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Analysis: Why Google can flatly deny knowledge of Prism

18:58, 12/6/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link

Google finds Waze to crowdsource the best ?Maps? of the world

google-waze A necessary ingredient to accomplish that -- consumer trust ? has been put under another kind of cloud by the Prism disclosures. "It's no secret that the tech companies are in damage control right now trying to regain their users' trust," says Jonathan Mayer, fellow at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society. At the moment, there is a gap in the facts between what the PowerPoint slides leaked by Snowden appear to depict ? and Google's flat denials; in particular, the company insists that its senior executives, at least, never heard of Prism before its splashed into global headlines last week. And Google's disclosure today that did hand over data to the feds, but only using rudimentary technologies, also shows an attempt at incremental distancing. Claudia Rast, a privacy attorney at Butzel Long, says assertions by Google general counsel Dave Drummond that the search giant used only simple File Transfer Protocal, or FTP service, and even simpler hand deliveries, to honor very narrow data requests from the NSA rings true. Yes, the PowerPoint slides published by The Guardian clearly identify the tech companies as supplying data to Prism. But the slide graphics really don't specify the technology used, nor the frequency of the requests, nor the scope of the data transferred. Rast said it would be just plain good legal sense for Google and the other tech companies to treat data requests from the feds very conservatively. "Legally, a company's not going to allow wide open access to their data," Rast says. "They're going to want specific time frame and scope of the search." Google's corporate spokesman, Chris Gaither, issued this statement: "We refuse to participate in any program ? for national security or other reasons ? that requires us to provide governments with access to our systems or to install their equipment on our networks. When required to comply with these requests, we deliver that information to the US government--generally through secure FTP transfers and in person. The US government does not have the ability to pull that data directly from our servers or network." Gaither's statement is probably air tight, says Scott Cleland, president of consultancy Precursor.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/cybertruth/2013/06/12/analysis-why-google-can-flatly-deny-knowledge-of-prism/2417085/

Google taps HP to sell Google Apps, hardware bundle

user avatar By Salvador Rodriguez June 12, 2013, 2:30 p.m. For its latest Chrome browser video game, Google Inc. has created a modern version of the classic arcade title Pong that lets users play against their friends over the Internet and see one another using Web cams. The game is called "Cube Slam" and was released Wednesday. Like Pong, the point is to use paddles to direct balls at your friend's wall and away from yours. Once a user hits his or her opponent's wall three times with a ball, they win. But unlike Pong, "Cube Slam" is filled with obstacles and power ups that enhance the game. Also PHOTOS: Top music subscription services To play the game, simply use a computer with a Web cam, open the Chrome Web browser and head to CubeSlam.com . There you can either play against the computer, which will appear as a bear, or you can choose to play against a friend. If you do, Google will create a link that you can send to your friend to get started. Once the game gets going, you'll see your friend's face on the screen behind the field of play. If you'd prefer a classic Pong view, you can hit the "0" on your keyboard. Users can also play the game using Chrome on their smartphones and tablets, but they'll be able to play only against the computer for now. Since the beginning of the year, Google has been saasaffiliates.com putting out new Chrome mini games every couple of weeks.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-googles-chrome-cube-slam-20130612,0,7812525.story

Google Glass for contact lenses? Scientists are getting closer

"Transparency here will ... serve the public interest without harming national security." A Justice Department spokeswoman said "The Department has received the letter from the Chief Legal Officer at Google. We are in the process of reviewing their request." The search giant and six other tech companies were reported last week to be participants in a National Security Agency information-sharing program called "Prism." Though it's not completely clear how the Prism program worked , a former government intelligence contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton who leaked the documents told the Washington Post and Guardian that the NSA had access to data directly from the companies' servers. Related story: Google ... Facebook ... Paltalk?!
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/11/technology/security/google-government-data/index.html

Google Outbids Facebook And Apple To Buy Waze Mapping Service

Related Stories Google Glass will work with prescription lenses If you don?t like the look of Google Glass, there might soon be another option: smart contact lenses. Researchers recently developed technology that could allow them to create contact lenses that have the same capabilities as Google?s high-tech frames: photo-taking, text messaging and surfing the Internet, for starters. RELATED: FIRST MARRIAGE PROPOSAL VIA GOOGLE GLASS Scientists from South Korea?s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, led by Jang-Ung Park, attached a ?transparent, highly conductive, and stretchy mix of graphene and silver nanowires? to an ordinary pair of contact lenses, Technology Review reported. They tested the lenses on rabbits, whose eyes are about the same size as humans. In a study, researchers noted that the rabbits didn?t rub their eyes or appear irritated. ?Our goal is to make a wearable contact lens display that can do all the things Google Glass can do,? Park said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/google-glass-contact-lenses-article-1.1370563

Google's latest Chrome game a modern take on Pong using Web cams

Google wants to tell you more about the info spy agencies are seeking The new program will roll out in July via HP's reseller network, HP said. HP announced the new program as part of its Discover conference in Las Vegas, aimed at businesses from SMBs up through the enterprise. "What this venture is designed to do," said HP chief executive Meg Whitman, "is to help simplify the customer's IT environment," for those small-to-medium sized businesses that adopt Google Apps, Computerworld reported . Extending reach Strategically, the partnership broadens HP's relationships with Google. Although HP has long been a partner of Microsoft, HP has apparently felt that it's worth hedging its bets. While HP supported Windows 8 with a bevy of laptops , it's also announced a pair of Chromebooks, the laptops that run Google's Chrome OS and provide direct links to Google services.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.pcworld.com/article/2041584/google-taps-hp-to-sell-google-apps-hardware-bundle.html

Google says it 'has nothing to hide' about government snooping

Basically, Waze blends elements of a social network into its maps to produce more precise directions and more reliable information about local traffic conditions. Waze is based in Israel but also maintains a Palo Alto, Calif., office near all three of the Silicon Valley giants. "We evaluated many options and believe Google is the best partner," Waze CEO Noam Bardin wrote in a Tuesday blog post. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but The Associated Press confirmed the sale price with a person familiar with the negotiations. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was not authorized to discuss the matter. Google isn't expected to disclose the price until it discusses the transaction in a formal regulatory filing. Waze ranks as the fourth most expensive acquisition among the more than image source 240 deals that Google has completed in its nearly 15-year history. The only bigger purchases are Motorola Mobility Holdings for $12.4 billion last year, DoubleClick for $3.2 billion in 2008 and YouTube for $1.76 billion in 2006. The price underscores the increasing importance of digital maps as people frequently check navigation services on their smartphones and tablet computers to help steer them in the right direction. The reliance on mobile maps creates more opportunities to show money-making ads, particularly those from local merchants. Google can also link the navigation systems to other applications to help (visit site) generate more revenue. Forrester Research analyst Julie Ask expects maps to become a main gateway on mobile devices, much like Internet search engines have been on personal computers for the past decade. "A growing percentage of time will be spent discovering, accessing and engaging content within maps," Ask predicted. Google is the leader in the field, but both Apple and Facebook would like a bigger piece of the market. Those ambitions are likely a key reason Google scooped up Waze, said University of Notre Dame management professor Brian Proffitt, who specializes in technology issues.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/money/2013/06/12/google-outbids-facebook-apple-to-buy-waze-mapping-service/

The acquisition was closed on June 11, 2013 for a reported figure of USD 1.03 billion ending any chance of a bidding war between Google, Apple and Facebook for the service. Google believes that its alliance with Waze would help it ?outsmart traffic?. In a post on the company blog, Brian McClendon, Vice President, Geo said, ?Imagine if you could see real-time traffic updates from friends and fellow travellers ahead of you showing faster routes that others are taking. To help outsmart traffic, we?re excited to announce we?ve closed the acquisition of Waze. This fast-growing community of traffic-obsessed drivers is working together to find the best routes from home to work, every day.? Waze depends significantly on user participation and generates its maps by using the GPS to track movements of its 45 million users. The users not only discuss the best routes but also traffic bottlenecks, accidents and any other slow points. For Google Maps, this user-generated layer can make all the difference, not only in terms of direct information but also in creating a culture that relies on everyday commuters to create accurate and effective maps. McClendon reiterated this point too and commented, ?The Waze community and its dedicated team have created a great source of timely road corrections and updates.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.digitalmarket.asia/2013/06/google-finds-waze-to-crowdsource-the-best-maps-of-the-world/



Yahoo Mail Classic Shuts Down

05:38, 11/6/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link

Yahoo Updates The Look Of Search, Bumping Up Results And Adopting A Google-Like Nav Bar

Yahoo! Search before-after The Web giant announced the discontinuation in April , warning users that beginning June 3, Yahoo Mail Classic and other versions of the Web-based mail services would no longer be available. The upgrade made headlines because the new Yahoo Mail uses a scanning technique currently in place on services like Gmail, which will serve up ads based on the content of your email. "When you upgrade, you will be accepting our Communications Terms of Service and Privacy Policy," Yahoo said in a May Yahoo Help message . "This includes the acceptance of automated content scanning and analyzing of your communications content, which Yahoo Uses to deliver product features, relevant advertising, and abuse protection." To opt out of the advertising, users can update their settings online using the Ad Interest Manager. Meanwhile, for those who do not want to embrace the new Yahoo Mail, Yahoo suggested accessing messages via IMAP, which will let you have Yahoo Mail messages delivered to another email provider. Or, you could just close your account, Yahoo suggested. In April, the company announced it would shutter products like Yahoo Deals, Yahoo SMS Alerts, Yahoo Kids, and older versions of Yahoo Mail, most of which were closed by April 30. "We want to bring experiences that inspire and entertain you every day," Yahoo said in an April blog post. "That means taking a hard look at all of our products to make sure they are still central to your daily habits." Apparently Mail Classic was no longer a daily habit for enough people that the company could justify turning it off, in favor of the new version of the email service. "We realize that change is hard," the company said at the time, "but by making tough decisions like these we can focus our energy on building beautiful products for you." Meanwhile, Yahoo recently launched Yahoo Mail for iPad and Android tablets, as well as Yahoo Weather for iPhone. Top Searches
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2419848,00.asp

