Upcoming Events
Event Date Location

Digital Summit Phoenix

02/04/2015 - 02/05/2015 Acottsdale AZ

Mobile World Congress

03/02/2015 - 03/05/2015 Barcelona .

SXSW 2015

03/13/2015 - 03/21/2015 Austin TX

Enterprise Connect

03/16/2015 - 03/19/2015 Kissimmee FL

Agenda 15

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

Media Companies Need to Wake Up to the Digital Advertising Mess

Quartz

Digital media are stuck with bad economics resulting in relentless deflation. It’s time to wake-up and make 2015 the year of radical—and concerted—solutions.

 Trends in digital advertising feel like an endless agony to me. To sum up: there is no sign of improvement on the performance side; a growing percentage of ads are sold in bulk; click-fraud and user rejection are on the rise, all resulting in ceaseless deflation. Call it the J-Curve of digital advertising, as it will get worse before it gets better (it must–and it will.).
Here is a quick summary of issues and possible solutions:
 The rise of ad blocking systems, the subject of a Dec. 8, 2014 Monday Note. That column was our most viewed and shared ever, which suggests a growing concern for the matter. Last week, AdBlockPlusproudly announced a large scale deployment solution: with a few clicks, system administrators can now install AdBlockPlus on an entire network of machines. This is yet another clue that the problem won’t go away.
 There are basically three approaches to the issue.
The most obvious one is to use the court system against Eyeo GmBH, the company operating AdBlockPlus. After all, the Acceptable Ads agreement mechanism in which publishers pay to pass unimpeded through ABP filters is a form of blackmail. I don’t see how Eyeo will avoid collective action by publishers. Lawyers—especially in Europe—are loading their guns.
The second approach is to dissuade users from installing ABP on their browsers. It’s is up to browser makers (Google, Microsoft, Apple) to disable ABP’s extensions. But they don’t have necessarily much of an incentive to do so. Browser technology is about user experience quality when surfing the web or executing transactions. Performance relies on sophisticated techniques such as developing the best “virtual machines” (for a glimpse on VM technology, this 2009 FT Magazine piece, “The Genius behind Google’s browser” is a must-read.) If the advertising community, in its shortsighted greed, ends up saturating the internet with sloppy ads that users massively reject, and such excesses lead a third party developer to create a piece of software to eliminate the annoyance, it should be no surprise to see the three browser providers tempted to allow ad-blocking technologies.

Top Tips for Improving Your Business Through Social Selling

IDG Connect

 Top Tips for Improving Your Business Through Social Selling

Dale Roberts is VP of Professional Services at Artesian, the innovative developer of social intelligence software. He is also a keynote speaker, blogger and author of Decisions Sourcing: Organisational Decision Making for the Agile and Social Enterprise. Prior to joining Artesian, Dale worked with some of the largest European and US businesses to build analytic and performance management solutions in his role as European Services Director for market leader Cognos, now part of IBM.

Dale discusses his top tips for embracing social selling and explains why smart businesses are putting social insight at the heart of their sales strategies.

We are in the middle of an online and social revolution that has not only changed the way we buy a holiday or book air travel but how we buy for businesses too. Figures show that three quarters of business buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions. The wave of cultural change is being felt beyond consumers as business buyers connect on professional social platforms and check rating sites when considering a wide range of purchases from electronic goods or employer liability insurance to exhibition space.

The pace of change is dramatic, with typical business buyers opting to delay their first engagement with a seller until they are 57%[1] through their purchasing decision. What this means is that more than half of the sales process has now disappeared, taking with it the influence and control that professional sellers previously had.

Businesses must recognise this change and implement social strategies within their sales and marketing departments to transform the way they engage with customers.  To make this effective, sellers have to adopt new habits and the following tips will help them to stand out with the new connected buyer:

# 1 Spend your day more effectively

According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, sellers spend only 39% of their time carrying out role specific tasks, eg. selling. Other activities, such as reading and answering emails, searching for information and internal collaboration are pulling them away and whilst email is a valuable communications tool it can also slow progress towards closing a sale.  Sales people and managers can start by assessing how much time they are giving to direct communication and research and restructure their day to focus at least 60% of their day on selling.

#2 Use social tools to support sales effectiveness

Gathering information is a necessary activity, but it’s possible that too much time is being spent on this and not very effectively. Traditional sales intelligence focused on data about people and businesses is limited. Sellers must have access to topical, timely and, if possible, behavioural information, most usefully derived from user-generated content, social media and/or news. If customers are using social networks, sellers should be connected too, so they can communicate with them in the space they occupy and build credibility. Buyers are also more likely to engage with someone they recognise through social networks.

#3 Refine your social listening

The Internet is immeasurable and Google searching or casual browsing for relevant information is not only time-consuming, it is also like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack. Social intelligence tools are designed to sharpen this process so sellers receive insight that they can use effectively, whether that’s product announcements or managerial shifts, legislation or the impact of political change. The tools tap into social and user-generated content in real-time, and deliver it instantly so that sales people can leverage it to engage with buyers intelligently and at the right moment.

