State of the Market Report: Internet of Things 2016

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IoT Coffee MachineThe Internet of Things is said to have a major impact on the business world according to Jared Newman. Goldman Sachs even thinks that IoT opportunity for industrials could amount to $2 trillion by 2020. Connected cars, connected utility, connected houses, connected vineyards, connected streets, connected everything – the opportunities seem incredable bearing in mind that with IoT everyting can be addressed in the future.

Now, a recent report called „State of the Market: Internet of Things 2016,“ shows that the Internet of Things (IoT) is already mainstream.

The motivation behind the high adoption rate is quite obvious: The opportunity for revenue growth drives many managers towards IoT adoption with data being the monetization engine behind it. Still, just 8% of the respondents make use of more than 25% of their IoT data these days.

Not suprisingly, the report also highlights that enterprises are turning to startups to help accelerate their IoT growth. In 2015, enterprise IoT startup companies outpaced funding for consumer startup companies by 75%.

Verizon’s experts think that IoT will continue to be a revenue driver for businesses both large and small due to the confluence of five macrotrends:

1. Consumer usage of smartphones.
High expectations to automation possibilities as of simplified interface. 81% of IoT adopters in the public sector believe that their citizens increasingly expect them to offer enhanced services from data and IoT.

2. Data monetization is wanted.
By 2018, almost 50% of businesses expect to be using more than 25%of their data. Descriptive data collection will become predictive and prescriptive data analytics. Paradigm shift from „big data“ to domain experts expected.

3. Regulatory landscape will bring right ecosystem partners together to drive industry standards.
In the US, with the Drug Supply Chain Act manufacturers until late 2017 will implement systems to electronically transfer and store transaction histories for their prescription drugs including shipment information across their distribution and supply chain. Result: Thwart counterfeiting drugs and savings of $75 billion annually according to the World Health Organization.

4. Democratization of innovation by network connectivity, low power devices and IoT platforms.
Businesses can scale their IoT deployments from millions to billions of connections more cost-efficiently. With the new 5G, autonomous solutions such as cars and robotics will become a reality and new categories of uses cases will evolve, such as virtual and augmented reality for IoT deployments.

5. Security experts keep up with the development of technology by looking to arising threat vectors
Some old, some new – that will impact IoT deployments and ongoing operations. Data privacy, protection and processing will remain the biggest challenge for security experts.

Spot On!
Sometimes reports do not look at the data challenge of the IoT development in my eyes. The interesting aspect is that IoT offers some incredible opportunities to improve our lives, simplify our ways of health tracking and be informed about the status of our cars and houses. However, most of the use cases are often based on some cloud services that people do not trust in as the generated data is stored in some unknown data center somewhere in the world. I sometimes wonder, why companies don’t start to save the data in a personal private cloud that can be added as an add-on service to the IoT business.

But hey, maybe I am asking for too much at this stage of the IoT status. Thoughts?

Study: Without strategy there is no digital transformation.

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Many companies find that their people, processes and products lack digital maturiy, digital capabilities and digital innovation. Now, a recent study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte Digital finds that most employees (and not only GenY!) are not happy how their companies understand and leverage digital transformation. They want to work for the digitally mature management teams and leaders.

The report called „Strategy, Not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation“ surveyed over 4,800 business executives across 27 industries and 129 countries. The main finding is that the opportunity to digitally transform and to turn a business into a digital business depends largely on a digital strategy enabled by leaders who understand to create a culture that is open to change and reinvent an organization.

The study also makes clear that digital maturity of brands is based on the talents that companies can safe and hire these days. Over 75% of the digital mature companies agree or strongly agree that their organizations provide the necessary skills to capitalize on digital trends. Against those stand the immature companies where only 15% say that their organizations have a clear and coherent digital strategy.

Companies that are not yet digitally developed and advanced tend to focus on operations and what technology can do for them in an operational, tactical way. However, digitally advanced companies leverage their products always evaluating the digital transformation view in their strategic approch.

Interestingly enough, the study proves the agile way of doing bsiness and inventing products in the future. Those compannies that are igitally maturing organizations are more open to taking risks than the laggards. Over 50% of those laggards fear the risk as a major shortcoming. Embracing failure as a „prerequisite of success“ seems to become the new standard if companies want o be innovative and fast in driving digital transformation.

