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02/03/2015 - 02/05/2015 San Diego CA

Digital Summit Phoenix

02/04/2015 - 02/05/2015 Acottsdale AZ

Mobile World Congress

03/02/2015 - 03/05/2015 Barcelona .

IDC Directions 2015 Boston

03/04/2015 San Jose CA

IT Roadmap

03/11/2015 Rosemont IL

SXSW 2015

03/13/2015 - 03/21/2015 Austin TX

Enterprise Connect

03/16/2015 - 03/19/2015 Kissimmee FL

IDC Directions 2015 Boston

03/18/2015 boston ma

Agenda 15

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

Why Apps for Messaging Are Trending

The New York Times

A team at BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment site, knew it had struck gold when it came across a decades-old photo of Dwayne Johnson, the musclebound wrestler and film star known as The Rock, wearing a fanny pack and dated bluejeans.

To drum up more attention, the team changed the picture’s background to a holiday theme and added “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” in big lettering. But then, instead of posting the image to BuzzFeed, the team uploaded it to Instagram, the hugely popular photo-sharing service.

The image then took on a life of its own. Mr. Johnson quickly embraced the joke, reposting the picture to his own Instagram account. Nearly 390,000 people indicated they liked the post, and the image became the top topic of conversation on the message board site Reddit.

“We didn’t pour gas on it. We didn’t post it to the home page,” said Summer Anne Burton, editorial director of the 10-person BFF team at BuzzFeed that is dedicated to posting photos and videos to photo and messaging apps. “We just stuck it on Instagram and it took off all over the place. That’s the dream.”

BuzzFeed’s tactics could also offer a glimpse into how some personal messaging apps like Instagram, WeChat and Snapchat — already used by millions of people sharing text or images among friends — will be used in the future.

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The New Core of Business: B2B Marketing & Social

IDG Connect

B2B Marketing Budgets to Increase in 2015

More than half of B2B marketers plan to increase their marketing budgets this year, with the average budget increasing by 6%, according to a new report by Forrester Research.

The survey based on 132 B2B marketers found that 51% of marketers plan to increase budgets this year, 30% plan to keep budgets the same as last year, while 8% plan to decrease budgets. However, it looks like the confidence in marketing has increased compared to last year’s findings. The same report delivered last year found only 32% of B2B marketers expected to raise their marketing budgets, 45% planned to keep budgets the same, and 22% said they planned to cut their budgets.

The research also found that marketing budgets will make up 7% of revenue on average, compared with last year’s average of only 4%. While the marketing programs that will be allocated the largest budget are in-person events (14%), followed by digital marketing (10%) and content marketing (9%). These represent a decline from last year findings. With events share declining by 6%, and digital marketing and content marketing decreasing by 3%.

It could be considered this decline demonstrates marketers spreading their budgets across more marketing programs to strengthen their efforts. But the overall increase shows a promising future for the B2B marketing landscape.

Marketers Believe Mobile is the Core to Their Business

If you haven’t started introducing mobile, it’s looking like 2015 is the last call to get started as more marketers are seeing its importance. According to Salesforce’s 2015 State of Marketing report marketers (71%) view mobile marketing as the core to their business.

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3 Easy Ways to Put Mobile First in B2B Marketing

ClickZ

The world is increasingly mobile, but many B2B brands are lagging behind. Here are three steps to take your business mobile-first.

The Radicati Group predicts that by 2018, 80 percent of email users will access their email accounts via a mobile device — and this goes for all email, not just B2C email. B2C brands already understand the rise in mobility within their user base, and mobile-first strategies are proving to be big winners. In fact, Savings.com, a B2C website, reported a 1000 percent increase in revenue by adopting a mobile-first marketing strategy. But this mobile-centric strategy still evades many B2B brands, often because B2B brands feel their demographic isn’t engaging on mobile devices.

Russell Glass, head of marketing products for LinkedIn, says, “Mobile is becoming increasingly important to B2B marketers because they recognize the captivating nature of that experience. We’ve seen this phenomenon on our own platform with 47 percent of our traffic now coming through mobile.” Meeting your customers where they are is the best way to provide a better experience, and gives you the highest probability for engagement.

Many B2B brands may have forgone a mobile-first strategy because they may not fully understand what “mobile-first” really means. In these three easy steps, any B2B brand can put mobile first in their 2015 marketing strategies, and easily provide a better marketing product — and a better experience — for their customers.

