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A major data breach would likely shut down half of SMBs permanently, according to an AppRiver report.
More than half of cybersecurity executives at small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) (58%) fear a major data breach more than a flood, fire, transit strike, or even a physical break-in of their office, according to the inaugural AppRiver Cyberthreat Index for Business Survey released Tuesday.
The concern is rooted in a stark business reality: Nearly half of the 1,059 SMB cybersecurity decision-makers surveyed (48%) said a major data breach would likely shut down their business permanently, the report found. This percentage increased significantly for financial services and insurance SMBs (71%) and healthcare SMBs (62%), according to the report.
“In today’s digital age, businesses rely on their intellectual property and use automated business processes more than ever before – bringing cybersecurity to the forefront,” said Dave Wagner, CEO of Zix Corporation, parent company of AppRiver.
SMBs are more concerned that these attacks could come from disgruntled ex-employees (24%) than from rogue hacktivist groups (21%), lone-wolf hackers (19%), competitors targeting corporate intellectual property (18%), or nation state-sponsored hackers (18%).
The reason for this fear of an ex-employee breach is well founded: Some 20% of organizations said they have experienced data breaches by former employees, according to a OneLogin report. Companies can increase their chances of avoiding such an attack by removing employees’ access to all accounts immediately after they leave the company.
SMBs can follow these tips from Kaspersky Lab to improve their security practices:
Create a list of assets your employees use
Make a list of the online services your organization uses, and analyze which of them is critical for your business process.
Audit critical services and their settings
Set clear guidelines for which data can be moved to the cloud and which must stay internal
Set guidelines for which data can be accessed by which employees
Arrange security awareness training to teach staff how to handle critical data safely
Use a reliable security solution
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
58% of cybersecurity leaders fear a major data breach more than a flood, fire, transit strike, or even a physical break-in of their office. — AppRiver, 2019
48% of cybersecurity leaders said a major data breach would likely shut down their business permanently. — AppRiver, 2019
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Don’t just mess around on Twitter. You need a plan in place to get solid results.
Social Joy Duce, Partner-in-Charge, Human Resources Consulting Services at Sikich | Feb 14, 2019
Social media has become a near-constant feature in almost every American’s life, and for that reason it must also be major component in any successful talent acquisition strategy. Today, 69% of American adults use at least one social media site, according to Pew Research.
Manufacturers, meanwhile, are engaged in a no-holds-barred war for talent. Part of the problem is that they don’t know how to reach job candidates effectively anymore.
As a hiring tool, social media allows manufacturers to reach large numbers of prospective employees at relatively low cost. But leadership often underestimates the resources and planning required to execute an effective social media plan.
Fortunately, there are strategies manufacturers can deploy to establish a powerful social media presence that enhances recruitment efforts.
Find the Right People for the Job
Many manufacturing company leaders make a crucial early mistake by tasking their human resources teams to manage their companies’ social media pages. This can pose two major challenges:
1. HR professionals—while typically excellent at assessing candidates, improving company culture and ensuring compliance—often lack expertise in social media. Without the right people handling social media, companies can send mixed messages to the marketplace or even make mistakes that harm their brands.
2. The 24/7 nature of social media requires companies to provide nearly instantaneous responses to inquiries. Manufacturers that fail to respond quickly to a potential applicant can lose out to competitors that are immediately engaging with prospective talent online.
Consider recruiting skilled communicators from other departments to the social media effort. In some cases, it might be a good idea to form a larger committee of employees who can work together to plan and execute social media content. Human resources staff can certainly contribute to the effort, but they should not be the sole contributors to a manufacturer’s social media operations.
Play by the Rules
Often, companies extend their social efforts into applicant screening processes. In fact, according to CareerBuilder, 70% of employers will search applicants on platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter before hiring.
But using social media as a screening tool often provides more details than a company needs to make its hiring decisions—such as religious affiliation, political views or sexual orientation. If a company makes a decision based on personal information that it mined from social media, it could quickly become vulnerable to a discrimination lawsuit.
To avoid this scenario, a manufacturer should create a written social media policy that outlines employee usage guidelines as well as HR screening guidelines that discourage problematic hiring practices. This policy should clearly prohibit hiring decisions based on personal information and beliefs that are irrelevant to the open position. It should also clearly detail the factors that are relevant when considering an individual for employment, such as professional qualifications and credentials, work experience, and facts gathered during the interview itself.
