Friday Five: 12/5 – 12/9


Happy Friday! Read on to catch up with this week’s tech and social media hot topics:

Apple Maps now shows EV charging stations – TechnoBuffalo
The country’s largest provider of electric charging stations, ChargePoint, recently announced that consumers will now be able to use their iPhone’s native “maps” application to find directions to any of its 31,000 charging locations. In addition, iPhone owners will be able to use Apple’s virtual assistant, “Siri,” to receive information on charging station pricing and hours of operation and Apple’s mobile wallet feature “Apple Pay” to pay for the “charging” service at the charging station.

The Top 7 Social Media Trends That Dominated 2016 – Forbes
From the introduction of Instagram Stories to the rise of live streaming video services like Facebook Live, 2016 was definitely a year for emerging social media trends and features. Certain trends, like mobile messaging, are predicted to continue to expand in 2017. For example, Apple’s introduction of new features like stickers, games and effects to its iMessage service was created in response to growing consumer interest in mobile messaging applications like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger.

Disney Channel Casts Social Media Influencers as TV Embraces Digitally Native Stars – Variety

The growing importance of social media influencers is no surprise. According to eMarketer, 81 percent of marketers say influencer marketing is an effective channel. Entertainment companies are recognizing the enormous impact of social media influencers and are beginning to cast them in shows to attract younger, digitally connected viewers. Disney, for example, cast Vine superstar Jake Paul to serve as the host of “Bizaardvark,” a show about two teenage girls who make vlogs. Disney has also cast other online influencers like Vine phenomenon Thomas Sanders and YouTube personality Lily Singh for appearances on the show. 

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Team Spotlight: Sarah Hale

I recently sat down with Sarah Hale, an account director for the Marketing Technology team, to learn more about her experience at Walker Sands and her goals for the practice area. During her three and a half years at Walker Sands, Sarah has played a key role in leading the agency’s efforts to deliver strong, measurable results for our clients. She has witnessed Walker Sands double in size and expand our services to provide an integrated approach to PR and digital marketing. She’s excited to see how our agency will continue to grow and to do her part in finding new, innovative ways to help future clients achieve their goals and objectives.Sarah-Hale

Here’s what Sarah had to say during our Q&A:

1. What is your role at Walker Sands? What does your day-to-day look like?

My role is serving as an Account Director for the marketing technology team. My day-to-day schedule consists of collaborating with account executives and other teams, such as the digital or social teams, to develop and implement high level strategies that help our clients reach their goals and objectives. 

2. How has Walker Sands changed since you first started at the company?

We’ve matured and grown a lot in just three and a half years. Formerly, our digital offerings (web design, SEO, PPC, etc.) were fully distinct from our PR offerings. As we evaluated the journeys that B2B buyers take in evaluating tools and options, we realized that didn’t make sense. As our research has shown, multiple decision-makers and dozens of touchpoints are involved in a single B2B buying decision- and you can bet they are neither all media placements nor all digital touchpoints. We now offer an integrated offering that responds to where buyers are, but my sense is that we’re slightly ahead of the marketplace in doing so. Most importantly, an integrated approach is the best way to help our clients meet their marketing, sales and overall business goals.

3. What do you like most about working at Walker Sands?

The level of freedom Walker Sands gives its employees is definitely my favorite thing about working here. This freedom is what allows me to strategize and think in innovative ways that help me make a client’s campaign or account as successful as possible!  

4. What sets Walker Sands apart?

I think one of the things that sets Walker Sands apart from other agencies is our versatility. Many agencies tend to stick to what they’re comfortable and familiar with, while we’re ready to accept a challenge and work in areas we haven’t necessarily worked in before. I also think Walker Sands is a bit more responsive than other agencies, that is, we pay careful attention to a client’s unique needs and do our best to satisfy them and help them reach their goals and objectives.

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Everybody Writes, So Learn From the Pros: Part 3

Our content team wrapped up Ann Handley’s critically acclaimed book, “Everybody Writes,” just before Thanksgiving. The first two sections of the book offer plenty of tips to be thankful for, from advice on how to write more effectively to a deep dive on grammar and word usage.

