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We’re heading for another big shake up in marketing next year (what’s new?). And now that it’s December, it’s time to roll up our collective sleeves and get stuck into the changes that will be coming our way. As always, what actually happens is going to be very different to how most of us imagine it to be. Chatbots, not people, will be talking to our customers, and marketers are going to be getting more and more invested in the ad blocking arms race as savvy consumers try to hide their personally identifiable information from businesses and governments they see as a threat.

Check out these interesting and sometimes outright weird marketing trends expected to arrive in the year ahead.

ROI Metrics Will Dominate

At the moment, companies are using things like CPMs to measure the performance of their websites. The idea is that the higher the rate of conversion on their websites, whether it’s downloads, signups, or purchases, the better. But the problem with these data is that they are very mono-dimensional. Companies aren’t able to measure what the return is on their investment very easily. After all, different conversions have different values, and converting one set of customers can be a lot more costly than converting another set.

In the coming year, it is expected by Forbes and other experts that ROI-based performance metrics will come to dominate. Companies will be able to get real-time information on how much it cost them to generate an individual conversion, as well as how much that conversion cost relative to the amount of value generated by it. This new approach will then make it easier for companies to dedicate their precious marketing dollars to those instances that will generate the highest return.

Businesses Will Uncover Dark Social

Knowing where customers came from online is important. But right now, many people are choosing to keep their identities hidden, thanks to ever-increasing intrusion on their lives by governments and to a lesser degree, companies. This has led to the widespread adoption of encrypted, private messaging apps that effectively block out the ability of businesses to collect data. The problem with this is that companies rely on knowing which channels people are coming from to optimize their marketing strategies. If for instance, they’re getting lots of traffic from Facebook, but not very much from Twitter, it doesn’t make sense to plow investment dollars into Twitter.

Next year, companies will get tools that will help them uncover the world of dark social. GetSocial.io, for instance, can help firms find out where their customers are coming from, without revealing any personally identifiable information. It’s the best of both worlds, where consumer data remains private, and where companies get the information they need to better target their marketing campaigns.

Third-Party, Social Media “Buy Buttons”

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The future of ecommerce looks surprisingly different from the present. At the moment, the paradigm is that online retailers have to have their own website to which their customers arrive and make purchases. There’s a lot of money being spent right now on these sites to make sure that they have high visibility on general search engines.

But thanks to the fact that people never seem to tire of social media, social media itself will soon become a shopping platform in its own right. Facebook and Pinterest and currently investigating ways to include buy buttons next to products or items. For Pinterest, this is a particularly interesting idea, since it is a site dedicated to hosting and organizing photographs, usually of beautiful, bespoke products. Companies wouldn’t have to invest their marketing efforts trying to improve their rank on Google; they’ll be investing in enhancing their visibility on platforms like Pinterest and making sure that they produce the most alluring photographs possible. New social media marketing is something you can learn more about at Simplilearn here.

Marketing That “Gives Back”

Customers want the brands that they consume to have a feel good element. They want to know that when they buy a product that at least some of their money will be going to a noble cause. There are all sorts of companies that are doing this already. Take Warby Parker, the online glasses seller, for instance. This company proudly promotes the fact that “for every pair purchased, a pair is distributed to someone in need.” Regular, everyday companies need to think of ways of resonating with their customer base and making them feel as if they are improving the world with every purchase.

Native Advertising

Internet users are getting more and more savvy to the marketing tactics of online advertisers, hence the growth in the use of adblockers. Next year companies will have to focus more exclusively on native advertising – advertising that is expertly weaved into the content of an article or a video. Advertisers are going to need to target bloggers and vloggers and get them to incorporate their own products in a way that adds value to consumers. People don’t want yet another banner ad promising to save them money: they want something that actively helps them to understand something or somewhere that gives them unbiased information about a product. Product reviews, as well as videos showcasing how much fun a product can be, will form the lion’s share of marketing going forward.

Yet More Market Segmentation

You might think that we’ve reached peak personalization for online marketing, but according to experts, it’s going to be going up another notch next year. Personalization means targeting advertising based on a person’s habits and preferences online. The basic idea is to give consumers only the advertising content that they want, rather than bombarding them with information that they are not interested in. In a world of information overload, this may be the only approach marketers can use to get their message to stick.

Marketing Will Become Mobile-First

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Long gone are the days when the PC was the dominant platform through which people consume online content. The market has spoken, and it turns out that people prefer their mobile devices, despite the fact that they only provide a fraction of the screen real estate. This new reality means that businesses are going to have to optimize first for mobile, and then for desktop after, to make sure that they are prioritizing their experiences in the correct way. Right now, many website builders have a desktop-first approach, which will have to change as we go forward in 2017.

Chatbots Will Talk To Your Customers For You

If you’ve ever gotten interested in artificial intelligence or computer science, you’ll have heard about the Turing test. The Turing Test was a test devised by Alan Turing, the esteemed computer scientist depicted in the film The Imitation Game. It said that artificial intelligence was achieved if an expert couldn’t tell whether he or she was talking to a person or a computer.