Start Planning Today
Manufacturers who are new to social media will want to start with a very targeted social media strategy, involving only one or two channels. The channels that they select should depend on the positions they seek to fill. LinkedIn may be a good place to reach management personnel, but it won’t be the best option when searching for entry-level plant workers, who are more likely on Instagram, Craigslist or Facebook.
No matter which social media channels they choose to use, manufacturers can’t afford to ignore Glassdoor, an online platform that features employee reviews of companies. Many applicants rely on Glassdoor for the “inside scoop” about a company. Though an employer can’t control the reviews current and former employees post on the site, it can actively manage its Glassdoor page and ensure the page features valuable information about company benefits and culture.
Once a manufacturer has developed a social media strategy that aligns with the company’s global mission, vision and values and puts it into action, the next step is to monitor results and continually tweak and refine the strategy as the company’s needs evolve.
Nobody is going to create the perfect social media plan on the first attempt. It takes time to master online activity and optimize messaging. As the social media team gains capacity, manufacturers can consider adding new channels to the mix to reach new talent.
The manufacturers that invest the time and effort to develop a robust social media strategy will put themselves in a position to recruit the best and brightest employees – and come out on top in the war for talent.
By John Mason, Founder and Chief Researcher of TheBestVPN and Contributor to TechNewsWorld
Feb 1, 2019 8:47AM PT
(This story was originally published on Nov. 7, 2018, and is brought to you today as part of our Best of ECT News series)
Do you take your online privacy seriously?
Most people don’t. They have an ideal scenario of just how private their online activities should be, but they rarely do anything to actually achieve it.
The problem is that bad actors know and rely on this fact, and that’s why there’s been a steady rise in identity theft cases from 2013 to 2017. The victims of these cases often suffer a loss of reputation or financial woes.
If you take your online privacy seriously, follow this 10-step guide to protect it.
Each time you search for something online, your browser sends a query to a DNS server. Before the query reaches a DNS server, however, it first has to go through your ISP. Needless to say, your ISP easily can read and monitor these queries, which gives it a window into your online activity.
Not all ISPs monitor your browser queries but the ones that don’t are the exception and not the rule. Most ISPs will keep records of your Web browsing for a period of a few months to a year. Most ISPs don’t record your texts, but they do keep records of who texted you.
There are two ways to protect your privacy if you don’t want your ISP monitoring your browser queries: 1) Switch to an ISP that doesn’t monitor your online data, if practicable; or 2) Get a VPN to protect your data (more on this later).
2. Guard Your Login Credentials
One thing most people take for granted is the login credentials they use to access their many online accounts. Your username and password are the only things keeping your information and privileges from getting into the wrong hands. This is why it’s important to make them as strong as possible.
Choose a strong username that is simple and easy to remember but can’t easily be linked to your identity. This is to prevent hackers from correctly guessing your username based on your name, age, or date of birth. You’d be surprised just how cunningly hackers can find this information. Also, never use your Social Security Number as your username.
Next, pick a strong password. There are many ways to do this, but we can narrow them down to two options: 1) Learn how to make strong passwords; or 2) Use a password manager app.
Learning how to make a strong password requires time and imagination. Do you want to know what the most common passwords are? They are “1234,” “12345,” “0000,” “password” and “qwerty” — no imagination at all. A password combining your name and date of birth won’t cut it. Nor will a password that uses any word found in the dictionary.
You need to use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and even symbols (if allowed). Complexity is what matters, not length, since a complex password will take centuries for a computer to figure out. In fact, you can try your password if you want to see just how long it will take to crack.
If you don’t have the time and imagination to formulate a strong and complex password, you can use one of the six best password managers. These apps not only save you the hassle of memorizing your complex passwords but also auto-fill online login forms and formulate strong passwords for you.
Whether you want to learn how to make strong passwords or choose to install a password manager app is up to you. What you should never neglect, though, is 2FA (2-factor authentication). 2FA adds an extra layer of protection for your passwords in case someone ever does learn what they are. In fact, you may already have tried it when logging into an account on a new device.
