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B2B TECHNOLOGY CONTENT MARKETING: 2015 BENCHMARKS, BUDGETS, AND TRENDS – NORTH AMERICA

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. Among all groups we studied this year, technology marketers are the most likely to use content marketing. They’re also the group that is most focused on lead generation as the primary goal for their content marketing efforts. Producing engaging content continues to be a challenge for technology marketers; however, 73% are presently working on initiatives to improve in this area.

Download the 2015 B2B Tech Content Marketing Report

 Screen Shot 2015 03 26 at 8.52.05 AM B2B TECHNOLOGY CONTENT MARKETING: 2015 BENCHMARKS, BUDGETS, AND TRENDS – NORTH AMERICA

Video: IT Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Across The 3rd Platform

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Video: IT Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Across The 3rd Platform

How are vendors, IT enterprises, and investors making decisions with 3rd Platform technologies? Since 2012, M&A deals have been skyrocketing in both deal volume and value. In 2014, total IT disclosed deal volume jumped to $476 billion and had almost 1,300 deals associated with cloud, mobile, social, and big data technologies.

IDC’s Vendor Watch Service provides expert guidance on smaller, private tech vendors before they hit the public radar.

Click here to watch IDC Tech Talk videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/IDCTechTalk

IDC’s TechTalk highlights the latest industry trends for IT Executives, brought to you by IDC’s leading analysts. Browse topics from Cloud Computing, Mobility, Social Business, Big Data and more

IDG Ventures sell stakes in Flipkart

The Economic Times

BENGALURU: Investment firms Helion Venture Partners and IDG Ventures India have sold stakes in Flipkart in deals that value India’s largest online retailer at $12.5 billion (Rs 77,000 crore), according to two people involved in the deals.

Helion, which got a stake in the Bengaluru-based company by virtue of its investment in online electronics retailer LetsBuy that was acquired by Flipkart in 2012, has sold its entire stake of 0.2 per cent, estimated to be worth Rs 156 crore. IDG Ventures, which entered Flipkart through fashion portal Myntra that was bought last year, has shed a portion of its holding of 1 per cent by selling stake worth nearly Rs 940 crore last month. IDG still holds about 0.9 per cent stake in Flipkart.

ET could not independently ascertain the buyers in both these transactions. Last month, ET was the first to report that Flipkart was seeking a valuation of $15 billion as it prepares the ground for a fresh round of fund-raising led by its largest investor Tiger Global.

Helion declined comment on the developments while IDG Ventures and Flipkart did not respond to email queries.

Industry experts are of the view that the stake sales are happening at a time funding cycles are expected to taper off in India’s redhot ecommerce sector, where the top three firms mopped up nearly Rs 31,000 crore ($5 billion) of funding in 2014.

Flipkart, founded by former Amazon employees Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, saw its valuation leapfrog from Rs 16,120 crore ($2.6 billion) in May 2014 to about Rs 68,000 crore ($11 billion) by December when it raised $700 million led by Steadview Capital. It is now aiming to raise Rs 10,500 crore ($1.7 billion) through this year, with Tiger Global expected to lead the investment.

The company is aiming to sell goods worth $8 billion in 2014-15 and competes against Amazon and Snapdeal.

“Valuations aren’t going in those crazy multiples anymore,” said one person directly involved in the stake sale.

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Mobile ad spending to hit $100B in 2016 and become the biggest digital ad market

VentureBeat

Mobile ad spending is on a tear. It will top $100 billion in 2016 and account for more than 50 percent of all digital ads for the first time, according to market researcher eMarketer.

More than $101.37 billion will be spent on ads served in 2016 to mobile phones and tablets worldwide. That’s a 400 percent increase from 2013. From 2016 to 2019, mobile ads will nearly double again, rising to $195.55 billion. That figure will account for 70.1 percent of all digital advertising as well as more than one-quarter of total media ad spending worldwide.

It’s all about the number of consumers adopting mobile devices. As that number soars, marketers are chasing consumers into mobile markets. Next year, eMarketer estimates, there will be more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, more than one-quarter of whom will be in China.

