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What Google’s Mobile-First Rules Mean For Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing Land

The news that Google was rolling out a mobile-friendly algorithm should have come as no surprise. As the search giant revealed yesterday, mobile search queries on smartphones now outnumber those on tablets and desktops.

Nonetheless, the announcement was unprecedented in one respect: Google ostensibly manages some 200 algorithms that govern how websites are ranked in its search engine, but changes or adjustments rarely, if ever, trigger public notice. This time, Google announced the change in mobile search months ahead to give companies time to optimize websites for mobile users.

It’s a clear signal. We now live in a world in which mobile increasingly comes first — and that means marketers need to deliver mobile-friendly experiences.

Google Redefines Mobile-Friendly

What’s at stake? Portent, a market-research firm, ran tests based on the new rules and found that, “40% of the leading sites failed Google’s ‘mobile-friendly’ test and may be down-ranked in search.”

Under the new mobile rules, Google will be giving preferential search rankings to sites optimized for mobile. Or, as Google said, “This test will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.” The change will affect mobile searches in all languages, Google says, and have a “significant impact on search results.”

Google defines “mobile friendly” as sites featuring readable text without zooming, content sized to a smartphone screen (no horizontal scrolling required), easy use of links and the absence of applications not customary in mobile like Flash. Sites not meeting this standard will likely fall in search rankings, although strong content will continue to be rewarded.

At this point, the rules relate to searches on smartphones, but it’s likely only a matter of time until tablets are added.

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Worldwide Cloud IT Infrastructure Market Growth Expected to Accelerate to 21% in 2015, Driven by Public Cloud Datacenter Expansion

IDC

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, total cloud IT infrastructure spending (server, disk storage, and ethernet switch) will grow by 21% year over year to $32 billion in 2015, accounting for approximately 33% of all IT infrastructure spending, which will be up from about 28% in 2014.

Private cloud IT infrastructure spending will grow by 16% year over year to $12 billion, while public cloud IT infrastructure spending will grow by 25% in 2015 to $21 billion.

For the full year 2014, cloud IT infrastructure spending totaled $26.4 billion, up 18.7% year over year from $22.3 billion; private cloud spending was just under $10.0 billion, up 20.7% year over year, while public cloud spending was $16.5 billion, up 17.5% year over year.

For this second quarterly release of IDC’s Cloud IT market forecast, IDC has expanded its worldwide coverage to include detail for eight regions: Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Canada, Central & Eastern Europe, Japan, Latin America, Middle East & Africa, USA, and Western Europe. In 2015, Western Europe is expected to have the highest growth in cloud IT infrastructure spending at 32%, followed by Latin America (23%), Japan (22%), and the US (21%).

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The State of Digital Marketing

Sitecore

Approaches to digital marketing in the Benelux

IDG Connect surveyed 53 people based in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands identifying themselves as marketing directors or mangers, chief marketing officers and vice presidents of marketing marketers, roughly of half of whom work at companies employing 1,000 or more people.

You can find the Infographic below, on this page and download the white paper that analyzes the survey results in detail.

Information technology never stands still, and whilst the pace of its evolution presents marketers with significant challenges it also opens up a wealth of opportunity for companies willing and able to exploit new information consumption trends and software tools to get targeted messages in front of their customers.

Digital marketing strategies can include disciplines as diverse as display and search ads, email marketing, SMS messages, digital events, company websites, search engine optimisation, mobile web and web applications, and social media marketing tools, the combination of which offers unparalleled scope to personalise content to attract new customers, keep old ones and improve conversion rates with timely and relevant offers.

Screen Shot 2015 04 27 at 1.54.14 PM The State of Digital Marketing

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Emerging Technological Trends

 Emerging Technological Trends

Business is evolving. The explosion of new tech is driving new demands on the enterprise and IT has the integral role of determining the appropriate tech adoptions and investments to drive business objectives. Our infographic, “Emerging Technologies Transforming Enterprise IT: Adoption, Integration, and Investments,” highlights Network World research on enterprise network IT and how they are responding to the challenges and opportunities presented by transformative technologies such as Internet of Things, Software-Defined Networking, and more.

Screen Shot 2015 04 27 at 12.48.30 PM Emerging Technological Trends

Download a full version of the infographic here

For additional information from the research studies featured in this infographic, check out:

Network World State of the Network Study, 2015

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IDG Ventures sell stakes in Flipkart

The Economic Times

BENGALURU: Investment firms Helion Venture Partners and IDG Ventures India have sold stakes in Flipkart in deals that value India’s largest online retailer at $12.5 billion (Rs 77,000 crore), according to two people involved in the deals.

