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Welcome to the weekly installment of VB Engage, the VentureBeat podcast where we dissect mobile and marketing in a brutally honest way. This week, Stewart and Travis chat with Roland Smart, the VP of Social and Community at Oracle.

If you missed last week’s episode, we talked with Peter Dering, the CEO of Peak Design, about his six successful Kickstarter campaigns, which have netted millions and millions of dollars.


In this week’s news, we discuss the app install ad business growth of Google’s and Facebook’s respective advertising networks. Google has hit the 3 billion app install milestone, and it has seen a twofold increase over the past year in the volume of app installs from search ads on and Google Play.

These 3 billion app installs represent a significant increase over the numbers Google announced back in May. At Facebook’s F8 event in April, the social networking giant announced that its platform has driven over 2 billion installs. We talk about the changes Google made to cause the huge growth in installs, but it isn’t all good news for the Mountain View mammoth.

This week in the world of video streaming, Google announced that it is doing away with Hangouts on Air and transitioning the feature to YouTube Live.

Hangouts isn’t going away, yet, but Google is muddying the waters with its release of Duo this week. Duo is very similar to FaceTime. It’s not a Hangouts on Air replacement — it’s a new product — but because of a lack of marketing strategy and clear messaging, consumers are already confused. Things will become even more complex in Google’s world when Allo, a new messenger app, becomes available.

Also this week, was shut down. The CEO announced the closure on a Medium blog post, and the company didn’t give the community any real heads-up. It didn’t allow for any back-ups or time for users to say goodbye. Yet, in Shaan Puri’s farewell post, he talks about how important the community is to Blab. If the announcement had been made on Blab instead of Medium, we suspect the irony would have been lost forever.

Speaking of video communication tools, let’s focus on this week’s podcast, recorded on Skype! In this week’s episode, we chat with Roland Smart, VP of Social at Oracle, and it’s great.

Roland hosts his own podcast — the Marketing Agility Podcast — and mentioned that he had never met his co-host in person! We want it put on record that Stewart and Travis have met more than once in real life. They’ve met twice. And never again; it was horrible.

VB Insight recently did some new research about mobile marketers and about mobile marketing, in general. Hundreds of respondents told us that more than half of their total marketing budgets are going into mobile, with 43 percent of that being spent on user acquisition. Worse still, 60 percent of the mobile marketers who responded shared that mobile was completely siloed as a channel strategy in their organization.

Marketers, in general, are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of marketing technologies that are coming into the market. A significant share of that relates to mobile. And because of that, there is not necessarily enough maturity within their organizations. Many people at the organization have no idea how to maximize these mobile marketing technologies. Many marketers are still thinking about campaigns, which isn’t optimal. — Roland Smart

Modern marketers are thinking more about the work that they do as a product: a product that has an ongoing life, that you’ll be iterating on.

We have an epic conversation in this podcast with Roland, and Travis has his mind blown at least twice. No doubt about it, Roland Smart is a clever man. He is an agile man. He wrote the book “The Agile Marketer” with Wiley back in February, and you should go get it if you want to have your mind blown on the topic of modern marketing.

Note: VB Engage is not responsible for brain matter explosions due to our quality interviews and creative wit.

Tune in next week for Jonathan Abrams, founder of the content curation tool, Nuzzel. He is also the former CEO of Friendster, and you’ll hear Travis ask Jonathan “So, how much do you hate Mark Zuckerberg?” Yes, it is as awkward as it sounds.

Listen. Subscribe. Listen Again. Review the Podcast. Make Stewart’s family proud.


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