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5 habits of effective data-driven organizations

Venture Beat

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A senior banker – let’s call him Jack — was on a conference call attempting to close out an acquisition. The stakes were high. It was a multibillion-dollar deal and the negotiation of the final price hinged on the measurement of the target’s EBITDA, the Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization. Jack argued that the EBITDA was lower; the opposite party asserted it was higher.

In the middle of the lengthy, convoluted discussion of the numbers, a junior associate realized that, in fact, the other side was right. She passed Jack a note letting him know this. Jack stared at the associate with contempt and proceeded to argue even more vehemently for the lower price. He literally just spoke louder than the other party, cutting them off at every opportunity. And he won. The other side just gave up. In the associate’s words, “I knew Jack was wrong. Jack knew Jack was wrong. The other side knew Jack was wrong, and Jack still won!”

How can we build teams and organizations that don’t succumb to the jerk who just yells more, argues louder? We all want to be data-driven instead of being driven by supposition, ego, and ideology

Over the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with analysts and leaders inside data-driven organizations as well as many that were not so data driven. Surprisingly, I’ve learned that being data driven has little correlation to size or geography and only a marginal correlation to industry. Data-driven companies range from small health care firms to large banks and even include mid-sized non-profits. And while the traditional categorizations of businesses have little to offer, I’ve observed a few common characteristics:

1. Size doesn’t matter, but variety does. You would think that a data-driven organization has a lot of data, petabytes of data, exabytes of data. In some cases, this is true. But in general, size matters only to a point. For example, I encountered a large technology firm with petabytes of data but only three business analysts. What really matters is the variety of the data. Are people asking questions in different business functions? Are they measuring cost and quality of service, instrumenting marketing campaigns, or observing employee retention by team? Just getting a report at month end on profits? You’re probably not data driven.

2. Everyone has access to some data. Almost no one has access to all of it. There are very few cultures where everyone can see nearly everything. Data breach threats and privacy requirements are top of mind for most data teams. And while these regulations certainly stunt the ability of the company to make data available, most data-driven companies reach a stage where they have developed clear business processes to address these issues.

3. Data is all over the place. One would think that the data is well organized and well maintained — as in a library, where every book is stored in one place. In fact, most data-driven cultures are exactly the opposite. Data is everywhere — on laptops, desktops, servers.

Continue reading… 

Demographic and intent data solutions company Madison Logic Data rebrands as Bombora

Talking New Media

Bombora was created as a new entity to serve as the primary industry source for consolidated intent data for the B2B market

NEW YORK, NY – April 13, 2015 – Madison Logic Data, the premier provider of demographic and intent data solutions for leading B2B marketers worldwide, today announced that it has rebranded as Bombora. Bombora was created as a new entity to serve as the primary industry source for consolidated intent data for the B2B market.

Bombora’s growing database of interest areas for 245 million business decision makers and more than 2 million unique companies worldwide, creates efficiencies across all aspects of the B2B sales and marketing stacks, including email marketing, site personalization, inside sales, lead scoring, and content creation. With more than 1 billion business interactions each month, Bombora has become the B2B standard in providing scale for B2B applications.

bomboralogolgTestNew 300x85 Demographic and intent data solutions company Madison Logic Data rebrands as Bombora“Behavioral intent data has proven its worth as a vital targeting tool, but unfortunately, most B2B marketers’ access to that data is fragmented, making it more difficult to gain a holistic view of one’s customers and prospects,” said Bombora CEO Erik Matlick. “Bombora breaks down the data silos that cause that fragmentation, consolidating data to enable the entire B2B marketing industry to better understand what companies and individual end users are interested in at any given time.”

During its six-month incubation period as Madison Logic Data, Bombora has already provided an unrivaled volume of high-quality B2B intent data that enables marketers to improve efficiencies and boost engagement throughout the customer journey. Here is what partners and customers are saying about Bombora:

“Bombora allows us to offer granular interest-based targeting to our advertising partners, as well as next generation post campaign analytics,” says Ann Marionovich, Vice President, Advertising Strategy at Forbes Media.

