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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

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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.

Continue Reading…

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

CES 2015 Coverage: The Latest Tech Stories

The International CES is a global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow. It’s the largest of its kind in North America and takes place in Las Vegas January 6-9th. If you can’t attend make sure to follow our page with the latest updates on the innovative technology being featured.

Another year, and another CES is over. This year’s event featured every kind of gadget you could think of: Mini-PCs of varying shapes & sizes, personal Clouds and over-elaborate hard drives, questionable crowdfunded health gadgets and brain scanning things, expensive music players,microchips for smartcars, Bitcoin, weird hats and all sorts of 3D printers. There was also wearable tech for fitness freaks, fashionistas, animals and people who like modularity, as well as a whole range of VR/AR-based headsets on show: the Avegant Glyph, the Razer OSVR and the Seer fromCaputer Labs.

Announcements from the show included Intel’s promise to spend a hefty $300 million to increase diversity of its workforce, while BlackBerry is looking to muscle in on the Internet of Things andWearables. Also Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie – the only guy bigger than Shaq – was in attendance.

Outside of CES, BlackBerry has teamed up with Boeing to create a “self-destructing” smartphone for spies. It probably won’t explode Mission Impossible-style, more likely just to wipe the device if need be.

View a slideshow of the 10 best business gadgets

ces smart board CES 2015 Coverage: The Latest Tech Stories

Smart home trends that took CES by storm

Front-facing Oculus Ocular Projection

Witricity’s wireless charging beams power through wood, stone, and even your head

OfficeIQ adds sensor intelligence to your standing desk

HomeKit Compatible iDevices Switch lets you control your house with Siri

For more videos and written reviews of CES exhibits, click here
Check out photos from IDG’s client appreciation party at the Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas: http://on.fb.me/1FQYdoj
For videos of volunteers jumping 108 stories off the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas while being GoPro-ed, click here

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…

Continue Reading..

State of the Network 2015

 State of the Network 2015

Network World’s 5th annual State of the Network study was conducted with the focus on technology implementation objectives and how leading objectives are influencing IT organizations’ plans. The research provides a comprehensive view of technology adoption trends among the Network World audience with the goal being to help marketers inform their product development, marketing and messaging strategies for 2015, specifically relating to emerging technologies that impact the network, as well as to pinpoint where IT executives and professionals are with initiatives within existing and emerging technologies.

Key Findings Include:

  • SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) areas rank highly within the IT organization for initiatives of focus in 2015. (Click to Tweet)
  • Enterprise IT is embracing and adapting to the changes made possible by emerging technologies, which are also providing advantages such as increased utilization rates to their organizations. (Click to Tweet)
  • Internet of Things (IoT) is anticipated to drive additional spending by more than a quarter (26%) of Enterprises, and 75% of Enterprise organizations are either actively researching adoption of IoT related technologies or are in the implementation process. (Click to Tweet)
  • A substantial driver of productivity is WiFi; however, challenges with ensuring bandwidth coverage are leading to adoption of gigabit WiFi with 47% agreeing that it will be critical to keeping up with wireless access demand. (Click to Tweet)
  • Research shows that IT decision-makers are taking note of the business value from Software-Defined Networking (SDN). More than a third (36%) of respondents agreed that SDN will radically change their network for the better, and top benefits Enterprises expect include increased network flexibility (39%), network customization (32%), and speed (31%). (Click to Tweet)

Click here to view more slides

Screen Shot 2015 01 26 at 9.43.07 AM State of the Network 2015

Don’t Try to Be a Publisher and a Platform at the Same Time

Harvard Business Review

In the wake of digital disruption, new media companies are seeking scale and legitimacy, while old media companies explore new business models.

The “platform” is a new media company model that has been perfected by the tech industry. Platforms can easily scale to serve gigantic audiences, and their lucrative possibilities beckon to established players that are often called “publishers.” Meanwhile, many publishers have solid brand identities that are alluring to platforms. So publishers and platforms are experimenting with new combinations — but is it really possible to combine a publisher with a platform over the long term?

Typically, publishers are considered to have editorial judgment, while platforms lack it. From this perspective, the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, and The New York Times are classic “publishers” — they present highly-curated content, and their editors invest a lot of time in its creation. Google, Facebook, and Twitter are classic “platforms” — they distribute other peoples’ content without as much editorial oversight. But these differences are largely cultural. It’s not technologically difficult for publishers to add platform-like elements, and vice versa.

Publishers seeking new business models are often tempted to become more platform-like by enabling their audience to post user-generated content; they hope to increase revenue by selling ads on this “extra” content. Sometimes, they also hope to develop a content management system that other publishers can license and use to distribute their content.

