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Explore a mobile app “Test Market Campaign”

Explore a mobile app “Test Market Campaign”

The development of a mobile application is a significant event for any corporation, team, or individual. As the app approaches its final stages of development, there is a tremendous temptation to rush that nifty new mobile application directly into the hands of consumers. Before that action, the product owner should ask one critical question: “Are we ready?”

A critical path to confirm the app’s market viability is to conduct a test market campaign. Establishing reliable numbers allows the development team to understand what is functional and what is lacking. A market analysis provides insight to what you don’t know about the marketplace.

Within the test market campaign, individual goals should be established on a timeline, and if those goals aren’t met, the company needs to be prepared to go back to the drawing board. An active test marketing campaign will answer many new questions, some of the benefits include the following:

  1. Seeing if the product/service is viable in the real world
  2. Analyzing if the marketing strategy needs a revamp
  3. Measure how consumers will respond to the product/service
  4. Gain feedback from customers before product launch

Overall, conducting a test market campaign before launching a major media buy and mobile advertising campaign is beneficial to the company. It can help to work out the minor (and sometimes major) details of the product/service. A major advantage is that it provides the product owner with insight into the relationship between the market and the product. It lets the consumer be a part of the overall process of creating something new, and that is good for business.

A test market campaign would be wise to use in this situation if time and money permit the organization to do so. The test marketing can be used to tweak the final product or modify how to market it better to the public.

Jumping into major campaign without a marketplace analysis is like jumping into a puddle of muddy water. You have no idea how deep the water may be or if there is broken glass just under the waterline. In short, it can be a terrible decision. Before you risk the fruit of your labors, take the time to investigate the viability of the marketplace.

Social media provides an opportunity to express your thoughts

Social media provides an opportunity to express your thoughts

Due to social media, a single person’s comment, tweet or like can be amplified on a global scale. No longer are you speaking into an empty space, that voice can be heard around the world.

Since the dawn of time, the way in which people interact and communicate continues to change. For July 2015, the top three social media outlets are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. People share their thoughts in various social platforms. With each form of social media, there is a different purpose, a separation between audiences.

In the world of business, understanding your company’s audience leads toward building a better business. In 2013, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth released a study evaluating the social media activities of the Fortune 500 list members. The study found that 77% of those companies are tweeting and 70% are on Facebook. There has been a heavy increase in blogging since 2008.

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” – Francis Bacon (1560-1626)

In 2013, Oreo Cookies capitalized on an unscripted moment in life. Over 111 million people were captivated, as they sat watching live TV. During Super Bowl XLVII, the stadium lights at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana went black. The power went out – the game came to a screeching halt. Within moments, a wise advertising professional sent out a tweet that captured that moment for their own corporate gain. Oreo sent out the now infamous “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet.

Social media has allowed customers and companies to communicate to each other, directly through a simple comment. Consumers demand companies be responsive to the concerns of their consumer base. Social media has made it easier for people to express what they like and what they don’t like. Being responsive to their customer base is now the expected norm for any company of any size.

Mobile application security

Mobile application security

With millions of mobile applications available for your smartphone, the question of data security has emerged as the key concern among experts. People load their smartphones with a wealth of information including credit cards numbers, banking data, and corporate server access codes. Our phones provide access to both our very private, personal and work lives. The result has made smartphones a valuable target for hackers. On the forefront of mobile app marketing and development lies the question “How secure is our mobile data?”

Functionality Overrides Security in App Development

The drive for app functionality has often outweighed the value of mobile security. Three out of four applications will fail basic security tests, and 96 percent of all organizations use at least one high-risk application. Different applications have different security needs. Discovering the balance between security features and the app’s functionality is part of the development life-cycle. Because of this competition for resources, not all applications have the same level of security.

App stores are filled with applications that mostly prove their advertised usefulness. Nevertheless, enterprises and individuals should not use them without paying attention to their security. They should download and use only those applications that have successfully passed security tests conducted by specialized application security testing vendors.” said Dionisio Zumerle, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Data Leaks at the Centre of Security Flaws

The biggest security flaws identified by developers involve attacks on data in applications where developers were unaware of vulnerabilities. The use of personal algorithms in place of proven modern algorithms has been the main pitfall. A lack of data encryption leads to risky storage of data and exposed back-end services leave data unprotected from unauthorized access. Personalization and the use of analytics in mobile app marketing have provided another major issue with “leaky apps” that allow people to gather personal information that can be tapped if not properly secured.

Encryption is the Future of Mobile Security

Encryption of data is critical to protecting the integrity of data. Recent news of Apple’s iCloud hack and demands from the FBI for Apple to decrypt the San Bernadino terrorist’s iPhone illustrates the critical role security plays in our lives. These discussions illustrate an ongoing debate in the development community over security concerns. All this media attention should be seen as positive because it highlights that mobile app security has become a priority in the consumer market. While the number of unsafe applications on the market remains high, recent applications have made strides to develop a safer environment for consumers.

Recently WhatsApp introduced end-to-end encryption, securing all conversations to only the participants involved – unable to be accessed even by the developers. As people demand a new standard for mobile app security, the battle for encryption will continue to grow, highlighting the discussion between private and public safety. If you have questions about mobile application security for your firm, contact our development team here at Colure.

What is a mobile application “cost per install”?

What is a mobile application “cost per install”?

Mobile apps are a critical component of our everyday lives. They affect our interaction with almost everything and everyone. Our actions often revolve around some type of mobile application. As companies maneuver to create new apps, they have to decide what is the most cost-efficient manner to market their application.

One question that surfaces is “which is the best way to measure the client acquisition and marketing costs for our mobile application?” One of such method of measurement called “Cost Per Install” (CPI).

The Cost Per Install model measures the net cost to the application developer for each download of their application to a single user. In other words – how much does it cost to deliver a single copy of an application to a single consumer. Media companies such as Facebook and Twitter, for example, might advertise your shiny, new, mobile app on their high traffic sites and garner countless numbers of clicks and impressions. With CPI, your advertising budget pays only when a user actually downloads and installs the application – not for the volume of click traffic on your advertisement (or Cost Per Click – CPC). Therefore, the more installs the advertisers gain for your app, the net cost per download to the application developer is reduced, thus creating greater profits. By using this method, it guarantees that you, as a client, pay for only as much as your campaign is actually producing. The downside is that your user loyalty or activeness volume is not accurately documented. This measurement is calculated through Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU).

In late 2015, Twitter introduced Cost Per Install as part of two models for clients to advertise on their platform for mobile downloads. According to their beta partners, the CPI model presents the highest cost efficiency – lowering the cost for advertising by nearly 30% compared to its previous model of Cost Per Click (CPC).