Continue reading… 

Video: IT Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Across The 3rd Platform

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Video: IT Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Across The 3rd Platform

How are vendors, IT enterprises, and investors making decisions with 3rd Platform technologies? Since 2012, M&A deals have been skyrocketing in both deal volume and value. In 2014, total IT disclosed deal volume jumped to $476 billion and had almost 1,300 deals associated with cloud, mobile, social, and big data technologies.

IDC’s Vendor Watch Service provides expert guidance on smaller, private tech vendors before they hit the public radar.

Click here to watch IDC Tech Talk videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/IDCTechTalk

IDC’s TechTalk highlights the latest industry trends for IT Executives, brought to you by IDC’s leading analysts. Browse topics from Cloud Computing, Mobility, Social Business, Big Data and more

CIOs Lead Collaborative Team in Growing Big Data & Analytics Initiatives

 CIOs Lead Collaborative Team in Growing Big Data & Analytics Initiatives

IDG Enterprise’s 2015 Big Data and Analytics research highlights momentum behind big data deployment, investments areas and challenges

Framingham, Mass.—March 9, 2015—IDG Enterprise— the leading enterprise technology media company composed of CIO, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World—announces the release of the 2015 Big Data and Analytics research, which spotlights an increase in the number of deployed data-driven projects over the past year and reveals that many organizations are still planning implementations, as 83% of organizations categorize structured data initiatives as a high or critical priority. IT decision-makers (ITDMs) also provided insight into organizational data and analytics purchase plans, security concerns and the top vendor attributes when evaluating solutions in 2015.

Big Data – A Year Later
Deployment of data-driven projects has increased by 125% in the past year (Click to Tweet), with 27% of organizations already in deployment. The momentum continues with an additional 42% of organizations still planning implementation. As more ITDMs deploy data initiatives, it provides clarity into the amount of data that needs to be managed. Similar to 2014, organizations are currently managing an average of 167.3TB of data, and this amount is expected to increase by 48% over the next 12 to 18 months. The largest contributors to this data growth are customer databases (63%), emails (61%), and transactional data (53%) (View Infographic).

In 2014, with big data showing the potential to create cross-function business opportunities, CEOs were the leading supporter of data-driven initiatives and CIOs were taking the strategic lead. Today, the CEO is still involved however, many individuals collaborate during the decision process, including the CIO (52%), CEO (43%), IT/networking staff (37%), CFO (36%), and IT steering committee (35%). At the end of the day, the CIO still takes the strategic lead and is in charge of data-driven decisions. Even with the CEO’s support, organizations are facing challenges with their big data initiatives, from limited budget (47%), to legacy issues (40%), and limited skilled employees that can analyze data (38%).

“Big data and analytics continues to be a priority and a growth area for organizations. CIOs are deploying data-driven tools that help advance the business through strategic and timely decision-making,” said Brian Glynn, chief revenue officer of IDG Enterprise. “As deployment moves towards mainstream, tech vendors have the opportunity to elevate their customers’ initiatives and potentially alleviate organizational and staffing challenges by providing solutions that integrate into legacy systems and provide an ease of use.”

Continue reading… 

2015 Big Data and Analytics Survey

As Tablets Slow and PCs Face Ongoing Challenges, Smartphones Grab an Ever-Larger Share of the Smart Connected Device Market Through 2019

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 As Tablets Slow and PCs Face Ongoing Challenges, Smartphones Grab an Ever Larger Share of the Smart Connected Device Market Through 2019

According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, the combined total market of smartphones, tablets plus 2-in-1s, and PCs is set to grow from 1.8 billion units in 2014 to 2.5 billion units in 2019. During that time, smartphones will grow to represent the overwhelming majority of total smart connected device (SCD) shipments, dwarfing both tablets and PCs in terms of shipment volumes.

To read the full press release, which includes a data table showing shipments, market share, and year-over-year growth for the worldwide SCD market in 2014 and 2019, please click here. 

