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Amazon cuts price of Echo Dot, launches devices in UK & Germany

Amazon is aiming to make buying the Echo Dot a no-brainer by cutting the price nearly in half and offering additional discounts for bulk orders.The Dot, a smaller version of the original Amazon Echo that carries most of the same features and technology, launched in March at $90. Amazon pitched it as a complement to the bigger Echo that could be scattered in rooms throughout a home and provide the same voice recognition capabilities at half the price.Today’s announcement cuts the Dot price from $90 down to $50, and also offers buy-five-get-one-free and buy-10-get-two-free bulk discounts. Amazon hopes the price cut will prompt customers to fill their homes with Dots. “At under $50, it is easier than ever to add Echo and Alexa to any or every room in your home,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in today’s announcement.The “new” Dot, as Amazon is calling it, now comes in both black and white and will begin shipping in October.Echo & Dot expand outside USAmazon also announced today that Dot …

Sustainable competitive advantages in digital marketing

It’s amazing how often I have conversations with people that focus solely on how they can invest $1 and get back $3 or more in a month or less. Sounds great, of course, but the problem is that every single one of your competitors is likely chasing that same $3, so finding these opportunities and successfully executing them is far more difficult than it seems.Contrast that with the concept of investing in projects that don’t have a payoff for six months or more. There are far fewer companies willing to do that, but here’s the thing: That’s what makes these opportunities so awesome. Imagine the benefits if you focus your energy in a direction that most of your competition doesn’t have the will to pursue.That puts you in a place where you are building competitive advantage for your business. If it’s hard for your competition to replicate, and you can continue to build on the lead that you’ve built, that’s what you call a “sustainable competitive advantage.”[Read the full article on Searc…

When to end your client/link provider relationship

It seems that everyone wants to outsource or hand off their link development. One of the most common reasons people contact me is that they know they need links, but they don’t have enough time to devote to the process. That is true for business owners, webmasters, marketing managers, SEOs, and even link builders!Because of my extensive experience, I feel that I’ve finally gotten a good handle on what makes for a good client relationship. Since I’m also a business owner, I totally see things from the client’s perspective, too — so here’s hoping you can benefit from my experience without having to go through a few of the nightmares we’ve been through.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

via Marketing Land

AdBlock Plus announces new ad exchange; Not with our ads, say Google & AppNexus

This week, Adblock Plus threw its hat in the ad tech ring. That is, the ring that makes money from serving, not blocking, digital advertising. Eyeo GmbH, the company behind the ubiquitous ad blocking browser extension, announced on Tuesday it is testing a programmatic ad platform for its Acceptable Ads program.Just a day later, the experiment appears to have hit a snag. Adblock Plus’s partner for the programmatic piece is ComboTag, a supply side platform that enables publishers to set up private marketplaces for ads from Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange and AppNexus. Both companies have said they plan to end their relationships with ComboTag due to its partnership with Adblock Plus.Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP of ads and commerce at Google, told reporters at the DMEXCO conference in Germany on Wednesday that Google is “moving to terminate our relationship with ComboTag” because Adblock Plus “erects toll booths on a public road and siphons off advertising dollars that should be going directl…

8 tips to make sure your Google profile images boost your local search results

Images have become ever more important in online presence and marketing.  It seems rare that an article, email, ad or social media post isn’t led by a hero image or graphic.There’s no question that images boost visibility, engagement and click-through rates. A study on Google+ concluded that posts with images were shared three times more than those without images. Likewise, Socialbakers reported that of the top 10 percent most engaging Facebook posts (likes, shares, comments), 93 percent of them were photos. And a study by BrightLocal found that 60 percent of consumers agreed that local results with images grab their attention and influence decision-making.The opposite is also true: A lack of images hurts. Indeed, Expedia has used the threat of pulling images to gain leverage in business deals with hotel chains. It’s a practice called “dimming” that reduces a property’s visibility and marketability in hotel listings served to users of the online site.Expedia is trying to stop hotel ch…

Connecting the dots: How the customer data platform solves what ails marketers

Just when marketing thought it had sorted out the latest in data management tools, a high-profile industry analyst firm officially recognized another category of solution: the customer data platform (CDP).In July, Gartner Research analysts introduced the CDP into its “Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising, 2016.” And although it’s early in the hype cycle, it’s not too soon to ask how this platform, first coined in 2013 by technologist David Raab, fits into the marketing technology stack.Marketers, of course, face steep challenges today when it comes to delivering on a more effective customer journey, including the growth in disparate marketing technologies, fragmented data sources, and the tough job of transforming and acting on data. How does the marketer connect the dots between channels and devices to engage customers holistically?That’s the CDP’s role in a nutshell.A CDP should enable marketers to collect and own first-party customer data across all touch points; build…