The app or service requires you to key in the access code sent to another one of your devices (usually your phone) before you are given access to your account. Failing to provide this access code locks you out of your account. This means that even if hackers obtain your login credentials in some way, they still can’t log into your account without the access code.
Never use the same usernames or passwords for different accounts. This prevents hackers from accessing multiple accounts with just one or more of your login credentials. Also, never share your login credentials with anybody — not even your significant other.
3. Secure Your WiFi
Have you ever heard of a KRACK attack? It’s a proof-of-concept cyberattack carried out by infiltrating your WiFi connection. The hacker then can steal information like browsing data, personal information, and even text message contents.
The problem is that not even WPA2 encryption can stop it. This is actually why The WiFi Alliance started development of WPA3, which it officially introduced this summer.
Do you need WPA3 to defend against KRACK attacks? No. You just need to install security updates when they become available. This is because security updates ensure that a key is installed only once, thereby, preventing KRACK attacks. You can add additional layers of protection by visiting only HTTPS sites and by using a VPN.
You also can use a VPN to protect your device whenever you connect to a public network. It prevents hackers from stealing your information via a MitM (Man in the Middle) attack, or if the network you’ve connected to is actually a rogue network.
4. Browse With Confidence
How do they do this?
Answer: Web cookies.
For the most part, Web cookies are harmless. They’re used to remember your online preferences like Web form entries and shopping cart contents. However, some cookies (third-party cookies) are made specifically to remain active even on websites they didn’t originate from. They also track your online behavior through the sites you visit and monitor what you click on.
This is why it’s a good idea to clear Web cookies every once in a while. You may be tempted to change your browser settings to simply reject all cookies, but that would result in an overall inconvenient browsing experience.
Another way to address the monitoring issue is to use your browser’s Incognito mode. Your browser won’t save any visited sites, cookies, or online forms while in this mode, but your activities may be visible to the websites you visit, your employer or school, and your ISP.
The best way I’ve found so far is to replace your browser with an anonymous browser.
One example is TOR (The Onion Browser). TOR is a browser made specifically to protect user privacy. It does this by wrapping your online data in several layers of encryption and then “bouncing” it for the same number of times before finally arriving at the right DNS server.
Another example is Epic Browser. While this browser doesn’t run on an onion network like TOR, it does do away with the usual privacy threats, including browsing history, DNS pre-fetching, third-party cookies, Web or DNS caches, and auto-fill features. It automatically deletes all session data once you close the browser.
SRWare Iron will be familiar to Google Chrome users, since it’s based on the open source Chromium project. Unlike Chrome, however, it gets rid of data privacy concerns like usage of a unique user ID and personalized search suggestions.
These three are the best ones I’ve found, but there are other alternatives out there. Whatever privacy browser you choose, make sure it’s compatible with your VPN, as not all privacy browsers are VPN-compatible — and vice-versa.
5. Search Safely
Presenting risks similar to popular browsers are the search engines many people use. Most browser companies also produce their own search engine, which — like the browser — also tracks your online searches. These searches then can be traced to your personal identity by linking them to your computer, account, or IP address.
Aside from that, search engines keep information on your location and usage for up to several days. What most people don’t know is that persons in the legal field actually are allowed to use the information collected by search engines.
If this concerns you at all, you may want to switch to a private search engine. These private search engines often work in the same way: They obtain search results from various sources, and they don’t use personalized search results.
Some of the more popular private search engines include DuckDuckGo, Fireball, and Search Encrypt.
6. Use a VPN
What is a VPN, and why do I strongly recommend it?
A VPN (virtual private network) is a type of software that protects your Internet browsing by encrypting your online data and hiding your true IP address.
Since you already know how online searches are carried out, you already know that browser queries are easily readable by your ISP — or anyone else, for that matter. This is because your online data is, by default, unencrypted. It’s made up of plain text contained in data packets.
You also already know that not even built-in WPA2 encryption is good enough to protect against certain attacks.
This is where a VPN comes in. The VPN courses your online data through secure tunnels until it gets to its intended DNS server. Anyone intercepting your browsing data will find unreadable jargon instead.
You may hear advice against trusting VPNs with your security. I’m actually inclined to partially agree — not all VPNs are secure. However, that doesn’t mean all VPNs are not secure.
