Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Top Technology Trends for 2014

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Come 2014, the age of digital has more than made its mark. There is no need to go on about the dependency we all have on modern technologies. From home to business, we literally cannot live without it. Icreon Tech gives us technology predictions for 2014. Keep on top of all things tech by having a read-through.

  • Internal IT firms, software development companies and techno gurus will focus more heavenly on software launches. Making sure everything runs smoothly before the day of “go live”, is imperative not only for the website itself, but business image too. Expect massive changes in software to ensure mishaps like these are eradicated.
  • 2014 will see the boom of Mobile Gamification. Apps such as Waze and Spotify have already started using this type of technology to provide weekly summaries. Mobile gamification is in essence, software that incorporates game mechanic into users’ experiences over mobiles.
  • Web scale IT such as cloud-based portals and eco-friendly data centres will become more prominent. Expect to see mid to large sized enterprises to make use of these technologies.
  • Social media has become a massive channel for businesses to correlate with their audiences directly. It allows communication and advertising in real-time and expect to see more of a IT shift to occur within the social media realm.
  • Expect to see a rise in the connection between human interaction and PC systems. Think here of the Apple iPhone’s fingerprint recognition. These interactions are expected to be on the rise dramatically in 2014.

It’s impossible to imagine all the technologies that could emerge within the near future. When progressing at such a rapid pace, we can only wait and see what new and emerging technologies will aid and be beneficial, not only to businesses but the average every Joe too.

 

2014 Tech Trends for your Marketing Strategies

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Whether your business is based online or not, technology plays a huge part in its success. Being on top of tech trends will impact your business directly in a positive light. Like everything else, being one step above is imperative to making your business prominent. Being on the forefront of the latest technology trends shows not only innovation, but willingness to keep up with the times. All this will portray you in a positive light, thus only enhancing your business image, and improving your strategies moving forward.

  1. Expect an evolution from obligation to a true value-add for customers and staff. These 2 are your main focus moving forward.
  2. The service integration model takes a sterner stance on the management of multiple suppliers.
  3. Competition will be higher in 2014 as consumers look for more devices and apps. Technology pace will increase and may cause disruptions among a range of industries.
  4. 6 countries that are a part of the global GDP growth will have a direct impact on economic opportunities. Companies all over the world will be forced to reinvent themselves to stay in the running.
  5. Decision-making for businesses in 2014 will be based more on big data, and this data will now be accessible through mobile.
  6. As 2013 saw The Rise of Mobile, 2014 will follow suit. Mobile will become the fore runner and thus all marketing strats, websites, app etc, will need to be made mobile-accessible.

Below are 5 points to which marketing analysts and industry experts have predicted for tech trends this year. Are you ready to innovate?

  1. Make use of all new technologies. Make your brand consistant through all channels. There can be a misconception to reinvent brands for different channels. This is not the case, keep your branding the same across ALL channels.
  2. Deliver useful content. Don’t drown your audience in a sea of information. Choose your timing, and remember to have a clear strategy.
  3. Knowing the needs of your audience is a common, all time must-do/ Monitoring tools on 2014 will aid you in finding gaps you might have missed. Research different apps and technologies that could help you to gain more of an insight to what your market is talking about.
  4. Prove a measurable ROI on your business objectives by using monitoring tools.
  5. Through all the innovation and change, keep your core business stable. Do not lose sight of your main objectives and do not attempt to branch out too much. Use these tech trends and apps to aid your core business function, rather than letting it overpower your original concept.

Google Webmasters Update Toolbar Page Rank

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Google Page Rank
On the 6th of December 2013, the former “dormant” Google Page Rank metric saw an update for the first time since February 2013. This means Page Ranks will be monitored more closely in relation to links from reputable sites. Buying links, especially so close to the festive season, will negatively impact your websites page rank. Sites that were down have been affected negatively by this change.

What is the Google Toolbar Page Rank?

This feature is an algorithm used by Google’s web search engine to rank websites. Page Rank is a way to measure the importance of a website.

How does it work?

Page Rank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of the importance of the website itself. The assumption here is that the more important or relevant a site is, the more links they will receive from other websites.

Googlebot is an automated web spider that is used to count links and gather information on other web pages.

How Do I Increase my Websites Page Rank?

Think here of rather getting quality, reputable sites to link to you. By focusing on where your next quality editorial links come from, your real page rank will go up as well as the visitors to your website.

Website Tips: Working Smart and Growing Fast

Friday, November 29th, 2013

web-tipsAt WordCamp Cape Town, Rob Hope, a WordPress fan and web developer, spoke on strategies behind his successful site. With 6000 daily visitors and 30 submissions a day from designers wanting to get features on his site, Hope knows his stuff. Here’s what we can take from his strategy.

Users and Community

As obvious as it might sound, ultimately, you’re building a site for an audience. So, why wouldn’t you consider your markets experience and ways to communicate with them? Rob Hope explained that he personally contacted people of sites he would be featuring on his website, and asked them if their work had been presented in the best possible way. This allowed him to create a relationship with them directly, also making them feel honoured in having a chance/a say in how their work is going to represented.

