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Digital Technology

The Publishing Industry Landscape in the Digital Age

Needless to say, books are the backbone of human history and knowledge. In fact, the first-ever text written dates back to 3500 BC! And here we are in the world of eBooks and documents, or are we?

Recent studies show that eBook sales have flattened and printed book sales have only boosted with the rise of the digital era. With physical books outselling eBooks, there’s been a 2.1% rise in the printed book industry valuation over a year from 2017 to 2018. 

What does this trend tell us? Are the advancements in the tech world still lacking, or is it a mysterious driving force pushing our generation into this publishing renaissance? Analysts believe that among many other factors, this trend is being driven by the absolute pleasure a reader gets by having a new book in their collection.

With the advancements in the publishing sector and budding artists, readers are attracted to these beautiful-looking books that are just much more than written texts or stories. They’re buying an off-screen, immersive experience.

“The book lover loves to have a record of what they’ve read, and it’s about signaling to the rest of the world. It’s about decorating your home, it’s about collecting, I guess, because people are completists aren’t they, they want to have that to indicate about themselves” says Meryl Halls, managing director of UK’s Bookseller’s association.

Let’s dive deeper into this interesting world of digital publishing. We’ll be breaking this down into five simple parts:

  1. Digitizing Publications
  2. Diversifying Marketing 
  3. Busting the rivalry myth
  4. Role of Amazon
  5. Author’s blueprint to Marketing 

Digitizing Publications

While the eBooks market doesn’t seem to cannibalize printed books, digital publishing seems to take different turns over the years. Chris Lavergne, the CEO of youth culture magazine, documented that even when he had more eBook units sold, the printed copies generated over 7 times more revenue. 

This simply tells that the market for printed books is diverse and generates more revenue. When writers like J.K. Rowling say that they still love to write by hand, it’s quite obvious that readers still love reading from matt papers with a distinctive scent.

Nowadays with the availability of features like Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), budding authors can publish their own books independently. But with the rise of this eBook revolution, rises bigger problems.

With the sheer amount of books constantly being published, the readers will have a blitz of content at their disposal, and eventually, the value of eBooks will decline. A testimonial to this is the 4.5% decline in eBook sales in the first quarter of 2019.

Diversifying Marketing

While 2012 marked the start of a constant decline in the sales of the Amazon Kindle tablet, there’s a new format of books that the population seems to enjoy, and the sales for which only seem to skyrocket.

With the upcoming audiobook platforms like audible, people are having the liberty to multitask while they relish their prose of choice. This draws a new scape of possibilities to the upcoming era of digital publishing.

Diversifying your marketing strategies and using a mix of all the present-day technology can help you reach your target audience. The period we are living in, has seen an upsurge in e-marketing tactics and makes it way easier to advertise, market, and distribute your content.

The most evident & successful example of hybrid marketing is the journey of Penguin Random House. Penguin has been the household name to readers for generations starting all the way back in the 1930s. The brand has shown constant growth with time.

With the emergence of the audiobook culture, penguin launched their own podcast and earned a listening time of 13 million minutes. Swiftly ranking in the top 30s charts of UK podcasts. Similar strategies of hybrid marketing have been implemented by independent sellers by teaming up with distributors and vendors.

Busting the Rivalry myth

After considering the distinction between the digital age of publications and the traditional market for printed books, is it really worth considering this as a rivalry? According to many experts, digital books just serve as an extension of the publishing industry.

If the example of Penguin Random House isn’t enough to convince you that all the channels are serving the same audience, then this statement by the CEO of McGraw-Hill might surprise you. He stated, “maintaining both print infrastructure and digital infrastructure means lower margins, or say a larger readership.”

Digital publishing has its own cons too, it makes it easier for people to get pirated and even free copies of books, but the worst part is they get circulated and affects the sales of eBooks massively. If this issue is somehow taken into account and solved, we could see a new scape of users.

Role of Amazon

Amazon first started as an online book store and later turned into an e-Commerce giant. Something that hasn’t changed over the decades is the love-hate relationship between publishers and Amazon.

It’s a wonderful place to establish your own online store and start selling, but with a big audience comes bigger competition, the sheer amount of sellers present on the platform makes it exceptionally difficult to compete with the bigger sellers that might overshadow your small store.

Author’s blueprint to Marketing 

For individual authors to grow and build an audience for themselves, they need to be prudent marketers. An alternative to this could be having a former audience on social media platforms. Humble the poet and Ravinder Singh are great examples of this.

Utilizing the audience an author has on social media is a great way to headstart your career as an author but it should be known that the process can be tedious if you aren’t familiar with the needs and likings of your target audience.

Almost every city has its homegrown publishing house, it is getting easier to automate and personalize the experience an author is willing to publish and distribute. Hybrid marketing opens up new pathways for reaching your desired audience.

With a unique approach and talent, you can always have hopes of putting out your words into this widespread passion of reading and collecting books. As evident as it is, Books will never go out of trend- they are a culture to relish and preserve. And if you are willing, you are welcome.

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Digital Technology

Growth Hacking #101

“Growth is important, and most great companies take it seriously” quotes Adam Nash, the CEO and co-founder of Daffy. Growth hacking means figuring out one specific goal and then tackling it with all cylinders firing.Scaling growth hacking is like scaling any business. Growth hackers are really good at doing technical things, being creative, and exploring new things. 

3 things to know before starting hacking your way into growth:

  1. Who are your customers?

It is necessary to figure out what channels your customers are using.

