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.
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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.
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.”
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.
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 – 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 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.
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.
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
U.S. users are now spending the majority of their time consuming digital media within mobile applications, according to a new study released by comScore this morning. That means mobile apps, including the number 1 most popular app Facebook, eat up more of our time than desktop usage or mobile web surfing, accounting for 52% of the time spent using digital media. Combined with mobile web, mobile usage as a whole accounts for 60% of time spent, while desktop-based digital media consumption makes up the remaining 40%.
Apps today are driving the majority of media consumption activity, the report claims, now accounting for 7 our of every 8 minutes of media consumption on mobile devices. On smartphones, app activity is even higher, at 88% usage versus 82% on tablets.
The report also details several interesting figures related to how U.S. app users are interacting with these mobile applications, noting that over one-third today download at least one application per month. The average smartphone user downloads 3 apps per month.
However, something which may not have been well understood before is that much of that download activity is concentrated within a small segment of the smartphone population: the top 7% of smartphone owners accounting for nearly half of all the download activity in a given month. Those are some serious power users, apparently.
But no matter how often consumers are actively downloading apps, they certainly are addicted to them. More than half (57%) use apps every single day, while 26% of tablet owners do. And 79% of smartphone owners use apps nearly every day, saying they use them at least 26 days per month, versus 52% for tablet users.
Here’s another notable tidbit: 42% of all app time on smartphones takes place in that individual’s single most used app. 3 out of 4 minutes is spent in the individual’s top 4 apps. The top brands, which account for 9 out of the top 10 most used apps, include Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay.
Facebook is the most used app, in both audience size and share of time spent among each demographic segment.
Social Networking, Games and Radio contribute to nearly half the total time spent on apps, indicating mobile usage is heavily centered around entertainment and communication.
On iPhone, users prefer spending time consuming media, with news apps, radio, photos, social networking, and weather as the highest-ranking categories, while Android users spent more time in search (Google) and email (Gmail).
IDG Enterprise—the leading enterprise technology media company composed of Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld—reveals an enhanced design and greater functionality for Computerworld.com, the voice of business technology. The award-winning site incorporates responsive design technology to create a universal experience by scaling editorial and advertising content to the user’s screen size, whether they are accessing Computerworld.com with a smartphone, tablet or desktop.
“Technology is at the center of business innovation and strategy. Computerworld.com has the most expansive coverage of business-changing technologies that technology and business decision-makers need to understand in this time of digital disruption,” said Matthew Yorke, CEO, IDG Enterprise. “We are excited to relaunch the site using responsive design to create an omnichannel experience for all visitors and advertisers. Computerworld.com has seen continuous growth of traffic from mobile devices, currently it accounts for 25% of our traffic, and our goal is to ensure our visitors have access to the content they need when and where they would like to access it.”
Website Enhancements Include:
The editorial voice, content and design of Computerworld.com remains unique to the brand, while functionality has been aligned across IDG Enterprise sites including back-end capabilities enhancing search functionality and digital asset management for displaying more images and video content. The reader experience is further enhanced by large more legible type and fully integrated social media tools. Ads and promotional units are highlighted in a “deconstructed” right rail optimizing effectiveness and native advertising will be threaded intuitively throughout the site.
“Computerworld.com is well known for its superb tech news. What may be less obvious to website visitors is all the other great content Computerworld serves up for senior technology leaders,” said Scot Finnie, editor in chief, Computerworld. “The editors produce numerous feature articles, how-tos, deep-dives, research, special reports, analyses and case studies. These articles cover enterprise technologies, provide IT management and careers advice, and explore the latest IT trends and emerging technologies. Because such stories have often been less visible on our home page — often whisked away by the rapid stream of tech news — the new home page design relocates the news headlines to a separate column, giving Computerworld’s rich, longer-form enterprise IT content more prominence and air time in the central headline area. This change will paint a far more complete picture of Computerworld’s strong business technology identity.”
