Friday Five: 4/4 – 4/8

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Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of this week’s industry news:

U.S. schools may be testing Adidas’ fitness tracker in K-12 gym classes –  Mashable

Gym class for K-12 students has come a long way since the one-size-fits-all Presidential Fitness Challenge. In 2015, Adidas announced that it’s working toward new health initiatives for students. However, the company recently revealed the product behind these plans by highlighting a new heart-rate monitor called Zone. The Zone tracker allows teachers to track student performance and create workout goals based on the individual’s fitness level. The device was designed in partnership with Interactive Health Technologies and will complement the existing Spirit program, software that works with wearable tracking software.

‘Behemoth’ black hole discovered in far-off galaxy –  USA Today

According to a report published Wednesday, astronomers discovered a black hole weighing more than 17 billion suns using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii. This “bottomless pit of gravity” created by a collapsed star surprised astronomers because, unlike other black holes typically found in the center of large galaxies, this was found in a remote area. While this isn’t the largest black hole discovery, the observation could indicate that these monstrous objects are more common than thought.

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MarTech Recap Part 1: Bridging the Marketing – Sales Divide

We can decide that marketing and sales are friends, but declaring that they are won’t make it so.

I recently attended the MarTech conference in San Francisco. Most sessions discussed how to make marketing programs more efficient and smarter. About half addressed the elephant in the room at some point: what happens after a marketing program is deemed a success and leads passed over to sales.

Here at Walker Sands, we have a more direct and understanding relationship with our sales team than most organizations. Still, the divide is palpable, even among clients that have the foresight to integrate sales and marketing. I’m in the middle of Scott Brinker’s latest book, Hacking Marketing and in the very first section he emphasizes that change for the sake of change won’t fly on the sales side, which thrives on routine. Quite a departure for marketers who are encouraged to embrace agile and constantly innovate.

How can sales and marketing meet in the middle and better understand what the other is going through? Here are tips from two experts from the brand side who have been successfully able to bridge (or at least minimize) the marketing-sales divide:

Provide Salespeople with Leads – and Help Them Nurture

Mark Roberts, CMO, ShoreTel

Mark’s goal as CMO is to implement and communicate ShoreTel’s combined mission and tagline of making interactions simple. The team also applied this lesson internally in working with the sales team, and emphasized that marketing’s role doesn’t end once an MQL is magically transformed into an SQL. By following through, ShoreTel was able to increase the proportion of leads that became contact-ready.

Key takeaway: Follow up with sales. Use insights gleaned from marketing to provide context.

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Friday Five: 3/28 – 4/1

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of this week’s industry news:

Why Instagram Extended Its Video-Length Limit To 60 Seconds – Forbes

Instagram increased its maximum video length to a full minute on Tuesday, compared to its previous 15 second cap. The extension was previously offered to advertisers as an exclusive two months ago, but is now available to the average consumer for the first time. Updated phones can also stitch together videos from their camera roll into a full clip. According to the company, users have spent 40 percent more time watching videos on Instagram in the past six months. With a new video format, the app has the opportunity to become a stronger platform for live event updates.  

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Image Source: Flickr

Snapchat Takes On Facebook with Huge New Upgrade – Vanity Fair

Snapchat is challenging Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp with its newest in-app update, Chat 2.0. By swiping on a friend’s name, users can make audio calls through the chat screen, as well as submit video and audio messages. The update also offers a private FaceTime-like video feature, and a variety of messaging stickers. The new update puts Snapchat in direct competition with established messaging applications like Facebook and WhatsApp. Compared to its early years labeled as a “hookup application” by the public, Snapchat’s newest updates are validating its rise to a top, widely used social media platform.

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Friday Five: 3/21 – 3/25

Google: Android Pay to arrive in the U.K. ‘in the next few months,’ confirms 8 banks for launch – VentureBeat

Until now, Android Pay has only been available in the US, but Google has announced that eight banks have signed on in the UK to implement the program. As a direct competitor to Apple Pay, this was a necessary move for Google – Apple Pay has been available in the UK since last summer. Android Pay works the same way as Apple Pay, using NFC technology to send payments between a device and a retailer. In London, Android Pay will work for the entire transport network, including trains and buses, potentially giving it an edge over Apple.

Would You Pay 25 Cents to Read an Article? Blendle Certainly Thinks So – Wired

Dutch company Blendle is coming to the U.S. The media startup lets users pay for single articles from news sources via Blendle’s site. Readers don’t see ads or have to pay for a monthly subscription, instead paying through Blendle. This model has been touted as a potential savior of journalism, but critics have pointed out that it decreases overall revenue, especially from ads. Overseas, the service has proved to be a rousing success, with more than 650,000 users signed up and paying for content already.

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Walker Sands Digital Delivers According to Research Firm Clutch

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We’re pleased to announce that Clutch, a DC-based research firm, has named Walker Sands Digital among the leading San Francisco Digital Marketing Agencies and the leading San Francisco SEO services firms.

Clutch reviews hundreds of agencies in the digital marketing space and selects those to profile on its web site based on their ability to meet client needs. Their selections are driven not only by companies’ past experience and market presence but, most importantly, by what these companies’ customers have to say about them!

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