It might surprise you to discover that we’re not far off the world that Alan Turing envisioned. Today’s chatbots are being developed by the world’s most advanced AI companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon. They’re all in a sort of arms race to build an AI that is able to chat with customers on behalf of business, find out their preferences, and feed all those data into a central repository where it can be analyzed and made use of. Chatbots, as they are called, will soon provide users with news updates on the products that they are interested in, as well as personalized responses to their queries, slashing the costs customer service in the process.

Companies Will Deliver Their Own Breaking News

Top tech companies are already making a habit of live streaming their events. You can now watch the biggest product launches, right from the comfort of your own computer as they happen in real time. As we go into 2017, live streaming technology will continue to push boundaries. For example, Instagram has now integrated its live stream option into its new “Stores” feature, meaning companies are able to keep users apprised of the very latest developments at company HQ.

Without Influencers, Companies Will Be Nowhere

We’ve already discussed just how important it will be for companies to find bloggers and vloggers who can act as hosts for their native advertising efforts. Next year, they’ll have to reach out to these influencers more than they ever did in the past. The reason for this is that people tend to trust influencers a lot more than they do the company’s own, direct marketing. Smart companies realize that to be successful, they have to reach out to influencers to gain credibility and sell their product. They need people who are seen as leaders in their own particular social field to promote, review and use their products if they are to be successful.

So there you have it – the big marketing trends to look out for next year. We haven’t even talked about things like VR or interactive content here because they are enormous topics in their own right. Suffice to say that 2017 is going to be very different – again.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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4 Changes to Increase Your Bottom Line: Dip in Revenue? No Problem!

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It’s happened to the best of us: a dip in our bottom line. Don’t worry, though, there are plenty of things you can do to move that curve back up! In this blog post, we will discuss four changes that you can make to improve your revenue and get your business back on track. Making just a few small changes can have a big impact on your bottom line.

Evaluate Your Expenses

One of the first places to start when you are trying to increase your revenue is by evaluating your expenses. Take a close look at where your money is going and see if there are any areas where you can cut back. Even small changes can make a big difference in your bottom line. If you’re not sure where to start, try looking at things like office supplies, travel costs, and marketing expenses. See if there are any areas where you can reduce spending without sacrificing quality or effectiveness. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors either. If you feel like you’re paying too much for something, reach out and see if you can get a better deal. You may be surprised at how often this works! Finally, make sure you are taking advantage of any tax breaks or incentives that your business may be eligible for. There may be some easy money that you’re leaving on the table!

Review Your Pricing

Another way to increase your revenue is by reviewing your pricing. If it’s been a while since you’ve evaluated your prices, now is the time to do it! Make sure you are charging enough for your products or services to cover your costs and leave you with a profit. Don’t be afraid to raise your prices if necessary. If you’re providing a high-quality product or service, your customers will be willing to pay more. You may even find that raising your prices helps to increase demand for your product or service! Of course, there may also be times when lowering your prices is the right move. This can be especially true if you’re trying to enter a new market or reach a different customer base. By offering a lower price, you can attract new customers and boost your revenue.

Increase Your Sales

One of the most obvious ways to increase your revenue is by increasing your sales. This can be done in a number of different ways. First, take a look at your marketing efforts. Are you reaching as many potential customers as possible? If not, it may be time to invest in some new marketing initiatives. These include from your website design to social media to traditional advertising. There are a lot of great options out there, so find one that fits your business and budget and get started! You can also try selling more to your existing customer base. Upselling and cross-selling are great ways to boost revenue without having to find new customers. If you’re not sure how to do this, ask your sales team for help! They’ll be able to give you some great ideas. Finally, don’t forget about seasonal sales! This is a great time to offer discounts and promotions to boost your revenue. Just make sure you plan ahead, so you don’t end up cutting into your profits!

Reduce Your Expenses

Now that we’ve covered some ways to increase your revenue let’s take a look at how you can decrease your expenses. Reducing your expenses is another great way to improve your bottom line. Here are a few ideas to get you started: First, take a close look at your inventory levels. Do you have more products than you need? If so, you may be able to reduce your inventory costs by reducing your stock levels. You can also save money by negotiating better deals with your suppliers. If you feel like you’re paying too much for something, reach out and see if you can get a better price. Chances are, your supplier will be happy to work with you! Finally, make sure you’re not wasting any resources. This includes things like office supplies, energy, and even water. By reducing waste, you can lower your expenses and improve your bottom line.

There are a lot of great ways to boost your bottom line. By increasing your sales, reducing your expenses, and taking advantage of tax breaks and incentives, you can easily improve your bottom line. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

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How To Manage A Team Working Remotely

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Once upon a time, practically all businesses were run on a local scale, meaning that they were within a short distance of their core consumer group. Even the largest, most expansive firms in the country have broken their territory up into smaller regions, cities, and zones. Through the use of eCommerce solutions, remote working, and outsourcing, modern firms are no longer constrained by their physical locations. This has allowed the wheels of industry to continue rolling.