Employees chosen to work on the all-important mobile mission are given the coolest and latest laptops, the best, most recently redecorated offices and prompt access to Mayer?s office, according to interviews with several Yahoo! insiders. In the company?s Midtown Manhattan offices, in order to make way for a new engineering hub that focuses on mobile apps, Mayer uprooted a number of workers, a source said. Not only did the new mobile team get fresh office space ? they even commandeered a pingpong table from another area, the insider said. Conversely, non-mobile workers are more likely to be stuck in older, drab floors ? described by one insider at the Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters as mustard-yellow and gray. ?It?s a bit of a have and have-nots situation,? one source said. Recently, as if to highlight the divide, some of the newer mobile engineers complained when they were issued what one described as slightly outdated MacBooks. They wanted newer, Retina-display laptops ? and they got them, according one source, who, like colleagues, spoke with The Post on the condition of anonymity. Meanwhile, less fortunate Yahoo! workers were still walking around the campus with outdated ThinkPads, this staffer said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/upwardly_mobile_ytFasiwH6ABtWJ1pfVLY1M

Yahoo revamps its search results layout to compete with Google and Bing

? Learn More Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 Comments Yahoo has tweaked its search-results page today (yes, it still does search, albeit now powered by Microsoft?s Bing ), with a visual refresh that?s meant to better emphasize top search results and that clears up some visual clutter in the navigation bar and additional settings sidebar. Yahoo?s redesign may look familiar, because it?s quite similar to the one that Google introduced a couple of years ago. As you can see by Yahoo?s own amazing animated GIF, results now appear higher up on the page, thanks to a single-line navigation bar that appears at the top-most edge of the browser window. Yahoo?s branding is also now smaller, and there?s a sign-in area right of the search bar itself. Along the left-hand side you have a simple navigation menu, allowing you to change the search category type and choose from different time options for results. Yahoo also says there are some improvements on the backend that should result in faster load times, and notes that the new Navigation bar will spread to other Yahoo properties soon (which is also something Google did before). The page takes most of its cues from the new Yahoo homepage design, which it  launched in February . The company says this is just the beginning, and seems to indicate that further changes for Search results will be coming over the course of the next few years. The company has clearly been acquiring enough b2b saas marketing in terms of new product and talent to make some big changes to all aspects of its business, so maybe we?ll see some Summly summaries make their way to the results page, sort of like they?ve already done on mobile .
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/05/yahoo-updates-the-look-of-search-bumping-up-results-and-adopting-a-google-like-nav-bar/

At Yahoo!, the secret to better toys, offices

Today, Yahoo is currently the third most used search site in the US, well behind Google and also behind Microsoft's Bing.com read here . Today, Yahoo announced it has launched a revamp of how search results are displayed on its web page. In a post on its official Tumblr blog , Yahoo said that the new look allows for those results to be posted higher on the page compared to the old design. There's also been some performance improvements made on the back end that should allow search results to load faster.  Yahoo added: We?re also introducing a new navigation bar at the top of the page so you can easily browse other Yahoo! sites. Over time, we?ll be rolling out the navigation bar across more Yahoo! properties. Yahoo claims this is just the first step in a series of improvements it will be making to its search section and that more changes will be made in the months to come. Yahoo is currently in the middle of a 10 year agreement to use Microsoft's Bing engine to power its search results, although there are rumors Yahoo would like to get out of that Microsoft-Bing contract before the 10 year deadline comes up. Source: Yahoo | Image via Yahoo Tags
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.neowin.net/news/yahoo-revamps-its-search-results-layout-to-compete-with-google-and-bing



Cover songs: Homage or irksome marketing ploy?

03:08, 31/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Cover songs: Homage or irksome marketing ploy? By RYAN NAKASHIMA | Associated Press ?  8 hours ago View Photo FILE - This Feb. 24, 2013 file photo shows singer Adele performing "Skyfall" during ? LOS ANGELES (AP) ? There are about 600 versions of https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114552434753283393566 Adele's Oscar-winning song "Skyfall" on the Spotify subscription music service. Not one of them features Adele. Adele's label, XL Recordings, keeps her music off of all-you-can-listen subscription plans until download sales peter out. In the meantime, copycat artists fill the void, racking up royalty revenue, often before customers realize they've been listening to someone else. Alice Bonde Nissen found that out the hard way. She once paid 99 Krone ($17) a month for Spotify's premium service in Denmark. Bonde found a version of "Skyfall" and mistakenly clicked on a "follow" button to become a fan of GMPresents and Jocelyn Scofield, the name for a cover-song specialist with some 4,600 Spotify followers. Scofield, who didn't respond to a message seeking comment for this story, has the most listened-to cover of "Skyfall" on the service. "When I found out ... that I couldn't find the original 'Skyfall' (and some other hits) I decided to quit Spotify," Nissen says. Thousands of cover songs crowd digital music services such as Spotify and Rhapsody and listeners are getting annoyed. The phenomenon threatens the growth of these services ?which have millions of paying subscribers? and could hold back the tepid recovery of a music industry still reeling from the decline of the CD. Streaming services put a world of music at listeners' fingertips with millions of tracks, everything from the latest pop hits to age-old violin concertos. For a flat fee ? usually about $10 a month in the U.S. ? users can listen to as many songs as they wish. The music resides on the provider's servers and gets transmitted, or streamed, to subscribers as they listen on smartphones, tablet computers and PCs. The services allow users to store songs on their devices as long as they keep paying. But because such a vast selection can be stored online in the so-called cloud, when listeners search for popular songs, they often find oddball renditions. Cover songs are perfectly legal in the U.S. and have a long tradition in the music industry. Some covers are even more famous than the originals. Which do you think of first, Aretha Franklin's soaring 1967 version of "Respect," or Otis Redding's original from two years earlier? How about Jimi Hendrix's funky 1968 rendition of "All Along the Watchtower"? Does anyone even remember that Bob Dylan wrote and sang it in a release six months before? The difference today is that anyone with a computer, a microphone and an Internet connection can create and distribute a cover. New technology, from affordable digital recording equipment and sound-mixing programs to convenient online services are making homemade covers an easy and profitable endeavor. And sing-it-yourself shows such as "American Idol," ''The Voice" and "The X Factor" are fueling the notion that anyone with a decent voice can be a star. Spotify's head of development and analysis, Sachin Doshi, acknowledges that finding covers instead of originals can be frustrating. "We recognize it's a problem we haven't fully solved yet," Doshi says. Jon Maples, Rhapsody's vice president of product management, says customers have asked that cover songs be removed and the company has targeted 10,000 for deletion. "It just clutters the experience," he says. Some independent artists insist cover songs are a fast way to achieve fame. Kina Grannis says covers are helping her build a fan base. The 27-year-old Los Angeles-based singer won the 2008 Doritos' Crash the Super Bowl contest. As part of the competition, fans were asked to vote for an aspiring musician's music video. The winner got to air their creation before 100 million viewers on game day. Grannis says she wouldn't have earned enough votes to win if she hadn't seeded her YouTube channel every day with covers of artists like Jason Mraz and Death Cab for Cutie. Many of her current followers on YouTube stumbled upon her while searching for originals. "It doesn't feel bad that they were looking for someone else, because they didn't even know I existed," says Grannis, whose original song video "In Your Arms," has racked up 9.2 million views. "They're not going to search for Kina Grannis if they've never heard of you." Winning the Doritos contest earned Grannis a recording deal with Interscope Records, but she opted out because she believed she had enough of an online following to make and sell music on her own. U.S. copyright law says cover artists don't require the original artist's permission, as long as they get a license, pay royalties and let the original songwriters release their version first. Streaming services like Spotify are obligated by law to handle songwriting royalties on behalf of cover artists. Obtaining a license to record a cover is easy and inexpensive. Services like Google Inc.'s Limelight, which launched in late 2009, offer commercial song licenses to anyone who fills out a form. For each song they cover, artists pay a $15 fee. By law, Limelight also charges $9.10 in advance for every 100 downloads the artists may sell. TuneCore, which launched in 2006, distributes songs on outlets like iTunes for $10 per track. Selling a couple hundred tracks ? because of consumer confusion or otherwise ? can earn cover artists enough money to pay the bills. The hurdle is so low for the average amateur that once a hit song comes out, it's covered quickly. Take "Suit & Tie," a Justin Timberlake song released by RCA Records in January. There are already around 180 covers on Spotify in addition to Timberlake's version. Since Adele's "Skyfall" was released in October, it has sold more than 1.9 million copies in the U.S. Cover artists sold more than 54,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The top-selling cover was produced by Movie Sounds Unlimited, a subsidiary of German music publisher BMG, and sold over 9,800 units. The singer on the Movie Sounds Unlimited version of "Skyfall" imitates Adele's official version down to the brassy intro and the unique way the British diva rolls over the sound "L'' like an "O'' when she sings "Let the sky fall when it crum-bows." On iTunes, 35 people have reviewed the album containing Movie Sounds Unlimited's version of "Skyfall." Half of them felt the purchase was a dud, giving the album a one-star rating, the lowest in the electronic store. "Adele's voice is perfect for this song, not whoever sung it for this album," writes one reviewer. "Don't waste your money. None are as good as the originals," writes another. While some people make covers to get discovered, others seem to be in it to trick buyers and make a fast buck. A recent search for popular artists on Spotify reveals plenty of me-too bands who pick deceptive artist names like the "Bruno Mars Tributors" or song names like "Firework (As Made Famous By Katy Perry)." The artwork and graphics used for their songs are sometimes a mirror image of the originals. The producer behind that Katy Perry cover says he's not out to deceive. "It's not about trying to live in somebody's shadow or faking people out," says Michael Vail Blum, the Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based owner of Titan Music Inc. Blum says the cover song business is about taking great material ? sometimes written by someone else ? and making a great recording. Technology has just evened the playing field for artists who aren't signed to major labels, he says. But sounding similar is often the whole point, explains a person familiar with how the subsidiary of music publishing giant BMG works. The executive spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly about it. The sound-alike can take the place of the original for businesses like malls and restaurants that want to use the song but can't afford the original. For example, TV show "Two and a Half Men" licensed Movie Sounds' sound-alike of "Gonna Fly Now," the theme song from the movie "Rocky," for an episode from 2010. It's a big business, with millions of dollars invested, and Movie Sounds' parent Countdown Media has a catalog of more than 50,000 covers. Digital music stores have made knock-offs profitable in a way that wouldn't be possible with physical stores. When iTunes launched in 2001, bands like The Beatles, AC/DC, Metallica and Kid Rock refused to sell their music online, so cover artists swooped in to profit from the digital demand. Titan Music cover band Led Zepagain was one of them. Standing in the place of originals in search results, sound-alike songs made hundreds of thousands dollars when consumers bought their songs. That's not illegal, says Chris Mooney, senior director of artist promotions at indie song distributor TuneCore. "A cover song does not have to be an entirely original take on a version," he says. Brian Felsen, the president of CDBaby, another independent song distributor, says that while a gray area exists today, the deluge of covers can't really be stopped. "Everybody polices it as much as you can," he says, adding that his staff attempts to prevent "blatant" knock-offs that copy cover art and use other deceptive practices from being distributed. But he acknowledges that having so many covers isn't good for consumers. "It may not be illegal or immoral, but it may not be the best thing for society at large either." In the face of this growing tide, the mainstream music industry is jumping on for the ride. Warner Bros. Records artist Michael Buble, whose career was made covering singers like Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong, worked with a band that got its start doing covers, Boyce Avenue, to cover his original single, "It's a Beautiful Day." Buble introduced their version in a video released in April that links back to his original. The exposure is worth any sales lost to Boyce Avenue's cover, according to Kayla Isenberg, Warner Bros.' senior director of interactive media, who reached out to Boyce Avenue on the partnership. "The trade-off is being able to use their avenue to open up Michael and his music to this YouTube generation," she says, pointing to their 3 million subscribers and their YouTube channel's 917 million views. "We're getting massive publicity." More about the story
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cover-songs-homage-irksome-marketing-ploy-175859396.html

