Study: Content marketing investment on the rise

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A recent study 2015 Content Marketing Survey by content marketing agency Castleford states that the amount of marketers committed to content marketing is increasing. According to their results 65% (compared to 48% one year ago) of marketers want to boost their content marketing next financial year. Their plans is to invest more in time and resources.

Even more, 97% of participants of the survey said they will increase or retain their current level of investment. And the respondents also face the support of their C-level executives. Of the responding marketers 76% replied their C-level executives viewed content marketing „quite positively“ or „very positively“.

Obviously, there are also some challenges involved in content marketing creation wit time (45%) and budget (29%) being the biggest problem. Just, 3% that mentioned their C-level buy-in is their biggest challenge to content marketing will be probably persuaded over time, we think.

In terms of content marketing tactics the study shows that social media (81%) is still the favorite online marketing tactics in this field. However, the biggest growth opportunity shows video marketing and paid promotion of content for the next year. 61% are already using video marketing, (increase of 13% compared to last year). This is probably also driven by the main players Facebook and Google.

The variety of content marketing is also growing though. Almost every second marketer said that they use five or more different online marketing channels (45%).

Although Castleford director Rob Cleeve is confident with the development of content marketing, he also makes clear that marketers need to deliver results with it as well: „In my experience, content marketing is claiming an increasingly large share of overall marketing budgets, which is going to mean more pressure to show how it’s benefiting the bottom line.“

Spot On!
Content marketing definitely has changed the advertising industry drastically. However, the main challenges involved are the appropriate use of data with content to drive the right story in the right context to the right user at the right time. Here we see massive problems for many marketers still in our work with customers. Post-it recently explained it nicely in a video that leverages their banner and ask many question in terms of how retargeting actually kills good content marketing in terms in the example of banner ads.

The infographic of the study carries all relevant results of the Castleford study.

Castleford-Content-Marketing-Infographic-2015

The virtual office – Good reasons why your business may start here.

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Share Word on Round Button - GenerosityIn days of Facebook, AirBnB, Tumblr & others, when new business models and start-ups spread all over the world, some marketing freelancers might think about the option to appear big. Or shall I say for some interim period of establishing a business, these people might want to look bigger than some decision-makers might imagine? Whatever their driver might be. When starting a business, marketing consultants have got the challenge to look professional all over their brand. An address in the right context location seemed to be a must-have. It’s all about the brand, right? However today, the overarching value of a new business brand might have changed. What was a shiny office address in the middle of town in the year 2000, isn’t important any more (and maybe never was). There are new and probably better options that virtual offices can offer.

Thinking back around millenium days, when we launched a start-up with some good business partners, the venture capitalists would have loved the option of a virtual business. The resons were obvious: The business model puts a foot on the „valid business reasons'“ groud instantly. Operationals can start immediately. Being first to market, cannot be taken away from you. „Land and expand“ is the option. All set. In 2000 this sounded like a dream for founders and their investors. Our company’s rental costs were the biggest liability we had those days (also when we bought the business and sold some years later). We couldn’t just leave and sign off our contracts. The landlord was clever enough to keep us in our rooms for at least six more months. The virtual office is much more flexible and usually offering shorter termination periods.

Talking about liabilities, you might also think about getting a secretary? Another cost topic. Virtual offices have got their own secretaries who will look after your business. Calls, postage, or even emails if you may want to leave it to them: all sorted out by them. Whether it is PR requests, marketing topics, sales inquieries or any other service related business, the virtual assistant is giving clients and business contacts what they are asking for (if you brief them properly). No overhead business. No extraordinary employee costs. If it is your own staff, you have to find replacement for them on days of illness or family issues. In virtual offices, the service is available 24/7/365. These days, you do not necessarily have to pay for health treatment if someone is ill. And speaking frankly, this harms your business in the start-up business three-fold: cost-wise, additional workload and underpaid founders doing processes and projects they should not be looking after in the start-up period.