Five different strategies

  • Integrations

If you leverage their user base, you can grow yours. 

How to optimize integrations?

  • Integrations have to make your product better
  • Measure your conversions and revenue 
  • Discover valuable integrations
  • Ask users about integrations
  • Make your partner pages awesome.
  • Work Emails

Everyone has to have an email account. If you can figure out how to tap it, you can definitely get a huge customer base quickly. When people put in an email, you want to try to entice them. With emails, you got to optimize onboarding. It is not that difficult to get people to put in their emails. Good onboarding is important. You have to optimize the onboarding and continually tweak and test it. Without doing that, you will get a big drop-off from emails. It’s all about onboarding. 

  • Embeds

When you are doing the embeds, you have to give people a reason why they should embed. You can’t get people to embed your product or service if there is not a good reason why people should embed it. 

How to optimize embeds?

  • Make it as much easy as possible to embed.
  • Track how well your embeds convert
  • Test relevant call to actions
  • Optimize for search but don’t obsess.
  • Powered by

This option can play a major role in influencing the customer to sign up for your domain and be a part of your customer community. Hence optimising this gesture is of great importance. So test and ready your copy top call action to occupy and make your website fully functional with this feature. Also, make sure to optimize and provide a smooth experience while directing to different pages. It would also be very helpful for you to analyse and study the trends of the users and consumers in your website and these landing pages, their clicks, conversions and LTV. 

  • Free Tools

When you are doing free tools you need to map it out to the customer decision making. You want to educate your prospects a lot of the best free stuff out there like ebooks and information, how to use products, how to get more value out of a service, whatever it may be anything that benefits your user, built a lot of goodwill and it causes them to spend more money with you, tell other companies, friends, about your product and service. Finally, you also want to measure and optimise for revenue. 

  • Think about what you can repurpose
  • Educate your prospects
  • Test your ideas minimally
  • Measure and optimize revenue
  1. Find what’s best for your product

Things to know while starting a business

  • Knowing what you are getting into
  • Keeping a winning mindset
  • Knowing how much is coming in
  • Organizing growth
  • Diversifying

Focus is the most important thing. Keep working on what works.

  1. Some major tactics you need to be aware of:

Growth hacking strategies

  • Shift to high ticket sales

In your industry, you need to figure out who is buying a high ticket and what you can create and package together that gives a high-value high return offer for your clients. If you even just shifted from being low to a mid-price point and went to high-end sales, you would have more loyal customers, you would like your customers better, and it would be so much easier to increase your sales in the short time frame.

  • Revamp your sales scripts

Scripting gets stale, it gets old and if you watch your sales scripting you will see that it works really well for a while and then all of a sudden it becomes a little bit less effective. If you never had sales scripting in the first place you absolutely need to get it, and if you have had great sales scripting, that has worked really well in the past but is not converting as well right now, it just needs an update. 

  • Build a sales system

Your sales system should be telling you who needs to be called and who is ready to progress to the next lead stage. It should be telling you what is your tracking for the month and what the deals are that are in the pipeline so that you know that sales are coming. 

  • Build a sales team

At times the sales owner would not be able to manage everything. So if you want to dramatically increase sales, get an appointment setter to call and schedule qualified conversations for you

  • Call every single lead that comes through your business. 

If you want to dramatically increase your sales, call every single lead that comes through your door. Outreach is very important. Never wait for the sales to reach you. Make sure that you go out and get them. 

  • Converting Ad Creatives by Artificial Intelligence: When you’re scaling up using Facebook ads, testing various audiences with different creatives becomes key. Certain challenges come along with it. So make sure you create high-converting creatives for yourself.
  •  Your Competitor is Your BEST FRIEND: There’s no denying the fact that you learn a lot more from your competitors than anybody else. You might not like them but the best business lessons can be learnt from them. 
  • Find the best Color Combination:The biggest reason why some landing pages don’t convert is the colour combination. Colors have their language which is true in the case of landing pages.
  • Grow with Technology: It’s pretty well-known that if you want to win high-paying clients, your research work on them before pitching, needs to be super strong and what’s better than pinpointing their weak points. To identify the weak points or suggest better ways to get more leads or sales, you can understand the technology they are using on their websites.

Growth hacking as we have discussed here will come in real handy if you wish to boost your brand and its reach. To scale growth hacking as a skill using multimedia resources would be a very choice. Making a shirt video explaining how to go about certain activities pertaining to your brand or tutorials or other interesting content is a very simple way to scale growth hacking as a skill. Set your system up in a way that is occupied for scaling and add elements into your product that will give it a certain zest and feel that will surely make it viral in an instant. With more desired features added, your product will surely shine in the market. Iterate about the things you want to the customers but in a new and fresh way each time. The goal is to keep the customer happy and satisfied. Also, try to get VIP customers onboard manually giving them that special attention making the VIP service more relevant and worth having. With such a mindset you should be able to reach the aim and goals that you aspire to achieve in no time through growth hacking.

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Digital Technology

QR Code Marketing

What exactly is a QR code?

The QR stands for quick response. They’re essentially squares with black and white symbols on them. Every QR code is unique and holds encrypted information like a website link, product landing page, promotional details, coupon, or other information. Whenever someone scans the QR code with a smartphone or tablet, the code reveals the encrypted information, taking the user to the desired destination. This is very similar to that of a barcode, but it can hold more and different types of data. 

How to use QR codes for marketing?

