Jun 22


Yale SOM Student Clubs

Among our 40+ student clubs are several that foster students’ leadership in the marketing disciplines through workshops, roundtables, conferences, and fundraisers, including the Design Innovation Club, Marketing Club, Retail Club, and YCCI Editorial Board. 

Yale SOM Conferences and Events

The Center for Customer Insights hosts a number of events, conferences, and eminent speakers throughout the year. Students have an opportunity to attend many of these events and to engage with visiting corporate partners through volunteer work.

Yale CCI Student Fellows Program

Fellows are an elite group of marketing and business leaders who have been recognized by the Yale Center for Customer Insights for their contributions to the development and dissemination of new customer insights and the practical applications of those insights.

Yale CCI Colloquium on Marketing Leadership

The Colloquium on Marketing Leadership hosted by the Yale Center for Customer Insights brings leaders in marketing, insights, and innovation together with students and faculty to share personal perspectives on their careers, companies, and industries. It explores the latest challenges, opportunities, and developments in the world of marketing, from a wide variety of disciplines, perspectives, and backgrounds. Recent speakers included Nielsen, Converse, Procter Gamble, and McKinsey leaders. View a list of recent speakers.

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Jun 21

David Whitaker Lectures in Boston on Digital Marketing Strategies

BOSTON, June 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — At a recent lecture to website and mobile app developers, digital marketing strategist David Whitaker discussed his keys to success in navigating an ever-evolving digital landscape. “It is easy to become overwhelmed as a small business owner. While it may seem obvious that having some form of online presence will be valuable for their business, understanding the language and jargon necessary to compete in that digital environment can be overwhelming.” What is digital marketing and why is it such a critical component for a small business? What strategies should they be focusing on? These are the kinds of questions that business owners want to know more about and it’s important that digital marketing professionals be prepared to answer them.

A seasoned professional in the digital development arena.

A seasoned professional in the digital development arena.

Website and mobile app developers learn about the tools necessary for effective digital marketing.

Website and mobile app developers learn about the tools necessary for effective digital marketing.

At a recent lecture to website and mobile app developers, digital marketing strategist David Whitaker discussed his keys to success in navigating an ever evolving digital landscape.

At a recent lecture to website and mobile app developers, digital marketing strategist David Whitaker discussed his keys to success in navigating an ever evolving digital landscape.

Website and mobile app developers learn best practices for digital marketing from David Whitaker.

Website and mobile app developers learn best practices for digital marketing from David Whitaker.

Mr. Whitaker started the discussion by focusing on what digital marketing is and what tools are necessary to compete in a technological space where small business owners might not be familiar. “Digital marketing is a term that incorporates business marketing along with the digital tools necessary to do this successfully in an online space: websites, mobile apps, email, search engines and social media. By having such tools at your disposal, small business owners are more likely to move their business forward and take advantage of the efficiencies of scale that the internet affords.” The second half of the lecture involved some solid places to start for any digital marketing professional working with small business owners.

Start a blog. “Blogs are a great way to get those who might be interested in a product or service to learn more about the people behind it. Whether you’re sharing information about new products being launched or the people behind the scenes, blogs are a great way to enlighten and educate readers while building trust in a brand.”

David Whitaker, a seasoned professional in the digital development arena, felt that video content for social media is a “game changer.” David explained how video is the fastest-growing segment of digital marketing and whether it involves posting pictures on Instagram or to a company’s Facebook page, people gravitate to video as a means of learning with a visual sense rather than having to read text all the time. “When you use videos in your digital marketing campaign, you’re adding a more approachable element to your business which is extremely effective for building brand awareness and building up a customer base.”

Another great tool for a digital marketing professional is the mastery of the social media platform. David Whitaker explained that “while it is important to be on them all, mastering one is essential for small business owners.” David advised, “Whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter, try to start with the one platform that you feel your client’s customer base would use. Trying to manage a dozen different social media platforms can be overwhelming and leave you lacking in quality as a result of frustration. Best to start slowly and learn what works before taking on additional platforms.”

There are many more digital marketing strategies to consider, but attempting to take on too much at a time can leave people feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Slow, steady progress is what is necessary to reap the rewards that the internet offers. “Slow you grow; fast you crash” is what David says. Small business owners are already wearing multiple hats and now having to learn all the ins and outs of the digital marketing world can be too much to handle, and this is why many small business owners will be turning to digital development professionals (like the website and mobile app developers attending the lecture) for their digital marketing needs.