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CES 2015 Coverage: The Latest Tech Stories

The International CES is a global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow. It’s the largest of its kind in North America and takes place in Las Vegas January 6-9th. If you can’t attend make sure to follow our page with the latest updates on the innovative technology being featured.

Another year, and another CES is over. This year’s event featured every kind of gadget you could think of: Mini-PCs of varying shapes & sizes, personal Clouds and over-elaborate hard drives, questionable crowdfunded health gadgets and brain scanning things, expensive music players,microchips for smartcars, Bitcoin, weird hats and all sorts of 3D printers. There was also wearable tech for fitness freaks, fashionistas, animals and people who like modularity, as well as a whole range of VR/AR-based headsets on show: the Avegant Glyph, the Razer OSVR and the Seer fromCaputer Labs.

Announcements from the show included Intel’s promise to spend a hefty $300 million to increase diversity of its workforce, while BlackBerry is looking to muscle in on the Internet of Things andWearables. Also Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie – the only guy bigger than Shaq – was in attendance.

Outside of CES, BlackBerry has teamed up with Boeing to create a “self-destructing” smartphone for spies. It probably won’t explode Mission Impossible-style, more likely just to wipe the device if need be.

View a slideshow of the 10 best business gadgets

ces smart board CES 2015 Coverage: The Latest Tech Stories

Smart home trends that took CES by storm

Front-facing Oculus Ocular Projection

Witricity’s wireless charging beams power through wood, stone, and even your head

OfficeIQ adds sensor intelligence to your standing desk

HomeKit Compatible iDevices Switch lets you control your house with Siri

For more videos and written reviews of CES exhibits, click here
Check out photos from IDG’s client appreciation party at the Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas: http://on.fb.me/1FQYdoj
For videos of volunteers jumping 108 stories off the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas while being GoPro-ed, click here

The New CMO’s First Hundred Day Playbook

IDC PMS4colorversion  The New CMOs First Hundred Day Playbook

By, Kathleen Schaub 

In a 2014 study, IDC found that 51% of CMOs at tech companies have held their position for fewer than two years. We predict many new CMOs again this year. How can a new executive start right? IDC interviewed 10 wise, seasoned, CMOs for a glimpse into their first hundred days playbook.

New%2BRoad%2BSign The New CMOs First Hundred Day Playbook

Transitions are vital moments when even the smallest executive actions have a disproportionate effect on outcomes. It’s a risky time for a new CMO who starts with neither the knowledge nor the alliances necessary for success. Fail to build momentum during the first hundred days, and a CMO will struggle for the rest of his/her (probably short) tenure. Job loss is not the only blow that may be suffered by a poorly conducted start. Many more CMOs fail to reach their full potential in their current position, thus putting a promising career on a slower track.

Success in the first hundred days, on the other hand, sets the stage for a brilliant performance. The 10 heads of marketing interviewed by IDC collectively recommended these six plays.

Play #1: Understand your real job.

Marketing is very closely tied to business context. A new CMO must assess quickly what work is really needed. Does the company need more awareness, a brand refresh, or a full product portfolio transformation? Each of these strategies requires a radically different approach from marketing.

Peter Isaacson, Demandbase: “What are the business goals of the company and the expectations for marketing? What are the business priorities and where is the company going? Get this straight from the mouth of the CEO. What is expected of you? Are there any unrealistic expectations that you need to set straight [such as] build a new category in the first two months? Get on the same page right from the beginning.”

Elisa Steele, Jive Software:  “There is a big opportunity and a big problem. No CMO in any company has exactly the same responsibility [as another CMO]. You know what a CFO does, what sales does, HR, etc. CMOs are different. Are they responsible for communications? Strategy? Product? Customer service? CEOs can create a spec of their own definition. But that requires a very mixed pool of candidates and it’s difficult to understand what any candidate’s power skill needs to be.”

Greg Estes, NVIDIA: “Building an executive team is like building a sports team. Different players are good at different things. [CEOs] might find they hired a great shortstop when they needed a good first baseman.”

Play #2: Speed up your learning curve.

The amount of information that needs to be absorbed in the first hundred days is prodigious. It’s best to approach learning in a direct and methodical way.

Paul Appleby, BMC: “To remain relevant, our number 1 priority must be to drive a new level of engagement with our customers. We are headquartered in Houston, Texas. However, our customers are based globally. As such, we need to engage with them globally. In my first three months, I travelled the globe and met with over 500 of our largest customers to understand the dynamic impact of digital disruption on their businesses. I also met with our teams in every major city where we operate. We listened and pivoted our engagement model, market positioning, and service delivery model based on what we heard.”

