Businesses looking to cloud help tech company net more work

Security concerns are less of an issue now than they were four years ago, says Michael Carter, when it comes to cloud computing. He said: “The …

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Video ads: What works and doesn’t work with younger users

mobile phone teen


Age changes how we access video content and view video marketing. Younger consumers are more digital, more mobile and, surprisingly, more skeptical towards branded content.

A simple theory of technology and its mainstream adoption runs like this: What young people do today, older people will, generally, do tomorrow.

This is evidenced academically by “early adopters” typically being younger in Roger’s classic Five Customer Segments of Technology Adoption, and also practically by many “trickle up” examples such as the growth in Facebook users.

So when we examine global attitudes and behavior towards video content across a wide range of screens by age, the purpose is to try to garner a glimpse of the future.

The market research firm I work for, Millward Brown, recently conducted a study on how people across various demographics respond to video ads. For this study, we interviewed 13,500 multiscreen consumers aged 16-45 in 42 countries. Within this sample, we compared responses among 16-24-year olds (the mobile-first generation), 25-34s (the desktop-first generation), and 35-45s (most of whom can still remember a time before computers became omnipresent).

This analysis showed that, globally, younger groups – the 16-24s – have a much higher consumption of video on digital screens, averaging 94 minutes on smartphones and laptops each day, compared to 62 minutes for 35-45s (an age gap of 32 minutes).

younger audiences


This gap is fairly consistent around the world, just slightly wider in some major markets, with younger groups averaging even more time a day on smartphones and laptops in Brazil (44 mins), the US (35 mins), and slightly smaller in others such as China (25 mins).

The younger cohort also watch much more on-demand content – 43 minutes to 31 minutes among older groups each day – while 35s to 45s consume far more live TV – 75 minutes a day compared to 46 minutes for younger groups.

But it’s not always as simple as saying what 16-24s do today, 25-34s will do tomorrow and older cohorts will adopt later.

There are also some differences in how and where younger people watch video. For example, 16-24s are more likely to watch video in other people’s houses (18% vs. 11% among 35-45s) and less likely to watch video at work (11% vs 21%). Of course, this particular behavior is less likely to predict the future since it mainly reflects their stage of life.

We also see relatively little divergence in attitudes to video advertising. Globally, receptivity to video ads is very slightly higher among 25-34s than it is among both 16-24s and those over 35. This holds true for video ads on TV, laptop, and smartphones, so perhaps younger people are a little more idealistic and think content should be free, while older people are a little more jaded and ad resistant. However, this trend does not hold true in all markets. In the US, for instance, receptivity to video ads is actually slightly lower among 25-34s.

What is universally true is that all consumers much prefer rewards-based video ad formats and skippable video ads. They detest non-skippable video ad formats.

We do see clear generational differences when we look beyond paid advertising and examine attitudes to branded content. This is supposed to be a panacea for brands looking to engage younger consumers with interesting information and entertainment, so common wisdom would suggest these kinds of marketing approaches would be most popular among 16-24s.

older audiences

The reality is that this group is far less receptive to all forms of branded content than 35-45s, including the tutorials and reviews they are supposed to love.

The gap in favorability rises to 15 percentage points for expert review videos, but younger consumers are also less keen on website videos, user reviews, and tutorials (gap of 10 points for each) and shopping videos (gap of nine points).

The best way to overcome this resistance is to add celebrities to the mix. Online celebrity videos are the only form of branded content where 16-24s have the same level of favorability as their older counterparts.

Reaching the younger generation seems to require a dose of star-dust, which may explain why so many youth-focused brands are working with YouTube vloggers and Vine-lebrities to develop their content.

The new mobile-first generation is not going to be an easy marketing nut to crack. Younger mobile users are clearly spending less time passively absorbing TV advertising and more time actively consuming digital video content.

While they are not any more closed to traditional paid video advertising formats than earlier generations, they are surprisingly more resistant to most of the branded content approaches that marketers are starting to adopt.

More work is clearly required to truly understand what makes younger consumers tick and which video marketing approaches, especially digital and mobile, they will respect and respond to in the years to come.

Duncan Southgate is Global Brand Director for Digital at global market research firm Millward Brown. He has 19 years of brand, communications, and media research experience gathered in various European, US and global roles with Millward Brown. He is currently responsible for growing the company’s digital business and is based in Frankfurt, Germany. 

