Upcoming Events
Event Date Location

Digital Summit Phoenix

02/04/2015 - 02/05/2015 Acottsdale AZ

Mobile World Congress

03/02/2015 - 03/05/2015 Barcelona .

SXSW 2015

03/13/2015 - 03/21/2015 Austin TX

Enterprise Connect

03/16/2015 - 03/19/2015 Kissimmee FL

Agenda 15

03/30/2015 - 04/01/2015 Amelia Island FL

5 Tips For A Successful Conversion Rate Optimization Program

Marketing Land

If your business is struggling to compete online, it might have less to do with your competitive landscape than with your conversion optimization program.

The simple fact is that many companies can — and do — impede their website optimization efforts by having information silos, territorial teams, groups with tactical mindsets, aversion to change, and an unproductive focus on vanity metrics.

All of the above derail progress even before you factor in other companies who may have better or more mature conversion practices than your own.

Sound familiar? Here are five tips for tackling these internal conversion killers.

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2015 Will See The Rise Of Dark Social

MediaPost

Dark social is the sharing activity that is somewhat invisible to traditional analytics. It’s the culmination of referrals and sharing of content that originates from instant messages, e-mails containing links, and most recently, the rise of ephemeral social communication platforms such as Snapchat, WeChat and WhatsApp.

A majority of focus today is on social broadcast platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. With the tides shifting toward ephemeral social communication applications as a key driver of sharing, the attribution data of the share — and all of the value that comes with it — is essentially untapped and, in some cases, simply unknown.

According to a recent Radium One study, 59% of all online sharing is via dark social. Further, a whopping 91% of Americans regularly share information via dark social methods. This study also showed that 72% of sharing is simply users copying and pasting long URLs and either e-mailing or texting the information.

There are a significant number of conversations — and more importantly, potential intent — from a marketing perspective that is simply being ignored and untapped. Currently, there’s an over-reliance on retargeting. Dark social could represent an opportunity to bring balance to the equation.

Read more here… 

Why Apps for Messaging Are Trending

The New York Times

A team at BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment site, knew it had struck gold when it came across a decades-old photo of Dwayne Johnson, the musclebound wrestler and film star known as The Rock, wearing a fanny pack and dated bluejeans.

To drum up more attention, the team changed the picture’s background to a holiday theme and added “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” in big lettering. But then, instead of posting the image to BuzzFeed, the team uploaded it to Instagram, the hugely popular photo-sharing service.

The image then took on a life of its own. Mr. Johnson quickly embraced the joke, reposting the picture to his own Instagram account. Nearly 390,000 people indicated they liked the post, and the image became the top topic of conversation on the message board site Reddit.

“We didn’t pour gas on it. We didn’t post it to the home page,” said Summer Anne Burton, editorial director of the 10-person BFF team at BuzzFeed that is dedicated to posting photos and videos to photo and messaging apps. “We just stuck it on Instagram and it took off all over the place. That’s the dream.”

BuzzFeed’s tactics could also offer a glimpse into how some personal messaging apps like Instagram, WeChat and Snapchat — already used by millions of people sharing text or images among friends — will be used in the future.

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The Philippines ICT Top 10 Predictions 2015: Accelerating Innovation on the 3rd Platform

IDC

Manila, Philippines, 23 January 2015 — The ICT industry in the Philippines is projected to be in a continued upswing in 2015. With the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) predicted to grow at 6.3% in 2015, the ICT industry will continue to ride the growth momentum recorded over the recent years. The economic outlook for the Philippines is underpinned by a robust growth in domestic demand, a strong infrastructure spending, and the implementation of structural economic reforms.

Jubert Alberto, country lead, IDC Philippines says, “Based on IDC’s Annual Continuum Survey, a huge majority of Philippine companies are looking to increase ICT budget and spending in 2015. This indicates a healthy sign for the country in the bigger scheme of things. ICT spending is expected to be heavily impacted by the 3rd Platform and the usage of its technologies is being driven by the needs of companies seeking for new and effective ways of engagement. The adoption of disruptive technologies in the 3rd Platform, such as cloud, mobility, social business and Big Data and analytics are bringing about innovations in business models and consumption patterns.

“There may be inhibiting factors such as natural disasters and port congestion, but the effects of these will be limited in the short-term period only. IDC believes the country’s optimistic economic outlook, growing ICT demand from the consumer and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sectors, and the increasing requirement for the 3rd Platform technologies will shore up the Philippine ICT industry in 2015,” adds Alberto.

