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Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category


Is the controlling in the Internet necessary?

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Nowadays, in the age of computerization and omnipresent surveillance, almost every our move can be tracked and monitored. In most cases this kind of control is used to guarantee at least some level of security. Surveillance can be used by police or city officials to analyze and detect potential dangers. Another type of monitoring and controlling is performed every day in the Internet network. People are tracked though the cookie files for instance by the Google. Search engine leader uses it mostly for advertising and analytic purposes. Most of the secret agencies are scanning the Net environment in order to catch the suspicious moves and people that may be terrorists or some agents.

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As we can see there are some good reasons of why people’s activity should be controlled in the Net, however in some cases it is not so necessary. There should be a least some level of privacy in this environment, but it is hard to achieve that when everybody want to get as much as possible information about you.

What about the employees?

Workplace is a little bit different subject, as far as controlling is concerned. Workers should be controlled to some extend and this is normal, however whole controlling process should be performed in a delicate and sensible way. No matter if it is physical work or office one in front of the computer screen, efficient controlling may bring a lot of benefits to the whole company. Employees can be fairly evaluated and have insight to their performance and the managers have got good overview of how successfully the company is reaching its goals. However, too high level of control in the workplace may result in the drop of crew’s motivation that is usually straightly connected to their performance. In case of people that work on the computers, very useful may be implementation of the parental control kind of software. These programs are able to track the user’s activity, report it and block some of the websites. As the newest researches show, about 2 hours a day may be wasted because of focusing employees attention on websites like facebook, twitter or other platforms.

Controlling the kids in the internet

Another group of people that should be controlled to some extent are the children. Not only in the online world the parents should look after them, however the Web environment may became very dangerous to them. A lot of bad guys are trying to use lack of experience of the young users in order to get profit. A lot of offers to buy something are delivered to the kids every day. Usually those offers are connected with games that kids like to play online. Many kinds of extensions and additional features can be bought online to improve the strength of the character in the game. Another type of danger lurking in the Net, are all pornographic and violent websites. Children very often became the aim of this kind of sites. Parents have to keep in mind that any relation with those websites may have very dramatic consequences in the future. Children’s mentality may be hurt very much. Also in this example, one the best ways to improve the security of the kids is to install the parental control, but that is not all that parents can and should do. The most important is to educate kid and build the awareness of the fact that some of pieces of the Internet are not for them and are seriously dangerous.

As we can see, controlling in the Net is necessary. However, it should be done in a considered and well planned way. We have to remember that every person has got a right to privacy in the real life as well as in the Internet.

If you want to get some extra knowledge regarding the parental control topic, feel welcome to visit http://www.pcwebcontrol.com and try free trial of the PCWebControl. It is easy to use software dedicated to the Windows operating system that can be successfully implemented in the households, public institutions and private companies. This program contains many useful features and it is able to set up control over the whole traffic that takes place on the computer and block undesired websites.


Merging business email marketing software campaigns

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

For years, marketing to business leaders versus individual consumers was considered to be distinctly different. Business to business (b2b) marketing, including b2b email marketing software, required companies to get big about data. This is due, in part, to how appealing business leaders find statistics, reports and charts to be. Data usage, measuring marketing results and data acquisition are key components of b2b marketing.

System Code
Creative Commons License photo credit: Yuri Yu. Samoilov

Marketing to individual customers or businesses

Internet trends are changing that by giving individual consumers access to larger amounts of big data. As Fourth Source reports, marketing tools are also blurring the lines between b2c and b2b marketing. For example, content and b2b email marketing software campaigns have made it increasingly possible for individual consumers and business leaders to read the same data.

With b2b email marketing software campaigns, both business leaders and individual consumers want to feel as though the person sending them marketing messages knows them personally. They want to be addressed by first name and receive information that speaks directly to their perceived unique needs. Both also want to learn about pricing deals they can take advantage of, but only if the products and services they get deals on will help them to move forward.

Creating more personal b2b email marketing software campaigns has required companies to get to know the  businesses they market to better. Simply buying email lists and researching companies online or while searching through reference journals is no longer enough. Today companies have to keep up with changes that are affecting businesses they market to. For example, instead of addressing digital newsletters and direct emails to “the president” or “CEO”, to conduct successful b2b email marketing software campaigns, companies are addressing email to CEOs and presidents by their first and last names.

