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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

IBM nudges Microsoft from top spot, SAP advances, Amazon debuts on top 50 IT firm ranking

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

MicrosoftThings are changing in the digital world as tech companies jostle each other for top position. IBM has bumped Microsoft out of the top spot in the Booz & Co. second annual ranking of the world’s top 50 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies that provide the building blocks to increasingly digital businesses.

Oracle held fast at #2, while IBM leapfrogged from #3 to claim the top spot, fuelled by its strong product and service portfolio and global presence.

“This volatility is not surprising given the vast changes sweeping this sector.

These companies are being forced to rapidly transform their business models, product portfolios, service offerings and global footprints in order to stay one step ahead of their clients’ needs in the evolving digital world.. Add to this financial pressures in an uncertain economy, and the fact that boundaries are gone and more players are competing for overlapping, converged markets, and it’s no wonder new winners are emerging,” says Richard Bhanap, partner at Booz & Company.

Key Findings:

  • Software and Internet companies and hardware and infrastructure providers are dominating the ICT industry, claiming the majority of spots in the top 20
  • Integrated solution models are continuing to gain ground over IT services, especially those IT service providers with more traditional outsourcing and managed services businesses
  • AmazonSeveral software and Internet businesses are making big advances, including SAP, which jumped three spots, to #4, Google, which moved up to #8, and Amazon, which debuted in the top 50 for the first time at #13, driven by its rapidly growing cloud services business
  • Dell and HCL took the biggest falls, each dropping five spots, to #20 and #18, respectively

Market going through dynamic change

“This market is going through dynamic changes; primarily because so many companies are expanding and reshaping their portfolios and pushing for global scale and reach at the same time. As a result, many smaller IT service providers are under pressure, being acquired or disappearing completely. On the other hand, ‘digital first’ players like Amazon are coming in with integrated solutions or compelling cloud offerings. We will see even more convergence in the future, and the winners will be those who can build integrated solution ecosystems around an innovative software or hardware core,” says Richard  Bhanap.

  • This year’s Global ICT 50 companies took in total revenues of US$2.07 trillion, a 3 percent increase over the prior year’sUS$2.01 trillion, and a slight slowdown in growth compared to the previous year. Average margins remained steady at 15 percent. Software and Internet companies (e.g., Adobe, Google, Microsoft, SAP) and offshore IT service companies (e.g., TCS, Infosys, HCL, Cognizant) were the only two groups to achieve double-digit revenue growth for the fifth straight year
  • The same two groups saw stagnating to declining EBIT margins, albeit on a very healthy >20% level, which suggests early signs of business model maturity and increasing competition
  • Hardware and infrastructure companies claimed the middle ground in financial performance, achieving continuous margin improvement and stable growth over the past five years
  • Global IT service providers and telecom companies were the weakest performers and the only groups whose growth and profitability remained almost flat in 2013, although they did manage to stabilise their margins
Google

Google ranks number one among MBA students asked to name ideal employers.

In addition to assessing financial performance, portfolio strength, go-to-market footprint, and innovation and branding for company rankings, the study also identifies six business models to create value in the ICT industry. This analysis reveals that players that base their value creation approach on innovation (like Apple and Google), global sourcing (such as Infosys), and digitisation models (including SAP) are the most successful financially, followed by large market consolidators such as Oracle.

Read the full study here.

Online, mobile M&A deals up, values down

Friday, July 12th, 2013

YahooOnline and mobile mergers and acquisition deals increased by 7 percent in the first half of 2013, but value decreased 29 percent, from $32.54 billion in the second half of 2012 to $23.16 billion.

The median revenue moved from 2.3x to 2.1x, while the median EBITDA multiple increased from 10.0x to 16.0x, according to the  Berkery Noyes mid-market investment bank, for the first half 2013 mergers and acquisitions trend report

Yahoo!, with 13 transactions, was the industry’s most active acquirer in first half 2013. Aside from its $1.10 billion acquisition of Tumblr, Yahoo! has mainly focused on small, mobile-based transactions this year.

Tumblr was Yahoo!’s largest deal in the Online & Mobile Industry since 2003, when it acquired search and internet advertising company Overture Services for $1.63 billion.

SaaS & Cloud was the most active market segment and underwent a 15 percent increase in volume, totaling 291 transactions year-to-date. M&A activity in the Communications segment improved 22 percent since second half 2012, making it the sector with the largest half-to-half year increase. One notable Communications transaction in first half 2013 was Dropbox’s acquisition of mobile email application Mailbox.

Mobile a strong driver

mobile devicesIn addition, acquirers are looking to add mobile solutions that aggregate relevant content in relation to individual users, as news is shared in real-time.

There were several deals over the past six months that focused on news summary and content sharing, such as LinkedIn’s acquisition of Pulse for $90 million, Google’s acquisition of Wavii for $30 million, and Yahoo!’s acquisition of Summly for $30 million.

“Mobile continues to be a strong driver of M&A activity in the information marketplace,” stated Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “Content delivery methods are evolving, and acquirers in general are showing more interest in semantic technologies that improve the end-user experience.”

Small increase in search engine best practices: huge boost in traffic, conversions

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

By Allan Maurer

Aaron Houghton

Aaron Houghton of Boostsuite is on his 15th startup.

If you’re looking for a way to substantially boost traffic and conversions on a small business web site, research shows that even a small increase in compliance with search engine best practices can do the trick. And read on for a single effective headline tactic that drives clicks.

Durham, NC-based Boostsuite conducted a comprehensive study of small business websites and their compliance with those search engine best practices. Boostsuite measures compliance by analyzing website pages and assigning them grades from A+ to F. Users of the company’s basic, $19 a month plan to pinpoint simple changes to conform to search engine guidelines saw traffic increases of up to 214 percent and an increase in sales leads and purchases of 146 percent.

Aaron Houghton, founder and CEO of Boostsuite tells the TechJournal that some of study findings were surprising. The average small business website has 140 pages. “That’s a lot more than we would have guessed,” says Houghton. “But there are categories where it’s easy to get a lot of pages. Ecommerce sites, for instance. Even if they don’t have many employees, could still hae a catalog of 1200 pages.”

How often is new content posted?

Media sites and active bloggers also generate a lot of pages, he says.

The study also found that 60 percent of small businesses add new content to their site once a month and the average growing site adds 15 new pages each month. While Google has said its new algorithms could punish sites that publish too much content for their size, Houghton thinks “It’s hard to overdo it. But a weekly publishing schedule may be the sweet spot for staying in Google’s good graces.”

Google pandaHe admits that figuring out exactly what Google wants can lead to gray areas, but says the basics are simple: Don’t republish content available elsewhere verbatim. You can be inspired by the topic, but write your own copy.”

