Tag Archives: customer expectations

Public Wi-Fi: Popular, But Not Secure

20 Oct

Have you ever used free public Wi-Fi at the airport, Starbucks, Panera Bread, or other unsecured venues?  Is it safe from hacking, identity theft, and other invasions of privacy? No!! So, why do we use it?

According to Ian Barker, writing for Beta News:

“There’s an expectation that public Wi-Fi will be available pretty much everywhere we go these days. We access it almost without thinking about it, yet public networks rarely encrypt data leaving users vulnerable.”

“A new survey of more than 2,000 business users by networking company Xirrus finds that while 91 percent of respondents don’t believe public Wi-Fi is secure, 89 percent use it anyway. The report shows that 48 percent of Wi-Fi users connect to public Wi-Fi at least three times per week and 31 percent connect to public Wi-Fi every day.”

“When on public Wi-Fi, 83 percent of users access their E-mail, whether it’s for work or personal reasons, and 43 percent access work-specific information. ‘Today, the convenience of using public Wi-Fi, for a variety of work and recreational uses, supersedes security, which puts both individuals and businesses at risk. Most businesses do not offer secure connectivity options for customers and guests.’ says Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus.”


Take a look at the following infographic. Still think it’s a good idea to access private information via public Wi-Fi?


Walmart Finally Gets It: Employees Matter

19 Oct

For years, Walmart has had tough labor practices and been heavily criticized for them. For example, it has been sued by many women for unequal pay and promotion opportunities, fought hard against employees unionizing, paid low wages, etc. But, now Walmart is loosening up; and it realizes that happier employees can mean happier customers due to better customer service. It has even brought back store greeters in many locales where they had been eliminated to reduce costs. Yes, this comes at a time when U.S. revenues have been weak.

As Neil Irwin reports for the New York Times:

“A couple of years ago, Walmart, which once built its entire branding around a big yellow smiley face, was creating more than its share of frowns. Shoppers were fed up. They complained of dirty bathrooms, empty shelves, endless checkout lines, and impossible-to-find employees. Only 16 percent of stores were meeting the company’s customer service goals. The dissatisfaction showed up where it counts. Sales at stores open at least a year fell for five straight quarters; the company’s revenue fell for the first time in Walmart’s 45-year run as a public company in 2015 (currency fluctuations were a big factor, too).”

“To fix the situation, executives came up with what, for Walmart, counted as a revolutionary idea. As an efficient, multinational selling machine, the company had a reputation for treating employee pay as a cost to be minimized. In 2015, Walmart announced it would pay its workers more. Executives sketched out a plan to spend more money on increased wages and training, and offer more predictable scheduling. The results are promising. By early 2016, the proportion of stores hitting their targeted customer-service ratings had rebounded to 75 percent. Sales are rising again.”

“An employee making more than the market rate, after all, is likely to work harder and show greater loyalty. Workers who see opportunities to get promoted have an incentive not to mess up, compared with people who feel they are in a dead-end job. A person has more incentive to work hard, even when the boss isn’t watching, when the job pays better than what you could make down the street.”


Click the image to read a lot more from Irwin.


A Walmart trainee perfecting a cereal display in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Credit Melissa Lukenbaugh for The New York Times

A Walmart trainee perfecting a cereal display in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Credit Melissa Lukenbaugh for New York Times.


Enhance Your Career Credentials

14 Oct

I regularly ask my undergraduate and graduate students: Why should an employer want to hire YOU? What can YOU offer that is distinctive?

One good way to answer to these questions is by publishing material online through your own blog or at other Web sites. By doing this, you can show off your Web-related related skills, highlight your own expertise on a specific topic, and demonstrate how well you write.

Recently, Mark Miller presented some great observations on this subject for Business 2 Community.

“Writing is one of the most productive things you can do for your career. You don’t have to be seeking attention from creative recruitment agencies in order to benefit from it, either. On a personal level, you grow your personal brand and get an opportunity to show off your communication skills–something that’s valuable no matter your field. From a job perspective, it can help you draw attention to your employer’s company, drive traffic to its site, and have a positive impact on SEO.”

“The advantages to being a published author are many, but getting started isn’t easy. That’s something I found out the hard way working closely with content marketing recruitment. I’ve spent much of 2016 developing my authorship profile, developing relationships, and creating opportunities for myself and others in my business to share our ideas and insights. Now that I finally have some momentum going, I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned so you can avoid making the same mistakes and get a head start!”

Here are a few of Miller’s suggestions:

  • Know “what you bring to the table that’s unique enough to justify being read over dozens of similar articles and posts.”
  • “If you’re first starting out, begin with smaller publications even if they have much smaller readership. You can even self-publish on a personal blog or on a site that allows anyone to self-publish like LinkedIn.”
  • “Most blogs and Web sites that publish regularly and accept external contributions will have easy-to-find, publicly accessible editorial guidelines and directions to submit content.”
  • “Building up a portfolio of published articles and opinions takes time, and a lot of it. And submitting content, communicating with editors, and finally getting published will probably take longer than you think.”

Click the image to read a lot more tips from Miller. And look at the links below the image.



Your Text Messages ARE Being Spammed

13 Oct

If you are under the impression that spamming is confined to the Web and E-mail, you are wrong. Very wrong! According to recent research, text spamming is now a big problem. So, we all need to be more careful with our cell phones and one way to do so is to use stronger passwords and turn off your location tracker.

