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Social Brands: The Future of Marketing

We Are Social

A very smart ebook was produced by the team at We Are Social (a social agency) to talk about how brands need to become social businesses. This ebook is a fantastic read for all. Below is a quick summary from their site, as well as a link to download the full ebook. Our clients are going through this revolution to become social businesses… what more can we do to help?  / Colin Browning, Director, Social Media Marketing Services at IDG

Social Brands: The Future of Marketing
Social brands aren’t just brands with a social media presence; they’re brands that put social thinking at the heart of all their marketing.

They’re brands that are social, not just brands that do social.

They’re brands that always strive to be worth talking about.

But how can marketers actually build a brand worth talking about?

Building a Social Brand
This is the topic we explore in “Social Brands: The Future of Marketing“, our in-depth eBook that explains how to put social thinking at the heart of yourbrand.

You can download the complete book by clicking here, but here’s a quick overview to get you started:

1. Social equity drives brand equity
The brands that drive the most favourable conversations are the brands that can command the greatest and most enduring price premiums.

01 Everything should drive conversation 500x374 Social Brands: The Future of Marketing

2. Communities have more value than platforms
Marketers need to use new technologies to add new kinds of value; not just to interrupt people in new ways with new kinds of advertising.

3. All marketing must add value
When it comes to people’s attention, interest and engagement, your brand isn’t competing with your competitors – it’s competing with everything that really matters to people. Marketing that doesn’t add value will simply be ignored.

4. Go mobile or stand still
Mobile devices are already vital to half the world’s population. Very soon, if you’re not bringing your strategy to life on a mobile, it’ll never come to life at all.

02 Todays media reality 500x374 Social Brands: The Future of Marketing

5. The rise of the comms leitmotif
Now that marketers are no longer constrained by the crippling costs of broadcast media, we don’t need to distill all our communications down into lowest common denominator messaging. We can tell more complex – and more engaging – brand stories that evolve over time and across channels.

6. From selective hearing to active listening
Social media monitoring isn’t just about post-campaign reporting; the real value lies in listening to the organic conversations of the people that matter to you, and using these insights to develop richer, more tailored strategies.

06 Social listening can add value everywhere 500x374 Social Brands: The Future of Marketing

7. Experiences are the new products
Product differentiation is no longer enough to ensure lasting success; brands need to deliver a more holistic set of emotional and functional benefits that engage people’s hearts as well as their heads.

8. Civic-minded brands are best placed to succeed
Society increasingly expects brands to give back at least as much as they take. As a result, marketers’ concept of CSR needs to evolve away from one of mere guilt relief. We need to see CSR as an opportunity, and use resources to build and nurture communities where people will welcome brands’ presence and participation.

07 Rethinking the concept of brand value 500x374 Social Brands: The Future of Marketing

B2B Marketing: Where Are We Now?

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 B2B Marketing: Where Are We Now?

Often, the more you read, hear and write a word the less it begins to mean. Its cadence and calligraphy repeated ad infinitum become little more than shapes and white noise. The word ‘digital’ has dogged the marketing profession for the last few years, used in every event, article and plan to complete exhaustion. However despite its repetition, it seems we’re still only just unpacking what ‘digital’ will mean for the B2B marketing community. In fact, according to the 2014 Marketing Perspectives report, 9 out of 10 marketers believe the digital revolution is still gearing up – when it’s actually already here.

Over the next year marketers expect to see even more disruption from a younger generation, completely at home with on-demand technology, dominating the buying market. This disruption will grant even more power to those making purchase decisions as they obtain more information and make more knowledgeable choices. This empowered consumer is set against the challenge of an increasingly fragmented audience as the volume of marketing channels continues to grow.

However, there are two sides to the digital coin and this proliferation of channels and digitally savvy consumers provides marketers with an unprecedented opportunity to know their customer. With increasingly diverse demographics, marketers need data analytics to better understand the behaviour of the digital native, or ‘millennials’, as well as an ageing population and everyone else in between. Marketers are able to use the real-time insights from a huge range of digital channels to their advantage.

It’s no surprise then that web and customer analytics have been identified as the most important disciplines for marketers to master. The ability to mine data for crucial customer insight is a skill set that businesses prize, not just in the marketing function. But despite this, many marketers lack the competence and skills in data analytics that would help them incorporate insights from digital and mobile channels into their overall marketing mix.

Despite the recognition that mobile and on-demand media is changing the marketing landscape, marketers are still not confident with developing mobile strategies and activating mobile-ready campaigns. In fact, 1 in 3 marketers say their organisation’s mobile competence is below average or poor. This needs to change quickly if the brand wants to capture the attention of a mobile driven marketplace.

