Strata Data San Jose March 2018 Musings

Gartner 18 Mar 2018 02:20 by Sanjeev Mohan  |  March 18, 2018  |  Submit a Comment Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new buzz word for 2018: Operationalization! I attended this year’s edition of Strata Data show last week in San Jose. Last year when I attended the show, it was still called Strata Hadoop. Interestingly, if last year many companies were trying to distance themselves from Hadoop, this year I witnessed outright hostility towards it. It seems everyone is wary to be pigeon-holed into the Hadoop world. Most companies now want to be known as Data Science companies. Not surprisingly, this pivot has added to the confusion amongst our clients. Many software vendors had record breaking quarters last year, selling products that had something to do with Hadoop, yet they felt compelled to downplay it. I believe the skepticism towards Hadoop is overblown. Hadoop is much more than just a technology. It is not only an open source community but also garners strong investor interest to fill in the technological gaps. This is especially true for companies who are still on-premises. For those in the cloud, the move to object stores is definitely the right thing to do but even they are using some components of the Hadoop ecosystem along with Spark. For example, Hive turns out to be very popular. Additionally, I noticed how little was spoken about Hadoop 3.x. I expected some enthusiasm about upcoming product releases, but I only got guarded responses. Another challenge for many software vendors is how to define what category they are in. BI vendors are moving deeper into the stack while data management companies are moving towards BI and data science. The world of Big Data is getting more complicated as vendors add pieces to complete the puzzle in order to rise above the noise. The competition is intensifying across the entire stack of Big Data. I know it is important to be able to define one’s category but my advice is to spend more time articulating the problem you are trying to solve rather than recycling buzzwords. One area everyone agreed on: they are operationalizing…>. I had connected with many of my customers last year at the conference and they were generally the technical folks. So, I was amused to see that some of these clients had chosen to send their business analytics staff to the conference this year. Reality is setting in and organizations care more about results than the latest animal in the Hadoop zoo. Now, much more focus is being put into delivering an integrated solution with higher data governance and automation. The first question most people asked me was, why I am not at Garter’s D&A Summit in Grapevine. Alas, the two conferences clashed this year leaving me the sole Gartner analyst at Strata Data. Our clients and vendors had to split themselves between the two events. Some intrepid souls managed to spend time in both the events. You could identify them by how haggard they looked! I was shocked to find out that one person had even managed to fit the HIMS conference in Las Vegas between his stints at Grapevine and San Jose. If there is one thing you can say about us folks in Big Data: we are dedicated! Sanjeev MohanResearch Director1 years at Gartner31 years IT Industry Sanjeev Mohan researches data management strategies within the Gartner for Technical Professionals (GTP) group. Mr. Mohan covers big data frameworks and related technologies, and provides insights on cloud, SaaS, data storage including Hadoop, NoSQL, data integration, data governance and data transformation strategies. Read Full Bio

Qualcomm’s war may be over, but the casualties are just starting to be calculated