According to Fiksu’s Cost Per Install (CPI) Index for November 2015, it measures the cost per app install due directly to its advertising to cost approximately $1.54 for iOS acquired users and $2.27 for Android acquired users.

As business owners, ideal conditions would call for acquiring the highest amount of quality users with expenses that would maximize their Return on Investment (ROI).

At Colure Media, a mobile app marketing firm based in New York City, we structure advertising campaigns that would guarantee downloads, lowering your cost per install and increasing your mobile app users. Contact our campaign advisors to discuss your operating costs for your next project.

The importance of UX and UI in mobile app design

The importance of UX and UI in mobile app design

Creating a fluid user experience is central to the function and flow of any mobile application. User Interface (UI) design explores how an app looks and interacts with a user. User experience (UX) defines how the app feels, from the users’ perspective. These concepts are at the development core of any mobile project.

During the development cycle, focus on the end product. Be sure that all of your efforts are centered upon the end user; concentrate on how they will interact and react to your app. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you design your new app:

UX/UI Must Haves:
  • Offer specific mobile-only functionality. Be sure that the product you put in the users’ hands will fulfill their mobile needs and wants. Make certain that the end experience is as solid as the function.
  • Design core features specifically for the target audience. Are you focusing on gamers or shoppers? Regardless of your audience, all features must deliver as promised. Take the time to ensure that the user’s experience dovetails with the features in hand.
  • The use of multimedia should be considered for the project. Be sure that the user has full control over the media. Don’t allow the media to become a memory hog.
UX/UI Mistakes:
  • Don’t confuse web UX for mobile UX. Simply scaling down the UX features of a web page is not the same as designing an app that is built specifically for a mobile platform. These are two different platforms with very different audiences.
  • Build an app that highlights your mobile users’ needs. Don’t build an app just so you can justify all of your ideas. Feedback, change and growth are all critical factors in the development cycle.
  • Be sure that you app has a specific function. Make sure that it actually does something. If your app ends up as a glorified sign-up page for a service, you’re going to upset the very people you are trying to reach.

DigitalGov.gov has established a set of guidelines to help the US Government develop quality mobile applications for the consumer. They looked at a wide variety of UX and UI design issues. This list provides an interesting set of ideas to examine while you consider your next mobile app. Not all of these ideas may be relevant to your project, but they provide a solid core of ideas to consider while you dream and design.

No matter the purpose or function of your application, the end product must provide a superior quality customer UX. If you aren’t ready or able to place a flawless mobile experience into your customers’ hands, the release of a lower quality app could be doing more harm than good to your reputation. Keep both the UX and UI concerns at the forefront of your design.

Contact Colure’s development team to discuss your dreams for a mobile application.

Create a dynamic marketing plan

Create a dynamic marketing plan

Every business needs a marketing plan. Businesses rely on sales and customers. These commodities cannot be generated without an effective marketing campaign that effectively communicates the company, product, and message. Though many businesses are well aware of the need for a strategic marketing plan, not all of them understand exactly how to implement one.

A marketing plan can include all of the following and much more: content development, emails and newsletters, market research and data analysis, SEO, social media management, sponsorships, website development, and mobile app marketing. While it is possible for a business owner to create, manage, and maintain a marketing plan alone, it takes a considerable amount of time and patience.

The ‘Do It Yourself’ approach

Owners thinking of a DIY approach should realistically calculate how much effort they can spare. For those undeterred by the tasks ahead, willing to tackle this challenge, below are three cheap and effective steps towards better results.

    • Do your homework: Research is key. Understand the market you are targeting and decide on your company’s message. Analyze competitors for blind spots and opportunities to shine. Don’t compete in areas they’re good—find your niche.

    • Email is big, cheap and often provides the highest ROI: It is also a preferred method of communication by customers.

    • Your website matters: Make sure it has a responive build that operates on different platforms. Streamline the online experience. 81% of consumers use online to explore their options beforehand and gather information about purchases. Don’t give them a reason to be disappointed.

Hiring an individual or an advertising agency

Perhaps the amount of work ahead is too daunting, or perhaps you might not have the time to invest in creating something polished that best represents your company. While the immediate idea you might have is to hire an employee in charge of marketing operations, you’ll be surprised to realize that, in the long run, hiring a person could be more expensive than hiring an agency. Employees have more costs than salary once you include training costs, taxes, insurance, and the software needed. Excluding price, advertising agencies have other benefits, most notably:

    • Expertise: both in the niche market you’re seeking and in the types of marketing you might require whether that be mobile marketing or marketing online.
    • Experience: with creating and executing plans and consulting businesses.
    • Efficiency: a marketing agency does not require training. They can start often times immediately and implement a plan of action urgently.

Working with a marketer requires trust and a willingness to try new things. Communication is crucial to keep both sides on the same page. Both parties must have an understanding of the other party. You should discuss the roles each party with play in the process. Advertising agencies make life easier by freeing you up to focus on what you do best – running our own company. Regardless, they still rely on you for information and the materials needed to create the campaign, so there is no easy shortcut when it comes to marketing your business. The tools for success are out there at your disposal, but the drive ultimately comes from you.

Reach out to Colure’s development team to discuss a plan to advance your next project.

The importance of responsive web design for mobile devices

The importance of responsive web design for mobile devices

In a mobile environment, it is critical to provide users the finest quality user experience (UX). Web browsing must be experienced as a seamless transfer of form and function across all platforms. Consumers demand a fluid environment regardless of which device they hold in their hands.

To meet this consumer demand, Responsive Web Design (RWD) was crafted to provide fluid mobility to web content. Designer Ethan Marcotte was concerned with the collective elegance of both the internal code and the external page. He largely crafted the concept and practice.

RWD is the practice of building a web page able to display cleanly on any screen and any device, of any size. To the user, this means the media may be displayed a bit differently, graphics look slightly different, and there may be an alteration of function. But for the most part, the web page you saw on your desktop will display on your mobile phone.

A design problem:

Sadly, for many websites this is not the case. A non-RWD site may look perfectly fine on a desktop. That same site may become ‘user-hostile’ when viewed on a smartphone. Certain content may extend beyond the width of the screen (a common occurrence if it’s held in the vertical position). Some content and media may simply not display on different devices. Navigation throughout the site on a mobile device might be troublesome for a user because the design elements aren’t found where users expect them to be.

The reason for a responsive website design is to present users with a flexible interface. Without a responsive design, you risk losing potential customers who can’t figure out how to use your website or simply offending those who won’t accept its less-than-professional rendering on a mobile device. Either way, you lose face and revenue.