Another study finding: the software and IT services industry racks up the highest number of average monthly online marketing conversions, mostly sales leads. “That’s the most tech savvy group,” Houghton notes. But he suggests that digital marketing companies are better off designing products that a marketer with no tech experience or knowledge can use effortlessly.

In particular, he says software companies selling products that give users less data – even in easier to understand formats such as plain English – isn’t useful to small businesses. “It can be valuable to expert marketers,” he says, but doesn’t help those who need to know what to do about the problems the data exposes.

“If you still need someone to analyze the data, it doesn’t help the local coffee shop owner be more successful,” he says. Boostsuite’s product, he notes, not only analyzes a website’s compliance with search engine best practices, it also provides actions the user can take to remedy site problems.

A headline trick that drives clicks

Finally, the study also identified a headline tactic that is the most successful at driving clicks. The keyword “7 reasons” is the most commonly used “high opportunity” keyword for software and IT businesses. “The reality,” says Houghton, “is that kind of information content – clearly about solving a problem – is what drives sales. “Seven ways to do this, 7 things not to do, that sort of thing, short and to the point, is incredibly effective for driving leads, much better than advertising.”

Houghton is on about his 15th startup if you count those for which he didn’t take any outside funding, the best known probably being Triangle-based iContact, the email marketing firm he co-founded. Four employee Boostsuite grew its revenue 688 percent in its first six months. “The numbers are small but positive in the right direction,” he says.

The company has not sought outside funding and isn’t looking right now, but Houghton says, “When the time is right, six to 12 months out” the company might seek backing to expand its marketing and advertising efforts.

Here’s the infographic Boostsuite developed from its study:

Small Business Marketing Statistics based on 6,000 BoostSuite users

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top ten viral infographics in June focus on Google, the Internet, Facebook

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Infographics fit the Internet’s image-friendly ecosystem so well that many go viral and appear on multiple social networks, news sites and blogs. We’ve seen many hit our monthly top ten story list here at the TechJournal. Now,  Customer Magnetism, a digital marketing agency headquartered in Virginia Beach, has released the winners of its “Top Ten Most Viral Infographics” for the month of June, 2013.

Customer Magnetism used the total number of likes and shares from the social media signals of Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Facebook to rank the infographics.

Batman

Technology and the Internet itself are often the subject of these infographics. Customer Magnetism’s list includes inforgraphics on A Day in the Internet, Google, Texting, Awesome workplaces in Silicon Valley, Everything you wanted to know about Facebook’s IPO, and Don’t Lose Your Caffeine Buzz to Cybercrime.

Others focus on “The Cost of Being Batman,” “The World as 100 People,” and “What are the odds?”

While we find infographics both fun and informative when they’re done well, we also see many with the same problems: the creators try to stuff way too much into them – particularly text. Many times this makes the text hard to read. Infographics should be graphic, not short books with illustrations.

 

Customer Magnitism offers these samples of its own infographics.

Customer Magnetism offers this on “What is an infographic.”

What is an Infographic?
Created by Customer Magnetism, an award winning Digital Marketing Agency.

Industries and companies MBA students see as ideal employers

Friday, June 7th, 2013
Google

Google ranks number one among MBA students asked to name ideal employers.

MBA students no longer see the financial industry as the golden path to riches, apparently. It has seen a steady decline in the ranking of ideal employers by Universum Global since 2009.

The 2013 rankings saw just one bank, Goldman Sachs; hang on to its coveted Top 10 spot – no other bank made the Top 10.  Of the students who still consider banking a top industry, one of the top three employer attributes attracting them is prestige.

Technology is still an attractive industry, if the MBA student rankings of their ideal employers is a guide. Among the top ten are Google, Apple, and Amazon.

 

The most preferred industry for MBA students, Management and Strategy Consulting, sees prestige as the 10th most important attribute, behind others such as leadership opportunities, a creative and dynamic work environment, and challenging work.

Consulting secures the top industry title

Management and Strategy Consulting is the top industry of choice for MBA students and elite strategy consulting firms McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company and The Boston Consulting Group have all retained their Top 10 positions this year, but broader professional services firms are gaining ground.

Deloitte“What is interesting as you look at the data is that the elite strategy consulting firms have stayed stable or decreased in the rankings; however, other professional services and consulting firms (Deloitte, IBM, PWC, Accenture) have all risen in the rankings,” saidMelissa Murray Bailey, Universum President of the Americas.

“As leadership opportunities are one of the key attributes attracting MBA students to this industry, this trend could be a result of the larger firms’ concerted focus on offering a greater variety of career paths than before.”

Strong consumer brands make an impact

AppleApple’s MBA ranking stayed steady at #3 this year and Amazon was right behind after having jumped two ranks from #6 to #4. Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, LVMH, and Unilever also featured within the 2013 Top 30. Similar to Management and Strategy Consulting, the attributes attracting MBA students to Consumer Goods (the second most preferred industry) are leaders who support development, leadership opportunities and a creative and dynamic work environment.

While all of the Top 30 consumer goods organizations obviously have strong consumer brands, this doesn’t always correlate with a strong employer brand.

“A strong consumer brand is a blessing and a challenge when it comes to managing an employer brand,” advised Bailey. “I would go as far as to say that when a company has a strong consumer brand, it needs to work even harder to make its employer brand known to potential candidates.

“Otherwise, there is the risk of disappointment and high turnover when students have jumped to the wrong conclusions based on what they know about an employer brand. The two can and should complement each other, but the messaging needs to be focused and deliberate to ensure success.”

Top 10 Ideal Employers for MBA students:

1. Google, 2. McKinsey & Company, 3. Apple, 4. Amazon, 5. The Boston Consulting Group, 6. Bain and Company, 7. Nike, 8. Walt Disney, 9. Deloitte, 10. Goldman Sachs. Please visit CNN Money for full list:http://money.cnn.com/news/economy/mba100/2013/full_list/

Android tablets poised to overtake Apple’s market lead

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Android logoApple has been able to maintain its tablet lead by delivering a quality experience at a premium price, but Android devices are poised to overtake the firms lead.

The iPad maker exited the first calendar quarter of 2013 with 50 percent share of all tablet shipments, though, according to market intelligence firm ABI Research, the Android ecosystem is poised to overtake iOS.

The big variable for Android is China. The Middle Kingdom is passionate about the Apple brand as well as the masses’ ability to afford technology devices.

Smaller, 7-inch Android tablets have become popular though most lack the Google suite of apps and Android Play marketplace. A push for sub-$200 tablets is keeping Android relevant in both developed and emerging markets.

“It’s inevitable that Android tablets will overtake iOS-powered slates, though we see no single vendor challenging Apple’s dominance anytime soon,” says senior practice director Jeff Orr. “With media tablets commercially available for more than 4 years, momentum is shifting toward value and affordability, putting tablets in more of the population’s reach.”