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Media Companies Need to Wake Up to the Digital Advertising Mess

Quartz

Digital media are stuck with bad economics resulting in relentless deflation. It’s time to wake-up and make 2015 the year of radical—and concerted—solutions.

 Trends in digital advertising feel like an endless agony to me. To sum up: there is no sign of improvement on the performance side; a growing percentage of ads are sold in bulk; click-fraud and user rejection are on the rise, all resulting in ceaseless deflation. Call it the J-Curve of digital advertising, as it will get worse before it gets better (it must–and it will.).
Here is a quick summary of issues and possible solutions:
 The rise of ad blocking systems, the subject of a Dec. 8, 2014 Monday Note. That column was our most viewed and shared ever, which suggests a growing concern for the matter. Last week, AdBlockPlusproudly announced a large scale deployment solution: with a few clicks, system administrators can now install AdBlockPlus on an entire network of machines. This is yet another clue that the problem won’t go away.
 There are basically three approaches to the issue.
The most obvious one is to use the court system against Eyeo GmBH, the company operating AdBlockPlus. After all, the Acceptable Ads agreement mechanism in which publishers pay to pass unimpeded through ABP filters is a form of blackmail. I don’t see how Eyeo will avoid collective action by publishers. Lawyers—especially in Europe—are loading their guns.
The second approach is to dissuade users from installing ABP on their browsers. It’s is up to browser makers (Google, Microsoft, Apple) to disable ABP’s extensions. But they don’t have necessarily much of an incentive to do so. Browser technology is about user experience quality when surfing the web or executing transactions. Performance relies on sophisticated techniques such as developing the best “virtual machines” (for a glimpse on VM technology, this 2009 FT Magazine piece, “The Genius behind Google’s browser” is a must-read.) If the advertising community, in its shortsighted greed, ends up saturating the internet with sloppy ads that users massively reject, and such excesses lead a third party developer to create a piece of software to eliminate the annoyance, it should be no surprise to see the three browser providers tempted to allow ad-blocking technologies.

Software Marketers Blaze Trails in Data-Driven Marketing

IDG Connect 0811 Software Marketers Blaze Trails in Data Driven Marketing

Technology is changing marketing in a hurry, and some CMOs have acknowledged that the unrelenting pace of the transformation intimidates them.

In a survey conducted by Forrester Research and Erickson Research, 85% of 117 CMOs surveyed said their responsibilities had changed significantly in the past few years. Amazingly, 97% of respondents only expected the pace of change to accelerate. The change is coming so fast and so furious, in fact, that 34% of the CMOs in this survey described the changes as “overwhelming.”

There’s one group of CMOs, however, that seems undaunted by the pace of change, and that’s software marketing executives. Because of their comfort with the world of technology, software and tech marketers, in fact, are far ahead in embracing marketing technology and the data-driven, customer focus this technology enables.

A study we conducted last year at my company, Bizo, before it was acquired by LinkedIn, provided some insight into just how far software marketers are ahead of their peers. Software companies have long been pioneers in B2B digital marketing. They were among the first to build websites back in the early days of the World Wide Web in the mid-1990s. They blazed trails with display advertising and were among the first to see the value in search advertising, content marketing, and social media. Even when they made missteps, such as jumping on the MySpace bandwagon, the experience of these early adopters allowed them to quickly grasp the significance of other social media launches, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

The Bizo special report, “The Data-Driven Marketer,” indicated software marketers are also leading the way in adopting data-driven marketing practices. In The Data-Driven Marketer survey, Bizo queried more than 850 marketers. The responses showed that the subset of software marketers is far ahead of all respondents in virtually every aspect of data-driven marketing.

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This One Number Shows How Advertisers Are Wrong About Social Media

Time

Companies like McDonalds, Apple, and Ford all have something in common: They make and sell physical stuff, be it Big Macs, computers or cars. So if you’re considering investing in one of those companies, the first thing you might look at is how much stuff it’s been selling recently — an easily-determined metric that’s a decent representation of a company’s success.

But social media companies like Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat don’t make their money by selling physical stuff. Instead, they make it by selling space to advertisers.

As with all advertisements, digital ad space is more valuable the more it gets seen. And one of the key metrics advertisers use to determine how much they’re willing to spend on a social media company’s ad space is Monthly Active Users, or MAUs.

