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How I Recruited 19 People In 30 Days Into My Business 🔥

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3WbTKBOYto&w=640&h=360]

The Vital Importance Of Having A LinkedIn Profile [Infographic] www.bitrebels….

The Vital Importance Of Having A LinkedIn Profile [Infographic] www.bitrebels.com… Source by blogger32 Sponsor AdsSocial Post Manager – Unlimited Licenses Social Post Manager – Find quality content, Create opt-in pages …

The post The Vital Importance Of Having A LinkedIn Profile [Infographic] www.bitrebels…. appeared first on Newline Marketing.

5 POS Reports Your Retail Business Should Be Using

Many successful retail stores still use old, bare-bones checkout systems. While these work well enough for basic transactions, they don’t offer much insight into how your business could be streamlined. Point-of-sale (POS) systems designed with retailers in mind are loaded with reporting functionality to increase sales and minimize waste.

If your retail establishment has recently transitioned from basic checkout to a state-of-the-art POS system, or if you’re simply considering doing so, this guide can serve as an introduction to basic reports that many retailers find useful.

Store sales reports

Most retail POS systems allow remote managers to view real-time sales data, but past sales reports can also be helpful. The ability to view retail sales reports by date ranges as well as times, down to the hour, can help you compare your business’s success during various times of the day, week, month and year.

Information that you sell very little stock between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., for example, might cause you to cut back on staff in the mornings, whereas finding out your establishment triples its sales during November and December might inspire you to hire some additional temporary sales associates for those months.

Individual sales reports and sales targets

General sales reports are intended to track your establishment’s overall business, but retail POS software often includes the option for sales targets based on time and employee. The ability to assign sales targets and then track results is especially helpful for retail establishments that operate with commission-based staff. Different staff members are frequently given different sales goals, based on seniority as well as experience, and keeping track of commissions is easy with a POS system that tracks targets as well as individual sales reports.

Even if your employees are hourly and not on commission, individual sales reports can still be helpful. Finding out who your No. 1 seller is can help you issue bonuses more fairly, and identifying weak associates gives you the opportunity to supply them with additional training or cut them loose.

 

Editor’s Note: Looking for a POS system? We can help you choose the one that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

 

 

Itemized cost and profit analysis

Identifying top sellers is easy, even without specific reporting software, but items that sell in the largest quantity aren’t necessarily the ones netting you the most profits. POS retail reports break down sales in terms of the itemized cost for you, retail markup percentage or amount, and profit.

Having this information laid out in a readable format makes it much less labor-intensive to find the dead weight in your inventory and identify major moneymakers that may have flown under the radar. These types of reports can also help retail owners adjust costs and prices or locate new suppliers as needed.

Inventory management reports

Retail POS systems make inventory management a breeze. Inventory management reports allow you to track stock based on SKUs, even across multiple locations. Inventory management isn’t just for maintaining existing inventory but also for tracking quality. In a good inventory management system, you can see how many damaged goods you’ve received from different vendors, and how often you’ve had to send things back. Identifying low-quality suppliers is key to maintaining high retail standards.

Many systems also have automatic email options based on inventory numbers, so you can receive updates when highly desirable items are running low and reorder them immediately. The ability to look back at inventory ups and downs over the course of several months or a year makes it much easier to plan inventory and identify buying trends.

Store comparison reports

For small business owners who have multiple retail locations, reports that provide side-by-side comparisons are invaluable. You might find that one of your shops sells more of a certain type of product than the other, or that each shop experiences peak selling at different hours or times of year.

Comparisons can also help you see the differences in your staff at various locations and identify weaknesses and strengths on your sales team. You might find, for example, that the top three sellers at one branch outsell the top three at your other branch by double. If that’s the case, you may want to pair your most gifted sales associates with others who show promise but need improvement.

Bottom line

Naturally, the type of retail establishment you own will determine the role reports play in your business. A women’s fashion boutique will have different patterns and tendencies than a used car dealership or a furniture store, and because of this inherent variation, many POS systems allow users to build highly customized reports.

Which Microsoft 365 Platform Is Right for Your Business?

Microsoft has four main Office products for business – Office 365 Essentials, Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business. Despite the similar names, each plan comes with vastly different features at very different prices. Microsoft outlines some of these differences in a few charts on its website, but trying to determine exactly which plan is best for you can involve a lot of thinking and figuring out exactly what you are getting for each plan.

