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Matching Expectations In The Millennial Generation

IDG Connect 0811 Matching Expectations In The Millennial Generation

This is a contributed piece from Eneas Bernardo, Managing Director Brazil, RED

This article is the story of a conflict, between what the Millennial generation of IT staff is expecting, and what the business environment is demanding. It’s about what’s happening in Brazil – but it applies to some extent everywhere in the world.

Does IT matter?

The story starts a few years ago in 2003, when, in an article, Nicholas Carr stated, “IT doesn’t matter”. With this statement, Carr threw cold water over the industry. His article brought to light the darkest fear of the IT sector: that rather than be recognized as a business advantage, it was being seen mostly as a cost.

This fear had already been felt to some extent by the ‘mainframe generation’, also known as baby boomers. It might have been sensed, and probably ignored, by their younger cousins, the ‘Downsizers’ or ‘Generation X’.

But the youngest generation in the workforce, the ‘Netties’ or ‘Generation Y’, had grown up in a world where IT was all around and to them it was ever-present. Regardless of Carr’s predictions, IT continued to play a key role, at least for the time being.

Increasing pressures

Moving forward to the next scene in our story, we see the pressure over IT projects increasing on staff. And, as they struggle to gain the elusive benefits of IT that they still believe are there, many companies are spending more and more money on ERP and other buzzwords that promised competitive advantage and best practices – and the gold ticket for growth and profitability.

Cut to the next scene: the global financial crisis of the 2000s and 2010s. To respond, organisations kicked off a desperate pursuit for cost cutting, and strove to innovate in order to survive – let alone be profitable.

What it means for staff

What’s been the impact on staff of these recent trends?

With unemployment at the highest rates since the great depression, there are also more people to educate, more people to feed, and more people to employ. At the same time, businesses are looking for fewer employees.

Business targets and plans are also piling on the pressure. Projects are shortened, costs are reviewed, and staffing is reduced – so the people who remain need to handle more and more duties. Staff must take on more projects, deliverables and targets. They need to handle quality assurance, to consider new issues such as sustainability, and to evaluate information and data coming from many sources such as financials, manufacturing, human resources, customer relationship management and the supply chain.

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Middle East Buyer Behavior

In the first part of IDG Connect Asks research series, we look at buyer behaviour in the Middle East. We surveyed 495 IT professionals in Middle Eastern countries: Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain.  372 respondents were from the non-tech industry while the further 107 were from the tech industry.  Respondents were asked a multiple choice question; “When you participate in a purchase decision as part of a buying team which of the following phrases best describes your approach?”.

IDG Connect Buyer Behaviour Regional Research – Middle East

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Getting Maximum Value from Data Marketing

IDG Connect 0811 Getting Maximum Value from Data Marketing

A social media expert with over 15 years’ experience in digital, Christian works with some of the biggest platforms and programmes on TV, taking social media data and making it into relevant, interesting and engaging content. He currently works at performance marketing agency Albion Cell, delivering data-driven social media strategies for clients including King.com, Jose Cuervo and Ubuntu.

Marketers are often unduly daunted by the prospect of big data, possibly because the sky really is the limit when it comes to what can be done and how much can be collected. There is also a problem in that despite it being a ‘hot topic’ for so long, most businesses still aren’t leveraging new data technologies and techniques nearly enough.

Data presents an enormous opportunity to better understand your customers and their purchase behaviour, and then hone your marketing based on these insights.

Even if you are planning to outsource your data efforts to a consultant or agency, it’s a good idea for any marketer to have a basic, practical understanding of the key aspects involved. The more intelligently targeted your marketing is, the more efficient it will be.

1) Choose the right data storage for your business

There are effectively two types of data storage: on-premise or off-premise. While off-premise is more cost effective (and used successfully by online-only businesses like ASOS and Amazon, which have been able to create their systems from scratch entirely in the cloud), there are always issues of access and privacy or security. On-premise is more expensive due to high server costs, but gives businesses full control over the data – banks, for example, use data warehouses to minimise risk. When you’re deciding which system to use, consider your priorities and choose accordingly.

It should be noted that some businesses do a hybrid approach, but the challenge here comes when you want to combine your cloud data with any on-premise data to do deeper, more thorough marketing. Lloyds Bank has successfully built a very sophisticated hybrid system but there currently isn’t a way of combining on and off-premise data very easily or efficiently.

2) Only store what you need

The key point you should think about is what, from the enormous volumes of data you can collect, you actually need to collect and store. If you store only the relevant data you can be far more efficient.

Read More Here…

Top Tips To Achieve Best Value From Your Marketing Agency

IDG Connect 0811 Top Tips To Achieve Best Value From Your Marketing Agency

These agencies are, of course, excellent at demonstrating their value to the business, using a raft of measurements to prove the quality of the campaign – from website visits to conversions and brand awareness. These metrics will often look fantastic – and make life far easier for the Marketing Manager to make the case for additional budget. But how much impact does higher numbers of website visits have on a business’ top line revenues?  If the CFO turns the tables and asks the Marketing team that question most, to be frank, will have little or no concrete information.

