Saturday, October 23, 2021

Tips for Marketing Innovation in an Old School, Traditional Industry

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Marketing Innovation

What do companies like Uber, Netflix, and AirBnB have in common? Aside from being some of the most well-known companies in the world, they’re also major disruptors of traditional industries, such as taxi services, movie rentals, and hotels and motels.

 

Traditional industries have been around for a long time, but they tend to be set in their ways. This leaves them prime for disruption when the next shakeup comes around, whether it’s a social media trend or an emerging technology.

 

For many of these businesses, print ads, television commercials, billboards, and direct mail are the only approach to marketing. While these types of old-school marketing methods still deliver results, modern businesses need a wider range of marketing options to stay at the top.

 

Here are some tips for marketing innovation in an old school, traditional industry.

 

Start with Local SEO

If you’ve ever searched for a store or restaurant using “near me” keywords in Google, you’ve engaged in location marketing. Location marketing is an important part of the customer journey in a digital space, bringing them from a quick Google search to an in-person interaction with a local brand.

 

When you perform a search this way, you receive the top results in your area. You may consider the reviews and operating hours in the top results, but the reality is that you’re likely to pick the closest business to your current location.

 

For traditional businesses, location marketing is one of the easiest and most beneficial of the digital marketing methods. Optimizing location search is simple. All you have to do is fill in the business name, website URL, phone number, address, and operating hours on the Google My Business page.

 

While Google My Business appears at the top of the results, you can take advantage of other common sites like Foursquare and Yelp. Make sure all the information on these sites is correct to improve your local SEO.

 

You can make this process even easier with automated marketing tools. Location marketing automation uses a centralized hub that includes all your vital information, then communicates it to the appropriate platforms to ensure everything is identical and accurate across the board. This tool can also help you manage your reputation online by sending notifications about new reviews, giving you an opportunity to address reviews quickly with a positive spin.

 

Include the Internet of Things (IoT)

One of the hottest technology trends for modern business, IoT refers to the interconnectivity of devices with internet connections, such as your smartphone, appliances, or medical wearable device.

 

While consumers get a lot of value out of the information and convenience of IoT devices, it’s having a moment in the marketing world. Businesses can leverage the power of IoT to deliver compelling, targeted messages to the ideal customer at the ideal time, all on the device they prefer.

 

IoT also gathers data from customers, giving you valuable insights into purchasing behavior, online behavior, demographics, and more. When you have this information, you can improve the personalization and provide targeted messaging, ads, and recommendations that capture your audience’s attention.

 

Keep the Focus on the Customer

Customer-centric marketing is different than providing customer service. A customer-centric strategy is about providing a seamless, personalized experience across all brand touchpoints, whether that means a social media ad, an online store, or an in-person experience.

 

Traditional businesses may not be implementing data insights, but they still collect high volumes of customer data. That’s all you need to tailor the customer experience and provide maximum value and personalization to your customer.

 

For example, new customers at Gerber Labs would order printed circuit boards and ask questions about their assembly or whether to choose a 2-layer or 4-layer for their project. As a result, we created in-depth articles to address these topics and other frequently asked questions. Our approach was to offer as much information as possible to give value to our customers and help them with all their pain points, even if it wasn’t a direct sale.

 

Customer-centric experience isn’t identical in every industry, however. Ultimately, it’s about providing the same type of customer focus of an in-person location to the digital experience. You can implement marketing tools that help with providing a seamless experience, such as self-service chatbots, voice recognition software, SMS messaging, and customer relationship management platforms.  

 

Include Digital Marketing in the Traditional Marketing Strategy

Though online shopping has ramped up recently, many people enjoy shopping in brick-and-mortar locations. Because of this, many traditional businesses choose traditional marketing techniques and believe digital marketing is only for online businesses.

 

These businesses are missing out on a wealth of opportunities to connect with customers. With so much information online, modern consumers have gotten savvier and more discerning than ever. Most people search businesses online to check out the social media accounts, read reviews, and get an idea of the brand image. This isn’t just for retail, either – consumers will search everything from a local bank to an independent restaurant.

 

So, you have reviews online, even if you don’t put any effort into maintaining an online presence. Because of this, traditional industries need to include some digital marketing strategies in their marketing mix. Businesses can use social media and digital ads to reach a wider audience and direct traffic to the website, which may lead to an in-person visit to the physical store.