When deciding whether to sign up for or upgrade to a new Microsoft plan, remember that you should be choosing a plan that can grow with your business. One of the biggest advantages Microsoft provides with these plans is flexibility. Use it wisely, and sign up for a plan that fits your business now, because you can always change your plan. Most deals are signed on a yearly basis, but Microsoft provides the opportunity to switch your plan with the Switch Plans button in the admin center.

What Microsoft offers

Here is a quick, very basic overview of what each plan includes, how much it costs and why it could be good for your business.

  • Office 365 Business Essentials ($5 per user per month)

    • Includes only web-based Microsoft services
    • Great for extremely small businesses or businesses with a high-speed internet connection looking for fast performance with few desktop apps
  • Office 365 Business ($8.25 per user per month)

    • Includes only the core, downloadable Microsoft desktop apps, with no online services or business-class email
    • Great for small businesses looking to only use the core Microsoft apps and OneDrive
  • Office 365 Business Premium ($12.50 per user per month)

    • Includes all the desktop apps and all the web services Microsoft offers
    • Ideal for small businesses with large teams that need serious file management and access to Microsoft’s collaboration tools
  • Microsoft 365 Business ($20 per user per month)

    • Includes all the features of Business Premium
    • Builds on these features with mobile device management and IT security features

The 365 Business plans

Office 365 Business Essentials

Microsoft Essentials provides only the web-based services for small businesses. This includes web versions of the core Microsoft apps – PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Outlook – as well as OneDrive and Skype for Business. In addition to these collaboration tools, Microsoft provides SharePoint for team file sharing, Microsoft Teams for intra-office chats, and Yammer, a companywide social media network. Essentials is a great tool for very small companies – maybe only a few people total – looking to keep everything web-based. This service is comparable to Google’s G Suite, which features similar web-based apps and email clients for communication, although it lacks collaboration programs like Teams and Yammer.

Office 365 Business

This plan features only downloadable core desktop apps. Users have access to PowerPoint, Excel, Word, OneNote, Access and Outlook, but that is basically it. Despite having access to Outlook, you won’t have a business-class email client through Microsoft. That service, which is included in all the other plans, is a part of Microsoft Exchange, a web-based Microsoft program for email.

The only web-based service that Office 365 Business subscribers have access to is OneDrive. OneDrive, unlike SharePoint, is only focused on storing documents in the cloud and sharing them with co-workers. While SharePoint can also be used for this function, there are additional features in SharePoint, like the ability to set up Workflows, which notify members of a team when documents are edited. Without a lot of the web-based services, the 365 Business package is best for business owners looking to only use the core Microsoft apps on their desktops.

Office 365 Business Premium

This plan takes all the features of Essentials and 365 Business and blends them into a full-featured service. In addition to the full range of web-based services and desktop apps, Business Premium members have access to apps geared toward small businesses. These additional apps include Bookings, an online appointment scheduling service, and Connections, an email marketing client. This subscription plan is ideal for well-established businesses that need access to the full range of Microsoft services and collaboration tools.

Microsoft 365 Business

This service, which was released at the end of October 2017, has all the features of Business Premium, plus access to new IT security and mobile device management features. Business owners can control access to different levels of information for employees and groups of employees within the business through the admin dashboard. Microsoft 365 Business users are automatically upgraded to Windows 10 when they subscribe, and Windows Defender is automatically turned on and set to auto-update.

The Microsoft package includes some mobile device management tools as well. Workers are prompted to enter a PIN to access work accounts on personal devices, and the program prevents copying and pasting between work and personal email accounts. Business owners can remotely wipe company data from lost or stolen devices. These features can be used with or without a full-scale IT department, making it a great option for businesses looking to scale up that area. In addition to Bookings and Connections, users have access to Invoicing, an app that syncs with QuickBooks and can be used to create custom-made, professional company invoices, as well as other small business apps in the Microsoft Store.

Which is right for your business?

Choosing the right plan means figuring out exactly how big your business is, what kinds of services it needs and how much it is projected to grow. The benefit of these subscription packages is that you can change whenever you’re ready. This means you can choose a plan and grow your usage with your business, instead of trying to fill the shoes of an expensive, over-featured plan like Microsoft 365 Business. Programs like Yammer or SharePoint do no good if they aren’t used, so if you don’t need these programs, it’s worth it to choose a subscription package without them at a lower rate.