To have a successful marketing campaign, you have to know who it is you’re marketing to. Whether you’re conducting a survey or poll, asking people to sign up for an email list or taking orders, it’s important to get information from customers through some kind of an online form.

The most common purpose of a QR code is to direct users to a specific landing page. This page could have a sign-up link, a campaign page, or even a product catalogue. The possibilities are virtually endless. Make sure your QR code directs users to your campaign’s landing page rather than a home page. This way, users don’t have to navigate to the correct page. Also, make sure your website is mobile-friendly, as many users will be scanning on the go. Make QR codes fun and exciting by including instant coupons, freebies and offers. Instead of having a customer clip a printed coupon, you can create a QR code that saves the offer directly to the user’s mobile wallet. Users can then easily provide the digital coupon during checkout at a physical retailer. You can also direct QR scanners to an online store. Instead of asking them to manually enter a promo code, you can set it up so the discount is already applied at checkout.

Promotional QR codes are very versatile. You can integrate them into print ads, direct mail, or even a giant billboard. A whopping 92% of consumers consider online reviews when they’re searching for local businesses. So turn your biggest customers into your biggest advocates? Simply include a QR code on product packaging along with a brief message encouraging customers to scan the code and leave a review on platforms like Yelp. Throwing in a freebie for leaving a review won’t hurt either. Use QR codes to incentivize customers to download and use your branded apps. Context is key here the QR codes direct users to apps that complement the ad or printed material where the code appears. 71% of shoppers report that digital billboards grab their attention more than online ads do. Pairing outdoor spaces with QR codes can enable innovative marketing ideas to flourish. 

What’s great about using QR codes in your marketing campaign is the convenience of tracking and reporting. With web analytics and other campaign measurement tools, you can easily track the number of scans over time, capture geographic data, and gather additional info to measure your return on investment.

No matter how you decide to integrate QR codes in your next marketing campaign, they’re a great way to promote interaction and engagement, not to mention super efficient.

You can drive data collection from an online form, direct customers to a website, or deliver instant coupons, freebies and offers. You can also direct customers to social media pages, download or launch apps from QR scans, and even conduct scavenger hunts. Whichever way you choose to use QR codes, one thing is for sure your customers will have a unique experience. 

Five tips- How to integrate QR codes into your marketing strategy?

  1. Determine where the QR code should go. So what landing page or page on your site or where do you want the user to end up when they use the QR code? What’s that destination? Figure out what that URL is.
  2. Take that URL and create a Trackable URL from it. One way to do this is to add a simple ref code to the end of your URL. To do this, simply add a question mark, reflected by whatever you feel, which will help you identify the campaign. This is a really important step because you’re going to track the performance of your QR code, and without doing this, you won’t be able to do that.
  3. Generate your QR code. There are many free QR code generators. Just go to Google and search QR code generator and you’ll find several tools. Pick one that you like. Use the Trackable URL, paste that in there, and generate the QR code. By doing this, the QR code will fire that URL that you created when somebody uses it.
  4. Once you have generated your QR code, download that image and add it to your marketing materials or your ad campaign so that it’s in your TV commercial or on your flyer or wherever you want it to be, so somebody can use it.
  5. Track the performance of your QR code over time in analytics. So within analytics, because you created that Trackable URL, you’ll be able to see the performance. You’ll be able to see how many people use the QR code, how many people landed on your landing page, how long they stayed, if they converted, if they became a lead, if they made a purchase, everything. That’s the beauty of using the Trackable URL. Now you can track the performance of things like print materials, flyers, direct mailers, TV commercials, and brand campaigns of all sorts by using your QR code, you can then track the performance if you use the Trackable URL.

Some ways you can use QR codes in marketing campaigns.

  • You can boost brand identity because QR codes could impact retention, loyalty, and brand advocacy. By providing creative, convenient ways to use your codes, you can reach the right people on their terms. 
  • Brands can now customize QR code designs, including their colours, CDAs and frames. After personalizing your QR code to fit your brand, you can then drive traffic to your website, link them to Google Maps, or send them to social media accounts. 
  • You can increase brand transparency because QR codes can help drive that transparency. Manufacturers and brands must be transparent about what’s in their products and how it’s made. By placing codes on packages, wrappers, and containers, brands can make it simple for consumers to click through to find out more about the product. This transparency promotes engagement and also builds trust and improves brand reputation.
  • Increase Customer Engagement- Empowering customers to pay on their terms not only makes life easier but can also help increase engagement.
  • QR codes can avoid the situation of customers carrying cash or cards and enable convenient and contactless point-of-sale transactions.
  • What most folks care about the most is generating more leads. What’s important to keep in mind here is being cohesive with the customer journey and adding value. It’s great to get more leads, appointments, phone calls, and all those bottom-funnel metrics that we all care so much about. But maybe it’s adding value somewhere at the top of the funnel that shortens that customer journey and leads to a higher lifetime value.

Are QR codes still relevant?

They’ve been around for years, and marketers have debated whether they are the next big thing or are nearing extinction. Many businesses are trying to keep their daily operations safe and contactless. And it turns out QR codes are the solution.

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Digital Technology

6 L&D trends that may change your workforce

As digital technology becomes more powerful and sophisticated, it also becomes easier and more difficult to use. It enables businesses and professionals to achieve faster than ever before. However, technology can also be challenging because it constantly offers new things to learn. 

Consequently, more and more companies are considering forming or strengthening a Department of Learning and Development (LandD). We no longer live in a world where companies use the same methods and techniques as they did 20 years ago. 