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Jun 20

Top 9 most effective methods for internet marketing

Published Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2018, 8:39 am

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marketing seoIn the recent times, internet marketing has remarkably reshaped the marketing sector. Also referred to as e-marketing, digital marketing or web marketing, internet marketing involves all tactics used to promote products and or services over the internet. With the vibrant online community, internet marketing has fast gained traction and is fast establishing itself as a great alternative to the traditional forms of marketing.

At the moment, virtually every business commands an online presence of some sort. With its inclusivity, despite the nature and size of the business, all kinds of businesses have established an internet presence. The major objective, of course, is to gain an extensive reach to its potential customers, and better still, do this with the minimal amount of resources possible. It helps maximize rewards while on a budget.

As an inexpensive way or reaching your target market, internet marketing takes many forms in the digital world. They include tactics such as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), blogging, social media marketing and banners among many others. They both pack immense benefits, which will be briefly covered below. To learn even more, stay updated by visiting The Economic Secretariat website.


Internet marketing is generally low-cost. This is, of course, in comparison to the traditional forms of marketing. They require a small initial investment, and are, therefore, ideal for both startups and established businesses.

Numerous Tactics

There are numerous tactics comprising digital marketing. As mentioned earlier, they include but not limited to PPC, SEO, blogging, and other equally productive ways of online advertising. These different formats offer businesses the opportunity to select the one that is ideal and a perfect match to their advertising needs.

Rapid and Time-Efficient

Digital marketing is characterized by its rapid nature, swiftly presenting products and services to the target customers and saving the business valuable time that would have otherwise been lost on traditional forms of marketing. This also means that the benefits are achieved sooner rather than later.

Develops Loyalty

With a two-way communication element, internet marketing comes off as subtle and yet effective way of marketing. Target customers are presented with engaging content about products and services and an opportunity to learn from online reviews. For that reason, it helps to develop trust and customer loyalty to the business brand.

Now that we have looked at the benefits of internet marketing, which are obviously desirable, let us now dig deeper and understand the several ways you can integrate this creative form of marketing into your business.

  1.  Use of Search Engines

The use of search engine advertising techniques is slowly becoming the favorite of many businesses. Including SEO and PPC tactics, this is one effective strategy. The two techniques both seek to boost the business website ranking in search results. Search results refer to the list that presents when users key in terms that relate to your products and services online. They include organic search results, which are free, and paid search results.


This digital marketing technique seeks to improve the online visibility of a business website in organic search engine results. It is developed over time by the use of keywords and titles that are relevant and inclusive to realize a high ranking and drive more users to your site.


This model, unlike SEO, is paid for. Businesses work with search engine providers, Google, for instance, and agree on sponsored Google Adwords, which you pay for each time a click is made. Depending on your budget, you can limit the number of clicks to what you can afford. It is, therefore, good for businesses with a huge marketing budget and ones working on a budget alike.

  1. Social Networks

With a huge number of subscribers on social networks, they have distinguished themselves as powerhouses off advertising. Businesses seeking to reach a larger number of customers are increasingly resorting to social networks to promote their merchandise and services. They include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. Depending on your preference, you can target a given group or segment of customers. With targeted customers, conversion chances are remarkably increased.

  1. Banners

This technique has been in use for some time now. It consists of a tactically placed advert within a web page that is sure to catch the eye of web visitors. Upon clicking on it, visitors are redirected to your site of choice.

  1. Pop-Ups

This is a rather aggressive form of marketing that when not used properly, could come off as annoying and frustrating. Pop-ups can be used in your own website or other websites. When clicked on, they direct the user to what you want them to see. It was popular some time back, and can still be as effective as before if properly delivered.

  1. Blogging

This strategy calls for creativity through progressively and continually posting content on your blog that resonates with the customers. It uses storytelling and sharing of experiences to deliver an advertisement. It works better with blogs that have a large following as information gets widely dispersed.

  1. Remarketing

This is a follow-up technique that works quite similarly to PPC model of advertising. It, however, focuses on return visitors and seeks to convert them after failing to do so on their initial visit. When not delivered correctly, it could come off as desperate and aggressive. With careful implementation, this technique can be very profitable and maximize returns on investment.

  1. Video Advertising

This tactic involves the use of videos to promote products and services. Online platforms such as YouTube and Vine provide an ideal environment for it to thrive. The essence is to share videos about a product or service to as many people as possible. They could be how-to, explainer or customer testimonial videos designed to advertise goods and services.

  1. Email Marketing

Email marketing has been used for some time now and may not be as effective as before. Currently, to make it more effective, you should consider delivering the emails in the form of friendly and tolerable messages that won’t be sent directly to spam by customers. When delivered creatively, users won’t delete it and can make for a good internet marketing strategy.