Not surprisingly, the maturing organizations are nearly twice as likely as less digitally mature entities to have a single person or group leading digital transformation process. The fluency of these leading digital companies is highly appreciated by employees – but it is not based on technology. Translating the capabilities of technology into value creation is much more challenging for companies but delivering the value that digital transformation needs. And leaders seem to (90%) understand the technology according to their employees.

Spot on!
The main message of the study for us was that leaders (70%) encourage their employees to innovate with digital technologies. Now, the study does not tell the readers how the managers are empowering their employees, in which way they provide motivation or technological ways to do so (which as we know ist he masterclass that most managers have not visited yet), and how much they have succeeded with their approach. In the last years, we have learned that most companies are exactly on that spot blank. Defining the ambition, delivering creative concepts, leveraging the sustainability of the concept, and finding the right processes was often the biggest effort in our projects for companies.

Please also find the infographic to the findings attached…
MIT SMR infographic_Wireframe_v7LTR

Influencer Trust and Recommendation – A real challenge for marketers (Infographic)

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Some years ago and in many seminars, we make clear that the 3Rs of social consumers will revolutionize the sales world: ratings, reviews and recommendations. However, the question arises what make people recommend brands and services? What is their intrinsic motivation or human driver that makes them push out more positive comments around a brand.

A recent infographic by Social Media Link pulled together the most important findings of a study that surveyed 24.000 social media consumers. Still, the best customer experience that leverages recommendations is „a positive experience with the brand“ (93%) and „receiving a free product or sample“ (79%). On the other hand, a poor customer experiences motivates sharing, too. 71% stated „a negative experience with a brand“ makes them write a review as well.

The survey respondents also mentioned that they are more likely to trust a product recommendation on Facebook than any other social network (71%), followed by Instagram with only 38%.

Not surprisingly, Facebook and retailer websites ist he place to discover new brands and services (53%). However, for purchasing the retailer becomes more important and after purchasing a product people use predominantly Facebook to share their buy (54%) – again Instagram comes in second place.

Spot On!
Now, when you think you just need to give a free product to someone, it makes them write a review or recommendation, you might be wrong. Although, 88% trust friends’ and family members’ reviews when these write about their give free product in exchange, the bloggers only come in at 78%. BUT: Is payment included in exchange for the review, trust-level goes down – especially at bloggers to 48%. Still, the best way ist o have apersonal story which is authentic, not animated and personal.

social-media-recommendations-infographic-2015

Study: Millennials value workplace friendships but sacrifice them for their benefit

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Credits: Gerd Altmann  / pixelio.de

Credits: Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de

A friendship is not a friendship, when it comes to moving on with your career – at least for millennials. A recent study published by LinkedIn this week shows that millennials believe in friendships at work boosting happiness, motivation, and productivity. However, friendship has an end and makes millennials competitive when it comes to career promotions.

The report states that 27% of the respondents think that workplace friendships boost their job performance. The negative part is that it also makes them more ambitious. Those millennials (68%) would even sacrifice a workplace friendship to get a promotion. The majority of millennials (3 in 5) believe that socializing with coworkers improves their workplace, and every third millennials thinks it will advance their career. Interestingly enough, almost every second millennial states that they would even discuss their salary with coworkers.

The results show quite a big difference to the Baby Boomers where almost the same percentage would never dare to have such a thought. From those workers at the age of 55-65, almost half of them even think a friendship with their coworkers had no effect on their professional performance in any way. Talking about salaries? Only 23% of baby boomers would think about it (and probably not do it).

The study shows that millennials are more open to talk about their very personal business situations like compensation and benefits with their millennial counterparts. Millennials are even heading for those informations instead of showing understatement and not disclosing any information about their personal salary conditions like the baby boomers do. Management should be coaching millennials here, and making sure that they give them insights in why it would be better not being too open with their coworkers.

Don’t limit conversations to only email or formal meetings. Take a walking meeting! Walking meetings are part of LinkedIn’s culture, and they are popular because people tend to relax during a walk, which allows for a more open and creative discussion. Plus, not having a phone or computer interrupt you every second, allows you to be more focused on the person you are talking to, and ultimately more connected.

