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Senior Director, Marketing & Sales Enablement
Share This Post Can you tell us a little about Cisco?
Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Today, networks are an essential part of business, education, government, and home communications. Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make these networks possible, giving individuals, companies, and countries easy access to information anywhere, at any time. In addition, Cisco has pioneered the use of the Internet in its own business practice and offers consulting services based on its experience to help other organizations around the world.How do you think the vendor-buyer relationship has changed?
Customers are more empowered than ever. It’s not the relationship we used to see where they had a preferred vendor, picked up the phone, called and started to plan a project. Today, 67% of the buyer’s journey is digital. Before they even speak to a vendor on their shortlist, they’ve already done a peer validation through social media, looked at white papers, and visited TechTarget sites to research their needs. They’re guiding themselves through the process and are far less reliant on vendors dictating the journey for them.How has Cisco’s marketing adapted to the changes in IT buying behavior?
Given the new buying paradigm, our marketing has had to adapt. At Cisco, we’re trying to evolve to a customer-driven approach by providing relevant Cisco content that will enable decisions in places where the customers are spending most of their time, and then guide them through that journey. When talking about this approach, you will hear us say “low touch is the new high touch.” This means we want to use low touch channels to create a very personalized, experience for our customers that feels high touch. We’re in the early stages of this evolution and as a big company that will take time. Our marketing mix still relies on outbound heavily, but we are constantly evolving towards a digital, customer-centric approach.How has Cisco become more data-driven and how is it utilizing data intelligence into its strategy?
We have 13 million unique visitors per month at chúng tôi and really need to boil that down to try and understand who’s actionable for sales, who’s researching, and at what point we should engage our sales team versus having marketing continue to nurture them. We look at the holistic data footprint of someone and determine what we should do next. Cisco is heavily invested in response creation, but the other half is response management. Once you have engagement, it’s about deciding what to do digitally to continue that journey in a way that provides a good experience for the customer, and ultimately, an actionable lead for sales.How do you translate all of the data for sales consumption and usage?
We have multiple product lines and multiple people at Cisco doing marketing. Lots of people want to own the conversation with a customer. As an example, “IT Manager” is a broad title and one almost every marketer at Cisco wants to reach. Just because this person is an IT Manager, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be interested in servers versus security versus switches. Historically, we haven’t had the ability to personalize that conversation, so we have tried to talk to every IT Manager about every solution that Cisco sells. Having greater access to digital data, we can now personalize that conversation based off of what a customer has expressed interest in. If an IT Manager is looking at Security content on chúng tôi we can keep the message relevant and continue the dialog around Security. We have the ability to listen to what our customers are telling us, interpret it and then act upon it quickly. So instead of just looking at demographics and firmographics to guide the dialog, we want to understand what the customer is actually expressing an interest in and focus there.
One of the most important things for us as revenue marketers is that you can have all of this data and information at your disposal, but the real value is in what you’re able to pass to sales that is actionable and helps them identify, expand or accelerate opportunities. If we can’t do that, then I feel we aren’t doing our jobs effectively.What things are you trying to do differently in your marketing today to better understand what your customers are interested in?
In the past we have tried to take a one-size-fits-all approach with a very diverse set of customers and a diverse set of products.
That doesn’t meet the needs or expectations of today’s buyers. Sales acceleration is a good example of this because we’re taking patterns of behavior on chúng tôi not just an individual event. It’s not just someone attended a webcast or someone downloaded a white paper. It’s what types of pages they’ve been spending time on and how deep into the content they’ve gone. Knowing that helps us to establish a baseline level of engagement. We’re not going to flag the “serial downloaders” to sales because we know that they frequently download Cisco content, but not to enable purchase decisions. We’re trying to take all of these different interactions and put them into a business rules engine to help prioritize where sales needs to engage vs. where marketing should continue to nurture. Once we identify the need for sales engagement, we try and organize that data so that it’s relevant, meaningful, and actionable for our sellersIs there a key driver that helps determine what qualifies for retargeting or continuous marketing?