  1. Advertising on Cell Phones

At the moment, virtually everyone owns a Smartphone or some form of mobile device. Businesses are now creating their advertisements, be it text or video, optimized for cell phones. As they create websites for PC users, cell phone users are put into consideration by optimizing the website for mobile access. Videos too are created in formats that can be easily opened and viewed via mobile devices.

With the increased internet use, it is only proper for businesses to adapt accordingly and take marketing to a whole new level. Internet marketing, through the various internet marketing tactics, has the potential or reaching a large number of customers, including target groups to market their products and services. Proper implementation of strategies such as search engine marketing, blogging, video marketing, email marketing, social networks and other creative digital marketing techniques can go a long way towards product and service promotion.



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Jun 19

What the Internet of Things Means for Loyalty Marketers

With the rising popularity of virtual assistants, fitness trackers and smart home appliances, the Internet of Things has huge implications for retail and loyalty marketing. This new place in customers’ homes offers the chance to capture real-world consumer data. Find out how to use the IoT to improve the customer experience. 

Heather Gouinlock, Client Lead, Global Solutions, LoyaltyOne


With the rising popularity of the Amazon Dash button, Google Home, Nest thermostats, Fitbit activity trackers and smart home appliances like refrigerators and washer/dryers, the Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a hot topic for both consumers and businesses. The excitement has been especially pronounced in the retail industry, where the phrase regularly pops up in online forums, during conference keynotes and in the industry trades. The impact of in-store applications like scannable packaging are already commonplace, but despite all the attention, few brands have fully realized the impact the IoT could have on how they interact with customers.

Gartner forecasted that 8.4 billion connected things would be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016. And that number is predicted to reach 20.4 billion by 2020. Smart home devices alone (smart thermostats, lighting controls, motion sensors, etc.) are now owned in 15 percent of households in the U.S. As smart devices become more prominent, they will allow brands to capture a massive amount of real product usage data and many other useful user stats. In other words, the IoT will allow brands to track actual behavior rather than just stated behavior.


The opportunity

For loyalty marketers in particular, this opens up opportunities to drive device adoption, reward regular usage behaviors and engage customers in new and unexpected ways. That ability is critical. We are moving into an era when consumers expect brand interactions to be contextually relevant and woven into their everyday lives. The connected devices of the IoT, and the continuous insights they provide to marketers enable that in a seamless way, following the day-to-day lives of consumers beyond the store and online.

IoT also opens up the opportunity for CPG companies and manufacturers of in-home devices to have a direct touchpoint with the consumer, with less reliance on retail partners. That access means they can access customers and behavioral data, and track the customer journey (both of which are increasingly controlled by tech giants like Google and Facebook). That control means they have better leverage in their negotiations with retail and e-commerce giants like Amazon.


What it means for loyalty

This new place in customers’ living rooms (or kitchens, garages, laundry rooms, etc.) holds huge potential for loyalty marketers. For the first time, brands will be able to capture meaningful data about how consumers use and interact with products in their day-to-day lives. The IoT will give insight into how, where, when and possibly even why customers are interacting with brands. Those details can be used to personalize the customer experience on a one-to-household level. They can also be used to deliver loyalty program experiences to members in the most contextually relevant and impactful moments.

But the space is evolving rapidly, and this new direct access to consumers is valuable enough that all sorts of companies will be vying for their place in people’s homes. To maintain access, companies need to build proprietary data sets and loyalty strategies focused on using the IoT in a fun and meaningful way. They also need to explore partnerships that allows them to interweave behavioral data with other customer insights, which will lead to less one-dimensional, more personalized experiences.

For example, a toothbrush manufacturer could make brushing more exciting by using a connected product to track users’ habits, engaging users through a digital app with extended experiences and prompting them with rewards for regular use. This could include special offers and reminders when it’s time to buy a replacement brush head, or make a dentist appointment. It could also be combined with an offer for toothpaste discounts.

All this is to say that the world of loyalty marketing can (and should) expand to new brands and categories — something Global Solutions, LoyaltyOne is facilitating for their clients already. Brands, traditionally intermediated from their customers, are now pursuing direct-to-consumer strategies.


Exchanging Value for Information

According to a survey by Intel Security, a majority of people worldwide indicated they might be willing to share personal data collected via smart home devices in exchange for money. Millennials are more comfortable with sharing their behavioral data than other generations. Companies that pair a rewards proposition with a connected device will maximize the potential benefits of IoT adoption in the home. 

