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Agenda 15

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

digital-media

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Reuters Is The Latest News Organization To Get Blocked In China

TechCrunch

Reuters has joined Bloomberg, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in being blocked in China. Reuters itself reported that its website is not reachable in the country as of today.

The organization said it has suffered partial censorship in China in the past, but this time its English and Chinese sites are both affected. That’s verified by data from internet monitoring site Great Fire.

“Reuters is committed to practicing fair and accurate journalism worldwide. We recognize the great importance of news about China to all our customers, and we hope that our sites will be restored in China soon,” Reuters said in a statement.

The reason for the block is not clear. China’s internet censorship organ often blocks new sites and services without warning, but in cases of media it often follows controversial stories. That was the case for past restrictions imposed on The Guardian,New York Times and Bloomberg — each of which published political exposes prior to being blocked. However Reuters hasn’t recently put out stories that obviously raise red flags or cover sensitive topics.

In related news in China, Great Fire itself has been under fire from a strong DDoS attack over the past few days targeting sites that it mirrors in order to avoid censorship. The organization is being served 2.6 billion requests per hour, that’s hoicked the hosting fees up to $30,000 per day, prompting it to go public with a plea for help.

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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… 

Google Says Millennial Influence on the Rise in B2B Buying

AdAge

Millennial influence within b-to-b buying decision groups is growing rapidly, according to a new study by Google and the research house Millward BrownDigital.

According to the study, 46% of potential buyers researching b-to-b products are millennials today, up from 27% in 2012. They’re now the biggest generational group researching b-to-b products for potential purchase. “We saw a big shift in a two-year time span in the number of millennials that are in the b-to-b purchase path,” said Mike Miller, Google’s director of business and industrial markets.

 Google Says Millennial Influence on the Rise in B2B Buying

The data comes from more than 3,000 interviews conducted in 2014 and Millward Brown’s multi-million person panel of internet users who allow the collection of their browsing behavior. Mr. Miller said he believes millennial influence is growing as the baby boomer generation moves toward retirement age. He also cited overall economic growth as a factor bringing more millennials into b-to-b businesses.

Digital Signals
Google also studied the digital behaviors of those participating in b-to-b buying decisions and found a big shift in mobile usage. Thirty-four percent of people involved in the b-to-b buying decisions in 2014 used their mobile devices across each stage of the purchase. In 2012, the number was 18%. Mr. Miller said he believes the increase indicates more b-to-b marketers are buying on mobile devices, as opposed to just researching there.

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Millennials Are Ready To Take Over

Goldman Sachs

The Millennial generation is the largest in US history and as they reach their prime working and spending years, their impact on the economy is going to be huge.

Millennials have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization and economic disruption. That’s given them a different set of behaviors and experiences than their parents.

Check out a sneak peak of the this great infographic and click to take a full look!

Screen Shot 2015 03 19 at 12.33.52 PM Millennials Are Ready To Take Over

 

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Brands still look to print

Warc

Major brands may be devoting increasing attention to digital but print advertising, whether in the form of circulars, catalogues or magazine spreads, remains a stalwart beloved of consumers.

Last year, for example, circulars generated $5.84bn in revenue for US newspapers and accounted for around 20% of their advertising revenue according to figures from market research firm Borrell Associates.

“Retailers are constantly testing alternatives to circulars,” Gerry Storch, the chief executive of the Hudson’s Bay Co, told the Wall Street Journal. “The difficulty is finding something as effective,”

A single run of a newspaper circular can cost as much as $1m and digital, the most obvious alternative, hasn’t grabbed consumers in the way retailers would have hoped.

Figures from Wanderful Media, a business dedicated to helping retailers connect with local shoppers, suggest that 80% of people who read a print newspaper also look at the circulars inside, but less than 1% of online readers click through to digital circulars.

So even though local newspapers may be in difficulty, digital advertising is unlikely to replace what retailers lose from print when one shuts down.

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IDG’s Chief Content Officer: Separate Content Marketing From Marketing

Huffington Post

Since our first CXOTalk show launched in 2013 with Guy Kawasaki, I have interviewed 12 startup founders/CEOs, 15 Fortune 250 executives, 28 Chief Information Officers, 10 technology analysts including Group Vice Presidents from Gartner and IDC, seven venture capitalists, six bestselling authors, one Emmy award winner, one Brigadier General and one NBA team owner. After hosting our 100th episode last week, we can now add to that impressive guest roster, our first Chief Content Officer, John Gallant of IDG Communications.