Today’s companies must keep up with new technologies and business developments. If they don’t, they will be overtaken by competitors who are willing to do what they are not: improve and adapt to new circumstances. 

 It is important for LandD or HR managers to ensure that their company is focused on the right areas. In this article, we explore six emerging trends that are becoming defining. 

 1. Learning management systems 

It is the cornerstone of any effective learning initiative, as it includes the software, technologies, and tools that ensure effective training of employees on critical aspects of the job. 

Without a structured system, companies cause many logistical problems. 

For example: How do you make sure your workforce learns what they need if you don’t standardize and train it? 

 When do you expect your workforce to complete this training? 

 What do they study? 

Proper planning, training and implementation are critical. So research the areas of interest to your business, discover what elements can improve the business, and plan the training and systems you need to ensure your workforce is trained. 

An appropriate learning platform helps retain more employees and increases the value of the workforce, even enabling promotion from within. 

 2. Virtual reality and artificial intelligence 

 VR training for police officers 

Employees of the near future will not only have to learn how to use new software; it’s completely different forms of interface and interaction. For example, virtual reality (VR) and its counterpart augmented reality (AR) are making waves in many different industries. 

In particular, VR is already emerging as an important learning and development tool as one of the most useful simulations and training technologies. The ability to create a virtual environment with props and characters makes it ideal for different types of learning experiences, and countries like Singapore are already using it for CSI training. 

Augmented reality is another great potential learning tool, as AR headsets can add additional information and context to learning and create a holographic experience that enhances teaching. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) can also make a big breakthrough, as “intelligent systems” enable faster data processing and accelerate the speed at which data can be collected and used. Although AI does not yet make business decisions, it can quickly process the information that decision-makers need to reach conclusions faster. 

 3. Analysis 

Information is only useful if people have access to the right species and know what to do with it. Analytics is the discipline of diving into massive amounts of data and finding what’s really useful so you can apply it to good practices. 

Analytics is about collecting data, not just sharing it for training. With analytics, you can see where your workforce is learning quickly and where they are struggling, and then you can find solutions. 

For departments that want the most effective and efficient learning platform configured to ensure that training is received and understood with minimal downtime, analytics are essential to fine-tuning the learning platform. 

Good reporting capabilities and additional enhancements such as data visualization can help spot trends and optimize learning for more consistent and reliable results. 

4. Internal Collaboration 

Integration is a key technology in most companies, especially in the technology sector. 

For example, the IT department of most companies can no longer be the one that does not communicate with others. Because technology is now so heavily integrated into so many different aspects of daily operations, IT must work with other departments to better deliver what they need.

Similar internal cooperation is also necessary for education. All departments must communicate what training is needed to facilitate a particular department. 

When every part of the business is optimized, all functions work at their best. For example, IT needs to inform the HR department that a new document management system is being implemented to increase the overall efficiency of the company and that training is coming up. 

Internal collaboration and open communication between different units are necessary to realize effective learning and development projects and systems useful for the company. 

 5. Mobility 

 Meet the Modern Learner 

We live in an age where BYOD, or “Bring Your Own Device”, is more and more common. 

Today’s world is increasingly mobile, and that also means the workforce. Employee training no longer has to take place at a specific time, in a room reserved for that purpose. 

Microlearning can happen on the go. In some cases, it may even be necessary, especially in time-sensitive work where workers must learn quickly on the go to maintain the first-mover advantage. 

However, mobility must be carefully planned. For example, an eLearning program perfect for Android devices won’t do business if most employees use iPhones. 

 6. Tailoring gives better results 

The universal method no longer works when training the workforce. 

Customization or personalization can significantly increase the effectiveness and results of workforce training. The reason is simple: when people learn how they want, they learn faster and retain their education. 

Final Thoughts 

A workforce that can learn new things avoids obsolescence. In today’s fast-paced climate,  companies must provide valuable lifelong learning to retain and attract new employees. 

Employees feel more confident and bring added value to the company, which affects daily operations and future innovations.

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Digital Technology

use of AI in marketing

In the rapidly growing market of today’s world, marketers want to reach their target audience as quickly as possible, but as competition increases, it becomes exponentially difficult to concur. Enter the world of artificial intelligence (AI), which can automatically identify and convert your customers.

In simple words, AI marketing is the technique of feeding the user’s data to machine learning technologies, and with advanced math, AI can predict the next move of the customer and enhance the user experience.

AI opens up new possibilities and strategies to convert customers at every stage of the funnel, improves the customer’s experience with your business, and changes the traditional ways of capturing the user’s attention.

75% of customers are expecting companies to understand their needs. AI proves to be the ultimate aid for this situation, as it can collect and progress user data constantly and provide a seamless experience to the user.

Now that you know how AI marketing works, let’s dive deeper into the world of AI marketing, and see how businesses across the globe put AI to work and which companies are elite in integrating AI into their business.

  • 6 incredible uses of AI marketing 
  • 6 limitations of AI marketing
  • 6 aristocrats exploiting AI marketing

6 incredible uses of AI marketing

  1. Automation – Data processing is the most tedious of all back-end procedures. Customization is a customer’s love at first sight, the less work the user has to do to reach their desired page, the better will be their feedback and experience.
  1. Increased ROI – AI reduces the work of going through user data and pinpointing the target customer to provide a personalized experience. This gives the marketer the liberty to focus on more important aspects of the business that need manual care. 

The process of selective data analysis and Its automation saves a lot of manual work and thus increases the ROI per lead. This also greatly reduces the need for surveys and campaigns as the data is automatically processed.