Tech Crunch 17 Mar 2018 06:59 The epic battle between Qualcomm and Broadcom seems to have reached its armistice, with President Trump using the power of CFIUS to block the transaction this past week, ending what would have been the largest tech M&A transaction of all time. It may be all quiet on the semiconductor front, but Qualcomm and Broadcom will now need to find a path forward to win the peace and secure access to the coming 5G wireless market. Qualcomm faces a daunting number of challenges, including a potential takeover battle waged by the spurned son of its founder. Broadcom will have to find a new path to use acquisitions to continue its growth. As with any war though, the damage from this conflict isn’t exclusive to the two enemy combatants. The future of corporate governance and shareholder autonomy is now being reevaluated in light of the actions used by Qualcomm in its defense against Broadcom’s hostile takeover. In addition, America’s openness to foreign investment is increasingly under scrutiny. Qualcomm picks up the pieces Hostile takeovers are always going to be damaging affairs, no matter the outcome. The most important mandate for any board of directors — and particularly for the boards of technology companies — is to identify long-term threats and opportunities facing a company, and guide the executive team toward the best possible outcome for shareholders. Hostile takeovers are firefighting affairs — the discussions of the board are jolted from roadmaps, strategy, and vision to the minute-by-minute tactics of defending the company from marauding invaders. Qualcomm should be directing its attention to strategy, but it faces additional wars on nearly every front. It’s fighting shareholders for its future, fighting Apple and Huawei over its revenues, fighting China over its acquisition of NXP, and now potentially fighting its founder’s son from a private takeover attempt. Many of Qualcomm’s shareholders see the company’s performance as disappointing. While its stock has fluctuated over the past six years, today’s share price is essentially flat from where it stood in January of 2012. Compare that to Broadcom, which in the same timeframe has seen an increase of about 740%, and the PHLX Semiconductor Sector index, a basket index of the industry, which has seen its value increase by about 280%. Unsurprisingly, shareholders were enticed by the opportunity to suddenly realize a 35% premium on their shares with Broadcom’s $82-a-share offer. Unlike Qualcomm’s board, shareholders were very interested in accepting Broadcom’s offer. In fact, we now know that Qualcomm’s board knew that it has lost the battle against Broadcom with its own shareholders during the acquisition process. As Bloomberg reported this week: The votes started to come in on Friday, March 2. By Sunday it was clear that Qualcomm’s defense had failed. Four of the six directors Broadcom had nominated were polling so far ahead of their Qualcomm peers that the race was effectively over, according to data viewed by Bloomberg. The remaining two were winning by less substantial margins. Making it worse, Mollenkopf and Jacobs, the architects of Qualcomm’s standalone plan, had received some of the fewest votes. Inside the Qualcomm camp, the mood was bleak; assuming the trend continued, the board would lose control of the company at the shareholder meeting. Broadcom’s message was one of quiet confidence. The company knew it had won, one person close to the discussions said. At that point, the person said, it was just a question of by how many votes, and who was going to leave the board. Broadcom was winning the battle with shareholders, so Qualcomm’s board shifted to a terrain far more favorable to it: Washington bureaucrats. From the same Bloomberg report, “Federal lobbying disclosures for 2017 showing that Qualcomm spent $8.3 million, or roughly 100 times the $85,000 Broadcom spent…” These weren’t regulators; these were friends. In late January, Qualcomm’s board submitted a preliminary, voluntary, and confidential notice to CFIUS asking for a review of Broadcom’s potential board coup. When Broadcom attempted to redomicile to the United States to avoid CFIUS purview (as it would no longer be a foreign company but a domestic one after it redomiciled), the government’s anger was palpable and sealed the company’s fate. The board’s original outreach to CFIUS precipitated the sequence of events that led to Trump’s block this past week. Qualcomm’s board won the war, but it is still facing a rebellion from its own bosses. The board will be up for election unopposed this week at the company’s delayed shareholders meeting. Perhaps taking a page from tomorrow’s Russian presidential election, some shareholders are withholding their votes from the board slate to show their displeasure with the entire saga. From the Wall Street journal, “Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., an influential proxy-advisory firm, … in a note to investors late Wednesday, stood by its original recommendation that shareholders vote for four Broadcom nominees for Qualcomm’s 11-person board, even though the votes won’t count.” That shareholder meeting will no doubt be eventful. While the board and the company’s execs will argue that they have a strategy moving forward, they confront two other ongoing firefighting challenges and one new one that could be another round of bruising internecine warfare. Qualcomm is still in the midst of its $44 billion NXP acquisition, which continues to wait on Chinese regulatory approval. The timeline for that approval is still unclear, but even when Qualcomm does receive it, the company will still have to close the deal and actually implement the transaction. That will take significant time and energy. Even more complicated is the continuing fight with Apple and Huawei over Qualcomm’s IP licensing revenue. Licensing revenue is crucial for Qualcomm, and the litigation around the fight will force the board to continue monitoring the day-to-day legal tactics of the