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Effective Ways In Which Businesses Are Utilizing Online Marketing

When it comes to operating in the modern business landscape, marketing online is vital. This kind of online advertising, which is also known as digital marketing, is the most effective way to let consumers know you exist. Being able to do that and to show them what you offer and why they should choose your business to spend money with is a key ingredient for business success. But why is online marketing the best way to go about it?

Effective Ways In Which Businesses Are Utilizing Online Marketing

Target your marketing to where your customers are located

There are now over four billion internet users around the world. Of that total, it is thought that over three billion use social media regularly. When you also factor in the widespread use of smartphones to carry out common tasks like shopping online then it is obvious why your business needs to be out there and readily available.

Ways that businesses can market online

Digital marketing makes use of online channels like social media to market a business to its target audience. It is a wide-ranging sector that provides many ways to influence the consumers that you want to reach. Here are some of the major ways in which businesses are utilizing online marketing.

  • E-mail marketing – this form of online marketing uses emails to communicate with new or existing customers. Although it is not new by any means, it still remains one of the most effective online ways to market your business. It is thought that for every $1 dollar invested into email marketing, businesses get a huge $44 back! That is due to the number of consumers who have email and can be effectively reached, along with email marketing not costing much in terms of resources.
  • Social media marketing – we all know how big social media now is. The major players like Twitter have millions of users. This, and the fact that they are free to use, makes them one of the best online marketing tools for businesses to utilize. Posts can be scheduled in advance to save time and it can help you connect with customers on a personal level. It is also the main way in which people share information about a company or interact with it. This makes it essential for you to have a social media presence – not only to market to new customers globally but also to engage with existing ones.
  • Paid search marketing – another common online marketing method that is utilized by many organizations is paid search marketing. It allows you to set up special online adverts for your business that are shown when someone searches for what you have to offer. These show up at the top of the search engine results so are superb for generating leads. As you only have to pay when someone clicks on your advert then they also give a good ROI.
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Five Reasons I love working with Startups

Five Reasons I love working with Startups

As a startup founder, working with other startup founders on a day to day basis, I get a huge amount of exposure to the European startups scene. I probably met upwards of 1000 startup founders in the past year. After at least 20 years in corporate life as a salesman and then management consultant I am in a good position to see the benefits of startup life!

The founders have vision and passion – The best startup founders are on a mission.  They have identified a problem or opportunity and will risk everything to ensure that they address it. They usually have immense positive energy and have the ability to motivate others to follow their vision.

Startups change the way we live – In most walks of life it is difficult to make a real, direct impact. Startups can bring radical change within relatively short timescales and with a small injection of capital. We only have to look at companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb and Instagram to see the diversity of change that is possible.

They shake up existing companies – Startups have little respect for the status quo. The taxis in San Francisco were awful; Uber gave a great alternative. The banks and other near-monopolies will be next. There are already startups nibbling away at the non-core activities of these monolithic businesses, providing customers with a better customer experience at a lower cost. It will not be long before startups will disrupt any business that does not provide exceptional service, and the really exciting thing is that they can turn to very nearly any market!

They are a creative learning process – Working on a startup is a constant learning experience. Small team sizes mean that everyone works on every aspect of the business. The environment is dynamic and subject to constant change as competitors emerge and market conditions change. Startup founders have to be highly creative, to imagine new solutions, unique business models and innovative processes.

They are a great environment to work in – Startups are a very different working environment to most enterprises. There is no time for politics or egos. The most important thing is getting the job done as effectively as possible. Startups are finely balanced and there is little room for hanger-oners. The pressure is invigorating, and no two days are the same. They also tend to make use of some of the excellent collaboration and time saving software that exists today – from Slack to Power BI data visualisation, Google Apps for business to Xero, there are programs that help startups (that in turn are now successful once-startups) save time and money where it matters.

Enterprises are increasingly finding it difficult to innovate in the face of competition from smaller more nimble competition. Startups represent an alternative way of organising resources which provides more fulfilment to founder teams and employees and deliver accelerated results. There is little doubt that life in a startup can be extremely tough and is … Read More

Suffering from Bad Google Reviews? Here are 4 Tactics that Will Help Outgrow Bad Ratings

Suffering from Bad Google Reviews? Here are 4 Tactics that Will Help Outgrow Bad RatingsIn today’s world, your company’s online reputation can be your strongest asset or a pesky liability. One of the most common ways that consumers learn about a company is by reading reviews from past customers. Reviews and testimonials give prospective customers first-hand details of how your brand operates.

In fact, studies have found that online reviews have a huge impact on purchasing decisions. Around 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations while 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make it easier to trust a business.

So, what do you do if your online reputation has been tarnished with bad Google reviews? Here are four tactics that will help your company to outgrow bad ratings.

1. Respond Instead of Ignoring

After going online and seeing negative Google reviews about your business, it’s hard to not want to recant and tell your side of the story. While it’s a human instinct to want to defend ourselves and those things most important to us, one of the worst things you can do in reaction to a negative review is to pick fight with customers.

Instead of starting a war of words, which only further ruins your business’ online reputation, respond professionally. Refuting a customer’s review will only shed a further negative light on your company. But, by at least taking the time to acknowledge both negative and positive reviews, it shows customers that you’re engaged and willing to accept that your business has room for improvement.

Responding to negative responses also shows that you do care about how customers feel and that your brand is approachable. A personal brand is a successful one.