Helion, which got a stake in the Bengaluru-based company by virtue of its investment in online electronics retailer LetsBuy that was acquired by Flipkart in 2012, has sold its entire stake of 0.2 per cent, estimated to be worth Rs 156 crore. IDG Ventures, which entered Flipkart through fashion portal Myntra that was bought last year, has shed a portion of its holding of 1 per cent by selling stake worth nearly Rs 940 crore last month. IDG still holds about 0.9 per cent stake in Flipkart.

ET could not independently ascertain the buyers in both these transactions. Last month, ET was the first to report that Flipkart was seeking a valuation of $15 billion as it prepares the ground for a fresh round of fund-raising led by its largest investor Tiger Global.

Helion declined comment on the developments while IDG Ventures and Flipkart did not respond to email queries.

Industry experts are of the view that the stake sales are happening at a time funding cycles are expected to taper off in India’s redhot ecommerce sector, where the top three firms mopped up nearly Rs 31,000 crore ($5 billion) of funding in 2014.

Flipkart, founded by former Amazon employees Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, saw its valuation leapfrog from Rs 16,120 crore ($2.6 billion) in May 2014 to about Rs 68,000 crore ($11 billion) by December when it raised $700 million led by Steadview Capital. It is now aiming to raise Rs 10,500 crore ($1.7 billion) through this year, with Tiger Global expected to lead the investment.

The company is aiming to sell goods worth $8 billion in 2014-15 and competes against Amazon and Snapdeal.

“Valuations aren’t going in those crazy multiples anymore,” said one person directly involved in the stake sale.

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Not All Social Media Platforms are Equal – How to Pick the Ones That Work for You

Soshable

Launching a new business? Or promoting an existing one? Either way, my guess is that social media figures pretty high on your priority list when it comes to marketing your brand.

Over 70% of all online adults in the United States have a Facebook account. For the first time ever, 56% of senior citizens are on social media. That figure stands at 89% for young ’uns, or users from 18 to 29 years of age. The millennial generation, consisting of young adults born between 1980 to 2000 and accounting for nearly 30% of the US population, see social media as their primary means of connecting with brands. Over half of them claim that “social opinions” directly influence their purchase decisions.

So we all agree that being on social media is unavoidable if you want to be relevant to today’s consumer.

With the explosion of social media platforms, the question now arises, “which social media platforms will give me actual results?” And this, my friends, is the most sensible place to begin your social media journey.

Research Your Options

The first step to social media success lies in being active on the right platforms and engaging with your target audience in the form that they prefer best. But before you make a choice of which platform would work for your business, you need to first figure out what each platform has to offer you and then proceed by eliminating the least attractive ones.

Before we analyze each platform’s pros and cons, let’s see where they all stand with respect to each other.

The data above clearly shows Facebook as the leader in terms of number of users, followed by LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter – in that order. This data also shows us how in a matter of a couple of years, Twitter has gone from being the third largest network to a lowly number five. At the same time, we see Facebook stagnating in its usage figures in the last year with a barely-there upward blip in 2013.

Let’s arm ourselves with some more facts about the top five social networks before we decide which ones work best for our business.

Facebook offers brands the widest possible reach – with 1.34 billion active users per month, Facebook is light-years ahead of competition. As a platform it is marginally more popular with women than men, it’s also more popular among Hispanics and Whites as compared to African Americans. A trend that has been accelerating in recent years is the exodus of teens from the site with 3 million teens dropping off in the last three years.

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5 innovative ideas for digital journalism from Build The News

Journalism.co.uk

The third edition of Build The News, a two-day hackathon organised by The Times and Sunday Times, took place last weekend at the News UK offices in London. Around a hundred talented developers and student journalists brought innovative ideas and prototypes to the table, competing for both the student and staff categories.

The three topics proposed by the organisers before the event were: interaction – if news organisations are getting rid of comments, how can readers be engaged?; social sources – how to ensure UGC is fairly credited; and context – how to explain to readers the wider situation and context around a certain story.

Participating teams tackled not only these categories, but many others. Here are five ideas developed and presented at Build The News:

Interactive Debate

May’s General Election is fast approaching and news organisations are looking for creative and interactive ways of engaging their audiences. The hackathon’s winning team developed a tool that can be easily applied to this particular event, but also to other types of video interviews.

Once given a video, the system generates a transcription, identifies the speakers and provides a written summary of the keywords and main topics discussed. Interactive Debate also uses natural language processing and sentiment analysis software to identify the emotional charge of the participants.

The tool can also serve journalists by providing an analytics dashboard of viewers’ engagement with the content, from most viewed to most shared or commented on.