To create a responsive website, you’ll need the assistance of a design team who appreciates the desires of your company and the needs of your audience. Contact Colure to discuss your mobile design needs.

Exlore your market potential

Exlore your market potential

A potential market is the sector of the market that you can gain in the future. People may not be buying from you at this time, but could potentially become customers. This audience might buy future products that are not made yet or buy improved products that may be branded more effectively in the future.

Identify your current audience within the potential market. Look outside of your current audience you may look at expanding the group that you already sell to, or find a new customer group that you never considered before.

It’s a good idea to identify the mediums where you can have the greatest effect on both finding and attracting your audience.

Here are three simple ways to identify potential market opportunities:

  • Check your numbers. Explore the history of popular search-engine queries related to your business, but for products or services that you don’t sell at this time.
  • Understand where your new audience “lives.” Use data from the US Census Bureau to identify the demographics to define your target audience. This understanding helps you understand your consumers and to see if a specific market would help you benefit from promotions.
  • Understand the mindset of the generation you’re trying to attract. See what motivates either a younger or older audience to include them as part of your audience. Think of how your business practices could attract the audiences you want.

Exploring new markets will help your business grow. Business owners must be able to focus on their new venture without neglecting their core business. Stay in control of everything without spreading your resources too thin.

In 2011, John Bentley launched his Lancashire-based portrait and landscape photography business FourTwoGraphs. He soon discovered that he was entering a crowded marketplace. “Photography is a very competitive local business, and I realized that to become better established I needed to do something different, and the answer to what that came from my customers,” John explained.

Diversification can open up entirely new market potentials but can be costly. Explore new markets and target customers who may not engage with your brand. Ignoring this group could be a costly exercise.

Market potential and opportunity can give your business the chance to grow and expand, but only if your team appreciates the focus and understanding of that potential.

Advantages of mobile applications for small businesses

Advantages of mobile applications for small businesses

A smartly developed mobile application can help level the playing field between companies of any size. The key to success lies in the quality of the user experience (UX). If a customer has a meaningful interaction, there is a better than average chance they will return to your company’s application. 

Here are 5 key advantages of a mobile application for any small business:
  • Access to the customer at all times – Possibly the greatest advantage is being able to interact with your customers in a truly meaningful way. The mobile app allows the consumer to decide when they are primed for your specific service or product. The user decides when and to which extent they are willing to interact with you.
  • Marketing – Develop a meaningful relationship with the customer. A quality user experience (UX) will allow you to provide an interactive relationship that cannot be developed through other media. Take this opportunity to market not only your product but more your industry to your customer. By providing additional information and resources, the customer will probably engage your application for a longer period of time. More attention directed toward your application can often equal more revenue generated by that customer base. Think of this as a digital version of the free classes provided by home improvement stores. They’ll hire an expert to teach a free class on tiling or plumbing. When class is over, all of the students start grabbing tools and supplies off the shelves. It provides a great ROI.
  • Direct customer feedback – the amount of real-time data gathered by your app has a value that extends far beyond simple transactions. It reaches the very mindset of the consumer. You are able to decipher the specific wants and needs of the user.
  • Craft your product to interact with a specific audience – Most media sources provide a one-sided relationship. Mobile applications allow you can craft an interactive product that targets a finite audience, with a specific interface. No other format allows for such an engaging experience. Creating a truly rewarding user experience must be “Goal #1”.
  • Brand Identity – Crafting your brand requires a labor of love. It takes time and commitment to craft a brand with whom the consumer truly identifies. Your brand includes a living, breathing relationship with your customer. Be sure to respect your customer as you would any relationship. By providing truly remarkable user experiences, your audience will return time and again to your app.

Separating yourself from the competition takes a quality product, planning, and skill. The interactive relationship you develop with your customers will help determine your future growth. Don’t leave that development to chance. Never take your relationship with your customers for granted. The greatest downfall of many companies is to negate their customers’ true wants and needs, in favor of their own vision of the same. Being blinded by your own biases can be a very costly mistake.

Success is built upon many well-measured steps. When you are ready to take your first steps in the development process, contact Colure’s Project Managers to explore your vision of success.

The cost of an instant society

The cost of an instant society

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is changing society’s expectations of reward and activity. This modification is leading to the creation of an “instant society” – an environment where both reward and access to any information is instantaneous and free.

This new paradigm runs in the face of the human experience, established throughout our history.

AI is experienced through virtual reality video games and wearable technology; it interacts gathering information in real time with Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa. But how do companies and brands deliver content to an instant society? And more importantly…is this “new,” mentality collectively beneficial to that society?

With being able to gather information in an instant, marketers now have to race the clock to get information out to its intended audience. With most consumers having an attention span of about eight seconds, marketers must create content that is straight to the point and memorable. Technology, however, is on their side as well due to consumers keeping up with new technological trends, always reachable 24/7.

This content can be shown on any platform and even compatible with the wearable technology. Content is being created with the consumer in mind and the fact that we prefer to instant access to information and content.

App development, on the other hand, is becoming a second hand to artificial intelligence. Through Amazon’s Alexa, you are now able to pair multiple devices and control things such as lighting and temperature in your own home.

An “instant society” is not necessarily a bad change. According to Brad Smith of politico.eu, “By 2038, a personal digital assistant will be trained to anticipate our needs, help manage our schedule, prepare us for meetings, assist as we plan our social lives, reply to and route communications, and drive our cars. Beyond our personal lives, AI will enable humans to make breakthrough advances in areas like healthcare, agriculture, education, and transportation. We’re already seeing this begin in impressive ways”.

Artificial intelligence is making changes to the medical and health field, as well as technology. Although an instant society seems detrimental to the workforce by taking away jobs, it also creates jobs and opportunities in a different way. App development and the output of content for marketers are being developed in ways that apply to the change of an instant society, as well as the consumer’s needs.

Wearable technology might be a good fit for your company

Wearable technology might be a good fit for your company

Wearable technology isn’t a new concept but is becoming a larger trend in everyday life. In fact, wearable technology is becoming the new gateway for big data by collecting user information in a more natural way.

Products such as FitBits, Apple Watches, and even wearable rings are becoming fashion trends, yet most users don’t realize how much data is being collected. Wearable technology not only presents us with potential risks but also potential rewards as well.

In industries such as health and wellness, entertainment, and outdoor sports, wearable technology becomes a helping hand. It can be your GPS, track your heart rate, monitor your sleep and even keep track of your activity.

Rewards include sending personalized data to the user that can analyze their health and fitness and can even fill in the gaps in patient records. Yet, wearable technology can also present the risk of too much data becoming accessible to companies and the device manufacturers.