 

Get Active on Social Media

Traditional industries are slow to adopt social media, but that’s all the more reason to include it in your marketing mix now. You’re not only missing a massive market, but you’re missing a chance to gain an edge over the competition.

 

Social media may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. You can start with just a few platforms at a time, which depends on the audience. Choose the platforms that have most of your customers, which you can find out with your customer data.

 

Gaining traction on social media takes time, but the sooner you start, the sooner you can start building a following. You can promote your presence on social media with website links, email blasts, or physical brochures, flyers, and cards in your store. Over time, your following will grow as people find you and engage with your content.

 

Fortunately, social media is another method you can automate. Once you create your accounts, you can take advantage of tools like calendar management, ad campaign management, and content scheduling to maintain a consistent presence on your social media platforms.

 

Make the Move to Digital

Plenty of traditional businesses are pillars in the community, but that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from a digital upgrade. Marketing innovation is shaking up all kinds of industries, and without it, traditional businesses are missing an incredible opportunity for growth and profits.

 

Author Bio:

Justin Ou is one of four Co-founders and Marketing Manager of Gerber Labs, an Orange County based engineering startup that is currently rolling out a platform that makes custom printed circuit boards (PCB’s) accessible to electrical engineering students, hobbyists and small businesses.

 

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Friday, October 22, 2021

Switching to Cloud-Based Accounting Software

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accounting & bookkeeping
Accounting software - Then and now

For many businesses, the job of bookkeeping has long been a very labor intensive, manual process. This meant a lot of math and handwritten forms where small errors could end up leading to much bigger problems. With everything moving towards the cloud, it only made sense that accounting software as well, would go digital. Companies could now exchange their room full of filing cabinets for more secure servers, able to safely back up every piece of information. Seeing the ability to make the job more efficient and boost overall profitability, companies began making the move to cloud-based accounting software as a way to streamline the work needed and ensure fewer errors were made.

 

26% of US companies take up to 10 hours per year to handle tax-related duties, while 40% claim it can add up to 40 hours per year. | NSBA, 2018

 

As a result of the switch, these businesses quickly realize a number of benefits, including; The ability to view their bookkeeping data in real time, the ability to collaborate with your team from anywhere, the ability to configure workflows to automate processes vs older manual efforts, and simplified reporting to help remain in compliance. Before getting started however, there are a few things that organizations need to consider.

 

Considerations

In 2021, there’s no reason for businesses to be completing their bookkeeping with old or complicated methods. Thankfully it’s a lot easier than it used to be to make the move to a cloud software solution, which is good news for organizations of every size. Smart businesses will want to do their homework to determine what they should focus on when making the move. Some of the things that need to be considered include:

 

Fig1: Considerations before switching to Cloud-Based Accounting Software

  • How easy to use the solution is
  • What features your business requires
  • What will the overall impact to the business be
  • How affordable is the solution
  • How are upgrades managed
  • What technical customer support is available
accounting

91% of accountants say that accounting technology has increased their productivity. | Sage, 2020

 

Aside from things like the reliability of your CSP to deliver a consistent experience, these considerations represent important guidelines for organizations still in the early stages of researching a cloud solution for their bookkeeping needs.

 

How easy to use the solution is

This is more important than you may initially think. If your chosen solution is difficult to navigate and requires as much effort as older, manual processes, it could end up taking just a long to complete a task that may result in a whole new type of error being made. A familiar interface, with logically arranged functions goes a long way towards a seamless transition. Of course, you want to confirm that all your other products work together with any new software.

 

What features your business requires

Quite simply, can the software you are evaluating do the things you need it to do? You’ll want to be absolutely certain that your requirements are met when making the final decision on what software to implement. The last thing you want is to realize after the fact that your new Cloud Accounting Software is unable to process reports the way you need them, especially when it comes to possible issues with compliance.

 

What will the overall impact to the business be

While its good to make your choice based on ease of use, required features and pricing, you also need to know how long it will take. You’ll need to be positive about how long it takes to implement, train users, and be up and running error-free to minimize disruptions to your operations. Without this point covered, implementation costs could quickly get out of control.

 

How affordable is the solution

A combination of licensing, implementation and training costs, it’s critical to understand what your chosen solution will cost year after year, to help determine your ROI, which will be different for every business. With cloud software you also get to skip the cost of hardware maintenance, with SLA-backed reliability available from today’s growing network of CSPs.

