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Your Best Marketing Data Provider May Be Right Underneath Your Nose

Integrate

By  Scott Vaughan

Data is today’s marketing currency. We harvest it wherever we can – via paid, owned and earned media. And this harvesting is facilitated by numerous tech and services providers: known-data appending plug-ins like Dun & Bradstreet and Social123; anonymous data marketplaces such as (Oracle) BlueKai; and currently the hottest of the data sources, predictive analytics providers such as Lattice Engines and 6Sense.

But what’s almost always neglected in the marketing data discourse: the media companies that have been generating traffic, prospects and customers for marketing clients for years.

Marketers shouldn’t neglect these sources and their evolving capabilities. Top-tier media companies aren’t the “lead-gen sources” of old – they’re the “data-gen providers” of tomorrow.

We’re slowly seeing B2B media companies evolve. They’re leveraging new technologies and long-held expertise to grow into sophisticated data repositories for their clients. This is great news for marketers.

The optimism stems from the wealth of data types available today – big, small, prospect, intent, behavior and account intelligence. And, it appears more is on the way.

Having spent a chunk of my career working within a B2B media company, and now both partnering with and serving these organizations as customers, I can say the definition of “media company” is clearly changing.  This includes traditional web and print publishers, digital lead-generation providers, and advertising technology companies offering solutions to better deliver audience and leads.

These shifts are part survival and part opportunity. It’s survival in that media companies are shedding expensive print and eyeball-generating web operations. And opportunity in that they’re emerging as data-source experts to serve marketers’ seemingly endless appetite for highly specific customer and prospect information.

Behind closed doors, media executives are debating and plotting to answer one question: “What’s the core business we’ll be in a year from now?”  The consensus – DATA marketing solutions.

To make this a reality, media executives are NOT JUST thinking about traffic, impressions or lead generation. Progressive, next-generation media organizations are investing to deliver high-quality prospect and performance (e.g., content performance) data to their marketing customers. All this to arm marketers with intelligent prospect info and marketing intelligence to put their marketing technology systems and content to work – to create new customers.

Data as the New Media AND Marketing Currency

B2B media executives are still in the thick of it, but they also understand “monetizing traffic” or trying to squeeze “every ounce out of their databases” isn’t a long-term success formula. Rather, new-era media companies realize that data is the invaluable asset they can provide to their paying marketing customers.

Data that informs how and with what to capture prospect interest. Media companies use this data in concert with both their own content and their customers’ marketing assets.

Just as importantly, they wield data about their visitors, subscribers, and attendees, that can be packaged and made actionable for marketers’ demand generation and customer acquisition efforts.

Let’s dive deeper into a few types of emerging data sets that are becoming the lifeblood for progressive media companies to better serve their customers. We’ll discuss what BOTH media companies and the marketers they serve can do about it.

Behavioral Prospect Data to Signal Intent

Based on a user’s behaviors, media companies have a unique grasp on what buyers or targeted companies may be interested in. Using data science, this intent-based data can be collected and shared about an individual’s online activities. Most importantly, specific areas of content interest can also be gathered, which often signals research around an upcoming purchase. The media company can also provide precise, additional targeting by serving ads or emailing offers, for example.

Marketers use this data to score leads based on specific activity and increased interactions. They can also prioritize and fast track the best opportunities immediately by nurturing prospects in a more targeted program or sending to sales for immediate follow-up.

A few examples in this area: TechTarget’s Activity Intelligence platform and Bombora (formerly Madison Logic Data) are media companies providing this type of service today.

Company Content Consumption Data for Account-Based Marketing

Account-Based Marketing is all the rage today, and for good reason. The focus is on the ability to identify and target specific companies that B2B marketers and sales chiefs have earmarked as ideal prospects for their product or service.

Media companies use digital tactics, demand generation, and data solutions to help marketers identify purchasing intent with a specific list of target companies. Using company IP addresses and domain intelligence, for example, they can share this activity data when target companies (“accounts”) are viewing or engaging with their content and retarget them immediately with additional information and offers.

Demandbase and IDG Communications – among many others – provide advanced offerings in this area, leading with their data.

