Archives for posts with tag: digital marketing

A recent study released by Mondo suggests that 80 percent of companies plan to increase their digital marketing budgets over the next 12 to 18 months. The trend comes as digital marketing becomes increasingly important to business strategies. AdAge.com has the full story below:

As digital marketing becomes increasingly important to business strategies, 80% of companies plan to increase their digital marketing budgets over the next 12 to 18 months, according to a study released Tuesday by Mondo.

The study, “The Future of Digital Marketing,” was based on an online survey of 262 digital marketing executives at b-to-c and b-to-b companies.

Of those companies increasing their digital-marketing budgets, 40% said they would increase them between 5% and 10%; 32% said they would increase them between 10% and 15%; and 9% plan to increase them between 0% and 5%.

Image Source: adage.com

“One challenge that has been very prominent for digital marketers is the hiring of great talent, and companies are finally getting the budget to do that,” said Laura McGarrity, VP-digital marketing strategy at Mondo, a technology and digital-marketing resource provider.

According to the study, the top hiring barriers are finding skilled talent (cited by 65% of respondents); the cost of quality staff (30%); attracting top talent (21%); retaining top talent (16%); and culture fit (26%).

“Turnover has been a really big issue,” Ms. Garrity said, noting that the average tenure for digital marketing professionals is 12 months to 18 months. By comparison, average CMO tenure is 45 months, according to executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart in a March 2014 report.

“There is such high demand and it’s such a new space — people are hopping around to find the best jobs,” she added. “It is a candidate’s market, particularly in digital marketing.”

The top skill sets companies are hiring for this year are digital/social (54%), content creation (44%), big data/analytics (33%) and mobile strategy (30%), Mondo found.

More traditional marketing skills are lower on the list. Only 24% of companies plan to hire marketers for creative services, and 22% for product/brand expertise.

“Every week or every couple of weeks there is a new technology emerging,” Ms. McGarrity said. “People with a very specific technical skill set — say an Eloqua expert — are few and far between.”

The study also asked marketers which digital platforms will drive customer engagement in the future. It found that today, mobile is seen as a key driver of customer engagement by only 24% of respondents, but in the next three to five years, that will increase to 70%.

Video will increase as a key driver of customer engagement from 13% today to 61% in the future; and social will increase from 38% today to 49% in the future.

Another finding was the shift to a more “elastic” workforce, defined as a combination of permanent and freelance or contract workers.

“One big thing we’re seeing is the shift from a permanent workforce to more of a contract and freelance workforce,” Ms. Garrity said. “This is a shift. Marketing has not traditionally been about hiring contract resources.”

Today, 42% of companies are made up of 100% permanent workers, while in the next 12 to 18 months that is expected to decrease to 23% of companies, the study found.

And while only 1% of companies are now made up of a 50/50 mix of permanent and contract workers, that is expected to increase to 30% in the next 12 to 18 months, according to the study.

Mitch Berman is a pioneer in the creation of innovative digital consumer and business-to-business products and services. Follow this Twitter account for the latest news and updates in digital marketing.

Forbes contributor Patrick Spenner believes that digital immigrants, or marketing shops that didn’t grow up digital, will flourish this year.  Do you agree?  Read his 10 predicted marketing trends for 2014 below.


Video Source: youtube.com

It’s that time of year. I’m hopped up on eggnog and ready to go! Last year’s “10 Marketing Trends for 2013 You Haven’t Heard” was a popular one. Let’s do it again. Hoping three or four of these are ones you won’t have thought about or fully appreciated.

1. Business Model Disruption Will Get Spikier: All the changing technology and democratization of advantages typically held only by large companies generates some real doozy business model disruptions in 2014. You might be thinking about that viral video on Amazon drone delivery, right? Nah. Too much regulatory non-sense for delivery drones to take off in 2014 (Hi-yooooh! Pun intended!).

Here’s my bet: doggie biometrics.

Imagine: dog collar with accelerometer and GPS. Chip implant with biometric sensor and gyroscope. BAM! You’ve got yourself a dog spinning out a terabyte of data about barking, peeing, eating, peeing, moving, peeing and sniffing habits. And that enables pet owners to get: custom diet recommendations; pre-warning of pet illness; remote home intruder alert; and so much more! You heard it here first.

2. Squeeze the Marketing Cost Balloon: Spiking costs from all that content, personalization, marketing technology spend and global campaigning is really cramping your style with the CFO. Quick: CMO vs. CFO, who wins?