2015 03 07 1425738085 6610421 123north thumb IDGs Chief Content Officer: Separate Content Marketing From Marketing
John Gallant, Chief Content Officer – IDG Media US

As Chief Content Officer for the largest technology publishing company in the world (IDG literally publishes in every continent), Gallant (Twitter: @JohnGallant1) works with editorial teams to set content strategy and figure out how to leverage social and mobile as he determines the overall content strategy that drives the business of IDG in the U.S. The print industry has been completely re-vamped by digital transformation. With just one print publication left today, CIO Magazine, IDG has reinvented itself and continues to serve their audience using a rich array of media such as web-based tools, social media, podcasts and events.

Content is so important, not just to marketing, but to all businesses looking to drive successful outcomes. More and more companies are realizing the importance of quality content and the role it plays in building that ongoing relationship with their customers, however when you look across the technology landscape, there are a lot of people covering a lot of similar technologies. IDG differentiates their brand by focusing on delivering high-value content targeted for specific audiences that is not being delivered by another brand in the market.

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Getting Maximum Value from Data Marketing

IDG Connect 0811 Getting Maximum Value from Data Marketing

A social media expert with over 15 years’ experience in digital, Christian works with some of the biggest platforms and programmes on TV, taking social media data and making it into relevant, interesting and engaging content. He currently works at performance marketing agency Albion Cell, delivering data-driven social media strategies for clients including King.com, Jose Cuervo and Ubuntu.

Marketers are often unduly daunted by the prospect of big data, possibly because the sky really is the limit when it comes to what can be done and how much can be collected. There is also a problem in that despite it being a ‘hot topic’ for so long, most businesses still aren’t leveraging new data technologies and techniques nearly enough.

Data presents an enormous opportunity to better understand your customers and their purchase behaviour, and then hone your marketing based on these insights.

Even if you are planning to outsource your data efforts to a consultant or agency, it’s a good idea for any marketer to have a basic, practical understanding of the key aspects involved. The more intelligently targeted your marketing is, the more efficient it will be.

1) Choose the right data storage for your business

There are effectively two types of data storage: on-premise or off-premise. While off-premise is more cost effective (and used successfully by online-only businesses like ASOS and Amazon, which have been able to create their systems from scratch entirely in the cloud), there are always issues of access and privacy or security. On-premise is more expensive due to high server costs, but gives businesses full control over the data – banks, for example, use data warehouses to minimise risk. When you’re deciding which system to use, consider your priorities and choose accordingly.

It should be noted that some businesses do a hybrid approach, but the challenge here comes when you want to combine your cloud data with any on-premise data to do deeper, more thorough marketing. Lloyds Bank has successfully built a very sophisticated hybrid system but there currently isn’t a way of combining on and off-premise data very easily or efficiently.

2) Only store what you need

The key point you should think about is what, from the enormous volumes of data you can collect, you actually need to collect and store. If you store only the relevant data you can be far more efficient.

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The Most Powerful Player in Media You’ve Never Heard Of

Wall Street Journal

Across the media landscape, high-stakes battles are raging over measurement.

In the online world, there’s controversy over how to measure the “viewability” of ads – proof that a person is able to actually see them. In the TV world, networks say traditional ratings aren’t adequately measuring viewing on digital platforms.

At the center of the storm is a body few in the media industry pay attention to: the Media Rating Council.

The little-known New York-based outfit, a non-profit founded in the 1960s, is the lone organization setting the rules for how media consumption is tracked. It is charged with accrediting and auditing the Nielsens and Rentraks of the world, putting it in position to influence the flows of billions of advertising dollars in television and online in coming years.

“People don’t even know we exist,” said George Ivie, the MRC’s chief executive.

In the digital advertising world, though, MRC has lately come into the spotlight as the debate heats up over viewability. For years, media companies charged advertisers every time an ad was “served” on a Web page. But there are many occasions when users can’t possibly see those ads, because they scroll past them or because they’re on part of a page that isn’t visible.

About four years ago, several of the ad industry’s largest trade organizations launched an initiative to move the industry toward a “viewability” model in which marketers pay for ads that are actually able to be seen, not just served. The MRC was tapped to serve as the standard setter and quasi-referee.