The media company transformation to “data-gen providers” is still in its early stages. They’re just starting to team up with marketers to use data science for advanced targeting and sophisticated data generation. So, what can marketers do to tap into the wealth of prospect and customer data intelligence?

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The Millennial Delusion

Source: TechCrunch

The obsession with “millennials” continues to fascinate me. Despite being the most outspoken generation in history, people – very important and powerful people – claim they don’t understand us. We make no sense apparently, as if the actions and career paths of our parents make total and complete sense.

There are even consulting firms that specialize in teaching businesses how to interact with us (I refuse to link to them, Google if you dare). I wish I could start one of these and just talk about myself all day as a passion job, in the process becoming the very essence of a millennial.

A meta-millennial, perhaps.

More words have been spilled in the business press about this arbitrary agglomeration of people than any other, yet debates seem to go on endlessly.

That’s because there really is no debate, and there really is no such concept as “millennial.” If it wasn’t clear already, millennial values are American values, which is perhaps more obvious this week with the Supreme Court’s decisions around same-sex marriage, health care, andhousing discrimination, which were significantly more in line with millennial thinking than with the baby boom generation.

Millennials are a figment of our imagination, a delusion of marketers and others who believe that the changes in our society are only applicable to a narrow group of people rather than our whole population.

They’re completely wrong.

What’s happening is that people are finally taking advantage of all the technological progress we have made over the past few decades, finding empowerment in the world that was lacking before. We all now have the ability to choose our own paths – our own “passion careers” – and use technology to foster a better future, not just an elite sliver of the population with enough resources.

Unsurprisingly, everyone seems to be doing just that.

We can see technology’s influence on society everywhere. Millennials are described as more “socially conscious” than any other generation, but this is a function of our heavy use of technology, particularly social networks. People today have more access to news and opinion from the United States and around the world than ever before, and it shouldn’t be surprising that conflicts or diseases in other places have an emotional resonance with us that didn’t exist before.

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What IDG TechNetwork Learned from 7 Years of Sales Evolution

Allvoices

idgtn team photo 6 25 15 jpeg What IDG TechNetwork Learned from 7 Years of Sales Evolution

When it comes to the advertising industry, the only constant is change. As technology evolves, so do advertiser demands, challenges and quality standards. That’s why media leader IDG TechNetwork has kept its customers at the center of the company’s continued evolution.

“As a publisher-driven network with an emphasis on quality content at scale, these product progressions remain true to our core business model in servicing our customers,” says Scott Harris, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at IDG TechNetwork.

“We believe in the importance of building out new solutions that enable our business to straddle the line between agency and publisher, operating as a true consultative resource in addressing our clients’ needs.”

In seven short years, IDG Communications has grown from a traditional publisher into a digital media company, shutting all but one of its print publications and developing a centralized network approach with IDG TechNetwork to providing scale.

Here are the biggest lessons that they have learned along the way.

Reposition industry challenges into company-specific strengths

One of the biggest challenges that the advertising industry faces is the commodification of display banners, which leads to diminished value and performance. In response to this trend, IDG TechNetwork has transformed its business beyond the network model of standard display ads to invest in in-house capabilities.

“We’ve developed a rich suite of diverse products to provide our clients with lead generation, custom content marketing, native advertising, a programmatic exchange, a destination video hub with original programming, creative rich media development and DSP targeting; all executed across our premium mobile, desktop and video channels,” says Harris.

Harris explains that experimentation has been key to IDG TechNetwork’s process. Rather than maintaining the status quo, the company has actively sought out new opportunities to include as core offerings.

“It’s important to identify new areas of excellence rather than building up a wall of defense,” says Harris. “In many respects this is a similar challenge that the industry faced when first making the transition from print to digital.”