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Work collaboration platform Teambition raises $12M to take on Microsoft 365


Shanghai-based workplace collaboration platform Teambition announced this week that it has raised $ 12 million in Series B funding from investors including NLVC, IDG, Vangoo Capital, and Gobi Partners.

Teambition is an online platform that allows for workplace collaboration on things like events, tasks, posts, and cloud-based file libraries. Immediate comparisons that come to mind include Planner, Asana, Basecamp, Wunderlist, Trello, Slack, Jive, Dropbox, Google for Work, and even Microsoft 365.

This Series B round brings Teambition’s total funding to date to $ 17 million — it previously raised a $ 5 million Series A in December last year, and was, ironically, a 2013 graduate of Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program in Beijing. The company declined to comment on valuation.

The money will be used to further build out its existing freemium model, expand sales efforts, diversify the team, and hire more global talent from outside China. It also plans to adapt and customize the product “to what specific industries need to collaborate.”

Qi Junyuan

Above: Qi Junyuan

Teambition’s chief executive, Junyuan Qi, a 2012 graduate in management information systems from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, told VentureBeat he is confident of strong traction in China going forward, but is also looking to grow internationally.

To that end, the company recently hired Paris-based Florian Monfort to head up international growth. Monfort, who has experience at companies like Dropbox and LibreOffice, will be moving to Shanghai in the coming weeks.

From VentureBeat

Location, location, location — Not using geolocation to reach your mobile customers? Your competitors are. Find out what you’re missing.

“If you think about services available on the Market today, they are mostly separate and/or bundled,” Monfort told VentureBeat. “This is as close as we get to any form of integration and interaction between each collaboration function.”

“We tackle this by creating an application that has the primary features those services provides, all integrated into one app. This means one account that everybody can use without having to jump between services and apps all the time,” he added.

Teambition is available on both Android and iOS, but also Mac and Windows. Here’s a further breakdown of some of the key functionality it offers, as laid out in the product description:

Tasks — On Task Board, you can share project progress with your colleagues straightforwardly, break tasks down to sub-tasks, add attachments and deadline. And all of these can be discussed in real-time .



Posts — You can share your ideas and knowledge with other members on Post Wall. All the posts are editable, and all the involved members will be noticed when the posts are updated. We also provide a Chrome add-on to help you sharing posts easier.

File library — As convenient as Dropbox, File Library is where to share documents with your colleagues and keep them updated. Each shared document can be discussed specifically. And best of all, Teambition File Library offers unlimited storage.

Events — Arrange a meeting and invite members to participate, and start online discussion on Teambition Events. We offer a subscription link which you can subscribe to your calendar app.

But to gain popularity and grow beyond China — clearly something that is playing on the company’s mind, now more than ever — it will need to persuade both free and paying users that it can be trusted with their data. As of now, all of its servers are still based inside mainland China, and that might not sit comfortably with everyone.

Monfort offers an example of how a developer who’s doing some programming based on a task on the platform may benefit.

“The task has some content linked to it: a design file, a post, and an event,” he said. “We let people link content, not only files. People can link to a task Teambition posts, events, or other tasks. Now, every time the designer will change the mock-ups, the developer will receive a notification in this task saying something has been updated.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 17.09.20“This means at the end of the day, everybody works on the same content and items, in the search for a precise goal defined by the project itself. No need for extra services, everything you need is in there. We also put an extreme emphasis on mobile. Being China based, we evolve in a market where mobile and apps dominate,” he added.

In its home market, the company faces the strongest competition in its space from local players, including Worktile, Tower, and Mingdao. As of now, the only number it’s sharing is users, which stand at 500,000, as of August. It declined to comment on revenue or China market share.

Ultimately, Teambition sees Microsoft 365 as its single biggest competitor globally — Monfort believes the Redmond-based giant has moved forward by leaps and bounds on the productivity front under Satya Nadella’s leadership.

“This has made it a bit more difficult today, though I also believe that our value proposition sets us apart enough that we can feed on different pies,” he concluded.

Bringing in more integration with existing players is something that the company may consider going forward, but for now it wants to focus on creating a solid user experience — and not risk sacrificing that by stretching its “limited resources” too thin.

If you’re a China tech watcher, these guys are probably worth keeping on your radar.


I’m Mike Rowe, Host of Somebody’s Gotta Do It, and This Is How I Work

For years Mike Rowe has been traveling across the country to meet people whose laborious, often thankless work keeps the world moving forward. And across different shows and different television networks, what has remained consistent is Mike’s sincere curiosity and willingness to learn.

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