What does this year hold for technology?
Here's a look the top technology trends for 2015 and predictions of where digital business will be in the next five years. Are you prepared?
The top trends for 2015 include the Internet of Things; 3-D printing; advanced, pervasive, and invisible analytics; context-rich systems; and risk-based security and self-protection, according to the following infographic by Needa Shredder.
By 2016, "over half of consumer products and service R&D investments will be redirected to customer experience innovations," according to data cited in the infographic.
Does your business tweet? Great! But what about your business leaders?
If you’ve ever spoken to your leadership about using Twitter – or if you are that leadership – you’ve probably encountered any number of protestations and roadblocks. Twitter is a time-sink. It’s frivolous. There are too many complaining customers and not enough advocates. It can’t be measured, so it doesn’t matter to the bottom line.
But the benefits of CEOs and other executives using Twitter can far outweigh the downsides, if done properly. Twitter can connect businesses to their customers on a more personal level than any other digital tool – and it is that personal connection that builds trust and loyalt
Harness the power of audio, and dive into a large and deep market by starting your very own podcast. Yes, that’s right… A podcast. Despite being “Oh, so 2005,” according to Time, it’s one of the best avenues for growing your audience, building strong customer relationships, and positioning your company.
It’s also a powerful way to capitalize on the exploding podcast industry. Unique monthly podcast listeners have grown by 300% to 75 million per month from five years ago, and podcast subscriptions eclipsed the 1 billion level in 2013. The percentage of people who listen to podcasts grew rapidly, too:
SBI’s recent research report entitled How to Increase Marketing’s Contribution to 2015 Revenue was, as always, an interesting read. SBI’s research indicated that the majority of marketing teams are failing to make an acceptable level of contribution to their company’s revenue and the report covered some key areas where marketers are failing. I thought it would be interesting to talk about those areas, and offer ideas on how to fix that.
The report estimated that as many as 71% of marketers were falling short of their revenue targets by adopting the wrong marketing strategies. The report identified six key areas in which failing marketers were commonly missing the mark and six steps needed to get back on track.
When social media first emerged, brands were skeptical, but companies started to pay attention as social media’s influence grew.
The convergence of technology and the rise of the empowered consumer created the perfect wave for social media to ride into prominence. Soon after came the battle for internal ownership of social media management. Did it fall under HR since employees were using it or marketing since it could be used as a branding vehicle? Was it customer service’s domain since consumers were reaching brands via social with product or service related requests? In more than 60 percent of companies today, PR departments are responsible for social media.
Sales and marketing always have the same objective: grow the business. But their roles require focusing on different problems. But that doesn't mean the two disciplines shouldn't learn from each other.
There are endless ways to describe the stereotypical relationship between sales and marketing: dogs and cats, oil and vinegar, the Patriots and the rules of football. The basic idea is that the two just don't mix.
The reality, as always, is a bit more nuanced. Sales and marketing always have the same objective: grow the business. But their roles require focusing on and solving different problems. As a result, the disciplines and the mindsets, are quite different. That doesn't mean the two disciplines shouldn't learn from each other.
As much as many sales leaders would hate to admit it, there are things that the best marketing teams do that sales needs to copy. And marketing can learn one key lesson from sales people.
Ask any professional business-services firm how they get their business and nearly all will tell you “word of mouth.” It is far better than advertising or any other traditional method of business development.
While WOM is great and speaks volumes about your service and quality, you must work at it for it to become a successful business-development strategy. Staring at the phone and waiting for it to ring is far too passive for the most ambitious business people.
Excel is a useful tool for a number of marketing tasks. The two most important uses that I have for Excel on a weekly basis is first, as a research tool while writing (e.g. to get original statistics for a blog), and perhaps more obvious and more common, for data analysis and reporting.
With that in mind, here are ten tricks to help you get more proficient at Excel.
Among the many tasks social media managers face, one is learning how to navigate the ever-changing world of Facebook. Previously on our blog, we discussed the most common social media strategy mistakes. Today, we want to focus on specific Facebook mistakes social media managers need to avoid.
To put it plainly, there is much anxiety surrounding the do’s and don’ts of social media, especially when it comes to what social media managers should do. In light of the recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm, the following are 8 common mistakes that can be avoided on Facebook.
Industry cloud software companies are on the verge of taking off, with several already achieving multibillion-dollar valuations. At Bessemer, we’ve been fortunate to partner with more than a dozen industry software companies. And we’ve watched them attack the field in a variety of ways.