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CASE STUDY: Audience Extension

acer logo e1435248713675 CASE STUDY: Audience Extension

Program ran in United Kingdom

GOAL

Educate and inspire gift-givers about the benefits of computing products in enhancing the lives of their loved ones while increasing awareness of Acer brand & products. Screen Shot 2015 06 25 at 12.03.33 PM CASE STUDY: Audience Extension

SOLUTION

Leverage the reach & influence of premium IDG editorial media outlets to deploy a dual-function program aimed at engaging target consumer audiences on two levels:

NativeNews Package  (Hub, Articles, Videos, Article Spotlight, Sponsored Article Posts & Newsletters):

Built platforms aimed at engaging target audiences, providing extensive brand exposure and communicating Acer’s messaging. Custom articles and video scripts were authored by IDG subject-matter experts and were hosted on IDG properties. Custom ad units ran in tandem with the native activities to promote content and reinforce brand recognition.

Custom Built Ad Units (Mobile & Desktop Product Line Showcase & InFunnel Ad Units):

This was an interactive solution utilized to create awareness, provide information and ultimately drive consideration and sales.

RESULTS

  • High average time spent on site (3:54mins) and a high overall average video completion rate (73%).
  • 38% of all video views were on the IDG-produced videos.
  • Impressions: 1,352,434 ; Page views: 6,682

Top 100 Best Places to Work in IT Recognized by Computerworld

 Top 100 Best Places to Work in IT Recognized by Computerworld

The 22nd Annual Best Places to Work in IT list names Quicken Loans, Credit Acceptance and Noah Consulting No. 1 for large, midsize and small organizations, respectively

Framingham, Mass. – June 22, 2015 – IDG’s Computerworld—the leading IT media brand dedicated to being the voice of business technology—is proud to announce the 2015 Best Places to Work in IT list (Click here to tweet). The Computerworld editorial team compiled this exhaustive list based on a comprehensive questionnaire focused on organization offerings such as benefits, diversity, career development, training and retention, as well as a worker satisfaction survey completed by a random sampling of IT employees at the participating organizations. The 100 winning organizations were then categorized by company size based on the number of employees (large, midsize, small).

“The 100 organizations on Computerworld’s 2015 Best Places to Work in IT list realize that attracting and retaining a highly skilled technology workforce leads to competitive advantage,” says Scot Finnie, editor in chief of Computerworld. “In a tight market for tech talent, these outstanding employers attract the best and brightest IT pros with generous salaries and top-drawer benefits, then deepen their teams’ engagement with challenging, business-critical projects built around cutting-edge technologies. As a result, these winning organizations are best positioned to take advantage of the digital transformation sweeping through every industry.”

What Defines a Top 100 Organization
Solidifying a spot on the Top 100 Best Places to Work in IT list goes beyond offering what are considered “standard benefits” (i.e., health insurance, paid vacation time and 401(k)/403(b) plans). Organizations offering reimbursement for technology certifications saw an increase this year with 99 of this year’s 100 organizations providing it to their IT employees. Additionally, organizations provided an average of 20 paid time-off days (vacation, sick, and personal, excluding holidays) after one year of service and 29 days after 10 years of service. Stress level is low among this year’s winning organizations with only 8% of surveyed employees claiming to be very stressed in the workplace. Eighty-eight percent of respondents from this year’s top 100 organizations claimed their IT department morale as good, very good or excellent.

Additional information about the 100 organizations named to the 2015 list, as well as the results of the 22nd annual Best Places to Work in IT survey, can be read on Computerworld.com. The website features articles on the three No. 1 organizations, a video profile of top companies for training, benefits, retention and career development, and new to this year’s coverage is a slideshow welcoming and introducing the 16 organizations new to the list. The website also features a smart tool that lets readers sort and filter the winners’ list, and an interactive map to find Best Places by region.

Listed below are the top 5 organizations from each category. For the full list of the top 100, click here.

Computerworld’s Best Places to Work in IT 2015:
Large Organization Rankings (5,000+ employees)

  1. Quicken Loans
  2. USAA
  3. Erickson Living
  4. Sharp Healthcare
  5. Prudential Financial

Midsize Organization Rankings (1,001 – 4,999 employees)

  1. Credit Acceptance
  2. Lafayette General Health
  3. Avanade
  4. Autodesk
  5. Nicklaus (formerly Miami) Children’s Hospital

Small Organization Rankings (1,000 or fewer employees)

  1. Noah Consulting
  2. Sev1Tech
  3. Commonwealth Financial Network
  4. Secure-24
  5. Connectria

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The Shifting Digital Landscape