Later, when I started some other consulting business, I used a virtual office place to start the business. The benefits were quite interesting then:
a) Pay-per-stay. When I was in London for business, my virtual office would have been fantastic. Why do you always have to commute around London and waste expense budgets, when from time to time you can just have gotten people to commute to you?
b) Pay-per-use. When clients came to visit, I did one phone call to the virtual office desk and paid for hourly use. That was really handy. Do I need to „own“ (and pay) a meeting-room that is unused for 35 out of 40 hours a week?
c) Pay-per-need. When I needed a desk, I paid for a shared desk. If I wanted to stay at home, I just told the office desk the day before. Do I need to rent a place where „my“ desk stands and is waiting for me too many days in a month? Traveling is the key to starting a good business. Meet as many people as you think is necessary.
d) Pay-per-inspiration. When I needed business exchange, new innovative approaches or even looked for some new networking opportunities, there were people from many industries to talk to at the coffee lounge in the virtual office. On a good talk, I paid for the coffee. No cheaper way to get consulting. And: Who goes a floor down in his office, just to meet someone as they are tenants like you are in order to speak about business?

Spot On!
There are valid business reasons to use a virtual office company when you start a business. When the business grows and you have got paperwork to store, you might think about using a bigger version of the virtual office components and features. Still, the reason for renting an office in days of cloud computing, bigger WIFI access and coffee bars in virtual offices is becoming smaller and smaller. And even, if your business grows, there are many ways to leverage the virtual office s long as you act in start-up mode.

Social Network Leaders for Business

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Adobe’s CMO.com did a great job in summarizing the leading social networks for business in one nice infographic alongside their CMO Guide to The Social Landscape. The marketing technology company checked each of the platforms according to four criteria: brand awareness, customer communication, SEO and traffic generation.

Obviously and not surprising, the leading platforms are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. From our experience not all marketers are aware of the importance to change the contents for each platform and not just run them in different timings. The target-groups on the various platforms may be quite different, thus their interests in content and context as well as their wants and needs might vary extremely – although they might be the same people sometimes.

YouTube will probably become the leading platform when the whole world is more driven by Millennials and their input. Although you might be thinking about funny videos, going viral now, most of the business content can be manuals, employer branding stuff, or even product explanation videos. The opportunities are massive and it is time for marketers to realize.

In the B2B space, Slideshare might be a new platform for marketers. The chances are big here as well, as companies and brands get the option to show presentations from various standpoints. Especially, if the company is addressing different stakeholders in a purchase process, it is sometimes good to open up some thoughts before the meeting, so stakeholders can prepare. And, how often did presentations before meetings not go through as of company email file restrictions…?!

Obviously, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest play a role from a corporate brand perspective. And Google+ especially from a SEO and content marketing point of view. However, we are still at the beginning and every case needs to be evaluated on its own.

Any important platform you are missing in the top 8 social networks?

CMO_Social_Landscape_2014

Report: How Mobile Apps Monetize

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One of the questions, we often get is… What kind of apps make money? Now, an interesting recent report by Distimo and Chartboost based on data from 300,000 apps worldwide with 3.8 billion downloads per quarter sheds some light here. In the Apple App Store free mobile applications with in-app purchases (IAP) get most revenue. The report shows that in-app purchases from free apps went up from 46% to 79% in the United States in only two years (Jan. 2012 to Jan. 2014). The leading countries in this app revenue context are China and Japan with the biggest revenue share (94%) generated from freemium business models.

Distimo Free InApps 2014

Not surprisingly, Germany is one of those different markets again. Here, just 70% of Germany’s revenue was generated from free apps with IAP. The report makes clear that in Germany a bigger revenue share comes from paid business models. However, this is based on the evolution of efficiency enabling tools such as education or navigation which seem to be tools that the German population uses predominantly.

Distimo RevSharePerDownload 2014

The APAC region shows the highest average revenue per download (ARPD). The leader being Japan with an average per download revenue of $5.32. Japan gets followed by Australia $3.60 and South Korea $3.40 places two and three. Canada, Germany, United States and United Kingdom almost generate the same amount per download of around $2.30. China came in last with an ARPD of just $0.92.