IPad Mini becoming dominant

Average selling price (ASP) and size have been moving down-market since Android tablets started honing in on the opportunity in 2012. Rather than try to unseat Apple in the 10”-class space, tablet vendors sought a defensible area they could own; the result is the 7”-class devices.

Steve Jobs was wrong in asserting that tablet computers had to have screens at least 10 inches in size. Consumers are clearly expressing a preference for small tablets. Anyone who has hefted a 10-inch tablet knows why. The small tablets are much easier on the hands and lose little in terms of the experience.

Apple iPad3s

Apple iPads

Facing manufacturing limits in its first quarter of offer, the 7.9-inch iPad mini put a dent in the larger iPad sales and Apple profits. The first quarter of 2013 saw Apple cover its backlog and approach the typical 4-6 weeks of sales channel inventory while recording its second-best ever quarter for total iPad shipments.

ABI Research estimates that iPad mini represented 49% of units and 39% of total iPad revenues. “Expect iPad minis to become the predominant iPad model after the June quarter,” adds Orr.

These “Media Tablet Market Share” findings are part of ABI Research’s Media Tablets, Ultrabooks & eReaders Research Service(http://www.abiresearch.com/research/service/media-tablets-netbooks-ereaders/).

Free tool lets you see how Penguin/Panda affects your site

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

PenguinSEO agency, Barracuda Digital, has added new features and functionality to its free-to-use ‘Panguin Tool’ for webmasters and marketers to check if their website has been hit by any of Google’s major algorithm changes.

The revamped ‘Panguin Tool’, a portmanteau of Google’s Panda and Penguin famous updates, now allows webmasters to see exactly which landing pages and keywords may have been affected by Google’s algorithm changes.

Panguin 2.0 has been released in time for Google’s latest spam fighting algorithm Penguin 2.0 - rolled out earlier this week (22nd May). It is estimated that roughly 2.3% of English queries will be noticeably impacted by this update.

More functions added to tool

The first version of Panguin Tool was originally created to help marketers and website owners to diagnose whether drops in their website traffic could be attributable to Google algorithmic devaluation.

The agency have now added more functionality to the tool for webmasters to better understand exactly which keywords or landing pages have suffered (or benefited) during an identified drop (or increase) in visits from Google’s search results.

Head of SEO at Barracuda Digital, Luis Navarrete said, “We created Panguin 1.0 because there wasn’t a tool available that clearly showed which one of Google’s algorithm updates was responsible for drops in traffic levels. The next logical step was to allow webmasters to see which keywords and URLs had experienced the biggest drops in visits during the identified time period.

We hope that the Panguin 2.0 will help businesses to focus on what really matters in order to improve organic visits to their website.”

The Panguin Tool pulls in organic traffic data from Google Analytics and overlays it with information about each of Google’s algorithm updates, allowing webmasters to see if their drops in organic visit levels from Google correspond to algorithm release dates.

The new features mean that you can now apply date filters (and many other filters) to periods of interest to see the keywords and landing pages that are no longer generating organic visits from Google searches.

Commenting on the new functionality of Panguin 2.0, Anthony Tuite, Senior SEO consultant at Barracuda Digital said, “When you’ve seen a fluctuation in traffic you need to be able to quickly examine specific keyword and URL organic visit data. By knowing which algorithm updates were released around the time of the fluctuation, and knowing what they were designed to target, you can more effectively diagnose problems and subsequently take affirmative action to rectify the situation.”

There has been significant interest in the revamped tool and the site has already seen a significant uplift in visits during the three days since release.

Check if your website has been hit by Google’s spam fighting algorithms: http://www.barracuda-digital.co.uk/panguin-tool.

For more information please visit http://www.barracuda-digital.co.uk.

About The Panguin Tool

  • www.Panguintool.com was launched in September 2012 and is owned by Barracuda Digital.
  • The tool was built using the Google Analytics API and requires the user’s permission to access their Google Analytics Data.
  • The tool uses standard OAuth 2.0 to handle data authentication safely.
  • Use of the Panguin Tool is completely free and Barracuda Digital does not see, store or use any of the Google Analytics data.
  • It was created to provide correlative data as to which algorithm updates have had an effect on the user’s website.
  • Barracuda Digital makes every effort to update the algorithm data presented in the Panguin Tool in a timely manner. However, due to time restrictions this is not always immediately possible.
  • All information provided by the tool is for reference only and Barracuda Digital cannot be held accountable for any subsequent actions taken after use of the Panguin Tool.

Get the inside story on Bitcoin and Aereo at Atlanta Digital Summit

Monday, May 13th, 2013
Digital Summit

The Digital Summit is the largest event of its kind in the Southeast.

Only a handful of seats remain available for the largest digital conference in the Southeast, the Digital Summit, Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, tomorrow, May 13 and Wednesday, May 14.

This year, in addition to the more than 100 leading digital thought leaders set to present the latest digital strategies and trends at the summit, you’ll get the inside story on two hot topics: the Internet currency Bitcoin and the company disrupting cable and satellite TV delivery models, Aereo.

Chet Kanojia, CEO and founder of Aereo, which grabs over-the-air TV broadcasts and offers them to consumers via Internet connected devices, will talk about his starup’s disruptive technology.

Kanojia says The consumer proposition is what’s important.

Bitcoins

Bitcoins

Stephen Pair, co-founder and CTO of BitPay, the leading processor for bitcoin, will provide an overview of the somewhat controversial Internet currency. He talked to the TechJournal about What will make bitcoin succeed or fail,” in advance of his appearance at the Summit.

Speakers will also share the latest best practices and strategies in topics such as social media, email marketing, search, mobile, e-commerce, usability, analytics & measurement, online video, social TV and digital advertising/branding among many others.

A capacity crowd of 1,500 digital marketers, Internet executives, web strategists, entrepreneurs and other digital professionals will connect in Atlanta for two full days of content and networking.

social televisionSpeakers represent leading brands such as Google, Twitter, reddit, Mashable, Porsche, Turner, TMZ, Coca-Cola, HootSuite, NASCAR, The Weather Channel, Aereo, Dell, Rovi, HGTV, Forrester, StumbleUpon, Salesforce and Adobe to name a few.

The Digital Summit conference features a keynote from the co-founder of reddit, Alexis Ohanian, and over 80 strategy presentations and discussions, musical acts, the Startup Showcase, preconference workshops, leading digital vendors and hours of attendee networking.

Here at the TechJournal we’ve interviewed a handful of the digital gurus who will participate. It’s only a sample:

Among those you’ll hear are:

Microsoft/Bing’s Matt Wallaert says Behavioral Science is helping build a better tech future and why people prefer Bing to Google in tests.

Mike Perla, director of conversion optimization and creative at Fathom will fill you in on how to Show your client ROI from usability testing.

Aaron Schildkrout, co-founder of the unique online dating site, How About We, talks about a data driven company

Brian DAmato

Brian DAmato

Brian DAmato, SVP of Analytics at Moxie discusses How to get ROI from digital channels.

