Data is Key to White Paper Believability: Here’s Where to Find it for Consumer Electronics and Residential AV Projects

By Hope Braue — Crucial to a well-written Consumer Electronics/AV white paper is evidence. To get potential customers to think about changing the way they do business to consider your solution, you need to provide statistics to back up your claims.

Which leads to the question…where do you find these statistics?

I sat down to have a conversation with Cindy Davis, contributing editor with NewBay Plus, the marketing services division of NewBay Media’s AV Group. She gave me a few of the most useful places to seek out professional and insightful CE/AV data:

Consumer Technology Association – cta.tech

CTA’s expertise focuses on providing general insights on emerging/trending technology. Here you’ll find useful information, such as CTA consumer indexes, which measure consumer sentiment towards technology spending and how they perceive the overall health of the economy.

IHS Markit – ihsmarkit.com

Boasting with 5,000 analysts, data scientists, and financial experts, IHS Markit specializes in finance, energy, and transportation research. Their stats will keep you up to date on the dynamic, global consumer electronics market with comprehensive, timely information and analysis on connectivity, TV sets, set-top boxes, tablets, modems, routers, and accompanying semiconductor content. An example of some of their recent research includes a study of emerging fingerprint-sensing technologies for smart phones.

Parks Associates – parksassociates.com

Parks Associates is a market research/consulting company that offers market reports, primary studies, and consumer research into key product categories such as smart home, energy management, mobile devices, and more. An upcoming report they’re working on involves streaming media devices, and how these are beginning to transform content delivery.

CEDIA Cedia.org

CEDIA is the association for professionals who manufacture, design, and integrate goods and services for the connected home. The CEDIA site offers information on guidance in designing personal systems and corresponding custom solutions. Their research team surveys and interviews home technology professionals, manufacturers, distributors, consumers, and building professionals.

InfoComm International – infocomm.org

InfoComm International represents the professional audiovisual and information communications industries. You can find research on everything from AV equipment trends and market stats to pertinent data on sustainable AV. Their newly released 2016 Global Pro-AV Distribution Channel and Trends Report explores the movement of pro-AV products and services from manufacturer to end-user organizations and factors that influence the various channels.

Forrester – forrester.com

This research/advisory firm provides proprietary research data, custom consulting, executive peer groups, and events. They’re predominantly grounded in surveys. Their studies on Consumer Electronics focus on consumer-oriented devices containing an electronic circuit board, such as televisions, digital video recorders, smartphones, and digital cameras. They recently published a report of an annual overview of the impact of technology on US consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and expectations in a rapidly changing world, based on the Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Online Benchmark Survey.

Gartner, Inc. – Gartner.com

Gartner, Inc. offers technology analysis, IT key metrics data, independent assessments of buyer-seller situations, and peer networking. One of their recent reports summarizes system market trends and explores technology trends, in addition to semiconductor opportunities in the consumer electronics industry.

With these ample resources, you should be well on your way to writing a clear, well-supported white paper.

In addition to this, TWICE published a list of the top 100 Retailers, which you can find here. Produced by TWICE with market research partner The Stevenson Company, the 2017 TWICE Top 100 Consumer Electronics Retailers Report provides an in-depth look at the shifting patterns of industry retailers with sales of $5 million ad up.

Furthermore, you can find AV Network’s most recent published issue of the top 50 AV Integrators here, an important indicator of the commercial audiovisual industry.

Looking for more insights? Contact NewBay Plus’s AV/IT content marketing team. Email Joe Braue at jbraue@nbmedia.com.

Top Tips for Writing an AV or AV/IT White Paper

By Hope Braue —

Ok, so you’re setting out to write a white paper centered on AV/IT.

You can easily Google “How to Write a Successful White Paper” and get hundreds, even thousands, of hits. However, if you’re trying to focus it on the AV industry, these tips begin to look a lot more generic.

That’s where David Keene, executive editor for NewBay Media’s AV Integrators/Digital Signage group, comes in. David has been in the AV industry for more than 20 years in editorial and marketing services capacity, and serves as the top strategist for NewBay Plus’s AV marketing services practice.

David’s best piece of advice for writing an AV white paper:

Decide whether you want to address the challenges faced by the end user, the AV Integrator/design consultant, or both.

 The AV Integrator Focus: AV integrators and AV design consultants largely make up the pro AV market. They’re the ones integrating it for the end user. If the issues involve products that the end user doesn’t explicitly interact with such as solutions for routing, switching, control, or gear mounting ecosystems , then make sure your focus is on the AV integrator or design consultant.