Though the industries vary, we’ve seen a few playbooks that have consistently driven startups to success:
Not like this is gonna come as a surprise or anything, but we’re at a point right now where 89% of businesses are creating content for social media.
It’s like those toothpaste commercials, where they say that 9 out of 10 dentists recommend a certain brand – can’t argue with those numbers, right?
The thing about that, though, is it means if you’re in that 89%, you’re part of the majority. The in crowd. You can blend in really easily.
And that means you DON’T get points just for trying!
89% of businesses creating content on social – that means more businesses than ever are vying for the attention of consumers, and it means that if you want to get and KEEP their attention, you have to work HARDER. (Social media’s popularity is kind of a double-edged sword that way.)
The small drone crash at the White House earlier this week is just the latest in a series of reminders that when it comes to regulating new technology the government is woefully slow.
In the White House incident, the quadcopter was operated by an employee of a U.S. intelligence agency who had been drinking and lost control of his friend’s recreational drone.
The incident highlighted the fact that the FAA has yet to finalize its drone rules—and that this security breach may put pressure on the FAA to accelerate that process. I don’t think that is a good idea.
When it comes to prophesying trends (especially in the marketing world), everyone thinks they’re the top banana. But here’s the thing – there’s not really a right or wrong. There are opinions and that’s the beauty of it. There doesn’t have to be a top banana. There can be a whole bunch of awesomely smart and innovative bananas.
So, we took a little forward looking glimpse at the year to come and what it holds for interactive content (which is big deal right now by the way).
Here we go…David Letterman style…but with 7, not 10.2015 Interactive Content Trends
e smart watch and wearables segment is evolving quickly and has us extremely curious to know how the luxury industry will find a space within an area they historically have very little experience - digital technology. New brand Christophe & Co. began with a very simple premise - to create an ultra high-end wearable that incorporated elements of high tech while focusing on exclusivity as a jewelry product for men. The Christophe & Co. Armill is not a watch - which leaves timepiece lovers free to wear their timepieces along side their often one-of-a-kind Christophe & Co. smart bracelet. The debut Christophe & Co. Armill models will be the "entry-level" Virtus, then Orion, and topped off with the ultra ritzy Apollo.
A shopper paces the aisle, looking at one laundry detergent after another. All offer essentially the same thing: clean clothes, fresh smell, easy pour ...
So how does a shopper make a decision to buy one over another? Is it the color of the bottle, the price, a familiar logo? Does she spring for the brand her mother is loyal to, or does she care more about a brand with a phosphate-free formula and environmentally friendly packaging?
Once relegated as the spare tire of sales, marketing is now the engine in the sales supercar. Marketing evolved from an unknown phenomenon in the early 1900s to a prominent force in the 1950s. By year 2000 marketing power shaped sales. Now digital marketing is the turbocharger.
Marketing is big business for big business, but how can smaller organizations build more marketing muscle?
If you have a website, you’re competing for eyeballs, and the competition is getting fierce.
It’s not enough anymore to throw up a website and stuff it with content. People are judging your product or service based on the design of your site, and your ability to make them feel.
Trendsetting company Airbnb, was just named Inc. Magazine’s 2014 Company of the Year. This is largely due to their disruptive business model and a shift to the sharing economy, but it surely has to do with their impeccable web interface and friendly, trustworthy web impression.
Two of the three founders of the company are graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design, and design has always been at the forefront of their business. Viewers of their site feel as if they have joined into a community and feel welcomed, inspired and safe. Users are forming endless impressions based on what they see on the web, so spending time upgrading and revising design in 2015 is definitely a worthwhile undertaking.
Like the NFC Championship team the Seattle Seahawks, content marketing can be underestimated in the business world. With over 40 percent of top brands utilizing blogs today, according to Forbes.com, larger organizations have the winning advantage. If you are a small business owner, don't throw in the towel just yet. Take notes on these top plays in content marketing as you prepare to watch the NFL Super Bowl XLIX game.
A digital marketing strategy is an absolute given for any company trying to market itself online – right?
That’s certainly the impression you’d get from reading most digital marketing blogs, where the question of whether you should have a digital marketing strategy has long ago been eclipsed by how to develop one.
And yet, on the ground, most companies remain unconvinced.
A new report by Smartinsights.com, Managing Digital Marketing 2015 , shows that a full 50% of marketers have active digital marketing programmes, but no defined strategy at all. This is actually a slight increase from the previous year, when the figure was 46%.
The other half is divided between those who have a stand-alone digital strategy (16%), and those who have integrated it into a more general marketing plan (34%). The latter are probably more advanced marketers, for whom digital marketing has become ‘business as usual’.