There on, the featured designers visited Hope’s site and shared their work on his platform through social media. This gave him immediate exposure from a range of different clientele. This gave Hope’s site immediate traffic.

4 Simple and Effective Rules:

  • Easy navigation
  • No clutter
  • Visible content
  • Make it easy for visitors to subscribe

Change + Improvements = Boosted Audience

The worst thing a website can be is static. Change it up for your users and reap the traffic benefits. Tweak and improve your site on a regular basis and monitor what changes work for your specific audience. This allows your site to be customised to the needs and wants of your direct target market.

It’s (not) All About The Money

Before zooping your website up with ads, first concentrate on putting together the best possible site for your market niche. Once you have regular, returning followers, you can proceed with monetising your website.

All in all, website development is a fluid business. Keep improving, know your audience and keep improving and keep going.

Marketing 101: Know Your Audience

Friday, November 29th, 2013

It goes without saying, by knowing your audience; you learn to make your business thrive.Identify_Your_Audience

Audit Your Audience

Pay attention to your visitor profiles no matter what business you run. By knowing who is viewing your sire you begin to gain an understanding on the particular audience viewing your website, and who you want to be looking at your site. Monitor you visitor profiles though analytics programmes to keep track of who is paying attention to your business. By using this information, you can tweak your site and develop marketing campaigns to further your reach.

Using Visitor Profiles To Optimise

By understanding who is visiting your site, how frequently and what they’re doing on your site aids you in developing a feasible marketing plan.

Cassie Lancellotti-Young is the VP of client optimisation and analytics at a company called Sailthru. She recommends personalizing marketing strategies based on the “BUS”(behavioural, usage, situational) model.

  • Behavioural

What time of the day are the customers browsing?

When does the customer convert?

What devices are mainly used?

Is it through an app or mobile web?

  • Usage

By analysing usage, you reaffirm the importance of what marketers have looked at before: frequency of purchases, how often etc.

  • Situational

This is about factors which could be affecting users’ behaviours. So for example, why are people not engaging?

Minimalism Within The World Of Digital Marketing

Friday, November 29th, 2013

the-art-of-simplicity-logo_345-website

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci

The concept of “brands” is complex. It is a world full of strategy and complex ideas, which is why simplicity within the digital marketing sphere is of the ultimate importance. By making concepts simple and easy to grasp, you add a high amount of value and admiration to your brand.

The Role Of A Brand Owner

  • Live the brand purpose
  • Ensure product works
  • Make it available demonstrate product
  • Communicate brands value
  • Engage with customers

Customers are looking for things that will make their lives easier. They want solutions that are readily available without much fuss. They want reduced clutter and complication. Marketers sometimes get lost in the battle of the digital realm by unnecessarily complicating things. Competitiveness can play a role in this. By seeing what others do, certain marketers will follow. A common misconception is that the more complex something is, the more intelligent the scheme. The justification of “our field is just as complex as yours”, needs to be scrapped. Why? Because, this is not benefitting your users and audience, thus not benefitting you.

Digital Frustration

In this digital world, marketers are often faced with the problem of audiences not understanding the digital sphere. This is where simplicity will take your further. It’s true, many people do not understand the world of digitalised marketing, that is why it’s your duty to make things as simple as possible i order to reach audiences.

 

At the end of the day, experts in any field should not be driven to show how smart they are. Your end goal is your client, thus “dumbing down” your campaigns will benefit them and aid then in understanding, and providing you with adequate revenue.

 

Hyper-Local Marketing

Friday, November 29th, 2013

What is it?local-marketing1

Although there is no solid definition for the term “hyper-local marketing”, the term can be summarised as follows. Hyper-local marketing is somewhat of a niched marketing. So, for example, this can be a marketing campaign targeted toward a specific region, to target a specific audience. Most of this type of marketing is done online.

Any marketing campaign has a number of key components:

  • Goals
  • Target market
  • Understanding of strengths and weaknesses
  • Activities
  • Measures
  • Feedback

Many of the same rules apply to hyper-local marketing strategies. It’s just being more relevant towards the targeted community and the immediate area of business that you’re advertising.

Goals

Hyper-local marketing deems a local strategy, a strategy that contains a local and familiar flavour in order to entice local audiences.

Targeting Your Market

Get to know the people that live around your business. In order to hyper-market a product or service, you need to really get to understand your audience on a more specific level.

Activities

Get to know your local consumer. By getting actively involved in the community you are targeting, you will gain insider information to the likes and dislikes, needs and wants of your desired target market.

Track Your Success

Feedback is of the utmost importance to ensure your hyper-local marketing technique and strategies are working. Do not underestimate the power of conversion rates. Measure your success through the use of different channels. EG, different Email addresses, mobile or code numbers are easily traceable. Make use of these technologies and improve your strategy continuously.

 

15 Must-Have Business Apps

Friday, November 29th, 2013
  1.  Focus@willapps1

Focus@will uses a specially formulated music system for you to listen to. This increases productivity by increasing your focus levels.