Read all 5 tips… 

2015 Programmatic Predictions

MediaPost

The programmatic ad industry’s 2014 predictions were hit or miss, and it’s time to once again break out the crystal ball and peer into the new year. From ad fraud and viewability to programmatic TV and private marketplaces, these predictions touch on some of the most popular topics today. 

M&As will continue to trump IPOs. I took this space yesterday to note how mergers and acquisitions in the ad tech space trumped IPOs in 2014 — especially over the back half of the year — and it’s a trend that will continue in 2015. That’s not to say there will be no notable IPOs in the programmatic space next year, but more companies will find their “exit” in buyers rather than public offerings.

Ad fraud will remain a major issue. Marketers are relatively split on whether ad fraud will decrease or increase; The 614 Group and AdMonsters found that 58% of marketers believe ad fraud will decrease next year, while 42% believe it won’t.

Count me as one that doesn’t believe ad fraud will decrease next year. In fact, “ad fraud” is a relatively new phrase.

Other than a few scattered mentions between 2002 and 2012, the term “ad fraud” rarely appeared in MediaPost, Adweek orAdvertising Age articles until midway through 2013.

Some form or another of fraud has existed for years (see “click fraud”), but programmatic technologies have ushered in “ad fraud.” And now “ad fraud” is the second-biggest concernmarketers have heading into 2015, thanks to the fact that it threatens to cost marketers worldwide $6.3 billion next year.

There will be two ad tech players that will rise above the rest by the end of 2015 with a full compliment of offerings. The frontrunners must be Google, AOL, Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter, but perhaps new major players will emerge rapidly — including Apple. Each of these companies made strides to better their programmatic offerings in 2014, although those plans may not come to full fruition until 2015.

Yahoo and Facebook both bought video ad platforms in the second half of 2014, AOL has a multichannel ad platform prepped for launch in early 2015, Apple has geared itself for a programmatic push and Google continues to have a hand across the board. The “data and tech” arms race will never truly cease, but with 2014 serving as a major prep-for-the-future year, 2015 is when we can expect to see most of those plans in motion.

Viewability will rise, but not to 70%. The IAB wants marketers to aim for 70% viewability in 2015, but the programmatic ad market sputtered through 2014 just trying to crack 50%. 2015 has been dubbed a “transition” year for viewability, and while I think a renewed interest in ad quality will help rates rise, color me 70% skeptical that the goal will be met.

Continue reading… 

World Tech Update Video – Dec 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on World Tech Update this week Google creates a new kind of CAPTCHA, Amazon hires some robotic help for the holiday season and an e-ink smartphone goes on sale.

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… 

B2B Buyers Purchasing Online

MediaPost

According to the Acquity Group’s annual State of B2B Procurement study of corporate business procurement professionals in the U.S. with annual purchasing budgets in excess of $100,000, 68% of B2B buyers now purchase goods online, up from 57% in 2013.

Additionally, business buyers’ purchasing habits and preferences included in the report show that:

  • The number of respondents who spent 90% or more of their budgets online in the last year doubled from 2013, increasing from nine to 18%
  • 44% of respondents have researched company products on a smartphone or tablet in the past year, compared with 41% in 2013
  • 30% of B2B buyers report they research at least 90% of products online before purchasing, up from 22% in 2013

Although buyers are researching and spending more online, suppliers are not capturing a large enough share of the market, says the report. 57% of business buyers have made an online purchase of $5,000 or more in the last year, and 66% of business buyers say they make a major purchase of $5,000 or more (online or via print, or telephone) at least once per month. But only 48% of respondents purchase goods online directly from suppliers, opting instead for third-party websites and other purchasing channels.

17% of B2B buyers use Amazon Supply, the most popular third-party website from which to make a business purchase regularly, and 38% of B2B buyers make a purchase using the service at least once per quarter.

The B2B Procurement study uncovered massive growth in online research and spending by B2B buyers across multiple devices. Study highlights include:

Electronic Purchasing Platforms In Which Users Participated

Platform

% of Respondents

Supplier’s website

48.2%

Sap

13.4%

Oracle procurement

7.4%

Amazon supply

16.6%

Do not purchase online

31.6%

Other

9.4%

Source: AquityGroup, October 2014

B2B organizations are undergoing a major shift in customer behavior, marked by a steady increase in online research and browsing across multiple sources before purchasing. Overall, 94% of B2B buyers report that they conduct some form of online research before purchasing a business product, while 55% of B2B buyers conduct online research for at least half of their corporate purchases.

Additionally, procurement teams are spending more time researching products and comparing prices online for goods at all price points. 40% of buyers research more than half of goods under $10,000 online. 31% of buyers research more than half of goods costing $100,000 or more online. For larger corporate purchases of $5,000 or more, 34% spend more than three hours researching products.

