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Your Best Marketing Data Provider May Be Right Underneath Your Nose

Integrate

By  Scott Vaughan

Data is today’s marketing currency. We harvest it wherever we can – via paid, owned and earned media. And this harvesting is facilitated by numerous tech and services providers: known-data appending plug-ins like Dun & Bradstreet and Social123; anonymous data marketplaces such as (Oracle) BlueKai; and currently the hottest of the data sources, predictive analytics providers such as Lattice Engines and 6Sense.

But what’s almost always neglected in the marketing data discourse: the media companies that have been generating traffic, prospects and customers for marketing clients for years.

Marketers shouldn’t neglect these sources and their evolving capabilities. Top-tier media companies aren’t the “lead-gen sources” of old – they’re the “data-gen providers” of tomorrow.

We’re slowly seeing B2B media companies evolve. They’re leveraging new technologies and long-held expertise to grow into sophisticated data repositories for their clients. This is great news for marketers.

The optimism stems from the wealth of data types available today – big, small, prospect, intent, behavior and account intelligence. And, it appears more is on the way.

Having spent a chunk of my career working within a B2B media company, and now both partnering with and serving these organizations as customers, I can say the definition of “media company” is clearly changing.  This includes traditional web and print publishers, digital lead-generation providers, and advertising technology companies offering solutions to better deliver audience and leads.

These shifts are part survival and part opportunity. It’s survival in that media companies are shedding expensive print and eyeball-generating web operations. And opportunity in that they’re emerging as data-source experts to serve marketers’ seemingly endless appetite for highly specific customer and prospect information.

Behind closed doors, media executives are debating and plotting to answer one question: “What’s the core business we’ll be in a year from now?”  The consensus – DATA marketing solutions.

To make this a reality, media executives are NOT JUST thinking about traffic, impressions or lead generation. Progressive, next-generation media organizations are investing to deliver high-quality prospect and performance (e.g., content performance) data to their marketing customers. All this to arm marketers with intelligent prospect info and marketing intelligence to put their marketing technology systems and content to work – to create new customers.

Data as the New Media AND Marketing Currency

B2B media executives are still in the thick of it, but they also understand “monetizing traffic” or trying to squeeze “every ounce out of their databases” isn’t a long-term success formula. Rather, new-era media companies realize that data is the invaluable asset they can provide to their paying marketing customers.

Data that informs how and with what to capture prospect interest. Media companies use this data in concert with both their own content and their customers’ marketing assets.

Just as importantly, they wield data about their visitors, subscribers, and attendees, that can be packaged and made actionable for marketers’ demand generation and customer acquisition efforts.

Let’s dive deeper into a few types of emerging data sets that are becoming the lifeblood for progressive media companies to better serve their customers. We’ll discuss what BOTH media companies and the marketers they serve can do about it.

Behavioral Prospect Data to Signal Intent

Based on a user’s behaviors, media companies have a unique grasp on what buyers or targeted companies may be interested in. Using data science, this intent-based data can be collected and shared about an individual’s online activities. Most importantly, specific areas of content interest can also be gathered, which often signals research around an upcoming purchase. The media company can also provide precise, additional targeting by serving ads or emailing offers, for example.

Marketers use this data to score leads based on specific activity and increased interactions. They can also prioritize and fast track the best opportunities immediately by nurturing prospects in a more targeted program or sending to sales for immediate follow-up.

A few examples in this area: TechTarget’s Activity Intelligence platform and Bombora (formerly Madison Logic Data) are media companies providing this type of service today.

Company Content Consumption Data for Account-Based Marketing

Account-Based Marketing is all the rage today, and for good reason. The focus is on the ability to identify and target specific companies that B2B marketers and sales chiefs have earmarked as ideal prospects for their product or service.

Media companies use digital tactics, demand generation, and data solutions to help marketers identify purchasing intent with a specific list of target companies. Using company IP addresses and domain intelligence, for example, they can share this activity data when target companies (“accounts”) are viewing or engaging with their content and retarget them immediately with additional information and offers.

Demandbase and IDG Communications – among many others – provide advanced offerings in this area, leading with their data.