Advantages baked into b2b and b2c email marketing solutions

Sounds simple until you consider that executives at some firms change every two to three years. So, specialist at companies that leverage 2b2 email marketing software have to get out and meet prospects in person. They have to develop rewarding relationships with these business leaders, making themselves a part of the business leaders’ ongoing successes, which leads to another point.

As a standalone product, b2b email marketing software could connect companies with thousands of business prospects in a matter of minutes, especially if the software is used to educate and inform rather than to push hard sales messages. Yet, to expand the impact of b2b email marketing software, company marketing specialists have to get active on social media platforms.

This allows them to keep their messages in front of the right prospects, and, in environments that don’t lend themselves to hard sales messages. This is also another area where b2b and b2c marketing strategies have been seen to overlap. If used effectively, this overlap could benefit both the companies that offer 2b2 email marketing software and the business leaders they supply the software to.

One of the most successful examples of this is when Microsoft sold its software to corporations, non-profits and small businesses at the same time that it pulled in sales from individual consumers. The brand had become so highly perceived that it transcended different types and levels of buyers and businesses. When using b2b email marketing software effectively, company marketing specialists could yield similar results. Furthermore, some b2b email marketing software is actually built for usage by solopreneurs as well as business leaders heading up larger firms.


Top Five Ways to Lower Stress in the Office

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

p>Surprised businesswoman with Coffee
Creative Commons License photo credit: herlitz_pbs

Stress in the workplace is a major problem.? Not only is it detrimental to a worker’s health, but it is very costly to an organisation; a stressful working environment generates low morale, absenteeism and reduced levels of productivity.? Fortunately, there are lots of measures you can take to help lower stress in the office.? Here are five to get you started.

Take regular breaks

With demanding workloads, many staff members plough on with their work without taking any regular breaks.? Over time, this can cause stress levels to soar.? Try to get into the habit of taking breaks, though, because they can have a positive effect on your wellbeing.? Even a five minute break outside where you can take in fresh air can leave you feeling more energised when you get back to your desk.

Create a harmonious working environment

If your desk is constantly cluttered with piles of paper, and you can’t ever find what you’re looking for, or the mountain of files surrounding the floor on your desk is starting to pile up and bury you in, then it’s time to get organised.? An organised workspace can reduce the amount of stress you encounter because you won’t get into a flap when you need to find what you’re looking for.

Prioritise your work

If work seems to be landing on your desk at the rate of planes landing at Heathrow airport, then chances are you’ll quickly become overwhelmed and stress levels will get out of control.? Take a deep breathe before you begin to panic, and before you try to get stuck in, take some time to prioritise your workload.? Ascertain which work needs to be done more urgently than others and create a plan of when you aim to get your work done by.? Having a plan will take the pressure off you and get stress levels back on an even keel.

Learn to say no

It’s good to be helpful in the workplace, but there is a fine line between providing support and being taken advantage of.? If you find that co-workers are constantly asking you to do tasks that they could easily do themselves, then you may start to feel overwhelmed and overburdened.? It’s ok to say no – don’t feel guilty about it.? If you have other work that is a priority, then explain that this takes precedence, but if you have time later on you would be happy to assist.

Nourish your body

If your lunch consists of a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar whilst working, then you really need to have a rethink.? If you aren’t nourishing your body with nutritional food then it won’t be getting the vital nutrients it needs to give you the energy to carry on working throughout the day.? Always make time for lunch – away from the desk.? Fill up on wholesome foods such as hearty, wholemeal sandwiches or wraps, or warming bowls of soup.? Snack on fruits, nuts and seeds and rice cakes, to keep your energy levels going.? Bananas are great, because they contain ample amounts of B vitamins, which are easily depleted in times of stress.? Eat slowly for optimum digestions, and after you’ve eaten, take a few deep breathes before starting your work again.

This post was written by Crispin Jones. Crispin is the resident blogger for Whitefields Document Storage Services and loves nothing more than to make sure he is as productive a possible.


How SMS short codes benefit businesses of all sizes

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

There is plenty of evidence to show that SMS marketing is incredibly effective as part of an advertising strategy. With that in mind, SMS short codes are being used by a large number of companies as a means of luring in new customers.?When compared to email,?SMS marketing is considered to be substantially more effective, with?98 per cent of text messages being opened, versus just 22 per cent of emails.

Why bother?

Although the figures speak for themselves, you may still be unsure as to whether you should bother with text marketing. However, if you use SMS short codes, it could help you to bring in new customers. Having a short number that is easy for your customers to remember may make them more tempted to text and get in touch with the brand.

