In September the Business Marketing Association (BMA) held one in a series of its second annual Global Conference Series, B2B Rising, a conference targeted specifically to the B2B community, with a 100% B2B agenda. The focus of B2B Rising is that B2B brands today are engines of the global economy, comprising more than 50% of the U.S. GDP alone. And B2B marketers are driving innovation and spurring local, national and international growth as never before. According to Jeff Pundyk, while the theme was aspirational, the discussion was decidedly grounded by the operational challenges brought on by a role still in transition. B2B CMOs are finding that they are faced with substantial changes and challenges to their roles. In addition to demonstrating a connection between marketing activity and business results, they must also merge the art and science of marketing. Operational challenges dealing with data, technology and resources must merge with entrepreneurial approaches dealing with innovation, creativity and experimentation. B2B CMO’s Must Evolve or Move On, a joint study conducted by Forrester Research and BMA, reported that the landscape of marketing is shifting fast, and that there is a need for the business to actively try to innovate:
- 97% of CMOs think marketing must do things that it hasn’t done before to be successful.
- 85% of CMOs think marketing does things today that no one thought would be a responsibility three to four years ago.
- 80% of CMOs feel more secure about their grasp of the skills needed to be successful in marketing.
At B2B Rising, moderator Columbia University professor David Rogers started the discussion with a forward-looking list of the following “seven habits of great B2B marketers”.
- Use data to solve problems
- Create beautiful experiences
- Be ready to experiment
- Think like a media company
- Make innovation your story
- Build platforms, not products
- Think peer-to-peer, not B2B
While Roger’s entrepreneurial themes were echoed by other speaker throughout the event, operational challenges were not ignored. Laura Ramos, Vice President & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, presented a report co-sponsored by the BMA that painted a picture of increased responsibility and influence among the marketing function, but one of limited resources and increased expectations: The result being the need to rethink not just what marketers are trying to accomplish, but how. “CMOs must turn their attention to the business issues that matter”, says the report, based on the research of 117 CMOs. “They need to rethink the marketing strategy over tactics, prioritize collaborative opportunities, strengthen the marketing team, and collaborate with peers about how to put the real customer needs front and center.” (Image: ColinDunnblog.com)
As online advertising constantly evolves so does the technology for buying ad space. Using real time bidding (RTB) and typically handled by either outside advertising firms or in-house marketing or IT teams, programmatic buying is the process of executing digital media buys in an automated fashion through digital platforms such as exchanges, trading desks and demand-side platforms (DSPs). This method replaces the traditional use of manual RFPs, negotiations and insertion orders to purchase digital media. It’s an online auction of ad and promotional video space through which advertisers are able to target one specific person, in one specific place, on a specific device at a specific time.
According to Attila Jakab, client services director at London-based real-time advertising firm Infectious Media “programmatic buying is an automated way to execute media buys and the buying decisions are made on an impression-by-impression basis.” Sheldon Gilbert, CEO and founder of New York based Proclivity Media, compares programmatic buying to the way that iTunes unbundled personal music buying. “Marketers can specify location, they can specify the context, but more importantly, they can specify the specific individuals they want to reach… It’s search marketing on steroids.”
With programmatic buying, marketers can set specific parameters for the online ad buys. It is basically structured as a blind auction where buyers are given the opportunity to bid on the individual impression in real time and the highest bidder wins.
The remainder of programmatic media buying is done through ad bundling, or pre-planned online ad placements selected based on when, where and who advertisers want to target online.
The beauty of programmatic buying is that advertisers can actually take all of the Big Data they have on consumers and apply it to their digital media buys to position their creative when and where they want and changes can happen in a matter of minutes based on real time activity.
Is programmatic buying the future of digital ad buying? According to IDC “spending on real time bidding display advertising will accelerate at a 59% compound annual growth rate through 2016, making it the fastest growing segment of digital advertising over the next few years.” Rocket Fuel calls programmatic buying the most exciting development to sweep across the digital landscape and has published this introduction to programmatic buying white paper that is definitely worth a read.
