Archive for the ‘HARNESS’ tag
How many devices do you have within reach right this minute?
How many screens? How many apps and tabs are open on each screen? Is one of them a TV? An e-book? A smartphone or tablet? Which ones are you paying the most attention to? How long does that attention last, and what causes you to switch channels — or devices?
As consumers flit like hummingbirds between a plethora of devices, screens, and messages simultaneously, even private space is invaded with as many messages as a virtual Times Square. How can marketers and publishers harness attention when it’s so fleeting? What causes distractions? How do customers determine which channel they’ll use for what information — a search engine? A social network? SoLoMo?
What influences the journey, and how do experiences across channels and devices shift — or remain consistent?
These are the questions the bulk of my research will attempt to answer in the coming months, so it was interesting to see a report publish this week that also examines the dynamic customer journey. The survey, published by PulsePoint, terms the phenomenon the “digital divide.” That term traditionally refers to digital technology haves and have-nots, generally divided by socio-economic lines. The survey reframes “digital divide” to refer to the rift “between consumers engaging in real-time across channels, versus the digital marketing industry that is still largely siloed and not executing in real-time.”
PulsePoint’s survey places a great deal of emphasis on the need for improved real-time marketing capabilities to address the dynamic customer journey (i.e., real-time data and analytics, dynamic content delivery systems, and the ability to make faster decisions and take immediate action). Always-on has never felt so “always,” or so “on.”
Image sourced from PulsePoint Digital Divide.
But real-time, while critical to addressing the dynamic customer journey, is far from the only element that must be mastered in terms of technology, ability, and best practices.
The growing complexity of digital advertising, marketing, and publishing has led to increased vertical “siloization” and channel specialization. Customers expect integration and consistency as they pursue content across multiple channels and devices, but cross- and multichannel integration is not yet one of those areas boasting its own specialists. These specialists will doubtless soon be required, and they will have to be vested with considerable power to bring disparate players to the table and encourage them to cooperate.
A changing media landscape is a major factor in the dynamic customer journey. Together with my research partner Jeremiah Owyang, I’m currently looking , at how paid, earned, and owned media are conflating. Customer reviews and community posts are incorporated into ad units — both examples of earned media becoming paid media. Ads become content in online channels, particularly campaigns with high viral or entertainment value. Facebook wall posts (owned media) morph into paid ad units.
As fluidly as consumers switch screens, so does content flit between paid, earned, and owned channels. Do consumers differentiate between these channels? We believe less and less, if at all. In the end, content is what matters because content is, after all, what these dynamic, fast-moving consumers are pursuing.
How can marketers influence these journeys? Through users’ social graphs, via experts, commercial media, or their own owned channels?
That’s what we’re trying to uncover.
On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.
Content Marketing is about the most effective way to harness content’s ubiquity and power. Individual pieces of content work to attract and engage web users, but when the pieces are combined, the effect can be dramatic.
Just as gold must be sourced, mined, processed, shaped and hallmarked to become desirable pieces, so too must high-quality content.
Search-optimised articles, blogs and social media posts can combine to produce a dazzling effect on brand awareness, customer engagement and SEO. But time, care and expertise are needed to ensure your content is solid gold, and not simply gold plated.
The NewsReach infographic explores the processes involved in creating quality content and supports our latest White Paper – The True Value of Content Marketing – which will be released in the coming days.
Read the NewsReach blog to learn more about their infographic.
See on www.newsreach.co.uk
It’s no longer normal for a family to gather around a single screen to watch a favorite TV show. Tablets, mobile devices, and on-demand solutions have changed the way the video viewing model works. And there are more devices and options coming.
ABC knew tablets and on-demand programming had changed how viewers were consuming ABC programs. But it didn’t know how much. So the company conducted a study about tablet viewership. Adam Gerber tells iMedia’s Bethany Simpson what the company learned.
3 ways TV viewership has changed
“Viewers love watching TV on their own time.”
-Adam Gerber VP, Sales Development & Marketing, ABC Television Networks
The secret lives of iPad users
“About two-thirds of the viewership actually occurs in the home, and a lot of it is driven by this new phenomenon that we’re calling parallel viewing…”
New ways people are experiencing TV
“Ultimately it’s about [consumers] having access to view…”
What the changes mean to advertisers
“On the advertising side… we’re trying to migrate to a [digital] model that makes it a lot easier for advertisers to continue to deliver the thing that television does best: scale.”
Why broadcast TV isn’t going away
“Consumers love great quality content… ultimately that is the shared experience that people want to talk about, and it’s the place that you get scale.”
For more results from the ABC study, watch Adam Gerber’s presentation from the iMedia Video Summit.
Gone are the days when every household writes a monthly check to the cable company. Consumers are finding videos on a number of new platforms, and from many new providers — sometimes even from the content creators themselves. Here are some of the ways audiences are consuming content, and what it means to how we monetize video.
3 cool new ways we’re watching video
How to measure and monetize video traffic
Can we get 18 to 25 year olds to pay for content?
“We’ve seen a lot of studies amongst college kids…and they’re not paying for content.”
- Steven Feldman
Who’s going to win, and who’s going to lose?