The media company transformation to “data-gen providers” is still in its early stages. They’re just starting to team up with marketers to use data science for advanced targeting and sophisticated data generation. So, what can marketers do to tap into the wealth of prospect and customer data intelligence?

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‘Context not programmatic volumes key to curbing ineffective mobile ads’ says gaming publisher

Source: The Drum

Contextual targeting not programmatic-driven volumes are key to premiumising mobile media amid the flurry of ineffective ads being “blindly bought” through ad networks, claims gaming publisher Gameloft.

It is why the business opened its ad inventory direct to marketers four months ago and why it has recently started talking to them like a media owner rather than a publisher. Simply put, this shift means it no longer peddles a performance-based model based on cost-per acquisition, and instead stresses the ability to drive brand-led metrics now that it sells its own media.

It is a risky and somewhat old-fashioned approach at a time when publishers are opting to sell through networks or programmatically in an attempt to maximise their ad yield.

However, this means brands are more likely to buy blind from publishers, claimed Gameloft’s UK and Ireland country manager David Whitby. Instead, the company combines user data from either Facebook Connect or Google Play with data from its games to create what Whitby said is a “fairly good profile” with which it can sell.

To get brands onside, it is introducing a flurry of formats, from videos that play between levels to branded in-game events in the hope of giving its native media a different slant versus what’s on offer from other publishers. And while the ads are proving effective, with its videos getting upwards of 65 per cent for completed views, there is still a massive job to become an influential player in the mobile space.

“Every planner you talk to says mobile is a nightmare because they don’t know where their booked ads are running. If you didn’t know what TV ad slots you’d bought it would seem ridiculous but on mobile its considered acceptable right now for some reason,” said Whitby.

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The Millennial Delusion

Source: TechCrunch

The obsession with “millennials” continues to fascinate me. Despite being the most outspoken generation in history, people – very important and powerful people – claim they don’t understand us. We make no sense apparently, as if the actions and career paths of our parents make total and complete sense.

There are even consulting firms that specialize in teaching businesses how to interact with us (I refuse to link to them, Google if you dare). I wish I could start one of these and just talk about myself all day as a passion job, in the process becoming the very essence of a millennial.

A meta-millennial, perhaps.

More words have been spilled in the business press about this arbitrary agglomeration of people than any other, yet debates seem to go on endlessly.

That’s because there really is no debate, and there really is no such concept as “millennial.” If it wasn’t clear already, millennial values are American values, which is perhaps more obvious this week with the Supreme Court’s decisions around same-sex marriage, health care, andhousing discrimination, which were significantly more in line with millennial thinking than with the baby boom generation.

Millennials are a figment of our imagination, a delusion of marketers and others who believe that the changes in our society are only applicable to a narrow group of people rather than our whole population.

They’re completely wrong.

What’s happening is that people are finally taking advantage of all the technological progress we have made over the past few decades, finding empowerment in the world that was lacking before. We all now have the ability to choose our own paths – our own “passion careers” – and use technology to foster a better future, not just an elite sliver of the population with enough resources.

Unsurprisingly, everyone seems to be doing just that.

We can see technology’s influence on society everywhere. Millennials are described as more “socially conscious” than any other generation, but this is a function of our heavy use of technology, particularly social networks. People today have more access to news and opinion from the United States and around the world than ever before, and it shouldn’t be surprising that conflicts or diseases in other places have an emotional resonance with us that didn’t exist before.

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What IDG TechNetwork Learned from 7 Years of Sales Evolution

Allvoices

idgtn team photo 6 25 15 jpeg What IDG TechNetwork Learned from 7 Years of Sales Evolution

When it comes to the advertising industry, the only constant is change. As technology evolves, so do advertiser demands, challenges and quality standards. That’s why media leader IDG TechNetwork has kept its customers at the center of the company’s continued evolution.

“As a publisher-driven network with an emphasis on quality content at scale, these product progressions remain true to our core business model in servicing our customers,” says Scott Harris, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at IDG TechNetwork.

“We believe in the importance of building out new solutions that enable our business to straddle the line between agency and publisher, operating as a true consultative resource in addressing our clients’ needs.”