  1. Increased personalization – As discussed earlier, AI makes personalization way more easier and effective. Personalized push notifications are one great example of AI-powered personalization.

It would be clearly impossible to create e-mails, push notifications social media ads, and personalized ads over all platforms if it weren’t for AI. 

  1. Cost savings – When there’s a lesser need for manual intervention and lesser manpower required, brands save a lot of funds. Cost cutting in unnecessary fields lets the business spend on better and more efficient resources.

For example, content writers can be employed for miscellaneous tasks and the task of copywriting and e-mail content creation can be handed over to AI. Aligning the resources in the most optimal pattern is the key here.

  1. Minimizing errors – While humans tend to make errors once in every while, AI simply doesn’t. Even if it does have a back-end error, once it’s solved, it never comes up again. AI will simply make everything look seamless and perfect.

On top of that, it’s a resource you never have to replenish. Once allotted, AI will work for you forever. Updates and upgrades are the only requirements of AI, and even they are expected to be automated soon.

  1. Faster decision making – When all the decisions are set to be made based on a pre-determined set of inputs and data structures, it simply takes no time to make instant decisions for processes like product recommendation.

6 limitations of AI marketing

  1. Data limitations – As we’re nearing the end of 2022, we’re witnessing security updates in mobile devices that limit access to usable data by third-party websites. And as we know, AI is based directly on the amount of data fed to it. This can be a core limitation of AI.
  1. Uncertainty of outcomes – AI now, is a set of complex algorithms that most people don’t understand. Reliable Sentiment Analysis is very difficult for AI to perform and can sometimes be inaccurate. Another possible limitation can be optimized for multiple outcomes for a single input.
  1. Replacing Humans is impossible – There should always be a prior input for possible outcomes, and these inputs are fed by humans. It is very difficult to replace many other complex roles that are played by humans. Though a pro is that instead of replacing, we can always empower humans with the help of AI.
  1. Marketing is convoluted – The distinction among different systems can pose a major problem in unifying the central system. It is near impossible to detect the presence of a single user across different platforms and thus makes data availability a mess.
  1. Unrealistic expectations – AI has indeed come a long way in terms of dealing with real problems, AI can make art, and AI can do copywriting, but these solutions aren’t out of the scope of human possibilities, in fact, these are pretty basic tasks that the much complex AI is learning now. AI outperforming human abilities is a near and dear dream.
  1. Requires supervision – As it is apparent from the above mentions, AI requires a constant input of data and algorithms and it can’t really “think” for itself. AI can do what it’s programmed to do and can’t make split-second decisions as a human does.

6 aristocrats exploiting AI marketing

  1. Unilever – Unilever has various AI data centers across the globe to conduct traditional market research and social market research. Unilever’s AI sneakily recognized the pattern of songs describing ice-cream consumption as breakfast. Taking this idea, they made the plans for cereal-flavored ice cream and successfully launched them under the brand Ben & Jerry’s.
  1. Starbucks – From announcing their personalization plans back in 2016 to having a full-fledged mobile app and personalization systems. They collect user data of purchases and time of purchase to recommend better suggestions to the user for the same timings on other days.
  1. Alibaba – Last year the e-Commerce behemoth launched a brick-and-mortar store in Hong Kong, which was powered by AI. They brought in the concept of digital garment tags that detect when the product is touched and mirrors that display clothing information. They have plans to launch a virtual wardrobe function soon.
  1. eBay – Using the art of brand language optimization, the e-Commerce giant eBay has been leveraging the benefits of e-mail marketing from as early as 2016. They’ve been using the AI customer experience platform Phrasee to enhance their e-mails.
  1. Chase – Chase Bank is in a five-year contract with an AI marketing brand, Persado. This company drove more positive responses from the bank’s users by creating appealing digital ads. 
  1. Sephora – Reports identify Chatbots as the fastest growing brand communication channel with over 92% growth from the year 2019 – 2020. The beauty brand Sephora being an early contender to this list, saw the possibilities of AI in early 2017 and started dispensing beauty advice on Kik.

Is AI for you?

As long as you’re willing to grow as a business, be it small scale, medium, or large, there’s a plethora of opportunities and possibilities where you can integrate AI into your business seamlessly and grow exponentially. If you didn’t know about AI marketing before this blog post, subscribe to our newsletter, if you did, we’ll settle for feedback!

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Digital Technology

what you need to know about digital accessibility

Digital technology has created amazing opportunities for communicating, sharing information, banking and shopping. The users of your digital technologies have different needs. It is very important to keep this variety in mind, otherwise, millions of people will find it difficult or impossible to use your content. People you want to Reach accessibility is important to at least 60% of your audience, and getting it right means you’ll build something better for everyone, and it’s good for business. Digital accessibility is a regulatory requirement. It’s essential to think about accessibility from the beginning of a project. 

Having an accessible digital presence has positive implications that can pay dividends in several ways…

  • Increasing your market share and gaining eCommerce traffic
  • Controlling operational costs, especially in omnichannel organizations
  • Managing your risk profile to avoid costly complaints or litigation
  • Aligning your digital presence with your company’s core values

For a digital service to be accessible, four things need to happen. The customer needs to be able to perceive the content. It should be available to at least one of their sensors. If someone has a visual impairment, can they see it? If one is blind, does their screen reader work with the content and read it out to them? If one is deaf and there’s some audio, is there a text representation that they can read instead of listening to? The other thing that needs to happen is that somebody needs to be able to operate the website or the interface. Not everybody uses a mouse. Some people may have a mobility impairment. That means that they are forced to use a keyboard or may use speech recognition software.