Tim Clark, director of optimization for NASCAR, talks about how NASCAR listens to its fans to increase digital channel engagement.

Erik Muendel, CEO and creative director of Alexandria, VA-based Brightline Interactive offers three tips for grabbing attention via digital channels and keeping it.

Social media and marketing consultant Jeff Sheehan explains how Linkedin offers a billboard to 200 million users.

SEO expert Josh McCoy says you should use competitive analysis and enticing content to fire up your SEO.

Erica McClenny

Erica McClenny

Erica McClenny, vice president of client services withExpion, urges you to break down walls to pop the social media bubble.

Michael Marshall, CEO of Internet Marketing Analysts tells you how to do those backlinks right.

Brian Wong

Brian Wong

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, one of the top four online ad companies according to Forbes, offers insight into the mobile ad secret sauce – capturing moments of achievement.

Jacques Panis of Shinola, talks about bringing jobs and manufacturing back to the US in Good timing, making watches in Detroit.

 

Fewer than 100 seats left for Atlanta Digital Summit

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Atlanta skylineFewer than 100 seats remain for the Digital Summit in Atlanta which is only a week away. One of the largest digital marketing events in the Southeast, the Digital Summit features more than 80 presentations from marketing and technology thought-leaders.

Speakers from brands including Twitter, Google, Mashable, Porsche, Reddit, Adobe, TMZ, Bing, Nascar, Coca-Cola, Salesforce, AOL and many more will discuss the latest trends and insights into all things digital.

More than 1,500 are expected to attend.

Hours of networking

People network in groups large and small at SEVC.

People networking at a previous TechMedia event.

In addition to learning the latest digital trends and best practices with actionable takeaways from over 100 world class speakers, you’ll get hours of networking opportunities at two open bar receptions, day one’s gala reception with heavy appetizers, breakfast  & lunch on day two, cool giveaways, opportunities to check out the latest digital technologies and startups, a concert from a grammy nominated artist and a lasting experience.

Digital Summit will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta.  The conference is readily accessible with a direct flight from most major US cities. The World Congress Center is a just short hop on Atlanta’s mass transit system from the airport.

Chaitanya 'Chet' Kanojia, CEO, founder, AEReO

Chaitanya ‘Chet’ Kanojia, CEO, founder of AEReO, will participate in the upcoming Digital Summit in Atlanta.

AEREO CEO participating

Among other top speakers, the CEO and found of AEREO, which has been much in the news lately with its technology for capturing over-the-air broadcasts and delivering them to customers via Internet connected devices, will be on hand.

For more about the event and links to interviews the TechJournal has done with a number of participating speakers, see: More than 100 digital thought-leaders headed to Atlanta.

Confirmed speakers include: 

  • Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder, reddit
  • Baratunde Thurston, Technology-Loving Comedian
  • Frederick Townes, Sr Technical Advisor, Mashable
  • Matt Wallaert, Behavioral Scientist, Bing/Microsoft
  • Brent Herd, Dir Southeast, Twitter
  • Brian Wong, CEO, Kiip
  • Joshua Fruhlinger, Head of Digital, TMZ
  • Kelly Deen, Dir Consumer Marketing, Turner/Cartoon Network
  • Lizzy Nephew, Social Media & Emerging Technology Specialist, Porsche
  • Tom Daly, Group Director, Global Connections, Coca-Cola
  • Maureen Schumacher Cole, Head of Financial Services, Google
  • Steven Tedjamulia, Dir of Digital Strategy & Innovation, Dell
  • Michael Tippett, Dir of New Products, HootSuite
  • Steve Robinson, Dir of Online Analytics & Business Intel, The Home Depot
  • Michael Rodriguez, Product Manager of Digital News, The Weather Channel
  • Scott Carlis, VP Digital & Social, AEG Digital
  • Chet Kanojia, CEO & Founder, Aereo
  • Bert DuMars, VP & Principle Analyst, Forrester
  • Randall Lloyd, Dir of Social Ad Sales, Salesforce
  • Mallory Colliflower, Community Manager, HGTV
  • Tim Clark, Dir of Optimization, NASCAR
  • Mandar Shinde, Sr Dir Mobile Monetization, AOL
  • Jeff Siegel, SVP Worldwide Advertising, Rovi
  • Loni Stark, Director of Product Solution & Industry Marketing, Adobe
  • Lance Broumand, CEO, UrbanDaddy
  • Anthony Napalitano, Dir Global Partnerships, StumbleUpon
  • Brian D’Amato, SVP Analytics, Moxie
  • Matt Kaplan, VP Sales, Mail Online
  • Jason Hartley, Group Media Dir, 360i
  • Jeff Dennes, SVP – Head of Digital, SunTrust
  • Nick Ayers, Mgr, Social Marketing, Intercontinental Hotel Group
  • David Favero, Southeast Sales Dir, Shoutlet
  • Justin Carll, Digital Strategist, PureRED
  • Rory Felton, VP of Business Development, Music & Entertainment, Chirpify
  • Brian Ford, Sr Dir of NA Sales & Service, 3DSystems
  • Gretchen Fox, Social Architect, grtchnfx
  • Bob Gilbreath, CEO, Pingage
  • Laurie Hood, VP of Product Marketing, Silverpop
  • Kami Huyse, CEO, Zoetica Media
  • Simms Jenkins, CEO, BrightWave
  • Manny Ju, Dir of Product Management, Blue Hornet
  • Lawrence Kimmel, Executive Director, Hawekeye
  • Mike King, Dir of Inbound Marketing, iAcquire
  • Topher Kohan, Assc Dir of Search Strategy, Rockfish
  • Chris Korbey, Creative Director, Emma
  • Yoel Leinwand, Account Executive, YouTube
  • Rebecca Lieb, Industry Analyst, Altimeter Group
  • Michael Marshall, CEO, Internet Marketing Analysts
  • Erica McClenny, SVP Client Services, Expion
  • Josh McCoy, Lead Strategist, Vizion Interactive
  • Mark Miller, SVP/CRM Practice Lead, Digitas
  • Howard Morton, CEO & Managing Partner, Boardwalk International Advisors
  • Erik Muendel, CEO, Brightline
  • Dave Mundo, VP, Analytics Director, BKV
  • Stephen Pair, CTO & Co-Founder, BitPay
  • Jacques Panis, Dir of Strategic Partnerships, Shinola
  • Mike Pearla, Dir of Conversion Optimization, Fathom
  • Claudia Perlich, Chief Scientist, Media6Degrees
  • Steven Roe, Dir of Business Development & Marketing, Response Media
  • Lindy Roux, Principal Content Strategist, Siteworx
  • Nigel Sanctuary, VP Cloud Propositions, Kognitio
  • Joey Sargent, Principle, Brandsprout
  • Becky Scheel, Graphics/Website/Exhibit Designer, ZooAtlanta
  • Aaron Schildkrout, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, How About We
  • Jenny Schmidt, Principle, CloudSpark
  • Jeff Sheehan, CEO, Sheehan Marketing Strategies
  • Rob Sanders, Founder, RSO Consulting
  • Patrick Toland, CRO, Optimal Social
  • Stefan Tornquist, VP Research (US), Econsultancy
  • Chad White, Principle of Marketing Research, ExactTarget
  • Scott Williford, Fouder & CEO, vLink Solutions
  • Luke Barton, Technical Director, Siteworx
  • Trevor Sumner, President, LocalVox
  • Yakka Murphy, Art Director, Digital Experience, The Weather Channel
  • Cara Citino, Dir of Digital Services, R2integrated
  • Jeff Ferguson, CEO, Fang Digital Marketing
  • Victor Wong, CEO, PaperG
  • Ade Adeosun, Sr Dir Digital Business Analytic, comScore
  • Kelley Mitchell Price, Chief Experince Officer, PocketFirm
  • Annalise Kaylor, Dir of Social Media, Intrapromote
  • Trish Nettleship, Dir of Social Media & Influence, UCB
  • Danny Davis, CEO & Founder, Proving Ground
  • Thomas Cornelius, President of Adility, InComm
  • Adam Harrell, President, Nebo Agency
  • Nikhi Deshpande, Director, GeorgiaGov Interactive
  • Peter Lee, Editorial Director, GeorgiaGov Interactive
  • Alankar Tayal, Optimization, Usability, Testing & Analytic Expert