If we have a 60-70% confidence that a purchase is nearing, then we’ll pass that directly to a sales rep. If we have less than a 60% confidence, then marketing will nurture them using our automation platforms and digital channels like display retargeting and search retargeting.How does content marketing fit into the data-driven marketing that you’re doing?
Everything we do is content-driven – our goal as marketers is to provide the right content, to the right buyer, at the right time. Before we had access to behavior data, the core metric we could optimize content on was a registration. Because this was the primary success metric, everyone wanted to put a registration page in front of everything, which created a really bad user experience.
When registration is the only metric you align around, you end up doing your marketing and content a disservice. We need to use the data we’re collecting to inform and dictate the type of content that needs to be built and then inform how we think it will best be consumed. In other words, if content isn’t resonating and we’re getting 99.9% bounce rates, that tells us it’s not as valuable and we need to rethink it.What metrics do you have in place to track and measure ROI? How do these metrics help in understanding if the investments you’re making are successful? How do you work with TechTarget to strategize and put together a plan that ensures that you’re in the right place at the right time?
We rely heavily on content publishers and technology partners like TechTarget. We get 13 million visitors a month to chúng tôi but if only 12% of B2B buying research happens on a vendor’s website that means the other 88% is happening somewhere else, and we want to be where that is. When you look at partners like TechTarget who have such huge subscriber bases and publish such relevant content, it’s a no-brainer for us to partner with them.
Producing enough content to keep customers engaged is a big challenge and just one of the many reasons we work with TechTarget. Their experts are constantly keeping things relevant and engaging for customers. If our buyers are going to places where content is continuously fresh, we need to be there and part of the dialogue.
TechTarget is able to provide us with data that helps us make Cisco content more relevant and effective –whether it’s for chúng tôi or TechTarget or somewhere else. In the end the partnership, makes all of our programs more successful.How has using IT Deal Alert fit into your overall marketing strategy?
We needed to think outside the box of simply buying names, nurturing them and trying to qualify them to pass those over to sales. Another part of the TechTarget value proposition is their IT Deal Alertâ„¢ Service that directly impacts our sales efforts. IT Deal Alert is based off data from technology segments across their many highly-targeted website properties. It identifies IT buyers who are actively researching on TechTarget sites with real purchase intent. TechTarget wraps all that useful data up in easy-to-use reports that are immediately actionable for our sales teams and channel partners.As you work with different media companies or data solution providers, what is most important?
Full funnel marketing is important to our strategy, and is where we’ve been extremely successful in working with TechTarget. We have a wide variety of audiences we’re trying to reach with a wide variety of messages. The ability to be targeted in our communications in places where IT buyers already are is extremely important.What has your experience been working with TechTarget?
TechTarget helps us to build a strategy that spans from Awareness to Demand Generation and from content marketing to sales-ready IT Deal Alerts. Being able to invest in these areas with TechTarget helps us to drive a cohesive, full-funnel plan, which is something that’s pretty unique to TechTarget.
content marketing, demand generation, inbound marketing, IT deal generation, marketing intelligence, TechTarget
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At any professional sports stadium, revenue flows from three main areas, all of which are essential to maintaining a healthy, sustainable business:
Game day revenue comes in the form of gate receipts and concessions sales.
Commercial revenue consists of sponsorship and merchandise.
Broadcast revenue comes from TV deals.
Almost everywhere, the revenue from game day is dwarfed by commercial and broadcast. This was especially true during the 2023-2023 NFL season, when franchises saw a $4 billion decline in of game day income. As for Europe, KPMG’s annual Football Benchmark (which looks at operating revenues across the champions of eight top-flight soccer leagues) reported that game day income was close to nil during this period.