Take an interest in the personal. While you may not want to give relationship advice, you should have an interest in your teammates as people. Take a few minutes during every one-on-one meeting to connect on a personal level. If your colleague always jets out with their yoga mat, ask them about it! Work is only a part of who we are; if you get to know people’s other passions, it may give you a glimpse into what motivates them.

Congratulate, share and like! A simple gesture on LinkedIn can do wonders for employee morale. Think how great it feels to get “a job well-done” email from your boss, and then imagine having the same recognition shared with your network. It feels great to get acknowledged for your hard work, and by sharing it publicly, you also help to build your professional brand.

The study shows that millennials are more open to talk about their very personal business situations like compensation and benefits with their millennial counterparts. Millennials are even heading for those informations instead of showing understatement and not disclosing any information about their personal salary conditions like the baby boomers do. Management should be coaching millennials here, and making sure that they give them insights in why it would be better not being too open with their coworkers.

How do you manage the millennial workforce in your company? Are they also as open as described in this study?

Relationships @ Work from LinkedIn

Participation 3.0: Thoughts on attending web events

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Gerd Altmann/AllSilhouettes.com

Before we start… Yes, I have published this post as Partizipation 2.0 in German some weeks ago. Now, after having been to different other web events like i.e. TEDx yesterday, people told me to translate the post, upgrade it to 3.0 and make it part of the series The Social Society (Part 1: Social Networking and Part 2: Social Engagement & Jobs). So, here we go with part 3… Participation 3.0.

In the last weeks, I have followed different reviews on web events. And I have to admit, reading the latest posts caused wrinkles on my forehead. Doubtful on the real long lasting output. Questioning what impact those events have. And also, asking myself, what is the best way to attend these events and participate in the content and context these events have to offer?

What is the additional value in participating in all these events that are taking place in London, Paris and Amsterdam (although the last one was definitely the best of those!).

With all these future of web events, I am always asking myself: „To go, or not to go? Attending, or leave it?“. Attending is more work than ever before. Would you agree…?

Only if you really participate, as we call it today. So what is participation in the future? How do we define the luxury to attend an event offline in the future? Writing Tweets, editing and creating live blog posts, following and commenting on the latest conversation around the event – apart from participating in other realtime online conversations that are interesting? It is a challenge… and exhausting. Or do we see participation 3.0 more as listening offline, starting communications around the speeches and panels? Lively discussing with attendees „face-to-face“ instead of „digital-to-digital“. Or both? Won’t we loose the visionary and revolutionary of thesis, the essence and matter then? It would be more than hard work to listen to everyone, right… Resulting in a „social media hangover“ as Michael Brenner describes nicely in his post…

So what is participation 3.0 at web events in some years? My view of participation 3.0 looks as follows…

Participation 3.0 is interactive, i.e. a modern offline discussion panel that shares latest real-time knowledge among participants. No monologue of a great speaker, evangelist or business leader. It is moderation rather than presentation, stimulation not penetration, that these people on stage offer. Stimulation instead of penetration. Giving attendees the opportunity to be completely focussed on the discussion. No distraction. No wandering around between offline and digital conversation strings. An open for communication build lecture or workshop that asks, that enables knowledge sharing. People who understands sharing, disturbing and double-checking conversations as the imperative of speeches and presentations.

When have you seen somebody being inspired or animated by the speaker or presenter to giving their input? When did you see someone getting involved in the speech? And when is a participant criticising the speaker on stage (thought about the Aristotelean theatre are allowed)? Or would this be too spontaneous, unpleasant and disagreeable for the „homo connectus“ in our nice offline world 1.0? Is participation 2.0 just one step too far away for us human beings…?

For years I am asking if the invested time in these „future of web events“ will pay out? For years these events come along as usual events, very well-behaved, not hoody-styled, not freaky, not… whatever. Style 1.0! For years, I am waiting for the symbiosis of offline and online discourse which not even Twitter walls achieved to get going (if at all available and from the moderators used as an input tool for the conversations).