The Multiple Stakeholder Focus: On the other hand, if the technology is directly interfaced by end users, such as displays, projectors, electronic white boards, touch panel control systems, room management systems, interactive technology, conferencing systems, etc., your paper should address concerns of all the chief stakeholders, namely end users, AV integrators, and design consultants.

The multiple stakeholder focus is driven by two developments:

  • End users are very sophisticated, have access online to a large amount of product and solution literature and case studies from vendors, and are actively looking for both technical and business case guidance on their path to choosing solutions. So end users no longer rely solely on the advice of AV integrators or consultants when choosing a solution– it’s now a more collaborative process.
  • AV integrators and design consultants today must understand the end users’ perspective, as the industry has moved away from a hardware and commodity mentality where integrators just install a system and move on to the next customer. Today’s integrators and consultants are really partners with the end user involved with ongoing TOC, maintenance, and other issues in the end users’ facilities.

Looking for more insights? Contact NewBay Plus’s AV/IT content marketing team. Email Joe Braue at jbraue@nbmedia.com.

How NewTek Used a Social Media Hub to Drive Thought Leadership

By: Joe Braue –

How can marketers breakthrough the noise and drive thought leadership and awareness around a key technology initiative?

Donetta Colboch, VP of Marketing at NewTek, a leading video production system vendor, posed that challenge to TVTechnology and its marketing service arm, NewBay Plus, which I manage. Our answer was to create NDICentral, a social media hub where our editors curate the hottest posts about NDI, a new video over IP standard being driven by a number of leading players in the video and broadcasting space.

Check out the live page here

Using a social media curation platform, our edit teams pulls in tweets and other social media posts from media and entertainment business and technology leaders about NDI, as well as other issues surrounding the industry transition to IP. Since in 2017, any opinion leader will use social media to drive out their thinking, we can access the best content about video over IP in the world. The site is embedded in TVTechnology and Creative Planet Network. But you can also find it on NewTek’s site as well.

NewTek gets the benefit of cobranding on the site and in the large amount of promotion in regular email blasts as well as a widget on the home page of TVTechnology and Creative Planet Network.

We asked Donetta to describe her challenge and her decision to choose to work with us to build NDICentral:

What was NewTek’s key marketing need in relation to NDI?

Video production over IP is one of the biggest changes in our industry in decades. To help video producers understand and navigate this rapidly changing environment, our goal is to provide resources for objective, relevant, and timely information.

How did NDICentral serve that need?

NDICentral embodies the best of today’s media, both traditional and social. Using the NDICentral hashtag delivers the latest news directly to the site. Whether the contributors are the editorial team at NewBay, NewTek, third party developers, end users, analysts or other industry experts, the information is fresh, immediate and constantly updating.

What were its benefits to NewTek?

This is an important inflection point in the industry and NewTek plays a key role in the transition to IP-based workflows for video production. There are a lot of questions and a great deal to be learned. NDICentral provides that learning resource, positions NewTek as a thought leader, and comes with the benefit of having the expertise of the editorial team at NewBay curating the content.

 Can you characterize any of the benefits/results so far?

The site went live a few days before IBC 2016. Since that time we have seen exponential growth in viewership, interaction and content contribution. NDI developers and users have a “go to” resource to share information and stories unlike any other in the industry. Without NDICentral many of these people would not have a voice.

What makes this program unique, in your long experience as a leading broadcasting industry marketing professional?

Today, by the time a prospect engages in a sales interaction, they are extremely well educated. As marketers it is our job to help provide that education. Content in all forms has become the cornerstone of an effective marketing program. At NewTek we have a massive website, blogs, videos, live webcasts, tours, events and trade shows, all in an effort to help educate our customers about our products. However, the industry transition to IP-based video production requires something beyond anything we can easily put in a typical advertising or content program.

We had to find a new approach. Fortunately, we have a longstanding relationship with NewBay. As we were developing our thoughts on how we could provide an industry resource that was relevant, objective and reached beyond the NewTek brand, it was obvious that NewBay held the key to success. They immediately grasped what we were trying to accomplish and came to us with a proposal within days. The site was launched within two weeks. Our collaboration provides a dynamic, important resource for the industry. NewTek can rest assured that the content is of the highest quality because the NewBay editorial team has oversight. Further, we benefit from all of the marketing and promotion muscle that NewBay offers. NDICentral is a unique approach to content marketing, but from my view it is absolutely the perfect complement to our strategy, and has delivered and continues to deliver exactly the results we wanted.

For more information about driving vertical market thought leadership, lead generation and brand/product awareness, please connect with Joe Braue, VP Marketing Services at NewBay Plus jbraue@nbmedia.com or by visiting our corporate website http://www.newbaymedia.com/newbay-plus/

Our partners in 2016 included Intel, Dell, NBC Universal, LG, CIT, DreamBox Learning, Mitsubishi, Corning, Cisco, Comcast Business, and Sharp among dozens of others.