2.  Wunderlist

Whether it be for your SmartPhone, iPad or PC, this app is a great tool. Primarily used as a ideas and memo tool, keep your lists handy too.

3.    Box

This app allows users to edit files and securely send them to customers or colleagues effortlessly. View the progress of company projects and give feedback all in one easy application.

4.    Refresh

For HR folk, this app is great. Refresh crawls all social media networks and tells you everything you want to know on the person within 30 seconds!

5.    Audible

If you find yourself constantly on-the-go, and don’t have time to keep up with the latest books and news, this is the app for you. Listen to text on-the-go with this handy little application, straight from your phone.

6.    Flowdock

Collaborate instantly on projects with your colleagues through Flowdock. Think of this app as a chat-meets-inbox tool. Whether you use it on your SmartPhone, tablet or PC, it’s great for staying organised. With inbox features, drag and drop, file uploads and activity streams, you can stay up to date with what each department is doing, Flowdeck is for you.

7.    Gliph

Send private messages across a variety of platforms with one application. Gliph comes along with document storage and encryption features to ensure your safety and security of contents.

8.    Fleksy

Type without looking at your SmartPhone screen! Interested in finding out more? Go on, download it now.

9.    Triplt

For those travel bugs, keep your life organised with this app. Log your flight bookings into the application by emailing it to a certain address.

10.  Full

Set your goals, whether it is for business or personal. Monitor your progress with Full.

11.  Brook

This is an application that focuses on certain update from different social platforms that is relevant to you. Brook is still in Beta mode, so be sure to keep an eye out.

12.  CloudMagic

Search through all your servers: Gmail, Yahoo, Dropbox etc with one simple search.

13.  Venmo

This app acts as a peer-to-peer payment service system. Free and easy to use, Venmo offers users friction-free transactions.

14.  Lift

Lift is like a Twitter for tracking habits. Support your friends and monitor each other progress reports.

15.  WinStreak

Make three daily goals you want to achieve per day. WinStreak helps and reminds you to focus on what’s important and the steps you need to take to accomplish what you set out to do.

The Launch of Virgin StartUp

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

virgin-logoOn the 24th of October 2013, Sir Richard Branson announced the latest division of his Virgin Empire, the Virgin StartUp. This not-for-profit company serves to empower young entrepreneurs across the UK by providing financial support, mentoring and business advice across all sectors.

I started my first business with a handful of coins out of a phone-box at school, but it was the £300 from my mum that really kick-started our Student magazine and sparked the Virgin adventure 40 years ago. Today, young people need that same help and I believe Virgin StartUp will provide it – with access to early capital, strong mentorship, advice and promotion. We look forward to helping launch thousands of new businesses as a delivery partner of The Start-Up Loan Company across the UK in years to come.” –Sir Richard Branson

Virgin StartUp is working in conjunction with The Start Up Loans Company in order to provide financial support to entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 – 30.

Virgin is going to be investing in a central team to manage the new company. Drawing from resources provided by the empire, Virgin StartUp is the collaboration between Virgin, Cavendish Consortium and the National Enterprise Network. Virgin StartUp is well-equipped with support from Virgin’s UK companies, some of which include:

  • Virgin Trains
  • Virgin Media
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Active
  • Virgin Care
  • Virgin Unite.

All these companies will come together to  provide access to staff mentors, marketing and media support, business advice as well as providing space to host networking or promotional events.

This new Virgin initiative plans to develop a mentoring programme along with a series of regional events to promote new businesses and showcase their established entrepreneurial expertise.

Social Media 101: Quality Not Quantity

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

All Social Media Strategists attention! Are you implementing the quality vs. quantity approach in your campaigns? In case you didn’t quality_not_quantityknow how important it is, in the world of social media, it is just as important to create a good first impression as it is in real life. You only get one chance. For digital marketers that already have a few pages, it is highly likely you’ve already seen Spammers at work. Those profiles that comment on your updates with links to their websites? Yeah, those are spammers. And that is the biggest no-no to online marketing in the social media world.

It’s important to remember that the social web is a way into which you can create online communities. Your goal should always be to build and make friendships online, and NOT push out your service/product on others profiles.  This is where the notion of quality vs. quantity comes in.

Campaigns for the People

Your main role is to get conversation going. Keep your posts interesting, stimulating and interesting. A mix of both personal and professional posts should be part of your monthly strategy. It’s important not to push advertising of your product/service all the time. It’s imperative to mix it up with what your clientele is interested in.

SEO SMO

Keyword research is not just for copywriters! Use keywords in your status updates and content that you share is so important for SEO and how people will find your media channels.

Sharing is Caring

Remember to share content that is all industry related. By sharing content or links from other sites you are more likely to create relationships where people will post your content, and thus increasing your reach.

Upkeep of Updates

Keeping your presence consistent is the number one rule of SMO. Do not become dormant, this could kill your campaign and people will move away from your page if they see nothing’s happening. With that said, whether you post 1 or 5 updates a day, remember it’s the quality not the quantity that matters.