Don?t Focus on Social Media Traffic

22:15, 29/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Don?t Focus on Social Media Traffic May 24, 2013 · by Armando Roggio       New data from a leading marketing optimization firm indicates that social media is not a significant traffic driver for online merchants, but traffic may not be the only indicator of success for social media marketing. Social media represented about 1.55 percent of traffic to ecommerce sites and a conversion rate of 0.71 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to a new Ecommerce Quarterly (EQ) report from Monetate. ?In its most recent EQ data, Monetate demonstrates in a very definitive way that social media is not a significant source of direct traffic to ecommerce websites or purchase conversions from those destinations,? wrote Jay Baer in the Monetate EQ report. ?Based on these findings it might be reasonable to conclude that social media participation is over-hyped and disproportionately resourced for ecommerce websites,? Baer added. ?But the challenge for social media ? and for its big brother, word of mouth marketing ? is that they are inherently additive pieces of the conversion website funnel, rather than causative.? Don?t Measure Social Media with Last-click Attribution Baer?s point ? that social media marketing adds to campaigns ? makes very good sense when you consider how social sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest are used. And it implies that counting clicks directly from a social network to your site ? which may be referred to as last-click attribution ? does not accurately represent social media?s value for building lasting customer relationships or feeding, if you will, other forms of marketing. We addressed this recently in "Google's Purchase Path Tool Helps Merchants View All Marketing Channels," where we explained Google's attempt to measure all steps in the sales process, not just the last click. As an example, a brick-and-click retailer in the northwestern United States has successfully used contests on Facebook to acquire several thousand new email subscribers. In turn, email promotions are some of the company?s highest converting marketing tactics. Here Facebook contests ? which are social media marketing ? do not directly drive traffic or sales. But is nonetheless an important enabler for the email campaigns that do drive traffic and sales. Build Relationships and Connections Lasting customer relationships are not about individual sales or visits. Long-term customers are very valuable to a merchant. They tend to spend more time on the site when they make a purchase, and they are typically far less expensive to market to. Social media marketing https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114552434753283393566 inspires a sense of connection and continuity. Shoppers learn about your business and your company?s personality, and they make dozens of purchases over a number of years. Try not to think about social media in terms of creating an immediate response, but rather a lasting connection. Social Media Does Drive Some Direct Traffic In the context of long-term brand-oriented marketing on social media networks, the traffic and sales that these sites do drive can be a bonus. Put another way, if social media marketing?s primary job is building relationships, adding of 1.55 percent and a conversion rate of about 1 percent is not bad. Imagine an ecommerce site with 3,000 visitors per day. If the Monetate data held true, social media ? in addition to engaging customers long term ? would be sending about 46 or 47 customers to that site every day, adding, perhaps, 15 extra sales a month.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/4037-Don-t-Focus-on-Social-Media-Traffic

Playing with Models: How to Make the Most of Your Marketing Budget

21:32, 28/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Capitalize on all the leads that come from your small business? marketing efforts.  Manage your deals and prospects with the help of a simple CRM like Base.   When it comes to marketing online, it?s all about measuring performance and focusing spend on your successes. From social media to webinars and blog posts, it?s critical you know which of the numerous channels and content make the most sense for reaching your specific buyer. Unfortunately, many commit the detrimental error of only measuring success in terms of conversion rates or quantities. It makes sense on the surface ? the actual dollars generated from your efforts intuitively should matter most. But this approach leads to only prioritizing channels and content that caused the ultimate conversion, while ignoring the path they took to get there. Attribution modeling is one way to measure success in driving a prospect through every stage of the customer life cycle. This method identifies the tools along this journey that drive your ideal customer through the sales funnel fastest. But only if you take a ?fractional? approach, versus ?first-touch? or ?last-touch? attribution models that only measure the the first or last touch points in the customer journey.These alternative approaches put you at risk of wasting  time and money on content and channels that stop or slow the lead from moving through the sales funnel. So how do you create a fractional attribution model? Recently I created the video guide at the bottom of this post that describes exactly how to approach the process. VisionEdge Marketing President Laura Patterson describes the method step-by-step. But first, I will provide a high-level overview of the report here. Map Content / Channels Along Your Customer Journey The first thing you need to do is place your content and channels in buckets according to where they fall in the customer journey Would Linkedin, for example , fall in the connection phase because this happens most often after you?ve already made contact with a customer? And what about Twitter ? Does that lie in the conversations stage because that?s where you usually engage new connections? Once you?ve plotted all of your content and channels in a customer life cycle phase, it?s time to move to the next step. Weight Content According to Their Velocity in Moving Leads Forward Next, you will want to weight these content and channels relative to their impact on the lead. You can choose something as simple as ?low,? ?medium,? ?high,? or go a little more advanced with a scale of 1-10. Apply these weights according to their success in moving the prospect to the next most ideal piece of content or channel. ?The most ideal? would be whatever has the highest success in moving the lead to the next phase. A blog post, for example, might be weighted higher than Twitter in the conversation stage because it moves the lead to a webinar most often. And a webinar moves the lead to a https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114552434753283393566 call with a sales rep, which has the highest rate of converting to a deal. Prioritize Spend on Conduits That Score Highest At the end of this process, you will have defined the ideal customer journey. This might, for example, start with signing up for your newsletter, connecting on Linkedin, downloading a white paper, conducting an online demo and then ultimately chatting online with a salesperson. If this was your highest weighted customer journey, you would know you need to prioritize your budget on each of these channels. This ensures you are making the most efficient use of your limited marketing budget. Also, consider this ideal customer journey might vary by buyer persona, if you have more than one. So repeat this process for every segment you target. Watch the entire video below for a more detailed description of this process.  
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.futuresimple.com/blog/playing-with-models-how-to-make-the-most-of-your-marketing-budget/