To boost these margins and create a more successful stadium, operators are exploring new ways to boost game day and commercial revenue, particularly with digital signage. The evolution of the connected venue is creating a modern game day event that’s leagues apart from the arrive-sit-leave model. Fans are now being treated to a more memorable, exciting and enjoyable experience, while these same upgrades are empowering venue owners with greater operational efficiency, optimized commercial opportunities and insight into fan behavior.Communicate with fans throughout the venue
Revitalize live events with Connected Venues
Get your free guide to leveraging fan data to drive the next generation of live events and audience engagement. Download Now
With digital signage, stadiums can serve as stewards of fans, using wayfinding displays to guide them from the gate to the team store or concessions — encouraging an explorative and interactive route to their seat. Venues can also maximize these displays return on investment (ROI) by selling ad space.
The most immersive display technology, like Samsung’s The Wall, can promote brand partnerships such that fans are more likely to stop and experience a feature, rather than just glance at a static image. The result is a unique and memorable interaction that gives them something to talk about with others or share on social platforms.
When video boards, ribbon displays, LED screens and other digital signage solutions are an omnipresent feature at the stadium, operators can offer a venue takeover as a premium-ticket option for sponsors and brand partners: A brand can pay to use every display in a specific section of the stadium — or the whole place. The option is available for fans too — for example, paying for a happy birthday message to surround their friend on their special day.Quantify the fan journey with sensors
Venue operators can maximize the potential of their displays by using sensor technology to gather valuable data on brand engagement.
Cameras are a common means of gathering data, but they’re limited by line of sight. Sensors, meanwhile, use radio frequency based signals. Placed strategically throughout the venue, sensors can document real-time information across the stadium, such as concession stand visits and fan engagement with displays. As you look to create brand partnerships and sell ad space on your displays, your partners will likely be willing to pay a premium for those insights and ensure a certain number of fans see their ad.Create a next-gen gameday experience
Revenue is closely tied to enhancing the fan experience. In a report from Capgemini, emerging technologies were found to enhance fan enjoyment, with 70 percent of fans stating that technology contributes to a better game day experience. More than 50 percent said they would attend more games as a result of a tech experience.
This tech experience could be a giant video scoreboard above the endzone, or a center-hung system that delivers riveting entertainment and crowd interaction. It could be the stunning 8K displays and audio systems that no home setup could rival. Or, it could be from the easier ticketing and wayfinding provided by digital signage and mobile apps, which make the visit far more efficient and enjoyable.
These game-changing display technologies can be experienced at SoFi Stadium, which houses 98,000 square feet of Samsung LED displays. Home to the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, SoFi features a first-of-its-kind Infinity Screen — a 360-degree video board, double-sided, with 8-millimeter pixel pitch — hung above the field. Samsung also designed and installed five levels of LED ribbon displays circling the stadium, and more than 2,600 displays that comprise a venue-encompassing IPTV system.Reach your VIP audience
With premium ticketing and next-level VIP hospitality, stadiums can also provide exclusive, signage-enhanced fan experiences. Members’ lounges with large-format displays allow fans to enjoy the game while they’re away from their seats or enjoying dining options. VIP guests and corporate partners can enjoy a stadium visit tailored to them with special touches like personalized welcome messages, displayed on LED video screens in private suites.Revenue-driving displays
With the screen real estate of thousands of displays, connected venues have greater opportunity to drive revenue, particularly through branding and partnership campaigns — shared with fans both at the venue and watching at home.
Discover more display solutions for your venue in Samsung’s full lineup of live event and sports signage. And get your free guide to driving ROI at your sports venue and enhancing the fan experience with high-definition LED displays.
A patent awarded to Samsung, spotted by LetsGoDigital, shows that it’s developing tech using the non-flat surfaces of foldable phones.
By quite literally folding the phone onto your finger, a bunch of interesting health data can be discerned.
It’s best described in this image:
This is clever stuff! There’s a few different methods of data gathering shown here but undoubtedly the clamping-the-finger method to calculate blood pressure, along with elements claimed in the patents including vascular age, aortic pressure waveform, stress, fatigue levels, and more, is pretty interesting.
There’s also a model where sensors are placed on the outside of the phone and the inside, where the phone will snap an image, convert pixel intensity into pulse wave amplitude, and gather health information using an amplitude conversion mode.
And one other variant is using the palm of your hand — my medical knowledge gives out at some point as to where and which method is best, but that’s a good range of options.