6 Tips for a Better B2B Show Video

By: Joe Braue 

With CES around the corner, it’s time for vertical industry B2B marketers to think through their show video plans for the upcoming year. Companies are spending huge portions of their marketing budgets at CES, NAB, InfoComm, ISTE and other vertical shows, bringing in high-level executives and driving out key product-leadership messages.

Doing video at the show is a critical way to make sure that your message lives on after the show. Some companies have an on-staff videographer. Our NewBay Studios agency provides a five-person crew (producer, two-camera crew, project manager and on-camera interviewer with top-flight audio and lighting and editing capabilities) to tell your story.

This video outlines five best practices for a better B2B show video from our team’s experience.

http://bcove.me/mlzf5nk0

In short:

  1. Nail your main message before the shoot and work backwards.
  2. Keep the video between 2 to 3 minutes which means you need to focus the message.
  3. Pay attention to video and audio quality.
  4. Make it interesting, with multiple cuts, b-roll, and graphics.
  5. Promote in places where prospects and customers will see it.

I’d like to add one best practice to the list: the need for speed.

This year, NewBay Studios at CES 2017 in Las Vegas will be offering 24-hour turnaround on videos produced that the show. That way, your message is available to distribute at the show – and after it.

Sound interesting? Contact me at jbraue@nbmedia.com for more information.

And have a good show!

If you’d like more information about this and other integrated marketing concepts, email me at  jbraue@nbmedia.com

For more information about NewBay Plus, visit www.newbayplusmedia.com/newbay-plus

The Multi-Touch Marketing Program: Here’s How RSG Media Did It

By: Joe Braue – Last September Matt Klepac and the marketing team at RSG Media faced a challenge that will be familiar to many vertical industry B2B marketers: We got a hot product, a hot potential market, but not enough people know who we are.

RSG Media’s solution: an integrated, multichannel marketing program that defined the growing rights management marketplace in the media and entertainment marketplace (RSG Media’s major focus: media companies were “leaving up $50 billion on the table” by not properly managing the distribution rights for their content).

This multi-touch approach used NewBay’s Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News brands with my team at NewBay Plus marketing services creating a program that ran for four months and included:

  • 4 custom magazine reports to drive reach and impact, especially with hard to connect with M&E senior executives;
  • 3 online outreach strategies including posting the content online, creating a “Rights Management Channel” with custom and curated content; and a “Rights Management Newsletter” distributed to B&C and MCN subscribers.
  • Live person-to-person contact with prospects via a sponsorship of MCN’s Advanced Advertising Summit.
  • Lead generation from a Rights Management eBook and a companion webinar.

Why use multiple channels? “We want to market across platforms so that we can generate thought leadership for those that need it, build awareness of the solutions that we provide helping the market make more money and reduce risk. Plus, we could build morale internally by showcasing the fabulous work that our teams do every day,” Klepac said.

So how did it work?

On the role of magazine custom content:  “Some of our team members associated print articles with ads,” said Klepac, vice president, marketing, at RSG. But we felt if we could give people quality content that started a conversation, M&E executives would enjoy and read it. People don’t like to be marketed to, but they crave thought leaderships.”

Our NewBay Plus team recruited Dennis Kneale, the former CNBC and Fox Business host and Wall Street Journal reporter to write and byline four custom reports in B&C and MCN to demystify and explain media rights management. Kneale wrote in the first person and was clear in these reports that the content was sponsored by RSG Media. The reports were slugged “advertising.”

The results: “By publishing third-party generated content in the B&C and MCN publications we helped generate more booth activity at trade shows,” Klepac said.  “We actually had executives walk up to our booth, magazine article in hand to talk about the solutions and thought leadership provided. The email marketing helped to generate more traffic to our online properties.  Lead-gen was ok, but that was not our main focus.  In addition, we boosted internal morale by shining a light on the work of our engineering and products teams.”

The key, Klepac said, is to reach decision makers through multiple channels with different information formats to connect with them.

“I like to take a holistic look at marketing,” he said. “This result is an integrated marketing approach that unifies and seamlessly connects the buyer with the brand. Consistency is key in ensuring that the buyer understands your message, thus leading to a return on your investment. Integrated marketing helps by optimizing marketing spend (both digitally and off line), allotting the right dollar amount towards the most effective approach.”

Did the program move the sales needle? Klepac said the actual numbers are confidential. But he did say that sales leads are up substantially, as is traffic to the RSG site and its social following.

