Time to polish that résumé, marketers. The business is shifting amid rapid change, and jobs that were considered experimental a few years ago are now indispensable. Career paths are being disrupted midstream, and both brands and ad agencies are recalibrating talent for the next generation of marketing. The combined forces of globalization and the commoditization of technology are exacerbating the pace at which new, promising tools are becoming available to brands, per Aaron Harvey, co-founder and ecd at Ready Set Rocket, who says that every job title the digital marketing agency hires for today did not exist when it launched eight years ago. “It’s going to be incumbent on [marketers] to look for passion projects and experiment on passion projects,” he explains.
Uber, like the smartphones and wireless networks that enable it, entered the enterprise market uninvited or at least unbeknownst to most levels of management. However, since late 2014 Uber has been developing more direct relationships through a specialized service for enterprises that assists companies with billing, reporting and management.
NEW ORLEANS -- Amazon has quickly built a commanding lead on voice-enabled digital assistants, but the company’s vision for bringing Alexa to connected devices as diverse as light switches, automobiles and household appliances is just getting underway. Amazon’s plans for Alexa are more widespread than any device category or the constraints of Amazon’s own hardware aspirations, Steve Rabuchin, vice president of Amazon Alexa, said at last week’s Collision conference.
NEW ORLEANS -- As the head of product for Facebook Messenger, Stan Chudnovsky is responsible for one of the most popular consumer products in the world. And yet, despite Messenger’s 1.2 billion monthly active users, he’s convinced that the app can continue its growth and add more functions if users and business embrace the app as a channel for business-to-consumer communications.
NEW ORLEANS -- YouTube this week revealed a redesign of its desktop app that strips out superfluous information and makes videos the primary feature of the viewing experience. “We’re rolling out a revamped design of our desktop application,” Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube, announced at the Collision conference.
Adobe CIO Cynthia Stoddard doesn’t think about marketing and IT as separate functions. “We don’t have an artificial wall between these organizations,” she tells CIO.com. IT and marketing have distinct priorities within the business, but aligning their respective responsibilities around company goals leads to greater outcomes, according to Stoddard.
Google and Microsoft are both benefiting from solid growth in enterprise cloud services. Both companies released earnings reports this week that highlighted significant momentum in G Suite, Office Suite, respectively, and more sophisticated cloud platforms for business.
Microsoft has for decades owned the intersection of collaboration, productivity and communication. However, as these services shifted to the cloud, it opened pathways for greater competition and flexibility in how organizations deployed applications for their workforce. Through G Suite, Google has stretched its resources and refined its family of apps for enterprise. The market is far from locked up, however, and analysts see at least some room for new players to emerge to challenge Google and Microsoft.
Facebook is introducing a free version of Workplace, the company’s social network for business, in a bid to appeal to smaller and more cost-sensitive organizations that don’t necessarily need enterprise-class services. Workplace Standard, which will initially be offered as a beta, won’t include administrative controls, some security compliance measures, monitoring tools, single sign-on or integration with third-party services, according to Facebook.
Within the span of five weeks, Facebook has copied a format pioneered by Snapchat and introduced it to all three of its most widely used apps: WhatsApp, Messenger and the primary Facebook mobile app. “Stories,” a tool that lets you share photos and videos in a feed that “disappears” after 24 hours, came to Instagram in August and started rolling out to Facebook proper this week. With short-lived media promoted and featured prominently across the company’s entire family of mobile apps, the Snapification of Facebook is now complete.
CIOs and IT managers are increasingly adopting Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite for collaboration, productivity and messaging. These cloud-based productivity suites are expanding, gaining new feature sets and new apps for enterprise users. Earlier this month, both Google and Microsoft introduced chat-based collaboration apps to reposition for competition in this fast evolving and hotly contested space.
LinkedIn is taking a more forceful approach to news curation. The company today is releasing a “trending storylines” feed that lives alongside your personally curated feeds to showcase news articles and related posts personalized based on your interests and profession.
Apple this week is releasing its most affordable iPad to date. The refreshed 9.7-inch iPad, which packs a Retina screen and Apple’s A9 chip in a device that effectively replaces the iPad Air 2, is priced at $329 with 32GB of storage.
Bijan Sabet is a venture capitalist with a golden touch. His wins are as legendary as the consumer and social tech companies he helped grow into the juggernauts they are today. Spark Capital, the Boston-based firm he cofounded and where he serves as general partner, has invested in more than 100 companies to date, including Twitter, Tumblr, Oculus and Foursquare.
Microsoft today released its app for enterprise collaboration in a bid to solidify its Office 365 suite with a chat-based workspace that integrates with other Microsoft apps including OneDrive, Word, Excel and others. Microsoft Teams, which has been in beta since November, is now widely available to all Office 365 customers in 181 markets and in 19 languages.