It’s also important to note that these packages come with access to apps for download in the Microsoft Store as well. While different plans may provide access to different types of apps, you can still find add-ons that fit your business. If you’re a Business Premium subscriber, for example, you can still use apps like Invoicing or Connections by downloading them from the Microsoft Store. This provides a lot of flexibility.

Bottom line

One of the benefits of Microsoft’s small business packages is that they all include a lot of variety. While it can be hard to distinguish the plans at times, Microsoft has come up with a plan – or different options included in a plan – for a full range of small businesses. Flexibility is one of the best aspects of Microsoft’s plans, so be sure to use it to your advantage.

 

Technology That's Making Job Sites Safer

In 2015, the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that 4,836 workers were killed on the job that year. That’s an average of more than 93 deaths per week or more than 13 deaths every day. Of all workplace fatalities, 21.4 percent were in construction.

Construction is a high-risk industry, regardless of the project type. Not counting highway collisions, OSHA says the leading causes of death to construction workers are falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, being caught in or compressed by equipment or objects, and being struck, caught or crushed in collapsing structures, equipment or material. Thousands more workers suffer injuries.

Worker deaths have significantly decreased over the past four decades through changes in safety policies and procedures, according to OSHA. But despite efforts by the industry to reduce workplace deaths and injuries, trends show no significant declines in incidents. Zero-incident targets and regulations alone can’t address all hazards, and that’s why construction firms are now looking to new high-tech solutions to protect their workers and reduce jobsite risks.

Here are just a few of the ways an investment in tech-based solutions can help make construction sites safer, along with offering the added benefits of improving productivity and efficiency.

 

Editor’s Note: Looking for workers comp insurance? We can help you choose the one that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

 

 

Keep hands free to reduce fall risks and provide 360 views to avoid accidents.

Juggling tablets, manuals, digital cameras and other materials can be dangerous for workers, especially when they perform tasks on elevated platforms. Noise on worksites can also put workers at risk for life-threatening accidents when their backs are turned away from heavy machinery.

The DAQRI Smart Helmet uses augmented reality (AR) technology to display and record jobsite and project information on the helmet’s visor, and it can be equipped with a 360-degree navigation camera capable of recording video, taking still photos and mapping – reducing the chances of workers being blindsided by hazards. The company says pilot tests of its AR helmet at a steel plant increased productivity by 40 percent and downtime by 50 percent.

Proactively alert employees to safety concerns in real time.

If only you had a way to watch over workers and alert them to hazards before they happen. That’s the problem that real-time locating systems (RTLS) help solve. This technology uses radio frequency communication to receive wireless signals from tags attached to objects or worn by workers. The system automatically identifies and tracks the location of tagged objects or people in real time within predefined areas like construction jobsites or hazardous workplace areas.   

Redpoint RTLS badges or tags can identify a worker’s location anywhere on a worksite, and that information can be used to alert the worker to nearby static or moving hazards, like heavy equipment. Workers can push a call button on the Redpoint badge to summon help, and they can be instantly alerted when entering predefined danger zones on construction jobsites and receive sitewide safety information. Actuators can be triggered to slow or deactivate heavy equipment when workers move too close or when the equipment crosses established thresholds.

Nurture a culture of safety while responding to incidents as they happen.

Some wearable technology solutions that contain sensors to track and monitor a wearer’s movements were first developed to prevent injuries in professional athletes and assist in post-injury rehabilitation. Today, features of many of these products are being adapted for use in the construction industry to record incident data and signal instant alerts when an injury occurs, improving overall jobsite safety and response time.

Triax Technologies addresses the No. 1 cause of injuries and fatalities on construction worksites: falls. The company’s Spot-r technology uses a clip-on wearable device that monitors workers and automatically alerts supervisors if a slip, trip or fall occurs. The device also has a push-button alert – like a panic button – that the worker can trigger to instantly call for help in the event of a jobsite incident. The Triax solution’s dashboard is cloud-based and enables on-site supervisors and off-site management to view and analyze data from workers and jobsites in real time. Real data empowers construction companies to make fact-based changes to reduce risks on jobsites and to accurately determine safety-training needs of workers.

