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Anise Smith Marketing

Social Media Professor | Digital Marketing Technologist | Mobile Web | Digital Webinar Developer | Analytics

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4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse
4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

There will always be companies that are innovators, adapters and sadly those that are incapable of seeing the future of industry. This is the business equivalent to natural selection, unfortunately.

America was once driven by the production of goods and as we transitioned to a more service oriented country, there was an evolution of sorts.  There were companies that adapted and some that didn’t do so well.  Those companies went the route of the steel mills in Allentown, Pa. The decline of a primarily production oriented world to a more service oriented world took a while to totally decline, but the transition of traditional to digital, that we are living through now is moving at a much faster pace toward its demise.

Two examples of the extreme change and fast transition from a traditional to digital world is the release of the Beyonce album, or I should call it the Beyonce Digital Project because that’s what it was. Some are saying, what’s the big deal and who really cares. WELL, we all must take notice because the release of the Beyonce Digital Project was a game changer in the music industry. This album release will change how marketing is done moving forward and this change will not be limited to just the music industry. At one time artists had to go through a series of procedures and promotions to push a new project. Beyonce’s release flipped the script on the entire industry in a mind-blowing move that totally blind sighted the industry. She used the brand that she built by way of social media, to be her own team of brand ambassadors willing to plop down their hard earned money to grab that digital release. In this bold move, Beyonce went directly to the consumer, cutting out any and everyone in the process by releasing her music directly to iTunes to be downloaded digitally. THIS was HUGE and changed the game more that we could ever imagine.

The second instance that displayed a step in a digital direction was Paramount dealing the deathblow to film, as we once knew it.  Paramount will be the first movie studio to go all-digital with the distribution of their films. THIS IS HUGE! At one time, Paramount would release films in 35 mm format, which costs around $2,000.  Now, due to going digital with the future releases of film, they can release films in digital format at around the $100.00 price point. The kicker here is that although this format is cheaper for the movie distributor, the smaller movie houses will incur the brunt of this move at least initially. These smaller and probably mostly independent movie houses will have to shell out upwards of $70,000 to become digital ready. This again, is a huge demonstration of the “adapt or die” philosophy, which will impact some business in an adverse way.

Both of above examples are an indication that we are at the beginning of a full blow digital revolution.  Organizations should take notice of the changes that are happening before their eyes, some will but many won’t. I’ve actually noticed that some organizations are not embracing digital at all but in fact, they are moving back to their toasty non-digital comfort zone.  All indications point toward a mostly digital world so it’s advantageous to embrace the change sooner rather than later. Progress is never comfortable but is inevitable, ready or not.

Although the changes that are happening within organizations are not as extreme as the two examples that I spoke of previously, companies still must adapt to a world that is moving closer to all digital. Below are four relatively simple things that can save your organization from the #DigitalApocalypse.

Concentrating on Content:

Concentrate On Content
Concentrate On Content

There is an ongoing debate about content; it’s effects on SEO, if it should be called Content Marketing and more.  Who cares about all of the back and forth and the correct phrasing, WHATEVER!  What matters is that without content, moving into 2014, you will most definitely be screwed.

The importance of content is irrefutable, you must have it and it must be GREAT. Content will effect your entire digital marketing plan, your social media strategy, your SEO and more. Content creation has become a $118.4 billion industry. Those numbers alone are an indication of the importance of great content. So prepare to become a publisher, outsource your content marketing or essentially become invisible online.

If you think about the importance of content creation it is very logical, if you produce more quality content it increases the amount of content that is available to be indexed by Google. This is especially important after the Hummingbird changes with Google, which was a game changer for websites, indexing and SEO.

NOW, it is just not enough to grab your local black hat SEO dude that promised to get you to the top of Google and have him buy some back links for you. In fact if you do that, you may not need content for quite a while, because Google may penalize your website or your website could even be banned.

At one time the black hat SEO route, to increase search rank was a method that could get results, if only for a short while.  Even if the results were temporary it would allow your neighborhood black hat SEO dude to run out his 3-month contract while looking like the magical SEO guru. NOW that is not enough, so black hat SEO dude may have to step his game up.  The folks over at Google are pretty darn smart and are hip to those tactics. The days of black hat SEO are seriously numbered if not extinct.

Leaving black hat SEO methods behind in favor of content creation is a great route to go and it’s an above board method of increasing rank with Google without the risk of being penalized. Content creation will allow companies, small and large to compete on a level playing field, for moving up in search ranking with Google. No matter the size of the company, if they produce great content and if they push that content by way of their social media channels THEY will reign supreme in the relevance game with Google.

Content is truly KING for a variety of reasons:

  • Great content allows you to present your company as an authority in your industry, increasing your rank on Google.
  • Content will increase the likelihood that people will link to your website, this solves your back link issue. Hence, increasing your rank with Google.
  • Great content shared on social media was not thought of as important a few years ago, but those days are over. Social Media is extremely important and sharing great content on social media channels allows you to appear “likeable” and this will increase your rank with Google.
  • Great content with effective keywords increases your on page optimization and guess what? It will [let’s say it all together now] increase your rank with Google.