Sooooo…many CMOs will be taking drastic measures to manage marketing costs in 2014. Insource more agency activity—yes, even the strategic kinds (many will even start there as they insource). Consolidate global agency relationships. Check. Create smaller teams (euphemism alert = layoffs and restructuring). Absolutely. Makes you wonder if it really is all about the customer, doesn’t it? CFOs are such downers.

3. Head or Tail of Content Distribution—Pick One!!! A funny thing happens when content is digitized and anyone can create it and distribute it. Players in the middle get crushed. (Well, that’s not actually funny. It’s kinda sad. Circle of life.) We know this from the past 20 years watching what happened to books, music and movies. 2014 will be a year in which many marketers re-learn this lesson—only for their own brands! Too many marketing shops will have pursued content marketing, trying to be in the head of the distribution—and they’ll spend a lot of money on it. But, because brands are competing with, well, everything else for attention, only a few will actually make it into the head of the distribution. If you want a good marker for what it takes to be there, see Red Bull. 100+ full-time, dedicated content people. A wealthy Austrian billionaire with a long time horizon. Lack of quarterly earnings pressure. If that doesn’t sound like you, you’ll want to re-think your content efforts. (shameless plug: yes, we have case studies and a POV on how to thrive in the content tail)

4. Digital Immigrants Eye the Grand Canyon, Planning for the Leap: Digital immigrants are marketing shops that didn’t grow up digital. If you’re in this group, chances are you’ve done a pretty good job making digital (or its components) individual disciplines sitting beside traditional marketing disciplines. Now, you’re looking ahead to a world where digital is flowing through everything. Sooooo, what’s it gonna take to dismantle those digital silos and re-cast your marketing chassis for that new world? If you’re smart, you’ll start to get your ducks in a row on this in 2014. That’s why we’re taking a deep dive to study it on your behalf. Please let us interview you. (shameless plug to help us help you. Email Corey Mull to participate)

Image Source: weheartit.com

Image Source: weheartit.com

5. Somebody Will Create a Hype Game about Gamification: Oh, the irony. You know how every quarter it feels like you read about some revolutionary way to use gamification to change behavior? Well, if you believe over a hundred marketing technology practitioners who are actually putting dollars behind marketing technology, gamification is all hype. Vanishingly few marketing technologists see gamification in digital marketing as creating any kind of business value compared to alternate investments. To see which marketing technologies aren’t hype, participate in CEB’s Digital Marketing Capability benchmarking (and that completes the shameless plug trifecta).

6. Smart Brands Will Formalize Change Pre-Viz Teams: “Huh?” you say. Pre-viz is short for “pre-visualization”. Think of this as creating immersive prototypes of what the new world will look like once a change happens (or a new product or service hits). We came across one company that has a dedicated team for this. The team includes a set of folks from around the company with eclectic skill sets, a hacker mentality, and an ability to literally create visualizations (think heavy on video and experiential) of what life looks like post-change. Those visualizations help sell ideas, rally support around change (employees, customers and partners), and help provide vision for where to go. Given all the change and all the moving pieces in Marketing (and commerce!) these days, you have to ask yourself why you don’t at least have a pre-viz tiger team. Seriously. Have one.

Read Wikipedia for more on pre-visualization’s origins (comes out of movie making). Good thought starters for who should be on that tiger team.

('We’ve started to see numbers of humans pretending to be bots, a strange development that signals a shift in the power and identity politics of the internet.' Photograph: Blutgruppe/zefa/Corbis) Image Source: theguardian.com

(‘We’ve started to see numbers of humans pretending to be bots, a strange development that signals a shift in the power and identity politics of the internet.’ Photograph: Blutgruppe/zefa/Corbis) Image Source: theguardian.com

7. Bot Traffic Becomes 135% of all Internet Traffic: I jest (it’s actually 62% now). But 2014 will continue to unveil just how much digital traffic isn’t really people traffic, per se. Picking up off my 2013 trend #2 (“Digital Dog Will Discover That It In Fact Caught a Buffalo, Not a Car”), this is all in keeping with more of the shine coming off digital. And just to be clear, I’m not anti-digital. I’m not in the paid employ of the “Keep TV Analog Foundation” or anything like that. I just want us all to evaluate digital/social/mobile with clear eyes. Doing my part to be a cosmic hype counterbalance.