company rather than focus on a longer-term vision of how to work with the largest smartphone producer in the world to generate profits. On top of those two challenges, another takeover attempt could potentially exhaust the board further. Yesterday, Qualcomm’s board voted to remove board member Paul Jacobs, who is the son of Qualcomm’s founder and the company’s former chief executive from 2005 to 2014. He had been demoted from executive chairman to director just last week. As the New York Times noted, “The split, which means no member of the Jacobs family will be involved at the top echelons of Qualcomm for the first time in 33 years, was not friendly.” According to reports, Jacobs is attempting to raise more than $100 billion to buy the company, potentially leveraging SoftBank’s Vision Fund in the process. SoftBank, of course, is a Japanese company, and the Vision Fund has significant capital from foreign countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Even more ironically, Qualcomm is an investor in the Vision Fund. Jacobs is following in the footsteps of Michael Dell who bought the eponymous tech company back in 2013 in a take-private transaction worth $24 billion. Can Jacobs even raise the required amount of capital, four times more than Dell? Will Qualcomm be forced to run back to the Trump administration in order to avoid a “foreign” takeover of the firm yet again, this time by the son of the company’s founder? My guess — fairly weakly held — is that the answers are yes and no. Jacobs will find the money, and the board won’t fight a distinguished former executive — even if Jacobs was running seriously behind in shareholder approval in the Broadcom fight. We will learn more in the coming weeks, but expect more strategic actions here (maybe from Intel) as well. Broadcom regroups Despite its very public failure, Broadcom is in a much stronger position coming out of this battle. It beat analyst estimates this week for its Q1 earnings, and has seen impressive growth in its wireless communications segment, which were up 88% year-over-year. It also managed to lower expenses, which helped drive an increase in gross margin to 64.8% (aren’t fabless and patents awesome?) Broadcom continues to deliver strong results, but the big question post-Qualcomm is really what’s next? Qualcomm was the single most important chip company that might have been available for purchase (Intel is out of Broadcom’s league). While it plans to continue to redomicile to the U.S., which should allow it to get back into the acquisition game in America, Broadcom may struggle in the coming years to find the kinds of accretive acquisitions that can keep its growth on the trajectory it has been on over the past few years. Shareholder power wanes? The biggest questions coming out of the Qualcomm / Broadcom spat is not related to the companies themselves, but the entire intellectual edifice of shareholder rights and the framework used by American companies to conduct corporate governance. Qualcomm’s board of directors took extraordinary steps to block the Broadcom acquisition. They unilaterally went to Washington to get an injunction not on a deal — which had never been consummated between the two companies — but to block Broadcom from replacing its board of directors in a standard shareholder vote. This is a very important distinction: Qualcomm’s board saw the direction shareholders wanted to go, and essentially decided to just ignore the election process entirely. From Dealpolitik columnist Ronald Barusch: This change threatens over three decades of a carefully balanced governance system. Since the Delaware Supreme Court approved the use of the poison-pill takeover defense in 1985, the courts have basically blessed the following tradeoff: On the one hand, corporate directors can fight tooth and nail to stop a deal and the courts will give only limited scrutiny to defensive tactics. However, the board is strictly limited in any moves to interfere with shareholders’ ability to replace directors and force a company to change course that way. In the vernacular of a leading Delaware case, a “just say no” defense doesn’t mean “just say never.” A bidder with enough patience who can convince a target’s shareholders to change directors has a path at least toward cooperation on resolving regulatory impediments to a deal. This is a unique case as Barusch notes, but at what point can boards use every method at their disposal to prevent their own shareholders — the people they have a fiduciary duty to represent — from taking charge of the company? This past week presents one of the most complex examples to date, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a shareholder decides to attempt a legal attack on Qualcomm. The other side of the potential waning of power for shareholders is CFIUS itself. The Trump administration ended a potential deal for a company that shareholders were widely in favor of. Where do the rights of shareholders to realize a return on their equity end and the right of America as a nation to control national security technology start? We are on new terrain, and there are no clear answers here. In many ways, it depends on what happens over the next few years of the Trump administration. If there are more blocks like what we saw this week, we could see a radical change in the corporate calculus that would have a long-term negative effect on the value of some American companies. Hostile takeovers may be incredible drama for writers like yours truly, but they have enormous consequences for companies and the employees who work at them. Qualcomm is going to have to shore up its support with a whole host of stakeholders in the coming months (while dealing with a potential take-private fight), while Broadcom needs to find its next strategy for further growth. All of us are going to have to deal with new uncertainty around the power of shareholders to shape the destiny of their companies. The war is over, but the aftermath and its consequences have just begun.