As the devices are used more and more, big data will be able to gather more specific information regarding a person derived from wearable data such as the time, duration, and proximity of an activity to other tracked individuals. Combined with demographic information, it can provide crucial and detailed context to each individual interaction.

Data gathered impacts how businesses market their products and how companies recruit talent and motivate their employees.

Wearable technology gathers a new class of sensitive data about people: not only who they are, what they do, and who they know, but also how healthy they are, what movements they make, and how well they feel. With growth and changes occurring in the technology of the devices, security and privacy must grow as well.

While companies innovate independently, there is not a lot of information addressing your data security. Users must be aware of the potential dangers when engaged in wearable technology just as they would with normal devices such as tablets, computers and mobile devices.

Personally identifiable information

Personally identifiable information

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any digital data that can locate, contact or identify a specific individual, either by itself or combined with other easily accessible information. It includes information that is linked to an individual through financial, medical, educational or employment records.

PII is mainly used in information security (IS) services to search, locate and identify specified individuals.

PII is considered sensitive information that can consist of information such as fingerprints, biometric data, names, telephone numbers, email addresses, passports or social security numbers to identify a certain person.

It does not include public information that is lawfully made available to the general public from federal, state, or local government record. It is up to federal agencies to safeguard personally identifiable and other sensitive information. It should only be accessed on a need-to-know basis and handled with care.

It is important to protect PII and even personal health information (PHI), which also contains certain aspects of PII that relate to the medical field. People are required to sign statements that specifically allow health care providers to access their records or share the information with a person of choice. The data can help when needed but can be dangerous when misused.

If a data breach were to occur, it can be devastating to a company and its employees. Not only would the loss of a reputation for the company be an issue, but also the thousands of people whose data was stolen would be at risk.

It goes without saying that PII data that is transmitted must be secure and encrypted so that outsiders of the organization or company cannot decipher it.

Redefine your audience

Redefine your audience

Audience extension” uses technology that allows digital publishers to generate revenue from their web traffic, allowing advertisers to reach their target audience far beyond the company’s website. Through audience extension technology, publishers can track their website visitors, allowing advertisers to serve ads to the specific audiences on different sites as they continue browsing the web.

This allows the company to reach its audience far beyond the corporate website. Through audience extension, advertisers are able to identify which audiences they anticipate targeting to based on the type of users visiting a particular website.

This technology has become important for both publishers and advertisers. It allows them to reach a specific audience that is of major interest while creating a mutually beneficial relationship between the two.

Advertisers are asking publishers for advanced targeting data rather than having to go through third-party data sets. An advertiser is then able to provide users with a higher quantity of advertisements across the web rather than flood the publishers’ site with banner advertisements.

The practice of audience extension allows the advertiser to place advertisements on numerous sites in a variety of ways, which in turn, create a lasting impression on the target audience.

Collaborations between The New York Times and Netflix promote the series “Orange Is The New Black” demonstrate how mutually beneficial audience extension is for the two brands.

Publishers are starting to realize how valuable their audiences are through technology such as audience extension. The data that is being passed between publisher and advertiser remains the same, while the audience that is being reached continues to grow.

Online user experience will become more personalized as services such as audience extension continue to grow. It will become customized to the user through likes and dislikes, with advertisements that are more relevant and useful for the customer.

Analytics in business

Analytics in business

Analytics is a multidimensional field that uses mathematics, statistics, predictive modeling and machine-learning techniques to find knowledge and patterns in recorded data. It studies past historical data to find patterns and potential trends to analyze the effects of certain decisions and events.

Social media is an example of a platform that can produce its own analytics. Most social media sites will provide users with analytics, but will also provide data to other websites through big data as well.

Analytics contains a data that can help us identify what happened, how, or why an event happened, what’s happening now and what is likely to happen next. There are many ways to gather data through graphs and charts and even numerical data

This can pertain to any field or industry that rely on data to understand the data as it progresses. It is often most useful for many businesses and companies due to its predictive qualities. Analytics can be used for websites to determine how well or not well their business is doing.

The most popular form of analytics within businesses and companies is predictive analytics. Predictive analytics have surged in popularity due to the desire to predict customer behavior. Web analytics are important to a companies’ website because they deliver data about the website, the traffic from its visitors and their behaviors, so they can measure what is and isn’t working. This helps to improve your website’s performance rates.

By using analytics, you are able to track where your traffic is coming from, what attracts the most visitors, and what days of the week are the heaviest with traffic. This information has value in helping you to improve and maximize your online marketing and sales leads and to improve the user experience.

Analytics can open doors to new information that have never been seen before. They provide a deeper insight into the behind-the-scenes of your business to see much more than revenue. Companies often don’t realize the need to improve or change things in order to be more successful until they see that data that suggests otherwise.

If a company or business doesn’t analyze the current state of their website and business, then they won’t be able to identify areas that need further development and improvement. It is critical for businesses to understand the analytics of the numbers and graphs that pertain to their company. Without understanding, the data means nothing to a business.

A company must understand and be able to discuss their companies’ analytics to experts even if they aren’t experts themselves. This shows that they have basic knowledge of the information that they are receiving on how their business is doing so they know where to improve, whether it is their online presence and marketing or physical revenue.

Top 4 Tech Shows in NYC for 2018

Top 4 Tech Shows in NYC for 2018

New York City is a massive hub for the technology and marketing industries. The Big Apple is the natural gathering spot for some of the biggest tech industry shows and conferences. 2018 is bound to be another exciting year for the digital advertising industry. Here are the shows you don’t want to miss this year:

Top 4 Tech Shows in NYC for 2018:

  • Industry Preview — January 17-18. Two days focused on what to expect in the next 12 months in marketing technology. Industry Preview prepares digital marketing professionals for marketing technology in 2018. Located at the Grand Hyatt at 109 E. 42nd St.
  • Digital Strategy Innovation Summit —February 27-28. This conference focuses on digital marketing strategies features senior executives from companies ahead of the curve in technology and marketing. Attendees will learn about optimizing digital platforms for businesses and using digital strategies to build trust with consumers. You’ll find yourself surrounded by the sights and sounds of the city at the New York Marriot Marquis.
  • Social Media Week — April 24-27. You won’t want to miss this week chock full of education and networking. Social Media Week celebrates its 10th annual conference and will cover everything from content marketing to data and analytics. Get up to date on the latest social media trends and learn to use them to benefit your business. To mark the occasion, organizers Crowdcentric Media, are launching a new global edition of the conference at The Sheraton Hotel.
  • New York Business Expo & Conference — Coming November 2018. This annual business conference is the only one-day event of its kind geared toward small businesses. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with other small business owners and gain in-depth training and knowledge. Education and teaching will focus on sales, marketing, financing, social media strategies, and businesses startup and growth.