Some companies are doing this already. Nest offers Rush Hour Rewards by Nest where customers can earn payments for saving energy during peak demand periods. To participate, customers opt to allow their thermostat to automatically tune temperatures before and during peak hours to reduce the strain on the electrical grid and the energy company. The program allows Nest to gather valuable data on energy usage for resale on aggregate to governments and energy companies, and the customer gets savings in return.

The proliferation of the IoT is only going to grow, and brands have a unique opportunity to get ahead of the curve by building their capabilities now and/or by integrating with top smart devices. With access to this direct source of data, opportunities abound for new types of brands to explore loyalty programs, and for brands with existing programs to use enhanced data and presence in customers’ homes to provide even more relevant and engaging experiences.

And IoT applications will go far beyond the home, all the way to smart cities. Look out for my next COLLOQUY piece in this series, which will explore best practices for the many out-of-home applications of connected devices.


Global Solutions, a division of LoyaltyOne, specializes in consumer loyalty, customer experience design and management. If you’re interested in learning more about how the IoT can apply to your loyalty program, contact Heather Gouinlock at hgouinlock@loyalty.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/what-the-internet-of-things-means-for-loyalty-marketers/

Jun 18

PTC FlexPLM Software Enables Leading CPG Company, Hunter Fan, to Reinvent Merchandising Processes

Long-time PTC Customer Extends Product Lifecycle Management from Product Design and Manufacturing to Merchandising with PTC FlexPLM

BOSTON–PTC (NASDAQ: PTC) today announced Hunter Fan Company is expanding its PTC product portfolio to include PTC FlexPLM® retail software, in addition to its existing use of PTC’s Creo® CAD software and PTC’s Windchill® PLM solution. Implementing PTC FlexPLM will enable Hunter Fan to consolidate systems and manual activity that persist beyond the engineering bill of materials (BOM). PTC FlexPLM will also enable improved efficiency of systems and resources to increase design accuracy and speed to market, and tie information together.

Hunter Fan is the world’s original ceiling fan manufacturer. With a heritage of over 100 years, Hunter Fan continues to provide performance, comfort, and everyday style for any room, giving consumers confidence, peace-of-mind, and ultimately more control over their home environment. Today’s Hunter fans offer more lighting choices, blade finishes, mounting options, and beautifully crafted housings than ever before.

“We’ve been partners with PTC for many years and are excited to write yet another chapter. PTC’s commitment to innovation and digital transformation through PLM, IoT, and augmented reality aligns with Hunter Fan’s ambition to connect with customers and deliver the perfect fan,” said Tom Breeden, vice president of engineering, Hunter Fan. “We have focused on improving worker efficiency and increasing our speed of innovation by extending PLM capabilities further into our organization and by continuing to leverage PTC’s best-in-class software.”

Lisa Keepers, director of product management, Hunter Fan, added, “We’re extending real-time data across the full product development cycle. FlexPLM enables visibility to our entire portfolio. This comprehensive view allows our teams to make better decisions sooner – ultimately delivering new products to market faster.”

Hunter Fan expanded its use of PTC software to include FlexPLM for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Enabling visibility across the entire product lifecycle covering design briefs, initial seasonal developments, and planning offerings by customers and markets
  • A single product package inclusive of CAD data, product information, artwork, guides, and documentation
  • Ease of use with an integrated system, making the configuration and addition of new product attributes, variants, and sourcing information quicker and more accurate
  • PTC’s large community of consumer products customers with which to share ideas, best practices, and strategy.

“Retail and consumer products companies today are realizing that technology is changing the way we create, manufacture, and merchandise products. Brands like Hunter Fan, with a deep history in product innovation, are a testament to the power and potential that technology can infuse into retail and consumer products,” said Eric Symon, general manager, retail, PTC. “Hunter Fan is embracing the true definition of complete product lifecycle management with its expansion into merchandising with the PTC FlexPLM solution.”

To learn more about how to bridge the gap between your engineering department and other key stakeholders to deliver on-trend products to market faster and more efficiently, join representatives from Hunter Fan and experts from other leading consumer products companies at the sold-out LiveWorx® 18 global technology conference and marketplace for solutions engineered for a smart, connected world. Executives from Hunter Fan, Archer Grey, Specialized Bicycle Components, and PTC will be sharing additional insights during a consumer products panel discussion this Monday, June 18 at 2:30 pm in room 107ABC.

Additional Resources

The announcement of any particular selection of PTC software is not necessarily indicative of the timing of recognition of revenue therefrom or the amount of revenue for any particular period. In addition, in many cases PTC’s software must be successfully implemented and deployed to enable the customer to achieve its business objectives. The announcement of a customer’s selection of PTC software does not indicate that applicable implementation and deployment activities are complete.

