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29 Sep 2018

Want to Keep Learning in Your Small Business? Try These Helpful Resources and Tips

Successful business owners don’t have all the answers — they continue to learn and grow through the years. Sometimes that growth can come through personal mistakes, and sometimes it can come from helpful resources and expert guidance. If you’re interested in learning more to grow your business, check out some of these thoughts from members of the online small business community about learning new skills and gaining valuable insights.

Consider the Difference Between Reach and Impressions

When you’re looking at your analytics and the impact that your content is having on potential customers, there are plenty of different terms to know. Reach and impressions are two pretty common ones. And sometimes they’re even used interchangeably. But in this AMA Consulting Services blog post, Andrew Adderley offers an explanation of the two and explains why they are unique.

Hone These Marketing Skills to Survive in the Age of AI

Artificial intelligence is having a massive impact on the way people interact with companies online. So especially if you have a small brand that competes with companies that have far more resources, you need to have the proper skills. Neil Patel elaborates in this post on the Quick Sprout blog.

Use Data to Transform the Customer Experience

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important that you never stop gaining valuable information to help your business. When you gather data about your customers, you need to be able to translate that data in a way that can actually help your business and your customers. Check out this Social Media HQ post by Steve Olenski for more thoughts on the subject.

Don’t Fall for These Startup Myths

Mistakes are a major part of learning as you run a business. But there are some mistakes that are common among the business community — so you can avoid them altogether by listening to expert advice. In this Noobpreneur post, Ivan Widjaya shares some of those common myths that you shouldn’t believe when running a business.

Learn About Increasing Organic Traffic

To grow your business, you need to be able to get more people to your website. You can become more of an expert on organic traffic by checking out this Pixel Productions post by Vaibhav Kakkar. Then visit BizSugar to see what members of the community are saying about the post.

Integrate Online and Offline for the Best Overall Result

Nearly every business now has some kind of online presence. But just because there are tons of marketing tools available on the internet, it doesn’t mean you should only exist online. In fact, Grace Kaye detailssome benefits of mixing online and offline in this Marketing Land post.

Find the Best Length for Your Content

Business owners often wonder — which is better, long form or short form content. But the answer actually varies depending on your business and your ability to create quality content. Learn more in this TopRank Marketing post by Lee Odden.

Pick Better Images for Social Media

Visuals are important for any marketing initiative. But some companies tend to overlook them when it comes to social media. In this Content Marketing Institute post, Manish Dudharejia dives into the world of social media images and explains how to make yours better.

Make Content Collaboration Work for You

Collaboration can be an effective strategy for building your content marketing reach and impact. But not all collaborations are able to get you those positive results. If you want yours to really help your business, consider the tips in this DIY Marketers post by Ivana Taylor.

Learn How Insanely Successful People Manage Their Time

Time management is a major issue for a lot of business owners. If you want to improve, it might help to look at what really successful people do. In this Mostly Blogging post, Janice Wald details the habits that can help you get better. And BizSugar members shared thoughts on the post here.

BY Annie Pilon

24 Sep 2018

Three Simple Strategies For Making Your Business Passive

You want to work smarter — not harder. By making a few aspects of your business automated and passive, you’ll be saving time and resources. This gives you a smarter work day, every day.

And it doesn’t matter what business you’re in. There are always certain parts of your process you can automate — whether that’s marketing, customer outreach or scheduling appointments. The more you can systematize or delegate, the more time you free up to grow your business. That means passive strategies become scalable strategies.

Now, I’ve been doing this for 15 years. I opened several successful drop-shipping companies in various industries that have since allowed me to open additional businesses. And even though my current endeavors at True Blue Life Insurance are less passive, there are still aspects we’ve automated in order to allow us to focus on growth.

Here are a few strategies for building passive aspects into your business that have helped me be successful:

1. Leverage your visibility with social proof.

Just like with any other aspect of your business, you want to be visible. With people going online more and more, it’s that much easier to draw them in and grow your business passively.

For me, as an online business owner, that means being visible in search engines. Because I run a national company I’m also competing nationally for SEO results. Even if you’re just local, you should be in every local directory and showing up in every local search result.