Source: AudienceScience

An Advertiser’s Guide to Targeting, Technology, and Transparency

Introduction

Global digital advertising is nearly an £88 billion industry and advertisers continue to spend more and more on digital. AudienceScience® has found that the way in which advertisers buy media and target their digital advertising is changing, helped by advances in technology, but there are still major hurdles that inhibit an advertiser’s digital success. In order to better understand this shifting landscape, AudienceScience worked with both BSB Media and The Vision Network to launch the second annual International Media Image Survey (I-MIS), a unique study conducted during May and June 2014. Run in conjunction with the International Advertising Association, Warc and M&M Global, the study provides insight into advertisers of various sizes, ranging from Small Advertisers (<£12m) to Mega Advertisers (£40m+). Interviews were conducted by InSites Consulting with senior decision makers at over 80 advertisers globally, and were administered via an online questionnaire.

Key Takeaways

Global advertisers are changing the way they buy and target digital media. More than half of Mega Advertisers (£40m+) plan to spend more on programmatic buying and real-time bidding (RTB).

The way advertisers buy media is changing.

Advertisers continue to shift more money towards programmatic buying and RTB, with 88% of advertisers planning on buying as much or more media via programmatic buying and RTB. This shift accompanies advertisers shifting budget away from traditional, content-based ad buys and towards data-driven audience targeting. In fact, 82% of advertisers plan on allocating a larger percentage of their budget to audience-targeted buys.

Advertisers are taking greater advertising ownership.

For greater digital success and increased efficiencies, advertisers are starting to realise that they need a better understanding of digital ad technology. 43% of advertisers plan to bring more responsibility in-house for digital planning and 47% of advertisers feel that having in-depth technology knowledge in-house is a factor that will help make them most successful in digital advertising.

Opacity and complexity remain major problems for digital advertising.

Major advertiser trade groups like the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) have made advertising transparency a major theme in 2014. This should be no surprise: advertisers see opacity in digital advertising as a significant issue, and one that’s only getting worse. 69% of advertisers said that media trading transparency across the industry has either stayed the same or declined compared to a few years ago. Most advertisers feel that this lack of transparency and the overall complexity of the ecosystem are the biggest problems with digital advertising today.

Check out the PDF here…

Report: Mobile Ads Drove 80 Percent Increase In Store Visits Within 24 Hours

Source: Marketing Land

Between smartphones and tablets, mobile devices now play a larger role in product and brand discovery than laptops. According to a new “Mobile Audience Insights Report” from NinthDecimal 54 percent of consumers in 2014 “shopped on a mobile device over a laptop before making a purchase” and 34 percent “preferred to use a smartphone over a tablet or laptop.”

In the context of the waves of data coming out, these findings, which are a mix of behavioral and survey data, shouldn’t surprise anyone. However it remains the case that mobile marketing efforts (and budgets) still don’t reflect the reality of consumer behavior in the market.

In terms of cross-device shopping and buying, NinthDecimal found that the share of mobile commerce purchases grew at the expense of in-store buying, while the PC share remained flat. One interesting thing to understand, not published in the report, would be the location of these mobile buys (was there a pattern? did they occur at home, in stores, elsewhere?).

Screen Shot 2015 06 08 at 8.09.12 AM 800x411 Report: Mobile Ads Drove 80 Percent Increase In Store Visits Within 24 Hours

In addition, NinthDecimal found that in-store visits increased 80 percent within 24 hours of mobile ad exposure and stayed above average store-visitation benchmarks for the following six days. We don’t know much about the specific ad creative generating these visits. It appears however that they’re mostly offer-based ads (see bottom chart below).

One of the most interesting sets of findings in the report involves an analysis of ad performance in relation to store proximity. Here it appears performance is measured by CTR, which is a questionable mobile metric for ultimate performance. Nonetheless it can be a directional indicator of intent.

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Interview with Michael Friedenberg, CEO – IDG Communications

Source: MarTech Advisor

Screen Shot 2015 06 09 at 10.41.03 AM Interview with Michael Friedenberg, CEO   IDG Communications

1. Could you tell me a little about your background and how you came to be the CEO at lDG Communications?

Certainly.  I have been involved in the information technology media industry for more than 20 years, and have had the privilege of being with IDG for the past ten in various leadership positions. With the dramatic transformation of media in the digital and mobile age, you can imagine the thrilling ride these two decades have been.

