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TIAA-CREF’s Chief Economist: Four 2016 Video Forecasts

26 Jan

TIAA-CREF, the full-service investment firm that manages nearly $835 billion in assets, recently produced a series of short videos about the year ahead (2016) featuring its Chief Economist Tim Hopper. 
 

1. The U.S. economy should accelerate modestly this year.

 

2. Fed rate hikes could stimulate economic growth this year.

 

3. The U.S. economy is on a path toward sustainable growth in 2016.

 

4. China’s slowdown puts a damper on global growth.

 

Are YOU Ready for the New World of APIs?

5 Jan

Do you know what an API is and how it is/will be transforming technology? To learn about APIs, read on. :-)

According to software giant CA Technologies:

“Think about what you can do today that you could not 15 years ago. Hail a ride or start your car from a smartphone. Find a restaurant from your tablet. Monitor your fitness from a device on your wrist. Check availability of a product and order it from the nearest store anytime, anywhere. Or what businesses are doing that they could not in 2000. Expose petabytes of data from legacy systems. Build new applications without reinventing the wheel. Share information instantly with customers, suppliers and partners. Develop. Monetize. In record time.”

“There’s something at work behind the scenes that’s powering the new economy, the App Economy. It’s greasing the exchange of information, a modern-day Rosetta Stone. It’s called the Application Programming Interface.”

 

For an interactive, informative, and entertaining view of APIs, click on the image and scroll down CA Technologies‘ animated chart. Then, take a look at the video below the image.

 

APIs


 

The Best of Evans on Marketing in 2015

4 Jan

Here the ten most-viewed posts made in 2015 by Evans on Marketing. Please take a look. Thanks.

  1. See How Well You Can Do on This Entertaining Marketing Quiz
  2. For What Career Are You Best Suited?
  3. Be a Smart Customer: 2015 Holiday Shopping Tips
  4. Body Language Errors to Avoid During Interviews
  5. What Are the Toughest Languages to Translate?
  6. Doing Better with Google Analytics: An Infographic
  7. Looking to Generate Passion? Consider Using the Color Red
  8. Does Rebranding Always Work?
  9. Personalizing Marketing
  10. Food Brands Capitalizing on Instagram

If you like these posts, PLEASE sign up to follow us at Evans on Marketing. Thanks.
 

How to Do Better with Marketing Budgets

14 Dec

Budgeting is a key tool when devising and implementing a marketing strategy. It helps in deriving sales forecasts, allocating resources, monitoring cash flow, evaluating performance, and a lot more. So, are YOU setting and monitoring your budgets as optimally as possible?

To assist us, HubSpot has just published How to Manage Your Entire Marketing Budget [Free Budget Planner Templates].” EIGHT free templates are available by clicking here. [Note: (1) A free signup is required. The download is a zip file that must be opened.]

  1. Master Marketing Budget Template
  2. Product Marketing Budget Template
  3. Content Budget Template
  4. Paid Advertising Budget Template
  5. Public Relations Budget Template
  6. Branding & Creative Budget Template
  7. Web Site Redesign Budget Template
  8. Event Budget Template

 

Read more about each template by clicking the image.

 

Using Live Chat Software to Enhance the Online Experience

8 Dec

Guest Blogger

Today’s post is by David Campbell, who blogs about customer service trends for ClickDesk live chat and helpdesk software. He is an active freelance writer and his other interests include organic SEO and growth hacking.

______________________________________________________________

Whether you’re offering an omnichannel solution from your brick-and-mortar store or running a complete E-commerce business, the busiest time of year has already begun. If your product and your placement are strong, converting potential buyers into paying customers shouldn’t be difficult.

But getting conversions on E-commerce sites is harder than ever. What’s the secret to increasing conversion rates this holiday shopping season and breaking your sale records? This is the question of every single online store at this time of this year, no matter how big or small they are or how long they’ve been in business. This post contains a useful answer to this question.