One way of doing this is what’s called “barnacle SEO,” wherein you attach yourself to a larger entity to reap its resources. That means showing up on Google Business pages, Yelp or TripAdvisor. If you can get your business on there with a description and reviews, then you’re much more likely to be found by new customers. Provided you have good reviews, then it’s a simple next step to convert those potential customers into paying customers — without having to do much more at all.
This is because reviews replace the customer having to do any verification on their own. They don’t have to call around to check information like prices or legitimacy — they read the reviews instead, which cuts the whole process down.
When it comes to selling life insurance, these reviews have a distinct importance. It’s a product that people regard with caution, especially online. I have enough good reviews at this point that I don’t have to fight the same uphill battle for legitimacy as my competitors. I have my reviews set up so that when a new customer lands on any of my pages, they can see other customers’ names, locations, the date they submitted the review and the star rating. This builds the social proof my company needs to convert the highest number of customers, all in a passive way.
2. Answer as many questions upfront as you can.
Another thing I do is answer people’s questions along the way so they don’t have to stop what they’re doing to find an answer.
Anytime you can clean out the sales funnel to keep customers flowing through smoothly, you’re increasing the passivity of your process. That makes for a happier customer and a better profit for your business. So, it’s very important to find out the main objections — if not all the objections — somebody could have to slow down the sale. Pricing is number one, right? So many companies don’t list pricing for their services. That’s a huge barrier because now someone has to call your company to find out the prices, whereas if they go to someone else they can just see what they’re paying.
Another bump in the funnel is in the shipping process. In my experience, I’ve cut down 80% of my customer service resources by just emailing someone that we’ve received their purchase. We let them know when it’s shipped and give them a tracking number. Now they know where it is and don’t have to constantly contact me to ask.
3. Invest in automation for the long term.
Finally, if you’re not taking advantage of automation, you’re just doing more work. If you’re still writing paper receipts, you’re dealing with stuff that could be done better. There are fewer profits. Yes, there’s always a small investment to make those processes passive, but it pays off in dividends. You make that investment once, and then continue reaping the revenue.
For an idea of how to do this best, look at solopreneurs. They’re one-man operations who have made their whole business passive. They’re able to do everything. They’ve automated their email campaigns and social media, put their sales decks in strategic locations and made it easy and seamless to purchase their products through their websites. This frees them up to do the things you can’t automate — handling problems, networking and improving the sales funnel for scalability.
Don’t just take my word for it. Jeff Walker wrote the book on the solopreneurial spirit — literally. He teaches how to use email funnels for selling educational products and how that strategy can be applied to other aspects.
Now, that’s an extreme example — not everyone is going to run their business entirely on their own. But there are strategies and techniques you can take from the extreme end of the spectrum and apply them to your own business. Sooner, rather than later, you’ll be able to know exactly where you can apply passive strategies for your own benefit.
Passive business is a beautiful thing. There’s nothing more beautiful than growing your business and making sales while you sleep.
23 Sep 2018

Find the sweet spot and grow your business

Q. My husband started his own one-man, small business as a handyman a little less than a year ago. He has netted $17,000 in that time, but the business has about $13,000 worth of debt. We’ve always kept personal finances and business separate, but what would you think about us selling one of our paid-for cars to help with the business debt?

A. There’s nothing wrong with small beginnings. On top of that, you should always keep your business and personal finances separate. Aside from the debt, it sounds like he’s off to a good start.

I think you’ll be able to pay off the debt from your future income. If your husband started his business less than a year ago, he has spent that time trying to get things off the ground and working with very little name recognition. If he’s good at what he does, and he continues to work hard and market himself properly, he should be able to double what he made in the last year.

To do that, however, he’s going to have to spend some time in accountant mode. He needs to figure out the types of jobs he makes the most money on for the time he puts into them. I know a guy in our area who made more than $100,000 as a handyman in the last year. I’m talking about $100,000 in profit! His prices are higher than most in that line of work, but he’s the best. He provides superb quality work, and he’s always polite, on time and on schedule.

If your husband does the research and crunches some numbers, I think he can dial it in and make a lot more money than he’s making now. Find that sweet spot, and he’ll continue to grow the business.

Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including “The Total Money Makeover.” The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

FORGIVING DEBT

Q. Recently, I loaned some money to a good friend. He’s going to help me with a big home project over the next few weekends, so do you think I should pay him for the work or forgive the debt instead?

A. First, I don’t recommend loaning money to friends or family. Once in a while, things may work out and everyone ends up happy. But in most cases, it changes the dynamic of the relationship. The Bible says the borrower is a slave to the lender, and there’s a lot of truth in that  financially and emotionally.