Whether you’re looking for an overview of the top digital marketing trends or an in-depth education on SEO, New York City is the place to find it. These top conferences offer an excellent way to learn from the best in the industry and connect with other professionals in marketing and technology.

An online presence is critical to your business

An online presence is critical to your business

In the digital age, consumers are more likely to do business with a company if the organization has an online presence. Surprisingly, some companies still try to exist without an online presence.

A company’s web presence is their collective “digital footprint.” This bulk of media provides an insight into a company’s offerings. That information is often spread between a homepage and a focused use of social media. How and what you place online will help to define both your company and your audience.

Your market presence can make it easier to build relationships when customers see you are a valid player in the marketplace. It’s easier to showcase your product or service to your audience.

Having interaction with your online connections is extraordinarily important and it adds a deeper layer to the relationship that you will be established through your online presence. The more you interact with people, the more they will start to trust you and to find you to be credible and knowledgeable.”Compukol

Here are three simple steps to increase your online presence:

  • Make sure that you have a modern looking website that makes a great first impression. It needs to have appealing graphics, be easy to navigate, and should instantly make visitors feel welcome from the first moment they land on your homepage.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential component of any online marketing strategy.
  • It’s important that you have a strong social media profile because this is what your prospective clients are going to be checking out first.

There are many advantages to having a web presence:

  • You’ll reach a greater audience and increase your customer base.
  • This provides a manageable and affordable way to market your brand.
  • You can connect with your consumers by posting useful and engaging content on social media.
  • Improve your customer service by developing an interactive relationship.

An online presence is seen as critical in today’s marketplace. It provides direct interaction with your clients. 

How to create an advertising budget

How to create an advertising budget

Advertising budgets consist of the money that a company is willing to set aside to execute their marketing goals. A company must weigh the trade-off between spending additional advertising dollars with the amount of revenue that the dollars will bring in.

The price to advertise your company can become expensive. There are four methods used for setting an advertising budget:

  1. Fixed Percentage of Sales Start with last year’s total gross sales or average sales for the past few years, then set a specific percentage of that figure for advertising. Most businesses set aside between 2% and 5% of annual revenues for advertising.
  1. Comparable to the Competition Adopt the industry average for ad budgets for your company. Many trade associations and industry publications can provide the average amount or percentage companies spend on advertising. 
  1. Objectives and Task-Based Begin by setting specific marketing objectives and deciding on the tasks required to meet those objectives. (Example: Increase out-of-state clients by 5% using online promotions.) Then determine your budget by estimating the costs of carrying out those tasks. If you can’t afford to fund all your ideas, rank them and focus on the top few.
  1. The Maximum Amount A lot of fast-growing businesses put their faith in this strategy, which advocates setting aside just enough money to sustain the business, then spending the rest on advertising. 

Yet, the biggest decision to make in regards to your advertising plan is to decide on going in-house (working within your own company) or going external and working with an advertising agency.

Advertising internally simply means creating the material within your own company, rather than paying commission to an outside agency. An external agency is independent of the client and can provide an outside point of view. There are advantages and disadvantages of both advertising options that range from banking and experience prospect to time and economic prospects.

Consistent and different elements affect small businesses and huge companies in the same way. Both will ultimately weigh the pros and cons, and decide collectively on how they want to deal with their advertising. Both types of companies need to have ideas of what they want, what they can afford and what will have a better outcome for their businesses.

The essential elements of an advertising budget are simple. You need to have, and develop, a budget, know your audience and how to best market to them, and look at the overall message. By having an effective and creative message that reaches your desired audience, you are more likely to expand your customers and reach out to more people.

International markets drive a new definition of service

International markets drive a new definition of service

For many companies, their market has been redefined because of the internet. A good or service offered to a traditionally domestic market can now catch the attention of an international audience. Being able to understand and respond to the needs of clients from any location provides an advantage to a company.

Most nations employ English as either a primary or secondary language. This approach helps to breach barriers to your business. Having a well-designed website and utilizing search engine optimization strategies will allow customers and clients around the world to see what your company is capable of doing.

Refining the scope of the markets that you want to address is critical when taking your business global. According to Forbes, you want to “Develop a disciplined method to expanding your business and ensure that every new market you explore offers at least one of the following advantages over others:

  • A larger customer base, potentially with a higher willingness to pay
  • Access to cheaper supply of labor or raw material, leading to cost efficiencies
  • Legal, regulatory, or other systemic factors that make it easier to do business.”

Successful international marketing is similar to marketing in the United States. You have to identify customer needs that your company can address. Make sure your products and services, can address them more completely than competitors in that market sect.

Customers will base their loyalty to a company based on how well their needs are tended to, especially on an international scale. Global customer service is important to any consumer. A company with excellent customer service is more likely to get repeat business from customers. Consequently, the company will benefit with greater sales and profits.

As you consider global expansion, one thing to keep in mind is that you never want to make a move that will diminish success and hard work on home soil. Domestic sales are what got you to where you are and will be the key to expanding that success.

Neglecting your foundation and home market to pursue global markets can easily backfire. By maintaining a strong balance between both markets, you will create a strong brand image at home while slowly establishing yourself internationally. This will allow a company to maintain their core mission while responding to its international potential.

It will take time for a small company to take their business international. But with the right steps and commitment, a small business can find itself competing with larger known businesses and gain the same amount of success.

Your corporate advertising is not for your benefit

Your corporate advertising is not for your benefit

Purpose-driven marketing is a way for brands and businesses to bond with their target audience through their content based on shared need and interests. The ability to connect with your audience is more important than anything you have to say.

Any purpose-driven brand knows how to present their values and it’s “why”. The best brands we know have stories to tell and are relevant to their purpose.

Purpose-driven marketing is more than just content. There’s a “why” behind every brand or company’s content. That is why their content connects people on an authentic level. The content that is created is much more than just sales and marketing. It comes with a bigger meaning.

While most brands are familiar with giving back, they aren’t always familiar with creating content that will both engage their audience and drive them to participate. Success comes from developing content in an organic way that brings mutual benefits to all that are involved.

We all like to feel like we are apart of a bigger audience, and that we’re making a difference in the world. That’s why 6 out of 10 millennials have said they chose to work for an employer based on the sense of purpose. Having a purpose-driven brand has become beneficial for businesses due to:

  • Aligning leaders and team members around a common purpose, mission, and culture.
  • Attracts the right type of customers, employees, partners, and investors who believe in your values.
  • Motivates you and your team to be more productive.

Many brands have collaborated with other brands to bring a higher awareness to their cause. This is where purpose marketing shows the cause but also allows a connection to be made.