“I’ve always been a passionate advocate of staying relevant for the modern marketer and consumer, and IDG offers more opportunities for doing just that.”

Before joining this remarkable company ten years ago, I held a series of management positions at UBM (formerly CMP Media) including Vice President and Publisher of InformationWeek and, later, Vice President and Group Publisher of the InformationWeek Media Network and Co-Founder of Optimize magazine.  Now as the CEO of IDG Communications Worldwide, I oversee IDG’s B2B and consumer business across 97 countries.

“It’s an exciting time for IDG — and for me — as we continue to make major strides as a modern media company with innovative technology and unparalleled data services that BtoB technology marketers around the world rely on.”

 2. Via ABM360, what is the core marketing technology capability that you are attempting to bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis a vis the customer life cycle?

Technology marketers continue to be challenged by delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right buyer.  ABM360 reflects IDG’s core capabilities across all facets of technology marketing and focuses on identifying company purchasing behavior and the people driving these decisions.  It is the only truly global account-based marketing solution that leverages digital display, data and demand generation, solutions to help marketers identify purchasing intent.

“The ABM360 suite is designed to span the entire customer life cycle, nurturing important prospects and key clients across all phases including acquisition, conversion, retention, and loyalty.”

3. Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?

In the coming months, IDG will be layering new products into the ABM360 suite that leverage predictive analytics and additional advanced data segments. These are just some of the innovations that marketers have come to expect from IDG.

Continue Reading…

For more detail on IDG’s ABM360, click here.

Screen Shot 2015 06 15 at 11.15.37 AM Interview with Michael Friedenberg, CEO   IDG Communications

CIO Tech Poll: Economic Outlook Reveals IT Budget Growth, Increased Spending on New IT Projects & IT Talent Concerns

 CIO Tech Poll: Economic Outlook Reveals IT Budget Growth, Increased Spending on New IT Projects & IT Talent Concerns

Increased Focus on External Customer Continues in Upcoming Year

Framingham, Mass. – May 27, 2015 – IDG’s CIO—the executive-level IT media brand providing insight into business technology leadership— reveals the CIO Tech Poll: IT Economic Outlook results for May 2015. The research indicates that half of organizations (50%) are increasing IT budgets within the next year, and overall IT budgets are increasing by 6.4%. As IT leaders look at their organizational needs, a majority (61%) will increase spending on new projects in the coming year. Edge technology spending, including mobile, social, CRM, M-commerce and marketing automation, continues to trend upward in the next one to three years.

Plans For New Project Spending Climbs Sharply
New or discretionary IT budget allocations have soared in the past year. In 2014, 47% of IT leaders said they would increase spending on new projects. This has jumped to 61% this year, which is the highest percentage since the question was first asked in 2009 (25%). Thirty-nine percent of new project spending will be on projects that help increase top line revenue. With one-third of IT budgets being spent on edge technologies, like the SMAC stack (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud), organizations are looking to invest in new companies. Forty-six percent of CIOs surveyed plan to increase spending with new technology companies.

“Emerging technologies are the key to enterprise innovation. IT leaders are spending time learning about these new technologies, and the vendors creating them, and are allocating budget for technologies like the SMAC stack,” said Adam Dennison, SVP and publisher, CIO. “Enterprises are looking for the best solution and are not worried that those solutions are coming from ‘straight-to-the-enterprise start-ups.’ Emerging tech vendors should take this cue to showcase how their agile and innovative technology solutions can help businesses succeed.”

Increased Focus Continues on External Customer
External customers are a big focus for new IT projects. Nearly three-quarters (73%) believe IT is interacting with external customers more than two years ago while 37% will focus their new IT spending on external customer interaction, relationship or experience-related investments, up from 33% in 2013. Looking at the budget allocation, CIOs currently allocate 68% of their budget for core technologies like infrastructure, network, storage and 32% to newer “edge” technologies. However, in the next one to three years, the budget allocation for core technologies drops to 55% and the budget for edge technologies increases to 45% of their budgets.