The takeaway about content:

There is NO easy button, no guru to bail you out and no work around. YOU must start to produce great content if you want to become relevant enough with Google to increase your ranking. Google is a business, just in case that has slipped the minds of folks. As a business it is their job to produce the best results for search queries because this allows them to generate ad revenue and to STAY in business. Gaming the system is not the best route to take at this time with Google. So guess what, either make a decision to dedicate yourself to the work needed to create great content that is worthy of being pushed higher in search ranking or your competitors will.  It’s very simple.

Focusing on Mobile

Focusing on Mobile
Focusing on Mobile

Mobile is not going away, primarily because we have evolved beyond talking on the phone that is attached to the wall. Beyond just the telephone aspect of your mobile device, it has essentially become a pocket-sized computer that forward thinking organizations are using for targeting a previously untapped demographic.

At one time it was just enough for organizations to have a website that displayed the brand, company name and address. Then we progressed to having a Facebook page with a company brand and relevant content. NOW it is not optional but imperative that organizations have a mobile presence as well.

With the decline of desktop and laptop sales the increase in buying trends for mobile and tablets are hard to miss. I actually had a conversation with a Director of Marketing at one of the largest organizations in my area that said, “We do not need a mobile presence.” My mind slammed shut with a final, “Conversation Over” as she was obviously living through a #DigitalApocalypse.

The takeaway about mobile:

It doesn’t matter if you decide to go with a responsive design or traditional mobile design. It is, however imperative that your company’s online presence be viewable by mobile and tablet, this is no longer an option.

#DigitalApocalypse is the disastrous phenomenon in which individuals; organizations and entities have selected NOT to embrace our new digital world.

Analytics

Analytics
Analytics

I will be the first person to tell you that I am not really a numbers person, but what I should say is that I am not a numbers person when those numbers have no relevance to my interests.

I took a web Analytics class in grad school, I absolutely loved it and I was immediately HOOKED. This was a tough class for some but for me, the concepts immediately clicked.  I think this is because I saw how beneficial these concepts would be moving forward. When I saw the heat maps and demographics I fell in love, in fact it was love at first sight. Oops I’m so sorry, I’ve digressed terribly.

One thing that I immediately loved about analytics then and what I still love about it now is that it shows the data. You know where your visitors are coming from, you know how long they’ve stayed, you know which pages and content they’ve focused upon.

I can never express the importance of analytics enough; because analytics display your success and bring attention to areas that you may need to focus upon more, in graphic details. If your brain rejects the word analytics think of it in terms of measuring your results, because that’s exactly what analytics are. Analytics measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, your efforts, and your time. They allow you to see what’s happening, what you are doing successfully and what you need to improve upon.

The takeaway about analytics:

You can have the most beautiful, fancy website with all of the bell and whistles imaginable, but if you have no data to analyze the successfulness of your web campaigns, your website is essentially worthless. This applies to traditional websites and mobile websites alike.

Increasing Your Google+ Usage

Increasing Your Google+ Usage
Increasing Your Google+ Usage

There is so much back and forth about Google+, it always has been and probably always will be.  I was a part of the original beta team on Google+, as were most of my digital marketer friends, so of course I have always been a huge advocate of the platform.

Google+ has been improved upon since its original debut!  The layout has improved substantially, Google integration has greatly improved and it has grown its user base.

Although the improvements to the look and feel of Google+ have been spectacular what is more impressive is that content posted on Google+ show up in search results.  This is why I don’t understand the push back about this platform. Why would we NOT want our content to show up in search results, after all that is WHY we are there right, why we are online, why we work so hard to increase our exposure, right? Increased exposure means more business and more sales, which is after all what most web presences are all about.

The takeaway about Google+

If you want more exposure on Google start using Google+, it’s just that simple.

Wrapping up:

Digital Marketing is a game changer on a worldwide level but organizations must have the ability to recognize the change and adapt in mid-stride sometimes, due to the quick nature of the changes. We are living through an exciting time for those involved with digital marketing and those that are willing to embrace the change. Lets all embrace the many changes that I anticipate are ahead and enjoy our brave new digital world.

As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Google+, Facebook or Twitter, so please circle and follow.

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QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

QR Codes: Because Why NOT?
QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

 

Three years ago on September 13, 2010, I uploaded a video about QR codes and I got a lot of confused questions that pretty much translated to, “What The Heck!!” At the time I was still learning about this technology, because it was still new to the United States.  I would consume as much information as I could, with the goal of learning more about this cool “new” technology.  In some circles I became the “GoTo” person for QR Code technology.

 

As my excitement grew I started to notice more and more of this technology out there. QR codes were on everything, people had them on their websites, online catalogs and more. I was guilty of this as well, until I though “Hey, wait a minute….” This is all wrong. That is when I started to understand that this technology is being utilized in the “hey new shiny object sort of way” but it was not being used as effectively as it could have been.  That’s when I realized that the usage of QR codes might not ever reach its full potential because in some instances they were being used incorrectly.