Distimo ARPD 2014

Still, this does not mean that the profit is as high as it sounds. In order to figure the profit out, Distimo and Chartboost compared the revenue per download (ARPD) to cost per install (CPI) for the leading 250 apps in the games category in 4Q13. Here, the winners were Japan before Australia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Distimo APPD 2014

The report shows that there is still money to be made. However, the cost per promotion in the App store or outside the app store should be calculated in. And then, the figures could look massively different…

Native Advertising: Will these brands turn the advertising industry around?

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Last year, I had the pleasure to announce this gentleman for one of the main dmexco stage panels. And I can tell you, it was not fun to complement him to go off stage when their speaking time was up. Terence Kawaja is a funny character and great speaker, and he doesn’t like being stopped talking. Now, the investment banker and founder of LUMA Partners introduced his latest chart of the Lumascapes which will define a new status quo in the advertising industry.

After their numerous Lumascapes on search, display, video, mobile, social commerce, and so on, this time we get to see their perception world of native advertising. Although the definition on native advertising is still evolving and may seem some kind of „rough in barriers“ and not very much detailed, it is making it’s way through the brand campaigns of companies. Not even the IAB playbook on native advertising gives us a clear definition on what exactly native advertising is, and how it differs from content marketing, branded content, or even how it can be located against approaches like story advertising.

To the guys of Business Insider, Kawaja said about his latest version…

„Given how consumers ignore banner ads, these new consumer – friendly formats are proving to be the engine for how marketers can engage audiences, especially in social and mobile contexts.“

Let’s hope he his right with his perception. I realized some brands of emerging companies are missing in the chart, maybe as it is an American view, maybe because we are often getting invites to the latest new start-up in this field, maybe as we see the world a bit different. Still, Kawaja and his team have done a good job again. Let’s hope he is joining dmexco 2014 again.

Lumascape Native Advertising

Infographic: How proximity & micro-location marketing offer new possibilities to marketers

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In a consumer world that is becoming more and more mobile technology driven, the outreach to customers depends on sending the right message at the right time in the right context with the right content impulse. Retail marketers need to be aware of how micro-location and proximity marketing will connect them with those early mobile adopters.

And just imagine how marketers can target their customers just when they are taking their purchase decision. Only as mobile technology and relevant data will let marketers know in which shopping experience the potential customer is.

Like a „look over the shoulder“ of their customers, retail stores can now use mobile and targeting technology to better understand the purchase behavior of their customers. Sensors and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons enable marketers to track and target those buyers in retail stores from the minute they walk in the door, and always send them relevant personal promotion content.

This infographic by MDG tells us that only 23% of marketers are using location-based data in their current mobile campaigns. Still, this technology will be changing the marketing approach in the future. As ore and more marketers are heading towards micro-location marketing (this marketing tactic is expected to reach $2.3 billion globally by 2016), it will depend on the customers whether they will accept this real-time marketing and hyper-targeting advertising formats.

infographic-future-of-proximity-and-micro-location-marketing

Target-group men: 10 Stats for better marketing

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Obviously, there is a difference when targeting men and women. Their purchase behaviour differs in many ways. Who is searching more for coupons, bargains or the latest gadets? According to a report by Microsoft, marketers should have an eye on the right mix between banner advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) tactics in order to address and find men at the right time with the right content in the right context.

Many men, especially young dads (between 25 to 40 years), are influenced by the impact of social networks, according to the report by Performics which we reported quite a while ago. Interestingly enough, 58% of them use four or more sources for their purchase decision. Utilizing social media with story-telling about products and services will make the appropriate impact on men, will give them insights on how companies and brands against their competitors.

Check the infographic published by Brian Honigman and have the 10 stats in mind for the next marketing campaign or tactics when addressing the male audience when your business wants to influence the purchase behavior of men.