The number of tablet users worldwide is growing more slowly than the global smartphone audience. But tablets will reach more than 1 billion users in 2015. eMarketer said that in many emerging and developing markets, consumers are often accessing the Internet mobile-first and mobile-only, driving marketers to mobile advertising.

The U.S. and China will drive mobile ads in the short term. In 2016, U.S. advertisers are expected to spend $40.2 billion on mobile ads, more than doubling the total from 2014. In China, advertisers will spend $22.1 billion next year, triple the amount spent in 2014. In both countries, mobile will become the majority of all digital advertising next year.

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Amazon’s Dash Is The New Product You Need

Wall Street Journal

Amazon introduced a product on Tuesday so crazy we thought that it was an early April Fools’ joke. It’s the Dash Button, a plastic single-function controller the size of a pack of gum. Each button bears a different brightly colored product logo. Push the button, and soon that product arrives at your door.

In the video that accompanied Amazon’s announcement, there are Dash Buttons for Gatorade, Kraft mac and cheese, Glad trash bags, Gillette razors, Cottonelle toilet paper, Clorox Wipes, Huggies diapers and Tide detergent, and about a dozen other brands are also now partnered with Amazon. The online retailer expects that you’ll place the buttons around your home—in your pantry, on your washing machine and even inside of your fridge.

It might seem like a gag, but the Dash Button is not a hoax. Amazon is asking Amazon Prime subscribers to request an invite into the program. If accepted, you’d get to request a set of branded buttons at no added cost.

The buttons mount with an adhesive strip on the back, or fit into a plastic clip. You set up the buttons using the Amazon mobile shopping app, connecting them to your home Wi-Fi network and assigning the specific products and the quantities you’ll want to receive with each click. When the button is clicked, you get a smartphone notification, and you can cancel that order within a half hour. And if somebody in your house pushes the Gatorade button 15 times, you won’t get 15 orders—just one (or none, if an order is already on its way to you).

 

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Is Responsive Design The Right Way To Design?

Medium

Editor’s Note: I’m not a technologist, however I am someone that thinks about mobile frequently from a marketing and product perspective. Below are a few of my thoughts on the role of mobile web and RWD. Comments and criticism are welcome and appreciated.


If you had asked me a few years ago whether all web developers should be building sites with responsive design, my answer would have been an emphatic “yes.”

However, I’ve been giving that question a lot of thought recently, and I think my opinion has changed.

For those of you that need a quick refresher (or for my family and friends, who read these posts despite not understanding a word of them): Responsive design is an approach to web design that attempts to adapt and resize the layout of a website across several device types. In essence, the theory suggests that a mobile and tablet version of a website should match the experience of the desktop version.

One of the biggest arguments to support responsive design is that web visitors are increasingly viewing sites from a number of different devices, and therefore, they shouldn’t have to re-learn how to navigate your site each time.

This argument makes a lot of sense. An increasing share of web consumption is occurring on mobile devices. These users don’t create a distinction between mobile and desktop consumption, so why should publishers? It also doesn’t hurt that designing a responsive site is often cheaper to create and maintain, as it doesn’t require developers to repeat changes across a number of different templates.

However, I’ve started to believe (at least for now) that following this approach may dismiss the nuances of different reading behaviors, and ignores the strengths and weaknesses that each device offers.

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IDC Provides Guidance for Thriving in the Digital Economy as New and Reinvented Competitors Disrupt Industry Leaders

IDC PMS4colorversion  IDC Provides Guidance for Thriving in the Digital Economy as New and Reinvented Competitors Disrupt Industry Leaders

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., March 18, 2015 – By 2018, one third of the top twenty market share leaders in most industries will be significantly disrupted by new competitors (and “reinvented” incumbents) that use the 3rd Platform to create new services and business models. Aside from rapid technological change, businesses will have to cope with geopolitical, economic, and environmental disruptions—some predictable, but many not. To help companies weather such disruptions effectively, International Data Corporation (IDC) has published a new report, IDC MaturityScape: Digital Transformation (DX) (Doc #254721). Digital Transformation (DX) will drive changes in enterprise business models and ecosystems by leveraging digital competencies. The report identifies the stages, dimensions, outcomes, and actions required for businesses to digitally transform themselves.