 

My findings:

  • There is no reason to add a QR Code to your website because people are usually on your mobile or traditional website when they are viewing the QR Code.  So if you had plans of using the QR code to direct them to your website, they are already there, there’s not need. Don’t use QR codes on a website to direct them to your website.
  • QR Codes that are geared to open to a website should ALWAYS open to a mobile website, not a traditional website. We all know by now that a traditional website may not display properly on a mobile device.  There ARE NO exceptions to this rule.
  • QR Codes should NOT scan to “Download my catalog” because most of the time people have scanned a QR code with their phone. Absolutely NO one wants to use all of their data to download your HUGE PDF catalog to their phone.

 

QR Codes Should Scan To Mobile
QR Codes Should Scan To Mobile

 

The BEST and most practical use of QR Codes are to tie traditional print media to digital media.  As digital marketers we can sometimes not grasp that everyone is NOT so enamored with the growth of technology as we are. However it is true!  There are still many people that are very print-oriented and QR codes are a great option for that population of folks.

 

So as marketers we must recognize that although we are focused on digital media there is still an opportunity to tie traditional print to digital for clients that still utilize this form of marketing.  QR codes are the perfect vehicle to get this done. As a matter of fact, this is the primary reason that QR Codes should NOT be discounted and should be revisited.  There has not been an equivalent and cost effective medium introduced that is capable of tying together these two media as QR codes can, if executed properly.

 

Although it was once thought that NFC could bridge the gap between traditional print media and digital, it has not materialized as we originally thought that it would. This is primarily due to the cost and complexity of this technology for mainstream populations. Since the need to bridge traditional and digital, QR Codes remain the logical and least expensive way to go, as long as traditional marketing remains even a little relevant.

 

At one time we exclusively used traditional marketing, but we all know that things have change. In spite of this, there has not been a total elimination of traditional print media. So, we can still utilize traditional media to drive traffic to digital channels, creating a bit of a fusion between the older traditional marketing strategies and the new emerging digital marketing strategies.

 

Until the total discontinuation of traditional print media, as marketers we must find a way to tie together traditional and digital mediums for ourselves on occasion and for our clients. QR codes can be a very cost effective way to do this.

 

So lets give some thought to revisiting QR codes, if you’ve worked with them before or venture into something new if you haven’t.

 

As usual, I welcome comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. So follow me me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Google+ and let’s start a QR code discussion!

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6 Digital Strategies to Apply to Your Job Search

6 Digital Strategies to Apply to Your Job Search
6 Digital Strategies to Apply to Your Job Search

6 Digital Strategies to Apply to Your Job Search

 

Technology has changed so many things in our lives and it has been such a quick change that it is almost mind-boggling. One minute we were reading magazines and newspapers, the next minute we are consuming news and information by way of tablet and mobile device.

 

As we move further and further into this technology driven world we must continue to adapt every aspect our lives to stay up with the super quick changes. One of the things that we need to adapt immediately is HOW we search for jobs.  This change may allow us to gain a bit of competitive advantage, which is so important in the job search game.

 

At one time it was enough to post a resume to the job boards and let the recruiters find you. That is not necessarily the case now and this is due to so much competition. Also so many are choosing to go one step further by using digital channels to take their job search to the next level.  Those that are a little savvy are using digital strategies that are usually applied to marketing, to their job search efforts like branding, mobile web, social media and other strategies.

 

A few very easy Digital Strategies that you can easily apply to your job search:

 

Social Media: Before you do anything, clean up your social media profiles because recruiters DO check social media profiles.  So if you have college photos being a pot worshipper, any and all forms of nudity, beer pong and other types of nonsense delete them or make them viewable to only a certain list of people. Also refrain from using profanity laced status updates because NO Company wants to hire a potty mouth as a representative for their organization. If you feel a need to vent by cursing, do so under your breath instead. It’s kind of old school but grumble under your breath, while walking away from your keyboard.

 

Portfolio: If you have a portfolio of work, make sure that is online and accessible to recruiters. This allows recruiters to see if the work you’d done is a fit for the position that they are recruiting for currently. The goal is, again, to stand apart from your competition and providing a link to your work will do this.

 

Website: These days even if you do not have a business, you should have a website.  Branding yourself online is so important because it allows you to stand apart from your competition. Before you start your website buy a domain utilizing your name. If your name is John Anthony Smith, try to get the domain JohnASmith.com. This will allow you to create an online presence for yourself, adding information about yourself, projects you’ve completed etc. BRAND YOURSELF so that you stand apart from those competing for the same position. The website allows recruiters to see you beyond what is just listed on your resume.

 

You can easily create a website on WordPress.com but if you are really savvy you could go with a self-hosted WordPress.org website.