In point of fact, the time has come when a proprietor of a company may now conduct their entire operation from the comfort of their own home and the benefits of a distributed workforce

 are now more commonly known.

Let us get started with our discussion of how to manage remote workers.

Improve the efficiency of communication

You may probably guess that clear and concise communication is one of the most important aspects of managing a workforce that is geographically dispersed. The very last thing you want is for anything significant to be lost in the shuffle as a result of a mistake that was made with the logistics.

As a result of this, it is of the utmost importance that you establish a clear chain of command and make every effort to simplify and expedite your communication process. You do not want your workers to be uncertain about who they should report to or where they should deliver paperwork, do you?

Establish early on how you intend to conduct business, and then modify your approach only when it makes logical sense to do so. Your team will not benefit from continual upheaval in any way.

Place emphasis on the big picture.

How do you plan to make sure that everyone is on the same page? Paying attention to the whole context is one of the most effective responses to that query. Not just the deadlines and information that they “need to know,” but also the end goal of their job should be communicated to the members of your team.

The likelihood of your employees becoming interested in the various projects they are working on increases in proportion to the amount of involvement they have in the firm as a whole.

Use modern tech

It ought to go without saying, but it is important to emphasize that managers should make use of the most cutting-edge technology available in order to link the members of their teams. Skype, Zoom, and other video chat platforms to assist in maintaining continuity despite the large distances that separate them.

The use of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone systems in establishments such as hospitals, legal firms, and private schools will make it possible for members of the team to share vital information instantly.

Keep in mind that managers have a responsibility to encourage their staff to investigate all of the possibilities and benefits that current technology offers. It is a waste of resources to invest a significant amount of money on a communication or software programme that is not utilized to the maximum possible degree. Remember to keep this in mind prior to making any more investments.

Face to face meetings

When it comes to bringing your team together for regular meetings, video chat is an upgrade over phone calls; but, neither of these options is as beneficial as having everyone in the room together in person. Create recurring activities in which all of your employees may interact with one another and spend time together. When people like one another, or at the very least have a healthy mutual regard for one another, they are able to collaborate more effectively.

A frequent “catch up” session with the team might involve either work or play. The culture of the team is an essential component in the process of constructing a company in which all employees, irrespective of their location, respond to clients in the same manner, utilizing the same templates, and communicate in the same manner.

The culture of your company, which includes how your employees interact with one another and with customers, is shaped from the very top, by the person who owns the firm. Maintaining a positive reputation for your company depends on providing consistently high-quality customer service. Now that the majority of business is conducted online and is less dependent on foot traffic, the way in which we collaborate has altered, which has produced issues for the management of the team.

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How To Scale Your Business In 10 Steps

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It’s no secret that businesses today face more challenges than ever before. In order to stay afloat and thrive in today’s economy, businesses need to be able to scale their operations effectively.

The good news is that there are a few key things you can do to make sure your business is able to scale successfully. In this article, we’ll go over ten essential tips for scaling your business effectively.

1. Define Your Target Market

The first step to scaling your business effectively is to define your target market. Without a clear target market, it will be very difficult to focus your efforts and resources in a way that will allow you to scale effectively.

2. Know Your Costs

Another important factor to consider when scaling your business is your costs. It’s important to have a clear understanding of all the costs associated with running your business, such as overhead costs, production costs, and marketing costs.

3. Streamline Your Processes

Another important tip for scaling your business is to streamline your processes. When you’re first starting out, it’s common to have a lot of different processes and procedures in place that may not be entirely necessary.

4. Invest in automation

Investing in automation is another great way to scale your business effectively. Automation can help you save time and money by taking care of tasks that would otherwise need to be done manually.

5. Focus on Your Core Competencies

When you’re scaling your business, it’s important to focus on your core competencies. These are the areas of your business that you’re most skilled at and that provide the most value to your customers.

6. Delegate and Outsource

As your business grows, it’s important to delegate tasks and outsource work to other people. This will allow you to focus on your core competencies and leave the less important tasks to others. For example, you may need to involve Het Vertaalbureau to assist with translation of your website and documentation.

7. Get Feedback from Your Customers

Another great way to scale your business effectively is to get feedback from your customers. This feedback can help you improve your products or services and make sure you’re meeting the needs of your target market.

8. Focus on Your Marketing

Marketing is another important aspect of scaling your business effectively. When you’re first starting out, it’s easy to focus all of your attention on the product or service you’re offering.

9. Expand Your Team

As your business grows, you’ll need to expand your team. This means hiring new employees or contractors to help you with the additional work.

10. Keep Your Costs Low

One of the most important tips for scaling your business is to keep your costs low. This means finding ways to save money on overhead, inventory, and other expenses. There are a number of different ways to save money, so it’s important to find the ones that work best for your business. You can negotiate with suppliers, use cheaper materials, or find other ways to reduce your costs.

In Closing

By following these ten steps, you can effectively scale your business while still maintaining a high level of quality. Automation, delegation, and feedback are key to success. Keep your costs low, focus on your marketing, and keep moving forward. With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to scaling your business effectively.

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