In spite of all that utility companies have done over the last 20 years to persuade customers that energy efficient appliances really do save energy – and money – over time, energy efficiency efforts have stalled. U.S. utility companies have begun to notice a maturing trend in some markets where many customers believe in energy efficiency in a very fundamental way and make purchases and take day-to-day actions that are consistent with those beliefs. Alternatively, there is a group of people, who for some reason, tend to resist the pursuit of energy efficiency objectives or simply do not have the resources to do so.
Historically, the approach to marketing energy efficiency has been through education – attempting to explain the value of energy efficiency and the value of utility programs in helping customers to achieve efficiency goals. Perhaps, however, simple education is no longer enough and a revised approach that recognizes the different situations that customers are in would be more appropriate. The following table reports some basic attitudinal information for electric utility customers in a group of Western states (including California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Arizona) that have been actively promoting energy efficiency for many years. The table reports the proportions of respondents from a survey conducted in late 2012 that rated each item as a top three-box (8-10) or a bottom three-box (1-3) for a selected set of attitudinal measures. (The survey was sponsored by YouGov America and included 600 U.S. adult heads of households who were directly billed for electricity service.)
While customers say that they care about and are informed about energy costs and energy efficiency and that they are concerned about the environmental impacts of generating electricity and believe that utilities should encourage energy savings programs, a very small percentage (14%) say lack of information is the reason why they don’t do more.
So, the question remains, what will it take to persuade customers to purchase energy efficient appliances in the future? Currently higher efficiency options are offered with a rebate which would recapture the cost of the higher priced, higher efficient option in just three years, but realistically do rebates really change customer’s behavior? There is some evidence to suggest that people would make the decision to purchase the higher efficient option even without the rebate. With a plurality of customers saying that they care about their energy use and believe that their utility should be encouraging customers to be more energy efficient, most saying that information about energy efficiency is not a barrier to their actions in this category and most saying they really do pursue energy efficiency on a day-to-day to basis, is the emphasis on energy efficiency awareness still appropriate at this point. Perhaps it’s time to look at some other tactics.(quirks.com) (Image – OurGardenGate.com)
Do you remember a few years ago when all we heard was “there’s an app for that?” Apple wanted to convince of us it so badly they actually had the slogan trademarked in 2010. It appears they were right; our computers, tablets and phones can hand us electronic solutions for almost any issue or predicament we find ourselves in these days. Nowhere is this technology taking off more rapidly than in the field of medicine, specifically in the subspecialty of dermatology. Researchers have found over 200 dermatology apps, although only a few are made for medical professionals. The study searched Apple, Android, Blackberry, Nokia and Windows app stores for products related to dermatology and found 209 apps, with over half of them made for non-doctors.
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced that it will regulate a subset of medical apps intended for doctors, including apps that can be “be used as an accessory to a regulated medical device” such as ones that would allow a doctor to make a diagnosis based on a photo sent via the app. Some of these apps include: sunscreen recommendation guides, mole photo storage apps, and tools meant to diagnose melanoma. The most frequently reviewed apps made for the general public included:
- Ultraviolet – UV Index – The app shows the UV index for the user’s current location and currently has the highest reviewer ranking at between 4 and 5 on a 5-star scale.
- SPF – The app calculates how much time a user can be in the sun based on the skin type and the UV index.
- iSore – The app has a directory of skin conditions with a “graphic picture” and treatment information.
- SpotMole – The app is designed to check photos of moles for signs of cancer.
However buyer beware; mobile dermatology applications may help people learn about UV rays or keep tabs on their moles, but they are no substitute for seeing a doctor. “The biggest concern is people getting the wrong information” according to Dr. Robert Dellavalle, a dermatologist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora.
Dermatologists seem to be in short supply in certain parts of the country so one of the most promising aspects of these apps are the ones that have the ability to connect patients in remote areas to dermatologist through teledermatology. Dr. Karen Edison, who was not involved in the research, said “it’s time to use technology to make us more available”.
“I support the use of technology in getting access to dermatology expertise for patients who would not otherwise have access to that expertise as well as for convenience for patients … if it can be done in a high-quality way that takes patient safety into account.”