Most Popular Online Sources Used To Make A Purchase Decisions (% Using)

Online Source

% of Respondents

Google search

77%

Supplier’s website

83.4%

3rd party website

34%

Userreview of products

41.8%

Blogs

10.8%

Social media

8.6%

Do not participate

6.4%

Other

7.4%

Source: AquityGroup, October 2014

Although, according to 83% of respondents, supplier websites are the most popular channels for conducting research online, only 37% of B2B buyers who conduct research through a supplier’s website said it was the most helpful channel for this purpose.

According to the report, these findings reveal a significant gap between the information procurement officers want and the content that B2B websites currently provide, despite the fact that many suppliers appear to be adapting to changing preferences among B2B buyers.

71% of respondents prefer to conduct research and purchase on their own with access to a sales representative via the phone or online chat when needed, demonstrating the importance of a highly integrated, omni-channel eBusiness approach to sales and marketing. Respondents reported:

31.6% said Research and purchase on my own online, but would like phone support with any issues

  • 16.2% want to speak to someone directly via telephone to discuss options and walk through the entire process
  • 15.8% research and purchase on their own online, but would like live chat support with any issues
  • 13.4% like to do their own research, but talk through purchasing on the phone
  • 12.4% would like to speak with someone directly in person to discuss options and walk me through the entire process
  • 10.5% research and purchase on their own online, no sales person necessary

Continue reading…

How to get your mobile marketing strategy ready for the holidays

CITEworld

October is here and, simply put, if your holiday marketing plans are not finalized and ready to be executed, you are sunk.

That said, it seems that every year marketers let the same small details fall through the cracks. With that in mind, we’ve put together a checklist for companies as they run down their last minute planning for mobile campaigns — an area that still seems to be hit or miss for many retailers.

Remember — email marketing messages can be opened on mobile devices.Often they are only opened on mobile devices. Make sure messages are optimized for smartphones and during the holiday season especially, make the headline simple and short — and easily searchable. Consumers pull up their messages looking for offers while actually shopping and needless to say, their inboxes are bulging this time of year.

Optimize your mobile site. Why, oh why, retailers, are you ignoring the biggest subtrend in e-commerce, which is mobile commerce? Too many retail sites are still not optimized for mobile devices, a process that often requires an entirely new ground up development project but is well worth it in the end. Web optimization company Yottaa found that many of the top 500 e-tailers use unique m-dot sites, according to MobileCommerceDaily. These URLs redirect users an average 3.03 times before taking them to the right site, resulting in a poor user experiences and ultimately, lost retail sales. As MobileCommercialDaily noted, research has found that just a one-second delay in site response time can reduce conversions by 7 percent. Another data point is provided by The Search Agency, which reports in its latest quarterly report, “The Mobile Experience Scorecard — Restaurants & Catering” that the top 50 restaurant and catering companies’ mobile sites were very slow to load (on average over 70 seconds) and 40 percent don’t have a button to click to order or reserve. Some 32 percent of the sites analyzed use Responsive Web Design — Google’s recommended format — but no site serving the updated format were able to pass the page speed test, with average page load time over one minute, according to The Search Agency.

Continue reading… 

Android One: Google’s push to rule the smartphone world

CNET

Google just took an important step toward cementing its dominance over the world with its Android mobile operating system.

In the wee hours of the morning on Monday, almost 8,000 miles away from its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Google launched its Android One initiative in New Delhi, India. The project, originally announced at the company’s I/O conference in June, is essentially a way for Google to guide handset manufacturers in bringing affordable smartphones to emerging markets.

The initiative is designed both to reduce the ultimate price tag of Android smartphones, giving more budget-conscious consumers a chance to try out the devices, and to bring a more consistent Android experience, ensuring that those consumers are using Google services. That the Internet giant is making so much noise out of Android One underscores the importance of those markets, which are a critical source of future user growth — and where Google isn’t the only company looking to plant its flag.

Android One is first rolling out in India, then in Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia by the end of the year. For the launch, Google has partnered with three Indian device makers — Micromax, Karbonn and Spice — to create three $100 smartphones, as well as teamed up with the wireless provider Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile carrier in India, with 40 percent of smartphone users in the country on that network.

Phones made under the Android One rubric will also run “stock” Android, an unmodified version of the software, without the technical and user interface flourishes that manufacturers such as Samsung or HTC typically add to make their smartphones stand out from the competition. The company has already designed its most current version of Android, called KitKat, to run on low-cost hardware.

Continue reading….

IFA September 2014: World Tech Update

IDG News Service

From Samsung’s new curved Note Edge to the flurry of Google Android Wear watches from LG, Sony and Asus, we’ve got you covered on the hottest products launched at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

World Tech Update- August 29, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU Instagram brings Hyperlapse to the iPhone, Microsoft cuts Surface 2 prices and Google reveals its secret drone delivery program.