Often, the more you read, hear and write a word the less it begins to mean. Its cadence and calligraphy repeated ad infinitum become little more than shapes and white noise. The word ‘digital’ has dogged the marketing profession for the last few years, used in every event, article and plan to complete exhaustion. However despite its repetition, it seems we’re still only just unpacking what ‘digital’ will mean for the B2B marketing community. In fact, according to the 2014 Marketing Perspectives report, 9 out of 10 marketers believe the digital revolution is still gearing up – when it’s actually already here.
Over the next year marketers expect to see even more disruption from a younger generation, completely at home with on-demand technology, dominating the buying market. This disruption will grant even more power to those making purchase decisions as they obtain more information and make more knowledgeable choices. This empowered consumer is set against the challenge of an increasingly fragmented audience as the volume of marketing channels continues to grow.
However, there are two sides to the digital coin and this proliferation of channels and digitally savvy consumers provides marketers with an unprecedented opportunity to know their customer. With increasingly diverse demographics, marketers need data analytics to better understand the behaviour of the digital native, or ‘millennials’, as well as an ageing population and everyone else in between. Marketers are able to use the real-time insights from a huge range of digital channels to their advantage.
It’s no surprise then that web and customer analytics have been identified as the most important disciplines for marketers to master. The ability to mine data for crucial customer insight is a skill set that businesses prize, not just in the marketing function. But despite this, many marketers lack the competence and skills in data analytics that would help them incorporate insights from digital and mobile channels into their overall marketing mix.
Despite the recognition that mobile and on-demand media is changing the marketing landscape, marketers are still not confident with developing mobile strategies and activating mobile-ready campaigns. In fact, 1 in 3 marketers say their organisation’s mobile competence is below average or poor. This needs to change quickly if the brand wants to capture the attention of a mobile driven marketplace.
The Marketing Perspectives report by SAS and Marketing Week reveals that B2B marketers are more digitally inclined than their consumer focused counterparts, reporting more use of social, location based and mobile marketing. Thirty-five per cent of B2B marketers fell into the ‘SoMoLo Maven’ category (those who invest more, have greater skill and confidence in social, mobile and location marketing) compared to 19% of B2C marketers. However, with empowered buyers and digital natives driving change, the requirement for real-time data analytics skills is only set to grow. And yet, many still struggle with it.
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.– Public IT cloud services spending will reach $56.6 billion in 2014 and grow to more than $127 billion in 2018, according to a new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC). This represents a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.8%, which is about six times the rate of growth for the overall IT market. In 2018, public IT cloud services will account for more than half of worldwide software, server, and storage spending growth.
Among the factors driving public IT cloud services growth is the adoption of “cloud first” strategies by both IT vendors expanding their offerings and IT buyers implementing new solutions. More importantly, IDC believes the cloud services market is now entering an “innovation stage” that will produce an explosion of new solutions and value creation on top of the cloud. Many of these new solutions will be in industry-focused platforms with their own innovation communities, which will reshape not only how companies operate their IT, but also how they compete in their own industry. As the number of applications and use cases explode, cloud services will reach into almost every B2B and consumer services marketplace.
“Over the next four to five years, IDC expects the community of developers to triple and to create a ten-fold increase in the number of new cloud-based solutions,” said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC. “Many of these solutions will become more strategic than traditional IT has ever been. At the same time, there will be unprecedented competition and consolidation among the leading cloud providers. This combination of explosive innovation and intense competition will make the next several years a pivotal period for current and aspiring IT market leaders.”
IDC expects software as a service (SaaS) will continue to dominate public IT cloud services spending, accounting for 70% of 2014 cloud services expenditures. This is largely because most customer demand is at the application level. The second largest public IT cloud services category will be infrastructure as a service (IaaS), boosted by cloud storage’s 31% CAGR over the forecast period. Platform as a service (PaaS) and cloud storage services will be the fastest growing categories, driven by major upticks in developer cloud services adoption and big data-driven solutions, respectively.