Next steps

Adopting technology to protect construction workers is a current phenomenon, not some futuristic dream. Many manufacturers allow companies the opportunity to test out their products in a pilot program. When considering a trial or purchase, always ask about the learning curve for workers and supervisors, the deployment process, maintenance, expandability, and the cost of updates.

5 POS Reports Your Retail Business Should Be Using

Many successful retail stores still use old, bare-bones checkout systems. While these work well enough for basic transactions, they don’t offer much insight into how your business could be streamlined. Point-of-sale (POS) systems designed with retailers in mind are loaded with reporting functionality to increase sales and minimize waste.

If your retail establishment has recently transitioned from basic checkout to a state-of-the-art POS system, or if you’re simply considering doing so, this guide can serve as an introduction to basic reports that many retailers find useful.

Store sales reports

Most retail POS systems allow remote managers to view real-time sales data, but past sales reports can also be helpful. The ability to view retail sales reports by date ranges as well as times, down to the hour, can help you compare your business’s success during various times of the day, week, month and year.

Information that you sell very little stock between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., for example, might cause you to cut back on staff in the mornings, whereas finding out your establishment triples its sales during November and December might inspire you to hire some additional temporary sales associates for those months.

Individual sales reports and sales targets

General sales reports are intended to track your establishment’s overall business, but retail POS software often includes the option for sales targets based on time and employee. The ability to assign sales targets and then track results is especially helpful for retail establishments that operate with commission-based staff. Different staff members are frequently given different sales goals, based on seniority as well as experience, and keeping track of commissions is easy with a POS system that tracks targets as well as individual sales reports.

Even if your employees are hourly and not on commission, individual sales reports can still be helpful. Finding out who your No. 1 seller is can help you issue bonuses more fairly, and identifying weak associates gives you the opportunity to supply them with additional training or cut them loose.

 

Editor’s Note: Looking for a POS system? We can help you choose the one that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

 

 

Itemized cost and profit analysis

Identifying top sellers is easy, even without specific reporting software, but items that sell in the largest quantity aren’t necessarily the ones netting you the most profits. POS retail reports break down sales in terms of the itemized cost for you, retail markup percentage or amount, and profit.

Having this information laid out in a readable format makes it much less labor-intensive to find the dead weight in your inventory and identify major moneymakers that may have flown under the radar. These types of reports can also help retail owners adjust costs and prices or locate new suppliers as needed.

Inventory management reports

Retail POS systems make inventory management a breeze. Inventory management reports allow you to track stock based on SKUs, even across multiple locations. Inventory management isn’t just for maintaining existing inventory but also for tracking quality. In a good inventory management system, you can see how many damaged goods you’ve received from different vendors, and how often you’ve had to send things back. Identifying low-quality suppliers is key to maintaining high retail standards.

Many systems also have automatic email options based on inventory numbers, so you can receive updates when highly desirable items are running low and reorder them immediately. The ability to look back at inventory ups and downs over the course of several months or a year makes it much easier to plan inventory and identify buying trends.

Store comparison reports

For small business owners who have multiple retail locations, reports that provide side-by-side comparisons are invaluable. You might find that one of your shops sells more of a certain type of product than the other, or that each shop experiences peak selling at different hours or times of year.

Comparisons can also help you see the differences in your staff at various locations and identify weaknesses and strengths on your sales team. You might find, for example, that the top three sellers at one branch outsell the top three at your other branch by double. If that’s the case, you may want to pair your most gifted sales associates with others who show promise but need improvement.

Bottom line

Naturally, the type of retail establishment you own will determine the role reports play in your business. A women’s fashion boutique will have different patterns and tendencies than a used car dealership or a furniture store, and because of this inherent variation, many POS systems allow users to build highly customized reports.

Making the Leap: Overcoming Common Marketing Hurdles

As in any industry, marketers have numerous professional challenges to overcome every day. Whether your obstacles are related to the marketing operations solution you’re using, the task you’re trying to accomplish or the team you work with, chances are you’re not the only marketer facing those particular issues.

Marketing agency TopRight Transformational Marketing and Aprimo, a marketing operations solution, joined forces to discover and study the most common problems today’s marketers face while working on five essential tasks: planning, spending, creating, distributing and performing.