 

2 Minute Video:  The power of video is an amazing thing and we see this every day on our social media channels. This can definitely be applied to your job search efforts.  Creation of a short 2-minute video about who you are as a person allows recruiters to get a glimpse of your personality. Your resume can portray who you are in a business sense, but cannot effectively portray who you are on a personal level, but a video can. Sometimes employers are looking for a certain personality type for their organization and a video could demonstrate this to them.

 

Mobile Resume: There is no secret that mobile usage will surpass traditional PC usage shortly. So get a jump on it by adding your resume to your mobile website, if you have one.  If you plan to create a WordPress site, you can create a traditional website OR go with a mobile website using a WordPress Mobile Template.  The GREAT thing about making your resume accessible to mobile users is that you can instantly send your resume in link form to recruiters during the day without accessing a computer.  Recruiters usually contact you during their business hours which is also during a time when you are working. So having your resume on your website allows you to take advantage of a potential opportunity in a timely manner.  The recruiter now has  a copy of your resume until you can send them a print ready copy from your home computer.

 

LinkedIn: Utilizing this resource is ESSENTIAL to moving your job search to the next level.  I’ve read that 74% of recruiters use social media as a way to find candidates. Of those, 94% are using LinkedIn. This is HUGE! So using LinkedIn is essential.

 

 

Don’t just throw up a profile; utilize all of the bells and whistles that LinkedIn has to offer. In addition to your profile, add links to your social media channels, website, portfolio, mobile resume and 2 minute video. Use this platform to SHOW recruiters WHY you are the right candidate for the position that they are trying to fill.

 

The Takeaway:

 

Go out there and be digital! Take your job search to the next level and compete for the position that you KNOW you’re qualified for.

 

As usual, I welcome all comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

 

 

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Hey Old School Marketers: Your Target Audience is DEAD

Hey Old School Marketers: Your Target Audience is DEAD
Hey Old School Marketers: Your Target Audience is DEAD

Hey Old School Marketers: Your Target Audience is DEAD

I grew up in an era that was not technology focused; there were no computers, mobile devices, or Internet when I was in high school. My generation did not even grow up with cable. In fact I remember when cable initially hit the scene, when MTV actually played music and the HUGE campaign “I want My MTV” which was used to push MTV to mainstream. Oh, those were the days. A lot has happened with the growth of technology since my high school years. If you have been able to adapt and embrace this super fast growth of technology, that is fantastic. However, if you have not you could be a little screwed now and a lotta’ screwed later. This, is especially the case if you are trying to run a business based on philosophies and an organizational structure from the 1980’s, MTV Era. The biggest mistake in taking that path is that this audience is dead or on life support.

Think about this, we are reaching an age when we have augmented reality and your business cards can talk. We are moving toward the Semantic Web, closer to an era when ALL of the computers mechanisms in our devices will be able to communicate with each other. Do you seriously THINK that people are in touch with old school methods? NO one is looking backward, or I should say consumers aren’t looking backward. This means that your organization is being left behind,  if you are not forward thinking.

Companies that have not embraced our new social oriented culture and the growing mobile market, are  whistling in the wind. Those companies are targeting a dwindling population. Just visualize it as a numbers game. Think about the target markets that are NOT online and those that are NOT mobile, this number is growing smaller and smaller as more people embrace the digital marketing space. So companies should NOT be gearing  their primary marketing campaigns toward a demographic that is shrinking. It’s really common sense. Companies should be looking to always GROW their audience NOT focus on the shrinking audiences.

Social-Media-Stats-of-2013
Social-Media-Stats-of-2013

In essence, in choosing NOT to adapt to newer technologies companies are choosing to throw in the towel on their businesses whether they realize it or not. Companies MUST go where their audiences are, that’s the only way in which they will continue to grow. In fact Seth Godin wrote a post “What do you think of my brochure? ” 7 YEARS ago, about the total reliance on brochures as a way to reach an audience. That piece was applicable in 2006 and is even more so now.

The Internet is the 2nd most widely utilized channel for news. If people go to the Internet and social media channels for something as valuable and important as news, they will also go there for other information as well. So, every business SHOULD make it a priority to have a strong social media and mobile presence. The old saying, “If we build it, they will come.” definitely applies to a strong digital footprint. On the other hand, if we build it and it’s geared toward a dwindling demographic, they may NOT come. As business owners we should be interested in substantially shifting those odds in our favor by going where our customers are.

Where America Turns To For News  via Gallup.com
Where America Turns To For News via Gallup.com

Ultimately if companies are not tapping a new more social and mobile oriented market with content geared for this demographic, they are taping a dead audience. Take a look at the video below to see exactly HOW much social and mobile is ingrained in who we are, as a culture now.

People are on the go, we now live in a super fast paced world, and people are looking for content that they can access easily and quickly on their mobile device. They DO not want to read a companies long-winded prepackaged full-page ad in whatever magazine that’s lying about in an office or waiting room. They want quick access by way of mobile while they are on the go. So as business owners we must be willing to supply them with this information or they will go to competitors that will.

The take away, while your organization is spewing their prepackaged printed message, other more innovative companies are going where their audiences are and moving past that 1980’s strategy. The time to step it up was a few years ago and companies that have not done so may be living a “STUFF” got real nightmare if they select to continue on this path.