Below are five top tips to ensure you get the best value from your marketing budget – or marketing agency:

Tip #1 – Track, track, track your leads

Digital marketing offers the compelling promise of accurate measurement and rapid time to market, enabling companies to not only gain new understanding into the value of the marketing investment, but also to ramp up those campaigns that are proving to be incredibly successful. However, take a step back – just where is the value being delivered? Increasing web site visits four fold or delivering 100% more leads looks fantastic – and certainly proves the marketing agency’s skills – but the devil is in the detail, how many of these leads are actually driving sales?

The reality is that most companies simply do not know. They are failing to track these leads through the business and have no idea how many are qualified out by the sales team; at what stage; and why? Without this information not only are the measures of campaign success irrelevant but the marketing agency has no information to use to refine the campaign to truly meet business needs.

Tip # 2 – Scrutinize the detail

Marketers need to scrutinize in detail the ‘leads generated’ and determine whether they are within the company’s key target markets and geographies; whether they convert into the expected sales pipeline at the ratio expected; and ultimately into closed deals. Essentially, companies need to measure, and not just estimate, the true return on marketing investment.

Continue reading for more tips…

 

Mobile networks limber up for the Internet of Things

CITEworld

Changes starting to take place behind the scenes in mobile networks may eventually pay dividends to anyone with a smartphone, a connected refrigerator or an IT department.

Carriers have done things pretty much the same way for years, with cellular base stations at the edge of their networks feeding into a series of specialized appliances at central facilities. Now they’re virtualizing those networks in several ways, seeking the same rewards that enterprises have reaped by virtualizing data centers: efficiency and flexibility. The trend will be in full swing at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.

It’s good news for mobile users that they may not hear much about. A more efficient network leaves more free capacity for the video or application you want to run, and a more flexible carrier could quickly launch services in the future that you don’t even know you’ll need yet. The new architectures may even change how some businesses pay for mobile services.

Just as enterprises used to buy separate servers for each application, carriers often use dedicated hardware for each function involved in delivering a service, such as billing and authentication. Years of mergers have left multiple legacy platforms, adding to the mess. As a result, rolling out a new service for a customer, such as a VPN, can take weeks.

The new approach that’s gaining ground, called NFV (network functions virtualization), turns each piece of the puzzle into software that can run on standard computing hardware.

Continue reading… 

The future of ‘everywhere ergonomic’ technology

IDG Connect 0811 The future of ‘everywhere ergonomic’ technology

It’s difficult to avoid adverts or news stories about the amazing technological feats the modern ‘intelligent car’ can perform. One of the most impressive is that a vehicle can now ‘know’ its position on the road, sense when it may be veering into another lane and transmit a warning vibration through the seat to jolt a drowsy driver into attention.

This type of technological innovation that makes our lives safer and easier to navigate is set to extend to the workplace. Already, there are smart chairs that measure our posture and how long we’ve been sitting, as well as smart work surfaces that know when we’re present.

In a recent interview with the Economist Intelligence Unit on ‘The Future of Work’, (sponsored byRicoh Europe), Alan Hedge, Director of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University, points out that this type of technology is just the start, “we are at the very beginning of a revolution in ‘active’ objects and products that have sensors built into them.”

Professor Hedge terms this interaction between people and design technology ‘everywhere ergonomics’. While smart chairs and surfaces may not have made their way to all workplaces just yet, many people will already be using everywhere ergonomics at home. It’s only a matter of time before the boom in wearable devices begins to have a transformative effect on the workplace. Think back to how the widespread adoption of smartphones kick-started the shift to mobile working promised by portable computers years earlier. I believe this boom could be bigger.

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LinkedIn Ad Services & B2B Marketers Turn to Digital

IDG Connect 0811 LinkedIn Ad Services & B2B Marketers Turn to Digital

In this week’s marketing news roundup I will be focusing on LinkedIn’s new B2B ad services and B2B marketers turning to digital.

LinkedIn Launches B2B Ad Services

Last week LinkedIn launched two new ad products, Lead Accelerator and Network Display. These allow B2B brands to search for sales leads and place ads across various websites as well as its own. The professional social network has partnered with AppNexus to deliver ads based on LinkedIn data not only on LinkedIn’s site and apps, but a network of 2,500 of other business-focused websites.

This announcement follows LinkedIn’s recent acquisition of B2B marketing platform Bizo. The acquisition, which cost the social media company $175 million, looks like it has been busy with its new toy as it’s set to take on the advertising world.

linkedin lead accelerator product image 1 1002x625 LinkedIn Ad Services & B2B Marketers Turn to Digital

Source: Marketing Week

The Lead Accelerator product allows brands to place a pixel on their websites, which uses cookies to identify LinkedIn users so advertisers can get a better understanding as to the types of people visiting.  This captures missing details of professionals who have visited brand websites by overlaying anonymised LinkedIn data over the brand’s site traffic.

