If you're anxiously awaiting the outcome of that legal battle between Westford, Mass.-based NetScout Systems and Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner, all we can tell you is this:

Find yourself a new hobby.

You have a lot of time to kill.

Just this week, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Mintz pushed back the trial date for a second time, delaying it from this June until May 2, 2017. The trial had originally been scheduled for February, 2016.

NetScout filed a lawsuit in August 2014 over allegations of "corporate defamation" arising from Gartner's business research practices.

The dispute focuses on Gartner's rating of NetScout as a "Challenger" rather than a "Leader." NetScout objects to the rating it received in one of Gartner's Magic Quadrant (MQ) industry reports because it thinks its ranking is based, in part, by its unwillingness to "pay to play."

The complaint alleges:

Gartner has a 'pay-to-play' business model that by its design rewards Gartner clients who spend substantial sums on its various services by ranking them favorably in its influential Magic Quadrant research reports ('Magic Quadrant reports') and punishes technology companies that choose not to spend substantial sums on Gartner services."

In its first ever Magic Quadrant report for the Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD) market, published in March 2014, Gartner did not rank NetScout as a "Leader." Instead, it rated it a "Challenger" — "essentially, a technology company that saddles its customers with outdated technology," NetScout attorneys complained. They continued:

"Gartner stated falsely that NetScout is 'currently struggling to deal with new technical demands and rising expectations' and has 'architectures, feature sets and pricing structures that require modernization (often in progress) to better compete with those in the Leaders quadrant.'"

Gartner attorneys deny all the allegations.

LinkedIn Wants Oscar Love

LinkedIn is going to the Oscars. Not for awards, but for marketing. At Sunday’s 88th Academy Awards, LinkedIn debuts its first television commercial

Officials at the Mountain View, Calif.-based professional social network said the ad will “bring to life the idea everyone has the potential to succeed, and that LinkedIn exists to help members find and reach that potential.” LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner does the voiceover for the commercial. 

The concept for the commercial came after NASA approached LinkedIn last year to help them find their next astronaut. LinkedIn’s research told them that 3 million US LinkedIn members qualified for the job. 

LinkedIn’s “You’re Closer Than You Think” message in the commercial “aims to engage consumers in a way that will resonate with them,” according to company officials. 

LinkedIn officials said they’re bringing together public relations and marketing in these efforts. They hired Nick Bartle, a marketing executive from Apple, who led creative efforts on the ad. Shannon Stubo, LinkedIn’s former corporate communications chief, is now the CMO.

Agency partner BBDO San Francisco helped create the ad. LinkedIn worked with Spark media on the ad placement. The TV ad debuts during the Oscars, and a print ad will run in the New York Times on Monday. 

Your Content Marketing Is the Worst

New Content Marketing Institute research finds B2B manufactures are getting worse at content marketing. Only 18 percent of B2B manufacturing organizations say their content marketing programs are effective. Last year, 26 percent said so.

“50 percent of them said their organizations were in the early or first-steps phases of content marketing maturity,” CMI Founder Joe Pulizzi blogged. “Maybe that had something to do with it. The research showed an increase in effectiveness among organizations that have higher levels of content marketing maturity. Or maybe some organizations actually slid backward? It’s a question we want to dig into more deeply on our next annual survey.”

Pulizzi asks content marketers to consider the following questions:

  • Do you have a documented content marketing strategy?
  • Are you building an audience? 
  • Are you reaching your audience where they are?
  • Are you experimenting with promoted posts but not getting far?
  • Are you creating too much content that’s not the RIGHT content?

“Even though content marketing has been around since, well, forever, it is a new approach for most manufacturing organizations,” Pulizzi wrote. “Even those that are experimenting with content marketing are still heavily product-focused. The sales organizations in manufacturing organizations dominate budgetary thinking. Leads and closed deals rule. This means that patience through a measured content marketing approach is often absent.”

Cintell, Bombora Partner

Boston-based customer intelligence provider Cintell is partnering with New York City-based Bombora, a provider of intent and demographic data for B2B marketers. 

Bombora's intent data insights are now available within Cintell's SmartPersona Customer Intelligence Platform.

Cintell co-founder and CEO Apparao Karri said B2B organizations spend millions each year developing content and campaigns for audiences. "With this partnership, marketers can now understand what will best resonate with each of their persona segments, crafting relevant and more effective marketing messages," he added.

Bombora's co-op of premium publishers monitors approximately 9.3 billion monthly interactions across 1.2 million companies on 2,500 topics.

"This is a brand new type of analysis for Bombora — it's the first time our intent data has been used to provide a view of trending topics by industry," said Bombora founder and CEO Erik Matlick. "Having this view will enable marketers to, first and foremost, build out richer customer personas and use these insights to develop more effective content strategies and execute more contextually relevant account-based marketing campaigns.”

Quantifind Secures $30M Funding Round

Menlo Park, Calif.-based brand insights provider Quantifind, closed a $30 million funding round led by global investment firm Cathay Innovation. Previous investors Redpoint Ventures, U.S. Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures, Iris Capital and AME Cloud Ventures also joined the round.  

The financing, the company’s fourth round, will fuel Quantifind’s market expansion efforts, accelerate product development and allow the company to double staff in its Menlo Park headquarters, according to company officials. 

Denis Barrier, co-founder of Cathay Innovation, said market demand for "the data-driven, growth-driving insights that Quantifind offers is only getting stronger."

Quantifind officials said the company has more than tripled its customer base in the last year to include companies across nine new vertical markets, including financial services, automotive, healthcare, and retail, and has seen a 165 percent increase in bookings year over year.

Momentum Brings on DX Quartet

Toronto, Ontario-based Momentum Digital Solutions has added four digital experience and technology leaders:

The new management team reports to Momentum’s president, Michael J. Aniballi. They will augment the company’s digital experience, technology and delivery capabilities.

“Individually, the new team members are all recognized thought leaders in their respective disciplines,” Aniballi said in a statement. “As an expanded management team, they will help guide Momentum as we continue to deliver exceptional digital experiences to our clients and their customers.”

Reddit Feeling Luckie

Reddit has hired Mark S. Luckie as its new head of journalism and media. Luckie was previously working in journalism and media for Twitter, a post he held for three years, according to this LinkedIn profile. Before that, Luckie served as national innovations editor for The Washington Post and was also multimedia producer for the Center for Investigative Reporting.

$40M for DX Innovation

Digital experience provider Qubit of New York City announced this week a $40 million Series C investment led by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, with participation from Sapphire Ventures, and previous investors Accel and Salesforce Ventures.

The funding will enable Qubit to more than double its engineering capability and help the digital experience management company grow. The company has received a total of $76 million funding to date.

David Reis, managing director and head of technology at Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division in Europe, will join Qubit’s board. 

The firm added five new web solutions to its platform in 2015, increasing its Digital Experience Management portfolio and helping increase its average account size by more than 40 percent, officials said. 

“The industry has been dogged by ineffective front-end point solutions,” Graham Cooke, Qubit’s CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. “Now the market is quickly realizing that customer experience delivery is not a ‘front-end play’ but rather requires a large, integrated enterprise scale resource and a deep understanding of the customer.”

Title image Delayed flight ! from CJS*64 "Man with a camera"