For the over 275 marketing leaders that TopRight and Aprimo surveyed for their Mayhem Research Report, five overarching challenges presented themselves:

  • Brand strategy
  • Marketing technology
  • Managing a team’s capacity
  • Measuring ROI
  • Prioritizing the marketing system of record

Based on their research, TopRight and Aprimo offered the following tips for overcoming the above challenges.

Eliminate silos.

You’ll have an easier time justifying your ROI and getting the budget you need if you’re transparent about what your marketing team is doing. Have budget reviews with your company’s finance team. Be visible with your spending, and know the answers to how, when and where you’re allocating your budget.

Build a great marketing team.

Having a well-respected marketing team can have a huge impact on the way you do business. You can increase the respect of your team by having solid scientific data to back up your decisions. Prove your ROI. Hold your team accountable to metrics that matter.

 

Editor’s Note: Don’t have an in-house marketing team? We can help you find a marketing service that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

 

 

Automate tasks.

Marketing software usually has the ability to automate several tasks, which frees up time for your team to do what they do best: create new marketing content. This also gives you time to focus on strategy.

Have brand consistency.

Store all of your important branding information in one place so your team has quick access to it. Making this information accessible will likely save time on fixing mistakes later in the process and, of course, helps keep your brand recognizable to clients and customers.

Improve your creative and review processes.

Get a good handle on what kind of workload your creative team can handle. As you become more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your team, you can improve everyone’s workflow and be more productive overall.

Establish data-sharing best practices with partners.

Marketing with partners is a great way to spread the word about your company while spending less money. However, it can be difficult to measure the ROI of such efforts. When you set up your partnership, be sure to set up best practices for data sharing to make it easier to measure how your marketing efforts are performing.

Update your system of record.

Technology can be great if it works right and if you use it. If you’re having trouble tracking the appropriate data to measure your ROI, it may be time for a new marketing operations software or system of record. Having accurate data can help you justify your budget when you have reviews with the finance team.

For more information on challenges facing marketing teams today, read through the Mayhem Research Report and other whitepapers on the Aprimo website.

It's Worse Than Pointless to Continually Ask 'What's a Good Conversion Rate?'

Settling for the norm keeps you from being your best.

How to Use Virtual Reality in Your Marketing Campaigns

The world has not always been impacted by technology, but for many of us, it is hard to imagine what it was like with no technology at all. More  innovations are creeping into our everyday lives. So far, they have dramatically сhanged our ways of doing things.

Technology makes our work easier and more efficient, our daily routines more convenient and less time-consuming, education accessible 24/7, entertainment engaging and mind-blowing, and the list goes on and on.

A bit about VR

Technologies, such as augmented and virtual realities (AR and VR), have been on the horizon for some time now, but their real use cases have mainly been limited to gaming and fun. However, they definitely have much more to offer this world, and the marketing industry in particular. As of today, there are about 90 million VR users in the world, and the number is predicted to reach 171 million in 2018, meaning that it will almost double, while the number of AR users may reach one billion by 2020.

VR may still seem like a pricey technology for tech geeks, and it definitely might seem unaffordable and beyond the reach of the average person. Statistics clearly reveal that the demand for VR is growing. And as it turns out, you don’t need to buy expensive VR equipment to experience it for yourself.

Because technological leaders like Google, Samsung, HTC and Sony are all trying to outpace competitors by introducing new solutions and lowering prices for their headsets, the VR experience is now available to everyone who owns a smartphone and can afford to spend as little as $30 to get Google Cardboard or its alternatives.

Even with just a smartphone today, you can see what VR is all about by simply checking out 360-degree videos on YouTube and Facebook. So you don’t need to spend a lot of money to experience the feeling of VR and interact with it.

Why should you care?

The tastes and needs of today’s consumers, especially millennials, are becoming more and more sophisticated. Today’s youth have short attention spans, and they always have their phones and gadgets with them. They are hard to please and to keep engaged. Brands and companies cannot afford to ignore the youth market, and they must be extra savvy and be able to differentiate in order to grab and hold the attention of millennials. Things have to be marketed differently to millennials – a product must produce unforgettable impressions and excitement.

As a relatively new technology, VR is still able to create a new experience and produce a “wow” effect that the majority of consumers so crave. The technology is increasingly being utilized by brands for marketing purposes and, let’s face it, they are doing extremely well. McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Marriott, MSI, Tom’s, TopShop, and Volvo, to name just a few, have already jumped on the VR bandwagon and have used VR to lure even greater audiences to interact with it.