More than 100 digital thought-leaders headed to Atlanta

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Digital SummitMore than 100 leading digital thought leaders are set to present the latest digital strategies and trends at the Digital Summit, Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, May 14th – 15th, 2013.

Speakers will share the latest best practices and strategies in topics such as social media, email marketing, search, mobile, e-commerce, usability, analytics & measurement, online video, social TV and digital advertising/branding among many others.

A capacity crowd of 1,500 digital marketers, Internet executives, web strategists, entrepreneurs and other digital professionals will connect in Atlanta for two full days of content and networking.

social televisionSpeakers represent leading brands such as Google, Twitter, reddit, Mashable, Porsche, Turner, TMZ, Coca-Cola, HootSuite, NASCAR, The Weather Channel, Aereo, Dell, Rovi, HGTV, Forrester, StumbleUpon, Salesforce and Adobe to name a few.

The Digital Summit conference features a keynote from the co-founder of reddit, Alexis Ohanian, and over 80 strategy presentations and discussions, musical acts, the Startup Showcase, preconference workshops, leading digital vendors and hours of attendee networking.

Here at the TechJournal we’ve interviewed a handful of the digital gurus who will participate, with more to come.

Among those you’ll hear are:

Brian DAmato, SVP of Analytics at Moxie discusses How to get ROI from digital channels.

NASCAR_Chevrolet_ImpalaTim Clark, director of optimization for NASCAR, talks about how NASCAR listens to its fans to increase digital channel engagement.

Erik Muendel, CEO and creative director of Alexandria, VA-based Brightline Interactive offers three tips for grabbing attention via digital channels and keeping it.

Social media and marketing consultant Jeff Sheehan explains how Linkedin offers a billboard to 200 million users.

SEO expert Josh McCoy says you should use competitive analysis and enticing content to fire up your SEO.

Erica McClenny

Erica McClenny, SVP, Expion, is participating in the upcoming Atlanta Digital Summit.

Erica McClenny, vice president of client services withExpion, urges you to break down walls to pop the social media bubble.

Michael Marshall, CEO of Internet Marketing Analysts tells you how to do those backlinks right.

Brian Wong

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, is participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-15.

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, one of the top four online ad companies according to Forbes, offers insight into the mobile ad secret sauce – capturing moments of achievement.

Online marketing offers better efficiency than offline

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

mobile devicesTwo of today’s most talked about brand advertising categories are mobile and online video. Until now, however, brands have struggled with accurately and definitively measuring the return they are getting on their video and mobile ad spending, and deciding how to best allocate their limited marketing and advertising dollars.

MarketShare, which sells predictive analytics for marketers, has just completed one of the first in-depth analyses of video and mobile ad effectiveness as part of the larger marketing mix.

The study, sponsored by Google, quantifies the relative impact of these digital media across several major industries, including autos (entry level luxury segment), credit cards, cosmetics, auto insurance and smartphones, with implications for many others.

How marketing drives consumers

MarketShare analyzed vast amounts of data from Google, YouTube, and other syndicated data sources to establish how, at a category level, marketing drives consumers to engage with search, display, video and mobile channels, ultimately influencing their purchasing decisions.

“Through this analysis, MarketShare and Google are helping marketers better understand how search, online video, and other paid, owned, and earned marketing tactics influence consumer behavior and drive demand,” says Wes Nichols , Co-Founder and CEO at MarketShare.

“At the same time, we’ve uncovered new insights about video and mobile advertising effectiveness that many marketers haven’t seen or been able to quantify before.”

A Marketing Efficiency Index developed by MarketShare compares ad spending on different online and offline channels to actual results (sales or applications). Looking at the overall average for the industries analyzed, findings show that online marketing offers greater efficiency per dollar of marketing spend than offline.

Reallocating marketing dollars lifts sales

By reallocating marketing dollars, marketers with spending levels similar to the category averages studied could expect to generate an incremental 1% to 4% lift in sales.  Since the total marketing spend analyzed across all five categories totals more than $8 billion, the stakes are significant.

“Through our efforts with MarketShare, we were able to develop unique category-level models for analyzing digital and traditional marketing channels more holistically, helping us better understand the full value of marketing investments,” says Gunnard Johnson , Advertising Research Director at Google.

MarketShare’s analysis of category-level marketing activity sought to measure how consumers are influenced throughout their “purchasing journey.”

YouTube 4By including not only paid marketing investments, but also other intermediate outcomes in the purchase journey such as a consumer’s Google queries and content views on YouTube related to a brand (both brand-uploaded and content related to a brand), this analysis went deeper into drivers of brand performance than traditional marketing allocation efforts.

A few key takeaways for marketers include:

  • While offline marketing and other environmental factors continue to play a substantial role in driving demand in the categories modeled, digital spending appears to have substantial upside for greater marketing efficiency, particularly for smartphones and auto insurance.
  • Desktop search continues to warrant a significant percentage of marketing allocations. In addition, mobile search is an aspect of marketing investment that this study has identified as important, especially in larger categories such as Cosmetics, Credit Cards and Auto Insurance.
  • Online video investments via YouTube in the range of 1%-4% of total media budget seem appropriate for high-spend categories, with more considered purchases (e.g. luxury autos or handsets) perhaps even higher. All in all, the model suggests that current levels of brand spend in YouTube appear to be consistently underinvested.
  • Quantifying the impact of other consumer touchpoints highlights the importance and potential for paid advertising to influence owned and earned contributions. In particular, the analysis was able to determine the value YouTube “owned” and “earned” content views represent, highlighting their significant overall sales contribution.