About Hunter Fan Company
The maker of ‘Trusted Fans for Inspired Spaces’ since 1886, Hunter Fan Company is the world’s original ceiling fan manufacturer. As the #1 most installed ceiling fan for over 100 years, Hunter continues to provide a deep heritage of performance, comfort and everyday style for any room, giving consumers confidence, peace-of-mind and ultimately more control over their home environment. The Memphis-based brand is in the midst of an unprecedented new product launch — offering an array of over 100 new models, from rustic and contemporary designs to classic and retro statement pieces. In addition, the brand has recently debuted their exclusive line of Wifi-Enabled SIMPLEConnect™ fans, which are now compatible with both Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa. As an industry-leader, Hunter’s cutting-edge design and quality craftsmanship continues to bring unmatched performance into every space. Hunter ceiling fans are available on Hunterfan.com, as well as in lighting showrooms, home centers and online retailers nationwide.

PTC helps companies around the world reinvent the way they design, manufacture, operate, and service products in and for a smart, connected world. In 1986 we revolutionized digital 3D design, and in 1998 were first to market with Internet-based product lifecycle management. Today, our leading industrial innovation platform and field-proven solutions enable you to unlock value at the convergence of the physical and digital worlds. With PTC, manufacturers and an ecosystem of partners and developers can capitalize on the promise of the Internet of Things and augmented reality technology today and drive the future of innovation.

PTC.com @PTC Blogs

PTC, FlexPLM, Creo, Windchill, LiveWorx, and the PTC logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of PTC Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/ptc-flexplm-software-enables-leading-cpg-company-hunter-fan-to-reinvent-merchandising-processes/

Jun 17

Look out, Facebook and Google: Amazon is becoming an advertising giant

While much has been said about Amazon.com Inc.’s aggressive bets on brick-and-mortar retail, health care and many other industries, the company has quietly built a sizable and growing business in an area dominated by two other tech titans: digital advertising.

Advertising pulled in up to $4 billion for Amazon

AMZN, -0.46%

 last year, and the company said first-quarter revenue from ads and other service offerings more than doubled this year. Despite the dominant digital-ad positions of Alphabet Inc.’s

GOOGL, -0.07%

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 Google and Facebook Inc.

FB, -0.49%

 , that growth is expected to continue: BMO Capital Markets analyst Daniel Salmon now believes Amazon ad revenue will be $9.5 billion this year and nearly double to $18.58 billion in 2020.

“I would say advertising continues to be a bright spot both from a product standpoint and also financially,” Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said on an April conference call; Amazon declined to comment for this article.

Those impressive numbers are in part propped up by the company’s vast trove of personal data that comes in the form of Prime memberships. Because the 100 million-plus Prime accounts are linked to specific people, the company can help advertisers find and track users from their existing databases as well as locate new potential customers.

See also: Is Amazon Prime worth its new $119 price tag?

“Prime has enabled [ads] for [Amazon],” said George Manas, president of Omnicom’s Resolution Media performance marketing division. Resolution manages $3.4 billion in ad spending. “It’s turned that economy of services into a connected network around an individual and identity. It’s similar to what Google has been able to do around Gmail and other logged-in services.”

Tying data to an identity is key for advertising because it allows marketers to target with immense accuracy across the internet. Google accomplishes this via accounts that users sign into, among other things, as does Facebook. Amazon too, through its Prime program has that capability which lets marketers tie the data to their existing customers.

Don’t miss: Tech stocks have a surprising new rival

“Amazon’s critical difference is that they own what I call the purchase graph,” Manas said. “If Google is all about the intent graph, and Facebook’s advantage is the social graph, Amazon basically represents what you intend to buy and, unlike any of the others, owns that buy touch point.”

In Google’s case, Manas is referring to what’s known as “intent-based advertising,” industry jargon for the phenomenon of people essentially typing their desires into a search engine box. As a result it’s possible to target ads around the things people want. Facebook’s 2 billion-plus users lets the company rely on its uncanny ability to help marketers gain insights based on the connections people make across its various platforms — the social graph.

Essentially, Amazon’s ad space is valuable because the e-commerce site is the last stop before a customer makes a purchase and the ads such as those that appear in product searches are the most desirable.

“The value of advertising on Amazon is it gets you as close to that point of purchase as has ever been possible,” said Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer at 4C, an advertising technology company. “Google has been at the bottom of the funnel … but Amazon has come in and slipped in between that step, they’re cutting a step out of the purchase process. Amazon is the place you buy it.”

