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World Tech Update: 9/19/14

IDG News Service

On this week’s World Tech Update,  Microsoft buys Minecraft developer Mojang, Apple readies its iPhone 6 for sale and we take a look at a high tech stadium.

Native ads are getting a direct-response makeover

Digiday

Native advertising is often used by publishers as a way out of being held to the direct-response metrics that have long been associated with banner ads.

Native was supposed to be a premium ad format that would bolster falling digital CPMs, and it has mainly been viewed as an image-building format. But it was only a matter of time before advertisers would start to demand more than just a lift in awareness or improved reputation and ask for ads that directly drive sales or leads.

Case in point: this ad for The New York Times that’s running on Mashable. The ad has a direct come-on to new digital customers, with a “subscribe” button that’s prominently placed to the right of its branded article. It’s part of a month-long campaign the Times is running on Mashable to drive audience growth.

 Native ads are getting a direct response makeover

The practice is more established among B2B marketers, for whom the format is well suited for white-paper downloads and webinar signups. Lexis Nexis, for example, used this ad on Law.com to drum up business for its MedMal navigator product. But consumer publishers are increasingly hearing requests for native ads to include calls to action.

Continue reading… 

2014 U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey

Screen Shot 2014 09 19 at 3.23.49 PM  2014 U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey

CSO and PwC teamed-up with the CERT® Division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie MellonUniversity and the United States Secret Service to conduct the annual survey to gain a better understanding of cybercrime trends within U.S. organizations.

The 2014 research found that the number of security incidents continue to surge as well as the cost associated with them. Additionally, organizations are still playing catch-up to combat cyber criminals.

Key Findings Include:

  • The state of cybercrime is not good. U.S. organizations are failing to keep up with the persistence, technical expertise or the tactical skillset of their adversaries.
  • Security for mobile devices is inadequate and poses elevated risks beyond phones and tablets. A large barrier for CSO’s is that mobile devices are viewed as employee devices and businesses are reluctant to push policies to personal devices.
  • Insider threats are not sufficiently addressed and while awareness training would address the most common insider threats, most businesses don’t do awareness training.
  • Insiders who commit cybercrimes typically exhibited pre-cursor characteristics including committing violations of IT security practices and the misusing of organizational resources.
  • There is a significant disparity between SMB (less than 1,000 employees) & Enterprise organizations (1,000+ employees) with differences arising in both practices and types of cyber attacks.

To view slides on this research, click here

Why most people aren’t downloading apps anymore

Quartz

In August, a widely reported report from comScore, a measurement firm, concluded that the majority of smartphone users in the United States download precisely zero apps in any given month.

 Why most people aren’t downloading apps anymore

“One possible explanation is that people just don’t need that many apps, and the apps people already have are more than suitable for most functions,” speculated Quartz’s Dan Frommer at the time. New datafrom Localytics, an app analytics firm which tracks 28,000 apps across 1.5 billion global devices, lends some evidence to this theory.

According to Localytics, the amount of time people spend within apps has shot up by a fifth over the past year, helping app use alone outpace all desktop computer use. Moreover, people are launching apps more often, up from 9.4 times to 11.5 times a month.

Driving this increase in use is the stickiness, to use a Silicon Valley term, of the apps people already use. It will surprise nobody that the categories with the most significant uptick in time used fall into categories of music, health and fitness, and social networking.

Continue reading…

World Tech Update- August 29, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU Instagram brings Hyperlapse to the iPhone, Microsoft cuts Surface 2 prices and Google reveals its secret drone delivery program.

 

Tablets with voice calling functions take off in Asia

IDG News Service

Using a tablet to make a phone call may sound unorthodox. But in Asia’s emerging markets, vendors are increasingly shipping 7-inch tablets with voice call functions, according to research firm IDC.

During the second quarter, electronics vendors shipped 13.8 million tablets to the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan, IDC said on Wednesday. Of those tablets, 25 percent were designed for voice calls over a cellular network. This marked a jump of 10 percentage points from the first quarter.

Voice call tablets are taking off in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, said Avinash Sundaram, an IDC analyst, who added that it had become a trend unique to Asia.

Although large screen phones are already popular, some consumers in the region have tighter budgets, and want a product that merges all their electronic needs into a single device, Sundaram said.

“They don’t want to walk around with a phone, tablet and PC,” he said. “This is basically addressing budgetary needs.”

Vendors releasing these products include Samsung, which early on incorporated voice call features into its tablets, along with Asus, Huawei and Lenovo. But smaller vendors such as India’s Micromax and Indonesia’s Advan Digital are also fueling the market with rival tablets.

“We definitely see this as a vendor strategy to help differentiate their products,” Sundaram said. Many of these tablets cost between US$100 to $300.

It’s still not known how many consumers in Asia use their tablets for voice calls. But vendors are marketing the features in their advertisements.

“If we look at advertising campaigns in India, Indonesia, they call it a tablet with voice option,” Sundaram said. Vendors could conceivably put cellular features into all their tablets. But bigger companies such as Samsung might refrain from doing so, to better position their smart phone products, he added.