Long-form and live video delivers higher ad completion rates

Publishers are scrambling to produce more digital video content to meet advertiser demand for video ad inventory, and some are even turning to automated video creation technologies.But when it comes to video ad effectiveness, not all video content is created equal.According to a study by FreeWheel Media, in Q1 2016, ads on long-form video content saw a 95% completion rate, a significantly higher percentage than mid and short-form video content, which delivered completion rates of 80% and 71%, respectively.Ads associated with live video content, which is one of the biggest video trends of 2016, delivered a 94% completion rate, suggesting that it could quickly become an important part of the video ad ecosystem.Device mattersFreeWheel Media’s study also found that the device on which video content is consumed also has a meaningful impact on video ad completion rates.Over-the-top (OTT) devices like connected televisions delivered the highest completion rates (93%), with tablets and deskto…

Now you can move Google Analytics properties to other accounts in two steps

Google has added a new feature to help users reign in and consolidate account management by allowing them to move Analytics properties from one account to another.With the new property moving capability, all users can now move Analtyics properties, and the views nested in them,  to different accounts in a simple two-step process. Once a property is moved, it will have feature parity with the other properties in the account.For example, clients that had their accounts created by agencies will now be able to move their property out of an agency account and into one controlled by the client.An added benefit for Analytics 360 (formerly Analytics Premium) users is new roll-up reporting that allows users to aggregate data from multiple properties into one account.How to move a propertyTo move a property from one account to another, the user has to have administrator access to both accounts.Go to the “Property Settings” page under the Admin section in the account that is being moved and clic…

7 great reads to drive your marketing career

With the advent of the internet, how we marketers do our job has changed significantly. We’re now using technology (e.g., marketing automation, predictive marketing) to engage prospects through a wider variety of media outlets (e.g., Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat). We are also being made more accountable than ever before for our business’s performance.But at the same time, the what we marketers do has not changed. Regardless of whether the business is a startup or an established Fortune 500 company, we’re still business people working with other business people to make our business a success.This creates an interesting paradigm as we steer our careers. We understand the importance of staying current and delivering value. And we understand the need to constantly increase our knowledge about new marketing techniques and technology, as well as how to persevere and prosper in a business environment.Below are eight books and blogs to feed our zest for learning, leading and growing.“Who Move…

Qualcomm Doubles Down on Dual Camera Setups with new Clear Sight Technology

This year we witnessed a majority of leading smartphone OEMs include dual camera setups on their flagships – Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, LG G5, Huawei P9, and more. However, each of them is using a native and independent hardware for processing the captured shots. Now, Qualcomm, the manufacturer responsible for most phones’ processor out there, has introduced a new dual-lens package – Clear Sight which can be implemented on any smartphone or tablet as long as it’s running Snapdragon 820 or 821 SoC.The intention is to deliver and ease the process of adding dual-cameras on products through a universal technology. Clear Sight is developed based on the way humans’ visualize surroundings – using cones and rods. While the former is detecting colors and details, latter is absorbing light particles. The approach is fundamentally identical to what Huawei has done with the P9, you can read more about it here. Clear Sight will, as a result, utilize two separate camera sensors with same focal length a…

Why I still hate LinkedIn Ads

Like a lot of marketers, I find LinkedIn Ads frustrating. The thing is, by making just a few needed improvements, both LinkedIn itself and advertisers could greatly benefit.For LinkedIn, advertising could be bringing in much more than a meagre $181 million in revenues, as it did during the second quarter of 2016. Compare that to the advertising revenues of Google ($19 billion) and Facebook ($6 billion) during the same quarter.For advertisers, better LinkedIn ads would offer some pretty obvious benefits. It would give brands and businesses another platform to reach LinkedIn’s 450 million professionals (although only a quarter of those users are reportedly active every month).Win, win. Right?That’s what led me to write LinkedIn Ads Review: 8 Things I Hate About LinkedIn Ads about 18 months ago.Then, in May 2015, the nice people at LinkedIn invited me to their headquarters to talk ads. I spoke with their brilliant product managers about some great things that they were thinking about.So …

The stat-backed holiday advertising tips to know for 2016

For e-commerce marketers looking to capitalize on the largest shopping season of the year, online advertising becomes a game of inches. While the underlying motivations of shoppers are important during the holiday season, so are the on-the-ground behavioral trends.This is something I helped study as part of Nanigans’ latest holiday e-commerce advertising report (email registration required), where we examined a full year’s worth of Facebook advertising activity across our wide range of e-commerce-focused clients, noting average differences in same-advertiser November and December metrics from pre-holiday levels.From that analysis came a number of noteworthy insights you should take to heart as the holiday online shopping season gets underway:1. Consumers tend to spend more on each purchase during the holidaysAcross all e-commerce advertisers studied, the average change in average order value (AOV) between holiday and non-holiday time periods was +17 percent.This emphasizes why driving…