Amid the greatest NCAA basketball upset ever, a Twitter hero emerges

Tech Crunch 17 Mar 2018 05:53 Happy Saturday, everyone! While many things in the world are very bad today, if you were on the Internet last night, you probably caught wind of a pretty cool historic moment in college basketball: UMBC — University of Maryland, Baltimore County — knocked off the overall number one seed in the annual NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament in an absolute landslide. So, naturally, I absolutely had to find the tech angle here, and if you owned a smartphone, you probably saw a series of extremely excellent tweets from UMBC’s twitter account, which went absolutely ballistic last night. So, we wanted to recognize the other star of the show: UMBC’s twitter account. You probably would too if, as a 21-point underdog, beat what most consider the best team in the country. Most tweet compilations are not great, but this one is very great. University of Virginia was absolutely crushed during the second half of the game after dominating the world of college basketball for the entire regular season and throughout the conference tournament on the way to the overall number one seed — a system in place where teams are placed in the tournament based on favorable matchups as a reward for their performance. The system is still ripe for upsets, and there have been a lot this year, but this one is arguably one of the biggest upsets of all time. So, without further ado: it's actually a chesapeake bay retriever, but we appreciate the love — UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 17, 2018 We're just a 16 seed, happy to be here, also we're up 35-24 on No.1 Virginia with Jairus going to the line to shoot 3 ft with 15:52 left — UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 17, 2018 We also beat UVA on twitter too btw — UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 17, 2018 WATCH IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN* *we will not live tweet the replays, the guy running this has to sleep at some point — UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 17, 2018 We respect Wendy’s too much. Our staff goes there for nuggets and frostys once a week — UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 17, 2018 I’m just a guy with a phone and a trusting boss — UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 17, 2018 I’ll take a free dinner tbh, I’m hungry — UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 17, 2018 We celebratin, he home sleepin — UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 17, 2018 Twitter never takes a break — UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 17, 2018 Alarming bucket of truth, that one. We’ll end with this one: Happy March Madness, all! May fortune favor (the rest) of your brackets.

