Jul 04

Getting a “Buzz” On

Viral marketing has matured a bit over the years. There seems to have been a shift to the web not just being seen by agencies and brands as another tick box for any ad campaign, which is significant enough, but now being the medium where a campaign is launched to create a buzz before it hits TV and print. Even before a movie is released which used to be seen as the pre-launch buzz-generation activity. Big business “gets it”.

Buzz works! It can work for small and start-up businesses, as well. The planning stage of a viral campaign will set out objectives and develop the viral theme for a buzz. There are three core components to any viral campaign and businesses of any size can use them. They are:

1. The creative material: the viral agent that embodies the message you want to spread in a digital format (image, video, text, etc). The trick is to put together material that people will be eager to share with their family and friends and people are much more eager to share “advertainment” and advertisement.

2. Seeding: distributing and placing the agent online in places that provide the greatest potential spread. Direct viral material downloads or links on specialist viral third-party web sites in order to create awareness and spread before users get to the campaign destination site.

3. Tracking: Measuring the spread of the campaign to provide accountability and prove success. It is absolutely vital that you know what is or is not working. The only way to get that information is to track the results of your seeding.

Lessons have been learned, trends have been developed and there is definitely some science involved in creating a buzz successfully. The buzz technique is here to stay and, if used strategically, it can make a difference to the success of your e-business.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/uncategorized/getting-a-buzz-on-2/

Jul 04

Is Growth Hacking A Marketing Function Or A Mindset?

Around the time I was making my final edit to the chapter on building a marketing department in The Professional Marketer, I happened to be part of a number of conversations on the “growth hacker,” aka “growth hacking.”  The job title “growth hacker” wasn’t in the chapter, and I wondered if it should be.

IFor those not familiar with growth hacking, it is “a marketing technique developed by technology startups that uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure.” The term was coined by Sean Ellis, and popularized in a blog post by Andy Chen called, provocatively, “Growth Hacker is the New VP of Marketing.”

Most marketers looking at the above definition could not be blamed for wondering what’s new. Growth hacking is marketing. The primary tactics of growth hacking are SEO, social media, A/B testing, direct marketing, and viral marketing.  These are all well understood by marketers and marketing teams, and depending on the organization, live in the online marketing and demand generation teams. So why a new role?

Growth hackers point out that what they do is different because they build conversion directly into the product. Hacking, in the positive usage, means clever, agile software development. Growth hackers typically build optimal sign up pages or viral features directly into their products.

The focus on coding sets up engineering versus marketing conflict: Marketers can’t be growth hackers because they can’t code. More than a few blogs and articles throw gasoline on the fire with statement like “formal budgets make marketers lazy” and “traditional marketers are not innovative.”

Recommended for YouWebcast: Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Relationship that Converts to Sales

I agree with Aaron Ginn’s viewpoint below. He recognizes the newfangled title for what it is – marketing.

Growth hacker is a new term for most, but a long held practice among the best Internet marketers and product managers in Silicon Valley.

I take issue with Andy Chen’s statement.

The new job title of growth hacker is integrating itself into Silicon Valley’s culture, emphasizing that coding and technical chops are now an essential part of being a great marketer.

I would agree that knowing your product and knowing your customer are, and always have been, essential to being a great marketer. Suggesting that coding is an essential piece is – I think – pandering to developers fancy themselves as marketers. I have a degree in computer science, but not once did I think that spending time brushing up on Java or Ruby would be more important than thinking about my market and my customers every day.

I think many growth hacking proponents have forgotten that the product itself is part of the marketing mix, just like the other of the Four P’s: price, place and promotion. Creating a product feature that drives adoption is definitely not new.

So how should a VP of Marketing think about growth hacking when designing a marketing team? My thinking is that if you are building a Web, Cloud or mobile product where the goal is to convert thousands or tens of thousands of people, then having a dedicated growth hacker could help. So long as the person understands the product and the market, he or she can be part of the product team, development team, or marketing team.