2. Accept Criticism as Being Constructive

No one likes to hear bad things about their business. Companies are a labor of love and after putting so much time, effort, and energy into your business, it can be hurtful to see negative words. While bad reviews are a hard pill to swallow, instead of reacting negatively or ignoring them, take the high road and turn them into constructive criticism. When responding to customers, let them know of the changes you’ve made to mitigate the problem. At the end of your response welcome them back for business with the promise of an improved experience.

By taking the time to acknowledge negative reviews, it shows customers that you’re being proactive in improving your business. This shows that not only do you care about how customers view your business, it also shows that you care about customer experience and that your brand is quite approachable.

3. Have a Plan to Offset Negative Reviews

The next step in understanding how to fix my online reputation is to create a plan for offsetting negative reviews. By having a plan to have customers write more positive reviews is very helpful in offsetting bad ratings. While good reviews don’t negate bad ones, they will improve your overall rating and will give consumers more reasons to view your company in a positive light.… Read More

Effective Network Penetration Testing Guide

Effective Network Penetration Testing Guide

Would you like to find out the vulnerabilities in your system before a malicious hacker exploit it? Are you aware of the present network vulnerabilities in the system but require an expert to provide more proof for additional investment? Would you also love to conduct penetration testing to comply with the set regulations and industry standards? Well, it is a good idea to be tech-savvy on matters pen testing to assess your vendor pre and post penetration testing exercise. The following guide will help you understand what should be done before, during, and after penetration testing.

Pre-Penetration Stage

This point is vital to help you understand the series of activities you need to pay attention to before a network penetration process. They include:

Defining the scope – whichever the type of penetration, ensure to list the number of networks, IP addresses within each network, computers on the net, and subnets to avoid any problems. This move is essential to help pen testers attend to all network systems. Worse still, they can mistakenly hack some third-party systems.

State the time frame – Penetration testing should always be independently done and should never affect the regular company working hours. For instance, if a pen tester working on your network uses techniques that draw heavy traffic, this would consequently overload the system. You may experience slowed speeds or even crashes.

Decide whether your security and technical staff should be aware – sometimes, sudden penetration testing is essential in assessing how your security team reacts. If not informed early, they may slow down or shut the system down altogether. They can easily cut off internet access from pen testers.

The Actual Penetration Stage

During this stage, you need to understand the best practices involved in network pen testing. It will help you have a clear understanding of whether your hired vendor runs the process as per the required standards. You need to gather more information concerning your customer. You can do this through their websites, online data mining services, WHOIS databases and much more. Ensure to carry out a network survey to allow pen testers have adequate information about domain or server names, IP addresses, open and closed ports, operating systems and much more.

Another activity is finding out the existing vulnerabilities. This can be conducted manually or automatically. Some automatic penetration testing software can be helpful in covering the huge ground. Finally, identify suitable targets and attempt penetration. Great software usually groups vulnerabilities basing on their severity index. Pentesters can also decide to perform social engineering which involves involving the employees in finding out some information.

Post Penetration Stage

As of now, the process of network penetration is complete. However, penetration testing is not yet complete. The remaining methods involve generating the test report and clean-up. You should always understand that creating an excellent report is vital while planning your risk management. Write your overview including what vulnerabilities require attention.

Ensure to highlight other critical vulnerabilities. Finally, for the clean-up exercise, pen … Read More

The Heavy-Duty Smartphone Solution for Heavy-Duty Workers

The Heavy-Duty Smartphone Solution for Heavy-Duty Workers

When smartphones were invented, everyone was excited to have a taste of the new advancement in technology. The most amusing feature of the smartphone was its design and the fact that instead of the normal keypad the phones were designed with a screen. On top of that, there was also the fact that the screens are sensitive to touch making them the integral part of the entire design. It did not take long for people to discover the disadvantage of having the screen. A broken screen meant the whole device is spoilt. So, people came up with the concept of the phone case and screen protectors. These components have gone a long way in the protection of the smartphone from breakage; however, there is also the issue of non-water resistance that was partly resolved also. It is easy to maintain your smartphone with a case and a screen guard, but especially if you do heavy-duty work like construction and field workers.

For heavy duty workers who had for a long time been bombarded with repair bills for their phones due to the rugged nature of their work, a heavy duty cell phone or a ruggedized phone was invented. These phones have been designed to work well even in harsh conditions and environments like rainy environments. Initially, there was a single brand of this device. Due to the high demand from almost 7 billion individuals according to recent studies, more companies came up with their own brand of the ruggedized phone.

Features to Look for in a Ruggedized Phone

Battery life capacity is the most important feature of an incredible ruggedized phone. Since the users do not work in environments that allow them to charge their phones constantly, the phone should be able to maintain the charge for a longer time than the normal phones. The design of the phone is paramount to its durability. Such a phone should have a screen with two layers. A bumper that will protect it from shock is also paramount. The standard test for the durability of the phone is basically dropping it from a five-foot height which it should be designed to handle. The phone should also be resistant to water.

Like any other smartphone, an inbuilt security feature must be part of the package. Most of these phones are not cheap and they hold a lot of important and personal content which needs to be protected. The users of ruggedized phones work in environs that may prompt loss hence the importance of security. A rugged phone needs to have a quality camera that can be used to take quality photos and videos in the field. The memory feature should be sufficient and expandable in order to accommodate this data as well as applications that employees may need for instance for the purpose of computing in their field of work. Most people who use rugged phones are workers in the heavy-duty industries as well as field workers.… Read More