Handley goes on to talk about a whole host of topics in the remaining pages, including rules on publishing, writing for social media and tools that can take your writing to the next level.

Here are some of the lessons the content team found particularly helpful:

1. Cite as you write

It has never been easier to research a topic you want to write about. With just a few clicks, you can gain instant access to millions of online sources that cover almost everything under the sun. But with convenience comes the responsibility to credit others for their work. Handley recommends citing any source that helps you along the creative process.

Expert tip: Be sure to find primary, not secondary sources. Writers too often link to a secondary source instead of the original. As Handley puts it, “The credibility you gain is worth the extra click or two to track down the primary source.”

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[VIDEO] The State of Marketing Technology 2017: A Brief Overview

A year ago, Walker Sands published the first State of Marketing Technology whitepaper, indicating that the industry’s evolution and adoption of new marketing technology was taking a full speed ahead approach. This year’s report found that the momentum has remained steady, and marketers show no signs of slowing down.

Walker Sands’ MarTech team conducts an annual survey to over 300 marketers; analyzing their actions and and attitudes towards making technology purchase decisions. Each year, the findings are compiled into a white paper. This year’s study is titled Walker Sands State of Marketing Technology 2017 Closing the Gap Between Martech Innovation and Adoption. In the video our martech thought leaders discuss how marketers are eager to embrace best-of-breed solutions rather than single-vendor suites, and give predictions for the year ahead.

Watch the video to learn more about our findings in the 2017 State of Marketing Technology study.


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Friday Five: 11/28 – 12/2


Happy Friday! Check out this week’s tech news before you head out for the weekend:

AWS tries to protect its customers from DDoS attacks with new service – CIO

DDoS attacks were particularly brutal this year with a record-breaking hack on the BBC. Amazon introduced a new service called Shield at AWS re:invent to fight back and protect its customers from DDoS attacks. Starting Wednesday, Dec. 7, the free tier of Shield will be enabled on any web application that runs on AWS. The service kills two birds with one stone by increasing AWS’ cloud security and compelling customers to finally migrate their business applications to the cloud.

AMD will sneak-peek its high-end Zen CPU in December, starting a new CPU war – PCWorld

AMD CPU’s have struggled to keep up with its rival, Intel, for the past decade. Despite more affordable pricing, AMD’s performance is considered to be lackluster compared to the power and efficiency of the pricier Intel processors. Things may change once AMD’s long-awaited, high-end Zen CPU hits the market. In terms of performance, the shockingly powerful 8-core Zen impressed the CPU world by revealing it could keep up with Intel’s high-end 8-core Broadwell-E chips. Will a new powerful and cost-efficient AMD processor answer the company’s critics and regain lost market share?

JustEat is now delivering takeout with self-driving robots in the UK– TechCrunch

Drones and robots could be the future of food delivery. Following Domino’s first drone-delivered pizza, self-driving bots from Just Eat have been serving Greenwich, London residents with takeout from nearby restaurants. Provided by Starship Technologies in a partnership with Just Eat, the robots are specifically designed for delivery purposes. The self-driving bots are tamper-proof and unlock with a code sent to customers, which also means no free meals for curious passerbys.

66% of organizations won’t recover after cyberattack, study says TechRepublic

It’s no secret that cyberattacks have the potential to be devastating to an organization, but according to an IBM and Ponemon Institute study, a majority of them fail to recover. The issue lies with “cyber resiliency,” which is the capability of a company to keep its core purpose in the event of an attack. According to the study, 32 percent of IT and security leaders rated their company with high resilience compared to 35 percent in 2015, which shows that resilience could be trending downwards if no changes are made. Poor planning and preparation is said to be one of the main culprits, which will need to be addressed in the future of IT security strategies.

Facebook developing artificial intelligence to flag offensive live videos – Reuters

Facebook has seen its fair share of criticism over the past month regarding fake news and censored content. Using artificial intelligence aims to solve these problems that can be littered with human error. The social media giant’s problems stem from user reports, which it relies on to flush out offensive posts. However, the process is slow and posts have to be double checked by Facebook employees. AI provides another reliable check to filter Facebook’s content while being an objective party.

Tweet us your favorite tech stories from this week @WalkerSands!

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