Linkedin offers you a billboard to 20M people

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

By Allan Maurer

Jeff Sheehan

Jeff Sheehan

So, how do you get 195,000 followers on Twitter? Buy them? Bribe them? Offer them ice cream cones?

“Honestly, I worked my tail off,” says Jeff Sheehan, a marketing and social media consultant at  Sheehan Marketing Strategies, who is recognized as one of the Top 100 Marketers to Follow on Twitter, who now has more than 199,000 followers.

Sheehan, who has 30 years of high-tech global sales, marketing, and advertising experience marketing to Intel, Cisco, Apple, HP, and IBM, is a well known speaker in the Atlanta area on the use of Linkedin, Personal Branding, Social Media, and Marketing.

He’ll be talking about Linkedin at the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-15, joining dozens of other digital media, marketing, advertising, and technology thought-leaders from brands such as Google, Twitter, AOL, Adobe, and many others.

“The power of social media is incredible,” Sheehan tells the TechJournal. “It levels the playing field and gives you the ability to position yourself regardless of your background. So anybody can be a somebody if they’re good at branding themselves online.”

Tips on using Linkedin

LinkedInAn expert at using Linkedin, Sheehan offers these tips on using the social network:

First, he says, “Be credible. Put up the best profile you can.” That means also including appropriate keywords – although he rails against people who overdo it the way sites used to overuse keywords for SEO. On his blog for instance, he cites one unnamed job hunter who was in social media less than a year but includes a whole long paragraph with nothing but the phrase “Social media marketing.”

You should, though, include a professional photo and a complete picture of what you’ve done.

Next, Sheehan suggests, you have to build your network. “Find people with common interests and ask to join their network,” he says.

Once you’ve acquired endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn, it adds to your credibility, he says, although we’ve heard some dissenting voices regarding the value of endorsements.

Like your own billboard

After you establish your identity, Sheehan notes, Linkedin is “Like your own billboard with a potential audience of 200 million people. You can display your work and provide your network with material you think is relevant, articles, news.”

He warns, however, “Don’t spam people.” One person in his network “Puts out post after post after post,” he says, so Sheehan used the Linkedin “hide” feature. That keeps the person in his network, but he’s not longer bothered by all those superfluous posts.

“You want to keep people in your network,” he says. “The more people you are connected to, the easier you can be found. So it’s important to retain the size and integrity of your network.”

Longer shelf life

On the other hand, used judiciously, you can “Get a lot of visibility via Linkedin updates,” which have a shelf life a bit longer than the rapidly moving Twitter stream.

Twitter bird

Just call me Larry.

Sheehan, who has called himself a “Twitteraholic,” says he also sees great potential in Google+. “Google is going to continue to invest in it,” he says.

Facebook, he says, “Is mostly for friends and family.”

Pinterest, which had quite a buzz last year, “Is not as universal” as the other social networks, he adds. “It’s audience is 85 percent female. But it has benefited a lot of businesses.”

There are so many social networking tools, with new ones such as Instagram and Vine popping up all the time, that no one has time to manage them all.

“Pick your poison and figure out where you’re going to focus,” he says.

 

How to do those back links right

Friday, April 19th, 2013
Michael Marshall

SEO expert Michael Marshall is among the digital thought-leaders participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-14.

By Allan Maurer

Back before Google launched it SEO-changing Penguin algorithm, certain “spamtastic” backlink building methods worked for quite a while, which is why they became so prevalent.

When that Penguin algorithm hit, even many legitimate sites were adversely affected. “They were lured into spamtastics because they worked for so long,” says Michael Marshall, CEO of Internet Marketing Analysts, who helped craft advanced SEO strategies for many top Internet brands, including AOL, 1800Flowers, and Alcatel-Lucent among others.

Marshall, who writes about SEO for many media outlets, from Forbes, Investor’s Business daily, PRWeek, SearchNewz and SEOToday.com, is among the plethora of digital thought-leaders, tech gurus, and execs from top brands participating in the Digital Summit in Atlanta May 14-15.

In two separate sessions, Marshall, who is also a lead instructor at Search Engine Academy, will discuss understanding Google’s search algorithm and link-building.

Fixing bad backlinks

Marshall says that if past practices hurt your site when Google’s Penguin hit, there are two ways to fix the problem.

First, he says, “Make the structure of your backlinks look more natural. Search engines have a specific way of determining that.”

He suggests using Google Web Master tools or Majestic SEO to monitor your backlinks.

Then, Marshall says, “You have to get rid of backlinks and/or add more good ones to such a degree that it minimizes the effect of the bad ones. “It’s a percentage game, although no one know the exact percentages,” he adds.

If you can’t remove some backlinks for any of a variety of reasons, you can use the Google and Bing disavowal tools so they don’t harm your rank. But before doing that, Marshall warns, “Get your ducks in a row, because they won’t just look at the backlinks, they’ll look at everything.”

Adding good links

How do you go about getting good links to outweigh the bad?

“Get links from organizations in your industry,” Marshall says. “Your partners, vendors, suppliers. Those are the types of sites you want links from.”

If you’re a local company, he suggests, “Anything like the Chamber of Commerce or industry guilds – organizations that have a good reputation in your space locally.”

Another standard approach is to identify your top competitors going after the same traffic you do. “Look at your top five competitors. What 20 backlinks do they have in common? They’re a good place to start.”

Don’t buy links for SEO

What about buying links?

That’s a no-no in today’s SEO world – although you can buy them if you don’t use them for SEO purposes. “Google says it knows that buying links are a regular part of doing business, but it doesn’t want you to use them for SEO,” notes Marshall.

Google plans a new major Penguin release Marshall says he expects may shake things up as much as the original one did.

He recommends that the way to stay on top of the SEO world is to “find reliable sources online.”

Those include Google’s own blog, Searchengineland.com, SEOrountable.com, and the Searchengineacademy.com blog.

 

 

Facebook, Youtube, Twitter dominate social media brand ranking

Friday, April 19th, 2013

social mediaThe four most valuable social media brands in 2012 were able to defend their leading positions and increase their brand values, with Google+ rising fast.

The rankings are from the Department of Social Media Management of HWZ University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich, in cooperation with BV4 Certified Brand Valuation Experts.

Facebook takes the top of the current ranking with an estimated brand value of $ 34.320 billion, followed by YouTube with a brand value of $ 26.824 billion, and Twitter with $ 23.656 billion.

Less well known in the Western world is the Chinese network Qzone which, with a brand value of $ 16.336 billionn, is in fourth position.