Follow-up questions can be directed toward these IDC analysts:

Tom Mainelli (tmainelli@idc.com and 650-350-6455)

Melissa Chau (melissachau@idc.com and +65-6829-7713)

Ryan Reith (rreith@idc.com and 650-350-6242)

B2B Social Media: “You’re going the wrong way!”

IDG Global Solutions

By, Jason Gorud

One of my favourite movies is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. In it two mismatched travel companions are forced to endure each other and suffer through a series of unfortunate incidents as they attempt to make their way home for Thanksgiving dinner. In one scene, the two protagonists are on a snowy freeway late at night driving the “wrong way”. While they are on the right path directionally (homeward bound), they are literally driving into oncoming traffic. A concerned couple on the opposite side of the freeway starts screaming “You’re going the wrong way!” Not comprehending what they couple is trying to tell them John Candy assumes the couple is drunk and cynically asks Steve Martin “How do they know where we are going?”

This scene feels a little like what we see on a macro level from the increased push by B2B marketers into social media. Everyone has a goal(s) in mind, everyone seems to be heading towards that goal. Much like in the movie, the problem is one born not so much out of ignorance, but through a series of misaligned choices.

It’s only when we look at the unquestioning adoption of certain social media effectiveness metrics that marketers have been lead to believe are gospel and then examine the corresponding strategies being built on those metrics, that we start to see why some companies are heading down the “wrong way”.

When my firm asks our customers what they expect from a broad social media strategy we often get the following vanilla answers:

  1. Enhance brand awareness
  2. Cost reduction (on marketing spend)
  3. Improve customer experience
  4. Enable innovation (this is more ‘vanilla-swirl’ as not all companies state this as a goal)
  5. Increase revenue

No ‘shockers’ on this list and I have ranked them in order of immediate achievability (the ranking is just my humble opinion). Rather unfortunately many of the clients I speak with state enhancing brand awareness as their initial objective when the discussion starts but only really want to talk about getting to ‘increased revenue’ as fast as possible. Unsurprisingly, very few can articulate how they will map their strategy to achieving revenue growth – they just know they must!

As the conversation continues, cost reduction is quickly reclassified; this isn’t a goal, it’s the a priori reason to use social media. “It’s free” they say, “and once people start sharing and retweeting, our promotional costs will just naturally fall. Hooray!”

Improved customer service and enabling innovation are both brushed aside as many simply pay lip service to “listening” as a way to address these goals. Further marginalization occurs due to the fact that most marketers don’t have personal KPIs tied to these activities.

From there we quickly get to the topic they really want to talk about: how can I generate more leads from social media (i.e increase revenue)?

So rather than view the new “IT” thing in marketing as vehicle to enhance existing programs and achieve those goals, many marketers look at social media as a stand alone initiative. This view essentially forces most to apply metrics they feel should link directly to achieving specific KPI’s attached to more traditional objectives like market share, NPS or new customer acquisition.

And here’s where the initiative ultimately begins to fail and the “social media thing” starts to feel like a whole lotta hype.

In 2014, Gallup released findings from a poll they ran that showed less than 40% of its respondents felt social media had any bearing on their decision to buy a product. I’m sure this is disheartening to marketers; companies in the US spent over $5B on social media advertising! Seeing as how only 5% responded that it “strongly” influenced their buying decision, you have to wonder how anyone is tracking ROMI against this channel.

It’s a fool’s errand to attempt to question a consumer on his or her personal buyer’s journey as it pertains to their response to specific marketing tactics, but the findings are telling nonetheless: Assuming your social media program is going to immediately net you new buyers and bigger wins is risky – especially in the B2B space. You simply cannot rely on the usual metrics people apply to social media activities to gauge overall effectiveness.

The biggest problem we see in the B2B space is this: rather than crafting a strategy that leverages the data that comes out of a well defined social strategy to achieve their goals, businesses are hoping that social and it’s impact on their content marketing strategy will simply net them wins. Consequently the metrics being deployed are not only too simplistic, they aren’t in anyway “linkable” back to executive level goals like revenue generation.

The many successful marketers we speak to have reached this conclusion:

Social media enables success; hyper-attention to social media ‘success metrics’ does not.