Why Employer Branding Is So Important

Entrepeneur 17 Mar 2018 04:00 Employer branding will help you hire new employees, create a strong company culture and even reduce marketing costs. March 17, 2018 3 min read This story originally appeared on Personal Branding Blog Having a reputable employer brand is a must for an organization’s strategy because it helps companies recruit better candidates, reduce hiring and marketing costs, and improve productivity. Therefore, for organizations that are still in doubt about investing in employer branding, here's why it's so important.Related: The Do's and Don'ts of Asking for a Raise1. Help retain employees and recruit new onesA strong employer brand will make your employees proud that they are a part of the organization. Being a part of the right company culture is very important for most employees. A majority of employees look at the social media channels of employers before applying for a job to have an idea of the brand image. Also, through these channels, they can have an idea of the expectations of the employer and see if they potentially fit into the company culture.Related: 3 Simple Ways to Increase Empathy at Work2. Reduces costsIf you have a well-known brand then you don’t need to spend as much on the recruiting costs. Potential candidates will find you and apply to your positions naturally. Instead, you can spend this money on your branding or on product development in order to get ahead of your competitors. In addition, your recruiting efforts decrease because you don’t spend so much time to find candidates, candidates find you themselves. Also, according to statistics candidates are willing to accept a lower pay, if they work in a company with positive reviews and a well-known brand.3. Your employees become your ambassadorsCurrent employees become your brand ambassadors and as a result, hires through referrals increase. The more your employees talk positively about you, the more you get good candidates. Also, when your current employees talk about the business, this helps the brand becomes stronger without spending much on marketing because awareness increases by word of mouth. This creates a domino effect. When the brand awareness increases, your sales increase in parallel.Related: Basic Tech Skills Every Employee Should Know4. Improves employee engagementEmployees who work in strong brands are generally more enthusiastic and motivated. Having motivated employees is great for an employer because they are more productive and more productivity means more growth for a business. When your business grows, your revenues grow as well and this ensures the financial stability of your company. A financially stable company is always more attractive to potential candidates. Moreover, your employees feel more secure in their jobs.

Can kids hold pens in the digital age?

BBC Technology 17 Mar 2018 01:21 By Jane Wakefield Technology reporter Image copyright Getty Images Children's habits are changing. Where once a toddler might have played with bricks, now they are more likely to play on an iPad.Such devices can provide a welcome distraction for busy parents and an attractive source of sensory stimulation for young children but does it mean that children are not developing the fine motor skills they need to write?Sally Payne, head paediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust has seen evidence this is the case.She recently told the Guardian newspaper: "Children coming into school are being given a pencil but, increasingly, they are not able to hold it because they don't have the fundamental movement skills."To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers. "Children need lots of opportunity to develop those skills," she added.Ms Payne blamed the proliferation of tablets and smartphones in toddlers' lives for the children's inability to grip and hold a pencil. "It's easier to give a child an iPad than encouraging them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks, cutting and sticking, or pulling toys and ropes," she said.A few years ago a video clip of a one-year-old baby girl frantically swiping at a magazine went viral, illustrating that children firmly inhabit a digital world. Image copyright Getty Images According to the communications regulator Ofcom, more than half of UK households own tablet devices, rising to 76% for smartphones.Dr Jane Medwell is part of the Write Your Future campaign - a group championing the importance of handwriting.She said that the proliferation of gadgets in homes meant that "some children don't get as much pencil play as they used to".And habits learned from parents are changing too. Image copyright Getty Images "The earliest thing you may see now is a parent texting on a phone while in the past it might have been someone writing a shopping list by hand, so children's experience of early literacy has changed," Dr Medwell explained.But she does not believe the case is yet made for linking more tablet time to a lack of motor skills."We don't have research that says using a tablet means you can only swipe and not hold a pencil and we don't even know whether there are less pencils in homes," she said.What there is evidence for though, is the importance of handwriting.A 2005 study from the neuroscience laboratory at Aix-Marseille University divided 76 children aged three to five into two groups - one wrote by hand, the other using a computer. The researchers found that the group that learned to write letters by hand were better at recognising them than the group that learned to type them on a computer.And a 2016 study, published in the journal Psychological Science, found that students typing up notes from TED talks tended to take verbatim notes whereas those writing longhand were forced to be more selective.While both remembered facts such as dates, the group that wrote notes were better at remembering conceptual questions.For very young children, there are also huge benefits in writing."There is lots of good stuff on tablets and phones but children need the conventional literacy world too," said Dr Medwell."How you create a letter, how you make complex movements. It takes practice and it helps children learn literacy," she added. Image copyright Getty Images Dr Mellissa Prunty, a lecturer in occupational therapy and the vice chair of the National Handwriting Association, is cautious about making a link between tablet/phone use and handwriting skills."There are other factors such as spelling and language development, but also how much handwriting children engage with at nursery or pre-school groups and how much writing they do at school," said Dr Prunty.Most of the handwriting referrals she has in her clinic are from children with underlying conditions, such as Developmental Coordination Disorder, known as dyspraxia. "What occupational therapists on the ground are observing now are children without any underlying impairments," she said."Although this is an interesting observation, we don't know from a research point of view if technology is impacting on fine motor skills generally and whether that is having a knock-on effect to handwriting." Image copyright Getty Images In 2015, Finland became one of the first countries in the world to stop making cursive handwriting classes compulsory. The move was partly a recognition that keyboard skills were going to be far more useful to the current generation of digital natives. Indian schools too have abandoned cursive writing in favour of clean, legible print.By contrast, in late 2017 the US state of Illinois passed a law requiring school students to learn joined-up handwriting.We do write less than we used to do.A study from 2014 suggested that one in three adults went six months without writing anything by hand but in education, writing remains a key skill."At the moment, handwriting is the main medium of writing from primary school to university and it is a skill that children have to acquire," said Dr Prunty."If handwriting is laboured that can have a knock-on effect to all areas of writing from spelling, punctuation to generating ideas," she added. As to whether it is important to learn the grandiose cursive writing our grandparents excelled at, Dr Medwell is not convinced."Children need an efficient way of writing, this means "correct" letter movements are vital and need to become second nature," she explained.But, she added, there is no empirical evidence that a joined up style improves writing.And for some children who struggle with the technique, forcing them to use it could in fact be "counter-productive" she said.