I am not saying that companies should roll over and die, I am trying to subtly nudge those living in a time warp to adapt or die.

As usual, I welcome all comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I welcome dialogue even if we don’t agree, so follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and lets start a conversation.

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#Mobile Is The NEW Technology BOOM.

Mobile Is The NEW Technology BOOM
Mobile Is The NEW Technology BOOM

I remember the 90’s, when the Internet initially entered the scene.  I was immediately very enthralled with this technology. I was immediately taken with the little computerized box that had moved beyond being used for just work related tasks to a place that held an abundance of information.   It didn’t matter that the information was mostly text based; I was just fascinated by HOW much information that I had access to within this little box, called a computer.

At the time, this information intense technology called the Word Wide. I was working at the local Library when I first got introduced to this magical world.  Once I had experienced it’s magic, I instantly developed a huge fascination for what is now called the Internet and a stronger drive to learn as much as I could. So, I was tasked with not only teaching the staff Windows 95 but with instructing Windows NT, to patrons in the newly proposed computer labs. My enthusiasm about this new Internet technology started my journey into the LOVE of technology and helped lead me to where I am now.

I recognized, even back in the mid nineties that this technology would be HUGE and would change the world. As this technology was really taking off and all of the Internet companies were booming I was finishing my Bachelors Degree in business. I was so involved with finishing school during the time, so regrettably I was not able to take an active part in this technology growth as I longed to.  Although I was not in the thick of things, only instruction, it was still so exciting to see the Internet take off.   I always did regret my inability to get involved and to take an active role in the growth of the first wave of the Internet Technology boom.

Roll the clock about 18 years ahead, and here we are. I cannot express the excitement at having an opportunity to be an active part in this era of what looks to be the NEW wave of Internet growth.

When I returned to grad school, I had no clue that the Internet Space would be heading toward the second boom. It was all a blessing, luck, great timing or some combination of all of those. Either way, it is an exciting time to be a part of the second technology boom.

Since the 1990’s we have gone from having huge monitors, towers and keyboards to having the ability to literally carrying our computer around in our pockets due to the growth of smart phone technology.  THIS is the NEW Technology boom and I am so excited that I get to be a part of it this time around.

Smart phones are almost singularly responsible for the HUGE boom in technology because they allow us to literally become mobile WHILE being connected.  The growth of smart phones has grown so much in the past few years that some say the there will soon be more mobile devices in use than there are people in the world. That is unimaginable.

With all of the growth of mobile technology businesses MUST quickly jump in this space if they want their organizations to benefit from those that are users of this technology.

The need for a mobile website should be at the forefront of every organizations digital marketing strategy. Organizations cannot be sluggish in adopting this as they were in the 90’s when they were prompted to get a traditional website. Technology is moving so much faster now than it was back then.

Take a look at the information below on HOW much growth is expected in the mobile area moving forward.

 

Global mobile data traffic grew 70 percent in 2012. Global mobile data traffic reached 885 petabytes per month at the end of 2012, up from 520 petabytes per month at the end of 2011.

Last year’s mobile data traffic was nearly twelve times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000. Global mobile data traffic in 2012 (885 petabytes per month) was nearly twelve times greater than the total global Internet traffic in 2000 (75 petabytes per month).

Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent for the first time in 2012. Mobile video traffic was 51 percent of traffic by the end of 2012.

Mobile network connection speeds more than doubled in 2012. Globally, the average mobile network downstream speed in 2012 was 526 kilobits per second (kbps), up from 248 kbps in 2011. The average mobile network connection speed for smartphones in 2012 was 2,064 kbps, up from 1,211 kbps in 2011. The average mobile network connection speed for tablets in 2012 was 3,683 kbps, up from 2,030 kbps in 2011.

In 2012, a fourth-generation (4G) connection generated 19 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection. Although 4G connections represent only 0.9 percent of mobile connections today, they already account for 14 percent of mobile data traffic.

The top 1 percent of mobile data subscribers generate 16 percent of mobile data traffic, down from 52 percent at the beginning of 2010. According to a mobile data usage study conducted by Cisco, mobile data traffic has evened out over the last year and is now lower than the 1:20 ratio that has been true of fixed networks for several years.

Average smartphone usage grew 81 percent in 2012. The average amount of traffic per smartphone in 2012 was 342 MB per month, up from 189 MB per month in 2011.

Smartphones represented only 18 percent of total global handsets in use in 2012, but represented 92 percent of total global handset traffic. In 2012, the typical smartphone generated 50 times more mobile data traffic (342 MB per month) than the typical basic-feature cell phone (which generated only 6.8 MB per month of mobile data traffic).

Globally, 33 percent of total mobile data traffic was offloaded onto the fixed network through Wi-Fi or femtocell in 2012. In 2012, 429 petabytes of mobile data traffic were offloaded onto the fixed network each month. Without offload, mobile data traffic would have grown 96 percent rather than 70 percent in 2012.