Dove is a great example of a brand that utilizes purpose-driven marketing. Their missions have been to empower women through self-esteem and confidence. Their “why” is to make a commitment to women’s well being, yet to also show customers that they’re more than soap and moisturizers.

Dove has stated for their self-esteem project, “At Dove, we have a vision of a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. Our mission is to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look – helping girls to raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential. Their message comes with a purpose other than just selling bath products.

Purpose-driven content marketing is important for any brand or company that wants to engage with their audience. The audience or target customer’s impact on this content is driven by a cause that is spread throughout larger audiences but also promotes the brand in a positive, relatable way.

Artificial intelligence and SEO

Artificial intelligence and SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s results page (SERP). Complicated algorithms examine tremendous amounts of data to produce these results.

To facilitate this workload, search engines now employ the use of artificial intelligence (AI). This change has made it necessary for legitimate digital marketers to refine their efforts to maintain quality in terms of technical SEO and content development.

The artificial intelligence learns and uses natural language processing, meaning that AI SEO becomes smarter and more human-friendly. AI is trained by using known data, such as:

  • Content

  • Links

  • User behavior

  • Trust

  • Citations

  • Patterns

The AI systems then analyze that data using user experience, big data, and machine learning to develop new ranking factors. The process is capable of producing marketable results most likely to meet user needs.

RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning, artificial intelligence system that helps process its search results. The system uses an entirely new way of processing queries. This portion of the search engine’s core algorithm looks at search terms that have not been used before and compares the keywords against other searches to determine what type of results the end user is looking for.

Google’s RankBrain is just one form of artificial “narrow intelligence,” which means that, while it can perform things better than a human in one specific area, it is still a relatively weak form of artificial intelligence.

Yet, AI offers marketers insights that will improve ad campaigns. Adopting AI specifically for SEO efforts presents marketers with tactics that enable them to rank higher in search engines and get their ads seen by more people. The data provides insight that enable you to optimize a website, build links with the high-authority domains, and identifies the best keywords to use for each webpage.

Artificial intelligence has now progressed into deeper learning. While combined with search engine optimization, the list of possibilities to perform tasks has brought a whole new way to produce search engine results.

The execution of SEO has changed because Google, Bing, and all the other search engines are employing artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate the content of pages.

When SEO is combined with artificial intelligence there are improvements in the results that come from search engine optimization.

Cybersecurity is your responsiblity

Cybersecurity is your responsiblity

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security. This annual campaign raises awareness on the importance of cybersecurity.

In today’s online age, the number of threats to businesses and their customers increases every day. Almost daily, more information about cyber attacks makes its way into headlines. These attacks range from sensitive information such as credit cards stolen from companies to claims of movies being stolen from production companies such as Disney.

Small businesses are key targets

Yet, big business is not the only target. About 43 percent of cyber attacks target small business, and 60 percent of these small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack. So why is cybersecurity important?

The increasing prevalence of cybersecurity attacks on both individuals and businesses emphasizes the need for IT security professionals who specialize in cybersecurity.” Attacks are categorized into three general categories:

  • Cybersecurity attacks that target hardware and software, such as malware
  • Financial crimes, such as online fraud and phishing schemes
  • Abuse, also known as “sexploitation”

The threat of data leakage via unmanaged devices is serious,’ says Eduard Meelhuysen, head of EMEA at Bitglass. ‘But having a culture of restricting staff access can actually make an organization more vulnerable, not less.” Companies are attacked due to employees misusing company systems far more regularly that one would expect.

Creating a safe environment

Creating a security culture within a company is all about training and awareness. Hackers constantly find new ways to access information, which is why constant awareness of threats is so important. Individuals face the same effect of cyber attacks and may receive less training on how to protect themselves from cyber attacks.

Cybersecurity procedures should be treated just as important as health and safety procedures have been.

For companies, training can consist of the following:

  • Have a universal security policy
  • Start with basics- learn the difference between each type of attack and how to avoid these situations
  • Make training relevant – training needs to be specific to your organization

For individuals, the following measures will help keep personal data safe:

  • Don’t give out personal information over the phone or via email unless you’re positively sure of whom you’re giving it to
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and anti-virus software updated
  • Create complex passwords that would be hard to guess
  • Never click on links sent via email even if you’re sure they’re legitimate-the safest practice is to go to the company’s website

It’s important to be aware of the risks and threats you might face in cyberspace, but that you also take steps to protect yourself and your data.

Business transparency

Business transparency

Business transparency is the practice of making all company information available to the public. This can include anything from data to revenue to future plans, but the bottom line is that it’s available to everyone — customers, business partners, and employees. While transparency isn’t a new concept in marketing, its popularity continues to increase. In 2014, 68% of consumers said that business transparency was important to them. Just two years later, that number had jumped by 26%. Business transparency is becoming more of a priority for consumers, meaning businesses are starting to take a long look at shifting over to a transparent business model.

If you choose to offer more transparency to your customers, it might start off with the feeling that you’re airing your undergarments to the public. However, transparency has the potential to work miracles. In fact, a whopping 94% of consumers say that company transparency affects their likelihood of buying a product. Truth is, consumers are tired of being treated as “targets.” Business transparency shows your customers that you value them as humans and not as dollar signs.

One of the most well-known successes of a company utilizing transparency is McDonald’s Canada’s ongoing campaign, “Our Food. Your Questions.” The campaign aimed to debunk rumors regarding the quality and production of their food. The company has answered over 42,000 questions and increased customer trust by 46% since its launch.

Buffer went even further. Company transparency is such a core part of their values that they’ve even received some backlash. The company makes all of their information, from salaries to code to emails, open to the public. The result? An increase in revenue by one million in less than a year.

Other than the initial shock of baring it all for your customers, transparency marketing is one of the easiest ways to turn first-time customers into long-time returners, especially for small businesses. It builds the reputation of your company at no extra cost or manpower. Making company practices accessible and visible to customers develops brand loyalty and distinguishes you from the masses. Consumers today are slow to trust, so making information available to them from the get-go establishes rapport and assures them of your authenticity.

What is social media marketing?

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of Internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media in order to achieve your marketing goals. This includes posting text and image updates, videos and other engaging activities. These may include tools such as a hashtag, which drives audience interaction and engagement.

The use of social media in marketing has brought new consumers to businesses by expanding their audience and directly targeting the audience on platforms that they use every day.

Your business type should inform and drive your marketing strategy. When building a social media marketing strategy, it should reflect the following questions:

  • What are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media?
  • What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?

Gathering data will allow you to pinpoint exactly what the consumer wants and how to engage their social media. When marketing is introduced to social media, consumers automatically participate subconsciously, which then drives sales for a business.