How to use VR for marketing

Create 360-degree videos

So far, videos are the easiest way for a business to incorporate VR technology. Thanks to the accessibility of mobile devices, along with laptop and desktop computers, any business can switch from using flat pictures and videos to providing immersive experiences through interactive and impactful videos. Interactive videos have a vast range of uses, from educational videos to virtual trips and product demonstrations.

Develop a VR application

Branded content provided via a VR app can be a good way to stand out and appear up to date and innovative compared to competitors. Industries ranging from automotive to fashion are helping people with better decision-making while engaging them with a fun and interactive journey.

Take advantage of headsets

Take a page from McDonald’s playbook. The brand was inspired by Google Cardboard and created their own concept of a DIY headset to make their customers happier. A headset with branded VR content that companies can create on a regular basis offers a perfect medium to ramp up customer loyalty and keep them coming back for more.

Create a VR game

Everyone likes getting little extras. Brands can put VR technology to use by developing games that, for example, allow users to get bonuses like coupons, discounts or points. If a VR app is appropriate for your brand, it can contribute a great deal to brand awareness and engagement. Take a look at how IKEA stepped up to the challenge.

Build a teleporter

Some brands have gone further by combining the technologies of VR and 4D. You can take your customers to any location without leaving home and project real-world sensations like wind, aroma, drips of ocean water, vibrations or just about any sensation you can think of to put them in a buying mindset. The greatest example here is Marriott.

To sum it up

To hit the jackpot with VR and make it work for your marketing campaign, you have to be among the early adopters of the technology. VR has the potential to become mainstream, and when it does, your chances of delivering a one-of-a-kind, impactful and immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression on your customers will diminish. And so will your chances to market your product in a way that does not leave prospects and customers indifferent to your brand.

How to Reach Your Full Potential

Learn the secrets to success from ‘Sport Science’ host John Brenkus.

Drake Says 'Free Meek Mill' During Boy Meets World Concert

Drake ‘Free Meek Mill’ 11/19/2017 1:32 PM PST Drake seems to have buried the hatchet with Meek Mill — at least for now — ’cause even HE wants his archenemy …

The post Drake Says 'Free Meek Mill' During Boy Meets World Concert appeared first on Newline Marketing.

Should You make $300,000 with E commerce or Affiliate Marketing Info Product 🔑🔑

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHOQ6mho2io&w=640&h=360]

Ashanti Calls Out Concert Fans for Throwing Money at Her Like a Stripper

Ashanti to Concert Fans Stop Throwing Money ‘I’m Not a F****** Stripper!’ 11/19/2017 11:41 AM PST Don’t ever mistake Ashanti for a stripper, ’cause she’ll stop her show and call you the …

The post Ashanti Calls Out Concert Fans for Throwing Money at Her Like a Stripper appeared first on Newline Marketing.

How I Recruited 19 People In 30 Days Into My Business 🔥

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3WbTKBOYto&w=640&h=360]

Making the Leap: Overcoming Common Marketing Hurdles

As in any industry, marketers have numerous professional challenges to overcome every day. Whether your obstacles are related to the marketing operations solution you’re using, the task you’re trying to accomplish or the team you work with, chances are you’re not the only marketer facing those particular issues.

Marketing agency TopRight Transformational Marketing and Aprimo, a marketing operations solution, joined forces to discover and study the most common problems today’s marketers face while working on five essential tasks: planning, spending, creating, distributing and performing.

For the over 275 marketing leaders that TopRight and Aprimo surveyed for their Mayhem Research Report, five overarching challenges presented themselves:

  • Brand strategy
  • Marketing technology
  • Managing a team’s capacity
  • Measuring ROI
  • Prioritizing the marketing system of record

Based on their research, TopRight and Aprimo offered the following tips for overcoming the above challenges.

Eliminate silos.

You’ll have an easier time justifying your ROI and getting the budget you need if you’re transparent about what your marketing team is doing. Have budget reviews with your company’s finance team. Be visible with your spending, and know the answers to how, when and where you’re allocating your budget.

Build a great marketing team.

Having a well-respected marketing team can have a huge impact on the way you do business. You can increase the respect of your team by having solid scientific data to back up your decisions. Prove your ROI. Hold your team accountable to metrics that matter.