  • ClicktoTweet: #New & #Reinvented #Competition will Rattle Industry Leaders – @IDC provides framework for thriving in #DX

IDC’s MaturityScape Digital Transformation (DX) Stage Overview

 IDC Provides Guidance for Thriving in the Digital Economy as New and Reinvented Competitors Disrupt Industry Leaders Figure 1

Business leaders are challenged to move their enterprises to the next level, that of digital business transformation, employing digital technologies coupled with organizational, operational, and business model innovation to create new ways of operating and growing businesses.

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Why Social Media Advertising Is Set To Explode In The Next 3 Years

Marketing Land

Social media advertising has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. When Facebook launched its first advertising option in May 2005, no one could have predicted that social media advertising revenue would be estimated to reach $8.4 billion in 2015, just ten years later.

Online advertising is a natural choice for modern businesses, but after the decline of the banner ad, businesses began searching for alternatives. Paid search is a great online advertising medium for driving visitors to your website based on user intent (i.e. their search query). But what if there are no identifiable (or affordable) keywords you can bid on to drive traffic? And what about those businesses that want to create brand awareness rather than capturing user intent?

Social media advertising helps businesses find new potential clients by using users’ own shared information to identify interest. Rather than reactively targeting users who search a certain term, social media advertising proactively targets relevant users before they even begin their search.

Social networks are a good option for advertisers because of the advanced targeting options, reliable conversion tracking, and prevalence on mobile devices.

Advanced Targeting Options

Because social networks gather such a larger amount of user information, social media advertising is able to target your audience in a wider variety of ways than other online platforms. Stretching beyond general demographic and geographic data, social media advertising has opened the door to deeper interest, behavioral and connection-based targeting methods.

These advanced targeting options increase your ad’s relevance to your users and provide a level of personalization that is not achievable on other advertising channels. Here are four such advanced targeting options:

  • Interest targeting: Reach specific audiences by looking at their self-reported interests, activities, skills, pages/users they have engaged with, etc. Interest targeting is often related to keyword targeting, so some platforms will allow you to enter both. Interests can be as general as an industry (e.g. automotive industry) or as specific as a product (e.g. convertibles). Offered by: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (under “Skill”), Pinterest.

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How Google’s Emphasis On Mobile Will Affect You

MediaPost

When it comes to search algorithm changes, Google has gone from making official announcements to a “this is something we do every day so don’t expect to hear from us” attitude. With this in mind, the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm change is a very big deal. As background, here is a high-level history of events:

  • June 11, 2013: Google announced specific recommendations for developing mobile-friendly websites. It listed common configuration mistakes and explicitly called out faulty redirects and smartphone-specific errors (incorrectly served 404s, Googlebot Mobile and unplayable videos).
  • September–October, 2014: Google tested several different mobile-specific indicators, using both mobile-friendly and non-mobile-friendly icons.
  • November 18, 2014: Google officially launched mobile-friendly designations to results in mobile search.
  • February 26, 2015: Google announced that, on April 21, it will be expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.

Google has gotten very serious about mobile search and is taking a primary role in improving the experience. In other words, we’re on notice to clean up our site(s). The good news is that Google is providing instructions and tools to help us do this. Here are the top three things that every website owner needs to do in anticipation of the April 21 deadline:

1)     Make use of Google’s guide to mobile-friendly websites.Google provides a 60+ page guide that discusses why and how to build a mobile-friendly website. There are dedicated guides for several open-source CMS platforms (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.), as well as a specific guide to mobile SEO, with special emphasis on avoiding common mistakes.

2)     Test your site using Google’s Tools. Users of Google Webmaster Tools (WMT) are already familiar with Google’s emphasis on mobile, as WMT has been alerting users to “fix mobile usability issues found on site xyz.” Clicking on “View details” brings users to a three-step process: 1) Inspect mobile issues, 2) Follow these guidelines and 3) Fix mobile usability issues. For those just starting out or who don’t have a WMT account, Google provides the ability to test a single page. This report groups all of the errors in one page and links on how to fix the errors, based on how the site was built (I built via CMS, I built myself, I had someone build the site).

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