8. Some Brands Will Call a Tech Timeout: Others will wish they had. We’re catching wind of some large enterprise marketing teams calling a timeout on new marketing technology and platforms in 2014. These brands realize their people, process and structure are getting outstripped by the technology change. In short, they aren’t getting all the way up to the productive part of the learning curves before they get sucked into new ones. During their 2014 timeout, they plan to get their you-know-what together on all the technology changes from the last five years, before they introduce any new ones.

9. Some CIO-CMO Tandems Will Get Down to Brass Tacks: Ok, we’ve all read the glossies on CIO-CMO tandems who get along great. And they do. I believe them. It’s down below, amongst the minions, where the friction happens. So, CIO-CMO tandems who want to get stuff done will do the following to help their minions in the day-to-day:

a. Put capabilities ahead of technologies—together, they’ll think not about IT or Martech roadmaps, but about business capability roadmaps and what that means for technology.

b. Create different technology “treatment” lanes—these will formalize where IT gets involved and where it doesn’t, so as to speed marketing tech experimentation in areas where there’s low risk.

c. Identify “shallow IT” transition points—they’ll find the triggers for when IT becomes more involved to scale successful experiments.

We’ll blow these out in early 2014 by sharing highlights and case examples from a study by our pals in CEB’s Technology practice.

10. Google Reveals that Larry Page is Actually a Self-Aware, Driverless Car: I’m going out on a limb on this one…or am I?

If you have a different idea of what Larry Page really is, please share via comment below.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at CEB. We’re wishing you the best in 2014.

Mitch Berman is the CEO of ZEN Digital Fund, a digital marketing and tech firm dedicated to the creation of the innovative “digital” consumer.  Check out this Google page for the latest marketing updates.

TechCrunch.com dishes on Twitter’s bid to go mainstream as it moves closer to its highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO) next week.

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Image Source: techcrunch.com

And so it begins. Twitter, now firmly on the road to IPO, has equally firmly turned its attention to monetisation — which means it’s turning on new features that are designed, first and foremost, with advertisers in mind. And with the goal of attracting a more mainstream user base.

Exhibit A: in-stream photo and video previews on the Twitter web client and Android and iOS apps.

(This being timed to coincide with Halloween is probably not at all coincidental. The disproportionate pull of people dressing up for Halloween on apps and services would make a fascinating study — see also Frontback recently tweaking its offering so you can compose a shot with two images from the rear camera — thereby enabling users to take lots of shots of other people’s costumes).

Returning to Twitter, what that means in practice is the densely packed wall of 140-character tweets which allowed Twitter to be an exceptional information delivery mechanism is now being interrupted by visual media.

Pictures, as countless photo-sharing apps prove, draw the eye and the attention. They crowd out words. Which means that the Twitter timeline has become less functional, and more trivial.

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Image Source: techcrunch.com

Pictures are distracting. That’s why advertisers love them. The big bold image can grab you, even if the product itself isn’t something you’d go looking for yourself. Images by their nature are arresting.

But if your primary product is an information network, then injecting visual media necessarily dilutes the offering.

Literally in the physical space sense. These visual media tweets take up more room than a typical text tweet (unless it’s stuffed with line breaks) — so users’ screen real estate is getting disproportionately hogged by anyone choosing to tweet out Twitter photos or Vine videos.

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Image Source: techcrunch.com

Obviously, Twitter users should expect vast amounts of visual media to be spewed out by advertisers all too soon — giving them a neat workaround to make an advert stand out in a sea of 140 characters.

Twitter’s core product is also now being diluted. The density of the information conveyed by the timeline is being watered down by whatever random visual imagery your followers are tweeting at any given moment (real-time events like popular TV broadcasts and big sports matches could easily end up overwhelming Twitter, more so than they already do).

It’s not that images and videos can’t be interesting; of course they can. But by forcing users to view media before deciding whether it is worth viewing (i.e. by reading the context provided by the accompanying text tweet before they click on the media link), Twitter is removing a vital content filter from its own network.

Now, if you’re using Twitter’s web client, there is no opt-out of this visual clutter. And that makes Twitter step a little closer to the kind of content you’re forced to eyeball on Google+ or Facebook. So basically:

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Image Source: techcrunch.com

You can turn off the new media injection ‘feature’ in Twitter’s mobile apps (perhaps for download speed/data conservation reasons), but Twitter has confirmed to TechCrunch there is no off switch in its web client.

At the time of writing Twitter had not responded to a question asking why it is not offering an opt out to users of its web client.