If you sell to businesses, require fewer conversions, or use online marketing to drive demand for a physical product, then push your online marketing team to drive growth. To the extent you can build features into your product to promote sharing, virality or conversation, do so. Have your product or brand management team specify what I call “growth features” for your development or manufacturing team to build. Growth features are those features designed to drive adoption, rather than deliver utility. You can also create a cross functional “growth team” with representatives from sales, marketing, development and product/brand management.

Thinking about growth, and creating teams to drive growth, is a positive thing. I had assumed most companies think about this every day, but if we are flagging in that area as a profession, I am not against a renewed emphasis on growth to keep the peace and drive prosperity. To that end, I see growth hacking as a marketing mindset, not a marketing function.

What do you think? Do you have growth hackers in your marketing department?

* * *

This post originally appeared in Matthews on Marketing.

[Photo Credit: Observe the Banana]

This article was written for Business 2 Community by Tim Matthews.
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Jul 03

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Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/youtube-marketing-washington-times/

Jul 02

topseos.com Reports ReputationManagementConsultants.com as the Best …

NAPLES, FL, Jul 02, 2015 (Marketwired via COMTEX) —
topseos.com, the independent authority on online marketing, has named
ReputationManagementConsultants.com the best enterprise reputation
management company for July 2015. Each month the independent research
team at topseos.com investigates thousands of companies to identify
which companies produce the most remarkable solutions. The
recommendations are updated on a monthly basis to account for the
latest achievements within the online marketing industry.

These services are investigated through a meticulous evaluation
process to determine which services to feature in the rankings. While
there are thousands of enterprise reputation management services, the
rankings are compiled of the absolute best the search marketing
industry has to offer. The independent research team evaluates the
competing services across five areas of evaluation in order to
determine their overall level of competency in areas including
monitoring, reporting, needs analysis, strategy development, and
responsiveness.

To supplement the research the independent research team also
connects with client references provided by the competing firms. When
connecting with clients the research team delves into the client’s
overall satisfaction. Insight from clients is used to better
understand the strengths and competitive advantages of the firms
being analyzed.

ReputationManagementConsultants.com has been awarded the rank of top
enterprise reputation management firm in the monthly rankings at
topseos.com due to their exceptional customer service, their
comparative performance over previous months, and their dedication
towards excellence. It is due to this information that topseos.com
suggests buyers of internet marketing solutions consider
ReputationManagementConsultants.com.

About ReputationManagementConsultants.com

ReputationManagementConsultants.com helps their businesses create and
maintain a positive online reputation. Their unique service helps
businesses either maintain a positive online reputation or assists
businesses in cleaning their current reputation. Through established
online marketing techniques ReputationManagementConsultants.com works
to repair the online reputation of their customers while also taking
steps to create a long-term positive image in major Search engines.

About topseos.com

topseos.com is a well-known independent authority on search marketing
solutions. The central ambition of topseos.com is to uncover and
publish those individuals or agencies supplying the top search engine
marketing solutions all over the world. A specialized team of
researchers examine thousands of applicants each month who are
seeking to be ranked as a top search engine marketing product or
service by the independent authority.

Those interested in applying for the rankings can visit:

http://www.topseos.com/apply-for-rankings-research/


strongContact Information
/strong Marc Stephens
 800-874-2458
 9045 Strada Stell Ct.
 Naples, FL 34109



SOURCE: topseos.com

(C) 2015 Marketwire L.P. All rights reserved.

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Jul 01

Marketing local business with local web design

Think about this for a second: every person in the world with access to the Internet is a potential customer for your business, no matter how big or small. Sounds a little intimidating when you think about it, but it’s true. Now think about the competition that exists for those virtual customers.

It’s pretty daunting, to say the least. Now take that same scenario and apply it to the thousands of businesses competing for customers – both visiting and local—here in the Napa Valley. These customers are taking identical steps to search the web for best available options before deciding to visit, browse, inquire or purchase.

What are you doing to give yourself the edge among the local competition? Do you have a website? Does it give the best possible representation of your business, products and services provided? Does it provide an opportunity to collect customer data?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, I highly recommend that you get in touch with Invictus Marketing. Invictus recently launched an offshoot of their marketing company called Invictus Local (invictuslocal.com). It’s locally-owned and -operated and focuses on design, development, maintenance and support.

