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Showing posts from May 11, 2015
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Federal “Review Freedom Act” Wants To Make US Yelp-Safe For Consumers

Many non-lawyers are unaware that it’s legally possible for consumers to waive their free speech rights to negatively review or otherwise criticize companies publicly. Increasingly companies have sought to include so-called non-disparagement clauses in their online terms.Such clauses or provisions became illegal in California this year (Cal. Civ. Code §1670.8) but they’re not illegal across the US. A new federal bill called the ‘‘Consumer Review Freedom Act of 2015″ seeks to change that.The federal bill is modeled on the California law (formerly known as the “Yelp bill”), which prohibits any “contract or proposed contract for the sale or lease of consumer goods or services from including a provision waiving the consumer’s right to make any statement regarding the seller or lessor or its employees or agents, or concerning the goods or services.” It also makes it illegal “to threaten or to seek to enforce, a provision made unlawful under the bill, or to otherwise penalize a consumer for…

BlackBerry, Samsung, Microsoft, HTC, LG, Sony… In a World of Their Own?

The Bible talks of much gnashing of teeth and wailing when final judgement visits those that have sinned. Well, similar are the sounds (well, metaphorically at least) that seem to accompany the announcement of prices of devices from ahem, some brands these days. Ironically, these are the very brands that had dominated the mobile landscape for years – the likes of Nokia (now Microsoft), HTC, BlackBerry, Samsung, Sony and LG. A few years ago, they seemed to set the benchmarks for offerings at different price points. Now, to some people, they seem hopelessly divorced from reality in a market whose price-performance expectations has changed radically over the past year.And no, we are not talking about expected-to-be-expensive flagships. The groans of dismay that accompanied the announcement of the price of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (Rs.58,900/$900 for the record), were as loud as those that were heard when Microsoft announced the Lumia 640‘s price (a relatively lowly Rs.11,999/$190), or …

IAB Extends Certification Program For Digital Marketers With Focus On Data Skills

As a working understanding of data management has become an integral aspect of of digital marketing, particularly with the growth of programmatic buying and selling, the IAB is extending its certification programs to include Digital Data Solutions.The certification program is designed to establish a benchmark of proficiency for people working in digital advertising, including marketers, agencies, publishers and vendors and increase the number of executives whose skills are up to date on digital data solutions.“Data convergence is one of the most important changes in marketing and advertising since the digital revolution,” said Patrick Dolan, Executive Vice President and COO, IAB.  “This IAB program will address the change in skills required to operate in this new digital media environment.”The program is designed for those with at least two years in data analytics and/or management and covers the following competencies:Establishing Data PoliciesManaging Data SupplyCreating Data Produc…

What Does Winning In Search Look Like?

One of the most frequent questions we get from our clients is, “What does winning in search look like?” Although it would be nice to have a universal response for every client, the problem is that the answer is vastly subjective.An obvious answer would be that you have a good return on investment. In most cases, it’s difficult to calculate ROI unless you have a direct-to-sales shop, and even then, depending on the integrity of your analytics setup, you could misevaluate the campaign.Instead of looking for an absolute, it’s best to apply a strategic method or decision tree-like framework to evaluate winning. Remember that search revolves around complicated, evolving algorithms which, because of their incredible usefulness, garner massive user loyalty. This, in turn, fuels an incredibly lucrative advertising arena that continues to expand.What may be best for you today, may not be best for you tomorrow — “winning” today may not be “winning” tomorrow. So let’s explore how you should thin…

21 Ways To Market Your Business Online On A Shoestring Budget

I often hear from business owners who feel they’re too busy running their business to spend time on marketing. This is valid — and to be honest, sometimes marketing is best left to the professionals.But a problem arises when you simply don’t have the budget to hire a full-time consultant or marketing person. The following will cover 21 ways you can market your business yourself, even on a tight budget.Online Review SitesHaving your business listed on online review sites is important not just for driving traffic and sales, but for protecting your online reputation. The following sites are some of the most influential, as well as the most cost-effective (free!).Set up a Google My Business page: This listing will get your business on Google Search, Maps and Google+ and enable customers to review your business. Local business reviews tend to receive high rankings in the search results, giving you some great (free!) real estate. Google+ Local reviews also influence the search rankings of p…

10 Best Android Apps & Games This Week

It’s that time of the week when we look back and extract some of the best new Android apps and games which have been launched on the Play Store. If you have an iPhone or iPad, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our sister roundup with some of the best new iOS apps, as well. We’ve got some really great games for your Android smartphone and tablet, as well as some useful new apps. So, let’s see what’s on this time, shall we?Mortal Kombat X (Free)As a kid, you probably spent many hours playing Mortal Kombat with your friends. The video game franchise has now unleashed its newest title, called Mortal Kombat X. In the game you will be able to create your own team of Mortal Kombat fighters and earn experience, new special attacks, and powerful artifacts. You will be able to play with such veterans like Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Sub-Zero, Sonya, Kitana, Ermac, and also discover new characters like D’Vorah, Cassie Cage, Kotal Khan, Kung Jin and more. Be advised that you need a minimum of 1.…

6 Dos And Don’ts For Lifecycle Email Marketing

The customer lifecycle refers to the milestones in a common path that most consumers tend to follow over the course of their relationship with a retailer. It’s the journey customers take — they sign up, make their first purchase, some turn into repeat buyers, and eventually, sad as it may be to see, some consumers eventually stop purchasing altogether.Retailers increasingly acknowledge these paths, sending customers messages that are specific to different lifecycle stages — that’s lifecycle marketing. For online retailers, email is a key component of lifecycle marketing (with email as a channel driving close to a fifth of online orders year round — you can see more e-commerce stats here).While lifecycle emails still encompass a minority of emails sent by a retailer (with calendar-based, daily, and transactional emails making up the bulk of most email programs), they are some of the most effective as they speak to customers at specific, important times.Common Lifecycle Email TypesThe f…