In seven short years, IDG Communications has grown from a traditional publisher into a digital media company, shutting all but one of its print publications and developing a centralized network approach with IDG TechNetwork to providing scale.

Here are the biggest lessons that they have learned along the way.

Reposition industry challenges into company-specific strengths

One of the biggest challenges that the advertising industry faces is the commodification of display banners, which leads to diminished value and performance. In response to this trend, IDG TechNetwork has transformed its business beyond the network model of standard display ads to invest in in-house capabilities.

“We’ve developed a rich suite of diverse products to provide our clients with lead generation, custom content marketing, native advertising, a programmatic exchange, a destination video hub with original programming, creative rich media development and DSP targeting; all executed across our premium mobile, desktop and video channels,” says Harris.

Harris explains that experimentation has been key to IDG TechNetwork’s process. Rather than maintaining the status quo, the company has actively sought out new opportunities to include as core offerings.

“It’s important to identify new areas of excellence rather than building up a wall of defense,” says Harris. “In many respects this is a similar challenge that the industry faced when first making the transition from print to digital.”

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IDG Sonar: Revolutionizing Big Data to Accelerate Sales

Screen Shot 2015 06 25 at 12.56.22 PM IDG Sonar: Revolutionizing Big Data to Accelerate Sales

IDG SONAR is a “data enhanced” demand generation program that provides actionable sales intelligence at the company and individual decision-maker levels. Through expansive web mining of behavioral analytics and one-on-one qualification, IDG’s Sonar identifies organizations with an intent to make technology purchases and delivers highly qualified, sales ready leads from within that company. Sonar allows your sales team to target the hottest leads and teams of purchase decision-makers inside of organizations that are ready to buy

What Does Sonar Do? „

Identifies business triggers „
  • Internal/external
  •  Ownership changes
  •  Technology upgrades/outsourcing/major initiatives
  •  Adding head count
  •  FCC regulations
  • Recent hacker attacks
  •  Award recognitions
  • And many more! „

Download the IDG Sonar product overview

CASE STUDY: Audience Extension

acer logo e1435248713675 CASE STUDY: Audience Extension

Program ran in United Kingdom

GOAL

Educate and inspire gift-givers about the benefits of computing products in enhancing the lives of their loved ones while increasing awareness of Acer brand & products. Screen Shot 2015 06 25 at 12.03.33 PM CASE STUDY: Audience Extension

SOLUTION

Leverage the reach & influence of premium IDG editorial media outlets to deploy a dual-function program aimed at engaging target consumer audiences on two levels:

NativeNews Package  (Hub, Articles, Videos, Article Spotlight, Sponsored Article Posts & Newsletters):

Built platforms aimed at engaging target audiences, providing extensive brand exposure and communicating Acer’s messaging. Custom articles and video scripts were authored by IDG subject-matter experts and were hosted on IDG properties. Custom ad units ran in tandem with the native activities to promote content and reinforce brand recognition.

Custom Built Ad Units (Mobile & Desktop Product Line Showcase & InFunnel Ad Units):

This was an interactive solution utilized to create awareness, provide information and ultimately drive consideration and sales.

RESULTS

  • High average time spent on site (3:54mins) and a high overall average video completion rate (73%).
  • 38% of all video views were on the IDG-produced videos.
  • Impressions: 1,352,434 ; Page views: 6,682

2015 Unified Communications & Collaboration Study

 2015 Unified Communications & Collaboration Study

The 2015 Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) Study encompasses the information needed to fully grasp the current UC&C market. The research includes the direction of spending, areas of investment, business drivers and challenges that IT decision-makers are experiencing when it comes to communication tools in their organization.

Key Findings:

  • Unified Communications & Collaboration will see a surge of adoption in the next 3 years. 56% percent of enterprise and 66% of SMB organizations plan to implement or upgrade UC&C solutions within the next year. (Click to Tweet)
  • Unified communications and collaboration budgets will increase by 9% in the next year.(Click to Tweet)
  • Within the next two years, organizations will move their UC&C model to hybrid and cloud-based environments, with enterprise organizations leading the change. (Click to Tweet)
  • Traditional technologies remain the top forms of employee communication, but enterprises are increasing their use of videoconferencing and telepresence technologies. (Click to Tweet)
  • Security/privacy concerns are a challenge when it comes to UC&C implementation.(Click to Tweet)
  • Security, ease of use and total cost of ownership are the biggest factors when evaluating vendor solutions, but integration into existing infrastructure shows high importance for enterprises. (Click to Tweet)

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Regional Research: Latin America Buyer Behaviour

IDG Connect 0811 Regional Research: Latin America Buyer Behaviour

This week’s regional research reveals collaborators dominate Latin America which can neutralise the power of action-oriented advocates.