Many of the current subtle changes that you may have noticed on napachamber.com are the result of working closely with Prashant Patel and Kelvin Wong. In August, the Chamber will launch a completely overhauled site with more functionality, easier navigation and a much better representation of the “new” organization, members and partners.

Websites are not often considered as part of the overall business plan. For someone without a marketing background, the process of actually building one can be a little intimidating. Invictus Local takes the stress and strain away, and makes it really easy for you to have a new responsive website that is mobile, tablet, and desktop friendly. Those potential customers will have the best possible experience on your website no matter what device they use.

It’s one-stop shopping for everything related to your site. Design, development, maintenance, security updates — even website updates if you don’t have designated in-house marketing capabilities. Invictus Local also includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to ensure your business can be found on more search sites, mobile services, and social networks.

A few examples of local clients utilizing the services of Invictus Local include RBO and Co. (rboco.com) and Grace’s Table (gracestable.net). Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza also called on Invictus immediately following his appointment to provide an avenue of communication for residents District 4 (apedroza.com).

The small company is the only “badged” Google Partner in the Napa Valley. That badge is the recognition dedicated to companies that excel using the Mountain View-based company’s products and best practices, essentially online marketing companies trusted by Google.

Don’t take my word for it. Call Mauro Pando, owner of Grace’s Table. Ask him if Invictus Local helped made a business difference. Engaging, connecting and collaborating, all made possible by your Napa Chamber of Commerce.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/marketing-local-business-with-local-web-design/

Jun 30

Intel Capital invests in $39M round for certificate and key management startup …

Venafi has raised a huge $39 million round of funding from Intel Capital, QuestMark Partners, and Silver Lake Waterman.

The encryption key and security certificate manager says it’s using the money to expand its client base and to create new products for the burgeoning Internet of Things market.

Cryptographic keys and security certificates are used to ensure that a person is communicating with a trusted entity on the web or on an enterprise network. For instance when a website’s security certificate is out of a date, many web browsers will advise against connecting to it. In addition to expiring, keys and security certificates can also be forged and hacked, allowing bad actors to obtain confidential information about a business network or a person.

Venafi offers a system that manages those keys and security certificates so that employees don’t accidentally give an unknown hacker access to their enterprise network.

“We find all the certificates and then sort them out and say these are helpful, these are hurtful,” says Jeff Hudson, CEO of Venafi. The automated system protects trusts certificates and keys, replaces bad ones with trusted ones, and blocks those that can’t be fixed. Venafi’s software also integrates with a variety of cyber security platforms and products from Blue Coat, A10 Networks, Symantec, Verisign, Palo Alto Networks, and others.

In terms of expanding the business, Hudson says that one of the biggest new markets his company is interested in is the connected home and office. Each Wi-Fi enabled device whether it’s a connected light system or physical security system will have security certificates and keys that need to be managed. Though business executives may not realize, connected devices in an enterprise network serve as an additional entry point for hackers. The trick for Venafi will be getting businesses to understand why they need to manage security certificates for seemingly innocuous Internet connected devices.

In the coming months Venafi will be hiring across its departments to make way for new business.

 

More information:

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Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/intel-capital-invests-in-39m-round-for-certificate-and-key-management-startup/

Jun 29

When your scale and fridge conspire to make you lose weight, the Internet of …


There are some things most of us don’t want to share with Facebook and Google. (Bigstock)

Your toaster will soon talk to your toothbrush and your bathroom scale. They will all have a direct line to your car and to the health sensors in your smartphone. I have no idea what they will think of us or what they will gossip about, but our devices will be soon be sharing information about us — with each other and with the companies that make or support them.

It’s called the Internet of Things, a fancy name for the sensors embedded in our commonly used appliances and electronic devices, which will be connected to each other via WiFi, Bluetooth, or mobile-phone technology.  They will have computers in them to analyze the data that they gather and will upload this via the Internet to central storage facilities managed by technology companies. Just as our TVs are getting smarter, with the ability to stream Netflix shows, make Skype calls, and respond to our gestures, our devices will have increasingly sophisticated computers embedded in them for more and more purposes.