If we figure this out, we can easily implement that strategy into the system, and (in ideal conditions) our conversion rate should increase. There are tons of reasons why Web visitors convert, including pricing, quality of products, ease of use (UI/UX), product warranties and return policies, free shipping, and more; but if you keep these things constant, then the main reason why customers convert is simple: it’s based on how they feel.

When it comes to feeling, the importance of customer service cannot be overstated. There might be many stores offering the same kind of deal that you have on your Web site, but if your customer service is better than others, potential visitors will convert on your site and continue to come back for more.

In talking about customer service, what instantly comes to mind is E-mail, phone, and social media support. However, this is what everyone is doing. How do you stand out from the pack? What you need is something different, memorable, responsive, reliable, quick, personal, and efficient. This is where Live Chat Software comes into play. It serves all of those needs. Plus, new technology has made it possible for any SMB to add real-time support to their website in just a few minutes.

Live chat software lets you communicate with potential customers while they are browsing your Web site. You can help them on the spot, making it far more likely that they will convert into paying customers. If they are not contacting you, you can reach out proactively and help them make better decisions.

There are numerous benefits of having live chat on your website. We recently published a live chat infographic, as shown below.

This is a tried and tested formula and many big brands follow it throughout the year. Enable a live chat plugin on your website and start converting potential customers like a pro. Let’s make this holiday shopping season one for your customers to remember!

 

5-benefits-of-live-chat-software

 

China-Based Singles’ Day Dwarfs Cyber Monday Sales

4 Dec

China’s online Alibaba is the leader in special events (see this post).  As it notes: “Alibaba.com is the leading platform for global wholesale trade serving millions of buyers and suppliers around the world. Small businesses can sell their products to companies in other countries. Sellers are typically manufacturers and distributors based in China and other countries such as India, Pakistan, the U.S., and Thailand.

Each year, Alibaba runs a Singles’ Day on November 11 (that it created) targeted at final consumers. The revenues generated on Singles’ Day dwarf those on Cyber Monday. This year, Alibaba used Singles’ Day to “launch new initiatives in globalization, logistics, and mobile and omni-channel commerce to improve the shopping experience for buyers and sellers.”

Why does Alibaba do so well on Singles’ Day relative to Cyber Monday and U.S. online retailers? As reported by Knowledge@Wharton:

“In just one day — November 11 — Alibaba Group generated a massive $14.3 billion in gross sales for China’s major shopping event, Singles’ Day — a figure equivalent to seven times the volume Cyber Monday generated last year. As Cyber Monday is now here, U.S. online retailers and other E-commerce players are likely turning to Alibaba’s performance on Singles’ Day for lessons learned and takeaways.”

“But, as one expert noted, U.S. online retailers are likely to face some steep challenges in recreating aspects of Alibaba’s success, in which merchants across the board discounted items by 50% or more for Alibaba’s online shopping site Taobao Marketplace and also on its third-party shopping platform Tmall.com.

“Beyond offering consumers steep discounts for Singles’ Day, Alibaba also instituted an unusual strategy that U.S. retailers, in the end, may want to emulate for Cyber Monday, experts point out. The company unveiled a glitzy, star-studded TV show that aired on the eve of Singles’ Day to prompt viewers to snap up specials via their computer, tablet, smartphone or Internet-enabled TV or set-top box.”

Tips for Small and Mid-Sized Firms

20 Nov

Formulating and articulating plans and tactics are as important for small and mid-sized firms as for large firms. Being thorough, systematic, and consistent are crucial to success.

As Knowledge@Wharton and SAP recently stated:

“Whether you are a company with 10 or 100,000 employees, running a business is getting quite complicated these days. An interconnected global economy has opened opportunities for Main Street businesses to sell to overseas markets, but they come with challenging complexities in logistics, currency translation, taxation, labor regulations, and other areas. Even expanding locally tacks on complexity from an influx of vendors, customers, and additional staff. Meanwhile, digital technologies bring in massive amounts of data that need to be sorted through to maximize business strategies while real-time user feedback is also changing the way companies operate.”

 

Click the image to access “Simplifying Small Businesses and Midsize Companies to Unlock Growth.”
 

 

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