IT Remains Involved in Technology Purchases Funded Outside of IT
Over three-quarters of IT leaders surveyed (76%) said they have a policy or process to ensure IT remains involved in tech purchases to reaffirm there is the right level of support and oversight from IT to keep problems at bay. When technology purchases are funded by other departments or functions, 58%say IT’s involvement varies depending on the individual department’s experience and expertise as well as on the scope of the project. In fact, 50% of IT leaders said line of business (LOB) counterparts identified their specific business need and came to IT for recommendations on technology and solution providers. For 21% of the CIOs we surveyed IT identifies the business need and makes recommendations regarding technology solutions or providers while 16% say LOB identifies the need and solution/provider then brings to IT for vetting. Just three percent say IT is not typically involved unless a problem arises and only one percent believe IT is not involved even if there’s a problem.

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CIOs put the Internet of Things in perspective

CITEworld

In the latest installment of CIO Quick Takes, three IT executives talk about the Internet of Things and the concerns that come with the opportunities offered by billions of connected devices.

When you hear the phrase Internet of Things (IoT), you are probably excited, confused, concerned or tired of hearing the buzzphrase — or maybe all of those things plus a few more. After all, the reality of digital devices acting on their own to capture, transmit and, in some cases, act on data affects everything from home appliances to telehealth is attention-getting.

Just how many “things” are are talking about? Gartner estimates that by 2020, the IoT will consist of 25 billion devices. Those devices, according to Cisco, will dominatethe Internet by 2018. Yep, dominate – meaning machines will communicate over the Internet more than we (i.e. humans) do. So if there’s a little fear, uncertainty and doubt mixed in among the excitement, it’s only natural.

gautam roy 1 100585688 small.idge CIOs put the Internet of Things in perspective

Gautam Roy, vice president of IT, Waste Management: ‘In the always-on world, the right data at the right time can help businesses to operate effectively and communicate with their customers to provide personalized solutions.’

 

And it’s not just consumer applications driving the technology. While consumer technology will account for the greatest number of connected things, according to Gartner, enterprises will drive the revenue. The research firm predicts that in 2020 the top industries will be utilities, manufacturing and government. The automotive sector is showing the greatest growth currently, Gartner says. 

And it’s not just consumer applications driving the technology. While consumer technology will account for the greatest number of connected things, according to Gartner, enterprises will drive the revenue. The research firm predicts that in 2020 the top industries will be utilities, manufacturing and government. The automotive sector is showing the greatest growth currently, Gartner says.

 

 
 
 
 
 

piddington ken 100585689 small.idge CIOs put the Internet of Things in perspective

Ken Piddington, CIO and Executive Advisor, MRE Consulting: ‘I believe that the biggest opportunities lie in the ability to collect, process and respond to data streams in real-time. ‘

To gain a little context on the IoT and business, we reached out to three IT executives, with the help of our friends at the CIO Executive Council, for a little perspective. As you’ll note, there is a common theme among the responses.

When you think about the IoT, what do you see as the biggest opportunities and the biggest areas of concern?

 

Gautam Roy, vice president of IT, Waste Management

As the physical and digital worlds integrate more closely, the IoT will enhance and evolve our ability to manage and process information. The IoT has the potential to transform industries and the way we live and work by turning data into collaborative experience.

 

In the always-on world, the right data at the right time can help businesses to operate effectively and communicate with their customers to provide personalized solutions and optimize supply chain cost. It could help government tackle socioeconomic issues through a better understanding of data.

Issues are plenty: Security, privacy, integration complexity, governance, standards and policies.

Ken Piddington, CIO and Executive Advisor, MRE Consulting

The IoT or better-stated, the Internet of Everything is creating unprecedented opportunities for organizations to achieve great value from a growing network of connected devices. I believe that the biggest opportunities lie in the ability to collect, process and respond to data streams in real-time. For example, the value proposition for supply chain optimization is tremendous.

The biggest challenge is security. With the number of network devices increasing so does the number of attack vectors. A proper balance between security and use must be found for the IoT to deliver all the value envisioned for it.

Continue reading…