Great content and a consistent brand image are what will drive your social media marketing. By staying consistent with your brand and other forms of marketing, consumers will be able to retain your products and relate it back to your business’s core identity.

Social media marketing has expanded due to the increase in usage of sites that target consumers use the most. The most common social media site include:

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Social media marketing is effective whether the company acts alone or has collaborated with others. In 2015 emojis became a trend among social media users. Brands picked up on this trend and started to use the emojis as well.

Taco Bell, who has an interactive social media presence among the youthful demographic joined in on the trend. Users simply had to tweet at Taco Bell with taco emoji and another of their choice, and the brand would tweet the user back with a humorous mashup of the two images.

Other companies such as Urban Decay used Pinterest to get users excited about a new makeup collection by creating a contest on the social media site where the winner would win tickets to the sold-out music festival Coachella.

Social media marketing has become a powerful marketing tool due to the usage among its target audience and growing youth population. It is an advantage to businesses on staying up-to-date with its audience, but also increase sales as well.

Integrity in marketing

Integrity in marketing

Marketing integrity is not just a virtue; it is a driver of choice. The main role of a marketing agency is to find ways to increase brand loyalty and customer sales for any given company, but a false advertisement could lead to a loss for the company.

In today’s society where fake news is everywhere, customers will stick with companies based on integrity and loyalty. Unless it is a last resort, no client will stick with a company that has lied to him or her. Yet, numerous companies have been known to be misleading in their marketing efforts.

In 2006, more than 75% of Opinion Research respondents said they preferred to buy from a company that operates ethically, even if they have to pay more. Yet how can an agency use expert writers to promote itself or provide clients with integrity? By taking a step back and analyzing their practice with these simple steps, a company can raise their loyalty and sales:

  • Prepare ahead by informing yourself, your staff, and your clients of the importance of integrity in marketing.
  • Look for evidence that integrity is important to a writer before you hire them, and emphasize that it’s important to you as well.
  • Give the writer only facts you can prove.
  • When reviewing a writer’s work, make sure that everything they say is true. A good writer will know how to phrase truth creatively, so the message is interesting as well.
  • When you find a good writer, commend them and keep going back to them with future assignments.

In his book, John Blumberg acknowledges that a great leader will take risks in not knowing and will be grounded with a core set of values, “we don’t go running away from our values, we go drifting away. And one day we wake-up in a place we never meant to be drifting in a direction we would never have chosen.”

The greatest loss of a company is the missed marketing of an unleashed set of core values. Customers base their choices on a guaranteed product. The false advertisement could lead to problems such as government agencies that have reportedly fined the pharmaceutical industry in excess of $3 billion in the past few years because of allegedly misleading marketing and sales practices. 

According to the adage, “A leading medical-device company admitted not long ago to failing to inform doctors about a potentially fatal flaw in their aggressively marketed heart defibrillators. The company’s stock price plummeted and the firm was eventually sold and rebranded”.

This could cause potential harm to the consumer but will cause more harm for the company. Integrity marketing is based on values that companies should abide by, yet not all feel that morals matter with business.

Real-Time Marketing and your audience

Real-Time Marketing and your audience

With technology changing daily, consumers’ need for immediacy has become an expectation. Communicating with your clients through social media isn’t just a leg up, it’s a necessity to keeping your company ahead of the game. Although real-time marketing has been around for a few years, its appeal kicked into top gear during 2016 with multiple social media companies introducing real-time sharing to their sites. These new features offer businesses a cheap and distinctive way to communicate with customers and deliver content of value.

What is real-time marketing?

Real-time marketing is a strategy that focuses on adapting content to fit with current events or timely topics. Before the recent influx of live video features, real-time marketing showed itself mostly through memes or Instagram photos. Now, you’ll see it more regularly through Facebook Live webinars or Instagram stories.

Why use real-time marketing?

Real-time marketing ultimately allows you to humanize your brand. It creates an organic feel to communicating with your clientele. Customers are seeing your brand advertised on the same medium that they see pictures of their niece or videos of an old friend on vacation. This unique aspect of real-time marketing creates an authenticity that you won’t get elsewhere.

How does real-time marketing work?

Real-time marketing primarily works through social media. It allows your company to respond to events or topics related to your product immediately. Although this doesn’t mean that it needs to be a lengthy blog post. Something as simple as sharing a photo can offer an authentic contribution to the conversation that creates a bond between the company and its customer. For example, when the power went out during the 2013 Superbowl, Oreo responded with a Twitter post: “Power out? No problem.” The attached image was just one oreo, spotlighted, with the tagline “You can still dunk in the dark.” The clever post received over 15,000 retweets.

Within the last year, Facebook and Instagram both introduced real-time sharing features, and more and more companies are taking advantage of this platform. In addition to helping build relationships with customers, using real-time marketing creates a sense of urgency, encouraging consumers to act immediately. Many major brands have benefited from this strategy. Marc Jacobs, for example, introduced its 2017 fashion line via live video streaming. Fortunately, you don’t need high-tech equipment or an endless budget to utilize this strategy. Social media alone can help you use real-time marketing to build company-client relationships and provide unique, diverse content.

Virtual Reality: Life within a Screen

Virtual Reality: Life within a Screen

Virtual reality (VR) is a new, exciting technology to be explored. Only a few years ago, it seemed to be something straight out of science fiction; its roots can be traced into film history of the 1950s. The ‘Sensorama’, invented in 1956, presented short films in specially outfitted movie theaters with corresponding sounds and smells. Its creator, Morton Heilig, used this early VR technology to further immerse the viewer into a storyline.

Though no vocabulary existed for the technology until 30 years after this cinematic appeal to the senses, today Heilig is recognized as the “father of virtual reality”.

Modern virtual reality is experienced by its user through a wearable screen. It encodes head, eye, and motion tracking and conveys them onto an LCD display. This makes it possible to transform 2D images into 3D environments. By manipulating the senses, the user accepts the “reality” presented to them.

With no separation between your sight and the ‘world’ in front of you, virtual reality allows for a deeper submersion than does augmented reality.

The VR boom in the late 1980s was too short-lived to make real strides. Silicon Valley’s VPL invested heavily in the new technology only to declare bankruptcy a few years later. After the market failure of several VR systems in the 90s, interest in its development was lost until very recently.

In the last decade, virtual reality has been sought after by innovators as being the latest in computing technology. According to Palmer Luckey, it is the “final platform”.

Luckey founded Oculus VR, which sold to Facebook for $2.3 billion in 2014. As an authority in the industry, he has a definite understanding of the limitless applications of VR.