Read: Here are the ways Google and Amazon are fighting

Amazon has built an impressive array of ad types across its properties and devices, including static display and video ads, as well as per-click products similar to what Google and Facebook sell. But Forrester analyst Collin Colburn said that Amazon’s products remain relatively “unsophisticated,” and the lack of strong reporting is “still a big hindrance.”

Even though the ad products themselves can be a challenge for advertisers to use, enough dollars are moving there to fatten the company’s bottom line. Historically, advertising has been a high-margin business, much like Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud-computing division. Together the two units will continue to drive profits, according to Salmon’s research — the company’s first-quarter results were the second-most profitable in Amazon’s history.

“The continued growth of advertising played a key role,” the BMO Capital Markets analyst wrote.

So far, Amazon has not managed to siphon an outsize amount of revenue from Facebook or Google, Colburn said. Somewhere between 15% to 20% of Amazon’s ad dollars are coming from the social media and search giants, but the vast majority of the Seattle company’s ad money is moving from traditional media such as print, radio and TV.

“That’s been the story of digital for the past 20 years,” Colburn said in a phone interview. At this point he called Amazon’s ad platforms a “test and learn” situation and few advertisers are willing to permanently move a massive amount of spending there.

Opinion: How to build an anti-FAANG portfolio that will beat the ‘Amazon effect’

Amazon is less likely to impact smaller social-media firms such as Snap Inc.

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 or Twitter Inc.

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 EMarketer expects Snap to rise to 2.2% ad market share in the U.S. by 2020, and Twitter to rise to 0.9%, but neither are expected to lose share to Amazon because media buyers typically look to the two platforms for very specific reasons.

“In general, Snap and Twitter are discretionary ad buys,” Goldman said. “They tend to pulse up and pulse down with a big product launch, and there is a lot of variability with budgets on Twitter and Snap.”

When Verizon Inc.’s

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 Oath was known as the internet portal Yahoo, few thought that scrappy ad startups Google and Facebook could overtake the (at the time) online ad giant. Now, Amazon is set to eclipse Oath by 2020, according to eMarketer, and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has likely set his sights quite a bit higher.

Max A. Cherney is a MarketWatch technology reporter based in San Francisco. Follow him on Twitter @chernandburn.

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Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/look-out-facebook-and-google-amazon-is-becoming-an-advertising-giant/

Jun 16

Workforce wanderlust: Digital nomads get paid while passing through – Virginian

Alex Martin, who studied economics at Old Dominion University, dropped out his junior year and took a job at an app company in New York.

But the big city didn’t appeal to his sense of adventure like he thought it would. When he quit, he ended up nearly off the grid.

With a passion for hiking, he brainstormed how he could spend more time in the wild. Though not formally trained, the Virginia Beach native had been dabbling in photography. He took a chance and emailed a slew of travel companies, bartering pictures and blogging for trips and other freebies.

It worked.

In the beginning, he got by on his hustler instincts and living “very streamlined.” About a year later, he was earning paychecks from sponsors that took him to places like Alberta, New Zealand and Peru. A “day at the office” was flying 10,000 feet above the Canadian Rockies in a helicopter or sleeping in a car in Iceland, using hot water bottles to stay warm.

His company, Wilderness Culture, is a digital marketing agency with a handful of employees and an online fan base that relishes far-flung locales. It’s a resource for outdoor enthusiasts to share their travel experiences. Though nowadays practically anyone with a camera thinks he’s a photographer, Martin said his business has differentiated by going to the “most epic” and hard-to-get-to locations. Tourism departments, such as Visit California and the U.S. Department of the Interior, and gear makers pay the company to promote their destinations and products.

“I knew the next big thing was going to be social media and, like, digital real estate,” he said.

Martin, 28, is a so-called “digital nomad,” and his kind is a growing breed in the workforce. Though not all are extreme outdoor adventurers like him, they’re people who find ways to work and roam at the same time. Freelancers have done this for many years, but millennials have taken the ball and run with it. Myriad online forums have sprouted to support such work-travel lifestyles, providing fellow nomads tips, such as where to find low costs of living abroad and, perhaps more important, high-speed internet.

Their jobs – marketer, web developer, tech support, online business owner, writer, accountant – take them anywhere they can use their phones and laptops. For many of these unchained workers, the lack of an office is the greatest job perk.

More Americans are working remotely with the aid of telecommunications, according to a Gallup survey released last year. The “State of the American Workplace” found that 43 percent of U.S. employees are spending at least some time working outside the office, up from 39 percent in 2012.

