Archive for the ‘huge thoughts’ Category

The Launch of Twitter Ads Promises Big Things for South African SME’s

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

On the 13th of May 2014, global social media platform, Twitter, launched its Paid Ads initiative in South Africa. Small business in South Africa can now increase the impact of their marketing with self-serve advertising products. Twitter’s advertising platform has launched in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Japan and South Africa. We are one of the first 6 countries in the world to have access to these ads. As it stands, a year ago, Twitter ads launched in the US and just in November, the UK. Since then, it has showed promising results for both countries. (more…)

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.

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.

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.

Virtualized Travels: Google’s Tour Builder

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Google Earth allows internet users to virtually travel the world with the simple click of a mouse. However, a new feature will now change tour-builder_fethe way people document their real-life travels forever.

Have a look at Google’s new Tour Builder. Although still in its beta phase, this application allows users to create a narrative through photos, videos, text and Google Earth itself. This was originally created as a way for US Marine Veterans to tell their stories. But now, it’s open to all. By simply installing a Google Earth desktop plug-in and make sure you have a Google account.

How Does it Work?

Think of it as a slideshow presentation. Start off with a title and an introductory paragraph. Viewers are able to see all frames at the same time.

Opt for something a little more exciting than a scrapbook for your holiday ventures. Try out Google’s Tour Builder now.

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.

BBM For Andriod and iOS is here!

Friday, October 25th, 2013

The BlackBerry enterprise has counted its losses and sold its infamous app. BBM was enjoyed by many, being the first free chatting service popular to the public since the days of Mxit. Not only was BBM a huge feature of BlackBerry cellphones, but the BIS service, with its unlimited internet surely did count for more.

Now that the BBM service has been sold and is available to all other smart phones, will it be enough to salvage the BlackBerry image that was once so popular?

Should I download BBM?

Did you own a BlackBerry prior to your new, (probably touch screen) mobile phone? Do you miss the simplicity and emoticons and infamous “r” sign, knowing your friend has read your message and isn’t responding? Then yes. Download it to your new phone and enjoy the free service once again.

If you’ve never owned a BlackBerry or used BBM, and are more familiar with its counterpart, Whatsapp, then there’s no real reason to have it installed.

Having said that, over 10 million downloads have already occurred since the release, so maybe it’s more popular than we think.

How Do I Download It?

If you are an iPhone fundie, head to BlackBerry’s official site, (www.blackberry.com) and proceed  to your download on Google Play Store.

Samsung settlers, get onto Samsung Apps and proceed your download there. Most likely you won’t have to search, as it will be on the home page under “Editor’s Picks”. Thereafter, proceed with the installation and enter your email address to be placed in-line. Yes, there is a line. Wait for the email to be sent (I still am), and from there on get back to BBM basics!