How sensible is it to listen to the web avantgarde without any interruption, or exchange ideas or visions with them when offline engagement does not exist, or is not even close to being alive? Remember how the „inner circle“ was sticking to their smartphones, their talets or notebooks at the last event you participated? At the last events I joined, I followed tweets and comments where attendees wanted to drag the speaker or moderator off stage. Don’t even think someone shouted out loud… Did the critics really participate in these futuristic events?

Quite often I got the impression on national as well as international web events that a community in a community is self-inventing, self-justifying and „self-centrifying“ their social world. And yes, it seemed they have celebrated their existance – without even participating in the event anymore. „Heard this speech and statement from the speaker already twice, let’s grab a coffee…!“ Quotes I have heard often… Is it not essential to cut through the presentation and motivate people to think ahead in order to aggregate, catalyse and animate „shared knowledge“? Are we not standing offside and neglect our leadership position without realizing it – resulting in not added value for all?

Some years ago, it was seen as a premise to be part of the web avantgarde and to be invited to attend these events and to sip from the fountain of futuristic web intellect and insights.

Today, as of the old-fashioned event set-ups, traditional speeches and marketing intentions of the speakers 1.0, these events tend to become sum-ups, networking parties and reunions. Nohting special anymore it seems as everybody thinks the trend of shared knowledge does not offer any new input on stage?

Where is the realtime offline mapping of online conversations of participants following the event? Moderators often forget it and don’t get input from the technical staff. Somehow the boring monologue of the presenters seems to become the sleeping pill for the dialogue-fatugue audience – definitely during the speeches you can see it.

As soon as the event is over, the thirst for conversation starts immediately in blogs, forums or communities again. We find critic and virtual tapping on the shoulder. The blogosphere is alive again. During the event silence rules. No engaging offline conversation. No Wifi. Lack in bandwith. Lack in motivation for real participation initiative or motivation? Although, attendees feel the pressure to engage and participate in the offline monologue on stage, often nothing happens…

Maybe all this is the reason why the bloggosphere seems to be untouchable, outstanding, extraordinary? Or did these web geeks just find a way to differentiate from the community of the „web normalicus“ by not really engaging anymore in the offline discussions? That would be a superficial approach as a specialist, wouldn’t it…?

So where is the barrier between participation 3.0 and thought-leadership 3.0? Or is this new type of web thought-leaders learning, growing and adapting and thus will always use this to build a gap between them and the mainstream user? Or will the event input get more sustainability and long lasting intensity out of „after-event participation“ in online conversations? Then participation 3.0 would be even more interesting. Although some might see chaotic scenarios at events…

Maybe these are some thoughts are going too far away from reality, might be too revolutionary… What do you think about participation 3.0?

Study: Understanding the value of brand advocates…

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Recommendation marketing is one of the most compelling ways to approach buyers. If these recommendations are coming from the social graph, people tend to trust them even more. If those recommendations are coming from brand advocates who love to talk about brands and their activities connect to them persuade the opinions and purchase decisions of many others, the value for sales and marketing from a word-of mouth point of view cannot be underestimated any longer, concludes a study by BzzAgent (recently acquired by dunnhumby Ltd.).

Study definition of brand advocates: „Brand advocates are people who habitually review products and share their opinions with others around them.“

The study on brand advocates by social media marketing agency BzzAgent concludes that these „heavy users“ of social media were 83% more likely to review products and share their opinions than the control group of Internet users. The BzzAgent research makes clear that brand advocates share their experience on the brands they like offline and online: at the water cooler, in (online) shopping areas, or on social networks. Brand advocates are, according to the study, two and a half times more likely than other Web users to use social media to expand their social ecosystem.

A lot has been said about the motivation of brand advocates. This report suggests that while the people are altruistic as well as selfish in their responses, they are also brand advocates just to be social from a conversational perspective. Maybe you find some more helpful information in the BzzAgent infographic on brands advocates…

„They use these conversations as icebreakers to connect with people (…) which runs word-of-mouth marketing campaigns through its 800,000-member advocate network for clients such as Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal, and Welch’s. They meet new people there. This is recreation for them. They like to brag about positive experiences.“ Malcolm Faulds, SVP of Marketing, BzzAgent

Spot On!
The emerging field of brand advocacy and its challenge remains first of all in the identification of brand advocates, and to understand the difference in male and female brand advocates, and counting in how volatile brand loyalty could be. Although products like Klout, Radian6 and SM2 are useful tools in this process, for me those tools often don’t really reflect the intensity of „brand love“ and the trustworthy reliance on the real engagement and output for a brand. The real marketing impact and sales value of brand advocates can only be measured and forecasted in a real lively exchange with brand advocates. However this engagement needs to be online and offline. And companies need to create programms showing that brands understand the distinction between reach and relevance.