And more employees are working remotely all the time: Of people who said they telecommute, 20 percent said they do so full-time, up from 15 percent four years earlier.

Martin’s company, whose audience is composed of many like-minded “digital nomads,” is perhaps a testament to how teleworkers are increasing. Its Instagram account has more than 2 million followers.

Organizations are seeing this shift as an opportunity to cut costs by reducing their real estate. That employers are becoming more comfortable with the idea could be favorable for military spouses, a segment of the labor force that has traditionally faced challenges because they move frequently.

Erica McMannes, another Virginia Beach resident, has benefited from the tech industry’s use of virtual workers. Despite her husband’s job in the Army, she was able to stay with the same Silicon Valley startup for five years, she said, developing a support position into a full-time community director.

But some military spouses, most of whom are women, haven’t been as lucky. A 2016 survey by Hiring Our Heroes, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce foundation, showed the unemployment rate of service members’ spouses is 16 percent, about four times the rate of all adult women.

As someone who has moved 10 times in 16 years – and is about to move again to Florida – McMannes thought she had the experience to be part of the solution. She and another Army wife, Liza Rodewald, founded MadSkills, which plays matchmaker for companies and skilled military spouses and manages virtual teams for them. MadSkills has 10 contracts now and handles all of the HR and payroll needs for the employees.

Rodewald, who recently moved to Hawaii, has led the fledgling company out of a hotel room shared with four children; McMannes, who has two of her own, calls her home office the “Harry Potter closet.” They get their face time with clients using video-chat technology and stay in touch with Slack, an office messenger software.

“We live what we preach,” McMannes said.

In the digital job market, some employees want to rove but are turned off by doing the research and booking accommodations.

For some, it’s a big enough barrier to keep them from stepping out of Wi-Fi range from the corner coffee shop. A handful of startups are creating work-tourism programs to help novices dip a toe into the digital-nomad lifestyle.

One such Chicago-based business, But Everywhere, is arranging three-month trips for groups of 10 to 15 people. The excursions include two-week stays in six different cities. In each place, the company sets up a co-working office space, housing and transportation for a fee of $1,850 per month. A Quartz story about the company likened the experience to the MTV series “Road Rules” but for employed adults.

Norfolk will be one of But Everywhere’s stops in December. Founder Mike Doyle said he picked it and several other cities in the United States because they are “up-and-coming.” The startup just began researching possible lodging and temporary offices in the area. He’s also looking for a local to participate in the program because he wants the group to have a resident ambassador for each city.

“We’re trying to get to places that aren’t your typical tourist destinations,” said Doyle, whose name might be familiar to “Shark Tank” fans. Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca invested $200,000 in his venture, Rent Like a Champion, three years ago. That company, a game-weekend rental website similar to the Airbnb platform, is still operating.

In some cases, digital nomads are doing more than merely footing their wanderlust. Martin said they’re scaling Wilderness Culture and launching an online store where people can shop for products tied to social causes later this month. That has involved renting a facility off Lynnhaven Parkway for a distribution center and office, he said.

Though it’s getting easier, spotty utility and internet service, time zone issues and licensing inconsistencies are just a few of the technical challenges that arise from trying to work and move simultaneously.

And though digital nomads have the freedom to travel, deadlines and a lack of routine can make it feel nothing like a vacation.

Martin said there are trade-offs, but he reminds his crew to try to “be in that moment.”

“We’re so on the go on these trips,” he said, “that you could literally be like ‘Oh, I was just in Iceland, over the whole island,’ and, you know, basically have no recollection of doing it.’”


©2018 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)

Visit The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) at pilotonline.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/workforce-wanderlust-digital-nomads-get-paid-while-passing-through-virginian/

Jun 15

Don’t break up Google — the market will sort everything out

Should the government break up Google, as it broke up Standard Oil and ATT, for being a monopoly too big to tolerate? Let’s consider that question as we take a stroll down memory lane.

ª In March 1998, Fortune Magazine chronicled the rise of a mighty tech giant, an online powerhouse it described as “the biggest star in the Internet cosmos.” The headline on the piece: “How Yahoo! Won The Search Wars.” So popular and wealthy had Yahoo! become, Fortune noted, that “some people say it’s the next American Online.”

ª Nine years later, The Guardian reported on the Internet’s number one social-media platform, the most-visited website in America. “Will MySpace ever lose its monopoly?” it asked, strongly suggesting the answer was no. MySpace’s user base, massive and fast-growing, was “becoming what economists call a ‘natural monopoly,’” said The Guardian. “It may already be too late for competitors to dislodge MySpace.”