On the other hand, the technologists looking to differentiate their platforms are drawn by the voice and influence of publishing. Plus, platform-builders can capture more value if they own content on their platform, and not just the platform itself.

Continue Reading…

 

Software Marketers Blaze Trails in Data-Driven Marketing

IDG Connect 0811 Software Marketers Blaze Trails in Data Driven Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

Read more… 

Forrester: Pinterest Doesn’t Work For Marketers

MediaPost

While Pinterest’s ad strategy is taking shape, analysts remain on the fence about the pin-based social network, and its near-term marketing potential.

“Many marketers just can’t seem to find success on Pinterest,” Forrester analyst Nate Elliott writes in a new report. “Barely one-half of top brands maintain branded Pinterest boards — and those that do are unsure what to post, collect few followers, and see little user interaction.”

Coca-Cola, for example, has fewer than 5,000 Pinterest followers, while its last 50 pins have been repinned an average of just 11 times each.

After eight months in beta, Pinterest officially launched its Promoted Pins program, at the beginning of the year.

Yet the new program doesn’t give marketers enough Web-based targeting criteria, according to Elliott. “The result of such limited targeting is unclear ad performance,” he suggests.

In its defense, brands that participated in the Promoted Pins beta program saw a 30% increase in “earned media” — i.e., the share of users who saved a Promoted Pin to a board, according to Pinterest. Per internal findings, Promoted Pins are “repinned” an average of 11 times — the same as non-branded pins.

Pinterest is also more popular than ever. The proportion of online adult women using the service increased from 33% in 2013 to 42% in 2014, according to recent findings from the Pew Research Center.

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Twitter Buys Indian Mobile Marketing Startup

Time

Zipdial allows people without internet connection to get advertisements and promotions on their cellphones

Twitter is buying an India-based mobile marketing startup for an undisclosed sum, as it seeks to attract users in the developing world.

The Bangalore-based ZipDial allows consumers interested in a company’s services to dial its number and hang up before connecting. The company then sends them free text messages, app notifications and voice calls containing advertisements. The so-called “missed call” marketing means users aren’t charged for the service, because their initial call never connects.

Twitter will use ZipDial to reach consumers who aren’t connected to the Internet. ZipDial’s campaigns have reached nearly 60 million users, the Wall Street Journal reports, and could be used to reach users in Indonesia and Brazil. The company has 56 employees.

Consumers in countries like India, Brazil and Indonesia with developing Internet infrastructures are key markets for Twitter, and 77% of the social network’s 284 million monthly active users are outside the United States.

“By coming together with ZipDial, we’ll help more people around the world enjoy great and relevant Twitter experiences on their mobile phones,” Twitter said in a statement.

Read more…

Technology’s biggest challenge is how to connect with people

South China Morning Post

The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will extend the sphere of IT even further into everyday life

The word “technology” leaves many people cold, but its pervasive presence in daily life is only going to make it even more important.

Individuals, businesses, governments and countries are completely dependent on information technology to drive greater productivity and efficiencies.

The challenge for the information technology industry is how to make this dependence more enjoyable and intuitive for users to access content and applications.

This is imperative because in 2015, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will extend the sphere of IT even further into everyday life. The premise for IoT is that devices of any nature can now be interconnected and used to communicate with each other or with humans in real-time, enabling a raft of new possibilities around data, new ways of interacting and new services.

IoT will be big in 2015, with research firm Gartner predicting 4.9 billion “connected things” to be in use, up 30 per cent from 2014.

Every possible device imaginable is being connected in some way, from Bluetooth-enabled toothbrushes to medical devices, cameras, printers and of course the many wearables that are hitting the market. The reality of a hyper-connected world is here today.

In the business world, Gartner predicts IoT will digitize everything and enable any industry to manage, monetize, operate and extend products, services and data.

Researchers at IDC make similar predictions, forecasting rapid expansion of the traditional IT industry into areas not typically viewed as within IT’s universe.

The whole electronics industry, city-wide infrastructure, auto and transport systems as well as the home, are just a few examples of where IoT is disrupting operations today.

IDC predicts that IoT spending will exceed US$1.7 trillion in 2015, up 14 per cent from 2014, and will hit US$3 trillion by 2020. One-third of spending for intelligent embedded devices will come from outside of the IT and telecom industries.

“This amounts to a dramatic expansion of what we would consider IT,” said Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC.

This implies a fundamental commitment to innovate and explore new applications of technology with the potential to transform how we live and work – whether through the rapid rise of mobile applications, or the increasingly myriad interactions between machines and human users.

 

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