Partizipation 2.0: Gedanken zur Teilnahme an Web-Events

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Liest man sich so die letzten Nachlesen zur re:publica durch –hier, hier, hier und hier– so bilden sich mehr und mehr Falten auf meiner Stirn. Nachdenkliche. Fragende. Suchende. Wo ist der Mehrwert der Partizipation an solchen Veranstaltungen über die Zukunft des Web, die da in London, Paris, New York oder eben auch Berlin stattfinden?

Bei jeder Web-Veranstaltung überlege ich: „Teilnehmen oder nicht?“ Teilnehmen ist heute mehr Arbeit denn je. Aber nur, wenn ich denn partizipiere, wie das heute heisst. Aber ist Partizipation nun gleich Partizipation? Und wenn ja, wie definiere ich zukünftig das Luxusgut offline einem Event beizuwohnen? Tweets schreiben, Blogpost Resumee anfertigen und im Web kommentieren? Oder meint es eher… Mitmachen. Kommunizieren. Diskutieren. Oder beides? Dann geht es an die Substanz. Dann ist es harte Arbeit.

Aber was wäre modernes Partizipieren 2.0 bei solchen Events? Partizipieren stelle ich mir mal so vor…

Partizipieren wäre interaktiv, z.B. eine Diskussionsrunde, in der Wissen geteilt wird. Es wird moderiert, nicht referiert. Auf die Diskussion bin ich voll konzentriert, und nicht zerstreut umherwandernd zwischen realen und virtuellen Kommunikationssträngen. Ein offener gestalteter Vortrag, der animiert, der frägt, der Wissensteilung ermöglichen will. Jemand, der Imperative wie Teilen, Unterbrechen, Nachfragen als Grundlage des Vortrages sieht. Wann wird ein Zuhörer vom Vortragenden mal persönlich animiert zum Mitdenken? Wann wird man involviert in den Vortrag? Und wann kritisiert ein Zuhörer den Sprecher auf der Bühne (Gedanken an das aristotelische Theater sind hier erlaubt)? Oder wäre das zu spontan, dem „Homo Connectus“ unangenehm in der Offlinewelt 1.0? Ist Partizipation 2.0, ein Schritt dem Menschen zu fern…

Seit Jahren erscheint mir fraglich, ob sich die Zeit auf den einschlägigen „Web-Zukunfts-Veranstaltungen“ auszahlt. Seit Jahren kommen diese Events sehr brav und angepasst daher im 1.0 Stil daher. Seit Jahren fehlt mir die Symbiose aus Offline- und Onlinediskurs, die selbst Twitterwalls nicht einmal schaffen (wenn vorhanden oder vom Vortragenden/Moderator darauf eingegangen wird…). Wie sinnvoll ist es, der „Web-Avantgarde“ unumwunden zuzuhören oder mit ihr den Diskurs online zu pflegen, wenn er offline bei Events nicht existent ist, geschweige denn gelebt wird? Man schaue sich nur an, wie dieser „Inner Circle“ an ihren Smartphones, Tablets oder Notebooks klebt. Zuletzt habe ich Tweets von Leute gelesen, die Sprecher oder Moderatoren bei solchen Web-Events am liebsten von der Bühne gezogen hätten. Erkennenswert aufbegehrt hat niemand. Aber haben die Kritiker denn dann wirklich partizipiert im zukunftsträchtigen Sinne?

Oft hatte ich auf nationalen wie internationalen Veranstaltungen der letzten Jahre den Eindruck, eine Community in der Community inszeniere und feiere sich selbst – ohne weiterhin selbst mitzuwirken. „Den Vortrag habe ich schon zigmal gehört, lass uns einen Kaffee trinken gehen…“ konnte man mehrfach hören. Muss ich nicht gerade dann den Vortragenden unterbrechen, zum Weiterdenken motivieren, um so „Geteiltes Wissen“ zu aggregieren, zu katalysieren, zum Leben zu erwecken? Stehe ich sonst nicht als einstieger Vordenker schnell im Abseits, ohne es zu merken und verhindere den erwünschten Mehrwert für alle?