The big question is whether you’ve already agreed to pay him for the work. Another consideration is how he views the situation. He may be looking at this as just helping a buddy, and he still owes the money.

Ask him what his expectations are before you guys start the job. Just talk to him, and figure out what seems fair to you both. If you’ve already agreed on a certain amount, and the value of the work is close to what you loaned him, you might discuss the idea of paying back the debt that way.

But in the future, if someone close to you really needs financial help – and you’re not enabling bad behavior in the process – just make the money a gift.

Source:djournal.

21 Sep 2018

Adobe débourse 4,75 milliards de dollars pour enrichir son offre marketing

Adobe enchaîne les acquisitions d’envergure. Après avoir déboursé 1,68 milliard de dollars en mai dernier pour mettre la main sur Magento, société californienne qui propose des solutions pour créer et gérer des sites e-commerce, le géant américain, qui édite notamment Photoshop, a décidé de frapper encore plus fort en mettant 4,75 milliards sur la table pour racheter Marketo, société californienne spécialisée dans le marketing. La transaction doit être conclue d’ici la fin du quatrième trimestre. 

Fondée en 2006 par Jon Miller et Phillip Fernandez, Marketo a lancé un service de marketing par courrier électronique. Au fil du temps, la société basée à San Mateo a développé des logiciels d’automatisation du marketing qui fournissent des services de marketing entrant, de marketing social, de gestion de la relation client et d’autres services connexes. La société avait été acquise en mai 2016 par le fonds Vista Equity Partners pour 1,8 milliard de dollars. 

Après avoir gardé l’entreprise californienne dans son giron pendant deux ans, Vista Equity Partners signe un bon retour sur investissement. Et pour cause, en revendant Marketo pour 4,75 milliards de dollars, le fonds a réussi à dégager un profit de 2,95 milliards de dollars. En 2017, Marketo a réalisé un chiffre d’affaires d’environ 321 millions de dollars, selon les calculs de l’agence de notation Moody’s. 

Un duel entre Adobe-Microsoft et Salesforce-Google 

En mettant la main sur les services marketing de Marketo, Adobe va ainsi renforcer son offre de solutions numériques pour la gestion et l’analyse de campagnes marketing. Ces nouveaux outils vont alimenter l’écosystème Experience Cloud du géant américain, qui permet à ses clients de piloter leurs opérations marketing et de gérer leurs données. Cette branche génère moins de revenus et se développe plus lentement que son activité de logiciels créatifs comme Photoshop, InDesign et Illustrator. «L’acquisition de Marketo élargit le leadership d’Adobe en matière d’expérience client B2C et B2B et place Adobe Experience Cloud au coeur de tout le marketing», a indiqué Brad Rencher, vice-président exécutif et directeur général de la branche Digital Experience d’Adobe. 

En passant la vitesse supérieure dans le marketing, Adobe espère rivaliser à terme avec les mastodontes Oracle, SAP et Salesforce. Pour gagner du terrain, l’éditeur de logiciels de création et de gestion de données pourra s’appuyer sur le portefeuille de 5 000 clients de Marketo. Microsoft ressort aussi gagnant de cette acquisition en raison de sa collaboration grandissante avec Adobe. Les deux entreprises se sont alliées pour affaiblir le duo Salesforce-Google.

Source : frenchweb.

20 Sep 2018

The Rise Of Consumer-Centric Marketing: Made Possible Through Data Science

 

Traditional business models — those based on mass advertising and comparatively impersonal marketing — are rapidly being turned on their heads as brands instead focus on forming individual connections to consumers themselves. These brands are modern, nimble and naturally tech-savvy, and they’re bringing a digital and data-driven business model to the table in order to become the driving force behind a new, consumer-centric economy.

Indeed, the rise and influence of direct-to-consumer (DTC) relationships should be well-noted. Big brands that fail to effectively engage their consumers are at risk of becoming obsolete. However, in the era of the omnichannel, how do you effectively reach consumers in a way that’s optimized across each and every channel?

Given the rise of mobile-first economies, marketers in any industry will tell you the answer is data. However, data by itself is useless if not made actionable, and brands like Marks & Spencer have figured out one solutionby training employees to become well-versed in the language of analytics and data science. Improving data literacy throughout your organization helps enable marketers to map consumer preferences, concerns and buying habits at scale.