Scientists and businesses often encounter difficulties in analysing huge data sets, otherwise known as “Big Data”. Its size is forever changing across many landscapes, with the amount of data created each day constantly increasing – now four times faster than the world economy. Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, which is enough to fill 10 million Blu-Ray discs, which in turn is enough to make a stack the size of 4 Eiffel Towers. Big doesn’t seem to be quite ‘big’ enough a word to describe how data is evolving.
The most astonishing thing about Big Data is the speed at which it is increasing. 90% of the world’s data, for example, was created in the last 2 years alone. The number of people with access to the internet today is equal to the world’s entire population in 1960 (3 billion). Global communication has never been easier and it might not come as much of a shock that there are 204 million emails sent per minute. But there are also 216,000 Instagram posts and 217,000 tweets. This is social and business conversation at its best.
The data collected through all these interactions is helping to shape the way we live our lives. As you can see below in the data graphic by vouchercloud it is helping us to save money (comparison websites, reducing energy bills, monitoring our fuel consumption and tailored coupons based on our previous spending habits). It is helping us to get around more efficiently – urban transport is improved using real time data capture and managing traffic hotspots by changing bus routes or traffic light sequences to ease congestion. Even more topical and important, it is helping us to save lives; streaming patient data to recognise outbreaks of illnesses and disease, identifying those at risk and managing the costs of treating patients.
Data is improving and expanding across mobile, digital media and social media, and Big Data is innovating the future ahead of us.
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Integrated Infrastructure and Platforms Tracker, the worldwide integrated infrastructure and platforms market increased revenue 33.8% year over year to $2.4 billion during the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14). The market generated more than 833 petabytes of new storage capacity shipments during the quarter, which was up 63.4% compared to same period a year ago. First half results were comparable with the market value growing 35.9% compared to 1H2013, to $4.3 billion.
“It’s notable that sales of integrated systems have driven considerable and continued growth at a time when many portions of the enterprise infrastructure market have experienced lackluster results,” said Eric Sheppard, Research Director, Storage. “Integrated systems have clearly become a critical go-to market approach and an important source of growth for infrastructure suppliers looking to capitalize on a market need to reduce datacenter infrastructure inefficiencies.”
“IDC continues to find enterprise customers bullish in their adoption of integrated systems; a greater number of customers are considering these solutions in their IT procurement decisions,”said Jed Scaramella, Research Director, Enterprise Servers. “As a result the integrated systems market is shaping up to be a competitive battleground for IT vendors. A critical win in the market translates into increased footprint within the customer base, usually at the expense of a competitor.”
Integrated Platforms vs. Integrated Infrastructure
IDC distinguishes between two market segments: Integrated Platforms and Integrated Infrastructure. Integrated platforms are integrated systems that are sold with additional pre-integrated packaged software and customized system engineering optimized to enable such functions as application development software, databases, testing, and integration tools. Integrated infrastructure systems are designed for general-purpose, distributed workloads that are likely to have differing performance profiles. While integrated infrastructure is similar to integrated platforms in that it will leverage the same infrastructure building blocks, it is not optimized for a specific workload.
During the second quarter of 2014, the Integrated Platforms market generated more than $1 billion in sales, which represented an 11.1% year-over-year growth rate and 43.7% of the total market value. Oracle was the largest supplier of Integrated Platform Systems with $577 million in sales, or 55.0% share of the market segment.
There’s no doubt that we’re living in an increasingly multilingual society. It actually takes 20 languages to communicate with 80% of the world’s online population. However, according to a report from Common Sense Advisory (CSA), content in English has dominated the web “while companies have catered to Anglophone markets and the enormous spending they generate”. Despite this, English isn’t in fact the only prime language of ecommerce.
When it comes to business, people like being marketed to in their native language and, more often than not, that’s not English. We’ve commissioned a year-long study into the behaviour of the millennial generation (aged 18-36) looking at how their behaviour is forcing businesses to adapt their digital marketing approaches. A key focus for us within this has been the impact language has on marketing techniques. We surveyed 1,800 millennials and found that 32% of the millennial generation in English-speaking markets actually prefer a language other than English. What’s more, 46% are more likely to make a purchase if information is presented in their preferred language. These findings are supported by the CSA’s report which highlighted that 75% of online shoppers are more likely to buy products from websites in their language and 74% are more likely to purchase from the same brand again, if the after-sales care is in their mother tongue.