Twitter rolls out apps for Apple TV, Xbox One and Amazon’s Fire TV

Twitter’s TV apps will broadcast Thursday Night Football games as well as other live shows, Periscope streams, Vine clips and normal tweets. Thursday Night Football isn’t the only thing premiering on TV this week. So is Twitter.Twitter is rolling out apps for Apple TV, Microsoft’s Xbox One and Amazon’s Fire TV so that people in certain regions (more on that below) will be able to catch the social network’s livestream of the NFL game and game-related tweets side-by-side on their big screens, the company announced on Wednesday. The New York Times reported last month that Twitter was in talks with Apple about launching an Apple TV app.Twitter’s TV apps will display livestreams side-by-side with a feed of stream-related tweets. Twitter won’t only be broadcasting NFL games through its TV apps. People will be able to watch any of the live programs that the company has been bringing onto its platform over the past few months, including MLB games, NBA pre-game shows and Bloomberg News broadcast…

MarTech Today: BlueJeans Network’s many-to-many videoconferencing on Facebook Live, the launch of Vimeo Business & more

Here’s our daily recap of what happened in marketing technology, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:BlueJeans Network offers first many-to-many video conferencing at scale for Facebook Live
Sep 13, 2016 by Barry Levine
Brands can use the new high-res service, supporting up to 100 simultaneous video feeds, for fan events, Q&A sessions or product launches.
Two weeks to SMX East – Register now!
Sep 13, 2016 by Marketing Land
In two weeks, SEOs and SEMs will gather at the largest search marketing conference on the East Coast: SMX East. Don’t miss your chance to get the latest SEO and SEM tactics and connect with other search marketers.Vimeo launches Vimeo Business — a video hosting & marketing plan aimed at SMBs
Sep 13, 2016 by Amy Gesenhues
For $599 a month, users will have access to professional-level video management tools, including analytics and content management platform.From Around The WebAs Marketing Gets More Important at IBM…

How strategic is your content strategy? Test yourself with five key principles

19 ways to tell… Top 5 signs that… What Bridget Jones can teach us about…It will come as no surprise that these cliché, clickbait headlines are the focus of a lot of digital marketers’ frustrations.While people aspire for the next piece of viral content, expecting to become internet sensations overnight, it needs to be understood that things like this don’t happen by accident.Of course, there is some degree of luck involved in just how popular a piece of content is, but the process of creating the idea and building out the strategy behind it is the core to success.Everybody needs content. As digital strategists, SEOs and consultants, and as consumers, we read it, write it, and sell it. It’s frequently what makes the difference between a sale, or a lost opportunity.Yet as critical as content is to business success, it’s frequently treated as little more than a commodity. It’s often produced cheaply or by people who’re multiple degrees of separation from the product or the business – or…

Google updates Universal App Campaign targeting, touts 3 billion app installs from ads

Kashin / Shutterstock.com A sort of V2 of Google’s Universal App Campaigns — one campaign that can reach users across the Google ecosystem on search, Play store, Gmail, YouTube, and apps in the Display Network — was announced Wednesday at the DMEXCO conference in Germany on Wednesday.The update involves the way ads are targeted to “help you find the customers that matter most to you, based on your defined business goals,” said Srihar Ramaswamy,  Google’s SVP of commerce and ads.Advertisers define the in-app activity they want to optimize for — reaching a game level, booking a trip, spending a certain amount of time — in AdWords and set a cost-per-install target. Google then uses a machine learning algorithm to try to reach new users most likely to download apps and take the desired actions.Advertisers must link their AdWords account to analytics — either a third-party measurement partner or Google Analytics or Firebase Analytics — to measure those activities and pass the data back to A…

Google introduces TrueView for Action ads on YouTube

Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock.com Google introduced a new format for YouTube TrueView video ads on Wednesday called TrueView for action.With TrueView for action, advertisers can display a call-to-action banner at the base of the video during and at the end of the video. The branded banner can be tailored to a specific action goal such as “Book now,” “Get a quote,” or “Learn more” like the Mazda example from Google below. Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP of ads and commerce at Google, made the announcement at the DMEXCO conference in Germany on Wednesday.The new ad format follows on other goal-driven TrueView formats — TrueView for app promotion and TrueView for shopping — designed to move video advertising on YouTube beyond general branding.Ramaswamy said Google will test TrueView for action ads throughout the year. A Google spokesperson says the reporting and user experience are being fine-tuned and the aim is to make the new format available globally.