When are we getting these goodies? The patent game rarely yields those kinds of answers. Sometimes we see stuff that looks incredibly far in the future, where the company seems to be storing patents.
With Samsung’s next Galaxy Z devices expected in July or so this year, I’d hazard a guess that the timing of this patent means the next foldables won’t include this health tracking. There’s a chance, but perhaps more like 2023?
In case you forgot too, Samsung’s next smartwatch has long been tipped to get blood glucose monitoring sometime in the second half of this year.
📈 Spotify prices are going up, mostly by $1 or so a month, across large swathes of the world (Android Authority).
🍎 Apple releases iOS 14.5, the biggest update since iOS 14 first launched, including the new privacy feature, while new versions of macOS, watchOS, and tvOS also rolled out (Ars Technica).
🍏 Also, a bug fixed in macOS 11.3 was one of the worst in a long time, already exploited in the wild and easy enough to do for malware (TechCrunch).
📜 Apple will reportedly face EU antitrust charges this week (The Verge).
📺 Roku is feuding with Google over YouTube TV (Gizmodo).
📺 Why the active-matrix LCD panel, despite largely being invented and developed by American companies in the 1970s, was never really manufactured in the United States (Tedium).
🥽 HTC Vive owners can buy parts from iFixit for DIY VR repairs (Engadget).
🌞 Tesla turns a record profit despite new Model S and Model X delay, including $100M+ profit from selling their new Bitcoin holdings, of all things. The company lost around $970 per car sold in Q1, too. Also, Elon Musk said Tesla made ‘significant mistakes’ with solar roof project (The Verge).
🤖 This researcher says AI is neither artificial nor intelligent: new book from Kate Crawford called Atlas of AI (Wired).
🔴 Scientists discover a ‘hellish’ planet so hot it would vaporize most metals (CNET). (Still not as hell as Twitter, where you can follow me for my not-very-often tweets.)
🧽 “ELI5: Why can’t you boil a sponge to sanitize it?” (r/explainlikeimfive). (First use of the sponge emoji in this newsletter, I’m sure!)
The Gemini 11 mission in 1966 (Wikipedia) is definitely one of the cooler missions among these.
It also shows just how far away the Moon is, despite it lighting up our night sky so brilliantly, as it will tonight for a “pink” supermoon (The Guardian).
All the best,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor
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First discovered by
, it appeared that the latest OnePlus 9 Pro suffered from terrible browser benchmarks in routine tests.
Upon closer inspection, Andrei noticed that the phones were switching to less powerful (and less power-hungry) Cortex-A55 cores instead of the much faster X1 core.
This saves some battery life, but reduces performance significantly.
The list of affected apps includes 300 of the most popular apps on the Play Store, including Chrome, Twitter, and others.
quick 6-minute video
that explains the issue in simple terms that anyone can understand.
Now, reducing performance isn’t necessarily a big deal, especially if it actually improves battery life. If you can’t notice the slower speeds in daily use without using benchmarking software, it seems like a win for consumers.
However, many fans are (rightfully) upset that their new $1,000 smartphone that promises best-in-class performance is throttling its processor in nearly all daily apps.
The issue here is transparency (and no, I’m not talking about the
controversial X-ray camera
that shipped with the OnePlus 8 Pro).
Phones from Samsung and other OEMs offer the option to toggle between performance and battery-saving modes.
On the OP9 Pro, this “optimization” was done in secret, and turning off all battery-saving options does nothing to change performance.
If OnePlus is willing to cut corners here, who knows what else the company has skimped out on. The fact that OnePlus wasn’t forthright implies some kind of wrongdoing.
The controversy also brings up a number of questions:
Is Oxygen OS simply bloated and unoptimized? Who decides which apps are affected? Will OnePlus tweak performance in older devices, like
Apple paid a $113 million fine for doing in 2023
Also, if no one noticed until now, what does that say about the necessity of these high-powered devices in the first place? Aren’t budget or mid-range phones a much better buy?