If you’d like more information about this and other integrated marketing concepts, email me at  jbraue@nbmedia.com

For more information about NewBay Plus, visit www.newbayplusmedia.com/newbay-plus

Introducing: The B2B Social Media Hub

By: Joe Braue – 

For years, vertical industry marketers seeking to drive thought leadership in a hot sub-segment of their markets have worked with B2B media companies to create microsites on the topic on media company sites. These microsites usually involved the single sponsorship of a jump page or small sites that included media company content and vendor content on the hot subject.

Now, with almost all content being Tweeted or posted to Facebook or LinkedIn, social media curation platforms can be used by editors to curate a wide range of content about specific hot topics and arrange it on a website. And vertical industry marketers can sponsor the hubs to drive thought leadership, visibility, as well as expand social media reach in these hot segments.

Here at NewBay Plus, our leading brands have been producing social media hubs for more than two years covering major industry association shows (TWICE Magazine for CES, Tech & Learning for ISTE, and our AV Group for InfoComm) as well as for other industry happenings (for example, Broadcasting & Cable Magazine for the 2016 Upfronts season, from March to May of this year).

But the biggest use of social media curation platforms may be as the successor to the B2B microsite. Check out NDIcentral (see: http://www.tvtechnology.com/NDIcentral/), a new social media hub that partners TVTechnology, the Creative Planet Network and our client, NewTek. TVT and CPN editors are curating social media posts about the NDI (Network Device Technology) a video over IP standard being driven by NewTek and allied companies. NDIcentral was launched at the IBC Show in Amsterdam (see the press release:  http://www.newbaymedia.com/ndicentral-launches-at-ibc/). NewTek is the sponsor of the site, and TVT and CPN are looking to sign up additional companies who are part of the NDI initiative to participate. To post to the site, use the hashtag: #NDIcentral.

There are three key innovations for the social media hub vs. the traditional microsite:

  • First is the fact that the social media hub can reside on the media company website, vendor website, and any other partner or alliance website. For vendors and their partners, that can be a huge infusion of content about a hot topic to show the industry that you are the leader in the space.
  • Second, using the curation tool, there is a much wider amount of content available for the site via the entire social media universe, and posts are pulled into the site in real time via Twitter or another social feed.
  • Finally, the hub can actually drive the social outreach for the vendor in the hot segment.

If this sounds interesting, email me at jbraue@nbmedia.com and I can walk you through the concept and discuss how we at NewBay Plus could put it to use for your next major vertical marketing push.

Why We Are Writing This Blog

By: Joe Braue and Kristin Kovacich –

Marketers in vertical industries should be the rock stars of their companies. They have more opportunities and tools than ever before to make their products and companies successful. If only there was a way they could share their vertical industry knowhow.

That’s where we hope the NewBay Plus Blog can help. We are a group of media and marketing professionals at NewBay Media with years of experience in B2B and B2C markets. We’ll be sharing marketing best practices especially in the five verticals where NewBay has leading media platforms: Ed Tech, Broadcasting & Cable, AV Professional, Music, and Consumer Electronics Retailing.

kristinJoe

Two of us will be writing in this space. Joe Braue has been in B2B Media for more than 25 years as an editor and publisher at McGraw-Hill and UBM Technology, marketing services leader at CMP, and he currently heads up NewBay Plus, NewBay’s marketing services arm. You’ll also see Kristin Kovacich, who previously was at Digiday Studios and is now creating integrated marketing programs at NewBay Plus.

So when you start a blog, you need a statement of principles, your core beliefs that you want to share, like Orson Welles starting up the fictional New York Inquirer in the movie Citizen Kane.

First, we believe vertical industry marketers should be rockstars, using all the levers of the web, print, events, and special services to successfully to drive awareness of their products and demand for their sales teams. Toward that end, we want to share what we know, what our editors and publishers are finding out about these markets at NewBay, and most importantly write about marketing ideas that succeed compiled from our conversations with you and your peers.

Secondly, we’re humble here at NewBay. We don’t have all the answers. So we’ll be presenting interesting, innovative ideas from every place we can find it, even if it comes from competitors.

To find out more information, see our NewBay Plus website where you can find resources for vertical industry content marketing, marketing automation, PR, advertising, integrated marketing and the like. If you have executed a successful program, let us know about it so we can share. And if you have a lesson learned, please talk to us or share your thoughts below. We can be reached at jbraue@nbmedia.com and kkovacich@nbmedia.com.