ª The following December, Forbes celebrated the undisputed Goliath in mobile communications. On the magazine’s cover was a picture of a confident CEO holding one of his company’s telephones to his ear. The headline was just as cocky: “Nokia. One Billion Customers — Can Anyone Catch The Cell Phone King?”

A chorus of critics has been sounding alarums lately about the monopoly power of Big Tech corporations like Google, demanding that the federal government bring antitrust prosecutions to clip their wings or split them into smaller firms. These latter-day trustbusters claim that Google uses its outsize market power to stifle competitors and suppress innovation, that it jiggers its search algorithms to boost its own products over its rivals’, and that its staggering dominance has rendered it too big to be tamed through the normal resiliency of the market.

But the notion that government intervention is needed to cut Google down to size is utterly misguided.

If there is an immutable lesson to be learned from the history of market economics and corporate power, it is that kings of the hill don’t reign forever. Supposedly invulnerable businesses are challenged by nimble upstarts with disruptive ideas. They lose market share as customers’ tastes change. They fail to adapt because success makes them overcautious.

Just ask the titans from our stroll down memory lane. Yahoo! is now far from “the biggest star in the Internet cosmos.” MySpace long ago lost its social-media monopoly. Nokia’s billion customers migrated to Apple and Android.

Similar fates befell AOL and Blackberry and Palm. Web browser Netscape gave way to Internet Explorer, which gave way in turn to Firefox and Chrome. Hotmail was deposed by Gmail. Now iTunes is being pushed back by Spotify and Amazon Prime.

There are no perpetual market leaders in business. Sooner or later, every Goliath is displaced by a David. Unless history has ended, that goes for Google, too. And it won’t require government intercession to make it happen.

Much is made by the antitrust enthusiasts of Google’s overwhelming supremacy in Internet search. “Google has succeeded where Genghis Khan, communism, and Esperanto all failed: It dominates the globe,” wrote Charles Duhigg in a recent New York Times Magazine essay. In the United States, Google accounts for about 90 percent of search engine activity. Since it has competitors (quite a few, in fact), it isn’t literally a monopoly — it dominates the search market, but doesn’t control it absolutely.

Even using the term colloquially, though, Google is a “monopoly” only in its corner of the Internet playing field: search engine advertising. That is certainly an important corner, but it isn’t the whole digital universe. It isn’t even the whole search universe.

Nine out of 10 people may “Google” when they want to know where Timbuktu is or see pictures of Meghan Markle’s wedding dress. But for the soaring population of online shoppers, Google is no longer the leading search destination. Amazon is. As of December 2016, Amazon was the starting point for 52 percent of product searches, up from 38 percent just two years earlier. A charge frequently levied by the break-up-Google crowd is that the company unfairly boosts its own Google Shopping search results over those of other price-comparison sites. Yet even if that represents an abuse of Google’s economic clout — a highly debatable “if” — it’s an abuse that matters less and less as Google gets squeezed out of shopping-related searches.

Already there are those who speculate that Google’s power has peaked. If it hasn’t, it will. As marketing industry journal Ad Age reported in January, “Google’s share of search ad revenue is declining and will continue to erode each year.”

Google is no Standard Oil or ATT. Unlike those 20th-century hegemons, it is in a nonstop fight against formidable rivals for customers, revenue, and market share.

Search is only one area in which Google faces pressure from the other tech giants. Google Docs is challenged by Microsoft Word and Apple Pages; Google’s Android battles the iPhone; Google Assistant competes with Amazon’s Alexa. And in the burgeoning market for cloud computing, Google is hardly more than a bit player

None of this adds up to a case for prosecution. Google is big, but the purpose of antitrust law isn’t to curb bigness. It is to protect consumers from harm. And Google, far from hurting consumers, has showered them with gains.

Google gives away its foremost product, Internet search, for free. Ditto most of its hundreds of other products, from Gmail to Translate to Google Earth to Waze. It plowed $14 billion into RD last year, more than any company in America except Amazon. Of the brands Americans love most, according to Morning Consult’s authoritative polling, Google is number one.

Yes, Google’s left-wing bias can be obnoxious. But to target a private corporation because of its politics is something no conservative should favor. This conservative certainly doesn’t.

If the consumer’s best interest is the standard, the case for breaking up Google is nonexistent. There will be time enough to cry “Monopoly!” and let slip the dogs of antitrust when there is evidence that Google injures its users or is immune to market discipline. Long before that day arrives, however, Google will have taken its place as just another attraction along memory lane, a once-mighty corporation that was king of the hill — until it wasn’t.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/dont-break-up-google-the-market-will-sort-everything-out/

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