Noch vor wenigen Jahren galt es als Wissensvorsprung ein Teil der Web-Avantgarde zu sein und bei solchen Events mitmachen „zu dürfen“. Doch dank des Webtrends des „Geteilten Wissen“ wird schnell eine Mainstreambewegung des Networking aus diesen Events aufgrund der alten Event-Tradition, Vortrags-Mentalität und Marketingabsichten der Referierenden 1.0. Wo entspringt dem online „geteilten Wissen“ mal ein zündender Funke auf modernen Veranstaltungen, der den Offline-Diskurs auf den Plan ruft? Irgendwie beherrscht der lähmende Monolog auch weiterhin die dialogmüden Massen der Eventteilnehmer – zumindest während der Vorträge.

Sobald der Event endet, kehrt der Diskussionsdurst in Blogs schlagartig zurück. Es entsteht Kritik, Lob und Anregungen. Die Blogosphäre lebt auf. Während des Events aber verstummt die viel gepriesene Konversation. Mal aufgrund fehlender Brandbreite, mal aufgrund fehlender Motivation an Partizipationsinitiative oder -motivation. Obwohl doch der Wunsch und Drang da ist, etwas zu sagen.

Kann sich die Web-Avantgarde dank ihrer Blogs gerade deshalb von der Gemeinde des „Web Normalicus“ distanzieren? Und macht das den Unterschied zwischen Vordenker 2.0 und Partizipant 2.0 aus? Oder wächst, adaptiert und lernt dieser traditionelle Kommunikationstyp unaufhaltsam. Und lebt inzwischen die Event-Partizipation intensiver und nachhaltiger in persönlichen Gesprächen nach den Vorträgen, ohne aber darüber in Blogs zu philosophieren….?

Vielleicht gehen diese Gedanken aber auch zu weit, zu abwegig, zu revolutionär… Was meint ihr zur Partizipation 2.0?

Content Marketing – Insights in an emerging digital topic for CMO’s

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This week, the Custom Content Council and ContentWise released their American survey “Characteristics Study: A Look at the Volume and Type of Content Marketing in America for 2011” that indicates the future for a young type of branding: content marketing. The study states that CMO’s are spending an all-time high of $12.5 billion of their budgets in emerging platforms for custom content marketing with virtual events, mobile, video, and educational content.

The platforms for content marketing are still ruled by a $24 billion spent on print production and distribution. It shows the relevance of print for their marketing activities. CMO’S dedicate 29% of their average overall marketing, advertising and communications budget to content marketing activities. Those custom content products and platforms are becoming increasingly important to chief marketing officers. The study reveals that 87% see content marketing is valuable, and more than one-third of CMOs (35%) believe custom content marketing is the future of marketing, an increase by 19% in 2006.

“While print remains the choice du jour for most custom media programs, new media channels are providing more growth opportunities for the custom content industry” (…) “This year’s study underscores multiple expansion areas for content. As the economy continues to rebound, the future of content looks very promising.” Lori Rosen, Executive Director, Custom Content Council

Some further key findings of the study are that for example video content is growing: 57% of marketers will produce video, (increase of 3% to last year). Website and blogs are still on of the main topics CMO’s are focussing on next to print custom content marketing formats: Website updates of articles, blog posts and other content is for 79% the main activity.

Spot On!
Consumers seem to value the custom content from brands and companies. 69% like when custom content marketing targets their interests and 67% see it is valuable. An even more important finding for me is that 61% admit they feel better about brands when these deliver custom content. AND: These consumers report to be more likely to make purchases with these brands and companies. Marketers should pay attention to this development of the power of digital content marketing, especially as content curation will affect their SEO strategies of their social web activities acording to a study by Curata. Although probably most CMO’s agree with these motivations, more than 73% also admit that creating original content is the main challenge for marketers. There’s obviously a lot that content marketing could do for brands and companies in the future. As money seems to be made available by companies, it’s just depending on the usual bottle-necks: people and time.