Good, Bad Email Design for Ecommerce Merchants

15:15, 28/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Good, Bad Email Design for Ecommerce Merchants May 20, 2013 · by Carolyn Nye       Email design has changed over the years. It has evolved from basic text, to beautiful design with great images, to hybrids that balance images and text. With the majority of shoppers previewing or reading emails on their smartphones, many ecommerce merchants https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114552434753283393566 wonder what the best practices in email design currently are. In this article, I'll review four examples ? two "good" and two "bad" ? of email design. In preparing this article, I first viewed emails on my iPhone. When designing emails for smartphones, follow these key points. Small width. Make sure the emails are no more than 400 pixels wide. Minimize images. Keep images small to decrease the overall size of the email. Finger-based navigation. Buttons and calls-to-action should be large enough to click with your finger without hitting the wrong button. An average adult finger is 45 pixels wide; buttons should have 15 pixels of surrounding white space to prevent tap error. Use responsive design. Consider a responsive design, which will automatically detect the screen size the email is being displayed on and serve the appropriate version. We've addressed responsive design previously, at "Getting Started with Responsive Web Design." Keep simple. Email itself should be simple and actionable for a smartphone. Good: CVS Pharmacy For this email, CVS Pharmacy executes all of the key points well. Its offer is large and obvious. The "Shop Now" call-to-action is isolated in the middle of the email, making it easy to click with a finger. There's also a menu bar at the top with additional options if you aren?t ready to shop, including a link to the pharmacy or other deals. The email loaded very quickly and was easy to read. This is an example of an effective and nice creative from CVS. -- Bad: Shop Irish When I first loaded this Shop Irish email, it took a long time ? roughly 15 seconds ? to completely display on my phone . This may not seem long, but consumers now expect near instant accessibility. They will not wait for emails to load if they take too long. When the email finally did load, I noticed many things wrong, including: The email was busy, without a clear direction; The featured products featured took too much space with an awkward and confusing layout; The call to action ? "Shop now" ? is buried in the header; the email has no other obvious place to click. Enlarge This Image Recipients may not purchase the actual item featured in the email, especially for a site with a large and varied product selection. To be sure, an appealing product with a nice discount or offer will likely see some sales. But shoppers tend to use email as a way to access your site, to shop for the products they are interested in, and to take advantage of a free shipping or a discount. Featuring specific products will spark interest, encouraging clicks and further shopping. So it's important to continually test new or interesting products. -- Good: 1-800-PetMeds I picked this email from 1-800-PetMeds because of its responsive design. The email displays differently on my iPhone than on a desktop client. First, on an iPhone it shrinks to a column format with the most important elements at the top. I can continue to scroll down the email to view the rest of the information. Because of this, the images come out large and clear. 1-800-PetMeds used four links at the top for categories that are likely the most popular, such as "Flea & Tick." Reviewing what areas your email recipients click can help decide the navigation elements to include in future emails. Pick the 3 or 4 most-clicked links and include them in every email. Omit those navigation options with fewer clicks. Enlarge This Image The email also uses a compelling feature of an animated clock to emphasize the offer's expiration date. Sending last-minute or last-chance emails just before an offer expires typically generates higher conversions. Using the clock in this email was a different and interesting way to convey that message. -- Bad: Spirit Airlines This Spirit Airlines email was designed to be viewed on a desktop. When I viewed it on my iPhone, all elements were too small to read or take action on. Here are the areas that need improving. Remove empty space. There is too much white space at the top of the email, this one which pushes the main part down too far. Not smartphone friendly. The email is designed to be viewed on a large desktop screen. The background images on the sides of the email waste valuable space. The offer is odd. 7.5 percent off doesn?t sound exciting; it?s an odd number for consumers to understand. Small text. The text explaining the offer is too small to read.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/4030-Good-Bad-Email-Design-for-Ecommerce-Merchants

Playing with Models: How to Make the Most of Your Marketing Budget

14:43, 27/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Capitalize on http://www.saasaffiliates.com/services/our-pay-for-performance-seo-model/ all the leads that come from your small business? marketing efforts.  Manage your deals and prospects with the help of a simple CRM like Base.   When it comes to marketing online, it?s all about measuring performance and focusing spend on your successes. From social media to webinars and blog posts, it?s critical you know which of the numerous channels and content make the most sense for reaching your specific buyer. Unfortunately, many commit the detrimental error of only measuring success in terms of conversion rates or quantities. It makes sense on the surface ? the actual dollars generated from your efforts intuitively should matter most. But this approach leads to only prioritizing channels and content that caused the ultimate conversion, while ignoring the path they took to get there. Attribution modeling is one way to measure success in driving a prospect through every stage of the customer life cycle. This method identifies the tools along this journey that drive your ideal customer through the sales funnel fastest. But only if you take a ?fractional? approach, versus ?first-touch? or ?last-touch? attribution models that only measure the the first or last touch points in the customer journey.These alternative approaches put you at risk of wasting  time and money on content and channels that stop or slow the lead from moving through the sales funnel. So how do you create a fractional attribution model? Recently I created the video guide at the bottom of this post that describes exactly how to saas marketing platform approach the process. VisionEdge Marketing President Laura Patterson describes the method step-by-step. But first, I will provide a high-level overview of the report here. Map Content / Channels Along Your Customer Journey The first thing you need to do is place your content and channels in buckets according to where they fall in the customer journey Would Linkedin, for example , fall in the connection phase because this happens most often after you?ve already made contact with a customer? And what about Twitter ? Does that lie in the conversations stage because that?s where you usually engage new connections? Once you?ve plotted all of your content and channels in a customer life cycle phase, it?s time to move to the next step. Weight Content According to Their Velocity in Moving Leads Forward Next, you will want to weight these content and channels relative to their impact on the lead. You can choose something as simple as ?low,? ?medium,? ?high,? or go a little more advanced with a scale of 1-10. Apply these weights according to their success in moving the prospect to the next most ideal piece of content or channel. ?The most ideal? would be whatever has the highest success in moving the lead to the next phase. A blog post, for example, might be weighted higher than Twitter in the conversation stage because it moves the lead to a webinar most often. And a webinar moves the lead to a call with a sales rep, which has the highest rate of converting to a deal. Prioritize Spend on Conduits That Score Highest At the end of this process, you will have defined the ideal customer journey. This might, for example, start with signing up for your newsletter, connecting on Linkedin, downloading a white paper, conducting an online demo and then ultimately chatting online with a salesperson. If this was your highest weighted customer journey, you would know you need to prioritize your budget on each of these channels. This ensures you are making the most efficient use of your limited marketing budget. Also, consider this ideal customer journey might vary by buyer persona, if you have more than one. So repeat this process for every segment you target. Watch the entire video below for a more detailed description of this process.  
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.futuresimple.com/blog/playing-with-models-how-to-make-the-most-of-your-marketing-budget/

Lessons Learned: Fall of Communism Leads to Cheap Sheds? Success

05:11, 24/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Lessons Learned: Fall of Communism Leads to Cheap Sheds? Success May 21, 2013 · by Elizabeth Ball       Citizens of Hungary were banned from owning and operating their own businesses from World War II until the communist regime fell in the early 1990s. With no exposure to entrepreneurialism for about 50 years, one Hungarian family, the Panczels, bravely opened a convenience store in Szolnok, a regional town about 75 miles southeast of Budapest, in 1993. Their young son Krisztian obtained invaluable experience by working for his parents in their store after school, on weekends, and holidays. Krisztian met his wife Maria at Szent Istvan University, in Budapest, in his agricultural science classes. When they graduated in 2001, the recession had hampered their chances of work so they backpacked to Queensland in Australia, arriving with $200 and speaking no English. Despite their degrees, they worked as farm hands for four years, learning English, and later worked for the Queensland Departments of Transport, and Natural Resources and Water, as administrative and project officers. The rise of Internet-based retail caught Panczel?s attention, telling Maria they should open an online store of some kind. He soon found a potential product to sell. ?The garden shed for our first home ended up being so bad we had to throw it away and then I thought we could build a business based on good, quality backyard storage,? Panczel said. He discovered Terapeak , a Canadian company that lets potential retailers access eBay sales market intelligence from the last 365 days. ?After a few days of research we started to contact shed manufacturers to see if we could sell their products online.? The couple spent less than $1,000 to start selling sheds on eBay in 2008, where they turned over $250,000 in their first financial year. Revenue grew rapidly to $1.3 million in 2009 when they built CheapSheds.com.au . Revenue more than tripled to $4 million by 2012. Shopping Carts Panczel estimates he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales via three inadequate platforms for Cheap Sheds until January 2013. He spent approximately $5,000 on the company?s first website, developed by a colleague?s relative who had no idea what the platform should do. Panczel hired a freelance programmer to complete the http://www.saasaffiliates.com/ cart, but it was still sub-standard in what it could do. After Cheap Sheds outgrew this first cart, it used a problematic Australian hosted cart for nearly four years that Panczel does not wish to name. ?Unbelievably, the CMS [content management system] displayed pages from the cart?s other online retailers ? such as an air conditioning website ? and many of our pages disappeared.? Panczel estimates the shopping cart lost Cheap Sheds an estimated $350,000 to $400,000 in sales as he and his staff used live chat to connect with customers unable to complete transactions on the website. After an initial trial https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114552434753283393566 with PrestaShop for Cheap Sheds New Zealand , he switched that site to the Magento community open-source platform, which he uses for Cheap Sheds Australia ? the company runs separate sites for each country. ?We heavily customized Magento for our back-end system and use it for our CRM [customer relationship management]. We cannot imagine we?ll outgrow it, and I don?t see the need for an enterprise level platform for any time soon,? Panczel said. Web Design Cheap Sheds keeps its web designers and developers in-house. ?Customers have increasingly higher expectations for businesses to have a nice and practical site and we are constantly striving to improve design and usability,? Panczel said. Credit Card Payments After successfully growing its sales on eBay, Cheap Sheds now has a PayPal relationship manager. ?PayPal has been a very reliable merchant processor over the years. We also have a merchant account with an Australian bank, but we prefer to use PayPal,? Panczel said. Order Management Cheap Sheds created a custom-built order management system in Magento to deal with seven different suppliers? products, most of which are heavily customized and nearly all of them shipped in a different way. ?We took years trying to find an order and customer management solution; we had to build our own,? Panczel said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/4032-Lessons-Learned-Fall-of-Communism-Leads-to-Cheap-Sheds-Success

Who Is a Blogger? What Blogger Does to Make a Living From Blogging?