The unsecured VPNs I’m referring to are the “free lunch” types that promise to be free forever but actually use or sell your data to ad companies. Use only the safest VPN services you can find.
A VPN is primarily a security tool. While you may enjoy some privacy from its functions, you will want to pair it with a privacy browser and search engine to get the full privacy experience.
A VPN can’t secure your computer or device from malware that’s already present. This is why I always recommend using a VPN together with a good antivirus and firewall program.
Some popular browsers run WebRTC protocols by default. You have to turn off this protocol. This protocol compromises a VPN’s security by allowing your true IP address to be read.
7. Beware of Phishing
You may have the best VPN, anonymous browser, and private search engine on the market, but they won’t do you much good if you’re hooked by a phishing scam.
Phishing employs psychological analysis and social engineering to trick users into clicking a malicious link. This malicious link can contain anything from viruses to cryptojackers.
While phishing attacks usually are sent to many individuals, there’s a more personalized form called “spearphishing.” In that case, the hackers attempt to scam a specific person (usually a high-ranking officer at a company) by using information that’s available only to a select few people that the target knows.
So, how do you avoid being reeled in by phishing attacks?
The first option is to learn how to identify phishing attempts. Beware of messages from people you don’t know. Hover over a link before clicking it to make sure it navigates to the site it portrays. Most importantly, remember that if it’s too good to be true, it most likely is.
The second option is to install an antiphishing toolbar. This software prevents phishing by checking the links you click against a list of sites known to host malware or those that trick you into disclosing financial or personal information.
It then will prompt you, once it determines the link to be connected to one of those sites, and provide you with a path back to safety.
The best examples I’ve found are OpenDNS, Windows Defender Browser Protection, and Avira Browser Safety.
8. Encrypt Your Messages
If you’ve been following tech news in the recent months, you may have found an item about the FBI wanting to break Facebook Messenger’s encryption. Say what you will about the social network giant, but this news reveals one thing: Even the FBI can’t crack encrypted messages without help.
This is why you should always use “encryption mode” in your messaging apps. Apps like Signal, Telegram, and Threema all come with end-to-end encryption and support for text, calls, and even video calls.
If you require constant use of emails, ProtonMail, Tutanota, Mailinator, and MailFence are great alternatives to popular email services that actually monitor your email content.
9. Share Carefully on Social Media
Social media has become one of the best ways to keep in touch with important people in our lives. Catching up to everyone we care about is just a few clicks away. That said, we’re not the only ones looking at their profiles.
Hackers actually frequent social media sites as they hunt for any personal information they can steal. They even can circumvent your “friends only” information by adding you as a friend using a fake account. I don’t think I need to mention the problems hackers can cause once they’ve stolen your identity.
This is why you should exercise caution about what you share on social media. You never know if hackers are using the photos you share to target you for their next attack. You may want to skip out on filling out your profile completely. Avoid giving your phone or home number, and perhaps use a private email to sign up.
10. Update Frequently
You may have heard this before but it’s worth repeating now: Don’t ignore system updates. You may not be aware of it, but updates fix many vulnerabilities that could jeopardize your online privacy.
Most people put off installing updates since they always seem to come at inopportune times. Sometimes we just can’t put up with the dip in performance or Internet speed while updates are being installed.
It’s usually best to suffer what minor inconvenience they cause early rather than risk getting caught in the whirlwind of problems hackers can cause if you should get targeted. Most software and apps now come with an auto-update feature, so you won’t have to manually search and download them.
Privacy is a human right, and our online privacy should be taken seriously. Don’t neglect to take the necessary steps to protect yours.
Beware of your Internet service provider, and always protect your login credentials no matter how strong they are. Remember to check the network you’re connecting to before you log in.
Watch what your browser and search engine are doing, and consider replacing them with more private ones. Prepare against phishing by learning to identify attempts and installing an antiphishing toolbar.
Always use encrypted messaging, and watch what you share on social media. Finally, never ignore system updates when they become available.
Follow these steps and you’ll soon be on your way to a more private browsing experience.
John Mason, an avid privacy advocate, is founder of TheBestVPN and serves as its chief researcher.
By Doug West, Contributing Author to How They Play – Updated on August 24, 2018
Technology and science play central roles in major sports around the world. Teams and individuals are constantly hunting for an extra performance boost, or a technique that speeds injury recovery. While there is sometimes resistance to new methods from established coaches or team doctors, sports science still makes a huge difference to what athletes eat, how and when they train, how they recover from injuries, and how often they are rested from competition.