Book Review – Marketing in the Age of Google

19.11.2010 von  
Kategorie SEO

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When somebody used to work for Google there is a lot of knowedge to be shared. And I thought, I could learn more about SEO techniques and tactics. Vanessa Fox did work for Google (apart from inventing Webmaster Central), and so I thought, I need to read the book Marketing in the Age of Google. As a web-strategist I should know the secrets of ranking high on Google for my clients.

Getting Vanessa’s inside view on how Google and their search technology operates, gives an aggregated insight on the evolution of search topics. It is saving time and presumingly more efficient than following or reading many SEO experts thoughts. And then let’s help clients to optimize their site fropm a SEO point of view.

To write a review is a challenge. As I follow some of the most interesting SEO cracks, I knew some content topics already. But there is much more quality thoughts and knowledge in it that makes the book worth reading. If companies want to optimize their top rankings, the book offers good tactical approaches and a clear structure how to start and evolve your content strategy as well as how to conquer the top positions in Google. 

Having said this, the book is based on the theory of having a web-strategy in place that is aligned to the company’s business strategy. If your company has the consumer approach understanding the needs, desires and motivation why consumers go online to evaluate products and services, then the book is a must read.

The way people used search engines has changed in the last years as the web has become mature from an information platform to a consumer generated content base. It is not about what the company spreads but what the users are looking for and the content they share and create. People hear something about a person, a brand or a campaign and instandly start going to search for more information. Not seldomly they are finding consumer input. And often the initial search entry point starts with offline marketing, PR or customer service conversation – in print ads, TV commercials or an wallpapers.

Business that know how to connect offline and online efforts will succeed in the future. Happy that this was my main claim when I started this blog and thus gets now backed up by a Google specialist… Thanks Vanessa!
 
Spot On!
The amount of input the book Marketing in the Age of Google offers is probably only handable for a SEO specialist. And this person has to have the buy in from the C-level to manage the online strategy accordingly. A lot of the strategy is based on content creation and content framework which is a PR, marketing, HR, R&D and Customer Service topic in the future in my eyes. These departments need to learn how to place content effectively in the search world. It will affect the way peope perceive the business strategy of a company and the way the companies and brands interact with their clients, partners and employees. What I missed was the effect taxonomies and social tagging might have on search in the future but maybe this comes with the next update. 

Social Networks – Universal McCann launched their Wave 5 study

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For the fifth time, Universal McCann (UM) has published their research its Wave 5 study which focusses on the global use of social networks. The study is the largest and most consecutive social media research worldwide. This year it reached out to 54 countries and 37,600 survey respondents.

The study was introduced by UM research director Glen Parker who pointed to mobile becoming a huge driver of social network use. He mentioned that the study helped answer questions as to what brands should be doing in the space and what the impact is for their business.

„Most (brands) inherently, aren’t social, but users are expecting to see them in the same places as they are in. People are moving away from traditional brand spaces. For all customers – the one thing they all want is good service, but in all other aspects they are completely different. The real challenge is understanding the social network needs of each consumer“.

Some key findings of the study…
– Social Networks get 1.5 billion visits – daily.
– 61,4% of Wave repondents have managed a profile in the past six months – 10-point increase since Wave.4 in 2009
– Nearly half of respondents have accessed brand communities on social networks.
– Main motivations for joining were ‚to learn‘ (78.6%) and ‚to gain advance news on products‘ (76.1%)
– Of those who joined brand communities, 71% were more likely to purchase and 63% recommended others to join

For me it was interesting to see in the study results how the use of blogs is changing. The use of personal blogs dropped by 15% and also family blogs decreased which does not surprise me as it is a time-consuming effort. Today, people tend to write personal blogs on social networks, an increase by approximately 20%.

Spot On!
In a panel discussion that followed the introduction of the Wave.5 results, Facebook EMEA VP Joanna Shields explained how marketing communication is changing. „People are starting to trust institutions less and less but they do trust their friends. If you use Facebook correctly you’re in a dialogue,“ she stated. Social Networks is not about selling in my eyes but those brands who understand their clients will know how often, intense and persuasive they can be in their conversation with their brand fans. It is the mixture, the tone and the creativity of the content that makes the stream a must-follow for „brandvagelists“.

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