This also isn’t the first time OnePlus has been in hot water for tipping the scales in benchmarks, although in the past it has always been to create more favorable numbers, not worse ones.
The OnePlus 9 Pro has already been
removed from Geekbench
for software optimizations that the site views as cheating.
issued a response
to the controversy, but it doesn’t do much to clear its name:
“…our R&D team has been working over the past few months to optimize the devices’ performance when using many of the most popular apps, including Chrome, by matching the app’s processor requirements with the most appropriate power. This has helped to provide a smooth experience while reducing power consumption.”
It goes on to say “While this may impact the devices’ performance in some benchmarking apps, our focus as always is to do what we can to improve the performance of the device for our users.”
If performance were truly the goal, optimizing software and giving users the option to choose what kind of performance matters to them (battery or speed) seems like the obvious way forward, especially for an enthusiast brand like OnePlus.
📱 The Google Pixel 5a was spotted in FCC documentation, giving away some secrets (and raising some questions). A full launch is almost surely imminent. (Android Authority)
5️⃣ A recent leak suggests that the Google Pixel 6 may offer five years of updates, matching Apple’s update promise on iPhones. (Android Authority)
🐉 Qualcomm and Asus have teamed up to release the first-ever Snapdragon-branded consumer devices. The set includes a tweaked ROG Phone 5 and true wireless active noise-cancelling earbuds, and will run nearly $1,500. (Android Authority)
❔ How loyal are smartphone users to their favorite brand? Here’s what our survey says it would take for fans to jump ship. (Android Authority)
🚔 The FBI secretly sold “Amom” phones to criminals in a huge honeypot operation. It turns out that the phones were Pixel 4a devices with some interesting customizations. (Android Authority)
🏎 In search of the intersection of the world’s most unusual Venn diagram, Dodge will debut an all-electric muscle car in 2024. (Engadget)
💰 In less encouraging news, Volkswagen and BMW have been fined $1 billion for running an emissions cartel. (CNN)
💀 I’ve never felt more justified in my fear of water and cars: What moment made you say “Yep, I’m definitely dead”, but survived with no major injuries? (r/AskReddit)
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Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter , for Monday, April 27.
1. Your next decision: Exposure notification app, or no app?
Predicting a few days ahead let alone a week or two is folly, but what seems to be about to happen is that most people are going to have a phone with a COVID-19 contact tracing app on it.
That might not exactly be prophetic because it’s happening already:
Over the weekend, 1.5 million Australians downloaded a coronavirus contact app called COVIDSafe via Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.
(Here’s a 51-page dissection on Google Docs looking into the COVIDSafe v1.0.11 (Android) build with a focus on privacy: people are allowed to use fake names, data expires as promised, Bluetooth-only proximity detection, and so on.)
In Europe, Germany has changed its mind on its own contact tracing app, now using the Apple-Google decentralized approach rather than a home-grown option for better privacy, joining Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Finland. Germany’s shift came after pressure from scientists, but in Norway, pressure hasn’t yet forced the government to stop pushing ahead with a controversial centralized implementation called Smittestopp.
In the US, it’s hard to know if it will be a state-by-state option (North and South Dakota, and Utah are already pioneering apps) while there’s talk that dubious Palantir will be involved at Federal level.
The technology discussion is always worth having. One interesting shift is that the Apple-Google tech has had a name change, moving from contact tracing to “exposure notification” late last week.
That’s because it doesn’t really offer tracing, per se, but alerts.
The tech is also changing, per Android Authority: “Exposure notification will feature an updated API to randomly generate tracing keys, Bluetooth metadata now features updated end-to-end encryption, and the recorded exposure time is limited to five-minute intervals maxing out at 30-minute increments. Together, these changes promise user anonymity while maintaining the technology’s effectiveness.”
And that brings up an important silver lining: people are more widely understanding their privacy rights, and data security.
Now, having said all that, the real question for most people that you’re going to have to think about is, will you voluntarily install an exposure notification/contact tracing app?
Will you do it in a vacuum or be guided by those-that-probably-know-more? (For many in Australia, that includes Troy Hunt, behind haveibeenpwned, who calmly explains his rationale for installing the Australian app.)