As eMarketer reports:

“Spam messages coming from SMS and messaging apps are becoming more widespread. Indeed, more than half of text message users worldwide receive an unsolicited message via SMS at least once a week, and more than a quarter say they’re spammed every day. Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), a global trade body that addresses issues facing the mobile industry, and CLX Communications, a provider of cloud-based communication solutions for enterprises and mobile operates, surveyed 5,850 mobile media users in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Nigeria, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. Most are being spammed frequently. In addition to the 28% of SMS users who are receiving unsolicited messages via SMS every day, 26% of mobile messaging app users are getting spam on their over-the-top (OTT) messaging apps just as frequently.”

Click the image to learn more.


Are YOU Buying the Right for Gas for Your Vehicle?

10 Oct

What factors do you consider when buying gas for your vehicle? Octane rating, emissions, brand name, price? Do you believe that there are differences in gasoline? The correct answer is yes, but not necessarily in the way that you think.

There are actually two points that should be important to you, even if you have been using the cheapest gas you can find:

  1. According to new AAA research, “American drivers wasted more than $2.1 billion dollars in the last year by using premium-grade gasoline in vehicles designed to run on regular fuel. With 16.5 million U.S. drivers having used premium fuel despite the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation in the last 12 months, AAA conducted a comprehensive fuel evaluation to determine what, if any, benefit the practice offers to consumers. After using industry-standard test protocols designed to evaluate vehicle performance, fuel economy, and emissions, AAA found no benefit to using premium gasoline in a vehicle that only requires regular-grade fuel.” [Note from Evans on Marketing: There is no need to use premium gas if it is “recommended” by the manufacturer, only if the owner’s manual says premium is “required.”]
  2. A second study by the AAA  uncovered significant differences in the quality of gasoline sold at fuel retailers in the United States. The independent laboratory testing compared gasolines that meet TOP TIER™ standards often marketed to consumers as having enhanced, engine-cleaning detergent additives with gasoline brands that do not participate in the automaker-backed program. Among brands tested, non-TOP TIER gasolines caused 19 times more engine deposits than TOP TIER brands after just 4,000 miles of simulated driving. Such carbon deposits are known to reduce fuel economy, increase emissions, and negatively impact vehicle performance, particularly on newer vehicles. To protect vehicle investments, AAA urges drivers to use a gasoline that meets TOP TIER standards for engine cleanliness and performance.” [Note from Evans on Marketing: The use of TOP TIER gasoline is supported by the nonprofit Consumer Reports!]

Click the image to see if you are buying your gas at a TOP TIER brand retailer.


Brands That Millennials Love

4 Oct

As we have noted before, Millennials represent a huge, demanding, and challenging consumer segment for marketers. With that in mind, let’s ask: What brands are doing best among Millennials?

Recently, Moosylvania — a company involved with branding, digital, and experiential (“Digital connectivity has changed the way we interact with one another – people no longer want to consume marketing, they want to participate in brands.”) asked more than 1,5000 Millennials to select their favorite brands. The findings are interesting and some rankings may be surprising!!

In describing the top five companies in the 2016 Moosylvania study, Mallory Schlossberg and Kate Taylor report the following for Business Insider. [Note: In their article, all 100 companies are described.]:

  1. Apple — “has a fanatical following, and many of its customers are Millennials. The company’s iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks, and Apple Watches are wildly popular. The company has a cultish following.”
  2. Target “owns the intersection of style and affordability. It has been giving its kids’ clothing business a makeover to be more stylish. The company also sells gender-neutral room decor and stopped labeling its toys by gender.”
  3. Nike — “When it comes to active wear — and apparel in general — Nike is the go-to brand. Nike has focused on incorporating top-tier technology into its clothing. It helps that it’s a massive retailer.”
  4. Sony — “is ready for innovation, from robots that can interact with humans to its wildly popular PlayStation.”
  5. Samsung — “Galaxy phones and tablets are extremely popular with Millennials. The brand’s Galaxy S6 smartphone received rave reviews. Tech Insider’s Steve Kovach said that Samsung’s designs have eclipsed those of competitor Apple.” [NOTE: The Moosylvania study and these comments preceded the problems that Samsung is now facing due to product safety issues. It’s unlikely that the firm would be ranked so highly today. Right?]

Click the image to see the top brands for Millennials, from 100 to 1.

Photo by Business Insider / Matt Johnston


Improving E-Commerce Results

30 Sep

Would you be surprised to learn that only a small percentage of E-commerce sites gain any traction at all? Most dwell in obscurity.

Consider these observations from Cent Muruganandam, writing for Business2Community.com and check out the infographic shown below his quote:

“You might be astounded to know that there are between 12-24 million E-Commerce websites online. But what’s even more intriguing is the fact that only about 3% of them (650,000) ever make it past $1,000 in annual sales, according to Internet Retailer. What’s the point I am trying to establish here, you might wonder? Well, from where I see it, a whopping majority of E-Commerce outlets fail to make a significant amount of money. It’s not that there’s no money in the E-commerce industry. It means is that majority of online retailers are not doing things right, because if they had been successful in doing them right, the number of outlets making more than $1,000/year would have been way more than a mere 650,000.”



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