Android is now higher than iPhone levels of data use. By the end of 2012, average Android consumption exceeded average iPhone consumption in the United States and Western Europe.

In 2012, 14 percent of mobile devices and connections were potentially IPv6-capable. This estimate is based on network connection speed and OS capability.

In 2012, the number of mobile-connected tablets increased 2.5-fold to 36 million, and each tablet generated 2.4 times more traffic than the average smartphone. In 2012, mobile data traffic per tablet was 820 MB per month, compared to 342 MB per month per smartphone.

There were 161 million laptops on the mobile network in 2012, and each laptop generated 7 times more traffic than the average smartphone. Mobile data traffic per laptop was 2.5 GB per month in 2012, up 11 percent from 2.3 GB per month in 2011.

Nonsmartphone usage increased 35 percent to 6.8 MB per month in 2012, compared to 5.0 MB per month in 2011. Basic handsets still make up the vast majority of handsets on the network (82 percent).

The Mobile Network Through 2017

Mobile data traffic will reach the following milestones within the next five years.

• Monthly global mobile data traffic will surpass 10 exabytes in 2017.

• The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world’s population in 2013.

• The average mobile connection speed will surpass 1 Mbps in 2014.

• Due to increased usage on smartphones, handsets will exceed 50 percent of mobile data traffic in 2013.

• Monthly mobile tablet traffic will surpass 1 exabyte per month in 2017.

• Tablets will exceed 10 percent of global mobile data traffic in 2015.

Global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold between 2012 and 2017. Mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 66 percent from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month by 2017.

By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita. There will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in 2017, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules-exceeding the world’s population at that time (7.6 billion).

Mobile network connection speeds will increase 7-fold by 2017. The average mobile network connection speed (526 kbps in 2012) will exceed 3.9 megabits per second (Mbps) in 2017.

In 2017, 4G will be 10 percent of connections, but 45 percent of total traffic. In 2017, a 4G connection will generate 8 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection.

By 2017, 41 percent of all global mobile devices and connections could potentially be capable of connecting to an IPv6 mobile network. Over 4.2 billion devices and connections will be IPv6-capable in 2017.

Two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2017. Mobile video will increase 16-fold between 2012 and 2017, accounting for over 66 percent of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.

Mobile-connected tablets will generate more traffic in 2017 than the entire global mobile network in 2012. The amount of mobile data traffic generated by tablets in 2017 (1.3 exabytes per month) will be 1.5 times higher than the total amount of global mobile data traffic in 2012 (885 petabytes per month).

The average smartphone will generate 2.7 GB of traffic per month in 2017, an 8-fold increase over the 2012 average of 342 MB per month. Aggregate smartphone traffic in 2017 will be 19 times greater than it is today, with a CAGR of 81 percent.

By 2017, almost 21 exabytes of mobile data traffic will be offloaded to the fixed network by means of Wi-Fi devices and femtocells each month. Without Wi-Fi and femtocell offload, total mobile data traffic would grow at a CAGR of 74 percent between 2012 and 2017 (16-fold growth), instead of the projected CAGR of 66 percent (13-fold growth).

The Middle East and Africa will have the strongest mobile data traffic growth of any region at 77 percent CAGR. This region will be followed by Asia Pacific at 76 percent and Latin America at 67 percent.

Via  Cisco

So needless to say I think it’s time to get mobile people!  There are a variety of options available when considering a mobile website, that are great for corporate business. One of the options that I immediately wanted to explore was a mobile website powered by WordPress after all WordPress is one of the most powerful CMS platforms available. After being a WordPress hold out for so long, now that I am there I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to consider other options because this platform fits my business needs.

So in sticking with my need to go with WordPress I started exploring options for Mobile Templates that I could use for WordPress.  At first I was only able to find a variety of plugins that would convert my WordPress site to a mobile ready site. The Plugins work fine if you page doesn’t have a lot of pages and submenus. If it does, the plugins make your page look goofy. YES, goofy is a technical term.

I then took a look at the responsive themes; they were fine but still didn’t suit my needs because I didn’t want to change my entire brand to go with a new theme. I wanted a mobile site that would match or closely match my current website.

Finding a fully functional Template built exclusively for mobile practically nonexistent, until I recently found a small company that ONLY Creates WordPress Templates for MOBILE.  Excited I am! So I was able to throw up a fully functional WordPress Mobile website based on the look of my site. The great thing about it is that everything that I can do formy full website can be done for my mobile site. Guess WHAT? WIN!

So whatever route you decide to take in the mobile strategy of your business, make sure you get started right away!

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It’s A Brand New World, It’s Mobile And Is Your Organization Ready?

Mobile
Just a few years ago people were feeling a sense of urgency to get a very basic web presence up and running. Now companies that panicked in creating that very basic website now have bigger issues if they have not moved beyond updating that website.

 

Organizations not only have to keep up with all of the changes with web creation vs content management systems, they now have to integrate mobile into the mix. With the integration of mobile platforms, organizations must be able to adapt marketing strategies for mobile while keeping up with the many changes that go along with those platforms.

