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2014 B2B Content Marketing Report

 2014 B2B Content Marketing Report

IDG Enterprise partnered with the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn to conduct the annual B2B Content Marketing Survey to better understand the current state of content marketing and to identify new trends, and key challenges as well as best practices.

Key findings include:

  • Lead generation is by far the number one goal of content marketing, followed by thought leadership and market education. Brand awareness is now the third most mentioned goal, taking the place of last year’s number three goal: customer acquisition. (Click to Tweet)
  • Companies with a documented content strategy are much more likely to be effective than those without a strategy. Only 30 percent of companies have a formally documented content strategy. (Click to Tweet)
  • The most mentioned content marketing challenge is finding enough time and resources to create content. The next biggest content marketing challenge is producing enough content, followed by producing truly engaging content to serve the needs of marketing programs. (Click to Tweet)
  • Content marketing ROI remains difficult to measure. Only a minority of respondents consider themselves at least somewhat successful at tracking ROI. (Click to Tweet)
  • LinkedIn tops the list of the most effective social media platforms for distributing content marketing. The runner ups are Twitter (moving up one rank compared to last year) and YouTube (moving down from second to third place). (Click to Tweet)

This new Content Marketing Report is based on over 600 survey responses from marketing professionals.

View the slides now… 

IDG TechNetwork Expands Programmatic Media Buying Into China

MediaPost

The IDG TechNetwork has expanded its global online advertising network into China, following its parent company International Data Group (IDG), which has supported the market for 34 years.

The launch of IDG TechNetwork China, announced Monday, means that IDG now supports data-driven marketing and premium programmatic buying to more than 60 Chinese language magazines, newspapers and Web sites.

Peter Longo, CEO of U.S. Media for IDG Communications, believes the move makes the company the first global technology-focused ad network to enter the Chinese market. The network supports more than 570 publisher sites and reaches more than 130 million tech enthusiasts, enterprise tech buyers and gamers.

Based in Beijing, IDG TechNetwork China is a fully owned business unit of IDG China led by CEO William Xu.

For brands, the move means an easier transition into China to reach the local market and better access to premium inventory they can purchase and optimize through one media group, the IDG TechNetwork China.

Marketers will have access to auctions and private marketplaces, data management platform and demand side platform services, along with increased targeting capabilities and multiple ways of acquiring inventory through direct placements and exchange based trading, per Longo.

“They will be able to buy with confidence against premium inventory from IDG, a media company that has been doing business in China for over 30 years,” he said.

All owned-and-operated Web sites in China become part of the IDG TechNetwork China along with selected premium partners that we have chosen to work with us. This provides increased scale to offer their advertising partners, as well as the ability to do business with new partners, such as DSPs and agency trading desks.

The company will now collect first-party data for its network of Web sites, allowing for better performance and return on investments for advertisers.

View original article

Top 10 tech stories of 2014

ITWorld

Backlash! Disrupting the disruptors

Blowing up entrenched business models and picking up the profits that spill onto the floor is a time-honored tradition in tech, these days known by the cliche of the moment, “disruption.” This year everyone was trying to push back against those upstarts, whether by buying them like Facebook did, reorganizing to compete with them like HP and Microsoft have done, or just plain going out against them guns blazing, as it seemed that every city and taxi company did with Uber.

European courts fought the disruptive effect Google search has had on our very sense of the historical record. But meanwhile, legions of net neutrality supporters in the US spoke up to save the Internet’s core value of disruption against the oligopoly of a handful of communications carriers.

Here are our picks for the top stories of a very, well, disruptive year….

2014 Tech Insights To Prepare For 2015

 2014 Tech Insights To Prepare For 2015

The 2014 ITworld Tech Insights research was completed with the goal of showcasing the IT spending priorities and influence of the ITworld audience.

Highlights include:

  • 64% of organizations expect spending to increase over the next 12 months.
  • IT leaders remain in charge of much of the purchase process for technology products and services, but when it comes to the role of evaluating technology for purchase, it’s all hands on deck.
  • IT buyers trust those they know when it comes to advice on upcoming technology product and service purchases and continue to most likely look to their peers/colleagues for guidance. They typically consult peers in their professional network on a weekly basis.

Download the research now… 

Or, click here to view slides…

2015 Will See Many Asia Pacific Internet of Things Solutions and Vendors Move Beyond the Hype, While Others Head Back to the Drawing Board

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 2015 Will See Many Asia Pacific Internet of Things Solutions and Vendors Move Beyond the Hype, While Others Head Back to the Drawing Board

International Data Corporation (IDC) envisions 2015 will be the year when Internet of Things (IoT) starts to deliver against the hype, but it will require vendors and customers alike to change their approach.