If you want social media to work for your firm quickly look at adopting the following mindset:

  • See it for what it is; a component of your marketing strategy that enables and enhances, not something tto be treated as a stand alone initiative.
  • Patience is key.
  • Move beyond measuring social media’s impact on your business via metrics that offer no real insight: page views, followers, shares, retweets, likes,etc.
  • Use the activity and resultant data from social media initiatives to form what we call customer-centric outputs.

So now you’re very likely thinking or shouting to no one in particular “Jason! Oh mighty king of useless jargon, what do you mean by customer-centric outputs?” Right?

So in the spirit of #ThoughtLeaderiness I give you the Jason’s-Blocks-of-Simple-yet-Difficult-Social-Media-Outputs. It’s more commonly referred to as the JBoSyDSO(note to the fellas: The ladies love them some JBoSyDSO so drop it into conversation the next time you’re out at the club looking to make a great first impression – pronounced just like it’s spelled by the way):

07009d9 B2B Social Media: Youre going the wrong way!

To enable an output-based program you have to be patient. The value of the “outputs” only grow over time. As data aggregates, the ability to conduct longitudinal studies grows; insight into regions, verticals, companies and even individuals becomes so much more rich – and with this your ability to make intelligent choices in marketing, sales and product development improves.

And this is the difficulty many firms have: patience and willingness to make basic investments in the systems that enable an effective strategy. I won’t spend time on specifics of tools out there as the topic is myriad, but solution types can broken into 5 basic categories: monitoring, management, engagement, analytics and influencer. We can save this subject for another time…

Let’s briefly cover the outputs which are unique in nature but overlap frequently:

CUSTOMER SEGMENTATION: Can be used to analyze the nature of conversations by individuals or groups. Practically speaking, discussions mentioning company name can be linked to brand awareness, while posts where specific product, tech specs or attributes are being discussed can be used to identify an individual as a prospective buyer worth nurturing, or an account worth exploring. Highly active individuals can more easily be clustered as Hi-Po targets with corresponding tailored marketing strategies.

COMPETITIVE AWARENESS: Useful when monitoring competitive product launch announcements to determine sentiment versus your offerings. Also allows for competitor campaign countermeasures – especially when said campaigns involve FUD or otherwise unfriendly information being used against your firm.

CAMPAIGN CURRENCY: A great way to garner near real-time insight into the effectiveness of media and marketing initiatives. Not only does it provide you with the ‘what-is & what-isn’t’ working feedback, you also gain the ability to monitor conversations as they evolve vis-a-vis brand comparison enabling you to improve on future campaigns. Properly utilizing this information enables companies to more adroitly tweak messaging to meet customer interests as they change throughout the lifecycle of their initiatives.

FOCUS GROUPS: This is kind of a no-brainer. From a psychological stand point, people in general don’t always give the most honest of feed back with respect to brands, campaigns or products when put in a room with a bunch of strangers. Plus conducting these on-site groups is expensive and a pain in the backside. The impersonal nature of the web however is a different story, it allows for much larger sample sizes and ensures that feedback (data) is more easily archived and used in a far more scientific manner.

Proper deployment of these ‘outputs’ with social media acting as the engine driving them allows for the identification of tangible metrics and actionable data with respect to the aforementioned 5 goals:

  1. Brand sentiment, buzz and growth are, as mentioned, the most immediate and directly affected by nearly any campaign; your ability to influence and enhance are greatly magnified via social channels.
  2. As campaigns and initiatives are now being more accurately monitored via live feed back, tweaks can be made to eliminate spend on inefficiencies. Very expectedly, through comparative study over time, firms begin to see content distribution costs decline as a result of shares, retweets and the like.
  3. Customer feedback – both solicited and unsolicited – can be viewed across multiple products, channels and regions; services can be proactively deployed (and communicated) to a broader audience before larger problems arise; specific individuals can be quickly identified for a more personal touch.
  4. Based on trends and aggregate voice, combined with competitive intelligence, companies can quickly respond to market needs from a product perspective, inform key demographics of their “Next Big Thing” should they so desire, and use inputs from the corresponding feedback to improve product/service enhancements as they are occurring.
  5. Whitespace accounts, high-potential buyers and at risk customers are more quickly identified and addressed.