Athletes are some of the fittest people in the world. But they also push their body to the extreme on a regular basis. Whether an athlete is attempting to get faster or stronger, or they just continue playing and training despite fatigue, they are taxing their muscles, joints and the whole body to the extreme. In the past, teams had a harder time understanding when an athlete was suffering from fatigue or exhibiting early signs of an injury.
Sports science has changed things in a big way. Teams and athletes can now get real time data on performance, endurance, flexibility, technique and more. They can compare that data with previous benchmarks to understand their body’s condition. And new medical techniques mean recovering from training sessions, games and injuries is better than ever.
The sports science trends receiving prominence over the past few years include using analytics to prevent injuries, the use of new injury recovery systems, sweat analysis, and wearable technology.
Analytics to Prevent Injuries
The risks of picking up an injury while training or playing sports is common. Many athletes suffer serious injuries that keep them out of action for three months or longer. In fact, it is very rare to encounter a professional athlete who did not have at least one or two serious injuries over their career.
Injuries not only rob players of time they could be spending on the field or court, but they also cost their teams money. The estimated cost of player injuries in the four major soccer leagues in Europe – English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga and Italian Serie A – came to roughly $100 million in 2015. In the American NFL, injury totals are trending upward, despite all the moves the league makes to boost the sport’s safety. Sports teams and athletes want to use technology and data to help understand why athletes are picking up specific injuries, and how to prevent them.
An example of such technology includes VU, by Pivot. VU is a device that uses Pivot’s sensors to understand an athlete’s body and performance in real time. The tech is capable of analyzing player landings, cuts, sprints and other movements to understand an athlete’s performance and technique.
By using such technology, teams and individuals can understand whether specific techniques are causing injuries, or if they are merely suffering because of excessive fatigue or strain. VU is also usable for helping athletes rehabilitate from a major muscular or bone injury, as their movements are tracked and analyzed during each step of their rehab.
It is not possible to understand how each athlete is impacted by different activities or fatigue by applying a “one size fits all” approach. That is why some are taking a very personalized approach to understanding the bodies of elite athletes. Kitman Labs asks players to go through a Microsoft Kinect station daily, where they move different muscles the same way each time. Trainers get the information instantly, allowing them to compare a player’s flexibility and range to other days. If a discrepancy is noticed, further tests can be done to determine the issue.
Some injuries are difficult to prevent, such as contact injuries. But muscular problems are preventable through analysis and rest. If the Kitman Labs system notices a player is moving their left leg differently to previous days, they may be able to spot a hamstring or thigh problem in its very early stages. The player could rest for a week and be back in top condition. If the issue was never noticed, the athlete would keep playing until they tweaked or tore their muscle, which is a much longer and more complicated problem. Per Kitman Labs, they see anywhere from 20 to 33 percent reduction in injury rates among their partner teams.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Cryotherapy is an incredibly popular practice in sports, and it is gaining a lot of attention in the past few years. The concept of cryotherapy is to expose parts of the body to freezing or near-freezing temperature. While it is not the most fun experience, especially for those who hate the cold, it is said to help with recovery during the sports season.
With cryotherapy, it is possible to submerge most of the body into a cryotherapy booth, or target specific areas such as the arms or legs. It helps athletes deal with muscle pain, joint pain, soreness, and it promotes faster healing from injuries. While cryotherapy booths can be expensive, many teams and athletes use ice water baths to achieve the same result. The athlete sits in the ice bath for three to five minutes.
Hyperbaric therapies, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, are becoming increasingly popular among sports teams. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is said to repair and regenerate tissue, limit swelling, stop infections, and aid in muscle soreness after intense training sessions.
The process for hyperbaric oxygen therapy is straightforward. The patient breathes pure oxygen in a pressurized room, or through a tube. When in a chamber, it is possible to set the air pressure to three times the regular levels. The increase in air pressure causes the lungs to get even more pure oxygen than is otherwise possible. The pure oxygen is then carried by the blood throughout the body, where it can help muscles, stimulate growth factors, promote healing and help in other ways.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is very good for treating head injuries, such as serious falls or concussions. It is being used at an increasing rate in sports such as American football, where head injuries are a serious concern. But it also helps with other injuries and soreness throughout the body.