Modern marketing in a digital-first economy takes a multifaceted approach, but at its core, it is driven by data-backed decisions. The source of this data also varies widely given the rapid evolution of the consumer journey and the number of touch points along the way.

Having helped craft data-driven marketing strategies for more than a decade, I’ve seen firsthand that in order to effectively wrangle and consolidate across all touch points, as well as make correlations regarding consumer trends, the marriage between marketing and data science is more important than ever.

 

Source ; Forbes

20 Sep 2018

A New Way To Look At Your Business Instagram

Instagram has quickly shot through the ranks of social media platforms to become one of the top tools for savvy business owners. With its live video features in Instagram Stories and the capability to shop stories directly with product tag stickers, it has become an ideal place for retailers to connect with followers and ultimately sell products. In fact, Instagram reported 8 million Instagram Business users in 2017 .

All the tools for a successful business are right at your fingertips with Instagram, and your marketing strategists may dream of the day when your IG stories and posts draw thousands of likes, comments and purchases. However, drawing followers to your page can be a struggle. At least, it was for my company. As members of an industry with tangible, photogenic products we were poised to win on Instagram, but our marketing team couldn’t create a meaningful following.

It took a valuable perspective change in our marketing team to rethink how we organized and even photographed content. However, the results were immediately worth it.

Think about your Instagram feed in a new way. 

You can incorporate as many branded hashtags as you like in your posts. You can pay for advertising, time your posts carefully, create contests and reply to every comment in an effort to boost engagement. However, if this is all you’re doing, you’ll probably still see a lag in your number of followers and therefore your sales.

So, what’s the missing step? After all, that’s pretty much everything that social media business guides tell you to do.

It turns out that the missing step for our Instagram presence was our actual content. It wasn’t enough to post whatever pictures we had on hand. Instead, we noticed (and heard from industry experts) that curating our feed was essential. Curating may sound like a term used by IG influencers who take a lot of pictures in white space with succulents. While that’s part of their branding and is effective, that’s not where IG curating starts or stops. Instead, you need to think about your IG feed as a magazine, and every addition to it a valuable part of your editorial content.

Our marketing team stopped thinking like a business using Instagram and instead began thinking like graphic designers and magazine editors. Our engagement soared. This article is about the quick tricks we learned along the way.

 

Source : forbes

18 Sep 2018

5 Steps for Protecting Your Brand Against Social Media Piracy

Streaming TV and movies is just the tip of the iceberg

Social media has a problem with piracy. A rudimentary search on Facebook turns up films, TV shows and sports events that should be pay-per-view or subscription based. A reported one billion (yes, you read that right) people have watched Game of Thrones season 7 via illegal downloads or streams (only 31 million watched it legally). Tens of millions of people regularly watch big fights and matches illegally, costing not just the networks but the sponsors, players and contenders.
source ; adweek
18 Sep 2018

Using Google Adwords is a great way to start advertising without having to bring in a marketing or advertising consultant.

Having a clear strategy and direction while using Google Ads, formerly called Google Adwords, can help your business get seen by more customers and grow an online presence. Ads accounts for 97 percent of Google’s revenue each year. For a company that made $21.5 billion in 2016, this means that many businesses are using this program to try and connect with customers. By creating relevant and highly searchable web pages, you can beat out competitors and appear as a top listing associated with certain keywords.

Ads has been around since the early 2000s, and several strategies and best practices have emerged to help business owners create a stronger online presence and drive revenue through one of the world’s most powerful search engines. When using Ads, the overall strategy should be building high-quality, SEO-friendly web pages and ads so your business can get a better position at a lower price.

How it works

Google Ads is a cost-per-click bidding system that prioritizes ad quality and relevance along with accounting for cost. The program differs from traditional advertising structures in that the highest bidder does not always receive the most prominent position on Google. Instead, Google incentivizes businesses to create high-quality, relevant ads by positioning the best ads more prominently for less money. For example, a coffee company with a high-quality ad will have a more prominent position and only be charged $1 per click while a competitor with a low-quality ad will be featured less and be charged $3 per click. Because of this model, Google has managed to create an advertising space where companies vie for position based not only on price.