It is therefore advisable that the traditional social media metrics be used versus the outputs on an individual basis, not in trying to create direct correlations to the goals one seeks to achieve. Companies are best served by endeavoring to create more tangible links (KPIs) from the outputs to those goals instead. By doing this your social media initiatives will net far more benefit to your organization as a whole.

So in closing, be patient, stay focused on your outputs and not the minutiae of the metrics. By moving away from gauging success based purely on tactical, easily counted data points, and redirecting your energy to building outputs that link to your goals, you will right your “vehicle” and start driving on the correct side of the road.

Spoiler alert: They make it home for Thanksgiving dinner.

Two-Thirds of Global Competitive Strategies Will Require a 3rd Platform IT

IDC

New IDC PlanScape outlines framework for mature business-oriented service management strategy

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., January 28, 2015 – International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that by 2016, 65% of global competitive strategies will require real-time 3rd Platform IT as a Service (ITaaS). The ability of CIOs and IT organizations to grasp how business wants services that serve actual business needs, not traditional IT components, is significantly altering the ways in which service management is defined as successful. A new report, IDC PlanScape: Accelerating IT’s Progress to Business Maturity (Doc #253401) offers clear guidance about the business justification for creating a more mature, business-oriented service management strategy.

  • ClicktoTweet:  65% of Global #CompetitiveStrategies Will Require #3rdPlatform #ITaaS by 2016 @IDC – #IDCPlanScape outlines framework

3rd Platform technologies are fundamentally altering how IT organizations function, how business is conducted, and how enterprises compete. This demands restructuring IT to deliver ITaaS 3rd Platform services that are focused on realizing the enterprises’ competitive strategies. The ability of IT to immediately achieve a maturing business focus within its strategic planning and execution process is now an imperative. In this IDC PlanScape study, IDC explores a planning framework that enables CIOs and IT organizations to prepare for and respond to these transformative 3rd Platform imperatives. Moreover, the document details the key stakeholders and their roles and responsibilities in creating a more mature, business-driven IT organization to deliver service innovation to customers.

Additional key findings from this PlanScape include the following:

  • Without question, maturing the IT business dimension requires the active participation of top IT management. Equally imperative is to ensure all stakeholders and beneficiaries of IT within the enterprise are kept abreast of the business dimension maturity process and actively solicited for feedback whenever possible.

Continue Reading…

 

CIO magazine Tech Poll: Tech Priorities 2015

 CIO magazine Tech Poll: Tech Priorities 2015

The CIO magazine Tech Poll: Tech Priorities study was conducted among heads of IT to gauge for the upcoming year which technology areas will be the focus of IT leaders and to measure the direction of spending within those categories.

Key findings include:

  • An increasing number of IT leaders say their tech budgets are rising in the coming year than in the past six years.
  • BI & analytics is the area of most increased spending with enterprises planning to increase this investment even more than SMBs.
  • Enterprises are further along in regard to technology implementations.
  • While organizations are primarily using traditional development methods and have minimal plans to implement DevOps, they do use a liaison between business units & the development team to facilitate communication.

Continue Reading…

A New Year’s Fitness Plan for Your CMO (Content Marketing Operations)

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 A New Years Fitness Plan for Your CMO (Content Marketing Operations)

By, Rich Vancil

Over the past few months, IDC has worked to define “Content Marketing” and to espouse its vital role in the execution of marketing campaigns.

If you’re not on-board yet as to the necessary role of Content Marketing — read no further !  But if you are, your next step is to assess your operational readiness for Content Marketing Operations. In a nutshell: does your marketing organization have the people, the tools, the process competency, and the leadership mandate, to roll-out Content Marketing capability across campaigns and product-lines?