PS: If you are interested to see the difference to women, you might have a look at the latest Blogher study here

Target-Men-Marketing-2013

Omnichannel Loyalty, and what it can do for companies…

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What is Omnichannel Loyalty (OCL), you might ask yourself? Well, according to a Kobie Marketing infographic it is „an enterprise-level initiative to drive, track, measure, and reward incremental behavior throughout the enterprise and customer experience“.

The OCL approach defines how companies and brands engage customers with personalized messages at different touchpoints and various channels. It offers rewards for customers‘ loyalty with the hope for lifelong brand loyalty. However, the challenge is, not to ignore the big data basics that are needed to drive an OCL business. The infographic shows that just 10% of real-time data is effectively used which states missed opportunities.

The infographic also makes clear that companies need to offer customers the appropriaste content in the right context with the right data approach in order to best engage the social customer who is „always addressable“.

Omnichannel Infographic

For 2013, IKEA will launch its first augmented-reality catalogue

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While many companies still think about the value of Augmented Reality (AR) applications, IKEA is already using it to their advantage. In their new catalogue for 2013, IKEA embraces the opportunities to use AR to illustrate the right context for their products and to give some inspiration to customers how our homes might look like when we buy their furniture and accessoires. The catalogue will come out on July 30th and the IKEA CATALOGUE App will follow on July 31st in the app shops. The new catalogues sets a standard for all retailers offering catalogues in my eyes.

How IKEA sees their customer and how they use their solutions, can be seen from the following statement…

„For instance, we’ve stopped dividing life at home into rooms. Bedrooms, for example – they’re as varied as the ways people sleep. We’ve taken away our notions of what defined a ‚bedroom‘ and replaced them with the idea ‚sleeping.‘ We know that some homes don’t have ‚bedrooms‘ – they have one 24-hour room where people live and sleep. Life is about activities; not the walls that define where they unfold.“

PS: I am desperately waiting to see their catalogue. Although I fear my wife might like it and then drag me along to their shops.

What do you think about the new catalogue and the concept behind it?

B2B Study: 69% ignore their customers‘ social web feedback

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It sounds a bit incredible, but it is still plain reality. The majority of B2B companies still ignore their clients on the social web. Most companies are not listening to their voices in Social Media to draw their conclusion out of their public feedback.

69% of B2B companies don’t give feedback to their customers input in Social Media. The missing process is the challenge for them which they cannot manage. This is the outcome of a recent study by Satmetrix.

Satmetrix is the company which is responsible for the NetPromoter score. This score measures customer satisfaction based on how likely customers are to recommend a business. Being a measurement of advocates and detractors, it might as well be seen as a mirror of business success.

The risk of ignoring still seems to be not interesting for companies if we see the latest results from this study…

– 75% of B2B companies do not measure or quantify Social Media
– 60% of B2B companies do not have an integrated social media strategy
– 56% of B2B companies who measure Social Media just count the comments and followers
– 51% of B2B companies don’t have Social Media tracking at all
– Just 4% of companies who measure social media have any form of sentiment analysis

The survey data is based on 1.180 responses from businesses around the globe, who are all part of the NetPromoter.com community.

Some months ago, Google described in a B2B study how business decision makers are making up their mind for a purchase decision. The web is the first resource when B2B decision makers are on their way to evaluate which product or solution they might buy for their company. And although studies like the one of the Aberdeen Group state that B2B companies can generate more leads when using Social Media, many companies still don’t see the link and the opportunities coming with it.

Spot On!
Somehow Social Media in B2B is not rocket-science. Somehow the challenge is to align competition, commitment, content, context and collaboration -the 5C’s of Social Bsuiness– in order to offer customers the chance to identity with the company. In our eyes, this is the only way to differentiate from your competitors. Let us know if you have good examples how companies are using Social Media in the B2B world. Looking forward to your feedback. Or if you interact as a B2B company successful on the social web, let us know and we might highlight your case in a post. Reach out to us!

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