The Ads process starts with a customer’s search. Google runs a lightning-fast auction during every search a customer makes. Advertisers bid on keywords associated with certain topics, set a maximum price, and Google ranks each advertiser based on relevancy, ad quality, and overall cost. So, for example, a coffee shop owner may bid on the keywords “French roast coffee.” Every time someone Googles these keywords, Ads reshuffles the auction and each offer is reanalyzed based on things like ad relevancy and maximum bid. The key to using Ads effectively is understanding how Google positions ads based on quality.

Google determines a business’s position by multiplying the maximum bid by the ad’s quality. Ad quality is determined in real time during each search and is based on expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. As a business owner, you can control your maximum bid, but if you have a high maximum bid and irrelevant, poor ads, your position won’t be great and you will likely pay more per click compared to a competitor with a better ad.

Over time, each auction result adds up to an overall quality score, which is a score on a 10-point scale that reflects your business’s overall performance in ad auctions. Your ad quality score is a good indicator when determining the quality of your ads, but it is not the same score that is used when Google determines your ad rank. That value – based on ad relevance, click-through rate and landing page experience – is specific only to Google and changes with each search.

The best way to have a good Ads ranking is to create high-quality, relevant ads by focusing on your ad’s relevance to the keywords, expected click-through rate and landing page experience. After a few auctions, you can track your overall success through your 10-point quality score and try different strategies to improve your score.

Landing page experience

A landing page is the web page a searcher arrives on after clicking on your ad. Landing page experience is how Google determines whether your website gives the searcher what he or she is looking for. There are a few ways you can better your landing page experience beyond peppering it with relevant keywords. One way is by being tailored to your specific keywords – Google prioritizes sites that give users exactly what they are looking for. That means reflecting how specific each keyword is in your results.

For example, your landing page should have French roast coffee if you bid on the keywords “French roast coffee.” You shouldn’t have a landing page with a long list of different types of coffees since that’s not what the user is searching for. This is an obvious example, but all too often, businesses try to push products or services on people who are looking for something different. If you’re a business owner doing this, Google will affect the score of your landing page experience and your Ads rank will suffer.

Google outlines some other ways to improve your landing page experience on the Ads support site. Some other ways include allowing for both mobile and computer navigation, decreasing landing page load time and fostering trustworthiness on your site.

Expected click-through rate (CTR)

This is a keyword status that measures if your ad will get clicked on. Google determines this without factoring in your ad’s visibility. It’s based solely on the keyword and how well the keyword has performed in the past based on your ad’s position. Google ranks the expected click-through rate according to three statuses: above average, average and below average. Above average or average means there are no major problems compared to all other keywords. Below average means that you may want to adjust your text so it more closely relates to your top keywords.

Improving your expected click-through rate score depends heavily on a case-by-case basis. Oftentimes, a below-average score can be fixed by adjusting your keywords or ad text.

Payment

While the overall concept of Ads is straightforward, payment per ad is a bit more complicated. The rate you pay per ad is broken down by two main factors: your quality score and the rank of the ad directly below you.

Google breaks down the payment by dividing the ranking of the business below yours by your own quality score and then adding 1 cent. So, if your quality score is 10 and the ad rank of the business below yours is 25, you would pay $2.51 per click. The business below yours, if its quality score is 5, would pay $4.81 per click. If you have a high-quality score, you will pay less per ad click compared to a competitor with poor ad quality.

With this model, Google is betting that you will pay more money overall because your ad will be clicked more compared to your competitors.

Where do they appear?

These ads appear as the first few results in a Google search. They are marked as “ads” on Google but can serve to provide a customer with exactly what they’re looking for. They can also appear on non-Google websites that are search partners. These search partners are sites that have a native search bar on their website but offer combined results from both Google and the actual website.

Ads also extends to the Google Display Network. You can choose to have your ads appear on the collection of Display Network websites, which includes sites such as Gmail and YouTube. You can even go as far as choosing targeting methods by prioritizing ads based on keywords and related topics, specific websites, or specific audiences based on interests, demographics, or whether they’ve visited your site before.

In addition to these two areas, you can also prioritize your ads based on location, language or specific devices. There are some strategies you can implement to use Ads more efficiently. The key goal is increasing your ad quality and relevance to the specific keyword. This will allow Google to prioritize your results over that of a competitor.

Strategies

Before diving into specific strategies, keep in mind that a successful Ads campaign starts with a highly relevant landing page and high-quality advertisements. Brainstorm some specific and clear campaigns before start using Ads. The higher quality the content and the more targeted the campaigns, the better.