If a service doesn’t work with the input device that somebody is using, they are not going to be able to go to the page that they want to go

to or submit the information that they need to submit. So people have a range of cognitive abilities. Some people may struggle to read due to dyslexia. So using clear and simple language that is easy to understand, and making sure that interfaces are consistent and predictable, are really important to make sure that somebody can understand the content and how to use your service. Also, it should be built in such a way that it’s compatible with the technologies that people are using. So if somebody is using a screen reader, does it work with that screen reader? If somebody’s using an older browser, does it work with that older browser? If any one of these four things doesn’t work, then somebody won’t be able to have a successful interaction and complete the tasks that they’re trying to do.

How to improve the accessibility of your digital marketing?

  • Don’t leave out ALT Attributes. 

Search Engines “read” your images via the ALT attribute, but ALT text is also read by screen readers for those with visual impairments. Use ALT Text to give more information and tell a larger story.

  • Make your color palette user-friendly.

It is your brand, so you should use colors you like. But keep accessibility in mind when facing this decision. People who suffer from color blindness could miss your marketing messages. The same goes for contrasted links in your website content. Just be conscious of your color contrast.

  • Text Position.

1 in every 10 people is affected by dyslexia. Align the text of your content to the left. This provides an anchor for those with dyslexia to come back to, making it easier to read. 

Tips for commissioning an app, software or website, make accessibility part of the contract.

  • It is advisable to refer to British Standard 8878 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2 (WCAG 2.0). In your testing, including disabled users.
  • If you’re using an online platform to create your website, use ‘accessible’ themes and plugins, and keep the following in mind:
  • Design pages so that users may customize their experience by them changing colors, and the size of text or buttons. Use responsive layouts that can work on different devices.
  • Always make the users aware of where they are and how they reach somewhere else. Make alternative options to suit various requirements, such as ‘skip to main content link’.
  • Make sure that everything that can be done using a mouse can be acquired using only the keyboard. The Keyboard-only users need to know where they are at all times when they navigate using the TAB key. And here the tabbing should follow a logical order. Know how much better it is to navigate using only the TAB, Enter SPACE, and ARROW keys. Flashing content can cause disturbances. While some people with cognitive impairments find it very difficult to concentrate if there are distractions. 
  • Give the user control.

There should be a pause button and audio and video should not be played automatically.

  • Choose a video player that helps you to add captions and provide a text transcript to make audio and video content accessible. Add descriptions of any important visual information and speech. 
  • If an image is significant, contains text, or is a link, explain this with ‘alternative text’ that screen reader software can read out to those users with visual impairments.
  • Use short, simple sentences to provide better readability and engage a wider audience.
  • Give each page a title and organize the text using headings, paragraphs, and lists. Add ‘markup’ to enable easier navigation and explain features to people who can’t see them. This applies to documents in Word or PDF formats as well as web pages. 
  • It should be made sure that links clearly stand out from the surrounding text, and let users know if the link will open in a new window or download a document. Links need to be concise and descriptive so that if they read on their own, people will still know where they go.
  • Test text and background color combinations and contrast online to ensure text can be easily read by people who are color-blind or have impaired vision. If your web page times out before people can complete forms, this can be a very frustrating experience. 
  • Give visitors the required time to extend their session if they wish.
  • Mention accessibility improvements that you have made and why in an accessibility statement, and provide people with easy ways to contact you if they are having any difficulty. It should be kept in mind that spam protection like CAPTCHA may shut out all potential customers, not just spam robots. 
  • Alternatives such as text-based logic problems, or simple human user confirmations need to be used in these cases.
Categories
Digital Technology

how online learning can transform your business

When it comes to the opportunities that come with using an online learning platform, the benefits much exceed the costs. Your partner engagement,  sales managers, and HR will be grateful to you for making their jobs easier. E-learning may be utilized for new employee adaptation, compliance training,  online learning, customer training, corporate training, personal and professional growth of current team members, and partner engagement. When appropriately tailored to specific needs, one such platform allows you to inform rather than instruct others about what you want them to know.