“The cable MSOs pipe into your house with content…but the second I [as a consumer] can get my content direct from the show…and it’s easy, I’ll do that.”
- Steven Feldman
Steven Feldman is currently SVP, Group Media Director at Universal McCann. Feldman oversees the Mastercard media team, inclusive of both Online and Offline responsibilities. The Mastercard account utilizes advanced econometric modeling in order to determine the effect of different media types in driving business outcomes. As team lead, Feldman helped design the set up and implementation of this process. Prior to Mastercard, Feldman was the media lead on Bing at UM’s San Francisco office, where he oversaw one of the largest Online Video budgets in the industry and helped drive advanced video measurement practices in order to gauge its relative effectiveness. Prior to Mastercard and Bing, Feldman was media lead for the Xbox Media team at both UM San Francisco and New York, where he won a Gold Effie for the Xbox Live media campaign.
Jordan Berg brings over eight years of visual communications and design experience to Questus. He has experience in both interactive advertising and traditional design. Jordan has recently completed projects for world-class brands such as Suzuki, Wells Fargo, GE and ESPN. One of Jordan’s key strengths is synthesizing research and strategy with award winning design. This unique approach has landed him in both Communication Arts and InStyle magazine. Jordan is a native of New York City and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Vermont and Masters Studies from the San Francisco Academy of Art. He currently sits on the Board of Directors at Bridge Sales and Marketing.
You can follow Jordan Berg on Twitter.
Designing zero-energy buildings, or retrofitting old ones, isn’t easy. Each combination of building strategies like renewable energy usage, insulation type and window design results in different energy, water and carbon consumption benefits and construction and operating costs. Building designers need to quantify and compare the various options.
Sefaira just landed a $10.8 investment to harness cloud computing to crunch large amounts of building design data, allowing it to perform in minutes building design analyses which previously took days or weeks. The green building industry currently often uses static building codes and rules-of-thumb to make design decisions. Sefaira’s data-driven green building design takes building codes, location-specific building data like weather and renewable energy availability and a sophisticated building physics engine in order to assess various building strategies. Sefaira won the Green Building Innovation of the Year award at London’s Ecobuild 2011.
Sefaira’s business model is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Customers include architectural firms, construction companies, retrofit assessors and utility companies. Autodesk is among the company’s competitors.
Sefaira was founded in 2009, is based in London and New York and has 30 employees. The $10.8 million funding round was led by Braemar Energy Ventures in partnership with Amsterdam-based Chrysalix SET and UK-based Hermes GPE.
There has been a bit of a landrush of late on enterprise companies focused on big data and how best to harness that in the cloud, and today sees the launch of a new fund that will fuel the growth of even more companies working in that space. OpenView Venture Partners is today announcing its third fund of $200 million, aimed at operational support for enterprises, including in areas like big-data management in the cloud, which accounts for 75 percent of OpenView’s investments to-date.
Boston-based OpenView says the fund was originally intended to be around $150 million but got oversubscribed — a testament not only to how much investment money is swirling around at the moment, but also the focus specifically on the field of enterprise services that OpenView has been championing up to now.
“Since 2006 and 2007, a lot of VCs have been focused on the shiny toy of consumer services,” says Adam Marcus, the MD of OpenView. “We have stayed true to our mission of being a B2B software [VC]. That has made it easy to raise funds for us.” OpenView will not use the fund to move into early-stage or seed investing, he says. Typically the companies OpenView funds are already bringing in a minimum of $1 million in revenues and are at their expansion stage.
Marcus says that the first investment from the fund is due to be announced next week. It will be in the identity-management space, he says, a company based out of Texas. “It’s about big data and the cloud and taking advantage of these two underlying tsunamis,” he said. “And about helping to manage the data onslaught overwhelming companies today.” It will be a new investment for OpenView.
What else is the fund interested in? Although mobile has been a hot area in consumer startups, it has been slightly more problematic at the B2B end, Marcus says. “We have a hard time finding competitive advantage and product differentiation in mobile,” he admits.
But he does point out that one good area is mobile device management and subsequent security across the network. Another is in the area of enterprise companies that help make the consumer propositions work better. That includes an investment in the API platform Mashery, which picked up $11 million from OpenView last year. “The thesis was that APIs are the new plumbing and Mashery is the leader there,” he says.
Another area that OpenView will be exploring for investment is the area of personalization and targeting software.
Funding will also be used to further OpenView’s approach of helping to build up companies that are already in its portfolio. That has included staffing them up, offering go-to-market support, market research, lead generation and in some cases even product development.
Most people would already describe someone who knows multiple languages as a smart person, but there’s new research that shows learning and knowing more than one language can have a deeper impact on the way your brain works than previously believed. In reality, people who know multiple languages are able to monitor their surroundings better and switch between mental tasks faster, and those benefits extend from the early years to old age—and you can harness them even later in life by picking up a new language. More »
Is Facebook making us all the same?