 

It is a brand new world, that world is fast moving, powerful and can literally fit in your pocket. We are living in a world driven by mobile technology and users that need to have an ongoing source of information all the time and at their fingertips drive this. This is GREAT for people like me that are driven by technology, that have embraced this super quick moving technology but for businesses it can be tough keeping up. Especially if your organization is NOT technology focused.

 

So, not only do organizations have to adapt to mobile technology they MUST see that the dynamic that pushed the change are the people that are utilizing these technologies. PEOPLE are the driving force behind the change, they consume information differently, and they NEED to have information at their fingertips. So since organization MUST adapt their business strategy to incorporate mobile technology they must also understand that people have also changed. This understanding will help in visualizing the future sales and marketing strategies of their organizations.

 

At one time people were fine with consuming content by way of traditional sources such as newspapers,  radio, television and other printed materials. NOW there’s a wave of people that have limited interest in those forms of media. These are the people that are driving the super quick change and this is a huge demographic that organizations must adapt their content for and recognize that these people are the population that are driving the change.

 

Mobile technologies are growing at a quicker rate than any technology in history. Take a look at the infographic below to give you the what, when, how and why of this growth and what you need to do to adapt your organizational structure to capitalize from this growth.

 

 

Infographic Source:  InternetService.net Infographic Source:  InternetService.net  

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If You WANT To Be A Chief Digital Officer You’d Better Start Preparing NOW

Cheif Digital Officer

 

It seems that the role of digital marketing is having an even bigger impact on the organizational structure than anyone had thought it would. At one time the only player in the technology driven workspace was the IT Department. They WERE the GODS of the workplace, the organizational powers that be, the Oz of all things with a technology function.

 

Well, times are a changin’ and those changing times are directly connected to super quick growth of digital marketing. As we continue to venture into the digital space more and more, it is realized that the IT space is very different than the Digital Marketing space. The traditional IT departments’ focus has been on supplying information and technology resources, updating software, infrastructure, viruses, onsite servers and more.  These functions are very different than what is required within the ever-changing digital marketing space. Digital Marketers although technology focused have a different function and that’s to adapt business processes from traditional to digital.  The function of Digital Marketers are geared toward but not limited to Social Media Optimization, Big Data, Content Management, Digital communications, Social Engagement and more.

 

This space is growing, as is the demand for employees in this Digital Marketing space. It’s not just about having a great website anymore, that was so last decade. Now businesses are scrambling to adapt to changes in consumer behavior. If you know anything about business, you know that losing touch with consumer behavior could be equivalent to digging a grave for your organization.  At one time, consumers read circulars and clipped coupons. Now, consumers use their ipads, mobile devices and QR code scanners to compare pricing and grab deals. Organizations must have a sense of urgency if they plan to keep up with these changes in consumer behaviors. Quite simply they must adapt or die.

 

Organizations are now aggressively trying to catch up and keep up. They must now be on top of mobile, social, local, visual in ADDITION to web.  Lets not even discuss what new technology is looming just seconds away from being the NEXT BIG thing. The ability to adapt is huge for any organization! This is where the need for a Chief Digital Officer would come in. So, now is the time to jump into this space if you have not done so already.

 

Roles such as Chief Digital Officer will be an integral part of any organization and they will play a huge role in the very structure of the organization as it moves from traditional to digital.  These Digital Marketing pioneers will be responsible for moving the company’s entire digital presence to another level, from initial digital project development and beyond.  There will be a need to tackle ecommerce, online marketing and social media and transformation of analog to digital media. So this field is huge and growing faster than anyone ever imagined, I’m sure.

 

According to a study, it is predicted that 25% of businesses will have created and filled the position of Chief Digital Officer by 2015. That is just two years away, so I suggest you dive into the digital marketing space right now if you have not done so already.

 

If you are in anyway dabbling, working and/or educating yourself about Digital Marketing Technologies you may find yourself on the receiving end of aggressive pursuit because the supply has yet to catch up with the demand for those with this knowledge.

 

Take a look at the slideshow below to give you an idea of some trends that have been instrumental in directing us toward this path of no return.

 

In closing I say, we are living through a historical time when everything is transforming before our eyes. NOW is the time to be apart of history making events that will be as pivotal as the 1st automobile, the invention of electricity and/or the 1st color tv.  I recommend anyone that has even the smallest interest in digital marketing dive right in……. the waters warm.

 

As usual, I welcome comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. You can catch me on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ !   Cheers!

#Yahoo: One Small Step Back Or One Large Leap Toward Jumping The Shark [Infographic & Video]

Yahoo Has Jumped The Shark

 

We are living in a quick-moving digital world with companies that are technology focused running to keep up with the growth. As Digital Marketers we see how fast things are moving and we recognize the players in the technology game, those that are not even in the game and those that are struggling to keep up.