IDC defines Content Marketing Operations as: “The execution of repeatable and coordinated processes to plan, create, develop, curate and distribute, and maintain the content assets and properties used for content marketing.”
Using IDC’s new MaturityScape framework, here is a 5-step model to help you assess where you are on the arc of “CMO” competency:
Figure A New Years Fitness Plan for Your CMO (Content Marketing Operations)
Stage 1: Ad Hoc — Business as Usual
Description: Business as usual — Content marketing does not exist. Assets are created by marketing, but they are mainly product marketing and corporate marketing assets and very rarely content marketing assets (refer to Figure 2). There is no strategy, governance, or process around asset creation, and most activities exist in silos of execution.
Business impact: Marketing, and in turn the entire company, is misaligned with the buyer. There is a lack of successful engagement with the marketplace, which leads to diminishing bookings and, in marketing’s case, defunding.
Stage 2: Opportunistic — Houston, We Have a Problem !
Description: Houston, we have a problem  !  Marketing acknowledges that content marketing as a function must be developed and that it must be differentiated from product marketing. Movement begins around content marketing, mainly focusing on the initial steps to understand and organize around the topic. Efforts are made to assess what assets currently exist within the organization.
Business impact: The marketing organization begins the process of reorganizing around content marketing; this includes new executives, new titles, and new initiatives. Significant “wins” do not occur in this stage, but initial momentum toward change can be observed.

 

Continue reading…

Top 10 Predictions for Malaysia Telecom Market in 2015

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Top 10 Predictions for Malaysia Telecom Market in 2015

International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed the top 10 predictions that IDC believes will have the biggest impact on the telecommunications industry in Malaysia this year. Service providers are expected to redefine its strategies, transform its organizations, launch new solutions and technologies to retain its growth and stay relevant in market.

“2015 will be a critical year for telecom service providers. The telecom market is undergoing a major revolution driven by the changes of user requirements, revenue drivers and new technologies. Service providers with the right strategy will begin to see returns of their transformation investment while traditional providers will continue to struggle,” says Alfie Amir, Research Manager, Telecoms, IDC Malaysia.

The top 10 predictions are:

  1. Total Telecom Spending Will Experience Slower YoY Growth From 5.5% To 2.8The total spending on telecom services is expected to continue to grow but at slower rate, with only 2.8% YoY increase from RM34.3 billion in 2014 to RM35.3 billion in 2015. This is due to the slow growth in mobile services market, which accounts to 74% the total telecom revenue in 2014.
  2. Business Segment Will Continue To Dominate Fixed Line Market Accounting To 59% Of The Total RevenueBusiness segment has been the key driver for fixed line services. 60% of the total fixed line revenue in 2015 is expected to be from this segment. The 3rd platform adoption will drive higher requirements from enterprise users to their telecom providers, and hence creating new opportunities for telecom providers to expand their services beyond connectivity.
  3. Fixed Line Service Providers Will Expand Their Services To ICT Solutions And Triple The Addressable Market Fixed line providers are expected to expand their existing services to ICT solutions, addressing the changes in market requirements. This will triple their total addressable enterprise market in 2015 to around RM16.4 billion. The focus is expected to be on ICT solutions integrated with connectivity services, such as unified communications, cloud and network management services.
  4. Fixed Line Service Providers Will Customize Their ICT Solutions Focusing On High Potential VerticalsAs fixed line providers are expanding their products and solutions to ICT, addressing the market requirements for different vertical industries become more challenging. In 2015, fixed line providers are expected to customize their solutions based on different vertical requirements, and focus on high potential verticals such as banking and government.
  5. Managed Services Trend Will Begin To Rise In Telecom MarketEnterprises in Malaysia are beginning to look for more efficient delivery model for their ICT solutions, as part of their cost saving initiatives. Managed services market in Malaysia is expected to grow strongly by 9.3% to RM6.4 billion in 2015. Telecom players are expected to explore this opportunity with their large connectivity customer base.
  6. Mobile Voice Revenue Will Start To Decline For The First Time EverAfter a very slow growth of only 2% in 2014, mobile voice revenue is expected to finally decline for the first time ever in 2015. This is driven by over-the-top players (OTTP) and LTE adoption, as LTE provides comparable VoIP experience compared to the traditional voice service.

Continue reading….