MAUs are simple enough: Every time you log on to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and so on at least once a month, that platform gets one MAU.

That interest in MAUs has extended to Wall Street, where investors have come to view them as the be-all, end-all metric for judging a social media company’s potential to make money. MAUs are popular with investors and other market-watchers because they’re easy to calculate, digest and compare.

But a number emerged this week that should make us all question the MAU as the holy grail of social media metrics: 50 million. That’s the number of MAUs racked up last year by MySpace, a social media network you probably haven’t used since you signed up for Facebook. While MySpace used to be a reliable presence in ComScore’s annual list of the 50 most popular sites on the web, it hasn’t made an appearance there since 2012, when it ranked 46th.

Sure, MySpace’s 50 million figure doesn’t touch the numbers boasted by its onetime rivals: Facebook has 1.27 billion MAUs, Instagram 300 million, Twitter 284 million. But it’s still doubtful that figure is truly representative of MySpace’s shrunken userbase, even if the site still has a small but thriving community thanks to its efforts in music and video.

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Technology’s biggest challenge is how to connect with people

South China Morning Post

The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will extend the sphere of IT even further into everyday life

The word “technology” leaves many people cold, but its pervasive presence in daily life is only going to make it even more important.

Individuals, businesses, governments and countries are completely dependent on information technology to drive greater productivity and efficiencies.

The challenge for the information technology industry is how to make this dependence more enjoyable and intuitive for users to access content and applications.

This is imperative because in 2015, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will extend the sphere of IT even further into everyday life. The premise for IoT is that devices of any nature can now be interconnected and used to communicate with each other or with humans in real-time, enabling a raft of new possibilities around data, new ways of interacting and new services.

IoT will be big in 2015, with research firm Gartner predicting 4.9 billion “connected things” to be in use, up 30 per cent from 2014.

Every possible device imaginable is being connected in some way, from Bluetooth-enabled toothbrushes to medical devices, cameras, printers and of course the many wearables that are hitting the market. The reality of a hyper-connected world is here today.

In the business world, Gartner predicts IoT will digitize everything and enable any industry to manage, monetize, operate and extend products, services and data.

Researchers at IDC make similar predictions, forecasting rapid expansion of the traditional IT industry into areas not typically viewed as within IT’s universe.

The whole electronics industry, city-wide infrastructure, auto and transport systems as well as the home, are just a few examples of where IoT is disrupting operations today.

IDC predicts that IoT spending will exceed US$1.7 trillion in 2015, up 14 per cent from 2014, and will hit US$3 trillion by 2020. One-third of spending for intelligent embedded devices will come from outside of the IT and telecom industries.

“This amounts to a dramatic expansion of what we would consider IT,” said Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC.

This implies a fundamental commitment to innovate and explore new applications of technology with the potential to transform how we live and work – whether through the rapid rise of mobile applications, or the increasingly myriad interactions between machines and human users.

 

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Storytelling in the Age of Social News Consumption

Edelman 2015 Forecast

Social media is having a dramatic, perhaps outsized impact on how digital news is produced, distributed, consumed and ultimately monetized. As mobile and social technologies reach critical mass, it is fueling a footrace to create highly shareable, yet informative news stories that generate traffic. More critically this is changing how journalists approach their craft.

To address this dynamic further, Katie Scrivano and the Edelman Media Network (a team of earned media specialists) teamed with two start-ups, NewsWhip and Muck Rack to study U.S. social news consumption.

Working with NewsWhip, we identified the 50 overall most-shared, English-language articles, and in six key topics – general news, food and beverage, energy, health, technology and finance. Edelman Berland then analyzed each story to identify significant commonalities. This helped shaped a survey of more than 250 working journalists that Edelman conducted in collaboration with Muck Rack.

This research revealed that:

  • More than 75 percent of journalists say they feel more pressure now to think about their story’s potential to get shared on social platforms.
  • To make their stories more shareable, journalists are infusing their stories with five key ingredients: video/images, brevity, localization, more use of human voice and a proximity to trending topics.
  • Nearly 3/4 of journalists are now creating original video content to accompany their stories. However, very few journalists (13 percent) are relying on sourcing consumer-generated video and only 3 percent are using corporate video.
  • Journalists see five key trends impacting their profession this year: more mobile friendly content, faster turnaround times, more original video, smaller newsroom staff and social media growing in influence.

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