 

Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google are huge innovators and players in the growth of different forms of technology. We will not mention Bing because although Microsoft spawned this mess called Bing we won’t hold it against them, ONLY because they have extremely cool Bing commercials.  That brings us to one of the other wannabe players in the game and that’s Yahoo. They may have been a player in the game, back in the days of Infoseek, Askjeeves and Looksmart but they have never really been on the grid with the real innovators in this technology game. I think one of the things that separates the companies that are innovators from those that just never seem to catch up are the employees that drive these companies.

 

Most companies are only as good as the team that drive them and the innovative companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google ALL have top caliber employees.  These companies have the vision to hire the best of the best because employees represent their brand. Innovative companies are expected to have the best!  Companies that are not technology focused usually fall short of employing the best of the best because they usually don’t have the same resources as the tech giants. So we tend to excuse their lack of technology focused employees and forward thinking vision.

 

Organizations that present themselves as technology focused like Yahoo is not one of the types of companies that we should excuse for the choices that they’ve recently made.  When companies that are not known to be innovative are embracing that technology has changed the traditional working onsite dynamic, Yahoo decides to take a step back with their descision to take away the work at home option from their employees.

 

Cloud computing, laptops, tablets, mobile devices, high speed Internet and most importantly a global world has made the cubed office for technology companies like Yahoo an option not a neccesity. Or I should say HAD made it an option until Yahoo Turned Back the Hands of Time ” Cue in Cher’s Song” Hit play below.

I digressed seriously, my bad. The point is that Yahoo has taken a HUGE step back when other companies are moving forward. Yahoo has always struggled to be at the head of the pack as far as innovation is concerned but now they have gone beyond a step back, they have jumped the shark.

 

I’m pretty sure that Yahoo has a huge staff of innovative and creative employees that are reeling. I am also quite sure that there are lots of companies circling like vultures to pick up the pieces of the employees that can no longer work from home. I see the vultures circling the Yahoo headquarters now, in hopes of grabbing some new blood for their employment pool! If I were a huge company in need of a few good men or women, I would be camped out at Yahoo headquarters like a techie for a new iPad.

 

Hey Yahoo, take a look at the Infographic Below….and Oh Yeah Watch out for that shark.

 

Yahoo Has Jumped The Shark
Hey Yahoo Watch Out For That Shark!

Technology And Education, Let The Evolution BEGIN [Infographic]

Technology And Education, Let The Evolution BEGIN

As a person that has taught in a technology forum,  I have a love for education and the integration of technology in this field.  Additionally as a parent, I feel as if education MUST change if we want to compete in this technology focused world, and change has to happen at the early childhood level NOT just the college level.  This is imperative if we want to prepare our children for the real world.  As a nation we must refocus our attention on schools, adding technology and addressing all areas that are lacking in regard to creating a more technology focused educational system for the coming generations.

It is really not optional, it is something that must be done and it must start at the Pre-school level if we want our children to be prepared to co-exist with technology in a world that is becoming more technology focused every day.  Actually technology is moving so fast that is not growing at a daily pace but more of a minute by minute pace. This is one of the reasons that embracing technology at the preschool level is imperative.

Although technology has grown,  the way in which we teach our children especially in the public school systems has not changed as much as it needs to, if we want to set our children up for success.  When I was in elementary school, there wasn’t a need to change education to include technology as we were NOT in a technology focused world. However, that is not the case now, changes need to happen at the preschool level and onward to prepare our kids for college which has embraced technology.  Not doing so is creating a divide that we may not have the ability to be bridge if it is allowed to go without being addressed much longer.

Take a quick look at the video below which will give you an idea of our lack of evolution in regard to education and how we seriously need to change how we view education as a whole.

As stated earlier, I grew up during a time when there was a lack of technology in schools, but it was during a different era. Times were very different, and technology was not a primary focus of anything, let alone EVERYTHING as it is now.  However when I ventured into a technology field at the second phase of my career I was immediately hooked and realized the importance of technology and the role that it could play in our lives,  the lives of our children and in our entire future.  This is one of the reasons that I returned to school. Also,  I just needed to be a part of the historical growth of all things related to technology.

When I decided to return to school for Internet Marketing 3 years ago, technology was no where near as advanced as it is now and that was just 3 years ago.  The super quick growth of mobile devices and tables have really pushed the growth of technology at a exponential rate of speed. It is quite astounding! I do not anticipate the rate of growth slowing down anytime soon.

There has been tremendous growth of technology usage at the higher education level which is amazing but I would love to see MORE education initiatives to prepare younger children which could bridge the gap between preschool and the higher education level.  For a person that is heavily involved and vested in the growth of technology I see any growth as  phenomenal thing and I am looking forward to seeing what will come in the not so near future, especially in the area of Pre-K to 12th grade education.

Take a look at the Infographic below to display just how far we’ve come in the usage of technology in the field of education.

Please include attribution to OnlineColleges.net with this graphic.

Major Ed-Tech Trends for 2013

As usual, I welcome any thought, comments or questions; good, bad, ugly or indifferent. You can catch up with me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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