Branding Boot Camp: What to Do When You're Doing Too Much

Entrepeneur 16 Mar 2018 08:30 Contributor Jessica Abo sits down with branding expert Kathleen Griffith in a special four-part series to figure out how she can grow her business and what you can do to scale yours. March 16, 2018 3 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Maybe you're in the same position I was in a while back. You've started your own business, after years of doing several different things, and now you have a company that offers all of those services under one umbrella. As I write about in my book UNFILTERED: How To Be As Happy As You Look On Social Media (Entrepreneur Press, August 2018), I started my company out of necessity and out of interest. Necessity, because the newsroom I was working in shut down my unit, which meant I needed to figure out how I would make a living. Staying on as a freelancer wasn't going to be enough to carry my New York rent and expenses. And interest, because I was ready to work for myself and build something of my own. I had been doing so many side hustles during my years as a TV reporter and anchor that some people knew me as "a motivational speaker, who sometimes did the news" or as "a consultant who sometimes did the news." My career always made sense to me, but every time someone asked me, "What do you do for a living?" it would take me 10 minutes to explain.Thankfully, I met Kathleen Griffith, the founder of Grayce and Co. Griffith's marketing and business consultancy helps Fortune 100 companies and high growth companies build successful brands and bring new, disruptive products/services to market with velocity. Griffith is on a mission to help 10,000 women take a pledge to start a business through her Build Like a Woman platform. We recorded our boot camp sessions, so you can see the steps I took to build my brand. We hope you follow along and these segments help you figure out what you need to do to support your business goals. Related: Consumers Will See Right Through You If Your Social Impact Message Isn't AuthenticWatch more videos from Jessica Abo on her YouTube channel here.Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.EN is partnered with hundreds of top YouTube channels in the business vertical. Watch video from our network partners on demand on Roku, Apple TV and the Entrepreneur App available on iOS and Android devices.