The Marketing Perspectives report by SAS and Marketing Week reveals that B2B marketers are more digitally inclined than their consumer focused counterparts, reporting more use of social, location based and mobile marketing. Thirty-five per cent of B2B marketers fell into the ‘SoMoLo Maven’ category (those who invest more, have greater skill and confidence in social, mobile and location marketing) compared to 19% of B2C marketers. However, with empowered buyers and digital natives driving change, the requirement for real-time data analytics skills is only set to grow. And yet, many still struggle with it.

Continue reading… 

Wearables: When Technology & Popular Culture Collide

IDG Connect 0811 Wearables: When Technology & Popular Culture Collide

Something very special happened at last month’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. Will.i.am, one of the world’s biggest pop stars, launched his new smartband wearable device, the i.am.PULS – and the worlds of music, fashion, technology, mainstream and enterprise culture well and truly collided.

“I’m an ideas guy,” he said, and it’s true that will.i.am has been extremely busy in recent years investing in game-changing technologies as well as producing award-winning music. A true innovator, he contributed to the massive success of Beats headphones and developed the concept behind Ekocycle, Coca-Cola’s sustainable living brand.

This is a man whose vision of the future, as he explained on-stage with Marc Benioff earlier this year, has been influenced heavily by the pace of innovation in technology. Echoing Facebook’s mantra that technology’s evolutionary journey is only “1% finished,” will.i.am argued that the tech landscape will be “unrecognisable” in ten years’ time: “The thing on your wrist that talks to a phone…is not the future, it’s a starting point.”

The next revolution in connected devices

Shipments of wearables are projected to reach almost 112 million units in 2018, up from less than 20 million this year (IDC). As wearables proliferate, they will add to a vast universe of interconnected, smart devices. And when the inevitable take-off of wearables does arrive, the opportunities for brands will reach a new stratosphere as they look to own the customer journey.

Wearables are set to provide marketers with the purest view of the customer yet, in terms of the volume and immediacy of the data gathered. The rise of mobile and social prompted talk of always-on marketing, and the proliferation of wearables will further enable marketers to deliver the right message to the right user at the right time. Even better, because wearables are, by nature, deeply integrated into a daily lifestyle, marketers have an opportunity to learn more about their users than ever before.

Imagine what this could mean for your brand. How might you exploit this massive opportunity to improve customer service and make marketing messages more relevant?

Data, data, data

The key to cracking wearable tech for marketing lies in – you guessed it – data. If Mark Zuckerberg’s law (the rate of increase for social sharing) is accurate, in 10 years there will be more pieces of content shared every day (95 billion) than we currently share each month (89 billion).

Of course, as marketers we’ve been talking for a few years now about the importance of data in digital marketing. The challenge comes in tracking, filtering and measuring this data so that you have a true single view of the customer. The need to effectively leverage your customer data – including social data – is only going to increase as the number of consumer devices increases, and as wearables move into mainstream adoption. This will be crucial to providing the deeper levels of personalisation that customers now expect.

 

Continue reading… 

Facebook will be mostly video in 5 years, Zuckerberg says

IDG News Service

If you think your Facebook feed has a lot of video now, just wait.

“In five years, most of [Facebook] will be video,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday during the company’s first community town hall, in which he took questions from the public on a range of topics.

He was responding to a question about whether the growing number of photos uploaded to Facebook is putting a drag on its infrastructure. But Facebook’s data centers have it covered, he said. The real challenge is improving the infrastructure to allow for more rich media like video in people’s feeds.

Zuckerberg took questions from a group of users who were invited to its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and people also submitted questions online.

One of the most popular online question was why Facebook forced users to download its Messenger app for mobile.

The 30-year-old acknowledged not everyone was thrilled with the change.

“Asking everyone in our community to install another app is a big ask,” he said. But Facebook thought it could provide a better, faster messaging product if it split it off from its own app.

“We really believe this is a better experience,” Zuckerberg said.

One user in the audience asked him if Facebook is losing its charm or becoming boring.

The question of Facebook losing its “cool” gets raised from time to time, Zuckerberg said, but “my goal was never to make Facebook cool,” he said. Instead, he wants it to be a helpful service that just works.

Another asked why he always seems wear the same t-shirts and hoodies. Zuckerberg said he wants to spend as much time as possible on things that matter, like how to build products, even if it means thinking less about what he wears.

“Steve Jobs had the same approach,” he said.

