Monday, May 28, 2012

Tablets Continue to Pull Business Prospects Away from Their Laptops
Learning to embrace the dance of the unfinished

According to IDG Research, one in eight (12%) iPad users already say their device has completely replaced their traditional laptop, while another 54 percent said tablets have partially replaced their laptops. What’s more, nearly half (44%) of marketers believe tablets will have a high or very high impact on laptop use in 2012.

The opinions of marketers on the future of laptops are divided though, says the report. The majority sit somewhere in the middle, with 37 percent suggesting it will have a high impact and 37 percent indicating it will have some impact.

IDG’s analysis concludes that tablets are widely used, and four out of five (79%) iPad owning professionals always use them on the move, is all the evidence marketers should need to target this medium.

Getting comfortable with things being unfinished

Blogger and futurist Seth Godin, had a great post recently about the never-ending state of our work lives. “There's always one more tweet to make, post to write, words with friends move to complete,” he explained. “There's one more bit of email, one more lens you can construct, one more comment you can respond to. If you want to, you can be never finished."

For the marketer, the freelancer and the entrepreneur, Godin observed, it’s not like how we were brought up--trained to finish our homework, our food, our errands and our chores. You’re never really done and you have to embrace that.


We may not have time to smell the roses anymore, but at least take time to notice them. It’ll be Labor Day before you know it. Don’t kick yourself again wondering where the summer has gone.

As Godin said: “Today, we're never finished, and that's okay. It's a dance, not an endless grind.”



TAGS: Seth Godin, IDG research, tablets, iPad, replacing laptops, B2B marketing

Monday, May 21, 2012

Facebook Facing the Music?
Online video continues surge

Face The Music   Now that the most public of companies is a public company, it looks like it’ll have to grow up a little. Shares of the newest kid on the Nasdaq block skidded again on their second day of trading. FB (Nasdaq) shares are now about 11 percent lower than the company’s initial offer price. Regulators and some investors who bought into the social network's public offering are now in the red (and seeing red) while raising questions about whether the company and its lead banker, Morgan Stanley, botched the deal. There were also some strangely-timed privacy suits against the company last week on top of GM’s decision to pull its entire $10 million ad schedule off the site two days before the IPO. 

It wasn't clear what role if any Morgan Stanley was playing in the stock's trading on Monday.
Disclosure: we’re neither long, nor short Facebook and don’t intend to be anytime soon.

Taking the long view

Regardless of whether FB (NASDAQ) succeeds as a public company, social media will be here to stay in one form or another. Social media’s probably not going to dominate all other forms of media, communication and human interaction—but it has earned a seat at the table. B2B marketers should make sure social plays some sort of part in your overall marketing mix. Let’s skip the hype and get back to business.

Online video growth continues surge

Internet users (and advertisers) can’t seem to get enough of online video. The amount of time spent watching online video grew about 46 percent in April 2012 compared to April 2011 according to comScore’s just-released April 2012 online video viewership figures. While comScore’s data indicates that the number of unique viewers rose only 5, viewers are watching a lot more video. Internet users watched about 21.8 hours last month -- up from 15 hours the year before, representing a 46 percent increase.
Meanwhile, the number of video ads viewed online rose to 9.5 billion for April, up from 3.8 billion the year before -- an increase of more than 2.5 times. Plus, the 9.5 billion ads is 14 percent higher than the 8.3 billion ads delivered just one month ago in March.

Our take: Analysts say most of the video viewership increase is coming from YouTube, but we think B2B markets should look closer at using dedicated video playlist tools that give your more control—Brightcove, Vimeo, etc.—with YouTube simply as your fill-in-the-gaps air coverage.

Macro view

Home construction rose to nearly a three-year high in April, the government reported last week and factory output rose in three of this year’s first four months. The two reports suggest growth in Q2 is off to a good start, helped by falling gasoline prices and solid hiring gains.
An AP report said manufacturing has become one of the strongest areas of the American economy since the recession ended nearly three years ago. Factory output is now 18.3 percent higher than its low hit in June 2009, the month the recession ended. It is only 6.1 percent below its prerecession peak.