On top of that, SMS short codes often give companies the opportunity to make more money from their text marketing campaign. When customers text one of the short code numbers, they may be subjected to an additional charge from the company that is separate to the charge from their network provider. From a business perspective, this is an ideal opportunity to charge a small fee.

How to get your customers interested

It’s all well and good creating an SMS short code and asking your customers to text it as a fast way to make some extra money, but you need to give your customers a valid reason to actually text in the first place. This is likely to involve offering them some kind of voucher or discount as an incentive.

American doughnut brand?Dunkin’ Donuts used an SMS short code to offer customers its new hot lattes. Customers had to text a short code to receive a voucher for the new lattes. It saw marked rises in store traffic, as well as a huge amount of customers opting into the text marketing scheme; 7,500 customers to be exact.

Every little helps

While the Dunkin’ Donuts?success story?was for a relatively large company, this sort of technique has been shown to work for companies big and small. Pepsi launched a similar SMS short code campaign in collaboration with the fast food chain Arby’s. Again, customers needed to text a short code to enter a competition, with the campaign designed to get huge engagement from customers.

On a considerably smaller scale, businesses can run local SMS marketing campaigns. If you want to get customers into a particular store, offering a discount for that one place can bring them in. Using an SMS short code to get customers to text in for a discount code can be incredibly effective. You can keep it local and still have a huge impact.

If you can get your campaign right, there is no reason why it can’t become a regular, consistent project. Orange Wednesday’s is one of the best examples of this. Asking customers to text a short code results in them getting two for the price of one on cinema tickets on a Wednesday, a campaign that has been running for ten years and continues to be a huge success story. And long may it continue.

Rob Townsend

Marketing & Communications Director, www.Textlocal.com

A seasoned strategist, Rob has over 18 years? experience in creating and implementing national/international marketing campaigns. A well-known speaker in the mobile marketing sector, Rob has also successfully executed major change programmes and held numerous board positions ? notably with the AMP and the Government Procurement Service (central government). Having worked with the likes of Sass, the Home Group and the Direct Marketing Group, Rob?s knowledge/skills span many business and consumer markets. His past achievements include developing the infamous nodding dog for Churchill and rebranding Midland to HSBC. In his current role as Marketing & Communications Director for Text Local, you?ll find Rob brainstorming innovative ideas in an energetic, passionate manner.

Find out more about Mobile Marketing on our previous post.


How To Make Your Office Go Paperless

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Now that we are rooted firmly in the digital age, many of us are taking steps to rid our offices of paper. This is easier said than done though, we don?t want to be buried in paper clutter, but for many routine tasks, we cannot stop ourselves using it.

We seem to have been institutionalised by paper, unable to escape its grasp. If the idea of a tidy office doesn?t appeal enough though, perhaps these stats will.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: boerge30

The size of the problem

  • Over 35% of the world?s deforestation goes towards making paper.
  • We hold 30 times more data now than in the year 2000.
  • 80% of this information is maintained on paper.
  • The average office worker uses 50kg of paper every year.

The cost to you

  • 70% of an office worker?s productive time is spend sorting paper.
  • Up to 30% is spent looking for lost paper.
  • A four drawer filing cabinet can cost ?15,000 to fill.
  • And ?1000 in annual maintenance.

Just imagine what you could do with all that extra time and money? If this is not enough incentive, think of how easier it would be to work from home. It?s time to make the jump to paperless, and here?s how.

Break the habit

You may have the best intentions, but sometimes old habits die hard. Ever been on the phone and had to make a note? We almost instinctively reach for a pen don?t we? The same applies for demonstrating something to a colleague; if someone is a good visual learner we end up scribbling a diagram.

Think about it though, do you really need paper to do these? Using Lego or an Etch-a-Sketch to present to employees is a bit patronising, but a whiteboard is a much more sensible, practical and cheaper way of getting everyone involved. Have a large one mounted on the wall, will smaller ones sat on desks and near phones.

Go cold turkey, hide any flipcharts or notebooks. This will take a bit of getting used to, but you will soon learn to adapt.

Get the right tools

We can be reluctant to trust our entire records to hard drives, that?s why we still like things filing in a cabinet, where we can see it. There are plenty of secure, reliable, digital archiving services available though, which will free up office space, save time and reduce paper waste.

Stop paper at the door

Receiving junk mail is annoying at any time, but when you?re purging paper, getting any mail is a setback. Your contacts may not be as up to date as you in their paper saving efforts, so you will need to find a way of digitising your correspondence.