“Companies are always looking for ways to drive business transformation, deliver competitive differentiation and enhance the customer experience, and many are now realizing that the Internet of Things can help them deliver against these goals,” says Charles Reed Anderson, AVP, Head of Mobility and Internet of Things, IDC Asia/Pacific.

Anderson explains that 2014 has seen an explosion of new IoT-related solutions, including consumer wearables, smart home products and industrial IoT solutions.

“More importantly, however, is that 2014 has seen the maturing of the wider IoT technology vendor ecosystem, which helped ensure we have the capabilities to deploy complex IoT solutions today and deliver tangible value to governments, enterprise and consumers alike.”

Drawing from the latest IDC research and internal brainstorming sessions amongst IDC’s regional and country analysts, the following are the top 10 key IoT predictions that IDC believes will have the biggest impact on the APeJ IoT industry in 2015.

1) IoT to create new markets for retail brands

During the past year, IDC has witnessed an explosion in the consumer wearables market with new fitness bands, smart watches and smart clothing being launched from traditional OEM vendors and a multitude of tech startups and 3rd platform-born players.

IDC believes that 2015 will see an influx of consumer IoT embedded into consumer retail brands/ products. Partnerships between IoT vendors (including ODM/OEM vendors) and non-tech consumer goods’ brands will emerge rapidly to create a sizable market opportunity for the IT industry.

2) Smart Watches: Early adopters will be the only adopters…for now

New smart watches will be launched on an almost weekly basis from the leading global device manufacturers, the Chinese and Taiwanese ODM vendors and tech start-ups. While interest levels are high, IDC believes the early technology adopters will be the only adopters in 2015. The combination of the small screen size, immature application developer ecosystem, and limited functionality will prevent this from reaching the wider consumer market in 2015.

3) Wearables enter the enterprise

Basic wearables, which include devices fitness bands and clips that cannot load 3rd party software, will find a lucrative new market in enterprise customers. Employee tracking, integration into corporate wellness programs, and the creation of new business models that leverage basic wearables, especially fitness bands, to enhance the customer experience will see significant adoption in 2015.

4) Free services to drive consumer IoT adoption

There is a limit to how many consumer wearable products and services consumers will be willing to purchase. In 2015, IDC believes companies will start to offer free products and services to specific customer demographic groups, but they will insist they “own” the data that is produced by the devices. This data will then be leveraged to deliver personalized marketing and drive sales or sold to 3rd parties (regulation permitting).

5) Emergence of the glass solution provider

Connected glass devices will struggle in the consumer market, however, the enterprise business case exists for many industries, particularly those industries (e.g. major equipment manufacturers) that employ large workforces that spend considerable time at customer sites for training as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. IDC expects some large equipment manufacturers to build out their internal capabilities and partner ecosystems to become a glass solution provider and to reduce their considerable travel costs.

6) Industrial IoT: Businesses “talk big”, but deploy practically

Most industries believe that IoT will forever change the way their industry operates, however, ongoing concerns about both up-front (CapEx) and ongoing (OpEx) costs as well as potential security and privacy issues will ensure the deployment of “practical” solutions in 2015. Customers will focus on deploying solutions that deliver quick impact and return on investment (e.g. energy management solutions) and leverage the cost savings generated to fund more dynamic solutions going forward.

See all ten predictions… 

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.

Top five tips for this year’s tech Santa

Macworld

Perhaps, between this month’s tinselly advertisements, you’ve heard that this is the Season of Giving. While many people consider the name nothing more than an invitation to pass poinsettias between friends, some understand that it also means giving of your time and talents. For example, as a Macworld reader there’s every chance that you have technical knowledge to spare—some of which would be deeply appreciated by those family and friends you visit over the holidays. Might I suggest, in the spirit of sharing, that you lend a hand in the following five ways?

Give a faster Mac for not much money

There is no better way to speed up an older Mac than to add a solid state drive (SSD) as a boot volume. It matters not at all which modernish Mac model you’re talking about. If it currently uses a spinning mechanical drive, replacing that drive with an SSD will produce jaw-dropping results.

how to buy a gaming laptop ssd 100531179 large Top five tips for this years tech SantaSANDISK
Shove an SSD into a loved one’s Mac and they’ll love you forever.

If installing such a thing is beyond your ken, you can find instructions from bothiFixit and OWC (and each can sell you a drive).

Note that Yosemite doesn’t support TRIM on third-party drives (see the linked article for details) so you’ll want to be careful about which SSD you choose.

Also, as an SSD is likely to have less capacity than the drive you’re replacing, you should consider storing items found within the Home folder on another volume. And if this Mac holds just one drive, don’t fret. In Giving the gift of speed: The SSD upgrade I discuss adding a second drive to certain Macs.