“I have a long-standing interest in working with transcriptions”, said Pietro Passarelli, one of the team members and current MSc Computer Science student at University College London. “Having worked in the media industry on broadcast documentaries, I am always considering ways in which to make the process easier, faster and more insightful”.

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Amazon’s Dash Is The New Product You Need

Wall Street Journal

Amazon introduced a product on Tuesday so crazy we thought that it was an early April Fools’ joke. It’s the Dash Button, a plastic single-function controller the size of a pack of gum. Each button bears a different brightly colored product logo. Push the button, and soon that product arrives at your door.

In the video that accompanied Amazon’s announcement, there are Dash Buttons for Gatorade, Kraft mac and cheese, Glad trash bags, Gillette razors, Cottonelle toilet paper, Clorox Wipes, Huggies diapers and Tide detergent, and about a dozen other brands are also now partnered with Amazon. The online retailer expects that you’ll place the buttons around your home—in your pantry, on your washing machine and even inside of your fridge.

It might seem like a gag, but the Dash Button is not a hoax. Amazon is asking Amazon Prime subscribers to request an invite into the program. If accepted, you’d get to request a set of branded buttons at no added cost.

The buttons mount with an adhesive strip on the back, or fit into a plastic clip. You set up the buttons using the Amazon mobile shopping app, connecting them to your home Wi-Fi network and assigning the specific products and the quantities you’ll want to receive with each click. When the button is clicked, you get a smartphone notification, and you can cancel that order within a half hour. And if somebody in your house pushes the Gatorade button 15 times, you won’t get 15 orders—just one (or none, if an order is already on its way to you).

 

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Facebook’s New App That Will Make Video Content HUGE

Quartz

Facebook has rolled out a new app that lets friends (and subsequently their network of friends and so on) add clips to an ongoing video focused on a single topic—April Fool’s Day, for instance. It’s potentially a game-changer for advertisers on the social network, which eventually could use the app to engage directly with consumers. And it’s another example of Facebook’s growing emphasis on video.

It’s easy to envision how the new app, Riff, might have been used during last year’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which over the course of three months generated more than 17 million videos posted on Facebook while raising awareness and money to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The video-driven campaign contributed to the huge increase in the number of video posts on Facebook last year—up 94% in the US and 75% globally. In January, the company said that video views on the social network had reached 3 billion a day. “If you go back five years ago, a lot of Facebook was primarily text, right, and a little bit of photos,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors. “Now, I think the primary mode that people are using to share is photos, and I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future that shifted more and more towards videos.”

Facebook’s challenge is getting users to see the value of Riff. The few companies that have ventured into this niche haven’t seen major success. JumpCam, for instance, ranks No. 1,346 in the App Store’s social networking category, according to App Annie. CompetitorsMixBitCollabraCam, and Vyclone haven’t fared much better in the rankings.

But Facebook is pressing on with its video efforts—at its developer conference last week it announced plans to bring immersive videos with 360° perspective to the social network and its virtual-reality platform, Oculus.

“What really matters is that consumers are using video on Facebook, because that gives us an opportunity, one, to provide a great consumer experience, but two, to have ads match that consumer experience,” chief operating office Sheryl Sandberg said on the company’s most recent quarterly earnings call. “If there wasn’t consumer video on Facebook, video ads in your news feed would be very jarring.”

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Join The IDG Contributor Network!

IDG Enterprise—the leading enterprise technology media company composed of CIO, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World—has accepted more than 100 technology experts into the IDG Contributor Network. Launched in June 2014, the IDG Contributor Network provides a platform for technology and security practitioners and experts to share their expertise on the most pressing technology topics—both broad and niche—with their peers through blog posts on IDG Enterprise’s branded sites.

Technology decision-makers often reference peers as a top source of information. This was reconfirmed in the 2014 IDG Enterprise Role & Influence study, highlighting that peers and technology content sites are the top information resources relied on by IT leaders to help them be effective in their role. The IDG Contributor Network unites these two tremendous resources and encourages individuals working in the IT trenches, analysts, researchers, authors, professors and other experts to share their knowledge.

“Technology is transforming business at a breakneck speed. By adding this opportunity for peer voices to our established sites, the IDG Contributor Network provides unique perspectives on technology and leadership issues. We have been very impressed with the blog posts shared by our contributors,” said Joyce Carpenter, director of the IDG Contributor Network, IDG US Media. “As we look to expand the number of contributors to make the IDG Contributor Network one of the largest and most robust communities of tech writers, we encourage individuals who have technology expertise to share to apply.”

 

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