“From a vendor perspective, they want to target every single kind of device, as opposed to selling one kind of device,” he said. “There are no technical hurdles. It’s more about product strategy.”

Where Is Digital Video Viewing Most Popular?

eMarketer

Internet users around the world are tuning in to digital video—whether it’s to watch long-form content like TV shows or movies, short snackable clips, or even branded video content produced by marketers. And according to research among weekly internet users conducted by TNS in June 2014, web users in South Korea are more likely than their counterparts anywhere else in the world to do so.

178307 Where Is Digital Video Viewing Most Popular?

Penetration in the East Asian country reached nearly 96%, meaning virtually anyone who goes online at least weekly also watches digital video with some frequency. Three other countries boasted penetration rates above nine in 10 internet users: Spain, Italy and Mexico. Penetration in China was nearly as high.

It may appear surprising for some of those countries to lead highly developed internet economies like the UK and US in penetration rates, but since the survey was taken among weekly internet users the numbers are somewhat boosted. Overall internet penetration is relatively low in Mexico or India compared to the US—but those who are online are avid digital video viewers.

177922 Where Is Digital Video Viewing Most Popular?

eMarketer estimates that in the US, 77.3% of monthly internet users will watch digital video at least once per month this year, for a total of 195.6 million viewers. Those figures include viewers of any age.

Infographic: The Multiscreen World

By Nick Rojas

Over the past decade, the amount of technology available to the public has gradually changed the way that people live their daily lives. More importantly: the versatility of these technologies have allowed people to become more efficient, revolutionizing market consumption, and creating demand for things that had never really been considered before.

As people grew more and more reliant on these devices, more and more of them became available. Laptops and televisions, smartphones and tablets,all permitted their users to do things that they hadn’t thought they needed to before, and this all pointed towards one thing: how users consumed media. Before, television viewers were at the mercy of the networks, watching commercials because they had to. While DVRs changed that for many viewers, it was smartphones and tablets that took them to a different place entirely. With the technology available, users began using their devices while they watched television. This trend towards multi-screen usage was seen by many as an overindulgence in entertainment, at first, but as the trend continued to grow and grow, it became readily apparent that it was more than just a trend.

Mult-screen usage indicates a shift towards multitasking, something that consumers have grown to love. This infographic, provided by TollFreeForwarding.com, is an exploration into the ways that users are consuming information, and why cross-platform development is becoming a key component of not only user experience, but for content marketing, as well.

TFF M5 Multiscreen Infographic: The Multiscreen World

3 mistaken assumptions about what Big Data can do for you

CITEworld

Big data is certainly all the rage. The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece ondata scientists commanding up to $300,000 per year with very little experience. Clearly the era of embracing big data is here.

However, since the tools and best practices in this area are so novel, it’s important to revisit our assumptions about what big data can do for us – and, perhaps more importantly, what it can’t do. Here are three commonly held yetmistaken assumptions about what big data can do for you and your business.

Big Data Can’t Predict the Future

Big data – and all of its analysis tools, commentary, science experiments and visualizations – can’t tell you what will happen in the future. Why? The data you collect comes entirely from the past. We’ve yet to reach the point at which we can collect data points and values from the future.

We can analyze what happened in the past and try to draw trends between actions and decision points and their consequences, based on the data, and we might use that to guess that under similar circumstances, if a similar decision were made, similar outcomes would occur as a result. But we can’t predict the future.

Many executives and organizations attempt to glean the future out of a mass of data. This is a bad idea, because the future is always changing. You know how financial advisers always use the line, “Past performance does not guarantee future results?” This maxim applies to big data as well.

Instead of trying to predict the future, use big data to optimize and enhance what’s currently true. Look at something that’s happening now and constructively improve upon the outcomes for that current event. Use the data to find the right questions to ask. Don’t try to use big data as a crystal ball.

Big Data Can’t Replace Your Values – or Your Company’s

Big data is a poor substitute for values – those mores and standards by which you live your life and your company endeavors to operate. Your choices on substantive issues may be more crystallized, and it may be easier and clearer to sort out the advantages and disadvantages of various courses of action, but the data itself can’t help you interpret how certain decisions stack up against the standards you set for yourself and for your company.

Data can paint all sorts of pictures, both in the numbers themselves and through the aid of visualization software. Your staff can create many projected scenarios about any given issue, but those results are simply that – a projection. Your job as an executive, and as a CIO making these sorts of tools and staff available within your business, is to actually reconcile that data against your company’s values.

For instance, imagine you’re a car manufacturer. Your big data sources and tools tell you that certain vehicle models have a flaw that may cost a few cents to repair on vehicles yet to be manufactured, but would cost significantly more to repair in vehicles that have already been purchased by customers and are in production use. The data, and thus your data scientists on staff, might recommend fixing the issue on cars still on the assembly line but not bothering to fix the cars already out there in the world, simply because the data might have shown the cost exceeded the likelihood of damages across the board.