More so than any generation previously, it’s the millennials who are causing the biggest headache for marketers. They’re far more demanding than their predecessors and expect content to be delivered to them across their preferred device, channel and more importantly, in their preferred language. Figures like those above demonstrate just how language needs to be an integral part of any global digital marketing and customer experience strategy. If you don’t have this factored in then you risk alienating a significant proportion of your target audience, reducing the likelihood of driving brand advocacy and sales.
But how can marketers easily deliver high-quality multilingual content to their customers? It often seems particularly difficult to accomplish this in such a fast-moving, multinational market where millennials interact online and through social media. Digital marketers need to implement solutions that will enable them to translate potentially high volumes of high quality content into multiple languages, and deliver this at speed.
A great example of a business committed to offering its customers this service is B2B travel providerGTA, part of the Kuoni Group. GTA is growing fast, with already thousands of customers in 185 countries worldwide and processes over 21,000 bookings per day in more than 25 languages online. The company has recognised the importance of localising its content – tens of thousands of hotel and ground travel descriptions – to its global customer base, particularly as it continues to grow exponentially. It aims to deliver a seamless and personalised customer experience by addressing cultural differences.
Singapore and Hong Kong, February 13, 2014 – After 9 consecutive quarters of explosive growth, which propelled China into the top smartphone market in the world, the China smartphone market experience its first slowdown in 2013 Q4.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, shipped 90.8 million units compared to 94.8 million in 2013 Q3, declining by 4.3% quarter on quarter (see Figure 1). Several factors drove this stumble – for one, China Mobile’s 4G TD-LTE network went live on December 18, translating into supplies of 4G handsets not able to reach the market fully until 2014 Q1. The increasing popularity of phablets and channel inventory also played a role, whereby operators cut phone subsidies on phones with smaller screens, triggering distribution channels looking to clear out those stocks.
“The world has increasingly looked to China as the powerhouse to propel the world’s smartphone growth and this is the first hiccup we’ve seen in an otherwise stellar growth path,” says Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager with IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team.
“There will certainly be future drivers to unlock further smartphone growth in China, as Apple demonstrated with its China Mobile tie-up in January, and the massive device migration to come of phones only supporting 2G and 3G networks to devices supporting 4G networks. However, we are now starting to see a market that is becoming less about capturing the low-hanging fruit of first time smartphone users and moving into the more laborious process of convincing existing users why they should upgrade to this year’s model”
Looking ahead at the prospects for the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region, with mature Asia/Pacific markets like already having hit market saturation and China growth facing more moderate increases, two trends will become more prominent.
Network World’s State of the Network gauges IT focus areas within existing and emerging tech
Framingham, Mass. – IDG’s Network World—the premier technology media brand providing network strategy for the connected enterprise—reveals the 2014 results of the Network World State of the Network study (click to Tweet). The annual research provides a comprehensive view of technology adoption trends among the Network World audience. The study indicates that IT decision-makers are seeing budget increases over the next year, with three-quarters anticipating budgets will increase or hold firm for 2014. As IT budgets continue to rise, IT staff headcount is expected to increase as well to meet demands of new IT models and technologies. Those expecting staffing increases estimate headcounts will increase by an average of 17% over the next one to three years.
Emerging Technologies Influence on IT
The quickly advancing next generation technology landscape is driving organizations to invest and prepare for changes made possible by these emerging technologies. Almost half (49%) of IT decision-makers anticipate that emerging technologies will enable their IT organizations to pool resources and drive up utilization, while reducing siloed resources. In fact, IT sees Software-Defined Networking (SDN) as a top technology opportunity with 57% actively pursuing SDN and 46% planning implementation within the next 3 years. WiFi is another substantial driver with 47% in agreement that 802.11ac, an evolutionary wireless LAN specification that leverages several ways to dramatically boost WiFi throughput, will be critical to their organizations’ ability to keep up with demands for wireless access.