IDG Connect surveyed 491 IT professionals in Latin American countries; Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Peru. Over 400 of the respondents were from the non-tech industry while the further 65 respondents were from the tech industry. Respondents were asked a multiple choice question to discover which buyer type they adopt when participating in a buying team.

From this, the respondent’s answer was categorised into one of the three buyer behaviours:

  • Collaborator: Collaborators seek comfortable team consensus when it comes to a purchase decision. They welcome members’ opinions, including the “pros” and “cons,” considering these to be as valuable as facts and figures. They consider features & benefits comparison charts to be very useful.
  • Challenger: Challengers consider themselves the experts in the group and will not hesitate to challenge points to arrive at the “best” decision. Challengers respect expertise, competence, know-how and the views of industry authorities.
  • Advocate: Advocate are vested in the potential impact the team’s decision will have on company and personal reputations as well as enhanced visibility. Advocates are action-oriented, working to promote their favoured vendor(s) forward. They tend to be impressed with big name clients and famous founders.

This research is part of a global survey that was conducted by telephone to 3420 IT and Business Professionals.

Click to view more survey results…

Why Marketers are Betting Big on Predictive Analytics

IDG Connect 0811 Why Marketers are Betting Big on Predictive Analytics

Give a marketer a sale, and you’ll keep his company afloat for a day; teach him to predict future sales, and you may just ensure his longevity.

That, in essence, is the premise behind predictive marketing, a concept that’s increasingly taking hold in enterprises today.

Tapping into the analytics trend that’s being felt throughout the business world as a whole, predictive marketing applies algorithms and machine learning to big data to help marketers direct their efforts in the most profitable directions. Predictive-analytics tools can help marketers gauge ahead of time what a particular customer will buy, for example, as well as when and how much. Equipped with that information, companies can tailor their campaigns accordingly.

Amazon is a shining example: Its recommendations engine reportedly accounts for roughly 30 percent of the company’s sales.

Successes like that may help explain investors’ excitement about predictive-analytics purveyors such as Lattice Engines.

Lattice on Wednesday announced a fresh US$28 million in Series D funding, bringing its total investment intake so far to $75 million. The company’s software is now used in more than 100 organizations worldwide, it says, resulting in higher sales rates, conversions and cross-sales successes as well as reduced churn.

Predictive analytics can help marketers across the entire customer lifecycle, said Fern Halper, director of TDWI Research for advanced analytics.

For instance, “predictive analytics helps in segmenting customers, finding patterns in their behavior, offering them the promotions that they would be likely to respond to, and predicting what customers would likely churn,” Halper explained.

Marketing and sales are, in fact, among the top areas that organizations start with when deploying predictive analytics, she added, as increasingly easy-to-use tools bring such capabilities within closer reach for nonexpert business users.

Also fueling the technology’s growth is the sheer deluge of data out there today.

“There’s so much data and so many channels that firms like Lattice are now necessary to help marketers interpret and understand and, to some degree, optimize their campaigns in real time,” said Greg Sterling, vice president for strategy and insights with the Local Search Association. “Firms and tools that offer ways to make sense of all the data are increasingly important.”

Continue Reading…

Content Marketing: Tech Marketers vs. B2B Marketers

Content Marketing Institute, Marketing Profs, IDG

Throughout this report, you’ll see how technology marketers have changed their content marketing practices over the last year and how they compare with the overall sample of B2B marketers who completed our annual content marketing survey. This infographic shows thats tech marketers and B2B marketers share similar content marketing challenges and initiatives.

Download the full report here.

diff between tech and b2b marketers4 Content Marketing: Tech Marketers vs. B2B Marketers