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

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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.

Continue Reading… 

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

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.

Continue Reading…

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.

Read More… 

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).

Continue Reading… 

How Important Is Mobile, Anyway?

SocialMediaToday

Mobile optimization has been a ranking factor on Google for some time. But it’s about to matter a whole lot more. According to a recent post on Search Engine Land, “Google said it wants sites to prepare [for mobile optimization].”

If certain pages or sections of your site are not optimized for your mobile audience, Google will take note and demote those pages in the search results for mobile queries. Google plans to roll this out April, 21 2015.

They’ve even provided a tool to test how mobile friendly your website is. Note that they’re apparently working out some kinks so make sure you read this post before testing.

WHAT IS MOBILE OPTIMIZATION?

Optimizing a website for mobile users can mean implementing techniques like responsive design. But adding in some responsive breakpoints for tablets and mobile devices isn’t all it takes.

And sometimes responsive might not be the best approach. There are times when a mobile-only page or website makes more sense. Measurable SEO Founder Chuck Price weighs the pros and cons of mobile-only and responsive design in this useful post.

Whether responsive or mobile-only, you’ll want to factor in speed and usability when optimizing for mobile…

SPEED

Your site speed depends of the server where its hosted and the files the user is required to download. I would recommend hosting your site on a virtual dedicated server or similar. You will pay more for this but its worth it.

Hosting on a shared server where you pay $10 a year for a service pitched by a race car driver is less than ideal. A shared server is one server with a bunch of other sites sharing the server’s resources. The low cost host will load these to capacity for maximum profit. This will slow server speed as more websites are being access – eating up resources.

Read more tips here… 

As Tablets Slow and PCs Face Ongoing Challenges, Smartphones Grab an Ever-Larger Share of the Smart Connected Device Market Through 2019

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 As Tablets Slow and PCs Face Ongoing Challenges, Smartphones Grab an Ever Larger Share of the Smart Connected Device Market Through 2019

According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, the combined total market of smartphones, tablets plus 2-in-1s, and PCs is set to grow from 1.8 billion units in 2014 to 2.5 billion units in 2019. During that time, smartphones will grow to represent the overwhelming majority of total smart connected device (SCD) shipments, dwarfing both tablets and PCs in terms of shipment volumes.

To read the full press release, which includes a data table showing shipments, market share, and year-over-year growth for the worldwide SCD market in 2014 and 2019, please click here. 

Follow-up questions can be directed toward these IDC analysts:

Tom Mainelli (tmainelli@idc.com and 650-350-6455)

Melissa Chau (melissachau@idc.com and +65-6829-7713)

Ryan Reith (rreith@idc.com and 650-350-6242)

What Is 5G, and What Does It Mean for Consumers?

Recode

In a few years, you may be able to download a full-length HD movie to your phone in a matter of seconds rather than minutes. And video chats will be so immersive that it will feel like you can reach out and touch the other person right through the screen.

At least, that’s what the wireless companies envision for the future of mobile. While many parts of the world are still awaiting the rollout of 4G networks, the telecom industry is already looking ahead to the next generation of cellular technology, called 5G.

 What Is 5G, and What Does It Mean for Consumers?

It was a big topic of discussion at the Mobile World Congress show last week, where companies like Nokia Networks, Huawei and Ericsson talked about what each is doing in the area of 5G and the possibilities it will create. (MWC is an annual event in Barcelona where the wireless industry comes together to show off the latest devices and technologies.)

But as an emerging technology, there are a lot of questions surrounding 5G. What is it exactly? How will it work? How will it affect consumers?

I asked industry experts, as well as companies like Nokia and Huawei, for their takes on 5G. Most agreed: The technology is still a long way from becoming a reality, but it has the potential to completely change the way we interact with wireless devices, from the smartphones in our pockets to the cars we drive.

Continue Reading…

 

5 Tips For Mobile Video

Journalism.co.uk

Mobile and video are two buzzwords of digital journalism from recent years, but there were initial doubts over whether they could be combined successfully.

As screen sizes have grown and internet connectivity improved, the concept is no longer in question.

Mobile was the focus at last week’s Online News Association event in London, and Cameron Church, director of digital video company Stream Foundations and previously of Brightcove, discussed his work in helping news publishers make the most out of their video offering, especially on mobile.

He shared his thoughts and advice on the subject.

‘You are not your audience’

“Unless you sit there and click play a million times a day or week,” said Church, “you’re not going to be the one that gets to choose what works or doesn’t work.”

While producers or journalists may sit in their cosy, stationary editing suite or at a desk, the audience is out watching video on the move.

Editors still need to “empower creative spirit,” he said, “but rein them in a little bit because they have to get back into real connection” with serving their audience.

Continue Reading…

Vietnam Smartphones Increase by 57% in 2014, Says IDC

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Vietnam Smartphones Increase by 57% in 2014, Says IDC

A total of 28.7 million mobile phones were shipped to Vietnam in 2014, reflecting an annual growth rate of 13% year-on-year (YoY), according to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2014 Q4. Smartphones enjoyed the highest growth with total shipments of 11.6 million units, reflecting a YoY growth of 57%. Smartphones also represented 41% of all mobile phones shipped to Vietnam last year and are expected to eclipse feature phones in 2015.

“Rapidly declining smartphone prices has led to the rise of smartphone penetration rates in Vietnam throughout 2014,” says Võ Lê Tâm Thanh, Senior Market Analyst, Mobile Devices at IDC Vietnam. “The low-cost segment has been the main driver, with six out of ten smartphones as budget models priced below US$150 are shipped to Vietnam.”

Samsung remained the king of Vietnam smartphone market although its market share has fallen considerably over the past few years, from 54% in 2012 to 26% in 2014. Nokia/Microsoft on the other hand continued to grow strongly in Vietnam, climbing from 16% in 2013 to 24% in 2014.

prVN25480615 1 254826 Vietnam Smartphones Increase by 57% in 2014, Says IDC

Continue Reading…