About IDG Enterprise
IDG Enterprise, an International Data Group (IDG) company, brings together the leading editorial brands (Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, CSO, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld) to serve the information needs of our technology and security-focused audiences. As the premier hi-tech B2B media company, we leverage the strengths of our premium owned and operated brands, while simultaneously harnessing their collective reach and audience affinity. We provide market leadership and converged marketing solutions for our customers to engage IT and security decision-makers across our portfolio of award-winning websites, events, magazines, products and services. IDG’s DEMO conferences provide a platform for today’s most innovative and eye-opening technologies to publically launch their solutions.
Company information is available at www.idgenterprise.com
Follow IDG Enterprise on Twitter: @IDGEnterprise
Follow Computerworld on Twitter: @Computerworld
Like Computerworld on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Computerworld
Join IDG Enterprise on LinkedIn
Marketing & PR Specialist
American smartphone owners use their favourite app for 42% of all the time they spend accessing apps, a new report into iPhone and Android behaviour has revealed.
According to the US Mobile App Report from comScore, the internet technology research firm, app usage now accounts for over half (52%) of all digital time in the US, but only a few well-known app brands dominate overall usage.
As reported by MediaPost, six big tech brands – Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay – account for nine of the top 10 most-used apps, 16 of the top 25, and 24 of the top 50, with Facebook leading for both the largest base of users and the most time spent.
Nearly three-quarters of the time US smartphone users spend with apps is concentrated on just four apps, the report also found, while more than half (57%) access apps every day.
While Facebook and some other brands remain dominant, smaller apps can still achieve success, said Adam Lella, a marketing insights analyst at comScore.
“It certainly means there might be some challenges for smaller players on this medium, but success is also very possible,” he said in comments reported by AdExchanger.
He explained: “We have seen some standalone apps achieve huge audiences on mobile, for example SnapChat and Pandora, while others have found ways to monetise through non-advertising business models that don’t require competing with the larger companies on audience size, like Uber and certain gaming apps.”
The report also noted some behavioural and demographic differences between iPhone and Android users with the former being younger and wealthier.
The median iPhone user earns $85,000 a year compared to $61,000 for Android users, and 43% of iPhone users are aged 18 to 34 versus 39% of Android users.
iPhone users are more likely to use apps to consume media, such as general news and social networks, while Android users focus more on apps for search and email, which comScore attributed to the strong presence of Google Search and Gmail on the platform.
A number of major US media groups have taken a strategic decision to reduce their reliance on advertising revenues, according to new analysis.
After studying the Q2 2014 results and earnings conference calls of CBS, Walt Disney and several other media conglomerates, financial analysts SNL Kagan concluded that some want to boost other sources of revenue, including subscriptions.
Among the examples highlighted in the study, CBS CEO Les Moonves told investors that the company is now “much closer to a 50/50 split of advertising and non-advertising revenue”.
Revenues in its entertainment division fell to $1.84bn in Q2 2014 from $2.01bn in Q2 2013, and CBS intends to earn more from licensing and syndication revenues.
“One of the things that clearly has changed about our businesses is that the back end of the show’s revenue is now as important, if not more important, than the front end from advertising,” Moonves said. “Ownership of content is the key to our success.”
Similarly, Walt Disney is moving to diversify its revenue streams, SNL Kagan said, pointing to recent comments from Disney CEO, Bob Iger.
“We’ve made a conscious decision as a company to essentially not be as reliant on advertising as we were in the past. So it represents probably somewhat in the neighbourhood of the low-20% range of our total revenue,” Iger said.
Disney has become less reliant on advertising partly because of increased revenues from other sources, such as its theme parks.
Despite this, Iger said Disney will continue to participate in digital advertising although he thought traditional advertising platforms would continue to come under pressure.
When looking at some other media groups, the report said NBCUniversal Media had a weak quarter in terms of advertising revenue, which fell 2.2%.
And there was a mixed picture for 21st Century Fox, which posted both big declines in advertising revenue in its TV segment but large increases for its cable networks.