She said it’s important for doctors evaluating remote patients to know if they have access to medication or can see a dermatologist in person to do a biopsy, if necessary. That means an app that relies just on sending pictures and diagnoses back and forth, for instance, isn’t likely to be very helpful.
- 31% of millenials say they get more work done while they’re commuting. (U2 Global 323-860-9200)
- The pay gap between working women and men in the U.S. is projected to close in the year 2058. Currently women earn 76.5% of what men earn. (Institute for Women’s Policy Research 202-785-5100)
- Entertainment activities such as gaming, video viewing, and reading e-books account for 50% of total time spent using tablets. (Gartner 203-964-0096)
- More than six in 10 business travelers (61%) consider in-flight time a personal break and prefer not to be connected to Wi-Fi while on an airplane. (American Express Global Business Travel 212-640-2265)
- Nearly eight in 10 U.S. office workers (79%) believe they are more productive at work when they have a view of the outdoors. (SAGE Electrochromics 507-331-4848)
- Almost half of U.S. consumers (47%) spend up to two hours each week looking for coupons and deals. A similar proportion (45%) say they’re more likely to plan their shopping trips around circulars, coupons, and deals than they were at this time last year. (Red Plum Purse String Survey – September, 2013)
- Almost four in 10 social gaming participants (38%) make in-game purchases (Arkadium 212-337-3701)
- Although men watch more online video, women view the majority of video ads (53%). (VideoHub, div. of Tremor Video 646-723-5300)
- More than two-thirds of Internet users (68%) trust the opinions of other consumers posted online. (Nielsen 646-654-5000)
- Seven in 10 tweets (70%) posted while watching TV are sent during program airtime, rather than commercial breaks. (Social-Guide, div. of Nielsen 800-864-1224)
- The amount of energy lost through doors and windows in the U.S. every year is roughly equivalent to all the energy we get from the oil carried by the Alaska pipeline. (idahopower.com)
- Unconventional oil and natural gas (from shale deposits and other tight formations using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling) supported 2.1 million jobs in 2012, and is projected to support 3.9 million jobs in 2025, including 515,000 manufacturing jobs. (alaskaenergyforum.com)
- Texas areas including the Panhandle, the Gulf Coast, and the Trans-Pecos have some of the nation’s greatest wind power potential. Texas leads the U.S. in wind-powered generation capacity and is building substantial new capacity. West Texas alone has more than 2,000 wind turbines, and their numbers continue to increase as development costs fall and wind turbine technology improves. At 736 megawatts, the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Central Texas is the world’s largest single wind power facility. (Texas Energy Quick Facts)
- The explosion in domestic energy production now supports 1.2 million jobs, directly or indirectly, says consulting firm IHS, in a study recently released. That number will grow to 3.3 million by 2020, and new energy’s contribution to U.S. families’ disposable incomes will hit $2,000 per household per year by 2015, said IHS. (usatoday.com)
- The U.S. could surpass Russia as the world’s largest combined producer of oil and gas this year, and may have done so already, a report in the Wall Street Journal has claimed.
As oil and gas production continues to skyrocket in the U.S on the back of unconventional forms of extraction, perennial world production leader Russia has struggled to maintain its output. Last year, the U.S. produced more natural gas than Russia for the first time since 1982, according the Journal’s analysis of data from the International Energy Agency and the Energy Information Administration. Russia’s gas-production estimates are below current U.S. production levels of just under 70 billion cubic feet per day. (upstreamonline.com)
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that food allergies in children increased 18% from 1997 to 2007. The top eight food allergens – milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat – account for more than 90% of those food allergies and sensitivities. (experiencelife.com)
- In 2010 more than one in three children and adolescents in the U.S. was overweight or obese. This rate has doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (experiencelife.com)
- Several recent studies have targeted sleep deprivation as a key obstacle to student success. School-age kids usually need 10-11 hours of sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
- About 70% of antibiotics used in the U.S. today are given to healthy livestok. The practice is contributing to the rise in antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria called superbugs.
- Scientists say running backward is an effective training exercise because it produces less of a shock on joints and uses 30% more energy than running forward at the same pace.