 

Editor’s Note: Don’t have an in-house marketing team? We can help you find a marketing service that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

 

 

Automate tasks.

Marketing software usually has the ability to automate several tasks, which frees up time for your team to do what they do best: create new marketing content. This also gives you time to focus on strategy.

Have brand consistency.

Store all of your important branding information in one place so your team has quick access to it. Making this information accessible will likely save time on fixing mistakes later in the process and, of course, helps keep your brand recognizable to clients and customers.

Improve your creative and review processes.

Get a good handle on what kind of workload your creative team can handle. As you become more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your team, you can improve everyone’s workflow and be more productive overall.

Establish data-sharing best practices with partners.

Marketing with partners is a great way to spread the word about your company while spending less money. However, it can be difficult to measure the ROI of such efforts. When you set up your partnership, be sure to set up best practices for data sharing to make it easier to measure how your marketing efforts are performing.

Update your system of record.

Technology can be great if it works right and if you use it. If you’re having trouble tracking the appropriate data to measure your ROI, it may be time for a new marketing operations software or system of record. Having accurate data can help you justify your budget when you have reviews with the finance team.

For more information on challenges facing marketing teams today, read through the Mayhem Research Report and other whitepapers on the Aprimo website.

How to Rebrand Yourself on Social Media and Change Your Niche — 5 Tips

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcKeVsFKbwY&w=640&h=360]

How to Use Virtual Reality in Your Marketing Campaigns

The world has not always been impacted by technology, but for many of us, it is hard to imagine what it was like with no technology at all. More  innovations are creeping into our everyday lives. So far, they have dramatically сhanged our ways of doing things.

Technology makes our work easier and more efficient, our daily routines more convenient and less time-consuming, education accessible 24/7, entertainment engaging and mind-blowing, and the list goes on and on.

A bit about VR

Technologies, such as augmented and virtual realities (AR and VR), have been on the horizon for some time now, but their real use cases have mainly been limited to gaming and fun. However, they definitely have much more to offer this world, and the marketing industry in particular. As of today, there are about 90 million VR users in the world, and the number is predicted to reach 171 million in 2018, meaning that it will almost double, while the number of AR users may reach one billion by 2020.

VR may still seem like a pricey technology for tech geeks, and it definitely might seem unaffordable and beyond the reach of the average person. Statistics clearly reveal that the demand for VR is growing. And as it turns out, you don’t need to buy expensive VR equipment to experience it for yourself.

Because technological leaders like Google, Samsung, HTC and Sony are all trying to outpace competitors by introducing new solutions and lowering prices for their headsets, the VR experience is now available to everyone who owns a smartphone and can afford to spend as little as $30 to get Google Cardboard or its alternatives.

Even with just a smartphone today, you can see what VR is all about by simply checking out 360-degree videos on YouTube and Facebook. So you don’t need to spend a lot of money to experience the feeling of VR and interact with it.

Why should you care?

The tastes and needs of today’s consumers, especially millennials, are becoming more and more sophisticated. Today’s youth have short attention spans, and they always have their phones and gadgets with them. They are hard to please and to keep engaged. Brands and companies cannot afford to ignore the youth market, and they must be extra savvy and be able to differentiate in order to grab and hold the attention of millennials. Things have to be marketed differently to millennials – a product must produce unforgettable impressions and excitement.

As a relatively new technology, VR is still able to create a new experience and produce a “wow” effect that the majority of consumers so crave. The technology is increasingly being utilized by brands for marketing purposes and, let’s face it, they are doing extremely well. McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Marriott, MSI, Tom’s, TopShop, and Volvo, to name just a few, have already jumped on the VR bandwagon and have used VR to lure even greater audiences to interact with it.

How to use VR for marketing

Create 360-degree videos

So far, videos are the easiest way for a business to incorporate VR technology. Thanks to the accessibility of mobile devices, along with laptop and desktop computers, any business can switch from using flat pictures and videos to providing immersive experiences through interactive and impactful videos. Interactive videos have a vast range of uses, from educational videos to virtual trips and product demonstrations.

Develop a VR application

Branded content provided via a VR app can be a good way to stand out and appear up to date and innovative compared to competitors. Industries ranging from automotive to fashion are helping people with better decision-making while engaging them with a fun and interactive journey.