There are some risks associated with the therapy, such as middle ear injuries, temporary nearsightedness, lung collapses or seizures. But the risks are not an issue if the therapy is being performed under the continual supervision of a medical expert. When athletes attempt to buy and use equipment to breathe pure oxygen on their own, it can be an issue, as it may result in overexposure that could trigger a lung collapse or a seizure.
Athletes involved with sports that tax their legs can benefit immensely from technology like the NormaTec leg boots. NormaTec combines sports science and technology to create leg compresses that assist athletes in recovery and injury prevention. The system comes with a control unit and attachments that can go on the legs or arms. Compressed air is used to massage limbs and mobilize fluid around the area.
The attachments mold into the exact body shape of the athlete’s legs. Then it begins to compress the area where it is attached, with the compressions going in a pulsing manner to mimic a massage. Athletes can use these attachments after each training session and game, with additional use during moments in the year where they are experiencing increased fatigue. American basketball star LeBron James uses the NormaTech attachments regularly.
Recovering from injuries is not just about the body, but also the mind. Athletes who suffer bad injuries, such as complete muscle tears or broken bones, may face mental obstacles when they are set to resume training. Many teams are beginning to understand the mental and psychological impact of injuries on athletes.
It is common for athletes to feel sad, isolated, angry, depressed, frustrated and disengaged while injured. It is especially true when the injury keeps the athlete from training for three months to a year. Athletic trainers, team doctors and coaches are beginning to understand the issue and take it seriously. Many teams now employ therapists so that athletes can have someone to talk to regarding their emotions when they suffer a bad injury.
Teams have begun using smart patches, such as the ECHO Smart Patch, to help analyze a player’s sweat as they train and compete. These patches are useful for monitoring health signs, gathering data to boost recovery, and eventually improving athletic performance. Sweat analysis can provide information about the many solutes in a person’s body, such as sodium, chloride, potassium, ammonium, lactate, proteins, peptides and alcohols.
Since sports teams have benchmark numbers for these solutes on each athlete, the data they gather after every training session and game helps them understand a player’s physical condition, whether they need a rest, and what foods and/or drinks they could use to replenish the body and aid in recovery.
Some of these smart patches can even monitor player vital signs, like their heart rate, respiration, skin temperature or the heart rate variability. Instead of relying on how an athlete feels, or what a coach is seeing out on the field, teams can use real data to shape their decisions on how their star athletes train and recover.
Each individual is different in how they respond to the rigors of sports. Some may have greater natural recovery, while others need more rest in between training sessions and games. By analyzing sweat, teams can put real data next to everything else they know about their athletes.
How Technology Is Taking Over Football | Sports Vests Explained
Wearable tech plays a huge role in how athletes are evaluated in real time, and after games or training sessions. For instance, coaches can use wearable tech to understand how an athlete is performing compared to their previous training sessions or games. A reduction in physical output could be a sign of fatigue or an injury. Many muscular injuries are the result of overtraining or playing, which is easily remedied by tracking player performance with wearable technology. Coaches have the information at their disposal using laptops or smartphones, and they can make real time decisions about whether to keep a player on the field or make a substitution.
Examples of successful wearable technology include the Catapult OptimEye S5. The device came to prominence when used by English soccer team Leicester City, as they defied 5000/1 odds to win the 2015-2016 Premier League title. Leicester used the OptimEye S5 to track a player’s acceleration, positioning, collision impact and much more. The data arrives instantly, meaning coaches and team doctors always have data to provide greater context to what they are seeing from a player during games.
The product gives information about volume, intensity and explosiveness during games and training sessions. Teams around the world, such as the Denver Broncos, Sacramento Kings, Brazil national soccer team, Newcastle United and Ajax use the OptimEye S5.
Tennis professionals are incorporating products such as QLIPP into their training regimes. QLIPP offers real time data from within a tennis racket, as it attaches to racket strings. The device offers information about the intensity and position each time a player hits a tennis ball with the racket. Coaches can see the information in real time, and tell the player when they are hitting the sweet spot.