Power to your people

This next suggestion is more or less helpful depending on where the target of your holiday affection lives. Country dwellers with questionable power lines and those subject to weather-related outages will find it the most useful. And that suggestion is that you carefully wrap an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and shove it under the mistletoe. Both you and it are likely to get a kiss.

apc ups 100534205 medium Top five tips for this years tech Santa
When the lights go out, your friends and family will think of you.

For those unfamiliar with these devices, a UPS is essentially a large battery that provides additional power outlets and a measure of surge protection. Should the power suddenly go out, a UPS can keep a computer running for awhile—long enough to save your work and then safely shut down the computer. APCis probably the most well known brand, but other companies make these things too.

When giving the gift of power you’ll want to be on hand when it’s put to use. And no, not just so you can receive warm thanks. Rather, you should be there to help ensure that the right devices are plugged into it. For example, only key components should pull power from the battery. There’s no reason to attach a laser printer to it, for example. Nor should you tax the battery with a nearby TV. Instead, be sure that the computer’s power cord is attached as well as any peripherals that the computer absolutely requires—a monitor if it’s attached to a Mac mini, for instance. You could also attach the broadband modem and router to it so that your family can continue to use the Internet until such time that the battery drains (helpful for checking a power company’s website to learn when power might be restored).

 

Continue reading… 

Customer-Focused Teams Are Secretly Daunted By Data Demands

IDG Connect 08111 Customer Focused Teams Are Secretly Daunted By Data Demands

One of the top goals for business leaders today is to better understand, engage with and retain their customers[i]. This involves making the most of the ever-growing volume of customer data available to build integrated, three-dimensional profiles of customers and to identify patterns and trends. Many firms turn to the roles closest to the customer to deliver this insight.

Recent research undertaken with PwC[ii] reveals that nearly two-thirds of European and just under half of North American mid-market firms believe their marketing teams have the best skills to extract insight from information, and around half (46% and 57% respectively) say the same for their customer service and insight teams.

Yet conversations with marketing leaders reveal that the teams in question are far less confident about their ability to achieve this.

One study[iii] found that a third of executives believe that being able to use data analytics to extract predictive findings from big data is the top skill required of their marketing professionals. However, just under half admit their own team lacks this skill. Another[iv] discovered that an overwhelming 82% of marketing leaders feel unprepared to deal with the data explosion, and only 59% say they have the skills to analyse and understand customer behaviour across all channels.

Despite this clearly recognised skills gap, only one in five marketing professionals is expected to receive formal training in data analysis this year[v].

In short, many firms could be passing data to teams that are ill-equipped to do it justice. Missing out on rich customer insight is just one of the risks. Our research found that marketing teams are increasingly given free access to sensitive and confidential customer information in order to extract intelligence, but are rarely held accountable for keeping it safe.

We discovered that less than one per cent of mid-market firms think teams such as marketing and customer insight should have a responsibility for information protection. Many (39%) place this responsibility firmly at the door of the IT security manager.

This is all the more worrying when you consider the fact that marketing departments are often at the forefront of flexible working practices[vi], allowing staff to work from home or while travelling – often without providing adequate guidance and support.

We found that one in three marketing professionals works from home two-to-four days a week, more than most other job roles. A third undertake confidential or sensitive work while travelling on public transport; one in four throw documents into insecure bins away from the office – and 48% send or receive work documents over a personal email account, at times using an insecure wireless network (12%). However, just a third of the employers surveyed provide secure remote intranet access for marketing professionals working from home, or offer guidelines or policies on how to handle sensitive information.

Continue reading… 

IDC Reveals Worldwide Internet of Things Predictions for 2015

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 IDC Reveals Worldwide Internet of Things Predictions for 2015

Within the next five years, more than 90% of all IoT data will be hosted on service provider platforms as cloud computing reduces the complexity of supporting IoT “Data Blending”

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., December 3, 2014 – International Data Corporation (IDC) today hosted the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Internet of Things 2015 Predictions Web conference. The presentation provided organizations with insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon. The Predictions Web conference series and accompanying IDC FutureScape reports are designed to help company leaders capitalize on emerging market opportunities and plan for future growth. An audio replay of today’s Web conference will be available this afternoon. To access the replay, please visit: http://bit.ly/IDCioTFutureScape2015.