Take advantage of headsets

Take a page from McDonald’s playbook. The brand was inspired by Google Cardboard and created their own concept of a DIY headset to make their customers happier. A headset with branded VR content that companies can create on a regular basis offers a perfect medium to ramp up customer loyalty and keep them coming back for more.

Create a VR game

Everyone likes getting little extras. Brands can put VR technology to use by developing games that, for example, allow users to get bonuses like coupons, discounts or points. If a VR app is appropriate for your brand, it can contribute a great deal to brand awareness and engagement. Take a look at how IKEA stepped up to the challenge.

Build a teleporter

Some brands have gone further by combining the technologies of VR and 4D. You can take your customers to any location without leaving home and project real-world sensations like wind, aroma, drips of ocean water, vibrations or just about any sensation you can think of to put them in a buying mindset. The greatest example here is Marriott.

To sum it up

To hit the jackpot with VR and make it work for your marketing campaign, you have to be among the early adopters of the technology. VR has the potential to become mainstream, and when it does, your chances of delivering a one-of-a-kind, impactful and immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression on your customers will diminish. And so will your chances to market your product in a way that does not leave prospects and customers indifferent to your brand.

How to Create Standout Content and Drive Traffic to Your Website

To no one’s surprise, Google still cites links from authority websites as one of the top three factors (the other two being content and RankBrain, Google’s AI program that processes search results) that influence your ranking. Attracting traffic to your website without providing interesting content is analogous to driving a car without fuel; it simply won’t work.

The task of creating content can be daunting, if not only for the mass of existing content online.

The internet has matured to a point where you can no longer get away with mimicking the plethora of 500-word, how-to articles or the endless top-three lists that flood the internet. No, your content needs a unique angle, and it should offer a fresh perspective.

In fact, Google’s algorithm rewards exceptional content with higher rankings, even if that content does not have many backlinks.

More often than not, the results that rank high, especially for competitive keywords, are ones that users found the most relevant and valuable as it relates to that particular search.

For instance, if you search for “how to improve your sleep” and a mattress company’s product page shows up, you will likely click out of it and look for a result that better suits what you were looking for.

Say you end up finding a sleep improvement guide a few results below the mattress page that contains a step-by-step process for improving sleep, and you spend 10 minutes reading it.

Over time, Google will account for the high bounce rate of the mattress page and the low bounce rate of the guide and rank the guide above the mattress page.

So where should you begin when creating content that will shine? To start, reverse engineer what your target audience deems as valuable content. Survey what already exists by performing Google searches for the keywords you want to target and evaluate the first-page results.

Take note of patterns, trends or common themes you observe and ask yourself what makes this piece of content better than other articles. Analyze every aspect of the top-ranking pieces, including formatting, visuals and video. Make sure you set your search to only show results from the past year to focus on recent content that will have more relevance.

In particular, pay close attention to content that has a lot of engagement, in the form of comments or social shares. You want to know what made that content attract lots of hype from the influencers in your industry.

One way to do this is to plug the top results into a content analysis tool like Buzzsumo. You can see the number of shares of each piece and, in addition, you now have a list of targets you can pitch your finished content to.

Here are four general tips you should follow to improve your content.

  1. Make it longer. At least 1,500 words is a good starting point, but 3,000-plus words is ideal. Content that is concise doesn’t retain users like long content, and, like I mentioned above, user engagement is vital for organic rankings. 

  2. Incorporate interesting data. If you have researched a particular area of your industry that has led to newfound insights, include key statistics or data points into your content. In fact, one strategy for creating robust content is to conduct a study for the sole purpose of using it in a future content piece.

  3. Format and structure properly. Use shorter paragraphs and sentences. Shorter sentences scored 58 percent higher in measured usability compared to web pages jammed with text made up of long sentences. Break up your sections using paragraphs, H1, H2 and H3 tags.

  4. Visualize. You can create an infographic, but chances are that a similar one already exists, so your infographic better offer something unique or noteworthy. Creating an interesting infographic requires a delicate balance of presenting the right amount of content while maintaining an aesthetic appeal and not overwhelming readers.

To stay ahead of the game, consider creating an interactive map. These have garnered a lot of attention lately, and websites love to link to them.

Finally, when creating your content, ask yourself if you would link to the content on your website. Your gut response to that question will guide you along the way.

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