Zepp’s Baseball and Softball offering provides players and coaches with real time data regarding bat speed, swing technique, attack angles, and more. Players can use the Zepp Baseball and Softball kit to methodically improve every aspect of how they are swinging their bat and hitting the baseball.
With each iteration, wearable technology improves its accuracy and the type of data it can offer to sports teams and athletes. Wearable tech is useful to understand performance over time, improve technique and prevent injuries.
We have merely scratched the surface of how much science and technology can help sports teams and athletes. As more coaches and sports doctors begin to see the benefits of combining their old methods with new technology, players will be fitter, exhibiting better technique, performance, and less likely to suffer muscular injuries due to fatigue.
Gartner Surveys 600 Marketing Champions Across the US and the UK to Uncover Industry Trends for Enterprises to Prioritize Their Budgets and Allocate Funding
Innovation emerges as the loudest thought in a CMO’s cognizance! About 16 percent of Chief Marketing Officers have confirmed that they spent the maximum on innovation in 2018 — two-thirds confirmed that spending on innovation will grow next year. The irony here is that marketing leaders admitted they are not very confident about how to innovate or exactly where to spend — although beaming of huge ambition about being innovative.
MarTech Series runs down Gartner’s findings and talks about eight trends for 2019 and beyond where marketing leaders are most likely to spend.
1. Digital Marketing
The winds of change have begun to flow! Businesses are going digital by the hordes and the pursuit to make businesses successful on digital mediums has now gotten the eyeballs of the entire C-suite. 57 percent of marketing leaders are confirming now that they would be inclined to spend on digital marketing endeavors.
“I actually think marketers are going to have to spend on technology to help with the first two bullets (better targeting and better measuring progress). Most activity-oriented systems today don’t help with where we point the resources and how we measure success.
As far as my team goes — tech aside from Terminus tech (which we are using for segment identification and measurement) — we are excited about Vidyard because it helps us focus on creating great connections with key accounts and stakeholders.”
However, CMOs need to work in conjunction with CFOs. Convincing financial officers to invest for methodologies not yet in the limelight can be extremely hard for the CMO. More so, even if they agree, the CMO is accountable for ROMI.
Marketing Technology is on the radar of CMOs for investment. MarTech spend has increased when compared to the percentage spend last year (29% in 2018 as against 22% in 2017). Evidently then, MarTech is the crux of CMO spend because it serves as the paramount source of marketing resources and initiatives.
As per Gartner’s survey, CMOs will be spending the most on the below mentioned ‘big three’ technologies:
Email Marketing platforms
Web Content Management
Digital Marketing Analytics platforms
Although, Ewan McIntyre, who is the lead author of the report, asks CMOs to practice caution. MarTech is extremely effective but can be costly. Marketing leaders need to think this through in order to avoid financial disasters.
The survey reflects the CMO’s annual spend for 2018 was capped at 21 percent for advertising. This is for both offline and online (digital) models of advertising. However, as per the first trend of this report, CMOs now prefer to spend a lot more (two-thirds out of the 21 percent budget) on digital advertising. Paid advertising on digital channels such as search engines, social mediums, et al. are the focus areas of digital advertisement spending.
“Well, ABM is still super-hot, so I see people continuing to spend on various ABM tactics. At our recent client summit, everyone was buzzing around how to use data in the best ways, so data sources and solutions should be in most marketers’ budgets.
Personally, I’m looking at AI tools such as Drift and Conversica so that I can do more with less (because we all have to do more with less, right?). These tools help us drive contacts to a more “ready” state before we have to get a more expensive human being involved.”
GDPR and the current atmosphere of user privacy and data security is the worst nightmare for owners of digital mediums. Even when red flags are being raised for brands as huge as Facebook, marketing leaders choose to continue ingesting a substantial chunk of dollars for paid advertising. Main reasons? Increasing revenues and proving to stakeholders that marketing is a critical cog to aid the enterprise’s engine to run smoothly. Other reasons are bolstering brand value gaining new business.
Tech watchers are going gaga over emerging technologies such as ABM, AI, ML, Programmatic and Native among many others. Even then, CMOs spend a whopping 25% on workhorse technologies such as email, organic search, paid search, etc. So why do marketing leaders continue to invest in these technologies that belong to a prior phase of MarTech evolution? Here are the reasons:
These channels are easy to measure for ROI
Easier to groom in-house talent to operate workhorse technologies
Easier to prove the effectiveness of these channels to stakeholders compared to newer, impactful but complex technologies
Workhorse technologies still work, and really well!