Start small

The best thing you can do when starting an Ads campaign is to start small, learn the interface and understand how Ads can fit into your business. This will allow you to get your hands on the system and figure out what works best. Ads offers a lot of advertising options, so learning in real-time is a good way to determine what ways Ads can benefit your business.

Macaire and Bill Douglas are the founders of Half Pint Shop, a children’s clothing and furniture store. They said they started using Ads two years ago, and it has since increased their online sales by more than $80,000.

“Really, it’s just getting in and playing around and starting small, but also not being afraid to, once you’re more comfortable, to actually invest so you can see the return,” Macaire said. “I think a lot of people get scared of spending money, but we’ve definitely seen the return over time once we’ve gotten more comfortable with it.”

This includes toying with analytics, experimenting with segmenting audiences and building different kinds of campaigns. Bill said the Half Pint Shop uses Google Shop ads as well as Ads.

“Maybe talk to some people who are already [using Ads],” he said. “Look at some guides before you dive in. You can actually learn the interface and practice without spending money.”

This flexibility allows for business owners to learn Ads and grow their business without having to hire outside marketers or advertising firms.

Follow the data

Google provides some powerful analytics and data tools built right into Google Ads and Analytics. It’s good to pay attention to demographics, how people are reaching your site and overall data regarding ad success and quality. Bill said that the Half Pint Shop values location. That way, they can segment users and understand what kinds of products people want based on region.

“I think location is pretty big because location is going to be able to segment certain people,” he said. “People in San Francisco are going to be looking for different nursery furniture than people in Tulsa.”

Prioritizing is just one example of using data to better target Ads that can drive sales. This example also serves for an even better tip: Segmenting users leads to results.

Segmentation is key

A key best practice when using Google Ads is to specifically target a group of people with your ads. More specific ads will be of higher quality and get rated higher by Google come auction time. It will also result in more interactions and engagements from customers. Both Bill and Macaire said that this was a very important aspect of their Ads experience, particularly when analyzing location. Bill said that Ads offers more opportunities with display ads.

“You can say, ‘I’m going to do a boost or a target toward people that have been to the site already,’ so a remarketing type approach,” he said. “Or you can do a group that’s similar to people that visit your site. So you can tag that and you can essentially boost the spend or the bid on ads for those audiences … There’s a lot of different audience segmentation for things like that.”

It may also help to seek advice from other business owners or professionals on this topic. Macaire and Bill said when they started, they bundled a lot of their products under umbrella campaigns that were general. After getting feedback from other business owners and tweaking their approach, eventually they started segmenting their audiences.

“I think you need to segment it a few different ways,” Bill said. “One of the primary ways we do that is by brand. So we’ll segment by brand and then within there you can kind of tweak the products that are higher or lower performers … Right now, we have segmentation for holiday shopping and have different pricing within that.”

Bottom line

Google Ads is a good way to advertise your business without hiring marketing or advertising consultants. The interface is intuitive, and there is a lot of opportunity to learn how to connect with your customers. It may take some time to figure out, but once you’re using Ads properly, it can be beneficial to your business.

Source :business

16 Sep 2018

With tobacco revenue now forbidden, F1 turns to high-tech

 

For decades, Formula One was synonymous with tobacco. Not only was the sport awash with money from cigarette companies, but the cars’ liveries were also reflections of their sponsors, from the red and white Marlboro McLarens to the black and gold of the John Player Special Lotus.

Tobacco brought in an average of $350 million per year for Formula One earlier this decade, and companies like British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International helped pay for the sport’s continuous cycle of development, the technological arms race that often ensured that those who spent the most won the most.

But that all ended late in 2006 after Formula One banned tobacco advertising. In 2015, the last year for which public figures are available, the sport’s 10 teams raised about $750 million from sponsorships, a $200 million drop from 2012. That loss of income hit the sport about the same time as the financial crisis, which forced the Honda, Toyota and Renault teams to shut down, although Renault eventually returned. And now Formula One is reconsidering whether to continue to accept advertising from alcohol, fast-food and snack companies.

So the sport has been looking for a new vein of money, and in the last few years teams have been working to form partnerships with the deep-pocket companies in the technology industry that would bring not only high-tech expertise, but also revenue.