These are some of the ways online learning will help you change your business –

  1. Convenience – Employees gain from e-learning since an online program can be accessed everywhere, at any time, and on any device, whether it is a tablet, a cellphone, or a laptop. One can learn while traveling to work, on vacation,   waiting for a buddy at a coffee house, or at home sick. In turn, e-learning systems allow firms to quickly collect comments from trainees or notify them of the most recent developments.
  2. Save time -You do not need to waste time as a company owner seeking training, resources, or places. When you see the need to teach staff on a certain topic, you create a course and integrate it into the platform. When compared to traditional learning, online learning consumes 40-60% less employee time.
  3. Satisfaction – The final stage in the knowledge-building formula is to determine what is required to ensure that learners have a positive learning experience. This step will include identifying the resources and opportunities that learners will require to help them apply their new information and skills, but it will also necessitate the identification of inspirational instructional strategies that will assist learners in maintaining interest, attention, and desire for the teaching materials.
  4. Sustainable and environment friendly – Because it removes the requirement for paper handouts, online training decreases your carbon impact. Courses, evaluations, and feedback may all be completed online. Certificates of achievement are also available online.
  5. Staff involvement – Employees are more motivated and involved in corporate operations as a result of implementing e-learning for them. Furthermore, according to Molly Fletcher Company, online learning may raise worker participation by 18%.
  6. Employee retention can be improved -Employees rank opportunities to grow and learn as the most important driver of positive work culture, therefore establishing a solid learning program is an excellent strategy for increasing talent retention. You demonstrate to your staff that you value their development and growth by engaging in an e-learning platform and providing tailored, role-specific training.
  7. Attracts more young people – Opportunities to improve and learn are highly essential to 59% of Millennials, 41% of Baby Boomers, and 44% of Gen Xers when searching for a job.
  8. Results – The first step in building educational experiences is to determine the intended outcomes. This will be your guiding light in making decisions about the development and design of the educational experiences you’re building.
  9. Win more deals – A McKinsey study found that sales teams who receive tailored education are 1.3 times more inclined to outperform their colleagues. Your e-learning platform is the key resource for the sales force to learn more about their clients and the items they offer.
  10. Cost efficient – E-learning is far less expensive than traditional classroom learning. You are not required to pay wages for instructors and trainers, pay for a class, or pay for learning tools and catering as a company owner. You only pay a group of developers who are working on the online learning platform. Nobody ever stated that developing e-learning software was inexpensive. However, it is a worthwhile investment that will eventually pay all of the expenditures connected with the regular classroom.

CONCLUSION

To remain competitive and attract people, your company must provide opportunities for learning and growth that progress careers. E-learning is becoming increasingly significant as a means of upskilling and transforming your staff in this modern generation of flexibility and hybrid working.

 So, we hope that you have learnt about the advantages of e-learning for your business with this blog.

Categories
Digital Technology

project management tools and operations: what’s the connection?

Whether it be for media planning for your client’s digital launch campaign or strategizing your clients’ social media management strategy, it can be hard to keep a track of each individual subtask that each contributing member must carry out. Some tasks will have a dependency on other tasks to proceed further to completing it. What a project management tool can do is organize, structure, and track your tasks but more importantly what it does is that it gives visibility.  

Endless spreadsheets, briefs and task lists. Keeping all of this under one confined data space is no small feat of achievement. The time and effort that is taken into maintaining all these files is a huge hassle and this time can be better utilized. Say goodbye to the headache of inaccessibility and myopic visibility.

What is a project management tool?

To put it in simple words, it is a platform that streamlines planning, tracking and management of projects under your organization. Gone are the days where you need to lug around your planner and rack your brain on whether you missed out on any important points. You don’t really need to dread documenting all these tasks as you can go as far as to automate the workflow and how each task should be structured.

Let’s break it down with the help of an example. Let’s say that you are preparing a social media calendar. The work that goes behind social media calendars are carried out by three teams: the creative designing team, the copy team and the social media management team. While strategizing doesn’t really need to be tracked, the individual deliverables need to be monitored so that this process runs like clockwork. Let’s say that an idea for a post dated on 10th October 2022 is not yet ready and the creative team is dependent to start working on their designs. Wouldn’t it be easy to just have all of this data centralized? And that’s exactly what a project management tool will do for you.

Why does the operations team need to be at the cusp of evolving project management technologies?

In any organization, big or small, the operations team is the one that essentially coordinates between several other teams to get all work done. This team is the one that works behind the scenes. In an advertising agency, they are at the heart of the organization and provide proper bridges between each team for efficient and effective collaborations.

What a project management tool does for this team is just simplify their job portfolio. Consider that an SEO plan needs to be made for a client and the content team has to get back on the number of blogs that they need to write to drive organic search volumes to their website. All of these things can be easily monitored and tracked to a large extent and sticking to deadlines is no longer hard! The operations team at every agency aims at structuring every single task into smooth and efficient processes with infallible structure. This goes in the line of the purpose of the adaptation of these platforms and tools.

From a planning perspective, it is easier to allocate the right person to the right task with just a few clicks. Automation of workflow eradicates the manual documentation of tasks. Board and Calendar views make sure that your project is going on track. Team members don’t need to go crazy over finding that one client brief because all these tools have an excellent file storage system.

Our 5 Top Rated Project Management Tools

  1. Asana: This is your go to app and is our number 1 rated app. All blustream’s projects are onboarded on to Asana. Asana just doesn’t serve as a project management platform but it has an efficient file storage system which makes everything centralized and visible.
  2. Trello: Trello has excellent communication channels. It has been the most implemented tool in a lot of Fortune 500 companies. Trello excels in terms of visual features. You can view your project tasks in different views with the additional advantage of having unlimited task lists for precise detailing of project deliverables.
  3. Notion: Notion excels in terms of keeping tabs on team tasks. Their task board is simply one of the most visual yet organized ways of depicting project tasks and deliverables.
  4. JIRA: Jira has the amazing feature of creating user stories and issues. You can clearly set priorities and discuss your team’s work based on multiple settings and visibility search options that the platform has provided to the end user.
  5. Basecamp: Basecamp’s messaging board is simply amazing. This particular feature in itself can be used to give depth to team projects. Basecamp also has the most perky interface which is very interactive and fun to use.

We strongly believe that being current and evolving as technology evolves is one way to grow your business. Data, content and technology is at the heart of what we do. As a result, every team needs to keep up and the more execution-oriented teams need to play their role in staying current.

Categories
Digital Technology

How to leverage technology to improve digital marketing

If there is one type of technology that businesses are increasingly interested in, it might be devices and services for discovering, attracting, and retaining new consumers. There are numerous of them in the industry, ranging from CRMs to SEO enhancers. It may be useful to expand your IT toolset with fresh approaches to promote your products. However, sometimes all you have to do is create proper use of the tools you currently have.

