organization will soon yield more spending power than the IT department.

Click to continue reading the five key best practices

Digital advertising hits $43B, passing broadcast TV for the first time ever

VentureBeat

This past year, digital advertising online and via mobile crossed the $40 billion mark for the first time ever, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. Since 2004, the average growth rate has been 18 percent. And this year, digital ad revenues surpassed broadcast television for the first time.

Not shockingly, mobile is leading the charge.

Search remains the largest overall category, at $18.4 billion, and display hit $7.9 billion, according to the IAB’s numbers, but those categories are growing much slower than mobile and digital video ads. Search is “only” growing at 8.6 percent, while mobile ad revenue jumped 110 percent to $7.1 billion last year, and digital video ad revenue has tripled over the past few years to $2.8 billion.

It’s important to note that, while web and mobile advertising revenues beat out broadcast TV for the first time, broadcast + cable advertising revenues still dwarf the digital take. And, of course, networks are aggressively expanding to new digital means of distribution.

While the digital ad market is expanding, it’s also extraordinarily concentrated — perhaps more so than any advertising market since there were just three TV networks.

Read more…

For Facebook, Measuring Across Devices And Apps Is A Huge Focus

AdExchanger

Facebook is increasingly focused on connecting audiences across screens and channels, and helping clients measure those results.

Graham Mudd, the company’s director of advertising measurement for North America, described aspects of the company’s approach to AdExchanger at the IAB’s Mobile Marketplace conference.

“We believe the future of marketing is being able to find specific consumers based on what the publisher, advertiser or intermediary knows about the consumers,” Mudd said. “And [to do that] we need to move beyond panels and cookies to census-based measurements.”

Instead of relying on consumer panels, which Mudd said fail to provide the necessary scale to measure diverse audiences across channels, Facebook is focusing on a combination of CRM data and third-party data from companies like Datalogix, Acxiom and Epsilon to help clients enhance their measurement capabilities.

Mudd also confirmed that the new “people-based measurement capability” that Facebook ads product VP Brian Boland alluded to in an AdAge op-ed will include partnerships with other data providers, although he declined to name the providers.

Facebook uses Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) and Datalogix to measure the effectiveness of ads on both Facebook and Instagram, even though the latter is positioned as a separate brand and service. The company does not however, target users with ads based on data collected from both Instagram and Facebook.

Continue reading…

Programmatic, mobile boost adspend

Warc

LONDON: Global advertising expenditure is forecast to grow steadily over the next three years, according to new data from ZenithOptimedia which also highlighted the growing impact of programmatic and mobile.

Figures in the media agency’s latest Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report show growth in adspend at 3.9% in 2013 but increasing to 5.5% in 2014, 5.8% in 2015 and 6.1% in 2016.

This year’s figures will be helped by a series of ‘semi-quadrennial’ events – the Winter Olympics, the football World Cup, and the mid-term elections in the US – as well as the eurozone finally turning the corner to achieve its first year of growth since 2010.

While growth in the eurozone is expected to be a modest 0.7%, that will change as more countries stabilise – Finland, Italy and Greece, for example, are behind the curve – and adspend growth will accelerate to 1.6% in 2015 and 1.7% in 2016.

ZenithOptimedia noted that television remained the dominant advertising medium, attracting 40% of spend in 2013, nearly twice that taken by the internet (21%), and would gain most from the semi-quadrennial events, growing 5.2% in 2014.

But the internet was by some distance the fastest-growing medium, up 16.2% in 2013 and forecast to increase at a similar annual rate (16%) for the next three years.

The fastest-growing sub-category was display (21%), which was predicted to overtake paid search (13%) in 2015.

Traditional display (banners and other standard formats) was growing at 16% a year, boosted by the revolution in programmatic buying, which, said ZenthOptimedia, provided agencies and advertisers with more control and better value from their trading. Social media (growing at 29% a year) and online video (23% a year) were also starting to benefit from programmatic buying.

The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets was driving a boom in mobile advertising, projected to increase at an average of 50% a year between 2013 and 2016. In contrast, desktop internet advertising was slated to grow at an average of just 8% a year.

Over the same period, mobile’s share of the market was set to more than double, from 12.9% of internet expenditure and 2.7% of advertising across all media to 28.0% and 7.6% respectively. In doing so it would become bigger than radio, magazine or outdoor, making it the world’s fourth-largest medium.