Technology and Formula One are natural partners, and companies like Microsoft and Dell have long invested in the sport. Mercedes, the current champion, has a number of technical partners, including wireless technology company Qualcomm and audio experts Bose, as well as Tibco, Pure Storage, Rubrik and Epson. Microsoft Dynamics has partnered with the Renault team since 2012, and Dell returned to the sport this year with McLaren, having previously worked with the now-defunct Caterham team.

McLaren has been aggressive in obtaining partnerships over the past decade.

James Bower, McLaren’s marketing director, lived through Formula One’s sponsorship upheaval.

“Towards the end of that era—between 2001 and 2006 when the new directive kicked in—what you did see was some brands (and I would say West and Lucky Strike were probably the more innovative) pushing harder into lifestyle and pushing harder into what we recognize now as the deeper activation levels, as opposed to just slam Marlboro on the side of the car, throw a few parties, entertain some B2B trade retailers and call it a day,” Bower said, referring to business to business.

“That was making the dollar work harder, because they knew at that point the legislation was coming and they needed to just continue to deepen their relationships with their consumers,” he said. “That drove a more innovative state, and it coincided with Red Bull’s entry into Formula One, which kind of almost took over the mantle of the lifestyle.”

The loss of tobacco, the advent of lifestyle branding and active consumer engagement have also had teams like McLaren change their sponsorship focus, abandoning the old model of a big-ticket title sponsor for a series of smaller but longer-term deals. In 2018, McLaren has raised about 25 million pounds ($32.4 million) in new deals with partners including Dell, HTC, Logitech and Airgain. Exact financial details are heavily guarded, but McLaren said the money came in the form of longer contracts of five to six years.

McLaren’s roster of new partners is too recent to have made a difference to the team’s racing results, but the four-time world champion Mercedes has already proved that the right technical partnership can increase performance and income.

Because of Qualcomm, Mercedes in 2016 became the first team in the sport to wirelessly transmit data from the car to the garage, saving vital seconds as its rivals were forced to park and plug in. In a sport where the difference between success and failure is measured in tenths of a second, two seconds saved can—and did, in the case of Mercedes—help win championships.

Over the course of a Grand Prix weekend, each race car will generate more than 3 terabytes of data gathered from more than 200 sensors. Information like tire temperature and the health of mechanical components will be analysed by trackside engineers and battalions at each team’s home factory.

Teams have been seeking partnerships with data storage and data security companies. The Williams team works with Acronis, while Ferrari has worked with Kaspersky Lab since 2010.

It is not only the teams that benefit from technical partnerships. Thomas Been, chief marketing officer for software company Tibco, a partner of the Mercedes team, said the Formula One environment had a singular appeal.

“What attracted us to Formula One is the level of competition, which I think is a very good analogy to what most of our customers are seeing; the level of technology, which I guess is just a laboratory in which you create the technologies that are going to be used in the cars of tomorrow; and that everything is in real time,” Been said.

The speed of development was also what attracted Qualcomm to the sport, said Derek Aberle, a former company president.

“It’s the ability to have an environment where you can do rapid prototyping,” he said. “We can test things out. If it doesn’t work we can change them.” The engineering team, he said, is very strong and moves quickly. “It’s the environment that we have here in the racetrack—I think it does push us.

“The pace at which they move is impressive. Our guys at first were like, ‘Wow.’ They like that challenge. You get a problem, you’ve got a week to do something. They jump on it, and it’s exhilarating for them. We’ve learned a lot, and I’m hoping the Mercedes guys have learned a lot from us here. Eventually, we want to see that translate into breakthrough stuff for our business. That’s where the future is coming: cellular connectivity to the car, then the vehicle.”

Whether called sponsorships or partnerships, the deals bring money to the teams.

At McLaren, the combination of a broader business—McLaren Applied Technologies, a separate technology company linked with the race team—and a rich racing legacy has been a core element of the sales pitch.

“Obviously with Formula One it is a technical sport, so you are always going to have those authentic stories on the technical side,” said Henry Chilcott, group marketing director for the McLaren Group.

“Now it’s about us as a team here finding those more authentic stories in other areas of business, whether that is outside of technology in turn or lifestyle, conversations and elsewhere. That’s where I feel like we’re unique in the sense that we’ve got this multidimensional storytelling platform that perhaps another F1 team or another sports property won’t have.”

That storytelling is a core aspect of McLaren’s new approach, Chilcott said.