01:08, 23/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
During Chandigarh Bloggers Meet 2013 , Key Note Speaker Harsh Agarwal  started his presentation with the image shown above. We all agree with the fact stated in image. In additional to the above people also don?t trust in the power of blogging and don?t see it as an opportunity where one can make a living out of it. They still believes pay by performance seo one can?t live with it being a blogger for the rest of their life. Let me tell you about a short conversion, I heard it from someone, can?t recall from whom. Once in a kitty party some modern looking women casually asked a lady ?So, tell me what your son do??. The lady replied back ?He plays chess? Surprised by this answer she clarifies again ?I mean what he does to make a living?? The lady gave the same answer again ? I told you na, he plays chess? ? Aunty Jee, I?m asking about his job or business, not about his hobbies? she asked again, this time in a chafing tone. Lady replied back with a smile on her face ?Actually, I?m Viswanathan Anand ?s mother, and he plays chess for a living?. ?Awe, understood? that modern looking reacted with a defeated look. Wasn?t that an awesome answer guys. truly inspirational. Who says you need to do a 9 to 5 job or to establish a BIG business to make a living. People just follows their passion and money start flowing in as peripheral attach to it. Sachin Tendulkar plays cricket because Cricket is his passion, he don?t play it to earn money, his passion generates huge money for him automatically. Blogging is something, which falls under the same category. People don?t do it as their job. They do it because they are passionate about it. But because these bloggers become so popular and has big fan following base; businesses start paying them money to advertise or write review about their products on their blogs. You do anything exceptional, extra ordinary and they will find a way to commercialise it. Blogging I think is a an extra ordinary Job. Though it was never meant for commercial purpose, but if you do it passionately and become a big brand you can turn it in a commercial activity at any time. Who is a Blogger? Bloggers is a person who writes a blog. Blog is a short form of Web Log. A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the Internet and consisting of posts typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, or a small group, and often covered a single subject (Niche). But recently ?multi-author blogs?  have been  developed, with posts written by  many professional authors.  What Blogger Does to Make a Living From Blogging? Blogger is person who expresses his views,thoughts, opinion, rant, random stories, art,poetry and other forms of writing skills on a blog. But to really make a living out of it one has to do certain task to make it popular enough to make it a big brand and fetch enough consideration traffic to get advertisers attentions. The process of writing a blog is called blogging. But one has to take his blog to the next level where he can establish it as a big BRAND so that businesses start paying them money to promote their goods and services on it. Blogging involve following basic tasks; Writing great appealing content. Marketing content on various social networking sites. Remaining active on social networking sites to build strong community around blog. Commenting on other blogger?s blogs. Update knowledge about blog niche by reading hundreds of blog feeds and news. Attending blogging Conferences, seminars and meet ups to extend their social circle and meet new bloggers and community members. Ways to Monetize a blog? There ways several ways, tools and revenue models with the help of which a bloggers can monetize their blog to earn a living. I?m giving here some basic models in the following list. There can be  other several ways to monetize a blog.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.netprofitmantra.com/who-is-a-blogger-what-blogger-does-to-make-a-living-from-blogging/

Adding Alternative Payment Methods to your Online Store

22:19, 21/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Adding Alternative Payment Methods to your Online Store May 13, 2013 · by Dale Traxler       Many established merchants offer payment methods in addition to credit cards. The most popular alternative by far is PayPal, but there are other options, too. In my experience, adding a single alternative payment method that allows shoppers to avoid using a credit cards is a good idea. In my online jewelry business, we added PayPal Express and saw our checkout abandonment decline by a few percentage points. I became a believer in alternative payment methods at that point. Some customers simply don?t want to enter credit card information in your site and PayPal Express allows you to address that fear. In this article, I'll review the most popular alternative payment methods: PayPal, Checkout by Amazon, and Google Wallet. PayPal Many merchants add PayPal Express as a payment alternative. It is easy to implement and allows customers to bypass your site to make secure payments. With PayPal Express, you simply add a button to your checkout screen. This takes the customer directly to PayPal for a secure payment. PayPal also offers ?Buy Now? buttons that can be embedded in newsletters or blogs. The setup is easy, payments are made through the PayPal, and you will receive funds nearly immediately. You can also use PayPal to process your credit cards. To do this, use Standard PayPal Payment solution. It also offers an Advanced and Pro option. With the Standard solution, the fees start at 2.9 percent + https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114552434753283393566 $.30 per transaction. At a volume of $10,000 or more per month, that rate goes down to 2.2 percent + $.30 per transaction. PayPal also offers a PayPal Here card swiper that attaches to a smartphone. PayPal offers seller and buyer protection, making the transaction less risky for both parties. PayPal offers a dispute resolution process that I found to be reasonable the few times I used it. Amazon Payments Amazon is soliciting merchants for its Checkout by Amazon platform. The advantage it offers is the huge number of consumers with an Amazon ?One Click? account. Those consumers can use that on your store. They also receive the A-to-Z Guarantee, so the risk of purchasing from you is much lower. The disadvantage is you must use Amazon Seller Central. You?ll need to confirm orders and shipments just as though you were an Amazon Marketplace seller. The customers become Amazon?s, not yours. Beyond that, the integration process for Checkout by Amazon is similar to PayPal. If your shopping cart supports the checkout, it is a straightforward addition. If not, you can add an HTML or XML code snippet. Amazon will hold your funds for 3 to 5 days after they are posted as shipped in Seller Central. Amazon's fees are comparable to PayPal?s fees. I do not recommend Checkout by Amazon unless you are already an Amazon Marketplace seller. You are beholden to Amazon's customer response policies, which can take a much time and effort. Google Wallet Google made a huge online-payment push roughly five years ago. I see very few stores using Google Wallet now. I evaluated it several times in my jewelry business, but the integration pay-for-performance marketing with NetSuite, the platform I used, seemed problematic. Merchants also complained that very few buyers actually chose that option. Google Wallet offers many setup choices. You can use a pre-integrated shopping cart, add a "buy now" button for single items, add a gadget or cart to your store, or integrate Wallet using HTML or XML, for a custom implementation. This can take a single hour or many weeks. You can easily add a cart to a Google Spreadsheet or embed in Blogger sites. Google?s fees are similar to Amazon and PayPal. You will be subject to Google?s terms and conditions for fraud protection for you and buyer protection for customers. I have a difficult time seeing an advantage to Google Wallet. I would add PayPal first, before Checkout by Amazon or Google Wallet.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/4022-Adding-Alternative-Payment-Methods-to-your-Online-Store

Ecommerce Trends Point to Bright Future

21:47, 20/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Ecommerce Trends Point to Bright Future May 08, 2013 · by Marcia Kaplan       Over the past five years, ecommerce has grown at a pace at least twice as fast as total retail sales and that trend will continue over the next five years, according to published reports. In 2012, ecommerce had a healthy 14.8 percent growth rate over 2011, easily eclipsing the total retail sales growth rate of 5.3 percent. By 2017, the Internet will account for ten percent of all U.S. retail sales when online sales will reach $370 billion, up pay for performance marketing companies from $231 billion this year, according to Forrester Research. Growth is coming mainly from existing customers, who are spending more money online, rather than from new shoppers. What's Driving Growth? Brick and mortar retailers are getting better at multi-channel offerings. In-store pickup and store returns for more info items purchased online are examples of how these merchants are accommodating customer wishes. Those with good online execution are seeing their online growth outpace their store sales growth. For online-only merchants, publishing customer reviews and presenting 360-degree product views make shoppers feel more comfortable about buying online. Personalization helps to increase sales to existing customers. Tablets Rule M-commerce The increased penetration of web-enabled smartphones and tablets increases the amount of time consumers spend online. While the rapid growth in purchases from mobile devices has caught both analysts and some merchants off guard, it's clear that customers feel comfortable buying via mobile devices, especially tablets, which provide better visual experiences. Twenty percent of visits to leading ecommerce websites originate on mobile devices according to Monetate, a provider of personalization technology. Research firm eMarketer reports that this year, 62.5 percent of all mobile commerce will come from tablets, despite the fact that they have a lower penetration rate than smartphones. That figure will rise to 71.5 percent in 2017. Mobile users? share of U.S. retail ecommerce sales will rise from 15 percent in 2013 to 25 percent in 2017. And people purchasing via mobile devices tend to make higher average orders. Overseas Sales Ecommerce sales are booming in Asia-Pacific with China, India, and Indonesia setting the pace, according to eMarketer. Business-to-consumer sales will grow more than 30 percent this year and China will replace Japan as the region's largest ecommerce market. In 2012, online retail sales in China totaled $179 billion, up 42.2 percent from $126 billion in the previous year, according to the China Ministry of Commerce. Forrester Research estimated Chinese ecommerce sales even higher, at $219 billion. The largest ecommerce company in the world ? Alibaba ? is based in China. The privately held company facilitated $173 billion in sales in 2012. That's more than eBay and Amazon combined. Total Asia-Pacific direct-to-consumer ecommerce sales totaled $378 billion in 2012. Amazon alone had $8.8 billion in sales in Asia in 2012. This year Asia-Pacific is expected to overtake North America as the region with the most business-to-consumer ecommerce sales. In the U.S., computer and consumer electronics is the category with the most online sales, with expected 2013 revenues of $56.8 billion, according to eMarketer. However, by 2016, apparel and fashion accessories will catch up, with each pulling in about $88 billion. Between 2012 and 2017, apparel and fashion accessories along with food and beverage will have the highest compound growth rates, at 17.2 percent and 17.0 percent respectively. What's driving growth in the apparel sector? Social media opinion sharing and better visuals such as body scanning technology, online runway videos, and 360-degree product views. Trends that Have Cooled Daily deals from companies such as Groupon and Living Social have lost their luster. Celebrity curation has also waned. Shoppers seem to trust recommendations from family and friends more than those from paid celebrities. Subscription ecommerce is still raking in venture capital investments but there is a belief that consumers may be tiring of this business model as well and some online merchants have abandoned it. Takeaway for Ecommerce Merchants Most people who feel comfortable purchasing online are already doing so and Forrester Research predicts only 4 million new ecommerce customers this year. Therefore merchants should focus marketing efforts on retaining existing customers rather than trying to lure new customers. Implementing loyalty programs is a good way to minimize customer churn. Making sure that the customer has a good mobile shopping experience is more important than ever. Merchants should consider responsive web design, a technique that renders content in a visually pleasing, usable format on any device. We addressed that topic in "Getting Started with Responsive Web Design."
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/4017-Ecommerce-Trends-Point-to-Bright-Future