– Joe and Kristin

How to Get Your Content to Do the Selling

By: Kristin Kovacich –

We create content to establish our brands as experts and thought leaders by providing answers to industry related questions and addressing topics that the people who are interested in your product care about. This establishes trust and keeps your brand top of mind when your potential customers think about your industry. This is a very important aspect of content creation but what about the bottom line? How do we get our content to move our customer along the purchase process and ultimately help make a sale?

Doug Kessler, Creative Director & Co-founder of B2B marketing agency Velocity, has put together a SlideShare presentation that lays out the unique content creation considerations for making the sale.

Kessler posits that the most important characteristic of successful content at the buying stage is that it convinces the customer that there has been a real and significant change in the world. The content must exemplify this change through data, 3rd party analysis and a reason for the change; and it also must show the change is relevant and inevitable to the customer and if they are not ready for it they will fall behind their competitors.

Below are the 6 characteristics Kessler lays out for creating content that sells change:

1. It’s direct and assertive. There’s no pussy-footing when it comes to content that sells.

2. It starts from what the prospect already knows. Don’t try to convince them the sky is green at the offset. You want to convince them change is nigh but you don’t want them to be completely disoriented.

3. It’s linear. Don’t take them all over the place when laying out your argument. Keep it focused and keep it moving.

4. It’s data-driven. Facts go a long way toward building credibility but don’t rely too heavily on them. Let your data do the supporting not the heavy lifting.

5. It asks for the order. Convincing the prospect of a coming change that’s going to rock their world is the hardest part but don’t forget the reason why you’re there.

6. It makes now seem like the ideal time to act. Because tomorrow will be too late and catching up will be costly.

It’s important to remember that not all content is created equally and knowing what we want out of it and how to get it helps ensure it is effective.\

Photo from Flickr

No More Random Acts of Content

By: Kristin Kovacich –

Today’s B2B marketers are realizing the importance of content marketing (over 25% of marketing budgets are dedicated to content efforts) but many vendors are bypassing some key considerations. CMO Council’s Content ROI Center recently surveyed more than 400 B2B customers in order to identify the impact of content marketing on customer thinking and buying decisions. The results of Better Yield in the Content Marketing Field showed what customers want (and don’t want) out of content, where they go to get it and what this means for marketers.

A few key take ways:

  • The characteristics most valued by survey respondents are breadth and depth of information (47% of respondents), ease of access, understanding and readability (44% of respondents), and originality of thinking and ideas (39%).
  • 50% of survey respondents valued and trusted white papers from industry organizations while only 9% valued and trusted white papers from vendors.
  • The characteristics most disliked in B2B content are too many requirements for download (50% of respondents), blatantly promotional or self-serving (43%)  and non-substantive and uninformed (34%).
  • 87% of respondents say that online content has a major to moderate influence when selecting a vendor.
  • 41% use smartphones to access B2B content and 34% use tablets.

Content has a huge impact on customer buying decisions and in order to put their best foot forward, B2B marketers must first create the type of content that resonates with and provides value to their customer. Creating a white paper expounding the benefits of your product no longer cuts it. When consuming B2B content, customers want value, expect it consistently and want to  be able to access it easily and anytime.

More from the study below:

b2b-content-infographic-cmo-council-2013(Photo from Flickr)

 

The Perks of Being Social

By: Kristin Kovacich –

For the most part, B2B hasn’t been quite as quick as B2C to  embrace social media as part of it’s marketing strategy. But in this increasingly digital world, if a brand isn’t including a strategic social media presence they are missing out.  At the end of the day, B2B consumers are made up of people and those people move seamlessly between web, mobile and social. Extending campaigns across all three ensures the brand’s message is delivered with the widest reach. There’s a place for B2B in the social game and here are a few reasons why.

Build Brand Awareness: Social media platforms provide a space for your brand to be seen by businesses that will eventually approach you for sales. A steady communication of your core message directly to your prospects pushes your company top of mind when it comes to making a purchase decision.

Showcase your Expertise: Each social platform can be a go-to resource on information related to whatever topic the company wants to be an expert on. A consistent stream of thought leadership and knowledge triggers an association between your company and what’s cutting edge in your industry.

Your Customers Do Your Marketing: The ability to listen to the existing conversation around your brand and to create initiatives to increase that conversation is another feature of social media. If a business can attract attention from their audience by way of customer reviews or user generated content, it will carry more weight than if brand created the content itself.

Establish and Maintain Relationships: Social media allows marketers to engage in direct contact with their prospects and end-users in a more personal way than a banner ad or email campaign. On the social platforms, conversations can happen both on a personal and global scale and this goes a long way towards humanizing your brand. While B2B buyers might be more focused on the bottom line than B2C buyers, people still like to do business with people they know and putting human face on a business can go a long way.