Innovation is a major focus area for the CMO. According to 9 percent of the CMOs surveyed, innovation will be vital in enterprise growth over the coming 18 months. And they are right — the business eco-system overall is flux. Disruptions, changing consumer behaviors, M&As, and so many other factors are ensuring that it is difficult for enterprises to run their business. Hence, innovation automatically becomes the fallback element of every enterprise.
“Modern marketing is increasingly centered on data science, and if we accept that premise, CMOs will spend big on AI. The underlying neural networks are services now. It is the training model and ability to ingest massive amounts of data, which is generated by your systems but increasingly purchased from other vendors, that is the critical element in these initiatives. I am in a B2B market, so what I’m looking at are technologies that give me deep perspective on funnel and pipeline. I want to be able to look at my demand gen activities holistically but then down to increasing granular cohorts that I can gauge for the probability to close, or not.
This is important for me because this will give me insight into where I should be focused, which then guides strategy and tactics. Where existing analytics solutions come up short is that they start with a premise of “this is good, do more of it,” which leads to unnatural bias that gets increasingly narrow in scope, and then misses the opportunities that emerge that are outside of the static scoring models. Basically, I need a really intelligent system that is capable of generating human insights on data across a portfolio of groupings and metrics.”
Marketers nowadays employ a hybrid marketing strategy for their campaigns. Here the hybrid model will mean sticking to the core marketing tactics and methods while embracing and applying newer technologies. But as discussed before, Chief Marketing Officers’ abilities do not really match up to their ability to innovate. The survey is indicative though marketers want to change and be more matured and absorb innovation.
6. Customer Experience
The start-up culture is going full throttle. Newer companies that offer innovative, cutting-edge and problem-solving technical capabilities are being founded in multitudes. This has given rise to stringent competition and made it harder for businesses to better serve their existing customers and gain newer ones. From a customer standpoint, their expectation from a brand about how they want to be treated has skyrocketed.
Spending on Customer Experience (CX) has been picking up speed from the past several years. According to the survey concluded, it will see a good amount of CMO spend over the coming one and a half years. CMOs that were a part of the survey have declared that they will be spending 18% of their budget on Customer Experience.
Personalization is an extension of existing enterprise efforts towards providing a maximum positive customer experience. CMOs are spending an average of 14.2 % of their budgets on personalization efforts. The interesting element here is that double-digit spends are common across industries. The spending is critically invested in gaining deeper insights into the accumulated customer data.
“I think brand CMOs will continue to increase their spend on the media that actually works. These days, mobile is no longer a place to test; it’s where a brand has to be because consumers have their devices with them all day long. Eyeballs are always on mobile.
So, smart CMOs will look for tech that helps them optimize and maximize the impact of mobile dollars so they reach people when they are most receptive to marketing messages. AI developments will help there. And, of course, video can make mobile creative even more impactful. OTT is another area that I see spend increasing with better and better content coming through and more eyeballs heading that way.”
Considering GDPR, marketers need to be careful about not pushing too much in their efforts to obtain data. This might just completely drive away consumers. Marketers may have dollars and data but there is an atmosphere of uncertainty pertaining, where marketers must tread cautiously. Marketing leaders need to develop fool-proof strategies taking into account the current market and consumer complexities.
Clearly, 2019 seems to be the year for innovation and customer experience with statistics pointing at a maximum spending in these spheres. The survey also speaks of changing patterns of marketers towards their perspective on the whole marketing operations stream. Typically, to gauge marketing performance, businesses have a fixed set of KPIs that are crafted around ROI and customer satisfaction. However, marketers are adamant that they would want to design their campaigning around brand awareness.
“I think they’ll spend on technology. But I wish they’d spend on headcount and training. Marketing teams, regardless of size, are missing core and important skill sets. We have not educated marketers well at the collegiate level in a decade. The pace of change in marketing is too fast to go to a conference or webinar here or there and maintain the ability to be “good” at your job.
Technologies I’m looking at… I’m obsessed with B2B data right now, or the lack of great data. I want someone to fix the buyer insights data problem for me.”