What this means is that if you value Twitter as a fast information resource on your desktop device then the only option is to use an alternative Twitter client such as Tweetbot (which costs £14 on the Mac App Store vs Twitter’s free web client).

(On that point, Twitter has previously limited its API, thereby throttling the growth potential of third party clients, so opt-out options are being limited too.)

In my view, Twitter forcibly injecting media previews is not cool and makes the service less useful to me. But on the flip side — and there is a flip-side — pictures are very accessible, and are more likely to appeal to a mainstream user vs a dense wall of text that needs to be filtered and unpicked on the fly. So it’s easy to see their rational here.

A wall of tweets is great for busy journalists, but likely somewhat alienating for a first time user trying to figure out what Twitter is for. And attracting more users, and more mainstream users, is a key challenge for Twitter — being as it has a growth problem.

Injecting visual media is not the only recent change Twitter has made that tweaks its product to do a bit more hand-holding for newbies and less techie folk, either.

Back in August, for instance, it flipped the format of the timeline by adding a new conversation view that displays @replies in sequence to the tweets that generated them. For seasoned Twitter who knew how to follow the @reply trail, this change was an irritation — because it also dilutes the density of and interrupts the flow of the timeline.

But for newbies it probably helps to generate context on the fly, and also signposts how the service works. In other words: two Twitter birds, one stone.

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Image Source: techcrunch.com

I recently went through the process of setting my mum up on Twitter, and when you revisit the process of starting again from scratch with zero followers it’s easy to see how hard it is for a newcomer to hook into the service.

A lot of effort is required to ‘get’ Twitter, in terms of finding other users who are tweeting about things you’re interested in. And, unlike Facebook, none of my mum’s peer group is using Twitter. It become evident that a big portion of Twitter’s efforts at the new user sign-up stage are focused on pushing newcomers to follow celebrity accounts, as a way to offer a mainstream way into its service.

As Twitter prepares to IPO, and becomes answerable to a new influx of investors, it’s inevitable that it’s going to have to find more and more ways to make its service more mainstream. And that’s going to change its core product — in ways that long-time users are going to struggle with.

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Image Source: techcrunch.com

Add to that, with so much energy and attention still being sucked into photo-sharing services/visual social networks like Instagram, Twitter is evidently feeling a need to diversify beyond text.

Prettying up the timeline with pictures is therefore an obvious next step — it’s just a shame Twitter can’t throw a bone to the subsection of long-time users that value its service as an information resource and give us an opt-out of these mainstream changes.

By all means bury that off switch deep in settings where mainstream users will never find it. But give us an out so we can keep on using the Twitter we know and love.

After all, if we wanted to spend our time idly eyeballing a stream of random eye candy, we’d have long since migrated to Google+…

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Image Source: techcrunch.com

Mitch Berman of Zen Digital Fund has decades of experience in consumer and enterprise marketing, operations, and sales. See this blog for more information about his work on consumer entertainment.

Image credit: claycord.com

Image source: claycord.com

This month of love, doughnut chain Krispy Kreme goes digital.

Each box of Krispy Kreme’s heart-shaped doughnuts contains six Valentine cards with heartwarming messages and a Quick Response code (QR code) that lets customers send Krispy Kreme Valentine e-cards to their significant other. Krispy Kreme also encourages its fans to visit its Facebook page to customize its “Share Your Heart” cover photo. Company spokeswoman Kelley O’Brien tells CMO.com, “The QR code is an extension of the cards that are provided in our Valentine’s Boxes and a way to extend those cards to a larger audience. This enables our fans to share the joy digitally. This is a good test for incorporating mobile into more of our efforts.”

Image source: 2d-code.co.uk

Image source: 2d-code.co.uk

This is not the first time that Krispy Kreme employed QR codes to promote its business. In the past, the company used the same technique to launch its Hot Light app and promote its Dozen Days of Doughnuts and Krispy Skremes campaigns.

Krispy Kreme is just among the many big-name companies using mobile and social marketing to drive in-store traffic. Office Depot included QR codes in its products to direct customers to microsites that offer expert tips on how to organize homes and offices. Budweiser also geared up for this year’s Super Bowl by using QR codes to promote its sweepstakes.

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Image source: sweetiessweeps.com

Ms. O’Brien adds, “If the QR codes are incorporated into a campaign over at least two weeks, you will have measurable results.”

Increase company sales and improve brand awareness by learning more about digital marketing. This Facebook page for ZillionTV Corporation founder Mitch Berman shares the latest on digital products and services.