To reach these users, LinkedIn’s Network Display will use its targeting insights to retarget visitors to third party websites and on its own platform. This will allow marketers to deliver relevant content to the right audience.

It seems this is just the beginning of LinkedIn’s expansion into the B2B marketing space. With these type of offerings and access to 347 million professionals, LinkedIn’s positioning looks promising.

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How to Promote your Business Away from the Internet

IDG Connect 0811 How to Promote your Business Away from the Internet

Marc Michaels is Director of Behaviour and Planning at the GIG at DST. As a marketing professional and procurement expert with extensive experience, Marc has become a champion for marketing communications for 28 years. As Director of Direct and Relationship Marketing and Evaluation at the COI, he managed a team of 50 professionals delivering hundreds of high profile government behaviour change campaigns involving direct mail, door drops, e-mail, contact centre and fulfilment, household distribution, field marketing, customer relationship management and campaign evaluation across all major COI clients. Now at the GIG at DST Marc now provides ‘end to end’ consultancy across strategy development, planning, implementation and evaluation. 

Marc is a life-time Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing and industry speaker. His extensive experience in marketing has provided Marc with a unique stance. He believes wholeheartedly that marketing doesn’t just have to be digital.

In a tough economic climate where competition is rife it can be difficult to generate business exposure. From large businesses to SMEs, companies are constantly trying to market themselves better. Often this will be through the multitude of emerging digital channels that have opened up a wealth of opportunity for the savvy marketer. Channels like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, to name only three, have made it easier and less expensive for businesses to promote themselves, if they have the skills and time to exploit them. However, whilst these new and flashy channels may look attractive and appear cheaper, it is important not to be seduced by them exclusively. Too many marketers are too quick to abandon physical marketing, perhaps because these particular methods are seen as outdated or untrendy compared to an eye-grabbing Vine or promoted Facebook post. Relying solely on social channels exclusively is flawed. Even within our continually and rapidly evolving digital world, offline solutions can still be right for your business.

Check out his tips here… 

 

Linkedin is the Favorite, Internet of Things & The Importance of Email

IDG Connect 0811 Linkedin is the Favorite, Internet of Things & The Importance of Email

While a lot of last week’s spotlight was on Katy Perry’s infamous Superbowl left shark, in the marketing world there was much talk about LinkedIn, the Internet of Things and Email.

Linkedin is the Favourite for B2B Tech Content

IT buyers still heavily rely upon traditional content to educate themselves throughout the customer journey. White papers are viewed as the most popular type of content buyers consume to receive analysis of technology or business issues and trends. However, more buyers are beginning to see the value of accessing content through social platforms.

As buyers are seeing this value, more marketers are beginning to adapt their content to social with 81% of marketers now creating content specifically for social media, according Eccolo Media report. However, when it comes to their platform of choice, their behaviour doesn’t match their expectations.

The report found while 21% of buyers receive vendor collateral through tweets, only 6% expect Twitter to be a source of content. Similarly, when asked which social channels they have received vendor content through, more respondents say Facebook than LinkedIn. But when asked which social channels they’re most likely to consume vendor content from, LinkedIn is the most popular platform. In other words, technology buyers actually receive more vendor content through Facebook but perceive LinkedIn as the more likely channel to receive such content.

This perceived preference for LinkedIn is supported from IDG Enterprise’s recent research which shows three-quarters of B2B technology buyers rely on LinkedIn, while less than half turn to Facebook. Demonstrating a brand victory for LinkedIn and opportunities for marketers in the future.

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Digital Marketing Budgets Increase and Social Media Postings

IDG Connect 0811 Digital Marketing Budgets Increase and Social Media Postings

This week I will be looking at the increase in digital marketing budgets and the most effective times to post content.

80% of Companies Plan to Increase their Digital Marketing Budgets

As more companies see the importance of digital marketing, it’s expected that 80% of companies are planning to increase their budgets in the next 12-18 months according to Mondo’s recent study, The Future of Digital Marketing. It is foreseen that in the next three – five years company revenue driven by marketing will increase by 30%.

Over the past 15 years this dramatic shift from traditional to digital media has caused changes in consumer behaviour. This has lead marketing to rethink its positioning and adopt a digital mindset to meet this shift as 98% of marketers see the role of the traditional marketer continuing to change.

According to study, the main forces that have caused this change are the increased number of channels to reach the audiences, innovative ways to think about customer engagement and the challenge of breaking through the noise of the target audiences.

This has driven a change in marketer’s skillset as more organisations are moving away from the traditional skills. Mondo found marketing departments skill are made up of digital/social (54%), content creation (44%), big data/analytics (33%) and mobile strategy (30%).

All this goes to show, the evolution of marketing and technology has weakened the traditional marketer’s role as more companies align themselves with the digital age.

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