You Ask, I Blog

20:47, 19/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
I?ve said before that one great way to get topics for blog posts is to ask your readers . So that?s what I?m doing! If you have something that you think I might be able to answer or help with, or just have an idea for a blog post that you?d like to share, let me know by using the contact form on this site. Note: Almost all of my recent consulting experience has been in the areas of social media, blogging, content development and SEO. Very little of it has been on local search/SEO. So if you have specific questions in that area, https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114552434753283393566 I?ll probably pass your idea on to my partners at Local U . Thx in advance ? I hope you?ll share some great questions/ideas with me! - Matt You Ask, I Blog Advertisement: Local Presence for National Brands Local Market Launch delivers business listings management and local http://www.saasaffiliates.com/services/our-pay-for-performance-seo-model/ presence solutions for national brands, multi-location businesses, franchises, and local SMBs through a growing network of channel partners, including directory publishers, newspaper publishers, broadcast media companies, digital media agencies and certified marketing representatives (CMRs).
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://feeds.smallbusinesssem.com/~/41041360/0/smallbusinesssem~You-Ask-I-Blog/

How to Pivot to a New Industry

20:01, 18/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Regardless of how your small business? focus changes over the years, it is still important to keep track of all your contacts and manage your sales. Stay organized with the help of a simple CRM like Base.    The story goes like this: Years ago, Mark Zuckerberg brought a social media concept to life in the form of a website ? The Facebook. The site was created specifically for Harvard University student interaction. As the years passed, the site grew exponentially, appearing on college campuses across the country. Now, the website is simply ?Facebook,? and it not only brings together students at the same college, but it also connects family, colleagues, and brands and consumers from all over the world. How a company starts is usually not how it ends. Just because a business venture or company is not the same as it was on the day of its creation doesn?t mean it is any less successful. A company?s transformation over time may be just what ensures its success, so consider turning to a new industry or focusing on a different audience for a completely different type of growth. Turning to a New Industry (on Accident or on Purpose) Many founders start their businesses because they think of an idea or a solution to a problem. After launching, the founder noticed some unlikely customers were interested. In Facebook?s case, the website attracted students outside of Harvard. There are other reasons why a company might focus on a different industry. Sometimes, a company can tap the market it?s already in. The only way to continue its growth is to expand into a different industry completely. This is Google?s strategy: Having dominated search since the late 1990s, it has been moving into other markets for the last decade. Maybe it isn?t a matter of your own success, but the success of a new competitor instead. A bigger company enters the same market and makes it difficult to stay afloat. Competition might sting, but it could give you the push you need to change direction. Which New Market Is Best for Your Company? To figure out which new market your company would work well in, do what?s natural and talk to your customers. What more could they gain from your service, or what more do they want to gain? Communicating with your new customers (those you were not marketing to in the first place) is an even better way of testing a new market. Do these customers know other people or companies in that specific industry who would take interest in main page your company? Ask new customers why they are coming to you for your service. It?s a great way to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses in a market you aren?t as familiar with. Create a trial marketing campaign for the new industry. Record the response you get from consumers, and use that to forge a path into future market opportunities. When to Jump from the Old to the New I use the word ?jump? loosely, because a company?s transition from one industry to the next is not as definite. It could merely be an additional service or a change in your product that allows you to break into a new market. For example, Spreedly recently ditched its three-year-old subscription billing system after releasing a tangential product for a new market, which received a great response. They realized the new product?s revenue and market potential was several times bigger than the company?s initial business and took steps to make the new product the focus. If and when you see this happening, you should find a way to move from a familiar industry to a more promising one. In order to enter a new industry, research must be done and precautions must be taken. Ask questions frequently about the new industry. As always, listening to your customers in that industry is important since it?s likely you are not an expert in this area. It is new territory, after all, and you can learn from both new consumers and competitors. This will help you develop a sales pitch for this new audience, and it can lead to improvements in your product or service. Surviving the Transformation Making the transition is not always easy, but it should feel completely natural, like it should have occurred to you before. Impact Dialing began as a service for the political market. We noticed that salespeople started using our tool, even though we were missing features that many of our competitors targeting salespeople had. It turned out that salespeople were frustrated with the complexity of the competitors? products, and they appreciated a simpler solution. We https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114552434753283393566 began marketing to small businesses in addition to the political campaign market. Now that the elections are over, there?s not enough political work to keep us growing; luckily, we had already found that small businesses were looking for a streamlined dialing system, and we could capitalize on that. Now It?s Your Turn Google was originally just a search engine. Today, it?s a shopping comparison tool, a Web browser, and an operating system provider. Amazon began by selling books, but it now sells almost everything. Facebook started out as an exclusive social networking site for Harvard; today, it caters to millions of people without Ivy League status. Impact Dialing was made for politicians, but we also serve salespeople. These businesses made the switch or expanded into new industries in order to provide for the customers who wanted to use the product or service. While these businesses? models may be vastly different, they all succeeded because they listened to both existing and future customers, and they were willing to make the jump. Why can?t you?
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.futuresimple.com/blog/how-to-pivot-to-a-new-industry/

Tools That Turbo-Charge Page Loading Speed of This Site

19:20, 17/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Are you impressed with the page loading speed of this site? If your answer is yes then continue reading as in this post I?m talking about some tools which powered this website to run faster than other sites. if you are not impressed then you can close this window and head-up to some other site on your list or can still read on this post and suggest me if I?m doing something wrong here with website Page Loading Speed. Page loading speed matters a lot. In a survey it has been observed that while surfing the internet usually a visitor waits for on an average 3 seconds for a website to load, if it doesn?t open within this time chances are that he might hit the back button and head up to the next site on his list. Please check and ensure whether your website loads within 3 second time. If it is loading beyond this time then you must consider fixing it with some premium tools I?m explaining here in this post. How to measure Page Loading Speed of your website? The best tool that I come across to check and measure the Page Loading Speed is at Pingdom.com As you can see in the screen shot above, page loading speed is 1.17 second which I think is pretty impressive.  Though I?m still not happy with Page size which is 335 KB, optimally it should not be more than 200 KB for your homepage. The heavier the page size is the more time it will take to load. You can also check other important technical aspects like your DNS Server Health and  loading time of various page elements of your site. My site scores 90 out of 100 on performance grade which I think is fair enough. Read if you need to check other tools; Benefits of Good Page Loading Speed 1. Lower Bounce Rate Your bounce rate is the percentage of visits to your site where the visitor bounces. A ?bounce? is when someone comes to your website and then leaves without visiting any other pages on your site. A good page loading speed gives a site visitor a pleasing browsing experience. If the site takes ages to load then it will definitely frustrate your visitor and as a result he may leave your site without reading your other words of wisdom on various other pages and posts. My site?s bounce rate is 45% , which is not very impressive, it should be between 30% to 40% and average time spent on site is 3 Minutes which i wish could be around 8 to 10 minutes.   How to Reduce Bounce Rate? 2. Increase in Traffic Have you ever notice the entire section on over page speed of Google Analytic . Let me tell you once again that Google hates sites with lower page loading speed and it is on it way to wipe off all those fatty slow pages from its search engines. If somehow your site page loading speed drop off, say due to any crazy reason, you will notice Google baby dropping you out from search engine indexing too. I appreciate Google?s this act personally. So to perform better in search engines site page loading speed is an important factor. If you website want Google to find you, have a better Page Loading Speed, for Google God sake.   Google PageSpeed Service Google has started PageSpeed Services recently. If you Can?t afford any CDN service ( explained below) to turbo-charge  your website you can opt for Google PageSpeed Services. Fast and optimized pages lead to higher visitor engagement, retention, and conversions. The PageSpeed family of tools is designed to help you optimize the performance of your website. PageSpeed Insights products will help you identify performance best practices that can be applied to your site, and PageSpeed optimization tools can help you automate the process. I recommend you to give it a try. See if it works for your site. I have tested it on one of my niche site. It really help speed up page loading speed. Here are some features of Google PageSpeed Service Quick more and easy to set up Keep your edge with the latest optimization technologies Fast and secure with Google infrastructure Happier users, better conversion The service is on Beta, and there are Limited Free Trials, so you must check this out before they make this a PAID service. Here is a short introductory video from Google about their Page Speed Service. 3. Better site navigation experience to users A good page loading speed  allows users to navigate other section of your site. It also helps in lead conversion. If your site is an eCommerce site and your are struggling with it?s low Page load speed, I?m sure you know that you are loosing plenty of money on the Table.  On the other hand a good page loading speed gives users a chance to browsing through products and services and flip as many pages of your site as he wants. It will help him take a wise decision in buying after analysing and comparing a product with various options. How to Increase Site?s  Page Loading Speed? Now after knowing the fact how important it is for a site to have a good page loading speed one must adopt few measures to get going with speed if they are struggling with it. Let me explain what I have done to speed up browsing experience on this site. 1. Hostgator?s VPS hosting This site is now runs on Hostgator VPS hosting. VPS hosting always have an extra edge over Shared hosting service as it serve as your Virtual Private service dedicatedly working for your need. Whereas you can?t get Good page loading speed with shared hosting services. Read more about it : This site runs on VPS hosting level 3 which costs $ 39.95 per month. 2. MaxCDN services CDN (Content Delivery system) is service where they stores images, CSS and Javascprit of your site to their databases located throughout the world, and when a user try to access your site it pulls out this data from the nearest server so the page loading time can be reduced. I guess as far as speed is concern CDN makes all the difference. If you host your site with WordPress ( which I think you must do) then adding CDN to your blog/site would be very easy. MAXCDN works great with WordPress. To mix the CDN services with WordPress you need to install W3 Total Ceche plugin or  WP super Cache plugin  and put the CDN section on. There is a complete documentation about how to integrate it iw available on their site or one of the MAXCDN representative will guide you through live chat.   This site runs on MaxCDN support which costs $ 39.95 per year. 3. Genesis Framework Can a theme contribute in enhancing in Site Page Loading speed? The answer is yes. If your theme is clean with minimal script to load  and with no hanky-funky design, simple design without much crap glued on then it?ll surely help in speeding up site page load. Genesis is a lightweight theme. It also requires minimum plugin support to get maximum features thorugh in-built functionality This site runs on Genesis WordPress Theme Framework which costs $ 59.95 one time. 4. Optimize images through WP Smush.it Plugin I have installed this plugin to optimize images for search engine plus it also compress images which ultimately result in faster page uploading of posts with images. This is what exactly this plugin does; Stripping meta data from JPEGs Optimizing JPEG compression Converting certain GIFs to indexed PNGs Stripping the un-used colours from indexed images This site runs on Genesis WordPress Theme Framework which costs Nothing. I think these four tools are enough for you to get going with Google policy of giving preference to high page loading speed websites. Lets discuss in comments if you have other tools to speed-up the Page Loading speed.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.netprofitmantra.com/tools-that-turbo-charge-page-loading-speed-of-this-site/

