When it comes to leads generation, my discussions with marketers mostly reveal that they use traditional methods like trade shows, email marketing, seminars, cold calls, advertising and telemarketing as their primary marketing approaches. These methods are called “outbound marketing” and involve the transmission of a marketing message in the hope that it would travel far and wide and reverberate with the needs of the target market. Well, my opinion is that outbound marketing approaches are losing efficacy for causes discussed below.

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Collecting Data? Google Now Requires You to Use HTTPS

If your website collects sensitive user data, you will have to bring a few tweaks to how it works. Google recently announced its plans to mark HTTP sites non-secure if they collect sensitive data. However, even if you don’t collect information on your website they announced this is part of a “long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure”.

Online purchases are increasingly becoming the preferred way to shop with the US having around 200 million online buyers alone and the economy expected to reach $491.5 billion by 2018. However, only a quarter of small businesses in the US are selling online.

Customers can shop on the go or from the comfort of their homes. If reports are to be believed, online stores are as successful as brick and mortar stores - at least in some niches. However, still a large portion of customers prefer to shop from physical stores. So how does one win these customers as well? Read on to find out what customers see when buying online.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit,” said Aristotle. This wise Greek philosopher understood that in order for us to become successful and talented in any skill or area we must develop habits. It is through our habits that we can learn to accomplish difficult tasks and benefit from its rewards. When we develop habits to improve areas of our lives we don’t only finish major tasks with little frustration, but we also become better people.

What are Habits and How They Affect Us
There are tasks and routines that we as humans do every day. There are some people who jog for an hour every morning. There are others who walk their dogs every time after breakfast. The man jogging and the woman with the dog both have one thing in common. They have developed a habit.

One of the trending terms in the tech world today is “growth hacking,” which refers to the aptitude to scale a product in fast and out-of-the-box ways. In simple words, growth hacking means scaling a product in a viral way. However, not every marketer and company does growth hacking the right way.

It is a proven tool that helps find success, but not everyone is able to reap the benefits mainly due to their failure to understand the concept properly. Here are the 5 mistakes you should avoid when using growth hacking to scale your product.

When a new year begins, a lot of people talk about resolutions and goals that they intend to complete before the year ends. However, most people don’t start or complete their goals during the year. Why is this? I believe it’s because people like the idea of goal setting but get overwhelmed with the act of doing them. For example, if my goal for 2016 is to double my income with freelancing, I might talk myself out of it because I don’t know how to get there. This exact situation can be applied to a businesses that has trouble completing goals and building effective teams to get tasks done.

Since the past couple of years, content marketing has gained tremendous heights. Without a doubt, it is an immensely powerful tool in a marketer's arsenal to attract and entice the prospects. However, despite the popularity of content marketing, marketers seem to find it difficult to get the executive support for their ideas and strategies which is critical to ensure its effectiveness. Thus, marketers find themselves handcuffed and bound because of the lack of executive support, and consequently, lack of budget and resources to give their ideas a tangible form.

Failure to find backing from executives and other stakeholders is a common challenge faced by marketers. Here are some tips that can guarantee executive support for your content marketing strategies:

In order to keep up with the various changes and developments to the business landscape, it is vital that all businesses have a competitive monitoring strategy. Though competitive analysis covers various avenues, it is particularly fundamental to get to know your competitor’s business and product developments.

In a world where competition is an innate and inherent part of a business, it is entirely logical that every business has an effective monitoring strategy. Here are some ways as to how competitive monitoring can help a business.

Today, many businesses struggle to attract loyal viewers to their content in order to convert them into customers. They fail by either being too self-promotional or creating content that doesn’t serve their target market. Consumers today have more control over how they connect with brands than ever before, so they are now the authority on how businesses should market or promote themselves.

Competition is always seen as a negative element in the business environment. After all, they steal your profits, market share, and even customers. Almost all businesses and organizations desire to beat the competition and emerge on top. Sure, staying ahead of competition and ensuring an edge over them is important for success. But, at the same time, one cannot ignore the benefits of having competition that can help you get a jump in business.

Following are some of the ways through which you can use your competitor to further your business.

The world of the internet has changed how we do business. Today, it is possible for almost anyone to start a business and help it grow by going online. However, a bit of ‘startup capital’ is necessary in able to be considered successful. Accumulating a huge amount of money is something that is easier said than done. However, if you know the right sources, you can find the money you need. To help you in this regard, given below are five ways to accumulate your startup capital.

Competition is permanent and inherent in the business sphere. Almost every business and company faces competition and aspires to destroy it in order to come out on top and rule the market. This is because competition can be a true menace to your business by obliterating your market share and crashing your profits. Thus, it is important that a business has a competitive monitoring strategy in place.