5 Reasons Your Mobile App Needs Video Integration

Entrepeneur 16 Mar 2018 06:00 Humans are visual animals. Quality videos increase engagement, improve user experience and set your brand apart from the competition. March 16, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Mobile apps have the power to do many things, and you'll need to make choices as you decide which features to build into your app. One decision you might not have considered: video.No matter what your app is or does, you should think hard about adding a video component. I can hear you wondering: Why would my app to help create a budget or play a game need video? Plenty of reasons! Here are just a few.1. User interface.Humans are visual creatures who'd rather watch a video than read. Video within the app can provide an introduction, explain how to use various features or serve as a small advertisement about your app and what it does. Such videos will increase user satisfaction and engagement during time spent in the app. Example: One store that sells appliance parts to homeowners includes a video for each part it sells. Every video presents a step-by-step installation guide for each specific model.  Buyers can follow along to fix their dishwasher, stove or clothes dryer.Related: How to Create a Successful DIY Video on a Budget.2. Statistics.The stats around mobile video are astonishing. According to Statistica, the majority of consumers around the world mostly use mobile apps to access videos on their mobile devices. You need to be part of that.Example: A time-tracking app can provide a simple entry to video, with reminders on appropriate time logs. 3. Promotion.A 30-second video will get users excited about your app in ways a screenshot simply can't. (Check out this beautiful video for the SkyGuide, which lets you view the night sky.) Videos can sell the app in an advertising format, offer a brief preview of your app’s functionality or do both. These videos are displayed prominently in Google Play and iOS stores. Plus, more than 300 alternative stores exist to help you promote and sell your app. Most of them, including Amazon, allow you to display a video.Example: A game app can offer assistance via video at core parts of the game. Before prospective users knew what Angy Birds was, they were treated to a short intro video that depicted a giant finger pulling back a slingshot and knocking over pigs. It played just before the game began. This separate video demonstrates an award-winning game, Monument Valley.Related: How to Create Video Content Without Being on Camera4. Social media.Speaking of advertising, you can use your app's promotional video on social media platforms, too. On average, Facebook reports more than 8 billion video views per day. (Mostly with the sound off, by the way.)Example: An app could tackle complicated processes by highlighting excerpts on social-media channels. Walk users through the process by showing a calm and happy person slowly taking each step. With video, users can repeat as many times as needed to address their problem.Related: 26 Apps to Help You Create Epic Social-Media Content on Your Smartphone5. Customer expectations.About 80 percent of apps are deleted after just one use. Some apps seem to promise one thing and deliver another. With more than 6.5 million apps out there, it will be easy for yours to get lost. That's probably not what you were expecting after all the work, time and money you put into building your app. An explainer video that demonstrates what your app is and what users can expect will go a long way. If a consumer is faced with two similar apps, but one offers a nice, short explainer video, odds are the one with video will get the nod. Even a short video can help reinforce a user's confidence that your app meets his or her needs. Example: Linear-based apps, such as an income-tax form, could start with a video explaining the process. This relaxes the user before she or he gets started. Then, videos along the way can offer further instruction as needed.Related: By 2019, Video Video Marketing Will Be Everything. You've Got to Get in on the Trend -- Now.Building videos that support your app.Given the time, effort and money you’re putting into the app itself, you might feel tempted to use pre-built cartoons via a template service. Don’t. The videos in your app should match the overall app design and quality. Otherwise, you show potential customers that your app is thrown together. This mismanages their expectations.Videos should be integrated into the app itself. A link that sends users to YouTube doesn't cut it. Each video should be so much a part of the app that it flows and feels like part of the user’s experience.Related: How to Make a Video Like a Professional for Under $250Here are some other things to keep in mind with your app video:Create a special video player for the app, with a similar skin, and embed it at various stages of app use.Make it easy to find your video and just as easy to turn it off, if a user wants to skip it.  Determine which videos will play during a specific part of the experience and which will play only after the user selects a "Help" or "More Info" button. Related: 7 Ways to Create a Killer Marketing Video