As its original backers hoped, VR is already advancing the fields of education, science, exploration and career training. It has also been implemented in treatments for lazy eye and PTSD. VPL’s original founder, Jaron Lanier has made the modest comment that virtual reality is merely the “next logical step” in human innovation.

Following Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR, Mark Zuckerberg took to his personal page to write: “Our mission is to make the world more open and connected…we can start focusing on what platforms will come next.” Zuckerberg added that “Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream…The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together.”

How much time do we spend on mobile devices?

How much time do we spend on mobile devices?

Society is addicted to the use of their mobile devices. Developers and advertisers need to understand these behaviors to compete in the marketplace.

A recent study has shown that the average person spends 90 minutes a day on their phone. When added up, it amounts to 23 days a year. U.S. adults spend 20 minutes daily in apps, while only spending 11 minutes per day via mobile websites. Nearly 80 percent of social media time is spent on mobile devices.

Time is money.

According to emarketer, five trends will influence the amount of time spent on mobile devices:

  • Efforts to make the mobile web faster and slicker
  • Messaging apps evolving into platforms
  • Retailers investing heavily in mobile advertising
  • The rise of mobile video viewing
  • Upgrades to smartphone operating systems

There are now nearly more mobile phone subscriptions (seven billion), than people in the world. Those who have access to the Internet, access it with more than one device.By the end of 2010, mobile data had grown twice as much as voice data. From the beginning of 2014 to the beginning of 2015 mobile data usage grew 55 percent.

Consumers now own an average of five devices. The time that consumers spent on those devices grew slowly over the course of 2016.

Not all the time spent online is distributed equally across platforms, apps, and websites.

Companies have to compete for a single consumer’s attention across an average of five devices. The result is that publishers, brands, and business must accept that apps need to be designed for cross-device usage to get the attention they desire.

Contact Colure’s Project Managers to discuss your visions for successful software development and marketing to move your project forward.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality

Augmented Reality is the melding of the real world with the digital world found on your smartphone. Think “Pokemon Go.”

You have more than likely encountered augmented reality, even if the term is unfamiliar. It is not to be confused with virtual reality, another recent development in the tech world. AR is experienced alongside the real world, while VR simulates its own reality.

Charles Arthur, a contributor to The Guardian, describes AR as taking “a real-life scene, or (better) a video of a scene, and add[ing] some sort of explanatory data to it so that you can better understand what’s going on, or who the people in the scene are, or how to get to where you want to go”.

By blurring the line between what is real and what is not, AR enhances the digital experience.

The most well-known examples of augmented reality in today’s market are Snapchat filters and Pokémon Go. While it is more easily recognizable in entertainment, AR has also been utilized in marketing, educational and retail ventures.

Augmented reality is also starting to play a role in the workplace. It has been adapted for certain hands-on training exercises. An employee’s virtual presence erases the need for direct contact with different environments.

Where direct involvement is risky, the immersive qualities of AR allows for otherwise impossible experiences. For example, NASA has started to use it for scientific research. This enables advances in exploration that humans couldn’t achieve. We can’t send a person to Mars, but technology is taking that giant leap for us.

In the near future, you might not even be able to tell who is seeing the world through an AR wearable. Going through a single day without experiencing augmented reality in some way might even be impossible.

As the technology behind AR continues to evolve, its limits will be pushed even further. Think about how Pong and other early video games now seem so primitive, yet they were what introduced many the members of today’s workforce to computing. Their innovations have increased the capabilities of operating systems hundreds of times over.

These same kinds of giant strides in AR are still to come. The next generation might be taught about the game-changing nature of Pokémon Go just as today’s youth learn about Tetris.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has already labeled augmented reality as the ‘next new thing’. Anyone who is familiar with the tech industry will agree: now that AR has captured Apple’s eye, every competitor will be clamoring to take it to new heights.

The importance of clean data

The importance of clean data

Data plays a critical part in marketing your brand. It provides insight into your target audience and helps to focus your advertising efforts. Your campaigns can only be as beneficial as your data is accurate.

It’s vital to make sure you’re collecting data in a way that’s precise and useful to your business. Just a few simple changes can make your data collection more serviceable.

Data collection concerns:

  • Don’t ask for too much information. Users are wary of giving out information that they feel is unnecessary or invasive. To avoid this, give succinct explanations of how the data will be used.
  • Avoid using outdated technology. Information forms that look outdated can appear untrustworthy to users. Whatever form you use to collect data should still be consistent with the rest of your site. It should appear simple and professional.
  • Be sure your form fields are efficient. Form fields that require specific formatting, like phone numbers or drop-down menus that don’t offer enough options can cause frustration for users and inaccuracies. For example, users who can’t find their occupation as an option in a drop-down menu are likely to choose another occupation that doesn’t accurately represent them.
  • Validate your data. Although data validation can seem monotonous at first, it’s extremely important. If a user accidentally submits the wrong information, it could lead to complications down the road or an inability to provide quality customer service.
  • Not giving enough incentive for providing information. LinkedIn is a spectacular example of offering a valuable exchange for information. As users add more information to their profile, they can look for jobs that better fit their experience or connect with other users that are closer to their industry.

The common theme throughout each of these concerns is the act of not looking at the big picture. For example, offering a drop-down menu might mean less work for you, but it also means less accurate data. Be sure that your form facilitates your function.

Thoughtfully formatted documents communicate trustworthiness and professionalism. When making changes to the way you collect data, it’s important to think about the larger scheme of things. What changes will be more beneficial to your organization further down the road? How can you make it easier for a user to provide information? In the end, it’s accuracy that’s going to provide you with the best results.

Artificial intelligence (AI), your sales, and customer dollars

Artificial intelligence (AI), your sales, and customer dollars

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the use of computer systems that perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Artificial intelligence allows big data sets to be analyzed, segmented and filtered while also gaining the meaning behind them.

AI maximizes data and customer targeting. Most digital campaigns implement data in a broad way. They will identify users who fit a profile and send a mass campaign their way. This type of marketing will target a vast amount of people who may no longer interact with that profile or no longer identify with that profile.

If a retail chain wants to promote their newest pair of basketball shoes, they may target their entire sports audience. Yet, not all of these customers are basketball affiliated. By marketing this product to the all-sports sect, the business would be wasting its time marketing to customers who aren’t interested in the product.

The use of artificial intelligence is able to target specific users. By examining who engaged with the basketball shoe ad, artificial intelligence is able to predict who will engage with similar campaign ads.

In order to keep up with the increased efficiency of the digital age, artificial marketing is necessary to keep digital marketing consistently relevant. The use of artificial intelligence allows marketers to spend their time more wisely by managing campaigns rather than worrying about crunching numbers into data. As digital marketing continues to expand so will artificial intelligence.