Google PlusTop winner of this year’s ranking is Google+, which gained 14 ranks ($ 5.878 billionn).

Together, the thirty most valuable brands have a monetary value of nearly $ 200 bn

Trends positively influenced brand value growth

Actual social media trends had a positive influence on the strength and value development of the analyzed brands, fueling a growth of 59% compared to the top 30 brands in 2012: on one hand, the most successful social media brands such as Facebook and Twitter were able to further develop their dominance with regard to their financial brand values.

On the other hand, Chinese social media brands expanded their strength and value thanks to the impressive Chinese Internet usage statistics that are characterized by a rapidly increasing number of Internet users and an intensive daily use of social media networks.

Furthermore, the new brand arrivals Instagram ($ 2.101 bn, position 22) and Pinterest ($ 1.987 bn, position 24) clearly benefitted from users’ augmenting need to share pictures among their digital peers.

Finally, the trend of increasingly using mobile devices rather than PCs to access social media platforms is an additional factor that positively influenced the strength and value development of the most valuable social media brands in 2013.

The growing importance of social media brands

Brands are important intangible value drivers for consumer goods and service companies. Compared to corporate values, intangible values like brands are continually increasing.

This is also true for social network brands, which have spread rapidly throughout the world and were able to continue on this path to success. Some of the important value drivers of social media brands are global awareness, growing user numbers, omnipresence in the day-to-day life of consumers, as well as facilitation of simple and efficient communication.

The detailed report “The Most Valuable Social Media Brands 2013″ can be obtained free of charge at http://www.fh-hwz.ch/fsmmand http://www.bv4.ch . Follow the hashtag #socialbrands13

Early rate for Atlanta Digital Summit ends Friday

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Digital SummitEarly Bird rates for the Atlanta Digital Summit, one of the largest digital marketing events in the Southeast, expire this Friday. The event, which draws 1,500 attendees tends to sell out, so it’s a good idea to register early.

You can meet execs from Twitter, Google, Mashable, Bing, reddit, YouTube, StumbleUpon, TMZ, Dell, Home Depot, HGTV, Salesforce, CNN, AOL, Forester, Urban Daddy and The Weather Channel?

They’re all represented at the upcoming Digital Summit 2013 May 14-15.

The event draws  digital marketers, web strategists, senior Internet executives, thought-leaders, and entrepreneurs to Atlanta, so the networking is nonstop.

When you’re Wong, you’re right

We’ll be interviewing some of the featured speakers and panel participants as we head toward the event (TechJournal is a TechMedia division).

We spoke to Kiip CEO and founder Brian Wong, who is among the dozens of digital thought leaders participating.

Wong, the youngest person who ever received venture funding, describes how connecting mobile ads to “moments of achievement and delight” can make those ads welcome rather than an annoyance. See: Mobile ad secret sauce.

We also interviewed Joellyn “Joey” Sargent, a principal at strategic marketing and management consulting firm BrandSprout. She offers insight on the need to integrate digital and traditional marketing and online and offline efforts.

Look for many more interviews with participants at the TechJournal leading up to the event.

Register now to reserve your seat. TechMedia’s last event in Charlotte, NC, had to close registration a week ahead of the event and had a long waiting list, so do it early.

 

 

Deal volume up, values down in online and mobile M&A

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Berkery NoyesYou can see what’s hot and what’s not looking at the merger and acquisition picture in any industry, and in online and mobile, analytics, SaaS, mobile payments and food service and content firms are like spice to the big dish Internet companies these days.

Deal volume increased three percent relative to the prior quarter in online and mobile industry mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter of 2013, according to mid-market investment bank Berkery Noyes in its mergers and acquisitions trend report, but transaction value decreased 50 percent, from $15.8 billion in Q4 2012 to $7.9 billion in Q1 2013.

The SaaS/ASP segment experienced the largest quarterly rise in volume, improving 16 percent. Meanwhile, transaction volume in the E-Commerce segment increased six percent between Q4 2012 and Q1 2013.

Highest value deal

The segment’s highest value deal in Q1 2013 was Google’s announced acquisition of Channel Intelligence for $125 million.

In addition, major financial technology players completed several large Online and Mobile payments acquisitions during Q1 2013. For instance, ACI Worldwide acquired Online Resources Corporation for $203 million and FIS acquired mFoundry for $120 million.

M&A involving transactions with a large mobile component increased 33 percent over the past three months. Along these lines, there were several acquisitions in the food service information and content space.

Yahoo, OpenTable buys

YahooThis included Yahoo!’s acquisition of Alike, which enables users to make recommendations about their favorite food establishments; and OpenTable’s acquisition of Foodspotting, an application that helps users share information about particular dishes.

With four transactions, Yahoo! was the most active Online and Mobile Industry acquirer during the quarter. Several of Yahoo!’s recent acquisitions demonstrate its renewed focus on mobile under CEO Marissa Mayer .

Yahoo! has already completed three mobile transactions thus far in 2013, acquiring social news application Summly, as well as applications Alike and Jybe. In contrast, Yahoo! only made two mobile transactions last year, both of which occurred in Q4 2012.

E-marketing and Search segments

As for the E-Marketing & Search segment, M&A activity increased nine percent in Q1 2013. \

“The ability to better profile and target consumers has necessitated the development and growth of companies that can analyze shoppers’ behavior and develop appropriate offerings to the consumer,” said Evan Klein , Managing Director at Berkery Noyes.

“This shift has led to the growth of data analytics businesses and, with the need to develop deeper relationships with consumers, the growth in loyalty marketing companies.”

Twitter bird

Just call me Larry.

Regarding the segment’s social media marketing subset, one notable acquisition in Q1 2013 was Twitter’s acquisition of BlueFin Labs.

A key goal of acquiring the social television analytics company is for Twitter to gain additional advertising revenue by leveraging viewer data. TiVo and The Nielsen Company completed E-Marketing acquisitions in 2012, both of which focused on improving the ability to measure digital audiences.

A copy of the ONLINE AND MOBILE INDUSTRY M&A REPORT FOR FIRST QUARTER 2013 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.

Major new media brands coming to Atlanta Digital Summit

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

GoogleWhat do these brands have in common: Twitter, Google, Mashable, Bing, reddit, YouTube, StumbleUpon, TMZ, Dell, Home Depot, HGTV, Salesforce, CNN, AOL, Forester, Urban Daddy and The Weather Channel?

They’re all represented at the upcoming Digital Summit 2013 May 14-15 in Atlanta, the region’s largest digital marketing and web innovation strategies conference.

The event draws a sell-out crowd of 1,500 or more digital marketers, web strategists, senior Internet executives, thought-leaders, and entrepreneurs to Atlanta.

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, is participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-15.

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, is participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-15.