How B2B Marketers Are Embracing Brand as the Top Driver of Growth

MarketingProfs 16 Mar 2018 02:00 by Julia Cupman  |   March 16, 2018   |  1,153 views A recent B2B International survey* of large businesses serving B2B markets has found optimism among marketers across the US and Europe, many of whom are focusing on brand as a growth driver. Increasing investment in marketing reflects optimism The outlook is positive: 57% of survey respondents anticipate marketing budget increases this year, compared with 38% last year who said they were expecting an increase. Although that optimism is industrywide (no more than 13% expect a decrease in budgets, regardless of the industry group), those in trades and services (e.g., retail, hospitality, transportation, and energy) are more optimistic about their marketing budgets than those in knowledge-based sectors (e.g., IT/technology, financial services, healthcare, and education). Market research budgets are also set to increase: 49% of respondents anticipate an increase over the next 12 months, versus only 13% expecting a decrease and 38% envisioning no change. That pattern is the same for the US and Europe. Branding is the top strategy for growth, but most marketers acknowledge brand deficiencies The most widely deployed marketing strategy is branding: 60% of respondents say they are focusing on initiatives to grow their brands. However, although the importance of branding is recognized, many marketers are facing challenges in building their brands: Only 41% of respondents say their organization has a strong USP (unique selling proposition). Only 43% perform well in assessing their brand health at regular intervals (e.g., measuring awareness, brand perceptions, brand performance). Those in trades and services rate their brand performance higher than those in other industry groups do—possibly a reflection of investment in their brands, since this industry group is also the most positive about marketing budget increases. A strong brand is a major asset to a company because it drives appeal and value. Some 42% of marketers and corporate researchers say brand research is among the most useful types of research to invest in within the next two years. That's especially true of those in the US, where half (49%) consider brand research to be of high value to their organization. Innovation is the lifeblood of success, but a challenge to many Customer satisfaction and product development are tied in second place as marketing strategies that B2B marketers and corporate researchers are addressing, especially those in process (e.g., manufacturing) and construction sectors. Innovation is clearly recognized as a key growth driver since it directly impacts the bottom line, but it is also consistently the first- or second-ranked, challenge faced by businesses each year. Only 36% of organizations rate their performance an 8 out of 10 or higher on having a structured process to innovation (e.g., Stage-Gate), suggesting that most businesses lack a systematic approach to ideation, concept development, and product assessment. Acknowledging the need to improve, 36% of organizations in the US and Europe consider product development research among the most useful types of research studies to their business within the next two years. Customer satisfaction is vital; it keeps marketers awake at night Over half (55%) of organizations are focusing on marketing strategies to improve customer satisfaction, especially those in trades and services sectors. That focus is likely a result of the increasing importance of customer-centricity: Fully 50% of businesses say retaining customers is a top challenge. In today's economy, suppliers are frequently pressured by growing customer demands, and the threshold for delighting customers seems to stretch higher and higher. Furthermore, with their increasing marketing budgets, marketers are vying for the attention and loyalty of buyers who are often overwhelmed by the many brand and product choices available to them. B2B marketers admit to weaknesses in how their organizations are tackling the need to become more customer-centric: Less than half (46%) of businesses perform well in collecting NPS (Net Promoter Score) regularly and acting on the findings. Only 37% map the customer journey to identify critical interactions or touchpoints and improvements. Only around one-third (32%) maintain an up-to-date customer database. Not surprisingly, organizations are considering market research to address those challenges. Some 53% say customer experience and customer journey mapping research will be useful to their organization within the next two years, and 47% acknowledge the need to focus on the fundamentals of customer satisfaction and loyalty surveys. Clearly, there is substantial opportunity for B2B marketers to invest in the voice of the customer. Based on current strategies and challenges, organizations should place priority on the following: Building more distinct brand positions and measuring brand health Identifying unmet needs and the potential for enhanced or new products Measuring the pulse of customer satisfaction while seeking to achieve customer experience excellence *About the survey: The research comprises a longitudinal online survey (annual waves) conducted by B2B International; the most recent wave was fielded in October and November of 2017. The total sample size was n=356 (57% in Europe and 43% in the US) and comprised large businesses (the average business revenue was $3.05 billion). All respondents were required to have a responsibility for marketing or research.