The Nest home thermostat already monitors its users’ daily movements and optimizes the temperature in their homes. It reduces energy bills and makes their houses more comfortable. Technology companies say they will use the Internet of Things in the same way: to improve our energy usage, health, security, and lifestyle and habits.

Well, that is what they claim. In reality, companies such as Apple and Google want to learn all they can about us so that they can market more products and services to us — and sell our data to others. Google Search, Gmail, and Apple Maps monitor our life for that purpose but are free and very helpful; and so will the new features on our devices be inexpensive and useful. They will tell us when we need to order more milk, eat our medicine, rethink having that extra slice of cheesecake, and take the dog for a walk. It’s a Faustian bargain, but one that most of us will readily make.

The ability to collect such data will have a profound effect on the economy. McKinsey Global Institute, in a new report, “The Internet of Things: Mapping the value beyond the hype,” says that the economic impact of the Internet of Things could be $3.9 to $11.1 trillion per year by 2025 — 11 percent of the global economy. It will reach far beyond our homes and create value through productivity improvements, time savings, and improved asset utilization; by monitoring machines on the factory floor, the progress of ships at sea, and traffic patterns in cities; and through the economic value of reductions in disease, accidents, and deaths. It will monitor the natural world, people, and animals.

As CLSA analyst Ed Maguire explains it, when manufacturers connect their products, they gain insights into the distribution chain, into usage patterns, and into how to create iterative products.  Turning electronic products into software-controlled machines makes possible continuous improvements both to the machines and to the business models for using them. The constant improvement in features that we see in our smartphones will become common on our other devices. Maguire says that companies will be able to “offer an experience or utility as a service that previously had to be purchased as a physical good.”

Everything will be connected, including cars, street lighting, jet engines, medical scanners, and household appliances. Rather than throwing appliances away when a new model comes out, we will just download new features. That is how the Tesla electric cars already work — they get software updates every few weeks that provide new features. Tesla’s latest software upgrades are enabling the cars to begin to drive themselves.

But the existence of all these sensors will create many new challenges. Businesses have not yet figured out how to use the data they already have. According to McKinsey, for example, oil rigs have as many as 30,000 sensors, but their owners examine only one percent of the data they collect. The data they do use mostly concern anomaly detection and control — not optimization and prediction, which would offer the greatest value.

Companies are also reluctant to change their business models, which they would need to do in order to offer better experiences and new methods of pricing. Sensor data will tell product manufacturers how much their products are used and will allow them to charge by usage. They will be able to bundle product upgrades and new services into usage charges. But that will mean accepting payment retrospectively rather than in advance, and will require them to build business operations that focus on data and software, with new organizational structures. So they will be reluctant to change. But creative new start-ups will take advantage of technology advances and put incumbents out of business. Note how Uber is using the technologies in our smartphones to disrupt the taxi industry. That is a prelude of things to come.

My greatest concerns in all this are the loss of privacy and confidentiality. Cameras are already recording our every move in city streets, in office buildings, and in shopping malls. Our newly talkative devices will keep track of everything we do, and our cars will know everywhere we have been. Privacy will be dead, even within our homes.

Already, there are debates about whether Facebook and Instagram can and should be able to legally use our likes and the pictures we upload for marketing purposes. Google reads our e-mails and keeps track of what we watch on YouTube in order to deliver advertisements to us. Will we be happy for the manufacturers of our refrigerators to recommend new flavors of ice cream; for our washing machines to suggest a brand of clothes to buy, or for our weighing machines to recommend new diet plans? They will have the data necessary for doing this — just as the maker of your smart TV maker is learning what shows you watch. Will we be happy for criminals and governments to hack our houses and learn even more about who we are and what we think?

I am not looking forward to having my bathroom scale tell my refrigerator not to order any more cheesecake, but know that it is an amazing — and scary — future that we are rapidly heading into.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/when-your-scale-and-fridge-conspire-to-make-you-lose-weight-the-internet-of/

Jun 28

Apple Can Skate by Taylor Swift, but Not Product Missteps

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