Let’s stay focused on the fundamentals not FB’s daily gyrations. Things are getting better whether you meet your customers and clients face-to-face or Facebook style. Smart, relevant, targeted marketing will always win out in the long run.


TAGS: Housing construction, industrial output, Facebook IPO, Morgan Stanley, comScore, Nasdaq

Monday, May 14, 2012

Why B2B Marketers Care About TV Upfront Week

LinkedIn preferred by the financial elite (see below)

Broadcast television—emphasis on “broad”—still has merit for mass consumer advertisers pushing cars, consumer staples, travel and movies. There will still be plenty of buzz this week when the advertising “up front” season kicks off. But, the live ratings for networks programs have declined for 14 straight quarters, according to media buying firm, Horizon Media. Meanwhile, Horizon says online viewing is up more than 46 percent year-over-year and Nielsen estimates there will be 350 million Web-enabled TV devices in use worldwide by 2015.

NY Times media pundit, David Carr quipped today, “it isn’t just the early adopters that legacy television has to be concerned about: there is a whole cohort of consumers on the way who are non-adopters of TV as we have historically conceived it.”

Our take: It’s not only that “appointment TV” continues to drop precipitously (i.e. American Idol ratings off 30 percent), but viewers want to consume their favorite content when they’re good and ready to do so. That same DVR mindset is affecting how they engage with your email newsletters, alerts, podcasts, videos and white papers.

Don’t worry about your clicks, opens, views and Likes the first 12 to 24 hours of a digital campaign. In the same way that your target buyers TiVo their favorite shows for later viewing, they’re archiving their “must-read/must view” work-related content and plowing through it over the weekend or late at night when they’re more relaxed and less distracted. We see this trend again and again with our clients.

Next week we’ll talk about using the metrics that matters—not the McMetrics that are easiest to collect.

LinkedIn preferred by the financial elite

According to the latest quarterly study by Janrain Engage, people use Facebook to interact with friends and family, Twitter to follow influencers and share opinions, LinkedIn for their professional network, and Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail to communicate directly with contacts.  Combined, these networks boast over 1.5 billion accounts. 

However, it’s a little different for financial advisors and high net worth investors (HNWI) of more than $100,000 in investable assets. A new commissioned by LinkedIn released late last week at the Financial Services Summit in New York identified some important takeaways:

1.For about one third of advisors (30%), social media plays a role in marketing and researchers expect it to be used by over half over advisors in 2013. Nearly three fourths of financial advisors have used at least one social network for business in the past year. Researchers also found that many advisors are not taking advantage of the platform. About 5 million high net worth individuals (HNWIs in industry parlance) use social media to inform financial decisions, and of those who consult a financial advisor regularly, more than half (52%) would value interacting with that person via social media -- but only 4 percent do so today.

2.LinkedIn says about two-thirds of U.S. online adults with an investment account have at least one social network profile, and Forrester Research says nearly all households with more than $1 million in investable assets are now online.

3.Social media adopters are more demanding. More than half (53%) of HNWIs expect relevant and timely content, 48 percent want greater transparency of information and 45 percent value real-time interactive conversations.

4.Among advisors who have used at least one social network for business, 91 percent have used LinkedIn; 32 percent, Facebook; 28 percent, Google+; and 22 percent, Twitter.

Our Take: Great stats, but now LinkedIn starts to push it over the top. For instance, the study also found social media improves brand perception of a financial company, labeling it as "innovative." Researchers claim “Not only do investors expect finance companies to advertise on LinkedIn, but doing so improves consumer brand perception toward the financial company by 7 percent. That same financial company advertising on another social platform could result in an 11 percent net decrease in favorability,” according to LinkedIn's findings.


Whether you’re in mass consumer, financial services or nuts-and-bolts B2B, your target customers—not you—decide if and when they’ll spend time with your offering. That’s the world we live in. Just as “mass” is fading from the lexicon of mass media, “blast” is fading from the world of B2B.


TAGS: LinkedIn, Forrester Researcher, Horizon Media, Janrain Engage,
Financial Services Summit, Nielsen, David Carr