The following are the top 10 predictions that IDC believes will have the biggest commercial impact on the Philippine ICT industry in 2015:

  1. Philippine IT spending will keep its momentum and will be a bright spot in the ASEAN.

 

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How To Hire A Data Scientist

ReadWrite

We’re getting Big Data all wrong, and it’s holding us back. By making a fetish of the volume of data we’re collecting, we’ve completely overlooked the most important aspect of our data: analyzing it.

Such analysis is often assumed to be the province of data scientists, those magical unicorns that take one look at a company’s data and declare, “Buy low, sell high!”

Because data scientists can be the difference between success and failure in a company’s use of its data, finding the right kind is critical. It turns out that discovering the right data scientist is similar to analyzing one’s data: you need to make sure you’re hiring the right kind, and that you ask them the right questions.

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How Social Media Marketing Will Change in 2015

Huffington Post

Eight years ago I began my career as a social media marketer. To give this time frame some context, the year was 2007. Myspace was king, as was Digg, both of which are totally obscure today. Facebook was on the rise, Twitter was virtually unknown and Instagram, Google+, Snapchat, Pinterest and Vine didn’t exist.

It’s also important to note that when I say I’m a “social media marketer,” it’s important to emphasize that I began my career working with a credible and reputable agency, which is a far-cry from the fly-by-night so-called ‘social media guru’s’ who run around the Internet these days prophesying about things they have no experience in.

In the 8 years since I’ve started my career, I’ve seen social media marketing change quite a bit, but I have yet to see any of the big changes that will take place this year.

In 2015, social media marketing will change in a major way.

Here’s how you will need to adjust your strategy to stay ahead of the game:

1. Forget the Following:
For the past eight years, businesses have been enticed by social media sites to build their audiences on their platforms. Facebook was the first to roll out an ad platform that allowed page admins to advertise their pages to attract more fans. On a more organic level, many businesses, blogs and personal brands have built their followings through years of shareable content and consistent posting. This all sounds like a perfect recipe for success right? In the end you reap the reward of thousands or millions of fans you can leverage to share and spread your content for free. Here’s the problem… This no longer works and hasn’t worked for years, yet marketers, agencies and businesses are continuing down this terrible bridge to nowhere. It no longer works because social media feeds are crowded more now than ever before. More users have joined as well as businesses, so your ability to compete for attention is now at an all-time low. That being said, don’t waste your time building your following anymore. While it’s still important, keep these efforts in the back of your mind because you’re not going to get the organic reach you once did years ago.

2. Pay to Play:
Once upon a time, I fell in love with the fantasy that social media was free like everybody else, until I realized that it wasn’t. In 2015, you will need to embrace advertising. I’ve talked a lot about Facebook, and I’m about to do it again. Facebook and YouTube have fantastic ad platforms. Give them a try. The thing about advertising that I want to very heavily emphasize is that success in social media in 2015 and beyond will weigh heavily on brand’s being able to develop shareable content and disseminate it quickly. Brands will also need to control the velocity at which content spreads and stays alive in the social space. This is why advertising is so critical. It gives brands the ability to toss out several pieces of content, advertise them, see which ones perform the best and then fire on all cylinders with a larger ad spend to keep things moving. As you consistently pump out content in 2015 that increases in engagement, your following will grow organically and because your content is being engaged with more heavily, it will have a higher organic reach.

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3 Easy Ways to Put Mobile First in B2B Marketing

ClickZ

The world is increasingly mobile, but many B2B brands are lagging behind. Here are three steps to take your business mobile-first.

The Radicati Group predicts that by 2018, 80 percent of email users will access their email accounts via a mobile device — and this goes for all email, not just B2C email. B2C brands already understand the rise in mobility within their user base, and mobile-first strategies are proving to be big winners. In fact, Savings.com, a B2C website, reported a 1000 percent increase in revenue by adopting a mobile-first marketing strategy. But this mobile-centric strategy still evades many B2B brands, often because B2B brands feel their demographic isn’t engaging on mobile devices.

Russell Glass, head of marketing products for LinkedIn, says, “Mobile is becoming increasingly important to B2B marketers because they recognize the captivating nature of that experience. We’ve seen this phenomenon on our own platform with 47 percent of our traffic now coming through mobile.” Meeting your customers where they are is the best way to provide a better experience, and gives you the highest probability for engagement.

Many B2B brands may have forgone a mobile-first strategy because they may not fully understand what “mobile-first” really means. In these three easy steps, any B2B brand can put mobile first in their 2015 marketing strategies, and easily provide a better marketing product — and a better experience — for their customers.

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Infographic: Tech Marketing Spend & Programmatic Trends

According to IDG Research’s 2014 Tech Marketing Priorities study, technology marketing spend is on the rise. Digital marketing accounts for 1/3 of all marketing expenditures on average and the research suggests that a data-driven focus drives more digital spending. This infographic also dives into programmatic trends.