I wasn’t sure where the buck might fall on this: Early signs are it is falling to tech-savvy people to embrace it, while non-technical people are distrusting and or mixing the app’s purpose with distrust of government generally.
But in Norway, the opposite is true as the app is said to track your GPS position and store data in a centralized cloud database.
For me, assuming there is sufficient evidence that the app only does what is intended, for example, doesn’t request geolocation, doesn’t obfuscate its code to allow for reverse-engineering (and/or open sources the codebase), and so on, I’m going to install it.
And it’s far better than governments simply tracking phones, as has now been banned in Israel (Engadget).
Will it help? Is it the new reality not just for COVID-19 but other diseases and viruses? Is it the beginning or end-point for government-related health apps? Which governments and tech companies will boost their reputations through smart, smooth implementations, which will stumble?
You’ll probably need to make your personal decision on using an app within a few weeks if you haven’t already.
WASHINGTON — Though he knows it’s a slow ship to turn, Vivek Kundra is adamant that the federal government will shift its IT infrastructure to the cloud-based model that has been transforming the private-sector enterprise for much of the past decade.
Addressing the subject Wednesday morning here at the Brookings Institution, the country’s first federal CIO voiced a mixture of bewilderment at the government’s failure to keep up with the private sector in cloud computing and resolve to close the gap.
“What I would submit to you is that part of the reason is because we’re focused on building datacenter after datacenter, procuring server after server, and we need to fundamentally shift our strategy on how we focus on technology across the federal government,” Kundra said.
Kundra’s speech came on the same day that the administration hit a milestone in its open government initiative. The Office of Management and Budget had set today as the deadline for all the federal agencies to publish their plans for making data sets publicly available on the Web in a machine-readable format and offering greater transparency into their operations.
But Kundra’s talk today was focused on the substantial cost savings that can be gained by eliminating the staggering inefficiencies in the federal computing model, where he said server utilization rates are as low as 7 percent, a situation he called “unacceptable.”
“We need to find a fundamentally different strategy as we think about bending this curve as far as datacenter utilization is concerned,” he said.
Estimates of the cost savings to be had by migrating to a cloud model vary widely, particularly in the federal government, where much of the material locked in datacenters relates to national security or contains personal information about citizens that wouldn’t work in a Salesforce-style cloud environment.
Nevertheless, Kundra was emphatic that the fiscal benefits of cloud computing for non-sensitive data are substantial. The Brookings Institution today released a study estimating that agencies stand to save between 25 percent to 50 percent of their IT budgets by phasing out private, in-house file servers and moving to the cloud.
As it begins its move toward the cloud, the government is actively courting the private sector to participate in the standards-setting process that will establish certification requirements for security, data portability and interoperability.
“Security is clearly the biggest barrier,” Kundra said. “Data portability is another barrier because we don’t want to lock the federal government into one vendor.”
On May 20, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is planning a cloud summit, offering vendors in the private sector a seat at the table as it begins work on setting cloud standards, which Kundra said is a critical step toward achieving the structural efficiencies he envisions, rather than simply “Webifying our current infrastructure.”
“What this moves us away from is every vendor having to go out there and certify from agency to agency, bureau by bureau, which is going to drive up the costs, and frankly doesn’t necessarily move us to a posture that creates better security,” he said.
Kundra spoke with a certain urgency about the need to move to the cloud, in part due to the rapid proliferation of data that federal agencies are creating and storing. Over the past decade, the number of federal datacenters has increased from 493 to 1,200, and hardware, software and file servers account for more than a quarter of the federal IT budget, according to the Brookings report.
At the same time he is a realist, acknowledging that the hulking federal IT apparatus is not the sort of thing that can be immediately reformed courtesy of an executive order or congressional mandate.
“This shift to cloud computing is not going to happen overnight,” Kundra said. “This is a decade-long journey.”
Kenneth Corbin is an associate editor at chúng tôi the news service of chúng tôi the network for technology professionals.
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