A digital mailroom scans and digitises all incoming mail, allowing you to transfer all your bills, invoices, orders and receipts straight onto a spread sheet. Making more efficient use of your time.

If you are being forced to keep hold of a fax machine because of that one customer who still contacts you by it, there is a range of fax-to-email software that can help. Services such as Faxtastic will divert incoming faxes to an email inbox.

Signing documents can be very time and paper intensive, having to print out a contract only to sign it and scan it back in again. An online contract service allows to make agreements online, which are just as legally binding.

Author:

Joe Errington is a marketing executive for MITIE.


The Real Benefits Of Cloud Computing For SMBs

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

It’s no news that many small and medium-sized businesses who have not adopted cloud list data security and reliability as their two major concerns.

Lenovo ThinkPad
Creative Commons License photo credit: Cory M. Grenier

However, a new study shows that 94 percent of those SMBs who have decided to take a leap of faith and move to the cloud have found the reality is much different.

Security is actually one of the greatest benefits with up-to-date systems and antivirus protection as well as spam email management among the advantages offered.

In fact, more than half of the SMBs who had adopted the cloud said they wished they had moved to the cloud earlier, according to a survey from Microsoft.

The survey polled around 100 SMBs who had adopted the cloud and 100 SMBs who have not yet moved to the cloud due to the negative perceptions on the lack of security and reliability of cloud services.

According to the study, 58 percent of SMBs said they needed fewer internal IT resources after moving to the cloud while 48 per cent said that the time saved managing IT was among the biggest benefits of using cloud services.

Other major benefits included the following:

Privacy – Some 68 percent said their privacy protection has improved, and nearly half are confident in their cloud provider’s ability to manage data privacy.

Given the amount of data protection legislation that small firms have to deal with, anything which helps keep information secure should be viewed as a benefit.

Reliability – 93 percent of SMBs using cloud services said they are confident of restoration in the event of an outage, and 74 percent are more confident in “the integrity” of their data in the cloud.

Put simply, if something goes wrong and you have information stored in the cloud, putting things right should be much quicker.

Time – Overall time savings were another big win for SMBs who had moved to the cloud with 86 percent saying that they have saved time since moving to the cloud.

Of course, anyone with a small business will understand the benefits of improved efficiency.

Money – When it comes to money, 68 percent of SMBs said they have saved money with 78 percent reinvesting the savings in:

? Product development and innovation

? Better customer service

? Marketing

? Expanding their business into new markets.

These are all key areas for a small firm, so clearly the adoption of cloud computing can spread beyond the technical.

Conclusion

The results of this survey show that, when it comes to cloud computing, there is still a gap between perception and reality.

Although companies have concerns, which is only normal, a high percentage of them realise just how advantageous the cloud is and wish they’d had adopted it earlier.

Microsoft’s Tim Rains, urged small businesses to move beyond their negative perceptions about the security, the privacy, and the reliability of cloud services.

“When they embrace cloud, they found the benefits outweigh their concerns,” he said.

“Those with business applications in the cloud had better service availability and support during outages than their non-cloud counterparts.”

It’s also important to remember that moving to the cloud isn’t an all or nothing situation.

Just because you decide to move one element of your operation to the cloud doesn’t mean you have to migrate everything.

This means small business owners can adopt the cloud at a pace which will suit them.

Guest post by Alex Gavril, part of the 123-reg blog team. The company is the UK’s biggest domain name registrar and also offers a range of services including cloud servers.


My first ebook

Monday, July 12th, 2010

The_Internet_is_Blue

Friday, June 25th I published my first ebook. The book is call “The Internet is Blue: How Democrats are winning online and what Republicans can do about it”. The book sounds (and is) aimed at a political audience but I think that plenty of markets could still find it a useful read. So I wanted to write a post about it here, to let you know what its about and how you can get it.

Why I’m telling you about Politics

About a month ago I decided to combine my professional and political presence on the web. I’d been doing it on Facebook for almost a year, and since I volunteer and openly speak about my beliefs I decided I might as well let it extend into all areas of my online life. Many marketers say never talk politics in your business space. I used to agree, but as I’m obviously political, I figure its best if people know up front. That way if my beliefs bother or offend them they know not to work with me up-front, instead of finding out about it later.

Plus, this book is less about politics and more about understanding your market and how to reach them online.