 

How are upgrades managed

With legacy bookkeeping software, updates are managed by internal IT departments managing in-house servers. These teams are responsible for ensuring all products integrate seamlessly, which can lead to customizations in order to accommodate certain software that might get left behind. This can become difficult to manage as customizations grow. Updates to cloud solutions are handled by the provider according to a predetermined schedule, where they can also complete any regression testing to keep legacy products running as long as possible.

 

What technical customer support is available

This is a big point of contention for organizations used to keeping a large IT department in-house to handle day-to-day operations. You’ll want to know that you can access a support team when you need them, and even when you don’t think you do. In the event that there’s an interruption to your services, a good support team can keep your business up and running.

 

Final Thoughts

The global cloud accounting market share is projected to increase by up to $5.65 billion by 2028. | Market.us, 2021

 

When it comes to cloud accounting software, benefits like improved collaboration, automated workflows and reduced paperwork might be clear, but benefits aren’t the only thing that matter when it comes to cloud solutions. As more organizations look to cloud accounting solutions, they’ll want to be sure they do enough research into the things that could present an interruption to their business, including defining a schedule, making sure requirements are met, ensuring usability, and understanding what levels of support are required.

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Monday, October 18, 2021

5 Effective Strategies to Boost the Online Presence of Your Small Business

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Strategies to Boost the Online Presence

So you've recognized the potential benefits of incorporating digital marketing into your company's operations. Now what? You are most likely considering your next step in terms of how to begin your campaigns to increase your internet exposure. If you want to succeed as a company owner, you must always strive to achieve greater heights in terms of marketing your goods and services, particularly in today's expanding marketplace and competitive business environment.

 

No question, technical advances and digital innovations have had a profound impact on the way people live their lives today. Customers now demand goods and services to be delivered in the quickest and most dependable manner possible. Consumers in the United States buy online in large numbers, according to a survey done by Marist College and National Public Radio (NPR). Experts also predict that the number of internet consumers in the United States will grow to about 300 million by 2023.

 

Given these figures, it is understandable that small companies are increasingly searching for methods to extend their networks via the use of digital marketing strategies. In fact, even the most established businesses are beginning to move their marketing efforts to the internet.

 

It may be tough for your company to compete with other businesses if it does not have a strong internet presence. A number of considerations must be taken into consideration before beginning work on your digital marketing initiatives. Take notice that in order to achieve success with your objectives, you must first develop a strategic strategy and then put that plan into action.

 

We will offer you with a short guideline on how to establish a great internet presence in order to better educate you. Please feel free to make use of the following suggestions:

 

1. Set Specific and Realistic Goals

In digital marketing, establishing objectives is critical. Make certain that your objectives are clear and attainable. It is possible to use the SMART principles (S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Actionable) while establishing your objectives. R stands for realistic, and T stands for timetable).

 

If, for example, you decide to use Social Media Marketing as your main digital marketing platform, you may define your objectives by referring to your company's requirements. Are you establishing a new community of your own? Do you want to see more positive involvement in your organization? Are you attempting to increase the number of followers on your social media accounts? What kind of reach do you need for your campaigns? Using this information, you may create some practical strategies, such as creating a content strategy or running a sponsored advertisement, among other things. Give each objective a timeframe so that you can track the development of your campaigns with relative ease.

 

2. Understand Your Business Needs

Prior to launching any internet marketing strategy, you must first identify the requirements of your company. Begin with a vision in mind. What do you expect your company to be like in the next 2 to 5 years? Are you striving for a certain level of growth? Does your company intend to operate in the e - commerce industry? Are you attempting to capitalize on your position as the primary distributor?

 

As soon as you have a clear goal in mind, you can begin to work on developing your brand's identity. What kind of image do you want your audience to have of you? What is the demographic of your target market? These are among the considerations you should consider prior to developing a strategy for your internet marketing efforts.

 

3. Develop a Solid Content Marketing Strategy

Increasing your internet visibility is difficult without a well-thought-out content marketing plan. As it has been since the beginning of time, content has been the basis of every digital marketing effort. Concentrate on a certain market segment for your company. Look for the most popular subjects in your business that are currently trending. Make a rough sketch of your subject. Make sure that the articles you write are unique, relevant, entertaining, and well-written, as well as informative. You should also include competitive keywords in your content for both on-page and off-page SEO purposes.