Using Vine Videos for your Ecommerce Business

18:48, 16/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Using Vine Videos for your Ecommerce Business May 08, 2013 · by Paul Chaney       Vine is a new iOS app that allows users to record six-second, looping videos ? called "vines" ? on their iPhones, iPod Touches, or iPads. The videos can then be shared with followers on Twitter and Facebook. Users can shoot very short clips, then edit them together to create stop-motion-style animation videos. Businesses are experimenting with different ways to use Vine to promote their products and services. Here are eight suggestions for its use, with examples. 1. Introduce New Products Vine provides merchants with an easy way to inform customers and prospects about new products. Include a link to the product in the Tweet to drive traffic. Candy maker Red Vines used Vine to promote its products with this Tweet soon after the app was launched. better marketing than a super bowl ad. @ redvines : We made a @ vineapp Vine video of Red Vines. #Vineception vine.co/v/b5D7vzrz6OY ? annie lausier (@annie) February 2, 2013 2. Show a Product in Use Draw attention to your products by showing them in use. In the following example, Gap created a Vine video that showcased women wearing various shoes with a particular performance seo style of pants. 3. Encourage Customers to Create Vines Another way to show products is by getting customers to demonstrate them. In this video, a GoPro customer recorded a video of his new camera, which was accompanied with a Twitter hashtag. 4. Take Visitors Behind the Scenes Use Vine to provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your business, its employees, and operations. In social media, people tend to trust other people rather than brands. Use Vine to put a human face on your business. Fashion designer Marc Jacobs shot this vine of employees sporting their personal clothing styles. 5. Create a Contest Retailers can create contests on Vine, adding creativity and excitement to other contest efforts, such as those on Facebook and Pinterest. In this example, Urban Outfitters and Converse invited fans to submit a vine documenting "a day in the life of your Converse sneakers" and Tweet it using the hashtag "#yourchucks." Winners received trips and Urban Outfitters gift cards. Social promotions platform provider Woobox now offers support for Vine in its Video Contests app. 6. Share How-to Tips One of the most highly touted marketing campaigns using Vine comes from building-supply retailer Lowe's. The company created a series of videos that provide tips on how to unscrew a stripped screw, organize cleaning products, and clean a cookie sheet, among others. Dubbed #lowesfixinsix, the videos utilize stop motion animation to quickly teach these lessons. Tom Lamb, chief marketing officer at Lowe's, said of the campaign, "What consumer behavior is forcing us to do is learn to be incredibly concise. We're making an effort to demonstrate that we know a little bit, so [consumers think] it's worth seeing what else we know on our site and in store." 7. Promote with Twitter Ads Twitter now provides affordable advertising options for small businesses. Use a Vine video to gain added attention and get extra mileage out of the promoted Tweet. 8. Have Fun One of the reasons Vine has become such a popular app is because it's fun to use and offers anyone the opportunity to become a mini-movie director. This applies to businesses, too. Have some fun saas marketing plan making these short videos. How to Use Vine
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/4016-Using-Vine-Videos-for-your-Ecommerce-Business

Playing with Models: How to Make the Most of Your Marketing Budget

18:07, 15/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Capitalize on all the leads that come from your small business? marketing efforts.  Manage your deals and prospects with the help of a simple CRM like Base.   When it comes to marketing online, it?s all about measuring performance and focusing spend on your successes. From social media to webinars and blog posts, it?s critical you know which of http://www.saasaffiliates.com/services/ the numerous channels and content make the most sense for reaching your specific buyer. Unfortunately, many commit the detrimental error of only measuring success in terms of conversion rates or quantities. It makes sense on the surface ? the actual dollars generated from your efforts intuitively should matter most. But this approach leads to only prioritizing channels and content that caused the ultimate conversion, while ignoring the path they took to get there. Attribution modeling is one way to measure success in driving a prospect through every stage of the customer life cycle. This method identifies the tools along this journey that drive your ideal customer through the sales funnel fastest. But only if you take a ?fractional? approach, versus ?first-touch? or ?last-touch? attribution models that only measure the the first or last touch points in the customer journey.These alternative approaches put you at risk of wasting  time and money on content and channels that stop or slow the lead from moving through the sales funnel. So how do you create a fractional attribution model? Recently I created the video guide at the bottom of this post that describes exactly how to approach the process. VisionEdge Marketing President Laura Patterson describes the method step-by-step. But first, I will provide a high-level overview of the report here. Map Content / Channels Along Your Customer Journey The first thing you need to do is place your content and channels in buckets according to where they fall in the customer journey Would Linkedin, for example , fall in the connection phase because this happens most often after you?ve already made contact with a customer? And what about Twitter ? Does that lie in the conversations stage because that?s where you usually engage new connections? Once you?ve plotted all of your content and channels in a customer life cycle phase, it?s time to move to the next step. Weight Content According to Their Velocity in Moving Leads Forward Next, you will want to weight these content and channels relative to their impact on the lead. You can choose something as simple as ?low,? ?medium,? ?high,? or go a little more advanced with a scale of 1-10. Apply these weights according to their success in moving the prospect to the next most ideal piece of content or channel. ?The most ideal? would be whatever has the highest success in moving the lead to the next phase. A blog post, for example, might be weighted higher than Twitter in the conversation stage because it moves the lead to a webinar most often. And a webinar moves the lead to a call with a sales rep, which has the highest rate of converting to a deal. Prioritize Spend on Conduits That Score Highest At the end of this process, you will have defined the ideal customer journey. This might, for example, start with signing up for your newsletter, connecting on Linkedin, downloading a white paper, conducting an online demo and then ultimately chatting online with a salesperson. If this was your highest weighted customer journey, you would know you need to prioritize your budget on each of these channels. This ensures you are making the most efficient use of your limited marketing budget. Also, consider this ideal customer journey might vary by buyer persona, if you have more than one. So repeat https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114552434753283393566 this process for every segment you target. Watch the entire video below for a more detailed description of this process.  
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.futuresimple.com/blog/playing-with-models-how-to-make-the-most-of-your-marketing-budget/

CTIA 2014 Partners with NAHB 2014 "Design and Construction Week"