There are many examples where competition totally destroyed a successfully running business. One such example is of Orkut, a social networking site that is obsolete today thanks to stiff competition from Facebook.

In essence, competitive monitoring strategy is about watching and assessing the competition by utilizing modern day technologies with the prime purpose of gaining an edge. Here are some reasons as to why you should have a competitive monitoring strategy.

Customers are the main source of thriving businesses; without customers, there would be no businesses. Modern customers have been exposed to so many superficial marketing campaigns that they can quickly identify if a business is seriously interested in their needs or just their money. In order for your customers to not have the wrong impression of your business, you need to focus time on building relationships with them. This can be accomplished if businesses step out of their comfort zone and try a few different customer-centric marketing strategies:

The landing page is a page on your website which serves as a portal to further interaction between you and the visitor. How effectively it serves the visitor’s needs will determine whether the visitor will become a customer or will simply move to another website.

Anybody that visits your page usually decides within the first 5 seconds if it is worth checking, which is why it is important to be careful. To help you get the right landing page, given below are some valuable tips.

It is a common practice for business owners and marketers to use customer testimonials to further their business. Testimonials are a form of marketing strategy which involves unofficial endorsements by the customers with their ‘word of mouth’ play.

Customer testimonials serve as a great opportunity to affect and influence the buying behavior of other potential customers. Here are some of the benefits:

Use The Correct Social Media Platforms

A lot of businesses believe that in order to have a strong presence on social media, they should have accounts on all social media platforms. They try to create interesting posts but their results are little-to-no engagement and shares. This is a consequence of businesses spreading themselves thin between networks that they don’t have enough time to develop thoughtful strategies on how to curate content and engage with their followers. If your business wants to benefit from social media traffic, you need to pick a few social media platforms that will work in your content’s best interest. Every network is not the same, so you need to understand what kind of content works with each platform:

They Didn’t Adapt with the Times

Problem #1: There are many businesses that only have a Facebook page that they update at least once a month or year. Having a barely active page suggests to new visitors that a business might not be that popular, or worse no longer operating. This type of impression will hurt your brand and will cost you many potential customers.

Some say a good reputation is worth more than glittering silver and gold. In our online world, your reputation is your calling card. It is just as significant as it was when you were in high school. When meeting new business associations; you can count on them looking into your online profiles such as your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.

Furthermore, potential clients will read reviews posted about your company. According to advertising agency MDG, 92% of consumers trust online reviews posted by other consumers. The gut-wrenching part is less than half of businesses polled felt prepared to handle any online reputation mishaps.

If you find yourself in that category, read on to keep your business online reputation in its finest form.

To many, becoming an entrepreneur might seem like a scary and high-risk taking journey, but to some, this unpredictable adventure seems like the perfect path that their life should take. Entering the unknown battlefield of business is probably the only way that people who hate their jobs can change their circumstances and be successful. Here are some reasons why dreaming of success and leaving a cubicle can drive people to become entrepreneurs:

They Admire Other Entrepreneurs
Successful people inspire other people to become successful. These hopefuls believe that becoming an entrepreneur will allow them to network with people who have already built great businesses. They think that they have enough potential to find the next profitable idea and change the lives of millions. Seeing someone with nothing grow to become a successful businessperson is enough for these aspiring entrepreneurs to save up money to start their own businesses.

If you are not planning on a course of action for losing mission-critical data due to a man-made disaster, or an act of God, what you have is a plan for failure, and possible loss of your livelihood. When a disaster happens, those who are in management positions who are not IT-savvy will most often go with the disaster recovery plan they can put in effect in the fastest manner – and that is seldom the right course of action. Plan ahead and be ready if the unthinkable happens.

There is no one correct plan of action in these situations, but there are things you can do ahead of time to protect your data – and your business.

Hundreds of methods of marketing your business exist, but not all of these marketing methods are worthwhile or beneficial to your business. In order to build your brand and ensure maximum profits are coming through the door it is essential that you’ve selected the best of those marketing methods. Here we will take a look at 5 awesome marketing techniques that you’re probably not using, but should be, if you’re looking to really send your business to the next level.

Text Marketing: Around 90% of the population has a cell phone that is kept on their person throughout the day. Another 80% of those cell phone uses have a smartphone, and another 65% depend upon their smartphone to find deals and offers from their favorite brands. Medium to large businesses can use text marketing to stay in touch with their customers and keep them coming through the doors by offering unique, can’t miss discounts and special offers. Build a text message marketing list and you have access to immediate customer interaction for your brand.

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