 

4. Be Consistent with your Strategies

When it comes to attaining success, keeping consistency is one of the most crucial elements. Make certain that all of your digital marketing activities are in line with your objectives. Examine the results of your campaigns and the progress they've made. Identify the areas in which you need to improve and make the required changes. Keep in mind that every technique is a learning process that involves trial and error. This is why it's important to maintain track of all of your campaigns. More data analysis may be accomplished via the use of technologies such as Google Analytics.

 

 5. Explore your Options

This is where internet marketing becomes a little more challenging. Don't be overwhelmed by the sheer number of digital marketing choices accessible. Once again, keep your attention on your company's requirements and objectives. Begin with the channel that you are currently utilizing. You should investigate your choices for Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click campaigns if you utilize a company website as your main platform. When it comes to improving your website's exposure on major search engines, these two strategies are the most effective.

 

It is also possible to run several campaigns for your company, which you should consider as well. It is possible to increase the outcomes in a short amount of time if everything is done correctly! For example, you can always combine SEO with social media marketing to maximize your results. These two concepts may be used in conjunction with one another and can even be complementary to one another.

 

Conclusion

Some of the things you may do to improve your internet visibility are as follows: Once again, strategic solutions are required in order to accomplish your objectives. Be proactive and creative in your search for new and inventive methods to improve your digital marketing tactics.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Top 10 MAC Keyboard Shortcuts

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mac keyboard

 

Initially, the transition to MAC OS can be difficult, especially if you are shifting from a Windows environment. You need to understand the several MAC Keyboard shortcuts to make the best use of the system. MAC has several shortcuts made to make the experience unparalleled. Once you get a hang of it, there’s no going back.

 

Before getting to know the several keyboard shortcuts get yourself familiarized with the MAC keyboard. A few important keys are mentioned for your reference. The Command key is denoted by the symbol- ⌘. The Option key has “Alt” written on it. There is a Function Key- Fn which is next to the Control Key denoted by “control”.

 

Now that you have got an idea of some of the useful keys in your Mac keyboard we can help you with some shortcuts. We have listed down the top 10 MAC Keyboard shortcuts for MAC operation System which you must know now.

 

1. Spotlight Search

We all are familiar with the search bar in Windows where we can search for files and folders. Similarly, there is the Spotlight Search for MAC. To open the search box you need to use the “Command+Space” Keys. You can’t remember where all your files and folders are located. This helps you search easily all the files and folders. 

 

2. Emoji Keyboard

“Control+Command+Space” opens up the Emoji Keyboard. Emojis are so in during the chat over several platforms. The keyboard shortcut opens up the character viewer application. You can search by the emoji type and find as well. 

 

3. Preferences

“Command +” keys can be used to customize the MAC applications. In the preferences menu, you can customize an application according to your convenience. Customization is a really great option provided by MAC, you can make the build according to your own needs. 

 

4. Taking Screenshots

There is often the requirement to save payment receipts, chat records, stream a game recording, etc. The default screenshot application for MAC can be accessed by using the keyboard shortcut “Command+Shift+5”. You will be given options to capture the full screen, a portion of the screen, or record the screen.

 

5. Shutdown Menu

You can access the Shutdown menu by pressing the keys “Control+Power”. By this, you can get to either Restart, Shutdown, Sleep, or Cancel.

 

6. Show the Desktop

While working on something you may need to view the desktop several times. Instead of minimizing every app all the time you can use the keyboard shortcut - “Command+F3”. The F3 button in MAC is also known as Mission Control.

 

7. Show/Hide the Dock

“Option+Command+D” can be used to hide or show the dock. While the working dock can become disturbing, you can hide it by using the mentioned keyboard shortcut.

 

8. Force Quit when Screen Freezes

While working your screen may freeze or a particular application may stop working. You can use the shortcut “Option+Command+ESC”. You can use these shortcuts to close the applications that are not responsive.

 

9. Change View

Finder lets you view the items in different ways. You can customize the views from your toolbar. This helps you to quickly view the files and folders. 

  • Command + 1 – Show items as icons view
  • Command + 2 – Show items as list view
  • Command + 3 – Show items in column view
  • Command + 4 – Show items in gallery view

 

10. Lock Your Screen

To lock your screen when away you can use the keyboard shortcut “Control = Command + Q”. To re-enter the system you would need to enter your user id and password. 

 

Conclusion

MAC OS has several keyboard shortcuts to ease your work. We have listed the most required keyboard shortcuts in day-to-day use in this article. If you get used to it, you will save a lot of time while operating the system. Cutting your dependence on the mouse will make your work swifter. 




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