via Marketing Land

Google announces two mobile-first product innovations at DMEXCO

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s SVP of Ads & Commerce made two major product announcements this morning at DMEXCO 2016.The first announcement centred on event-based optimization in Universal App Campaigns app ads, and the other around YouTube’s ‘TrueView’ service.Universal App CampaignsGoogle announced this morning that its app ads have now driven 3 billion installs for developers.Google previously announced crossing the 2 billion threshold at Google I/O only back in May so this extra one billion installs has been added in just four months.Facebook also announced in May that it had also driven 2 billion installs so it will be interesting to see what the social network makes of Google’s sudden growth.On the back of this announcement, Sridhar has unveiled a new update giving advertisers around the globe the ability to do event-based optimization in Universal App Campaigns.Here’s Sridhar on the next generation of Universal App Campaigns:“Across Google Search, Play, YouTube, and the milli…

Indian Authorities ask Google and Apple to use Aadhaar for Encryption

Government involvement in the tech industry has been on a rise and in India especially the Tech scene has been marked with many such incidents. Aadhaar card that started out as a unified identity program for the Indians had ran into a fair share of trouble with people pointing over the privacy concerns. Since Aadhar card stores the person’s biometrics the stakes are simply multiplied.India now wants Tech companies to open up their encryption to integrate Aadhaar card with the help of a government-funded lab. Millions of Indians are already using the Aadhaar card to access a varied range of facilities including banking. If the tech companies decide to drop out customers might eventually be losing out on many services, however, they would also not abide and give access to the encrypted technology to the government authorities.The companies are expected to be adamant to open up their ecosystems and considering the perils of data mismanagement they are right in a way. According to Bloombe…

Xiaomi to Debut its Mi Home Range in India with Launch of Mi Air Purifier 2 on Sep 21

Amidst increasing demand for air purifiers in India, thanks to the rising pollution levels, Xiaomi is prepping up to launch their own Mi Air Purifier 2 in the country on September 21. Apparently, a leaked screenshot by a tipster reveals that Xiaomi will be livestreaming their product launch on YouTube this time around – just like in the case of Redmi 3S and 3S Pro.While Mi Home products including the Mi Air Purifier 2, Mi Cooker, Smart LED bulbs etc have been exceedingly successful in China and surrounding markets, Xiaomi had delayed the Indian launch so far. That said, Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra had however hinted about the company’s plan to launch the Mi Air Purifier in an around Diwali during the Mi Max launch in India. Now the upcoming YouTube stream stating a “breath of fresh air” makes it even more clear, leaving very little doubt in our minds that the launch in question is that to the Air Purifier.It’s however interesting so Xiaomi considering their Air Purifier as the first Mi Home …

Apple’s Swift Playgrounds Now Available on the App Store for iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad mini 2

Apple had announced the Swift Playground in the WWDC year and as expected it has been made available in iOS 10. The whole idea of introducing coding on iPad took a new turn when Apple said that it wanted more youngsters to hop on board the developer wagon. The Swift Playgrounds roots can be traced back to 2014 when it was launched alongside Swift. In fact, Apple’s youngest developer at the WWDC was Anvitha Vijay who is only 9-years old and already has developed two apps.Swift Playground not only created an intuitive environment for kids to learn to code but also made it easy for adults to learn the essentials. Moreover, the app also allows new learners to start up from scratch and will tutor them about the basics starting from “bugs” to “debugging”. The best part is the fact that unlike other tools the Swift Playground just doesn’t stop at being an educative tool and instead helps users turn their ideas into actual apps, thus further lowering the entry barrier.Craig Federighi, Apple V…

Smartron tphone Review: T ain’t Terrific, T ain’t Terrible

While the Indian smartphone market rather provides endless opportunities, success has been partial mostly to the foreign players in recent times, especially the Chinese OEMs, and need we even remind you of names such as Xiaomi, OnePlus, Meizu, Coolpad, LeEco and the list goes on! There have been others like InFocus who take the pride in being an American company, we also see homegrown players such as YU who have had decent success. Following in those lines with a slightly different approach is Smartron, who wants to pitch themselves as an “Ecosystem” player much like LeEco, rather than someone who’d just make smartphones and laptops. And they’ve been in the news for a special reason – Sachin Tendulkar is stated to be a stakeholder in the company (and obviously their brand ambassador). tPhone (or should we say Sachin Tendulkar phone?) is the first smartphone offering from the company who first announced the tbook. So what is this phone all about? Does it live upto the promises made dur…