Sometimes the key to harnessing technology to build your client base isn’t coming up with new methods to attract them—putting oneself in their shoes and then meeting them where they currently are.

These are the 5 ways to leverage technology to improve digital marketing-

  1. DATA ANALYSIS –

Most modern businesses are continuously acquiring massive amounts of customer data, however, if you can’t organize and extract relevant insights from it, it’s a waste of time. You may analyze your site traffic to determine which material is most frequently accessed, loved, and distributed, as well as which content needs improvement. You can optimize your advertisement performance and take charge of your brand image if you have a complete understanding of how your advertisements are doing on the numerous websites that host them.

There are several technological solutions available to help you automate this process and make better data-driven judgments. Brick-and-mortar firms, for example, may employ location-analytics technology to identify suitable future store sites by compiling demographic and traffic-pattern data.

  1. EMAIL MARKETING –

Email marketing is a straightforward marketing method via which firms may share new goods, promotions, and updates with their contact list. Because of its high ROI, it is critical to most firms’ entire inbound strategy. Current email marketing has shifted away from mass mailings and toward permission, segmentation, and customization.

Personalized email marketing is an underappreciated technique for businesses to use technology to attract new clients. Email marketing still is effective, especially when specific characteristics such as locality and interests are included. Optimize the marketing funnel to assist potential consumers in not just understanding but also making a seamless purchase.

  1. AR TECHNOLOGY –

Augmented reality (AR) is a technologically augmented representation of the real physical environment that is created by the use of digital visual components, music, or other sensory stimulation. It is a developing trend among organizations active in mobile computing and, in particular, commercial apps.

It’s an excellent approach to engage and create a “wow” effect. It may be used for everything from showing consumers how new furniture will appear in their very own homes to inserting visuals that activate an AR app for a presentation or exhibition. There are several methods to employ augmented reality technology to get folks talking about your service or product.

  1. CLOUD MIGRATION –

The process of migrating data, apps, or other business pieces to the cloud computing platform is known as cloud migration. A company can execute many sorts of cloud migrations. Transferring data and apps from the local on-premises data center to the public cloud is a popular model.

Employees may use mobile, web, or desktop-based apps from anywhere at any time by transferring them to the cloud. They only require an internet connection. Moving to the cloud not just improves collaboration and provides easier access to important business applications, but it also enables firms to simply and rapidly scale up or down if their logistical or data-storage requirements change.

  1. COLLABORATION-

 Employees must interact and collaborate in order to be effective and successful. Technology has made it easier for people to do so than ever before. Employees in various places may connect in real-time, share ideas, and discuss solutions to issues through video conferencing. This technology enables your team to collaborate at any time and from any location in the world. It also allows for real-time updates and enhancements, enhancing efficiency, and transparency, and lowering costs.

CONCLUSION

Technology is a vital component of any firm in the twenty-first century; even digital-marketing professionals use technology to be the best they can be. Technology may help you increase your internet presence, establish client loyalty, and improve your digital efficiency. In reality, IT no more just serves business operations as it has in the past, but is now actively engaged in corporate value delivery.

While technology provides an overwhelming amount of possibilities, the secret to winning is deploying the correct business tech solutions for your specific needs.

Look for technologies that will enable your team to provide better, quicker customer service and higher-quality items if you want to enhance client retention. While investing heavily in the latest and best client acquisition tools will surely benefit your company in other aspects, it will not shift the needle whenever it comes to loyalty.

Categories
Digital Technology

How technology trends will change digital marketing in 2022

Due to the speed at which technology is developing, devices, professions, and even social media platforms did not exist ten to fifteen years ago. In what ways does that impact digital marketing? Companies need to be flexible and ready for change in order to keep up with the newest technological advances.

Any digital marketing campaign will need to make use of the

Voice search capabilities that have recently become more prevalent on

  1. Apple,
  2. Amazon, and 
  3. Google devices.

More than 25% of Americans use a voice-activated speaker to place orders, search for information, or change a lightbulb. This can be used by digital marketers to streamline the ordering process and set up websites for voice-activated searches.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), particularly in e-commerce, are more significant technological advances.

Shopping is now more immersive thanks to AR and VR services that allow you to view an item in a room before purchasing it. The use of images in visual searches is another trend that is growing in popularity. People may soon be able to upload a photo to receive search results rather than inputting keywords into a search engine.

Social media will have a huge impact on how digital marketing is done.

A post on social media may serve as the basis for a purchase. When a person clicks on the post, the item’s price is displayed, and they proceed to make their purchase on another website. Utilizing apps like:

  • Facebook 
  • Messenger, 
  • WeChat 
  • WhatsApp

A customer and a business can “meet” and discuss a product or service.

  1. Snapchat, 
  2. Instagram,
  3. Facebook 

These three are social media stories that combine businesses with a younger population. Other developments in digital marketing are geared toward improving the consumer appeal of advertisements.

Companies will need to adopt a more innovative strategy if they want to avoid using generic marketing directed at a broad audience. Consumers are more likely to remember interactive content that engages them and is therefore more likely to be used.

This takes the shape of tests and unique content that may be shared.

A special quiz that people can share with their friends and family.

Doing so can only boost the company’s awareness. Additionally, personalising marketing strategies would be beneficial to increase the appeal of the commodity or service. Making email blasts that specifically target particular demographics will be a better investment than doing so in general.