  • ClicktoTweet:  @IDC Reveals #Worldwideinternetofthings #Predictions2015 – Register for the webcast replay here http://bit.ly/IDCioTFutureScape2015

The predictions from the IDC FutureScape for Internet of Things are:

  1. IoT and the Cloud. Within the next five years, more than 90% of all IoT data will be hosted on service provider platforms as cloud computing reduces the complexity of supporting IoT “Data Blending”.
  2. IoT and security. Within two years, 90% of all IT networks will have an IoT-based security breach, although many will be considered “inconveniences.” Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) will be forced to adopt new IoT policies.
  3. IoT at the edge. By 2018, 40% of IoT-created data will be stored, processed, analyzed, and acted upon close to, or at the edge, of the network.
  4. IoT and network capacity. Within three years, 50% of IT networks will transition from having excess capacity to handle the additional IoT devices to being network constrained with nearly 10% of sites being overwhelmed.
  5. IoT and non-traditional infrastructure. By 2017, 90% of datacenter and enterprise systems management will rapidly adopt new business models to manage non-traditional infrastructure and BYOD device categories.
  6. IoT and vertical diversification. Today, over 50% of IoT activity is centered in manufacturing, transportation, smart city, and consumer applications, but within five years all industries will have rolled out IoT initiatives.
  7. IoT and the Smart City. Competing to build innovative and sustainable smart cities, local government will represent more than 25% of all government external spending to deploy, manage, and realize the business value of the IoT by 2018.
  8. IoT and embedded systems. By 2018, 60% of IT solutions originally developed as proprietary, closed-industry solutions will become open-sourced allowing a rush of vertical-driven IoT markets to form.
  9. IoT and wearables. Within five years, 40% of wearables will have evolved into a viable consumer mass market alternative to smartphones.
  10. IoT and millennials. By 2018, 16% of the population will be Millennials and will be accelerating IoT adoption due to their reality of living in a connected world.

“The Internet of Things will give IT managers a lot to think about,” said Vernon Turner, Senior Vice President of Research. “Enterprises will have to address every IT discipline to effectively balance the deluge of data from devices that are connected to the corporate network. In addition, IoT will drive tough organizational structure changes in companies to allow innovation to be transparent to everyone, while creating new competitive business models and products.”

The IDC FutureScape report that this Web conference is based on will be published and available within the next 24 hours. To learn more about IDC Predictions and IDC FutureScapes, please visit:www.idc.com/Predictions2015.

For additional information about these predictions or to arrange a one-on-one briefing, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or sarah@attunecommunications.com. Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact insights@idc.com; reporters should email sarah@attunecommunications.com.

Read the original release… 

 

In 2015, Technology Shifts Accelerate and China Rules, IDC Predicts

NYT

In the year-end predictions game, most technology forecasts tend to be either blue sky or boring, flights of imagination or a firm grasp of the obvious.

For the last several years, IDC has published prediction reports that generally avoid the pitfalls of the genre, and offer a useful framework for thinking about the trajectory of trends in technology. The technology research firm’s predictions for 2015, published on Tuesday, come in a 17-page report that is rich in numbers and analysis.

Beyond the detail, a couple of larger themes stand out. First is China. Most of the reporting and commentary recently on the Chinese economy has been about its slowing growth and challenges.

“In information technology, it’s just the opposite,” Frank Gens, IDC’s chief analyst, said in an interview. “China has a roaring domestic market in technology.”

In 2015, IDC estimates that nearly 500 million smartphones will be sold in China, three times the number sold in the United States and about one third of global sales. Roughly 85 percent of the smartphones sold in China will be made by its domestic producers like Lenovo, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE and Coolpad.

The rising prowess of China’s homegrown smartphone makers will make it tougher on outsiders, as Samsung’s slowing growth and profits recently reflect.

More than 680 million people in China will be online next year, or 2.5 times the number in the United States. And the China numbers are poised to grow further, helped by its national initiative, the Broadband China Project, intended to give 95 percent of the country’s urban population access to high-speed broadband networks.

In all, China’s spending on information and communications technology will be more than $465 billion in 2015, a growth rate of 11 percent. The expansion of the China tech market will account for 43 percent of tech-sector growth worldwide.

Another theme in the IDC report is the quickening pace of the move from older technologies to new ones. Overall spending on technology and telecommunications, IDC estimates, will rise by a modest 3.8 percent in 2015. Yet the top-line numbers mask the trends beneath. IDC predicts there will be growth of 13 percent in what the research firm calls “3rd platform” technologies (cloud, mobile, social and big data). By contrast, older technologies will face a no-growth “near recession,” according to IDC, and “will shift fully into recession” by the second half of next year.

IDC’s 3rd platform is similar to what Gartner, another big research firm, has called a “nexus of forces” sweeping through the industry. (Gartner’s ingredients are virtually the same as IDC’s with slightly different labels — social interaction, mobility, cloud and information.) The 1st platform, in IDC’s taxonomy, was the mainframe era, running from the 1960s into the 1980s. The 2nd platform included personal computers and the Internet, and began in the 1980s and ran through the middle of the first decade of this century.

Continue reading…