Facebook’s “Add A Link” Search Feature May Make Mobile Sharing Even Simpler

One of the biggest struggles when sharing a post to Facebook from your mobile device is the flipping back from browser to app and copy-pasting of URLs. That may soon be going the way of the dinosaurs thanks to a new “Add A Link” feature from Facebook.Instead of toggling back and forth between programs on one’s phone, the “Add A Link” feature will allow users to perform a quick search to find relevant URLs to  share. They will have the ability to quickly view the story then share along with their text update. According to TechCrunch a Facebook Rep stated:“We’re piloting a new way to add a link that’s been shared on Facebook to your posts and comments.”This will cut out the middle man in the process – search engines. Instead of have to find a story or look up a URL, this meaningful change could save time — and more importantly — keep users on Facebook throughout the entire experience. If this feature takes off, it may behove marketers and publishers to further focus on getting their sto…

10 Most Impressive Sleep Tracking Gadgets and Mobile Apps

Apart from tracking your sleep, most powerful applications and devices out there are also able to help you improve the way you sleep. Because we could all use a better goodnight sleep, it is important to monitor how many hours per sleep you get, but also know your sleep cycles and learn how you could make the most of your time by scheduling sleeping hours.The key to feeling rested in the morning is a mix between good habits like eating healthy, exercising, drinking enough water, avoiding alcohol and going to sleep at a reasonable time. However, another important aspect that many people seem to be less aware of is understanding your own sleep cycles.Everyone’s sleep is a little different, so unless you monitored you sleep to see exactly what cycles you’re going through and at what time, how much they last for and many other details, you won’t know how to improve it. Thanks to a few creative developers, we can now choose between a variety of devices, but also apps that track the way one…

Social Business Software Market Expected To Reach $37 Billion By 2019

Marketing vendors offering social business software — things like social media management tools and marketing automation tools — are expected to grow revenue from $13.9 billion last year to $37 billion in 2019That’s according to a new forecast from 451 Research covering four specific market software segments: Marketing Automation, Social Media Monitoring & Management, Enterprise Collaboration/Social and Web Experience Management. The company data comes from 145 vendors across those four categories, led by 65 participants in the Enterprise Collaboration/Social group.In the company’s news release, 451 research director Alan Pelz-Sharpe says: “Applications are being built to meet the needs of increasingly dispersed workforces, and in 2015 we expect the number of players, as well as investment, to grow substantially in this market, and further outlying technologies to be drawn inward.”451’s forecast represents a compound annual growth rate of 22 percent for this segment of the martech…

ASUS ZenPower is a New 10050mAh Power Bank Priced at Rs. 1,499

These days, it’s pretty hard to find a smartphone that has a battery which will make you say ‘wow’. And the problem isn’t with smartphone makers only, as we too are culpable, since our handsets have to do so many things – render webpages fast, play games, take pictures and much more. That’s why some of us have to resort to power banks in order to juice up our devices when they need it the most.The Asus ZenPower is said to be the world’s ‘number 1 credit card sized’ power bank with a high capacity of 10050mAh. However, we’re not quite sure what Asus means by ‘No.1′, as this is a different expression than the ‘world’s first’, so maybe it’s nothing more than just a marketing trick. Nonetheless, the gadget weighs only 215 grams, being no bigger than a credit card in width.If you have a smartphone with a battery capacity of 1500mA, 2000mA, 2500mA and 3000mA, then you can charged 4 times, 3 times, 2.5 times and 2 times respectively. Furthermore, you can also use it to charge tablets with ba…

Mobile Video Ad “Viewability” Beats Desktop By 30 Points

Last December Google released research that showed 56 percent of online display ads weren’t ever seen. This startling finding was generally consistent with older studies (e.g., comScore) that showed a large percentage of online ads were not being seen.Advertisers were still paying for these phantom or unseen impressions. But in a relatively short period of time viewability has become the new currency for display advertising — especially video. As set forth by the Media Rating Council and IAB, “a video ad is viewable when at least 50 percent of the ad’s pixels are visible on a screen for at least two consecutive seconds.”Last week Google released follow-up viewability research, partly promoting its “Active View” measurement technology and partly to expose the finding that YouTube has much higher viewability rates than the industry average. This is further magnified in mobile.Viewability of video ads across the web is somewhat better than general display, according to this study. Google…

First Impressions: BlackBerry Leap: The Z3, with More Muscle?

Most people might identify the brand very strongly with the enterprise loving executive, but the fact is that for an all too brief time, BlackBerry did get a slice of mainstream glory, courtesy the surprisingly affordable (well, for its time) Curve 8520. It even spurred the company to make fun of its core crowd in the now (in)famous BlackBerry Boys ad campaign. A lot of water has flown under that particular bridge, so much so that BlackBerry is now trying to get back to its enterprise core, as is borne out by the fact that its previous two high-profile devices (the Passport and the Classic) sported its iconic QWERTY keypads, which were part and parcel of its enterprise ethos. The company, however, has not given up on the all-touch experience, though, as is evidenced by the Leap, a touchscreen phone that is expected to hit the Indian market on May 12.If the Classic and the Passport had seen BlackBerry’s design department in overdrive mode, the Leap stays in more comfortable territory. …