“We’ve moved away from that traditional model. In essence, the brand that you see on the car is just the bridge between one brand and McLaren. Then it’s beneath that overarching branding, it’s what we’re doing underneath the surface. That’s where we’re being unique and successful in the sense that we’re approaching things with a more ‘agency’ mindset. Discussions always lead with their objectives, rather than how much we seek to secure financially.”

 

Source ; livemint .

16 Sep 2018

Apple Launches A Product Blitz…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

 

1 — Apple kicks off a product blitz.

Apple introduced several new products this week, including iOS 12, three new iPhones, revamped iPad Pros, Apple Watches with larger screens, a new entry-level laptop with a sharper screen, a pro-focused Mac mini desktop computer, and new accessories like the AirPower wireless charger. Unfortunately, Apple also said that the new tariffs recently imposed will force it to raise prices for some of its popular offerings like the Watch and AirPods. (Source: Bloomberg)

 

Why this is important for your business:

If your business uses Apple technology, you’ll be excited by the faster speed and battery life of the new iPhones and iPads (contractors and construction people: check out the ability to take accurate measurements from your iPhone too). What interests me the most is the added health related features in the Apple Watch, like the electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram. How will this affect your wellness programs and even your healthcare insurance benefits in the future? As for the higher prices, maybe all that extra productivity will make up the difference, right

2 — Verizon claims its ‘Ultra Wideband 5G’ will be better than the rest.

Verizon and the other major wireless carriers in the country are competing to see which one deploys 5G first—the service that promises to be much faster and more responsive than today’s networks. Verizon says its ‘5G Ultra Wideband’ service, which uses a super high-frequency wireless spectrum, makes it better than its competitors. The company also says three other assets set it apart as superior: millimeter wave spectrum, an end-to-end fiber network, and small cells. Verizon says its 5G broadband replacement will debut in October in Houston and Indianapolis and in California in L.A. and Sacramento. (Source: CNET)

Why this is important for your business:

As mentioned above, all of the carriers are moving to 5G. That means faster speeds for our business purposes. Is Verizon that much better? Maybe, maybe not. But let’s at least hope these faster networks come with improved security too.

3 — British Airways breach caused by credit card skimming malware, researchers say.

A threat researcher at security service RiskIQ says that credit card skimming malware installed by hackers on British Airways’ website a few months ago was what caused a data breach of more than 380,000 credit cards. The airline lost payments through its website and mobile app over a three-week period, but travel information wasn’t affected. RiskIQ suspects it might be the same group that was behind the Ticketmaster breach, in which hackers targeted a third party that loaded code on Ticketmaster’s websites and then siphoned off thousands of transactions. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Are you accepting credit cards on your ecommerce site? If so, then the risk of this happening to you is just as great – maybe even greater. Talk to your payments and ecommerce providers about what they’re doing to make sure that your customers’ credit information isn’t being skimmed because if there’s a problem you’re going to be held accountable.

4 — HP’s new 3D printers build items not of plastic but of steel.

This week, HP announced the Metal Jet printer, an industrial-scale 3-D printer that builds items out of steel rather than plastic and would enable the company to get into large manufacturing sectors such as automobiles and medical devices. Currently, many of the products printed by the Metal Jet may be cosmetic, such as key fobs with custom engravings. HP says it will likely be years before consumers can buy a car with 3-D-printed metal parts under the hood. (Source: WIRED)

Why this is important for your business:

3-D printing has gotten a bad rap of late because of the people who want to use these devices to print firearms. But the reality of this technology is catching up to the hype. Printing metal will enable machine shops, distributors and service facilities to significantly increase their turnaround times while decreasing their inventory levels.

5 — PayPal now gives instant access to money from online sales.

PayPal – who currently serves 19.5 million businesses announced this week the launch of a new service called Funds Now that will give select online businesses access to their completed sales within seconds by eliminating holds, delays, and reserves so they can spend their funds immediately. Funds Now has already been extended to more than one million businesses using PayPal at no extra cost. (Source: PayPal)

Disclosure:  PayPal is a client of my company, The Marks Group PC, but I have received no compensation for this item.

Why this is important for your business:

For all those business owners – like myself – who scratch their heads wondering why their cash isn’t “available” for days after a payment was received, PayPal is finally resolving that issue. Could this be the beginning of the end of the annoying bank “float” that delays our access to our cash? Let’s hope so.

 

Source : forbes