We have our unique friends and interests meshed with our families, with a dash of our professional lives put in there for good measure. But, is Facebook really the place that highlights our originality? In the early days of the Internet (pre-Social Media), there was some worry that portals like Yahoo and AOL were delivering a very generic and sanitized media experience (much like broadcast television with limited and fixed choices). As publishing tools became more readily available and individuals began to harness the power of Web design, we became inundated with new, quirky and interesting types of media. This expanded further when images, audio and video became as easy to publish online as text. Social Media completely changed this direction again, enabling and empowering individuals to not only self-publish but to collaborate and share.
It’s a Facebook world, and we’re all just living in it.
- Facebook.com captures one in every eleven Internet visits in the US.
- 1 in every 5 page views occurs on Facebook.com.
- The average visit time on Facebook.com is 20 minutes.
- Facebook.com users are highly loyal to the website; 96% of visitors to Facebook.com were returning visitors in January 2012.
- Facebook.com’s largest footprint is in Canada, capturing almost 12% of all visits in that market.
There’s the Internet… and there’s the Facebook Internet.
This begs the question: what does Facebook look like? Based on this type of data, the answer has suddenly become staggeringly simple: Facebook is us. While individual pages may be as unique as our individual fingerprints, we must realize that this type of ubiquity is great to find common ground but very difficult to have powerful moments of serendipity. Years ago, I made the argument that we need more than our own RSS feeds for information, because if all we’re doing is looking at what we like, this (probably) would make our perspectives that much more myopic. It’s something important to think about: if all we’re ever doing on Facebook is looking at our own profiles (and those of people we know), it could well be disconnecting us from amazing and different opportunities that are right over the horizon.
I love Facebook.
It’s an amazing channel to connect and share. That being said, I’m also very leery of any one, individual, place that commands that much attention. So long as there is diversity and not homogeny, it is powerful.
Let’s keep it powerful.
Why ban phones from the classroom when you can harness them? Bootstrapped startup ClassPager today launches its Twilio-powered SMS system that lets teachers and professors efficiently send their students quizzes and reminders, and receive answers and feedback. ClassPager can re-engage bored or shy students, and show teachers who’s falling behind.
The 30-second set up provides a classroom code students can text to participate, so teachers and students don’t actually have each other’s phone numbers. That means better grades with no prank calls and no inappropriate advances.
Let’s say a teacher wants to check if students understood an in-class math lesson. They use the ClassPager web interface to send a question such as “Solve for X in X^2 = 36″. Students text back their answers or ask for help. Teachers check the answers through web interface, and get notifications of students who are consistently wrong.
Teachers can also send homework questions, remind students of quizzes or supplies to bring, or ask them to vote on a class decision. ClassPager is much easier and more private than trying to manage SMS with dozens of students manually, and provides better insight into class and individual student performance than traditional teacher workbooks or spreadsheets.
Since ClassPager works over SMS, even feature phones can use it. Students only pay their standard text message rates. If that’s still too expensive, founder Mahipal Raythattha tells me smartphone owners can use ClassPager through free texting apps like Pinger’s Textfree or textPlus. Feature phone owners who want to avoid fees currently have to go through third-party web-based SMS.
Raythattha was formally a teaching assistant at CalTech. He found that “no matter what level you’re at, teachers have problems assessing every student” and making sure no one slips through the cracks. He explains “there are other old school polling methods and software and methods — students raising their hand, clickers, products that aren’t designed for education, but they make it difficult to look back at the data about how students are doing”.
By taking advantage of the “bring your own device movement”, there are no hardware costs, and students are unlikely to forget the device they use constantly throughout the day. There is competition from startups like remind101, but ClassPager aggregates answers in addition to broadcasting questions. You could say ClassPager is a niche product, but there are a lot of classrooms out there.
The two-man ClassPager team hasn’t done any marketing but its pre-launch beta has virally spread to over 1,000 classrooms, with 500 percent month-over-month growth. Next it’s working on more polling capabilities, native iPhone and Android apps, and a web interface for students. The ultra-lean startup is built on Twilio, so it pays just $0.01 per SMS.
ClassPager offers unlimited communication with one 25-student classroom for free, and unlimited classrooms of 75 or 200 students cost $10 or $20 a month. Right now, ClassPager is selling directly to teachers, trying to score some of the $400 a year the average teacher spends out-of-pocket on classroom resources. Eventually it hopes to sell to school districts and universities, where it can provide overarching analytics. I recommend the company release apps for parents to track their students’ progress, which could be paid or could promote affiliated tutoring and test prep services as additional revenue streams.
Lackluster education is a huge problem. If schooling doesn’t evolve, more kids will tune out, and there won’t be the talent necessary to fill tomorrow’s highly skilled jobs. I think ClassPager is a great idea. Take the devices students are addicted to and make learning interactive. It’s hard to sleep in the back of the class when your pocket’s buzzing.
I was recently invited to our Toronto office to talk about social business—both what it is and what’s in store for organizations who seek to integrate social as part of how they do business. This is probably the best way to define social business vs. media. While many organizations seek to leverage social media as part of communications, (such as marketing) social business seeks to extract business value from doing business in a more social way. When we talk about social business planning, our focus shifts from merely thinking about the media universe to adding purpose and intent behind how we harness “social” for business purposes. And all of this is still the tip of the Iceburg. We’ll be talking more about social business planning in depth in the months to come.