(Note that this scenario may sound familiar to you if you have been following theGeneral Motors ignition switch saga. However, this is only a hypothetical example, and further, there is no evidence big data played into the GM recall.)

Say your company has a value statement that quality is job 1 and safety is of paramount importance. Though the data suggests a recall isn’t worth it, you make the call as an executive to start the recall. You’re informed, but you’re not controlled by big data.

Above all, it’s vital to remember that sometimes the right answer appears to be the wrong one when viewed through a different lens. Make sure you use the right lens.

Read more…

Context is King: Points to Consider When Implementing a Contextual Marketing Strategy

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 Context is King: Points to Consider When Implementing a Contextual Marketing Strategy

For the past few years, marketers have focused on pushing incredible amounts of content to their consumers and prospects to fit the mold of content marketing, having been told that is the future of their industry. This isn’t entirely false. Marketers need content to communicate with their consumers. However, many don’t know the context in which the consumer is engaging with that content, making it impossible to deliver the most relevant information to the right person at the right time. Today, consumers expect an optimal experience when interacting with any brand. They are accustomed to on-demand, personalized information and want marketers to understand their preferences before they buy. Because of these heightened expectations, marketers have to recognize who they are talking to and accept that context, not content, is now king. What should marketers today consider when developing a contextual marketing strategy? Here’s a start:

Continuous profile development

In order to effectively communicate with a consumer and determine the context in which they are consuming content, marketers should be continuously building a profile of each individual that touches their brand. Points to consider are consumer value score, age, location, gender, etc. Once a profile of an individual begins to develop, the process of communication becomes easier and more natural. Consider this: you meet a friend of a friend at a cocktail party and have a 30-minute conversation. The next week, you run into that same person at the supermarket. You wouldn’t start the relationship over by re-introducing yourself. You have the history of the previous conversation, and you would pick up from where you left off. The same holds true when a consumer engages with a brand – the context from previous engagements is key to making the current conversation relevant and more likely to result in a positive outcome.

The mobile conundrum – a blessing and a curse

The definition of “location” has shifted as consumers now have the opportunity to interact with a brand from anywhere in the world without stepping into a physical store. This anywhere, anytime access makes it challenging to recognize each consumer as they move across multiple channels and locations during the path to purchase. As individuals increasingly adopt tablets, social media, mobile phones and other technology, the marketing approach must shift to provide an optimal experience based on that specific consumer’s location, meaning in-store or out, inbound or outbound.

Mobility has given marketers the chance to keep track of every consumer inside and outside store walls. This has the potential to be a great opportunity, but can make it challenging for a brand to identify where a consumer is located and serve them appropriate content. With the rise of geo-fencing and iBeacon technologies, as well as advanced consumer engagement systems, brands are learning to embrace mobility and use it to their advantage. Targeting a consumer with a relevant piece of content—be it an in-app offer, automated email or tailored website material—when  they are in the location most appropriate can result in a powerful touch point.

Bridging the online-offline communication gap

Marketers think contextual marketing is easy, largely because many people are talking about its value in the online world. In reality, most companies are struggling to turn that vision into practice because context is only fully valuable when all touch points – online and off – can be linked and a complete profile of a user’s engagement with a brand can be built continuously. Many retailers, for example, are missing the full power of context because they are often unable to connect consumers’ in-store experience to those they have online—such as understanding which products they may have purchased in store in the past, or how many times they have stepped in and out of a location. The key is for the marketer to be aware of every touch point regardless of where and how it happens, which cutting-edge technology can help to track. As more and more consumers begin to blend their online and offline engagements with a brand and technologies continue to evolve, it will be important for marketers to facilitate an omnichannel experience, understanding a consumer’s full profile and targeting them in the context that makes the most sense. For instance, if a consumer was researching a sports car on an auto maker’s website or app, they should be directed immediately to that model (or others like it) when they visit the showroom (and vice versa), acknowledging their past preferences and therefore strengthening the bond between brand and consumer.

Potential pitfalls

Marketers do have the ability to buy consumer profiles and derive context from third-party media channels. This route doesn’t have the same, immediate timeline idea and it doesn’t translate into an effective contextual marketing strategy. Furthermore, the information is not always related specifically to a consumer’s interaction with the specific brand and rarely is it detailed at the individual level. Taken out of context and with a lag in time, a brand misses a lot of the consumer’s story, and marketers can only take context into account if they know all of it—not just bits and pieces—and can act quickly to leverage it.

If a company doesn’t have inside intelligence on its own consumer, they’re coming in last in today’s data-driven, personalized world.

Brands need to recognize that context is critical to starting a conversation with their consumers and maintaining that dialogue throughout the customer journey. Brand loyalty and repeat purchases are results of a series of positive engagement—each linking to the one before. By aligning content with context, marketers can make educated decisions on how to proceed with communication by helping and guiding consumers along the buying journey. As a result, consumers get what they really want in a way that makes sense to them and ultimately drives them to purchase while simultaneously improving their experience across channels.

For more blogs and research from IDG Connect, click here