View the original article and related links… 

Video blogs, podcasts help marketers reach niche audiences on mobile

Mobile Marketer

NEW YORK – Video blogging and podcasting are experiencing rapid growth, with many consumers being reached via mobile, said a panel of podcasters and video bloggers at the ad:tech New York conference.

Because the mobile and Web video industry has seen a significant rise in the last several years, marketers and brands can effectively use those kinds of platforms to reach niche audiences. Videos and podcasts offer consumers control, which makes marketing appear more natural.

“Consumption has really gone mobile,” said Rob Walch, vice president of Podcaster Relations, Libsyn, Pittsburgh, PA. “More people are consuming now on mobile devices, and the media has become more aware of it.

“Podcasting is about consumers being able to consume the podcast when they want, how they want. Podcasting is the antithesis of streaming – you are in control.”

Tips for engagement
The way in which podcasts are being consumed has changed drastically in the past two years, with large numbers coming from mobile, said Mr. Walch. Video podcasts have decreased, with audio leading the way in building up listeners.

“Consumption has switched over to audio from the podcast side, and a lot of that has to do with people streaming from smartphones,” Mr. Walch said.

However, podcasters and video bloggers must be cognizant about which devices they are marketing towards. The iOS platform has over 500 million devices that have native-built podcast mobile applications, but Android does not.

“On the mobile side, it really is still an Apple world,” Mr. Walch said. “For podcasters, Apple is your friend. Google is not.”

Marketers seeking to use the podcast or video platforms should also make sure to keep the URLs simple, but unique for each show within the campaign.

Relevant marketing
Podcasters seeking to build a substantial fan base should ensure to focus on gaining listeners and followers rather than number of listens. Subscribers are also directly related to return on investment.

Continue reading… 

Brazil’s tablet fever starts to subside

ZDnet

Interest in tablets by Brazilian consumers and corporates appears to be declining, according to recent numbers by analyst IDC.

The research house’s Tablets Monthly Tracker suggests that in July, some 612.000 tablets were sold, up 17 percent on July 2013. However, 642.000 devices were sold in August, 3 percent less compared to the same month last year.

Out of all the devices sold in those two months, 96 percent were sold to final consumers and 4 percent to corporates.

This decrease in sales points to the start of a decline in tablet fever in Brazil. According to IDC, the “big moment” for tablets in the country has passed and that from now on, sales are likely to reach a more stable level rather than the exponential growth seen in previous months.

“We had a moment with many tablet launches with some low-quality options, which has led to consumers being disappointed and not considering a second purchase,” says IDC Brazil analyst Pedro Hagge.

The analyst added that the end of the acquisition of tablets for public sector projects and the growing competition of phablets also led to the decrease in interest in tablet devices.

Last year, the Brazilian market was inundated with tablet computers as consumer demand soared.

Continue reading…

The Davids are taking over the smartphone world

The Business Times

NEW data released by IDC on smartphone sales last week shows that there’s a new kid on the block. According to the research agency’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, in the third quarter of this year, Chinese phonemaker Xiaomi zoomed to the No 3 slot in the global list of top five smartphone makers in the world, behind Samsung (No 1) and Apple (No 2). The Chinese company sold 17.3 million units in the quarter for a 5.3 per cent market, pipping Lenovo (5.2 per cent) and LG (5.1 per cent) to the third spot.

It’s true that, as IDC notes, Xiaomi benefited from its focus on China and adjacent markets. This, coupled with innovative marketing, brought triple-digit year-on-year growth. But, as IDC notes again, it remains to be seen how quickly the company can move beyond its home territories to drive volumes higher.

Was this a fluke, one-off phenomenon?

No, expect more non-traditional brands in the Top 5. This is because the next billion smartphone users are not going to come from established and wealthy markets such as those in North America, Europe, Japan and pockets of Asia such as Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. They will come from emerging markets such as India, China, Indonesia and Brazil. These markets are characterised by less brand loyalty and extreme price sensitivity.

Read on…

B2B Buyers Purchasing Online

MediaPost

According to the Acquity Group’s annual State of B2B Procurement study of corporate business procurement professionals in the U.S. with annual purchasing budgets in excess of $100,000, 68% of B2B buyers now purchase goods online, up from 57% in 2013.

Additionally, business buyers’ purchasing habits and preferences included in the report show that:

  • The number of respondents who spent 90% or more of their budgets online in the last year doubled from 2013, increasing from nine to 18%
  • 44% of respondents have researched company products on a smartphone or tablet in the past year, compared with 41% in 2013
  • 30% of B2B buyers report they research at least 90% of products online before purchasing, up from 22% in 2013

Although buyers are researching and spending more online, suppliers are not capturing a large enough share of the market, says the report. 57% of business buyers have made an online purchase of $5,000 or more in the last year, and 66% of business buyers say they make a major purchase of $5,000 or more (online or via print, or telephone) at least once per month. But only 48% of respondents purchase goods online directly from suppliers, opting instead for third-party websites and other purchasing channels.