We’ll be interviewing some of the featured speakers and panel participants as we head toward the event (TechJournal is a TechMedia division). We spoke to Kiip CEO and founder Brian Wong this week. Wong, the youngest person who ever received venture funding, describes how connecting mobile ads to “moments of achievement and delight” can make those ads welcome rather than an annoyance. See: Mobile ad secret sauce.

Register now to reserve your seat. TechMedia’s last event in Charlotte, NC, had to close registration a week ahead of the event and had a long waiting list, so do it early.

 

Comparison shopping engines boost conversion rates (infographic)

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Shopping cartMany online and mobile shoppers use price and product comparison engines to help them find the best deals. Google leads, but Amazon’s product ads have grown 2 times faster than overall ecommerce.

CSE’s saw a 56 percent increase in traffic in 2012.

For a look at the Comparison shopping engine scene, Volusion, which offers a shopping feed optimization and management service, has created this infographic:

What drives decisions in the Enterprise data center market?

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

How do Enterprises make decisions about where to locate their data centers and what drives their growing need for them?

Facebook data center

Facebook’s air-cooled data center in Forest City, NC.

A new study of the data center industry commissioned by Compass Datacenters has identified a number of emerging factors that are shaping the data center strategies of enterprise companies in the United States.

The study also projects a strong wave of new data center construction in 2013 and 2014. The research was conducted by the respected research firm Campos Research, which surveyed senior decision makers who steer the data center strategies at 150 U.S. companies with annual revenues of $250 million or more.

Key findings from the study include the following:

  • 87% of companies will build a data center in next 12-24 months. This represents an acceleration of the trend, with 63% reporting that they completed data center projects in the last 12 months.
  • 71% of companies ranked new applications as the primary reason for needing expanded data center infrastructure—making it the most often-cited driver for data center expansions in 2013 and 2014.
  • Three-quarters of companies reported that they plan to support a combination of new applications, virtualization, Big Data, and Private Cloud with their new data centers—showing a variety of needs behind the expansions.
  • 97% of companies are seeking to locate their new data centers less than 30 miles from their headquarters or major operations center—making geographic proximity a chief consideration in upcoming data center projects.

GoogleHere at the TechJournal, we’ve noted that data center construction barely stalled even during the deepest part of the recession. In North Carolina, where we are headquartered, both Google and Facebook have built data centers and regional data center firms such as Peak 10 have steadily expanded their footprint.

Compass data center

The Compass data center in Raleigh, NC. The company is also constructing a data center in Durham, NC. Other regional data center firms such as Peak 10, have also expanded their footprint substantially in the last few years.

 Chris Crosby , CEO of Compass Datacenters, said, “Our team has worked with Campos for several years, and they have an uncanny ability to identify emerging trends before they reach critical mass and transform the data center industry.

“Their past research was prescient in identifying energy efficiency, wholesale data centers and modular design as important emerging issues well before they gathered steam and were broadly acknowledged as major trends. This new study identifies geographic proximity as a key consideration for the projects that companies are currently planning, and that has the potential to change the landscape of the data center industry, both figuratively and literally.”

He added, “In the past, companies based outside of major data center markets had to sacrifice proximity when it came to the location of their data centers. They had little choice but to put their data center in one of the handful of markets, often placing those IT assets far from the companies’ HQ or major operations center.

“Not only did that increase costs and risk, but it also was inherently inefficient from a long-term operations perspective. This new study makes it clear that enterprises don’t want to make that compromise any more, and that has huge ramifications for data center providers.”

Following are additional findings from the study:

  • Companies who are planning to build in the next 12 months are planning to add an average of 2 facilities. That average increases to 3.5 when the timeframe is expanded to 24 months.
  • The companies who participated in the study currently have an average of 3 data centers. 25% reported that they currently have 5 or more data centers.
  • 96% of companies reported that the size of their data centers will be 20,000 square feet or less.
  • CIOs were identified as the primary executive who determines need for data center expansion. CIOs were cited by 37% of companies as the person who approves the project, with 24% reporting that the final decision is made by the CEO. 44% of companies described CIOs as having the most influence on the purchasing decision with 19% saying that the CEO now has the greatest influence.
  • The most common process for beginning a project is to set the requirements and then look for providers as a second step in the process (71% of respondents).
  • The most important factors cited in the selection process for a provider is Service Level. Green strategy was the lowest-ranked selection factor.
  • 75% of companies will evaluate 3 providers as part of their selection process.
  • Only 44% of companies said that they would consider building the data center themselves, indicating that “do-it-yourself” is declining.

For more findings from this study and analysis from Compass Datacenters, visit http://www.compassdatacenters.com/compass-university/.

Car, tax, flower, gifts and greeting sites top gainers in February

Friday, March 29th, 2013

comScoreAs Valentine’s Day approached in February, millions flocked to Flowers, Gifts and Greetings sites to search for special gifts for their loved ones. Americans were drawn to Automotive Manufacturer sites during the month as Super Bowl commercials and national auto shows piqued consumer interest in the category, according to the comScore Media Metrix service.

“Valentine’s Day had consumers searching for gift ideas at Flowers, Gifts and Greetings sites, making it one of the top-gaining categories for the month,” said Jeff Hackett, executive vice president of comScore.

“Cars were also at the forefront of Americans’ minds in February, between high-profile Super Bowl ads, auto shows around the country, and an improving economy that has many consumers back in the market for their next car purchase.”

Americans Log on to File as Tax Day Nears
As Tax Day inched closer in February, many Americans looked to the web for help in filing their annual returns. The category grew 45 percent to 36 million visitors to rank as the fastest-growing category during the month.

Movers & Shakers
With taxes on the minds of millions, IRS.gov ranked as the fastest-growing property for the second consecutive month, up 78 percent to 22.6 million visitors in February.

Gearing up for the beginning of Spring training, 8.4 million baseball fans visited MLB.com to get the latest news and information on their favorite teams. General Motors, despite having skipped a Super Bowl ad buy in 2013, generated a traffic boost of 19 percent to 7.2 million visitors on the heels of auto shows around the country.

Top 50 Properties
Google Sites ranked as the #1 property in February with 189 million visitors, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 186 million, Microsoft Sites with 164 million and Facebook with 144 million. Sites that jumped significantly in the rankings included Adobe Sites (up 7 positions to #25), Tribune Interactive (up 5 positions to #30) and The Washington Post Company (up 5 positions to #45).

Top ad networks

For Advertising Networks and Buy Side Networks, Google Ad Network ranked #1 with a 93.3-percent reach, followed by Specific Media (84.5 percent), AOL Advertising (83.7 percent), AT&T AdWorks (82.4 percent) and Genome from Yahoo! (81.1 percent).

For the full release and comScores top 50 properties list see:

http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2013/3/comScore_Media_Metrix_Ranks_Top_50_U.S._Web_Properties_for_February_2013