17:36, 14/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Yahoo! News CTIA 2014 Partners with NAHB 2014 "Design and Construction Week" Also partners with http://www.saasaffiliates.com/services/ Parks Associates to co-locate at CTIA 2014? PR Newswire ?  4 hrs ago Print WASHINGTON, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CTIA-The Wireless Association® today announced partnerships with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 2014 "Design and Construction Week" (DCW) and Parks Associates for the CTIA 2014? Super Mobility Week, which debuts September 9, 10 & 11 at the Las Vegas Sands Expo & Convention Center. NAHB and Parks Associates will focus on how wireless technology is being used to connect homes, providing homeowners with the convenience and cost-savings of "smarter" homes.   (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100629/DC28223LOGO-a ) NAHB's 2014 DCW promotes creativity and innovation in home building, design and construction while CTIA promotes technological creativity and innovation in wireless and mobility. As part of the partnership, CTIA and NAHB will co-market events, share thought leadership content and programming at each other's respective events. In addition, Parks Associates will co-locate an executive event focused on the emerging technologies, marketing strategies and business models for the connected home and mobile industries. According to Parks Associates, 2013 U.S. revenues for IP-connected home service bundles, including control, automation and security monitoring services, will reach $780 million and by 2016, revenues will exceed $3.2 billion. "By working with National Association of Home Builders and Parks Associates, our exhibitors and attendees will have access to the experts and innovators who are redefining how wireless technology is seamlessly integrating in our home," said Robert Mesirow, CTIA Vice President and Show Director. "Technology in the home has quickly moved from a 'nice to have' to a 'must have' and wireless plays a huge role.  Partnering with CTIA makes great sense as NAHB works to help builders meet the demands of today's home buyer," said Jerry Howard, NAHB CEO. "Mobility is a key part of the connected home, and with smartphones in 60% of U.S. broadband households, the integration of apps into the connected home ecosystem and mobile environments is creating new appeal for home control systems," said Stuart Sikes, President, Parks Associates. "We are pleased to be hosting an event at CTIA 2014 that integrates consumer data and analysis and offers perspectives from industry leaders." Follow CTIA Shows Twitter:  www.ctiashows.com/twitter (@CTIAShows, #CTIA13) About CTIA Shows CTIA Shows bring together all industries advanced by wireless technology for intense business, learning and networking. CTIA 2013? takes place May 21-23, 2013 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas and MobileCON? 2013 takes place Oct. 16-18, 2013 at the San Jose Convention Center in Silicon Valley. Visit www.ctiashows.com . About CTIA CTIA?The Wireless Association® ( www.ctia.org ) is an international organization representing the wireless communications industry. Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products. CTIA advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government. The association also coordinates the industry's voluntary best practices and initiatives, and sponsors the industry's leading wireless tradeshows. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @ctia | Blog: http://ctia.it/Na6erv | Facebook: http://ctia.it/LCm4Nn | LinkedIn Group: http://ctia.it/Na6cA2 |Google+: http://ctia.it/12PfCrO ABOUT NAHB The National Association of Home Builders ( www.nahb.org ) is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB's builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for this year. Follow us on Twitter: @NAHBMedia. About Parks Associates Parks Associates ( http://www.parksassociates.com ) is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions. The company's expertise includes new here. media, digital entertainment and gaming, home networks, Internet and television services, digital health, mobile applications and services, consumer electronics, energy management, and home control systems and security. Each year, Parks Associates hosts executive thought leadership conferences CONNECTIONS?, CONNECTIONS? Europe, and Smart Energy Summit. SOURCE CTIA-The Wireless Association Georgia man claims to have found copy of Coca-Cola recipe Atlanta?s Cliff Kluge claims to have stumbled upon a 70-year-old copy of the official recipe for Coca-Cola, and he?s selling it on eBay for $5 million. "You don't stumble on things like this very often," Kluge told WXIA. "It's a letter, and a formula, and the processes to make it. I think it's a little [...] Soccer-Kaka, Ronaldinho both out of Confederations Cup squad RIO DE JANEIRO, May 14 (Reuters) - Ronaldinho and Kaka were both left out of the Brazil's squad for the Confederations Cup, named by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari on Tuesday. Scolari had been expected to include at least one of the experienced pair in his squad for the competition which Brazil hosts in June. Chelsea midfielder Ramires was another surprise exclusion. Brazil have played five matches under Scolari, with one win, three draws and one defeat. ...
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://news.yahoo.com/ctia-2014-partners-nahb-2014-design-construction-week-140000096.html

Welcome Local U Philadelphia Attendees (#localu)

10:38, 12/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Twitter ? Who to Follow If you have search engine optimization, pay per performance any questions or feedback about my presentation or the session in general, feel free to leave a comment below. There?s also a Contact button at the top of the page. I?d love to hear from you! Welcome Local U Philadelphia Attendees (#localu) Advertisement: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114552434753283393566 Local Presence for National Brands Local Market Launch delivers business listings management and local presence solutions for national brands, multi-location businesses, franchises, and local SMBs through a growing network of channel partners, including directory publishers, newspaper publishers, broadcast media companies, digital media agencies and certified marketing representatives (CMRs).
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://feeds.smallbusinesssem.com/~/40960903/0/smallbusinesssem~Welcome-Local-U-Philadelphia-Attendees-localu/

When it Comes to Money, Speak with Confidence

08:24, 9/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Manage your small business? sales with the help of a simple CRM and sales tracking app like Base. Does fear surround your money conversations? Many entrepreneurs concern themselves with the question of ?Is my price too high / too low / fair?? The same people suffer from the fear of asking for more money or saying ?No? to a project that is monetarily unfair.  Those new to business are so happy to be asked to join more senior entrepreneurs on projects that they shy away from asking to be paid for their contribution.  They tell themselves ?being seen? will magically bring in the much-needed cash to pay bills and implement projects. My suggestion is to think about both sides of the sales equation. One side is purchasing while the other is the selling.  We are all very comfortable purchasing and many quite enjoy it!  So let?s capture that which brings the joy in purchasing. Do you make purchases on need, want or celebration? Have you consistently purchased from the same company every time you had a need for their service or product? Are there certain types of salespeople you avoid? In these three questions, you will find the answers of how you need to sell your services to your prospects and clients. They have the same needs, wants and deep down desires, and at times will spend more when they are in a celebration mode or close to getting exactly what they want. The requirement to get to this point is to learn the other party?s situation upfront as to why they are even considering you and your business.  What caught their attention that brought them to you?  Only then will you be able to define their needs and speak to them in terms of benefits of your service, talent and working with you. We have all experienced over-exuberant and/or unethical salespeople.  But have you compiled a profile of the type of salespeople you enjoy buying from?  This would be the model to adapt to your personality.  The analysis will provide insight and you will enjoy a much easier time selling. Now create a profile of the companies you continue to frequent for goods or services.  They too have competitors so why do you continue with the same?  Why are you giving them repeat business and very possibly testimonials and referrals?  Once you recognize the reasons, you will be able to implement a workable plan of your own. Now that your mindset is focused on delivering the best customer service possible and building relationships with your clientele, it is time for you to create packages to meet their needs, desires and wish list.  Create three packages ranging from inexpensive to very expensive.  As long as the least expensive is within the client?s stated budget, they recognize you listened well.  Trust develops and sometimes you are surprised with their selection of the most expensive package. The best practice exercise for speaking on the topic of money is negotiation.  Wherever appropriate, and outside of your own business, negotiate.  Should you be the seller, ask for more than you believe will be agreed upon in order to leave from for a negotiated deal.  Should you be the one purchasing, ask to purchase for less than you believe will be accepted.  As skill develops, you will be pleasantly surprised by accommodations you are able to negotiate.  Confidence builds allowing you to expect fair treatment from potential partners, and selling at fair prices to clients versus the https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114552434753283393566 expectation that you will give everything away. Your communication is a subliminal marketing message that you are a leader in your field and are worth the money.  Even more importantly, your business development depends upon it. Once you have the ?it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGLvarFQABE isn?t the money but the value delivered? philosophy mastered, you will be headed for a very lucrative and Smooth Sale!
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.futuresimple.com/blog/when-it-comes-to-money-speak-with-confidence/

Bing Places For Business replaces Bing Business Portal

01:16, 8/5/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
This is interesting: Bing has just announced a significant change to its local business listing management platform. The name is changing from Bing Business Portal to Bing Places for Business (just like Google?s name for its similar platform), and a lot of what I?d call the expanded functionality from the old Business Portal is being stripped out. The new Bing Places for Business site is available at bing.com/places and, after you login, you end up at www.bingplaces.com/DashBoard . There?s a nice touch available during login to the new platform: live online chat to get questions answered about the migration. After logging in, visit site I ended up on a dashboard that looks like this: I haven?t http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGLvarFQABE explored any further, but it looks pretty simple to use. Bing says that it?s dropping a lot of the non-local search functionality from the old Business Portal ? stuff that may have been helpful for local businesses, but really went beyond managing a local online listing: ?as part of our drive to simplify the experience we are retiring a few business promotion and management services that were being previously offered. Starting today we will no longer provide the option of creating deals, coupons, QR codes and mobile sites as well as removing the ability to create and print collateral for your business. Those may not have been heavily-used tools, but the loss of the mobile-friendly site is a shame. It?s not that Bing created some amazing mobile experience for its Business Portal users, but at least it was something ? and something that matched the existing local business data. As far as account and data migration, Bing included this alert during the login process: All changes made prior to April 22nd on Bing Business Portal are part of the new platform and the remaining changes are expected to be reflected on the Places for Business platform by April 29th, 2013. That certainly looks and sounds like an easier migration process than what Google is putting local business owners through, doesn?t it? Will be interesting to see how this plays out. Comments are open if you?ve spent time using the new Bing Places for Business dashboard and want to share some thoughts. Bing Places For Business replaces Bing Business Portal Advertisement: Local Presence for National Brands Local Market Launch delivers business listings management and local presence solutions for national brands, multi-location businesses, franchises, and local SMBs through a growing network of channel partners, including directory publishers, newspaper publishers, broadcast media companies, digital media agencies and certified marketing representatives (CMRs).
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://feeds.smallbusinesssem.com/~/40477999/0/smallbusinesssem~Bing-Places-For-Business-replaces-Bing-Business-Portal/

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