17% of B2B buyers use Amazon Supply, the most popular third-party website from which to make a business purchase regularly, and 38% of B2B buyers make a purchase using the service at least once per quarter.

The B2B Procurement study uncovered massive growth in online research and spending by B2B buyers across multiple devices. Study highlights include:

Electronic Purchasing Platforms In Which Users Participated

Platform

% of Respondents

Supplier’s website

48.2%

Sap

13.4%

Oracle procurement

7.4%

Amazon supply

16.6%

Do not purchase online

31.6%

Other

9.4%

Source: AquityGroup, October 2014

B2B organizations are undergoing a major shift in customer behavior, marked by a steady increase in online research and browsing across multiple sources before purchasing. Overall, 94% of B2B buyers report that they conduct some form of online research before purchasing a business product, while 55% of B2B buyers conduct online research for at least half of their corporate purchases.

Additionally, procurement teams are spending more time researching products and comparing prices online for goods at all price points. 40% of buyers research more than half of goods under $10,000 online. 31% of buyers research more than half of goods costing $100,000 or more online. For larger corporate purchases of $5,000 or more, 34% spend more than three hours researching products.

Most Popular Online Sources Used To Make A Purchase Decisions (% Using)

Online Source

% of Respondents

Google search

77%

Supplier’s website

83.4%

3rd party website

34%

Userreview of products

41.8%

Blogs

10.8%

Social media

8.6%

Do not participate

6.4%

Other

7.4%

Source: AquityGroup, October 2014

Although, according to 83% of respondents, supplier websites are the most popular channels for conducting research online, only 37% of B2B buyers who conduct research through a supplier’s website said it was the most helpful channel for this purpose.

According to the report, these findings reveal a significant gap between the information procurement officers want and the content that B2B websites currently provide, despite the fact that many suppliers appear to be adapting to changing preferences among B2B buyers.

71% of respondents prefer to conduct research and purchase on their own with access to a sales representative via the phone or online chat when needed, demonstrating the importance of a highly integrated, omni-channel eBusiness approach to sales and marketing. Respondents reported:

31.6% said Research and purchase on my own online, but would like phone support with any issues

  • 16.2% want to speak to someone directly via telephone to discuss options and walk through the entire process
  • 15.8% research and purchase on their own online, but would like live chat support with any issues
  • 13.4% like to do their own research, but talk through purchasing on the phone
  • 12.4% would like to speak with someone directly in person to discuss options and walk me through the entire process
  • 10.5% research and purchase on their own online, no sales person necessary

Continue reading…

IDG Corporate Video 2015

idg logo1 IDG Corporate Video 2015

IDG is the world’s leading media, events, and research company reaching over 280 million technology buyings in 97 countries.

IDG Communications (a subsidiary of IDG) is the largest global technology media, data and services company. It delivers personalized and contextual-based experiences for the most powerful tech buyers.

From millennial tech enthusiasts to senior executives, IDG understands and reaches them all.

James Foulkes: Why Mobile Marketing Is Important

IDG GlobalSolutions Color James Foulkes: Why Mobile Marketing Is Important

We have asked the IDG Mobile Advisory Board why mobile marketing is crucial in the advertising mix. This is what James Foulkes, Co-Founder of Kingpin Communications, said…

Today our phones are as vital to us as our wallets. But a wallet can’t browse the web, compare products, or watch catch-up TV. Extending this further, the mobile revolution is no longer just about one single deivce. The rise of tablets and technology like Apple TV mean we need to talk to a multi-screen audience and that has to drive us to think about context even more than we ever have. For example, during daytime working hours desktop banners may have validity. We might need to share video/snacking content around commuter time and more research driven content for home in the evening and weekends – each have different call to actions and responses. This means the key questions we ask before we commence any campaign haven’t changed – we still need to know what defines success and how to measure it. The big shift will be to acknowledge that with the context being more widespread and complex – our metrics will also have to adapt.

james foulkes mobile quote short James Foulkes: Why Mobile Marketing Is Important

  • See what JON HOOK, Head of Mobile at Mediacom International and Mediacom Beyond Advertising, says about mobile marketing…
  • See what CHRISTOPHER CARMICHAEL, Director of Media & Digital Marketing at HP, says about mobility for business…

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