After an exhaustive process, last year the MRC–in conjunction with the Association of National Advertisers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Interactive Advertising Bureau–released its standard: an ad is viewable as long as 50% of it appears on a person’s screen for one second, and two seconds for video ads. The organization has accredited 16 different companies to track viewability for display ads, and six for video ads—a total of 18 companies.

The early reviews of MRC’s work are harsh in some corners of the digital advertising industry. Publishers say complying with the viewability standard is a nightmare, because all of the accredited companies have different methods and technologies to measure viewability and arrive at conflicting results. That has caused messy and heated negotiations between advertisers and publishers.

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How publishers make native ads newsy

DIGIDAY

Native advertising was supposed to be marketers’ answer to banner blindness by creating ads that consumers would want to read and share. But by the time a native ad gets through all the necessary approvals and is shaped in a way that can scale, the result is often evergreen — and bland.

But a handful of publishers are trying to create native ads that play off the news cycle, betting that the more timely the post is, the better its chances of being read and shared. There are limitations: It is labor-intensive and hard to scale. “You really have to be resourced and in a philosophical place to be able to respond in a timely enough manner to play in the news cycle,” said Mark Howard, CRO of Forbes.

And as the history of real-time marketing disasters show, marketers have to know when it’s appropriate for their brand to weigh in. “The mistake a lot of content marketers make is creating content that is outside of what would be acceptable for that brand,” said Todd Sawicki, CEO of Zemanta, a native ad platform. “The problem is assuming that every event or news cycle needs a comment.” And newsy native ads may be suited to top-of-the-funnel messages, but more brands are moving to classic brand-tracking metrics to evaluate the success of their native ads.

So with the caveat that not all brands can pull it off, here’s how four publishers are marrying native and the news.

Bloomberg Media Group
The financial publisher wanted the quality of its native ads to be as good as editorial content, if not better. “It’s always a challenge to think about how we can engage people in native content, working against the sponsored content slug,” said Zazie Lucke, head of global marketing at Bloomberg Media. “It has to meet the bar of editorial, and it has to be engaging, and in some cases it has to be even more engaging to get over the hump of being sponsored content.”

So Bloomberg came up with a product called Riding the News late last year that would respond to breaking news. Dedicated content and data employees pull trending topics in the advertiser’s industry and meet frequently with the client to act quickly on the news. For an asset-management company doing business in Japan, for example, Bloomberg responded to Japan’s quantitative easing announcement with a story within a week that juxtaposed that country’s experience with that of the U.S. (Bloomberg said it wouldn’t name the client because it didn’t have approval to do so.

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Business Insider plans spinoff consumer tech site

DIGIDAY

Flush with new funding, Business Insider is planning to launch a new site devoted to consumer technology that will attempt to expand its audience beyond business readers, Digiday has learned.

Executives at BI declined to comment on the record, but sources close to the project confirmed the publisher’s plans for BI’s first new standalone site. The site isn’t expected to launch until the third quarter, and, as such, it doesn’t have a name or dedicated staff yet. BI expects to use a mix of internal staff and external hires.

There’s been an explosion of tech coverage lately, with older verticals like Wired and PC Magazine and general news organizations like The New York Times joined by new, digital natives like The Verge, Gizmodo and Engadget. A new entrant will have to muscle its way into a crowded category, but Business Insider seems to derive confidence from its audience growth at the mother ship and from its homegrown content-management system, which it calls Viking.

Founded in 2007 as Silicon Alley Insider, Business Insider has grown into a 35 million uniques-strong site under CEO and editor-in-chief Henry Blodget. The site has an ostensible focus on business, but like other publishers that start out with a vertical focus, BI has broadened its editorial mandate in the quest for scale, giving rise to gems like “Scientists measured 15,000 penises and determined the average size” and “You’ve been loading your dishwasher all wrong.”

But apparently, that mandate can only stretch so far. BI wants to give the new site an entirely new name and identity separate from Business Insider. That approach is meant to underscore that this is a consumer play, while BI will continue to define itself as focused on business executives. Still, BI certainly does consumer-oriented tech stories, under its mantra that business people have many interests, such as politics, sports and lifestyle issues. Right now, BI’s tech coverage includes “How to supercharge your iPhone in just five minutes” and “I made 2 tweaks to my sister’s 2009 iMac and now it runs like a brand new machine.”

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