Click here for another infographic and video created from IDG Research’s study.

Tech Marketing Priorities final Infographic: Tech Marketing Spend & Programmatic Trends

The 5 Trends That Really Matter for Marketers in 2015

ClickZ

There’s been a lot of buzz around what marketers should focus on in 2015, but these are five trends that really warrant your attention.

There have been countless year-end recaps and forward-looking lists of predictions for marketers over the past few weeks. Most herald 2015 as “the year of mobile” (Didn’t we say that in 2014? And in 2013?), or talk about needing a content strategy for each new social platform. Many say having a beacon strategy is imperative, while others champion the rise of augmented reality, citing Facebook’s Oculus acquisition as the beginning of a new era.

Let’s take a breath.

Augmented reality, for example, is a real opportunity. It continued to command attention on the floors at CES, and many large brands plan to start experimenting with it this year. But the reality is that most marketers don’t have the budget to take advantage of augmented reality at present, and they have more pressing concerns to think about in 2015. Let’s cut the hype.

Here are five trends for 2015 that really warrant your attention — along with resolutions that will help you take advantage of each:

1. Go Programmatic

There is simply no longer any reason for brands to remain dismissive of programmatic buying. Once a tactic for direct response marketers alone, more than half of the $15 billion projected U.S. digital display spend in 2015 is expected to be spent programmatically, including a large chunk from brands seeking awareness and audience discovery in addition to conversions. Many are calling 2015 “The Year of Programmatic Branding,” and I tend to agree.

As brand dollars move into the programmatic space, ad technology companies, ad networks, and exchanges will develop new ways to find audiences (e.g., using CRM or place visit data as a data source), and define new metrics for success. These innovations will be available to brands of all sizes, making programmatic buying more powerful and effective for everyone.

Resolution: Don’t stop doing takeovers or custom sponsorships to build your brand, but do start using machine learning to find and engage your audience. But when you do…

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The New CMO’s First Hundred Day Playbook

IDC PMS4colorversion  The New CMOs First Hundred Day Playbook

By, Kathleen Schaub 

In a 2014 study, IDC found that 51% of CMOs at tech companies have held their position for fewer than two years. We predict many new CMOs again this year. How can a new executive start right? IDC interviewed 10 wise, seasoned, CMOs for a glimpse into their first hundred days playbook.

New%2BRoad%2BSign The New CMOs First Hundred Day Playbook

Transitions are vital moments when even the smallest executive actions have a disproportionate effect on outcomes. It’s a risky time for a new CMO who starts with neither the knowledge nor the alliances necessary for success. Fail to build momentum during the first hundred days, and a CMO will struggle for the rest of his/her (probably short) tenure. Job loss is not the only blow that may be suffered by a poorly conducted start. Many more CMOs fail to reach their full potential in their current position, thus putting a promising career on a slower track.

Success in the first hundred days, on the other hand, sets the stage for a brilliant performance. The 10 heads of marketing interviewed by IDC collectively recommended these six plays.

Play #1: Understand your real job.

Marketing is very closely tied to business context. A new CMO must assess quickly what work is really needed. Does the company need more awareness, a brand refresh, or a full product portfolio transformation? Each of these strategies requires a radically different approach from marketing.

Peter Isaacson, Demandbase: “What are the business goals of the company and the expectations for marketing? What are the business priorities and where is the company going? Get this straight from the mouth of the CEO. What is expected of you? Are there any unrealistic expectations that you need to set straight [such as] build a new category in the first two months? Get on the same page right from the beginning.”

Elisa Steele, Jive Software:  “There is a big opportunity and a big problem. No CMO in any company has exactly the same responsibility [as another CMO]. You know what a CFO does, what sales does, HR, etc. CMOs are different. Are they responsible for communications? Strategy? Product? Customer service? CEOs can create a spec of their own definition. But that requires a very mixed pool of candidates and it’s difficult to understand what any candidate’s power skill needs to be.”

Greg Estes, NVIDIA: “Building an executive team is like building a sports team. Different players are good at different things. [CEOs] might find they hired a great shortstop when they needed a good first baseman.”

Play #2: Speed up your learning curve.

The amount of information that needs to be absorbed in the first hundred days is prodigious. It’s best to approach learning in a direct and methodical way.

Paul Appleby, BMC: “To remain relevant, our number 1 priority must be to drive a new level of engagement with our customers. We are headquartered in Houston, Texas. However, our customers are based globally. As such, we need to engage with them globally. In my first three months, I travelled the globe and met with over 500 of our largest customers to understand the dynamic impact of digital disruption on their businesses. I also met with our teams in every major city where we operate. We listened and pivoted our engagement model, market positioning, and service delivery model based on what we heard.”

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