#trendMARK: IM platforms and social networks will blur together in future

a trendMARK feature by Mike Wronski (@mikewronski) Technology continues to disrupt marketing, but will enable brands to get closer to consumers in 2014. The big question will be whether people want marketing to come any closer. Let’s take a look at technology trends for marketing in 2014.

Smart Africa TV: 44% of Kenya connected, but ad spend still on 2%

by Russell Southwood (@BalancingActAfr) In this interview, Gaurav Singh, chief digital officer at Scan Group, a leading African marketing services group, talks about how an increasing number of Africa’s citizens have access to digital devices (he cites 44% in Kenya) and that soon advertising spending will come to reflect this with a transition to digital online and social media.

Brands require domain strategy for new gTLD names

Mike Silber, a Director at ICANN, says brands who have not participated in the current round of applications have been pressing to get clarity on further opportunities to apply for new gTLDs.

New generic top level domains hold dangers for brands, democratisation of Internet

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body responsible for the Internet’s naming system, is working its way through nearly two thousand applications for New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) names.

Idea Bounty eyes UK future

Idea Bounty crowdsources creative ideas. Organisations put out a pitch, thousands of creative minds from around the globe conceptualise possible campaigns, Idea Bounty shifts through the deluge and places the best ideas before their client. Client picks, creative get anything from $1 000 – $10 000 for their concept, which client now owns.

Backtrack: How human universals help build great brands

By understanding what humans across the globe have in common, marketers can begin to build brands that create meaningful connections between products and people. Jan Hofmeyr highlights the four most important factors that need to be considered.

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