Why I wrote this book

This particular ebook came out of a discussion with my grandfather, who was very ill and expected to die from cancer at the time. I was upset after reading multiple emails from Republicans which I thought sounded like spam. (These emails can be found at The Internet is Blue.) I complained to him that politicians don’t know how to market. My grandfather suggested I write a book about it. So I immediately set out to write the book. My grandfather is doing much better now and the book is dedicated to him.

How this ebook relates to online marketing

This book mostly shows three things:

1. What Republicans have done wrong online (examples)

2. What Democrats have done right online (case studies)

3. What Republicans can do to fix things (action plan in nine parts)

Each of these sections deal with specific areas of online marketing in the realm of politics. Most topics are touched on from design and messaging to social media and web development.

What YOU can get out of this book

Many companies do the same things things wrong as the Republicans, ignoring important demographics, valuing the sale over the customer or even not being willing to pay for exceptional web development. We can all learn something from Obama’s whirlwind online campaign. And of course there’s the discussion of up-coming trends at the end of the book as well. If you are a developer or even just a business interested in doing better online marketing, there are plenty of great tidbits of knowledge in this ebook. (Or course, if you are interested in politics then you should certainly get a copy!)

Where you can find it

Hopefully I’ve sold you on my book, now, here’s how you can get it.

The ebook is for sale at TheInternetisBlue.com for $15. Right now it is only available as a pdf from the website but we should soon be releasing a print copy as well as a version for amazon.

If you are press or a blogger who would like to review the book, please contact me directly.


Google Caffeine: Need your SEO fix?

Monday, May 24th, 2010

p>Welcome to the new face of Search Engine Optimization.

COFFEE!!!
Creative Commons License photo credit: quinn.anya

Here at Veribatim we’ve been following SEO trends for years, watching the gimmicks and trick used to put a site at the top of a list. We’ve done work in the optimization field before, but I’ll readily admit its not been our forte. The trends and tricks changed too quickly to not devote a full time staff person to analyzing the right direction. While most of the basic principles of SEO have remained the same (see the four ares Google pay attention to in SEO), the unobtainable algorithm to get your page to #1 has been like the search for the Holy Grail.

That is until Google Caffeine started to break onto the seen. As a marketer who believes in purity of message I am pleased by what I?perceive Caffeine to be. Caffeine depends more on your content than your meta-data, meaning that your site should reflect what you actually do. Right now some websites are written just for search engines, not for their market. Google is trying to reward people who write for their audience instead of trying to game the system.

To find out more about what Caffeine brings to the table and how it might affect the current standing of your website, check out Irbtrax’s post on Caffeine.




Charity and Technology: Why Social Media is So Important

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

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The overall message of this video is find where your audience is and go there. More and more young people, Gen Y, Gen X and rapidly even babyboomers use some kind of social media. So charities need to be on these sites if they want to reach people. The old ways just aren’t good enough and its not enough to rely on Word of Mouth to reach the younger generations.

If you already love social media, or technology, help out the causes you are passionate about. They need volunteers to help them utilize new technology and get with the trends!

Finally, if you don’t have a cause that speaks to you yet be sure to check out Captain Hope’s Kids here in the Dallas area.

Captain Hope’s Kids Blog – NEW

Website

Facebook

Twitter


Linked-In: mobile is the next level

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Just a few weeks ago LinkedIn announced their new blackberry app, allowing you to take LinkedIn with you wherever you go.

I have to admit I was already macgyvering a way to do this. I synced up my blackberry to Outlook and then downloaded the Linked-In Outlook plugin. This made life slower but eventually all my contacts ended up on my phone (more on this here).

LinkedIn must have had the same thought I did. All those connections are great but I need to be able to access them easily from my phone. There’s just no point to connecting if I can’t call them up.

But its more than that. For a long time I categorized LinkedIn as a lesser social media platform. It was for getting business cards stored logically and paper free: that was about it. Don’t get me wrong, I know it has more features and some people use it very effectively in their business. But the lack of real time updates and notifications shoved it in to the I’m-too-buzy-to-devote-that-much-energy-right-now category.

But much like my recent post on how Twitter is ineffective without apps; LinkedIn is ineffective without mobile. I have a feeling I will be doing a lot more with LinkedIn in the next few months.

(Additional Note: If you watched my last video blog you’ll know my blackberry, may it rest in peace, finally keeled over. So I have not actually gotten to try the LinkedIn blackberry app. However, I got an android and downloaded a Linked-In app. Even though its not an app developed by LinkedIn, I’m still excited to test it and discover all the things I’ve been missing!)