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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.

Continue Reading…

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.

Read more…

 

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.

Read More… 

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.

Read More… 

Digital Marketing Budgets Increase & Social Media Postings

IDG Connect

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.

Continue Reading…

The New Core of Business: B2B Marketing & Social

IDG Connect

B2B Marketing Budgets to Increase in 2015

More than half of B2B marketers plan to increase their marketing budgets this year, with the average budget increasing by 6%, according to a new report by Forrester Research.

The survey based on 132 B2B marketers found that 51% of marketers plan to increase budgets this year, 30% plan to keep budgets the same as last year, while 8% plan to decrease budgets. However, it looks like the confidence in marketing has increased compared to last year’s findings. The same report delivered last year found only 32% of B2B marketers expected to raise their marketing budgets, 45% planned to keep budgets the same, and 22% said they planned to cut their budgets.

The research also found that marketing budgets will make up 7% of revenue on average, compared with last year’s average of only 4%. While the marketing programs that will be allocated the largest budget are in-person events (14%), followed by digital marketing (10%) and content marketing (9%). These represent a decline from last year findings. With events share declining by 6%, and digital marketing and content marketing decreasing by 3%.

It could be considered this decline demonstrates marketers spreading their budgets across more marketing programs to strengthen their efforts. But the overall increase shows a promising future for the B2B marketing landscape.

Marketers Believe Mobile is the Core to Their Business

If you haven’t started introducing mobile, it’s looking like 2015 is the last call to get started as more marketers are seeing its importance. According to Salesforce’s 2015 State of Marketing report marketers (71%) view mobile marketing as the core to their business.

Continue Reading…

Software Marketers Blaze Trails in Data-Driven Marketing

IDG Connect 0811 Software Marketers Blaze Trails in Data Driven Marketing

Technology is changing marketing in a hurry, and some CMOs have acknowledged that the unrelenting pace of the transformation intimidates them.

In a survey conducted by Forrester Research and Erickson Research, 85% of 117 CMOs surveyed said their responsibilities had changed significantly in the past few years. Amazingly, 97% of respondents only expected the pace of change to accelerate. The change is coming so fast and so furious, in fact, that 34% of the CMOs in this survey described the changes as “overwhelming.”

There’s one group of CMOs, however, that seems undaunted by the pace of change, and that’s software marketing executives. Because of their comfort with the world of technology, software and tech marketers, in fact, are far ahead in embracing marketing technology and the data-driven, customer focus this technology enables.

A study we conducted last year at my company, Bizo, before it was acquired by LinkedIn, provided some insight into just how far software marketers are ahead of their peers. Software companies have long been pioneers in B2B digital marketing. They were among the first to build websites back in the early days of the World Wide Web in the mid-1990s. They blazed trails with display advertising and were among the first to see the value in search advertising, content marketing, and social media. Even when they made missteps, such as jumping on the MySpace bandwagon, the experience of these early adopters allowed them to quickly grasp the significance of other social media launches, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

The Bizo special report, “The Data-Driven Marketer,” indicated software marketers are also leading the way in adopting data-driven marketing practices. In The Data-Driven Marketer survey, Bizo queried more than 850 marketers. The responses showed that the subset of software marketers is far ahead of all respondents in virtually every aspect of data-driven marketing.

Read more… 

11 – 94% of Business Emails go Missing – A Global Breakdown

IDG Connect

Email marketers have spent years building best-practice expertise to deliver the most effective email campaigns possible. However the age old challenge of not being able to reach subscribers’ inboxes continues to be a problem for marketers worldwide.

In 2013, 100.5 billion business emails were sent and received every day. The sheer volume of email traffic and the growing sophistication of spam tactics have contributed to the issue marketers now face to stay at the top of consumers’ inboxes.  We have already seen the impact of spam emails on high profile brands such as Apple and Dropbox, as well as authentic looking emails pandering to the concerns of the public off the back of topical news stories, in order to build trust and falsely obtain users personal credentials. Mailbox providers are therefore constantly redefining their filters to help prevent these kinds of messages getting through which in turn, forces legitimate email senders to become equally as sophisticated to improve their own inbox placement.

Recent research conducted by Return Path (Inbox Placement Report 2014) of more than 492 million commercial email messages sent across North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions, shows that one in six commercial messages do not reach the subscriber’s inbox. This is consistent with last year’s findings, which indicates that while marketers have a basic understanding of how to keep out of the junk folder, there is still more to learn on further maximising inbox placement.

According to the results, 11% of commercial messages simply go missing while 6% are marked as spam. This presents a significant problem for marketers who value and rely on the long-term customer relationship that email marketing can build. If messages go missing completely, businesses risk losing customers; failing to reach the inbox simply means failing to reach the customer. The financial impact here is great, for example, if 50% of messages are unsuccessfully delivered, that equates to 50% of the email marketing campaign budget being lost as well.

Return Path has discovered that being ranked as a ‘good sender’ by ISPs is no longer enough to guarantee inbox placement. We have seen that most countries across the globe are struggling to achieve at least 90% inbox placement rates, including developed markets such as the UK and US.

emailmarketing markeitng b2b email 11   94% of Business Emails go Missing – A Global Breakdown

Our research shows that Eastern European countries particularly struggle with messages going missing. Senders in Romania and Luxembourg are seeing 50% of their emails failing to reach the inbox, while in Poland this figure reaches a staggering 90%. This means that a significant portion of their audience doesn’t receive any intended commercial email. Email messages that go missing are harder to identify and diagnose, however, the first step in being able to correct the problem and boost inbox performance is knowing where the problem lies.

 

Continue reading… 

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…